Ok, so when I originally resolved to buy nothing new for a year I excluded underwear from this statement, but the more I think about it the more I relish the challenge of making some well fitting lingerie. I've not had much time to play around, but have tried a few ideas. This was a one day only challenge from pattern making to finished object, so do not judge!!!
Firstly I tried to create a pattern by wrapping some calico around my bust and marking and snipping the fabric until I got a shape I liked. This did not come out well as a finished toile!
Second attempt was to source a free pattern online that was available in size small, medium and extra large! Random selection of sizes, but the medium cup was a little small and seemed like a headache to adjust to be a large. Time to try again! It is here if you fancy giving it a go: http://m-sewing.com/patterns-catalog/women/underwear/satin-bra-pink-set.html
Third and final attempt was to put on a well fitting soft jersey bra and pin calico to this and work out where the shaping needed to be and where various parts of my breasts are for style lines. This worked out better than I could have imagined. I found various instructions online for taking a pattern from an existing bra, but all seemed laborious and a little inaccurate. My method was quick and worked as a final paper pattern first time! It's more of a bralet type thing, but I am in love! This would work great as a bikini top too! It may be a bit too much coverage for some people, but this is exactly where I'm at with my underwear at the moment. Pregnant and breastfeeding makes you crave the comfortable! I shall probably need to try this again in about a year or so when my body reverts back to normal, but it was not too scary a task.
A few notes:
I chose not to make the straps adjustable, as I find it annoying when they slip back and get too loose (I may live to regret this)
The bust darts on the lining are pleated only and not sewn to the bust point
I have included boning in the side seam to add a bit more structure to the garment
The fabrics I used were left over scraps and elastic and fixtures from an old bra, but the main fabric is a Grayson Perry print for Liberty that I bought several years ago. All fabrics are non-stretch!