April 8, 2015

bosum buddies

Over the past 24 hours I have had more concern about the veracity of my bust measurement than I can shake a measuring stick at, AND I LOVE IT! Since posting about the jump up in cup on my Watson bras, peeps have hollered in all manner of media outlet, worried for the comfort of my girls. 

But seriously, let's reflect: ladies I've never met (and several I've been very fortunate to meet), are pondering the size of my knockers, and not in a sexy way. Wild. (Actually, I guess I'm used to the lack of sexy thought when it comes to my mammary glands. For real, there's a complete absence of cleavage going on around these parts. I hear that attribute makes up like 80% of the "sexy" equation. I once lost a very awesome role due to only having 20% of the goods.) 

So of course I had to measure again, for the sake of science, and here are the results per Amy's chart: 

Rib cage 33" = Band size 36
Full Bust: 38" minus Upper Bust: 35" = Difference of 3", Cup size C

Yes, that 38 is a shocker. Hanging out in tabletop gives me a full bust of 38, versus 36.5 standing! And maybe this table is different if one is making a wired bra? I'm a babe in the lingerie woods, dudes, you tell me. Here's how she fits...

(Sorry, Rugster. I know you thought you'd escaped me posing in my undies on the web. It happens.)

I really love the fit. I also added 2" of length to the band for more of a tankini feel. I'm looking down my own shirt right now as I type, and there's not a bit of gap. But maybe you see something else?

What I've always hated about bras is the absence of fabric where bust meets upper armpit--wired bras push on me and create a display of what Jennifer Lawrence so charmingly called "armpit cleavage" on the red carpet. All that time I spent cramming my tatas into a teeny size probably displaced some mass-- K line wrote at length about that awhile back, she writes fascinating stuff about bras, and it was an aha! moment for me (which obviously didn't stick). So that could be the source of my bra rage.

Maybe the surprise of size has something to do with all the ballet and singing? My erect dancer's back definitely presents fit issues, so why wouldn't the years of dance play tricks on my boobage? Holding my arms in second position during barre work... years of filling up my lungs to capacity from the top down for those held high notes... hell, even doing my hair might contribute to those numbers. (You wouldn't believe the arm definition I've acquired just from coiffing my MASS of locks every morning. It's a workout.) And, my broad, straight shoulders are the widest part of me. (Well, in a 2-D view. The booty is a small planet.)

And types of boobs! Maybe they're perky and sit straight out? Or carry most of their weight in the bottom? SO MANY QUESTIONS! LINGERIE IS A DEEP DARK RABBITHOLE!! 

And do remember, Ruggy is a whiz at making me look twelve inches taller. Maybe he's working unknown juju on my hooters? Well, I can answer that question, but it's a PG blog.

All that said, I LOVE that y'all felt comfortable jumping in and telling me I might be off base. Please do that! That rocks! The wealth of knowledge out in the blogisphere gets me giddy, and sharing it constructively is gold. I may even take my new-to-blogging friend up on her offer to get remeasured by a fancy bra shop in town. 

I haven't had time yet to respond to everyone from that first post, but do you have more thoughts? Maybe there are work or hobby related activities that affect your fitting, that you hadn't thought of till now? Maybe you know of some patterns for our better endowed H cup ladies? (HH. That exists?!) Do tell!!! LET'S TALK BOOBIES YO!

April 7, 2015

lovin' cup

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | watson bra

It wasn't until I stripped down to my thong on a Broadway stage that I realized I was not a 32A. 

The show was Lennon, as in John, the tune was "Woman Is The N****r of the World," already eyebrow raising, and the thought was, I'd wail through this number, and then all four ladies of the show would angrily rip our black shapeless scuba-esque suits off, revealing white lacy lingerie of the peep show variety underneath. YEAH! we all said, fists in air. They're not going to know what to do with THAT! It'll kill!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | watson bra

We were correct, as evidenced by the stunned awkward silence emanating from the full house. We did this for one performance and then scrapped the ending.

But before that, we had a field trip to Bratender's in NY, where we were properly measured for our racy outfits, and I learned with much shock that I was a 36B. This was well before I sewed. I'd blindly stuck with my high school 32A for years. And today, although I measure my Bust-Waist-Hip every third garment or so, like a good sewist, I've blindly stuck with that Bratender's cup measurement

Hey man, they're the professionals of boobage! CUPS DON'T CHANGE! I went on buying 36Bs and wearing them only when absolutely necessary (read: when auditioning for Lawyer Type Parts).

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | watson bra

Accordingly, my first Watson Bra was a bust (HAHAHAHAHAHA YES). When my 36B came up too small, I thought oh great. I'm the one chick in blogland who doesn't fit the Watson Bra right out of the gate. 

Then I tried the ever delicious Amy's tip: measure your full bust with your back parallel to the floor (essentially in standing tabletop position), and suddenly the extra inches I needed to get the right size appeared out of thin air.

Honestly, I didn't think there was much there to hang, if you know what I mean, which is why I measured myself standing up in the first place. But some good old fashioned naked yoga in the bathroom was the ticket. The new numbers revealed that I am truly a 36C. Ooooh 36C! Look how pretty that C is next to that 36!! I've been shorting my cup size for years! MY CUP HAS BEEN HALF EMPTY(Or half full?) 

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | watson bra

If memory serves, I sported half cups, or maybe even no cups, in that peep show outfit. Considering my fury regarding women being forced to cover up while men get a chestful of sun at the beach, probably no cups. The costume designer for that show had to come to my dressing room and plead with me to wear a bra under my regular costume. But darling, she said, everyone is looking at your nipples and not your face.

I was never really afraid to be naked onstage. It's pretty invigorating. I went the full monty once (not in The Full Monty, in a play in Philly), and it made me feel like The Most Powerful Woman On Earth. Suddenly, all these Juilliard graduates who had been giving me a lofty side eye couldn't even look me in the eye as I stomped around the stage with gladiator's shield, plumed helmet, golden booties, and, erm... golden booty...

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | watson bra

As a matter of fact, I tried to sew something for that gig. (This was still pre-sewing.) A lavender ruffled robe, for the chilly time spent dangling 30 feet above the stage waiting for my entrance. I cut out shapes that bore a passing resemblance to a robe, with no regard to grain (what's grain?), and handstitched it during tech with great galumphing inch-long running stitches. It was pretty bad. But I didn't know that.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | watson bra

I also didn't realize the "short nude scene" was not so much "short" as SUPER CRAZY LONG. I descended from the rafters on a swing entwined with flowers, and then yelled my way in Cockney dialect through twelve minutes with a hilarious King George and wincing Court. The box office took a particular interest in seating any guests of the cast in the first row, extreme house right, as they were some of the best seats in the house. These seats had the added bonus of leaving me no safe quarter to give the eyes of my family members a moment of respite by artfully positioning myself behind my golden shield.  

Again, awkward for them, but in all likelihood they'd had a glimpse at that point. It's hard to get me to behave properly. Bras are annoying! So what if I'm nipping out! So what if you see the goods when I lean over more than five inches in my off-the-shoulder top! OR JUST STANDING ERECT! I continually forget that almost everyone is looking at me from a Higher Vantage Point, and can see right down my shirt.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | watson bra

But these bits of cloth are comfortable as skin, and have quickly become a habit. (See what I did there?) Much to the delight of Ruggy, the goods beneath my clothing are truly becoming for his eyes only! And, let's be real, with the takeover of social media, I don't see myself signing up for a third round of naked stageplay anytime soon. Instagrammed shot of Act 1, scene 2? No thank you.

You've already heard everything there is to hear about this little gem (except maybe the full bust tabletop measuring part? Do that!), so if you're on the fence about jumping on The Watson Bra bandwagon, climb aboard. Naked dance party at my house! (Only the classy version, in soft cup bras.)

Retro Floral Bra: the softest jersey EVER from Elliot Berman (My favorite so far!)
Pink Roses Floral Bra: a waffle-y stretch from Fabrics For Less in NY (Sam is THE BEST)
Blue Sheer Bra: stretch net from FunkiFabrics (this was a gift, I went the bra route when a planned bathing suit went awry. YAY FOR SCRAPS. And damned if I didn't pick the plainest stuff they have)
Notions and such: mainly harvested from old, ill fitting, B cup bras. WIN. 

March 30, 2015

lines, lines, everywhere lines

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle coat

Winter has set up shop. It likes our company too much, it's our own fault for being such good hosts. 

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | fringe belt

Come, Winter, let me part my fringe curtains for you!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | fringe belt

My March MSN Mission: make some transitional pieces, in the hopes that a transition of seasons is still in the cards. First up, FRINGE! I attached the 24" silky lengths to some woven leather trim and added a buckle for a removable belt, in case I want to wear it over something other than this TNT from my BHL beauties, the Charlotte skirt, done up in metallic boucle.

oonaballloona | a sewing blog | fringe + leather belt

I might make another belt in Green and Hay and call it my hula belt. They've got every color in the world at Mood's NY brick and mortar, and ten colors online. And bonus for us shorties, it’s already perfect knee length. GO TEAM VERTICALLY CHALLENGED.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle coat

All those swishing lines infected me. I sort of went haywire over lines, lines in the fringe, lines in the boucle, lines in the basketweave silk lin-ing, LINES TO THE LEFT OF ME, LINES TO THE RIGHT, and so the coat fell prey to my sickness: zigzag topstitched crafter's lace lines all over that jammy! The yellow lines you see running along the seams are chock full of plasticky goodness. (The yellow spot you see is my dinged up camera lens.)

But wait, lest you marvel too much over that topstitching...


Couldn't really tell you, don't really know. I bagged my first lining, which was utter magic, but didn't bag it to the facing... I handstitched the lining under the facing and then decided it was time to learn how to bag... yeah, no idea. It's a mystery. Sometimes I just go with my gut, and sometimes it leaves me with a hot mess at the bottom front edge of the garment.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle coat

WHICH MEANS LEATHER PATCHES. I could just call it an Intended Design Element but it's so much more fun to show you the true horror story underneath it.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle coat

This Burdastyle Round Coat pattern was another horror story. That pattern, albeit well drafted and super fun once you figure it out, is in dire need of some decoding. It has several languages on it, and several extra unnecessary pieces in it. Seek it out if you must, but it's not for the PDF uninitiated.

Once I solved its mysteries, I spent another EIGHT YEARS agonizing over how to place it on this wooly blanket of a print. Had to hack oodles of length off the bodice to get away with my yard and a quarter…was left with whispers of fabric and a somewhat satisfactory placement…

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle coat


oonaballoona | a sewing blog | fringe belt | burdastyle coat

Because, you know, Spring is coming eventually, right? We'll need some sleeveless stuff, right?

this ensemble was made using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the mood sewing network, in the hopes of roping in some warmer weather.