Today in misadventures! I finally tried on a swimsuit that I had sewn up just before NZ went into lockdown, and discovered that I could barely get it on and the fabric was very stressed being forced to accommodate me!
I barrelled straight into this project, with quite a bit of misplaced confidence (I can say in hindsight), since I’d had so many other swimsuit successes. I think the issue is that the fabric that I’d used for previous projects was especially stretchy (and perhaps unusually so).
Although they look okay in the pictures, because there’s not a huge amount of stretch, I had to do a decent amount of careful placement of things inside the bralette to ensure decency, and the bottoms are so taut that the overlocking thread (bright pink, no less) is VERY visible along the seams. These are like super compressive spanx versions of swimwear, if spanx could suddenly burst on you, revealing your entire bottom half to other folks enjoying the local pools.
Size details: I made a Size F in the Kapunda Undies and I used my modified Banksia Bralette pattern which is Size E, D cup, narrow shoulder with approx 3” removed from the centre front.
I’ve probably been quite spoiled because a lot of my bralettes and undies have been made with cotton or bamboo fabrics with 4-way stretch, so the fabric is easily able to stretch and accommodate my bits which need extra accommodation.
I’ll be doing some squatting and stretching in this before deciding if it’s safe to wear in public in front of others! One thing I could do to fix this is to unpick the fold-over (yuck) and cut down the front and back pieces of the bottoms and add side-panels which have more stretch. This would effectively convert the bottoms from View A to View B, and could give me the extra room I need.
Next time, I’ll make sure to test the stretch on my swimsuit fabric before rushing in!
I’ve made a lot of different versions of the Muna and Broad Banksia Bralette and I think I’ve finally been able to settle on my favourite configuration!
The Banksia Bralette [pronounced like Banksy-a] comes in two different cup sizes, and options for narrow shoulders too. The Banksia has a unique inner sling system which works to separate large breasts and stop them from pushing together to make a sweaty uni-boob. You can customise the amount of support by lining the bralette in different fabrics.
Banksia Bralette Size Details: My perfect Banksia that I’ve settled on (and which is pictured above) is a Size E, D cup, narrow shoulder with approx 3” removed from the centre front. To make matching sets, I apply the FOE in the Kapunda style (not folded over).
My measurements: My current measurements are 43″ high bust, 48″ full bust, 43″ waist (smallest part, close to my underbust), 54″ low hip and I’m 57″ at my roundest point (around my belly). I am relatively short through the body, and have narrow shoulders compared to my other measurements.
It’s taken several years of sewing, but I’ve finally decided that I have singers lungs, which makes it seem like me sewing cup size is bigger than it actually is. This meant that my boobs weren’t exerting enough downwards pressure, and the bralette was sitting very high in the centre front.
I might make some like this where I actually fold the elastic under, because leaving the elastic flat means the straps take up more room, which means you’re more likely to see them peeking out of the neckline of my tops (which is not always what I’m after).
Fabric and support levels: I omitted the slings and lined the front and back of this bralette with a merino/poly blend which doesn’t have great stretch. Because it doesn’t stretch much, it actually provides a decent amount of support (more than if I’d just put a double layer of cotton/lycra).
Future versions? Bamboo bralette! More matching sets. Mesh or powermesh on the outside of the bralette! Full merino bralette? It’s fair to say that I have plans.