You know what? I have finally made Watson work for me, and ended up making two of them. As said in the opening post, I had made a few unsuccessful attempts in the past, and mainly wasted lots of good elastics. This time I threw most fitting advice out the window, and went with what I learned while making my Sophie swimsuit: I need a wider cradle / underwire than what the cup would normally be combined with. So basically I just printed out the size I thought might fit and two neighbouring cup sizes and tried on all three cradle pieces to see what would fit me best. I knew the band size already, so at least that was narrowed down. And I also knew that 30C would be too narrow, so I started with 30D, 30E and 30F, ending up with 30E. I muslined that with no changes to the cup and then flattened the cup seam to somewhere around 30C cup in the upper part.
I’m not even going to try to get all my bra materials from Finland. Make Bra has some, and I used the basic kit for Sophie, but their selection is quite limited. I wanted lace, and ordered a kit from Tailor Made Shop on Etsy. The kit was actually for an underwire bra, but had all I needed for Watson. For the first one I used the scallop edges of the lace and lined the cradle with black powernet. The second one is built out of scraps, so I skipped the scallops completely. While I was cutting it I realized that I wanted the lace to show also on the cradle, so I ventured to use the non-stretch nude cup lining instead of the powernet. It does have some give, so the band feels almost the same in the second draft. Also, in general I’m happier with lace placement in the last one.
I knew that the cups would probably look too high on me, but didn’t want to make too many adjustments at once. In the first draft they kind of overwhelm me, and also show from t-shirt neckline if I’m not paying attention. I mean, I’m not too particular about underwear showing and I don’t give a shit about visible bra straps or lace under a t-shirt, but this just looks like a wardrobe malfunction to me. And because it also looks dimensionally wrong on me I shortened the cups by 13 mm for the second bra. And while at it, I fixed a minor band gaping problem at underarms.
Over all I’m pretty happy to have two new well fitting bralettes in my collection. Both seem to be comfortable, and I’m also ok with the execution. I seem to have thrown away the instructions (smart, huh?) and followed the sew along on Cloth Habit blog to make these. All elastics are 5% shorter than the fabric edges, and that kind of tension works for me. I measured and calculated all of them, because I don’t trust my gut feeling in this just yet.
For the scallop Watson I used only materials from Tailor Made kit, but the other one has some from the Make Bra one. I have to say that I very much prefer 12 mm straps (the black ones from Make Bra) to the wider ones. Super sturdy notions just look like over kill on me, and make me feel like I’m wearing a harness instead of a light bralette. Actually I’d like to get something flimsier, but it seems that most kits are put together with the larger sizes in mind. When I look at my RTW bras the straps are mostly 6-10 mm wide, and that just looks prettier on my similarly flimsy frame.
Speaking of which, I’m not at all convinced that Watson is the right bra silhouette for me. The shaping I have no problem with, but the dimensions somehow make me look like my shoulders are detached from my torso, and that’s definitely not something I’m going for. I think it’s the way the outer cup curves from underarm towards mid-shoulder, and then the strap placement sort of cuts the shoulder at a weird place. And yeah, I’m aware I have wide shoulders. So in the future -when I need new bras again- I’ll probably go with balconette or something like that. Turning Sophie into a bra is totally an option since I’ve done some of the fitting already.
(Completely irrelevant, but every time I write about Sophie swimsuit I think about that scene from Kill Bill where Bill comforts Sofie Fatale. “Sofie. Sofie, my Sofie.”)