I need to find a sewing pattern for very large bras

So, I’m cruising along through my 5th month of pregnancy, and the bra’s starting to get a little tight. Thank Og it took this long, I was afraid the titty fairy would come early and often! She’s been gracious and kind, and fashionably late.

But the fact is, I’m going to need some new bras soon. I also have no money, especially to buy them in my size. Which, speaking of size, is questionable, since it’s going to keep changing. The last three good and expensive bras I purchased (right before we decided to get pregnant. There was $200 almost wasted. :smack: ) are 38DDD. They’re still fitting well, but I can feel that things are getting tight in there, cup-wise. Ribcage still seems OK.

Reading online, it seems that I’m going to have to give up my beloved underwires in the name of nursing safety. Wah. :frowning: I’m going to end up with monoboob, I know it! I’m also having no Googleluck finding a pattern for sewing a non-underwire bra for a well endowed woman like me. I don’t even care about it being a nursing bra - I know how to convert a regular bra into a nursing one.

Any ideas, O Great Sewing Dopers?

The only bra pattern I’ve ever looked into became seriously expensive when you factored in the specialty fabric, elastics, fittings, etc., most of which had to be mail-orderd since regular fabric stores don’t carry them. Plus it seemed the construction and fitting time would eat up a serious chunk of the remaining months of your pregnancy. The one I looked at was by Burda, but this was several years ago, so I don’t know about availability. Sew News magazine had a great article on bra-making, but agin, it was several years back, and I can’t find my issue right now…probably packed up in storage. Hope someone else has better resources for you.

Couldn’t you just MacGuyver one together? My late grandmother (bless her heart) was the MacGuyver of underwear repair- rather than replacing damaged bras and girdles she would repair them using everything from dental floss to coat hangars :smiley:

You were a 38DDD before you were pregnant? :eek:
Not trying to be mean or anything, just fascinated in a male ‘wow, boobs!’ kind of way :wink:

Repair, maybe. Make one up from scratch, I don’t think so. I can design a skirt, a blousy blouse, Renaissance garb from corset to muffin cap, even a dress. If I was tiny, it’d be possible. But bras of this size are more of an engineering project than a garment design one. And I can’t quite wrap my head around how to cut the flat fabric to make the right amount of curvy fabric when sewn, without having it all wrinkly and puckery.

Yeah. I was a 34DD in sixth grade. That. Really. Sucked. There’s a whole thread about it somewhere around here. I think I successfully buried it. :smiley:

While they’re not really bigger (yet), they’re rounder and fuller on top. I now look like I have implants, whereas usually I just look like I have big boobs. Soon I will look like a comic book slut, only pregnant. :smack:

Have you looked in Lane Bryant? I get my boulder holders there, $12 each when they’re on sale. They carry up to EEE or thereabouts. You could get some of those and modify them and it would probably be cheaper than making them from scratch. The bras are good quality, too.

Now that I think about it, I buy the underwire kind. I do know that they have the “cross your heart” kind, too, but I can’t testify as to price.

I was looking earlier online and found a few links for making bras - but how long can you get away with just adding hook extensions?

Well, I don’t have ribcage problems yet, just cup size threatening to increase. Plus, there’s a pretty vehement “no underwire for nursing” camp out there, and all my (and there’s only 3) bras that fit well are underwire. (Apparently, wires can press and cause clogged ducts and mastitis.)

Lane Bryant, huh? I’ll give them a shot, but mostly what I find there is way too big in the ribcage. 48DDD is just useless. But maybe I could figure out how to take those in. Easier than building cups. Thanks for the idea!

How bout a pattern for a bikini top?

I actually had underwire nursing bras, so at least one company never heard of the “undrwires cause mastitis” thing. They were uncomfortable, though, and I had heard of the mastitis risk, so I just snipped a little hole and pulled the underwire out.

I have a vintage bra pattern, but I don’t think it’s the size you need. I’ll check it out, though, and if it is, you’re welcome to it.

Speaking from experience on the bra shopping front, here…

Lane Bryant carries ribcage sizes 38" and up. Nothing below 38", which made me wail aloud in the store. I thought I had finally found bra nirvana, but alas, not for this 36 DD (sometimes 36DDD, depending on the make and model). Rats. If you figure out how to take it up without warping the cups and making your boobs stick out to the sides instead of the front, let me know :wink:

Also, I nursed with underwire bras and never had a problem (or was even warned/told of problems). Weird. Is this a new concern? My last child weaned about 2 years ago.

Thanks. I may ignore that and use the underwires I like. I really need a “divide and conquer” type of bra. :smiley: If you Google underwire nursing mastitis, you’ll see plenty of examples of the scaremongering out there. I suspect it may be one of those articles I should just ignore in parenting magazines. I weaned WhyKid about 11 years ago, and I vaguely remember reading something about it then, but nothing like the amount I’ve found on it recently.

I suspect the problem might be ill-fitting underwires, not underwires themselves. Feeling carefully, my very well fitting bra doesn’t touch the breast tissue or milk ducts with the wires. If it was too small, I could see a potential problem.

It seems the consensus on underwire bras is that as long as they fit properly, you shouldnt’ have any problems

Link to breastfeeding board discussion

Personally, I would hesitate to use underwire especially in the first few months while your breasts are adjusting to their supply, mainly because they’re bound to change size quite drastically. I have had a lot of luck with crossover nursing bras (as opposed to hook ones) but then I’m a lot smaller than you and have no experience with very large breasts (mine got to about 38DD after my milk came in…my fiance was in heaven, especially since I was walking around with boobs hanging out of nursing bras for the first 3 weeks or so to let my nips air out). Quite frankly after giving birth, the last thing I was worried about was how my boobs looked (especially since I still had that 4mo pregnant belly thing going on).

Sorry for the thread hijack, I don’t sew and can’t really help you there.

And good luck with the birth of your baby (and look us up on the bfing board if you find you’re having any problems…we’re always happy to help :))

I personally would rather sew a formal wedding gown than a bra. Generally, you’ve got well over 30 pieces, some very tiny, to a bra. Here is a link to some bra sewing resources, though… link

If you decide it isn’t worth the trouble, check out One Hanes Place or Just My Size for discounted name brand bras. I haven’t bought my bras in a store in years. Even my most recent purchases (god help me, a 38F) were available at Just My Size.

I can help by offering a lovely pattern for a sock monkey. Sadly, that’s all the advice I have.

Oh…wait…what about knitting one? If you have the stuff around, that is. I have patterns for knitted bikini tops. It’s easy to figure the inches/stitches size ratio (five stitches to the inch, 39 inches around, etc.).

That might be kind of time consuming though. Sorry I can’t help! I do Lane Bryant bras too.

I have worn underwire nursing bras while nursing my 2 children and never had any problems. Maternity stores just told me that the important thing was that they fit properly.

Mrs. G typed this post. I am slowly getting her onto this board

I realize this totally doesn’t answer the question you asked but here is a company that sells bras by internet http://www.decentexposures.com/ They will work with you to get exactly the size and support you need. And will even take it back and resew it if needed. If you are really good at sewing you might be able to take one and copy it. It is a woman owned US business. Bras aren’t as cheap as Lane Bryant’s but I think they are better made and way more comfortable.