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Va-Voom Bullet Bra: Day 2 Cutting and Cup Assembly

Monday, October 14, 2013



Day 1: Pattern Download and Sizing Information


This pattern uses very little fabric. I used a scrap that I had in my stash. Cut out pieces according to pattern indications


Cup Assembly

Pin upper and lower cups, right sides together and sew along center cup seam with the provided 3/8 inch seam allowance. 



 
Pink edge or finish with a french seam. You may also attach these pieces using a fagoted seam which is a luxurious little detail on lingerie. Colette Patterns blog has an excellent tutorial on the fagoted seam


Press and turn out. Repeat on other cup



Circle Stitching

One day, I was looking at my bullet bras and I wondered "How'd they do that?" Does it really shape into a cone if you sew a spiral of stitching around the piece of fabric. Well, yes it does!  It's that simple. Start in the middle and sew an even spiral till you get to the outside. You can also sew progressively larger circles or sew little flower or scalloped designs like some of my vintage bullet bras. Here are some examples from my collection of vintage bras:

The first one here has spiral stitching, which is the most common among my bullet bra collection. Pardon the wrinkles, please



 This one has some gorgeous and simple details. First, the fagoted center seam there, a beautiful touch and common for vintage bras. This has circle stitching and spokes at the center of the cup.




This last one is a 1950s pink girdle with the lower cup stitched and the upper cup in a sheer net, very sexy! You could easily do something like this with this bullet bra pattern or do a lace overlay on the top of the cup. The stitching on this girdle cup is very interesting because its done in both horizontal and vertical lines of stitching on pink satin.


Anyway on to spiral stitching....
You can get out your fabric marker and mark exact measurements for your spiral but I'm impatient and lazy so I eyeball it, using the edge of my presser foot to gauge where my next stitches should be. Mark the cup center with a pin and you're ready to rock.
 

You can use matching or contrast thread for the circle stitching. Watch the video to see how:

Apologies for the poor audio, please turn your volume up a bit.






Pretty cool, huh? Please be very careful when doing your cup stitching. Take it slow and don't get your fingers too close to that needle! After editing this video I surprised myself at how close my fingers are to that needle so just take it slow.


Okay, now that we have two cups, let's sew them up the middle. You can put right sides together and seam it up and pink the seam but I like a nice sturdy french seam for things like this.




Pin wrong wides together so that the exposed seam is on the outside of the bra


 Sew and trim very close to the seam



pin with right sides together so the seam is concealed inside.


 Sew it. The seam will now be on the inside of the bra. Press. This is what the inside of the bra will look like:


 And this is what the outside will look like


Come back tomorrow and we'll attach the front and side bands!



Fitting Tip   If, after circle stitching is complete, your cup is too deep or not deep enough for your breast, you may need to adjust this seam line by adding or removing seam allowance. We'll be making some easy bullet bra pads after this sew-along as well!

Before I go, I wanted to show you all a fun accent from one of my vintage bullet bras that you could easily incorporate into this pattern.  This bra has a tiny bit of padding (a layer of extremely thin batting,, maybe?) with another layer of fabric over the top on the inside lower cup, which creates a beautiful little petal pattern when sewn in with a zig-zag stitch. This light padding is very comfortable and supportive and *hello* great for days of heavy boob sweat. Hey, it happens so sweat glamorously!



If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments or drop me an email at Brittanyvavoomvintage@gmail.com
Check back tomorrow for Day 3: Front and Side Bands

20 Responses to “Va-Voom Bullet Bra: Day 2 Cutting and Cup Assembly”

  1. This is so detailed and lovely to see, especially as a non-sewer, who doesn't get to view the inner workings (aka, process) of what goes into creating a garment from scratch very often. You're super talented, dear Brittany, thank you for sharing your bullet bra know-how with us.

    ♥ Jessica

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  2. love the vintage bras for inspiration, thanks alison, honeypotcreation.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. Thanks for the tutorial! Everything looks pretty easy to understand. I can't wait to sew a bra according to your instructions! I don't own a sewing machine yet but maybe I'll try to sew it by hand.

    xoxo,
    Monika

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  4. LOL, I'm so slow at this. I haven't even washed my fabric yet. But this goes together pretty fast, could even be done in a day?? Anyway, I got everything just need to find some time to sit down and do this. I'll be sure to watch that spiral vid MANY time before I attempt it. :) Thanks for that, btw!

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    1. Oh yeah! If you cut out all of the pieces, you could easily crank out a few of these in a day! If you're nervous about the spiral stitching, try it out on a scrap of fabric first so you get the feel for it. It's really fun and easy once you get going! :)

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    2. Okay I'll definitely have to try that. I've got a bunch of scrap fabric that would do in a pinch.

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  5. What a fantastic tutorial. Thank you so much. I will keep it and sew it one day during winter. Son has moved and i'll get his room as sewing and creative room. I can hardly wait. :)

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  6. What a really great tutorial! The video needs to have better lighting as it's really hard to see how you are sewing it in detail. Thanks!

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    1. sorry, that's the best I could do without hauling my entire sewing cabinet upstairs and outside onto the porch :(

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  7. Is there a central place where we are posting pictures? I just wrote a blog post about my progress so far!

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    1. Yes! On the group pin board: http://www.pinterest.com/vavoomvintage/va-voom-bullet-bras/ you can comment on a pin and I'll send you an invite to join or email me with your pinterest username at va_voomvintage@yahoo.com

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  8. I had so much fun with this!! Thank you Brittany. I always wondered how they constructed these. You made it easy!!!

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  9. I had loads of fun sewing circles and putting the cups together. The C is still too big for me.I tried to size the pattern down put ended up with a weird shape. I will wait for the B cup pattern to be finished and enjoy viewing all the others for now.
    Thanks

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  10. Hi, I just adore bullet bras !! Please, make a strapless overwire bullet bra tutorial !! :)

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  11. I am trying to sew up one for me but the cups are way to small. Every time I try to make them bigger I seem to get funny shapped cups. Do you happen to have a tutorial for increasing the cup?
    Thanks for the pattern. It's awesome to see people sharing for those of us that are broke lol

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  12. Hi I was wondering if you had the bullet bra pad pattern and sewing tutorial on here? If, so I apologize I just can't seem to find it. I love the pattern and how simple it seems. Store bought bras just don't fit right and wear out too fast as I am a big heavy breasted curvy girl. I am hoping I have better luck, and a better display of my curves by wearing this style. :0)

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  13. Thank Heavens I found you. I'm a retro kind of gal and I've been looking for this for awhile. I bought a French ladies PDF and their measuring system is different. It is entirely over the bust. This way I can make a pattern, a muslin, and my long awaited bullet bras. THANK YOU!!!! Now. Any ideas on girdles that are firm, suited for going to the bathroom, and one that doesn't have to be fought with to get on or peeled off?

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    1. Everyone swears by Rago girdles. I think the open bottom ones that you wear with stockings would be easiest to go to the bathroom, you just pull your undies down and go! Secrets in Lace is also a big one that should have a good selection of colors and sizes

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  14. Oh and retro bathing suits for us "big gals" would be great too. I remember a brand named Jantzen or something like that. I absolutely hate the stretch nylon suits of today even if they may have a power mesh. Any sources you may know of for the girdles and bathing suits would be appreciated if you haven't got these. Thanks again so much.

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    1. Bathing suits are so hard! I have a 50s one that I absolutely adore because of that wonderful fabric. I have a retro one from Catalina that's okay but its just not like the vintage ones. Mrs. Depew Vintage on etsy has several vintage sewing patterns and I made her one piece suit a few years back. It's adorable and really good for the tummy because there's two layers of fabric. I was able to make adjustments to the bust to actually fit and support my chest and I added a metal zipper up the back, just like my vintage one!

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I read every single comment (even on old posts) and they make my day! If you have a question, please email me at brittanyvavoomvintage@gmail.com. Thank you for reading me!