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Almost sounds like another Agatha Christie novel, doesn’t it? But all of the lingerie sewers who read my blogs will in this case think of BRA cups rather than murder … Still a true mystery though, because what on earth is a Sister Cup?

While working on my latest Mini-Mourse ‘Design your own Large Cups Bra it seemed essential to explane the Sister Cups concept there. But since it also applies to almost any bra wearing woman I thought it would be a good idea to share this information in a FREE printable available to download for everybody. So, this mysterious Sister Cup … basically it means some very different sizes bra can still have exactly the same cups! When buying a bra the size you always wear might not be available and the saleswoman pops up with a very different size in both band and cup letter. And guess what, it works! That will be the Sister Cup bra.

These lovely ‘sisters’ wear the same type of bra in a different bra size. One is a very slim woman while the other is more well-rounded. They can’t possibly share the same bra you would think. True, BUT looking closely the cups of the bra are the exact same size! This must be the same cup letter? Eh, no it isn’t … because the bra letter doesn’t represent a fixed mass but only the difference between the measurement right under the bust and the measurement over the fullest part of the bust.

  • What happens when the measurement of the number (=band size) drops but the cup (breast) mass will stay the same?
    The difference between the full bust measurement and the underbust measurement will be more and the cup letter will be higher.
  • What happens when the measurement of the number (=band size) rises but the cup (breast) mass will stay the same?
    The difference between the full bust measurement and the underbust measurement will be more and the cup letter will be lower.
  • Does this mean all bras with Sister Cups share the same cup (or breast) mass?
    Yes, it does!

In the Sister Cup Chart below the pink sizes from 40A up to 28G have the same cup mass and use the same cup pattern but do not share the same cup letter! To find the bra size with a sister cup you keep going one band size down + one cup letter up (the band will be more tight). Or the other way around of course, one band size up + one cup letter down (the band will be more loose). Bras close to each other in this chart might be an option to wear when the the desired bra size is not available.

Still confused? Understandable! Let’s visualize some Sister Cup sizes on torso and in cross-section to compare the differences, this might help to understand this confusing matter. It shows the different shapes of the breast in Sister Cup sizes. The mass of the breasts (cups) will be the same but is gradually divided differently over the torso. On wider torsos the breasts will gradually flatten in each size to keep in balance with the torso while on slimmer torsos the breasts will gradually point more forward.

As a consequence you can only exchange Sister Cups bras when they are close to each other in the Sister Cup Chart. The further apart in this chart the more difference in shape of the breasts. For us bra making lovers it also means more adjustments to the cup patterns!

You can download and print the new FREE Sister Cups PDF to read and understand all about it.

For an overview of all the Merckwaerdigh internet activities and the button to subscribe to the Merckwaerdigh Newsletter take a look at www.merckwaerdigh.nl

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Last year I’ve launched the Mini-Course BRA in our shop at the Etsy platform. You can download the Mini-Course right after your payment and can do the whole Mini-Course all by yourself, it’s that easy to follow! Lots of illustrations accompany all the information to get a better understanding.

At the time I promised to do another simular mini-course for bras with larger cups. Well, the Mini-Course Large Cup Bras is finally finished and now available in the Merckwaerdigh  shop on platform Etsy! At first glance it might look almost the same as the previous bra mini-course but that’s just the lay-out. For larger cups there certainly are some differences in what to watch out for!

If you don’t know anything about the previous mini-course I can imagine you wonder what on earth is a MINI-COURSE? A sneak preview video on the Merckwaerdigh Facebook page will give a short impression what to expect.

For starters you don’t have to do all the hard work of drafting a basic pattern all by yourself. Every mini-course includes a MASTER pattern in several standard sizes, for this mini-course these are all the large cup sizes on the cover page above. But even when your size is not included in the MASTER pattern this mini-course could be very helpfull. Most of all the information can be used for any other large cup bra pattern you already might have! 

The design of the included MASTER pattern is a basic ‘cover it all’ bra. With this MASTER pattern you can create your own designs in a pretty simple way. No need to send homework to me to be judged, it’s easy enough to manage by yourself without support. Lots of illustrations for easy understanding and exercizes to try out what you’ve been reading about. The last chapter includes exercizes to help you to understand and fully master the skills you need to create your own designs. The mini-course is divided in 3 chapters;

first step : sew a test bra

second step : control of the right fit + adjustments

third step : master the designing rules

First step is to check the right size by sewing a test bra.  You learn how to determine the right size for you which is always kind of a challenge. Most women are not really sure which size they need and what the numbers and letters in a bra size stand for. Well, the numbers relate to the length of the band and the letters relate to the cup size. But to make things more complicated, the letters are not a fixed mass! You can check for yourself in any shop; pick up a bra 32C and compare it to a bra 52C which cup will be at least twice as big … The pages in the mini-course about ‘sister cups’ will probably clarify this mystery.

There are also pages full of information what kind of fabric, elastic and stitching to choose. The mini-course will step-by-step walk you through the whole sewing process with lots of illustrations in addition to the text. You can do it!

Second step is not just to check the right size but also the right fit for YOU. The included BRA FITTING CHECKLIST will help you what to do when it’s not completey perfect yet. Some time ago I’ve written a bra fitting checklist blog about this with a link to the FREE printable checklist. You can also use the checklist for any bra, even the ones you bought in a store! A great way as well to discover why one bra is your favourite while another in the same size you are never really happy wearing.

When you’ve determined the flaws in your test bra this mini-course will help to fix them with easy to follow illustrated instructions for the changes to the MASTER pattern. Just keep repeating the process untill your test bra is truly to your satisfaction. Imperfections will keep popping up in every bra you make from this MASTER pattern, even when using it for a new design!

Once the test bra is a perfect fit you keep it just the way it is. Don’t start wearing the test bra but use it to mark your new designs with a vanishing marker (the ink vanishes by itself through light) while you’ve put it on. All you have to do is copy the marker lines on your personal MASTER pattern, which is way easier than figuring it all out on paper.

Third step is about altering the MASTER pattern for another design you’ve seen somewhere or thought up yourself. Before you go wild with all the designs in your head there are some designing rules you need to know. What’s the maximum drop or raise for the bra bottom and top edge, that kind of thing. You’ll even learn how to incorporate a POWERBAR! Every design alteration comes with some rules, do take these seriously! No need to find out the hard way why that rule is written down … just benefit from my long years of experience (since 1990!).

The mini-course includes a lot of illustrated designing information and also exercises because it is a course after all! Don’t skip these exersizes, some basic experience will make it much easier to get your own designs right.

And then the fun part starts, you now have all the tools for both pattern and sewing to create your own designs! That might seem a bit scary at first and to get you on your way I’ve added 3 extra pages with design ideas and how to get the pattern done for them. This will give a clear idea what’s possible once you start combining al those designing rules. You can even use these ideas as another exercise!

For an overview of all the Merckwaerdigh internet activities and the button to subcribe to the Merckwaerdigh Newsletter take a look at www.merckwaerdigh.nl

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