Busty Pattern Review + Pattern Launch | Yawning Mama Nursing Mama and Empress Bralette

Ever since I became pregnant, there’s been a shift in my sewing. For one, I’m getting a lot less sewing done, unfortunately (working on it!). For two, I’m having to focus less on patterns with cup options, and more on patterns that will serve my changing body.

This means out with the underwire bras (which I’m still salty about! I miss them ๐Ÿ˜ญ) and in with the stretchy bralettes. (With a healthy dose of baby powder to prevent between-boob yeast infections, because that’s a thing, y’all.)

I’ve been struggling to find a nursing bra pattern that comes in my size. The ever-popular Lotus Bralette from LilypaDesigns, which has a built-in nursing option, is a smidge too-small for my current 14″ full bust to underbust difference. And while Lilypad’s Lanai Wireless bra, which also has a nursing option, comes in my size, I’m reluctant to work out a non-stretchy bra pattern right now. (The last time I tried to make a non-stretchy bra, it fit one week and then didn’t fit the next, which was SO FRUSTRATING! Growing boobs are HARD.)

So when Yawning Mama, a fairly new pattern brand, did a call for testers of their new set of bralette patterns, including both a nursing AND a pumping bra (which might be the first pumping bra pattern on the market!), I jumped at the opportunity.

Oh! The Options!

This bra pattern comes with so many options. For those who are breast/chestfeeding, the Nursing Mama Bra (yeah, I don’t love the gendered language either), the Cross-Front Bra, and the Pumping Mama Bra are all boob-access friendly. The Nursing Mama and Pumping Mama bras have options for side slings or full slings, giving the maker options based on your individual preferences.

For those who aren’t feeding a babe (or, in my case, about to!), the Cross-Front Bra and Empress Bralette are both great options.

Both the breast/chestfeeding bras and the non-nursing bras can be made into a camisole (including maternity option!), tankini, or tunic using the cami add-on pack.

Let’s Talk About Sizing

Alright, now let’s talk about sizing. When I first saw the size chart, I was unconvinced that this pattern would work for me, and I bet some of you are similarly skeptical.

My current underbust is 32.5″ (82.5 cm) and my current full bust is 46″ (116.8 cm). So, based on this size chart, my underbust is a size small. But the biggest cup size for a small โ€” the green cup โ€” is only for a 43.5″ (110.5 cm) full bust, a full 2.5″ (6.4 cm) smaller than my full bust measurement. So I asked “uhhhh, hey, sooooo how will this fit me?”

The designer, Danielle, was super helpful. She instructed me to choose the small size for the back and underbust, but to choose the medium green cups โ€” if I wanted it to fit snugly โ€” or the large green cups โ€” if I wanted some more room to grow. Since my milk has yet to come in, I chose to use the large green cups.

My First Toile

For my first go at this bra, I used some cotton spandex that Yawning Mama had sent for tests (shout out to designers who provide materials for testers!). The only pattern change I made was to make an omega adjustment to the dart, making the dart 1″ wider at the bottom.

It … did not work.

I mean, it wasn’t horrible, but this bra had almost no support, and the darts were about an inch too far to each side for the placement of my apex. The side seams are also about 1″ too far back.

This bra works pretty well as a sleep bra (which apparently I need to get acquainted with before baby comes, since I usually sleep braless!), but not so much for day-to-day wear.

But I could tell that this bra was promising, we just weren’t quite there.

So I prepared to make some changes:

  • Move the darts inward by 1″ by removing 2″ from center front fold
  • Use activewear nylon spandex for more support
  • Use 1″ elastic at band instead of 1/4″ elastic for more underbust support
  • Keep the 1″ enlargement of darts

Making It Work for a Busty Body

Now, I’ll quickly note that all of these changes are ones I’d strongly suggest for the small band, large cup among us, and for even the large band, large cup busty folks, I’d highly suggest using a fabric with a firmer stretch and more recovery and using 1″ elastic at the band.

Made as-directed, this bra really isn’t appropriate for busty folks who seek lots of support for a day-to-day bra. If you’re into lots of comfort and just want something to keep your twins from flailing around, by all means, make this bra as instructed โ€” some people prefer that kind of fit! But if, like me, you want a bra that holds you up, make these changes.

Because the pattern doesn’t have larger cups drafted for a small band, for example, I wasn’t super surprised to find that the darts were in entirely the wrong place, since the large green cups likely anticipated my breasts would be wider rather than projected.

This goes back to the issue of breast shape that we see in underwire bra making โ€” we all know that I’m narrow-rooted and projected, and that most bra patterns anticipate my breasts being much wider than they are. But, in a simple bralette like this, it’s not a change that’s drastically hard to make.

My Final Bra

Armed with a handful of changes and fabric with a firmer stretch and better recovery โ€” my old favorite sports bra nylon spandex from Porcelynne โ€” I had another go.

This one fits so much better. It’s supportive, though not as supportive as an underwire bra (or probably even as my Porcelynne sports bras), but this may have more to do with the fact that I sized up instead of down in the cup to account for more growth down the line.

Overall, I definitely plan to make more of this pattern. I’ve been mostly wearing Molke bras since becoming pregnant, so I’m also curious to try the Cross-Front bra from this pattern set.

I also love the full sling option, and I think I’ll also give a go at adding this sling to a Porcelynne Jackie bra pattern, since that pattern seems to lend just a smidge more support.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Using the affiliate links in Sew Busty posts is a great way to support the costs of running Sew Busty, as when you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me pay for the hosting, domain, design, and other costs associated with administering this site. All opinions remain my own.

Busty Pattern Review | Jackie Sports Bra from Porcelynne

As you may have read yesterday, my sewjo has been at a serious low, along with my mental health. But when Jennifer from Porcelynne โ€” the QUEEN of busty bra patterns โ€” announced she was coming out with a new sports bra pattern, I HAD TO TRY.

Jennifer was kind enough to give me a sneak peek at this pattern โ€” which just launched Sunday โ€” in exchange for me sharing my honest feedback with you all!

This pattern is 25% off through Friday (when all Porcelynne patterns will be 25% off for Black Friday!). On Monday, Porcelynne will include a free tankini add-on pattern with purchase of any sports bra pattern โ€” including Jackie, Christina, and Laurel!

The Jackie Sports Bra comes with multiple options: a zip front closure, a hook and eye front closure, or a pull-over option. Better yet, Jackie is fully interchangeable with Porcelynne’s Christina and Laurel patterns, so you can opt to use Laurel’s hook and eye back closure with Jackie’s front, or do Christina’s racerback with Jackie’s front.

Jennifer’s patterns are amazing because most of them, including the go up to an N cup for bands 28-52, making her range one of the most (if not the most) size inclusive on the market. (I say “most of them” because things are just a bit more confusing when it comes to the Eve modular wired bra pattern, which you can read about here.)

Needless to say, I’m a big fan. In my opinion, everything Jennifer touches is gold.

Because I needed an easy project, I chose to go with the pullover option. I definitely am eager to try the front zip, and will certainly make a point of tackling that option in the future, but I didn’t have the spoons for it this time around.

The front closure option is cool, but my absolute favorite part about the Jackie is the straps! These straps โ€” made with cut & sew foam covered by fabric, and made adjustable in a very clever way โ€” are sooooo comfy.

The pullover option went together fairly quickly. Remember, I’m a sloooowwww sewist, so don’t take my hours as an indication, but this bra probably took me 7 hours? For a first time with the pattern, that’s on the short side for me.

Since I was literally wearing my Christina while I made my Jackie, I decided to go for the same size I had made my Christina, even though my boobs have grown a bit since I made Christina: 30J. Back when I made my Christina, a 30J was already sizing down in the band and cup for a compression fit. Now that my boobs have gained another 1.5″, I probably should have gone up to a 30K for a compression fit, or a 32L for an encapsulation fit.

Let’s talk about support: This bra isn’t quite as supportive as my Christina, which is my go-to sports bra. But that’s probably more because of my fabric choice than anything else. While I lined this with the same 200 gsm black wicking fabric that I used for my Christina, the outer fabric isn’t quite so heavy.

For the outer fabric, I used a combo of the same black wicking fabric for the center front and side back panels, a 195 gsm mustard swim for the side front and back panels, and a polka dot swim fabric for the inner front panels. I’m not sure what the weight on the dot fabric is, but I’d be willing to bet it’s slightly lower than the mustard fabric. On my Christina, I cut the main on the grain and the lining on the cross grain; on my Jackie, I cut everything on the grain.

This pattern is designed for 200-320 gsm+, so I was at the verrrry minimum weight called for by the pattern for my lining, and just under that for my outer, and I’m near the top of the cup size range, so it’s really no surprise that the support isn’t as good as my Christina.

And it’s not that the support is bad. I did a forearm stand in this and felt totally secure. It just doesn’t quite pass the jumping jack test.

I continue to stand by my assessment that Porcelynne is the best company for large-cupped bra patterns, and I can’t wait to see what Jennifer comes up with next.

SEE MORE JACKIES! As part of the launch of the Jackie Sports Bra pattern, Porcelynne is hosting a blog tour. Tomorrow’s post will be on Girls in Uniform, who is posting a second Jackie make (use Chrome’s translate feature if you don’t read Dutch!). Other Jackie makes include:

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Using the affiliate links in Sew Busty posts is a great way to support the costs of running Sew Busty, as when you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me pay for the hosting, domain, design, and other costs associated with administering this site. All opinions remain my own.

Busty Pattern Review + New Busty Wrap Dress Patterns! | Designer Stitch Jenny & Pippa

When I was creating the Sew Busty Pinterest boards, one suggested pin kept coming up as I pinned Designer Stitch’s boob-friendly designs:

It was the Designer Stitch Jenny Wrap Dress, and it was one of only a handful of patterns by Designer Stitch that didn’t include cup options. But I HAD TO HAVE IT!!!

Designer Stitch’s Ann Grose being a dear friend, I sent her a quick PM, not having looked at the pattern too closely: “Hey Ann, how hard would a full bust adjustment be on the Jenny dress?”

She explained that Jenny was one of her early patterns, before she started offering cup options, that an FBA wouldn’t be too hard, and that she “just needs to do it!”

Well, I had meant me doing an FBA, but if y’all know me at all, you know I’m a lazy sewist … so I was more than happy to let Ann do the work for me! ๐Ÿ˜‚ So off she went to draft garment cup options B-E, and I was more than happy to help in the testing phase!

At the same time, Ann got a bunch of requests (from me and from members of the Sew Busty facebook community) to add cup options to her popular woven wrap dress, the Pippa.

I’m really excited to announce that both the Jenny and the Pippa now have cup options B-E! All of Designer Stitch’s patterns cover waists 23.5-47.5โ€.

The best part? Designer Stitch patterns are on sale for 50% off with code SALE50 through July 9!

I’ve only made the Jenny so far, so I’m going to give you a little review. Then, we’ll circle back to see both the Jenny and the Pippa on other busty bodies.

The Jenny Dress: A Review

The Jenny is a semi-fitted sheath silhouette with grown-on cap sleeves. The pattern includes two options: A classic option with no bells and whistles, or an option with a wrap front. We’ve already established that I was obsessed with the wrap front, so that’s obviously the route I went.

Having made a bunch of Designer Stitch patterns lately (what can I say, I LOVE that DD cup size option!), I knew that a 3DD graded out to a 4 at the waist by reducing the waist darts. Then, I graded back into a 2 for my bitty booty. I did what I like to call a muslin-ish, where I cut it out and baste it together to see if it’s reasonable. No zipper. No hem. Call it a lazy gal’s toile!

The muslin-ish fit seemed good. The darts were in the right place and it felt like a good size.

Once I made it up in this amazing cotton poplin I had from Mood Fabrics, it was a bit tight about the tummy and hips. I blame it menstruation, which had so rudely reared its ugly head โ€“ย bloat and all โ€“ between when I did my basted up muslin and when I sewed up the real thing. So I moved the seam 1/4″ out on each side, giving me an extra inch of room. The fit was super comfy after that!

I was amazed that, despite me being only 5′ tall, this dress hit right at my knee without length adjustments. That said, all my shortness is really in my legs, and maybe my calfs specifically?

Now, I LOVE this cotton poplin, but if I made this dress again, I’d probably make it in something less subject to wrinkling and bunching. While we were out getting photos (and tea! Always tea!), I was fighting the wrinkles that were appearing from walking around. That’s the downside of cotton, my friend.

Anyway, I freaking LOVE this dress and I adore the cup options that Ann so graciously added!

The Jenny and Pippa on Busty Bodies

Jenny dress

Now, I want to show you the Jenny and Pippa on some various boobalicious bodies:

Sew Busty Community member Kelly is wearing a Jenny in a size 8DD bust, 11 waist and 7 hip. While I use the dart to add room at the waist, Kelly uses a straight grading technique, using the size 11 dart.

Brenda is wearing a 2C bust, graded to a 4 through the waist and hip. She has also lengthened the bodice, done a small sway back adjustment, and lengthened the skirt.

Marieke looks amazing in this brightly-colored frock, doesn’t she?!

And here’s Barbara wearing her gorgeous version of the Jenny!

Pippa dress

Here’s Synthia rocking an animal print top version of the Pippa!

And Marieke with a gorgeous dress-length version.

^Some of the links in this post areย affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.