Well here it is! I've wanted to make pdf sewing patterns for many years and finally *I think* I've figured out how to do it. I have some more ideas for pattern designs so I'm hoping to work on a few of those in 2014 and figure out a more professional way to make these instead of my silly little photo editor! But hey, not bad for a girl who had no clue where to start! Anyway...
Originally the plan was to post one in every size that I can find but I didn't want to post them without testing the pattern for fit on live models. I will be testing the B cup and D cup and posting as soon as it's ready.
Sizes available will depend on the boobs that are available to me and the schedules of the ladies that they are attached to! Thank you to the boob-donors that have made this pattern possible!
Let's Talk About Bra Sizes
A bullet bra will not fit the same way that a modern underwire bra does. The shape and depth of the cups are quite different. I usually wear a modern cup size DD but in a vintage bra, I can often fit very well in a C cup! I'm sure that's not the case for all of us so work up a muslin and see what works for you! The bra size numbers presented on these patterns came from original vintage bullet bras, so they will also differ from your modern bra size.
Modern bra sizes are a royal pain, as we all know. Cup sizes vary by manufacturer and some of them have this ridiculous formula of "measure here, measure there, subtract this to get that..." When it comes to vintage bra sizes, throw all of your modern understanding out the window.
Here are two vintage bras in a B cup 38 and 42. The cup sizes are the same size! When I was making this pattern, I compared cups B-DD from over 30 vintage bras and had the same results around. The cups are the same size for that letter.
On occasion, I'd have a very small (around 1/4 inch depth) difference in cups from different manufacturers, like the photo below. In this example, this is a 38C and 42C. You can see that the cup of the 38 is just a tad smaller in depth than the 42. You may need to adjust your muslin here and/or at the center seam if the cup is baggy. Ladies with larger breasts that need more cup depth may add a little here, at the center seam and/or along the top if you need more coverage. Also, if you feel like you need a wider side band, you can always add a little to that as well.
Since we're all different shapes and sizes, you may need some alterations to get your bra to fit just right. I highly recommend sewing this bra in muslin before using a nice fabric. You may also make a cup in paper and tape it all together. Try it on without a bra on to see if it fits your breast. The band size on this bra is adjustable by lengthening or shortening the side band along the dotted line.
Let's Talk about Big Boobs
I've had a lot of comments from ladies who are much-blessed in the bra department so here are some tips on making this pattern bigger. Don't be afraid to make some tweaks here and there to get a great fit. Once you have a perfect fit, cut your pattern in muslin and make notes in the pattern so you always have a perfect bullet bra pattern for your size and shape.
Slash and spread
The typical method of grading patterns up a size is to slash the paper and spread it apart, trace around your spread-out pattern and cut out the new, larger pattern piece. Simple! :
Add to the top and bottom
The slash and spread will add more across the breast but you may find that you're still spilling out the top and/or bottom. If that's the case, add a little to the top and bottom for more coverage:
Remember, if you do any changes to the cups, you may also have to lengthen the front band a bit.
If the cone is too deep, you can take it in a bit at the center seam or use bullet bra pads to fill in the extra space. We'll cover how to make bullet bra pads at the end of the sew-along.
Printing directly from dropbox results in wonkiness so please click the link below, save to your computer, open pdf and print. Please set your printer to print at "100%"
download DD (E) cup bullet bra pattern
download C cup bullet bra pattern
Stay tuned Monday for Day 2 Cutting and Cup Assembly