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The Bold Stitcher

A Lemony Watson Bra

My bra drawer is in desperate need of updating. Everything in there is starting to look a bit tatty, and more recently, feeling a bit on the small side. (Blame it on a few too many late night snacks). I actually really enjoy making bras. They’re super quick to make and use very little fabric.

When I find a pattern I like, I tend to get a bit obsessed and want to make it over and over again. (Who doesn’t….?) In terms of bras, the Watson is my current obsession. It’s non-wired yet surprisingly supportive, with options for both short and longline versions.

The fabric I used for this bra is the Art Gallery Yuma lemon print jersey. It’s unbelievably soft and without a doubt, the nicest jersey I’ve ever used. It’s also a fabulous print. I actually broke my no buy vow this year to get this stuff. No regrets!

Since my current bras are looking a bit small, I started from scratch and remeasured myself. My current measurements are

  • High bust – 34”
  • Full bust – 39.5”
  • Underbust – 30”

This put me right in between a 34E and 34F. Since my last Watson was a 34E, I went for the 34F. Also, my ready to wear size is a 30G and the 34F is a sister size. (If you haven’t heard of sister sizes before, check out abrathatfits. It has a wealth of information on bra sizing and fit. It’s aimed at ready to wear bras, but the fit info can be really useful when sewing your own). 

I know lots of people have had issues with the Watson sizing since it uses the difference between your high and full bust measurements to find your cup size. Something like a broad back can mean you incorrectly measure as a much smaller cup size than you actually are. I would highly recommend trusting your gut and going with your ready to wear size as a starting point. Just be prepared to make a few toiles to get the fit right!  

I lined the cups with lightweight powernet to make them feel a bit more secure and stop any stretching out of the jersey. The cradle is lined with nylon tricot that has no stretch. This is important to make sure the bra is supportive enough since there are no underwires to help hold everything up.

For the band I used a single layer of strong powernet. You can’t make it out in the photos, but the powernet band has a lovely sparkly finish. I had all the notions and bra fabrics already in my stash, but most (if not all) of them came from Sewing chest. They’re a UK based online store with literally everything you need to make your own bras.

As it turned out, the 34F fit really well without the need for any adjustments. For reference, the finished band measures 28” unstretched. The only thing that bothers me slightly is that the cup seam does not sit over my apex. To be honest, I doubt I’ll bother to fix it in future versions. It doesn’t seem to affect the fit and I’m not going to be flashing my bra in public anytime soon. 

I love the Watson. It’s so comfortable and it’s my first choice over anything underwired now. Next up, a lemon longline version and some matching knickers.

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