I went to Toronto to attend the Creativ Festival. I signed up for the bra making class being taught by Johanne Brousseau. I had my doubts about what sort of bra the home sewist could make.
The bra pattern used is the classic full band bra pattern from PinUp Girls. We were supplied with a basic bra supply kit (the material) and bra findings kit (the straps, elastic, trim, etc) from bramakers.com. Johanne measured us, had us try on a test cup and a test wire, and from there determined our size and recommended any pattern adjustments. We cut our patterns out (5 pieces) and got going on the new Huskvarna Tribute 140C sewing machines that the conference had supplied. The hardest thing about this class was getting use to using a different machine.
Johanne brought us through the creation of our bra step by step. There is really nothing difficult about the sewing but there are plenty of little steps. A pair of applique sissors to make seam trimming easier as your don't want bulk in a bra. Johanne is an excellent instructor, funny and down to earth. She also used a little video camera on a tripod to show her working on her sewing machine and had the image projected on the screen. Nice. It meant we didn't have to crowd around her sewing table.
The class was seven hours. An hour was spent getting people sized. We sewed our guts out for the next six hours and I was wiped. In the end we all tried our bras on and Joanne commented on how we would want to alter the pattern for our next attempt (I want a smidge higher side cup). I was impressed by how real this bra looks and what good support it provides - even Pat commented on how professional it looks. Turns out you CAN make your own bras and no one would be the wiser and you'd have a better fit.