Adventures with Watson... ?

Warning: this post is about sewing bras. Therefore, talk about bras and the body parts that go in them are everywhere. Consider yourself warned.

Watson bras are everywhere in the blogosphere. Madalynne, Heather Lou, Novita, Chie, Sewaholic and many others have sewn them. They've even leaked into the non-sewing community by way of Sian of Rebel Angel.  And I LOVE the way they look on everyone else.  So simple and elegant, evocative of the seventies and screaming for personalization. So when I got this pattern somewhere around a month ago (thanks Mom!) I was expecting nothing less than fabulousness.




And the pattern itself is pretty fabulous. Or groovy, shall we ? It's just that the pattern on me is less than loveable. Or even likeable.  And this is through no fault of the pattern.  My sewing skills aren't to blame either. I think the Watson just doesn't suit me very well.


Size: My ribcage measure 28", and my full bust is 34", which puts me at a 28E for a regular bra.  I personally have never seen this size and do not have the time or money to shop for it online.  I  sister size this to a 32D which fits comfortably. Knowing this, I read the guidelines for sizing and made size 32D.

Materials Used: My first version was made out of rayon jersey overlaid with stretch mesh. My second one was made with a poly-cotton blend jersey with very little stretch. All fabrics were bought from JoAnn's, while all notions--elastic, strapping, hook&eyes, rings&sliders--were purchased from ArteCraft's Etsy shop. I forgot to stabilize the front band of the first one, but used knit fusible for the second.


Directions/Construction: I did follow the instructions and found them very useful.  The only part I question was the bit about the strap length.  15-18" was recommended, but I have found that I either have long shoulders or just like having long straps. My second Watson has straps of 18.5" and I would go a bit longer yet. Other than that the directions were wonderful. Er, far out.

Alterations: I made none for either of these. The first version had none since it was the first, and the second had none because it was in a vastly different fabric than the first and I didn't know how it would affect fit.


Onto to fit, and how I feel in this bra:  Well, lets start with technical fit first.  This bra seems to be drafted for a bust that is evenly distributed.  This means that there is fullness above and below the apex of the chest. 
My chest is very bottom heavy, however, which leads to wrinkles in the upper portion of the seam as I simply don't have much tissue there. This is easily fixable as I will just curve in both sides of the cup to eliminate some fabric.


Now how I feel in this: I don't like it. I don't think it's flattering to me whatsoever. And I'm not including pictures either, for my comfort's sake.
First, the cut of the pattern seems to emphasize how low my bust sits on my chest.
Second, it has a very natural shape. I knew this going into the sewing, but the reality of it shocks me.  When I put this on, it basically looks like I'm not wearing a bra. The two cups are separate with little support, which seems to exacerbate my already wide set chest.
Also it leads to a very pointy shape for me !!! It feels like a bra from the 1940s. No thanks. I don't need to look like that.
The long-line shape that I think looks beautiful on others just seems to make me look boxy and angular.  Imagine a female robot. Little waist shaping, triangular chest--this is how I perceive myself in this bra.
The two bras I have made are lovely creations and I am happy that I now have two matching sets, but I don't feel comfortable enough to venture outside the house in these bras.
I love the pattern, but it just doesn't look quite right on me.


Note: The stretchier jersey-overlaid-with mesh-trimmed-in-red bra fits nicer than the less stretchy, Frida-Kahlo-inspired one.  It could definitely benefit from stabilization in the cradle (front band) but overall is better. So stretchier fabrics work better !
Also, the undies pictured are NOT the pattern that comes with the Watson bra. They are M5400. I have yet to try the bikini that comes with the Watson.


Okay, I want to draw your attention elsewhere now.  Notice I said I perceive myself as awkward and geometric.  I did not put myself down. I am comfortable with my body and how it looks, mostly. I believe that all people, especially teen girls, should try to be comfortable and happy with their bodies. We ought to celebrate what we can do with our bodies, not pick at the flaws because it leads nowhere good. However, I also believe that comfort can be created through what we wear and how we express ourselves.  I am walking a fine line here and trying to say that things that help us feel comfortable with ourselves are okay. I think that if a certain bra makes a girl happier with her body then she should wear that bra.  These bras make me feel a little self-conscious, and I'd rather wear something that makes me happy. There's nothing wrong with me or anyone else for doing this. That's what I'm trying to say...I think.
Off my soapbox ! What are your experiences with the Watson bra ? Any tips for making it next time ? Do you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in certain garments ?

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