Last year I’ve started up a whole new project idea : digital MINI-COURSES! The first one was the Mini-course Panty which had very positive response by you all. Of course next thing would be a Mini-Course about the bra and the Mini-Course BRA is now available in the Merckwaerdigh shop on Etsy! You can download the Mini-Course right after your payment and can do the whole Mini-Course all by yourself, it’s that easy to follow! Lots of illustrations accompany all the information to get a better understanding.
I can imagine you wonder what on earth is a MINI-COURSE? For starters you don’t have to do all the hard work of drafting a basic pattern yourself. Included in every mini-course is a MASTER pattern in several standard sizes, for the mini-course bra these are all the sizes on the cover page above. But even when your size is not included in the MASTER pattern this mini-course could be very helpfull. Most of all the information can be used for any other bra pattern you already might have!
The design of the included MASTER pattern is a very basic ‘cover it all’ bra. With this MASTER pattern you can create your own designs in a very simple way. No need to send homework to me to be judged, it’s easy enough to manage by yourself without support. The last chapter includes exercizes to help you tounderstand and fully master the skills you need to create your own designs. The mini-course is divided in 3 chapters;
first step : sew a test bra
second step : control of the right fit
third step : master the designing rules
First step is to check the right size by sewing a test bra. There are pages full of information what kind of fabric, elastic and stitches to choose and how to determine the right size. Use light colored stretch fabric for the test bra, preferably some remnants you are not tempted to start wearing. The test bra is just meant to check the size and you can easily mark the adjustments you need to make right on the fabric when it’s a light color. Once you start wearing the bra it will loose shape and you can’t use the test bra anymore to make sure your size hasn’t changed (this happens through the years!!) The mini-course will step-by-step walk you through the sewing process with lots of illustrations. You can do it!
Second step is not just to check the right size but also the right fit for YOU. The included BRA FITTING CHECKLIST will help you what to do when it’s not completey perfect yet. Some time ago I’ve written a bra fitting checklist blog about this with a link to the FREE printable checklist. You can use the checklist for any bra, even the ones you bought in a store! One of the mini-course exersizes is to try out the checklist on one (or more) of the bras you already own. You will learn to discover flaws you might never have noticed before. They might even have been the reason you were never really happy wearing your bra.
Once you’ve determined the flaws in your test bra this mini-course will help to fix them with easy to follow illustrated instructions for the changes to the MASTER pattern. Just keep repeating the process untill your test bra is truly to your satisfaction. Imperfections will keep popping up in every bra you make from this MASTER pattern, even when using it for a new design!
Make notes of everything you did, not only on your checklist but on each pattern piece as well. Have you ever experienced the panic when holding 2 simular pattern pieces, not knowing which one is the right one? No need to write long stories on each pattern, you can also use a code to refer to a specific checklist with the same code which will provide you with all the details. It might all seems to be a lot of work and I won’t lie to you, it is a lot of work! Perfectly fitting bras are not the easiest underwear to make. But once done you will be rewarded every single day with a lovely and very comfortable bra!
TIP : you can reuse the band of your first attempt to try other improved cups, we call this a fitting band. I’ve written a fitting band blog about it, explaning how to do this. It’s pretty straight forward; just cut out the ill fitting cups leaving a seam allowance around the underwires. Instead of sewing a complete bra every time you can quickly test another cup for improvements. It will certainly make endless testing less frustrating!
Once the test bra is a perfect fit you keep it just the way it is. Don’t start wearing the test bra but use it to mark your new designs with a vanishing marker (the ink vanishes by itself through light) while you’ve put it on. All you have to do is copy the marker lines on your MASTER pattern copy, which is way easier than figuring it all out on paper.
Third step is about altering the MASTER pattern for other designs. Before you go wild with all the designs in your head there are some designing rules you need to know. What’s the maximum drop or raise for the bra bottom and top edge, that kind of thing. You’ll even learn how to incorporate a POWERBAR! It also includes a serious DON’T for some seams and outlines. Every design alteration comes with some rules, do take these seriously! No need to find out the hard way why that rule is written down … just try to benefit from my long years of experience (since 1990!) and save being stubborn for the right time.
The mini-course includes not only a lot of illustrated designing information but exercises as well. Because it is a course after all! Don’t skip these exersizes, some basic experience will make it much easier to get your own designs right.
And then the fun part starts, you now have all the tools for both pattern and sewing to create your own designs! That might seem a bit scary at first and to get you on your way I’ve added 3 extra pages with design ideas and how to get the pattern done for them. This will give a clear idea what’s possible once you start combining al those designing rules. You can even use these ideas as another exercise!
There is a short ‘movie’ of this mini-course content in my Facebook account to get a complete impression. This was done before the final editing so some small changes were made later.
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