Bridezilla Odyssey – part 2 – Bra-Gate

Well Hello there! No, I’m quite a ‘Mrs’ yet. (What’s the feminist equivalent of a ‘Mrs’ to call the husband?) But the Bridezilla sewing is finally done. The final mile was excruciatingly slow even though it was simplest part of the Choli Blouse making. I must have left my Sewing Mojo with the relatives when I visited in July. Yes, I took my sewing on ‘holiday’ with me & promptly ignored all the relations who I meant to visit. The embroidery was finished at the eleventh hour just before we flew back to the UK. But making up the blouse took forever! Serves me right I guess for being rude to my hosts.

As for Blogging Mojo, that was lost long ago in the flurries of ideas & activities – too many & too fast to capture in words. So I will just outline the major incidents. Let’s start with Bra-Gate.

  1. I picked the outfit which was a copy. But while the skirt & shawl look exactly like the original, the blouse material doesn’t. I wanted a blouse more like the original. So I decided to make it from scratch.
  2. After searching all of London for supplies to little avail, & considering the amount of embroidery required, I had little faith I could manage this Plan A blouse in time. So I decided I need a Plan B.
  3. Plan B was to make up the pre-embroidered blouse fabric from one of the other two outfits. But there was a snag.
  4. This pre-embroidered blouse design has an very open back. I just could not find a bra that would stay hidden while still give me the gravity-defying lift I had hope to achieve. Let’s look at the typical open back bra options shall we?
    1. Built-in cups

      The standard choli solution. But with typical wearing ease built in, I don’t see how this will add any bust enhancement support. At best it just preserves modesty…Unless the top is made skin-tight from stretchy material. But mine is normal woven silk with no stretch.
    2. Stick-on bras

      Again, doesn’t seem like it’ll give enough bust enhancement support. Plus I’d be worried about it coming unstuck. One too many things to worry about on one’s big day!
    3. Low-back bra extenders

      This is the long add-on elastic that pulls down the back closure by extending your band so that it wraps around your front below the bust. Unfortunately these all seem to extend too far down (to the waist in the front at least) to work with cropped Choli Blouses.
    4. Totally backless bra (& Threads version)

      Backless bust support solution featured in "Build a Better Bust" from Threads Apr/May 2006

      Backless bust support solution featured in “Build a Better Bust” from Threads Apr/May 2006

      These seems perfect – if they stay on. I’d be worried that the straps would slip off easily & the cups won’t stay put. But I thought it has potential if tweaked:

      My open back Choli bra idea

      My open back Choli bra idea

      • Add below bust elastic band to help keep bra cups close to the body.
        Unlike hip young Asians, I’m never going to wear totally backless or stringy back-closure cholis. I just need a band & straps that accommodate a low & open back cropped top.
      • Add boned side panels to help keep bra straps from slipping off the shoulder.
        Not entirely sure this would actually work. But I think it looks more stable than having the elastic shoulder straps going around the arm joint & rejoining the cups at the side bottoms.
  5. I lost my mind & set about implementing my wholly untested custom open-back bra idea. Keep in mind that I have not even learn to make a bog-standard bra & I have only a few weeks left (to make Plan A blouse + Plan B blouse + this untested bra solution). I went as far as ordering bra material from Canadian Bra-maker Supply (and paid dearly for it – thank you UK customs & postal system).
    0-bust support-braSupply
  6. Luckily (!!!) Brexit threat devalued the pound sterling & delayed further investments such as Beverly Johnson’s hand-holding bra-making classes on Craftsy. This gave me just enough time to come to my senses & abandon Plan B along with my mad scientist open-back bra idea…for now anyway. As bra-making supply has already been bought no doubt I will return to my mad idea one day…Maybe when the pound sterling recover its value & I could afford to pay for the Craftsy classes? Any chance of that you think? 😉

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8 comments on “Bridezilla Odyssey – part 2 – Bra-Gate

  1. Your bra idea sounds great – for another time. For my daughter’s wedding dress we considered sew in bra cups. We looked at what was available. Bought stick ons too. In a couple of styles They weren’t the right shape and showed at the sides. She ended up using a pair she’s had for years. That and tit tape!

  2. When (not if, because I know you will) you find a solution, I cannot wait to read about it. It will be of great interest to not only me, but about 1,000,000 other sewists.

  3. Barbarags says:

    Eager to see the finished outfit. It’s the combination of scooped front neck, cut-out back and cropping that makes it so difficult to find an underpinning solution. Would it be possible to make an inner choli in the same pattern as the outer choli ( but without sleeves) in stretch fabric that will grip you and with stiff cups inserted to give shape? It would be sewn with larger hem allowances than the outer choli so that it does not peep out from under the outer choli.

    • piakdy says:

      Good idea! Not quite in time for this one, but I haven’t quite managed a TNT pattern for choli blouses. So I will have to test your approach for the next attempt.

      Bust support is such a science – and art – isn’t it! Then again maybe I’m being too unrealistic with how much you can prod & cajole the girls into gravity-defying position :@)

  4. sofiem says:

    Yes the bra thing is always a thing isn’t it. If you use the last option bra thing, maybe little strap holders on your top will help keep the straps in place. I can’t wait to see your outfit. Oh and those Craftsy classes go on sale and if you sign up you get a free class… that’s how I got the bra making one for free….although haven’t had time to use/look at it yet…but it’s there for when I want! Good luck!

    • piakdy says:

      My top actually ended up with 3 pairs of strap holders! 😉 I have the customary ones at the shoulders, another pair further down the back straps, and last pair for the band near the CB. Though now it’s rather hard to get in & out of the top + bra! LOL.

      But I agree, strap holders should help to keep the straps on for these backless bras, especially as many choli blouses have ties across the back shoulders, presumably to help keep the sleeves themselves from slipping apart & off!

      • What an interesting discussion. I am not sure there is a solution that hasn’t already been invented. Breast seem to need support from above and below.

        Personally I like to wear a proper bra that gives the right amount of support/enhancement. I feel comfortable with everything held up so, in an ideal world, I would wear a garment that covered the bra. I have a couple of strapless bras but I find they are too much of a compromise, as are the commercial “back-less solutions. One bra I quite like is a regular bra with straps made from see through, flexible plastic. A front fastening bra with a translucent back strap, or perhaps one slim strap of fabric that matches the bra might work.

        I would consider bra-less, supported by what is impolitely called tit-tape to get an amazing appearance from time to time.

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