Watson Bra: Making Highlighter-Yellow Look Good

Have you seen the new bra pattern from Cloth Habit, the Watson Bra? I’ve not only seen it – I’ve also already made it! (It sews up very quickly.)

watson bra grey doubleknit and highlighter yellow 4

This is described as a 70’s inspired lingerie set. There are no underwires, and the pattern includes both a regular bra and long-line bra, as well as a pattern for bikini-style underwear.  I went with the long-line bra and love it!

watson bra grey doubleknit and highlighter yellow 2

I didn’t make any changes, and sewed my usual 32C.

The fabric is a charcoal grey doubleknit that I had leftover from another project. I wanted to see if I liked the look and feel of this pattern on me, before using ‘special’ supplies.
I added this awesome highlighter-yellow ruffled elastic trim to set off the grey! It’s from an ebay auction, so I now have all kinds of random elastic trims to use on future bras. Glad to find a use for neon yellow ruffles! (It is way brighter in real life. It looks dim in these photos.)

watson bra grey doubleknit and highlighter yellow closeup of ruffled trim

Sewing Notes:

  • I trimmed my seam allowances after topstitching, both on the cup seam and when attaching the band elastic.
    I used a wider zigzag for the topstitching part. If it was visible on the fabric, then I’d have gone with a narrower stitch, but it feeds better through the machine with the wider zigzag.
  • My ruffled trim is slightly narrower than 1/4″ (6mm) on the elastic side. So the cups would be ever-so-slightly smaller if following the directions.

watson bra grey doubleknit and highlighter yellow 1

Thoughts on the pattern:

  • It is incredibly detailed. There’s all kinds of helpful notes on choosing fabric, stretch percentages and extra sewing tips. You can tell that the designer has sewed using this pattern many times, as they’re the sort of tips that I think of while sewing a pattern. The beauty of PDF patterns is you can make the instructions as long as you want, as there are no printing restrictions.
  • This is a smart pattern. Sure, it’s $15, which might seem high for a PDF and for a small simple garment, but I’d rather pay more and know I’m getting a quality product.
  • The style looks great, and it’s simple to construct. There are no really hard parts, or steps that require total accuracy to look good. Where it’s important to be accurate, Amy’s included tips to help. The hardest part to sew is probably topstitching the cups and pivoting at the centre front, there’s a lot of seam allowance bulk underneath. I covered up that section with a bow! I love adding bows on bras, there’s something satisfying about hand-sewing a bow to the front.

This fabric is hard to photograph and the lighting these days is terrible. It’s so dark and gloomy outside! Sometimes the neon trim completely disappears in the photos.

watson bra grey doubleknit and highlighter yellow 3

Of course, all the details show up on the inside shot! It’s not the prettiest from the inside. Underwire casings on other bras cover up the cup-to-cradle seams and make everything look tidier. Matching thread on the underside of the neon elastic would have blended in better, but no one’s going to see the inside except me. (And now, you.).

Changes for next time:

  • No fit changes. (That’s exciting!) I’m going to wear this for longer and see how I feel then, but there’s nothing that feels off right away.
  • I would choose a stretchier fabric for the back band, it fits on the largest hook snugly and digs in just a little bit, where my sides are soft. This fabric isn’t the very best choice and I knew that when I started this project. The good part is now I know I really like the pattern!
  • I have leftover purple lycra from this purple lingerie set and I think it has just the right amount of stretch and stability.
    I’m going to make the regular band bra, for comparison.

I’m going to enjoy wearing this. It was an easy pattern to love at first sight, and I like it even more knowing the instructions and pattern pieces are fantastic and the fit is good. Wouldn’t it be pretty in stretch lace? Or stretch velvet. Now I want a burgundy stretch velvet version for the holidays. Good thing it’s a quick project to sew!

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64 Responses to Watson Bra: Making Highlighter-Yellow Look Good

  1. Amy December 1, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    I am very interested in learning more about bra making, but am more of beginner. I always enjoy your posts, but am intimidated by the sewing skills, fitting, and where to source fabrics and all those miscellaneous supplies! Any suggestions for starting out? Taking an in person class will not be an option where I live.

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 8:36 am #

      Hi Amy! I’d be happy to give you suggestions. I’ll try to keep it brief!

      1. The Craftsy Class on bramaking is taught by the woman behind BraMakers Supply and she knows her stuff. It seems very similar to the class I took in person, which is where it all started for me!

      2. Cloth Habit has a bra-making sewalong, which will give you an idea of bra construction without having to buy anything. You can see how a bra comes together in photos, and decide if you’re up for the challenge!
      http://clothhabit.com/bramaking-sew-along/

      3. Choose a well-written pattern to begin with. I’d recommend the Pin Up Girls Classic Bra for an underwired bra, that’s the one I started with. The instructions are detailed and include diagrams. Or this one, the Watson Bra, if you like non-wired bras. This one would give you a taste of bra-making, applying elastic and making straps, but it’s a much simpler pattern to start with.

      4. Sourcing fabrics – we did a post on lingerie resources a while back. This is a good starting point!
      http://sewaholic.net/lingerie-sewing-a-list-of-resources/
      Again, the Watson bra uses less supplies – no underwires or channeling. Bra-makers Supply sells complete kits to make one bra.

      5. Fitting – practice! That’s really the best way to get comfortable with fitting. Every fabric is going to stretch slightly differently. Plus, you might fit a bra fits differently after wearing all day. It may feel great initially, but after a couple of hours it rides up, or digs in. In the class I took they said to consider each bra as an experiment, each one will get better and better. And it’s true.

      Hope this helps and good luck! :) We’ll continue to post about bras and lingerie sewing as well.

  2. sonia December 1, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    You read my mind! (Oh and cloth habit). I’ve been looking for a non wired bra pattern, that complements similar skills in sewing jersey knickers. The ironic thing is, bras and socks are about the only rtw clothes I can buy. Having said that if you need to make well fitting knickers, well then you want pretty sets of lingerie don’t you! Are you sure this isn’t addictive :-)

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Yes, I like that it uses the same skills and fabric as sewing stretch undies. Often bra patterns use lace or low-stretch fabrics, and low-stretch fabrics that work for bra cups wouldn’t make very comfortable underwear.
      It’s totally addictive! I mean my blog is called Sewaholic after all. :) But hey, at least these are quick projects! And useful. Everyone needs to wear underwear. :)

      • sonia December 1, 2014 at 9:17 am #

        Interesting point on choice of pattern and fabric for making sets of lingerie, thank you (also thanks for the lingerie resources, English Couture is great)

        • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 9:26 am #

          Any time! Also, this pattern includes underwear that complements the style of the bra, which is nice. I haven’t tried it yet (this fabric would have been too dense) but I just picked up more lycra to make another Watson bra, with matching undies.

  3. Birgitte December 1, 2014 at 7:45 am #

    Looks great! As someone who is intrigued, but intimidated by the bra-sewing trend, this pattern looks like a gentle way to start! It looks like the pattern designer has a ton of info on her website too. Thanks for sharing the modelled picture too!

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      That’s exactly it – a gentle way to start. The Watson Bra uses similar techniques to making an underwired bra, applying elastic and making straps and sewing on hook closures, without the underwire and channeling. This is a well-written and thorough pattern too, a great place to start. Especially if you like the style! It is a bit flattening, but this time of the year we’re all layered up with sweaters and coats so it hardly matters. :)

  4. Debra December 1, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    After reading I think all of your bra/underwear adventures (sometimes twice and three times) I’ve
    taken the plunge and took the craftsy class and bought the kit for it too. Can hardly wait to sew my first undergarment ! Love the things you keep coming up with, I’m always wonderfully inspired.

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      That’s fantastic! I hope you enjoy the Craftsy class. It’ll be the next best thing to taking a class in person, in fact possibly better because you can continue to watch the videos over and over. (I took a lot of photos during the class I took, so I could refer to them later.)
      Have fun and good luck! It’s just a different type of sewing, but it’s not much harder than sewing a shirt or jacket.

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      Also – I did the same thing in reverse, after taking the class I read every single blog post I could find on sewing lingerie! :)

  5. Joelle December 1, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    this is beautifu! i also fell in love with the Watson bra, and already made it, in a stretch mesh. i am pleasantly surprised by how supportive it feels. i want to say “softly supportive”? anyways, super confortable and oh so very pretty. i’m looking forward to see all the pretty versions you make!

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      Thanks Joelle! I agree, it feels quite supportive compared to other non-wired bras. Did you make the long one or the short one? I feel like the long one would be the most supportive. It’s such a quick and fun pattern!

  6. Shirley December 1, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    This is beautiful! I am definitely going to give this pattern a try. I have just begun to make myself simple, wireless bras and love them. I am finished paying $$$ for store bought bras. Thanks for the review.

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 8:41 am #

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! If simple, wireless bras are your thing this is a good pattern for you. I know what you mean about store-bought bras, it’s more economical to sew your own! Especially for larger cup sizes or small band sizes that are harder to find. Plus, you can make them to your exact preferences in colour, fit, style.

  7. Kelly December 1, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    This looks great Tasia! Bra making seems to be the in thing at the moment, and I am tempted…thanks so much for modelling it, it really helps! Just before I reached that bit of your post, I was thinking how hard it is to decide on a bra pattern when there aren’t many photos of people wearing them, which is how I normally decide if I like something! I normally go for underwired bras, but I could go for something like this for wearing more casually round the house – it seems like a nice easy one to start on!

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 9:18 am #

      I’m so glad it’s helpful to see it on. I agree, I also like to see things *on* people, but I get that not everyone wants to take photos in their underwear. (Especially in this age of sharing images, it’s odd to see yourself re-pinned on Pinterest and such.)
      It does seem to be a popular things right now, sewing bras! I’ve been hooked since I took the class last February. This is a good one for round the house, if you prefer more support otherwise. It is much easier than the other bras I’ve sewn and it’s very fast.

  8. Kathy Sews December 1, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    I LOVE this! I have my pattern waiting for me still to work on. I really like that it’s being modeled, it’s a great fit. I’ve been posting bras being worn but with similar modesty. I love the frilly edge!

  9. oonaballoona December 1, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    i gotta say, i think the insides are beautiful! i was already sold, but now i’m actually heading over to finally buy this beauty.

    love your color combo too!

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Thank you! How cool that I convinced you to give it a go – now I hope you like it as much as I do!

  10. marcia December 1, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    My computer blocks me from the cloth habit site saying This is a suspicious site. There is a higher than average probability that you will be exposed to malicious links or payloads. I have webroot on my computer. Of course, I can override the block but I new do. Any suggestions?
    Marcia

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Hi Marcia, sorry I have no idea, it sounds like it’s a setting on your computer. I don’t have any problems accessing the Cloth Habit shop myself. (I hate to state the obvious but maybe try closing your browser and opening it again? Or try a different web browser? Or try from home instead of work?)

      • marcia December 3, 2014 at 11:26 am #

        I “can” over ride and go into the website – I’m just a bit leary of doing so?? Maybe I’ll get brave. I really like the looks of your Watson. Also like the postings from today.

        • Tasia December 3, 2014 at 11:36 am #

          Understandably! Sometimes I get those messages for a website once, but then later it works fine. You could also try just typing in ‘cloth habit watson bra’ into search and getting to her site that way.

  11. Leigh December 1, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Hey Tasia, are there any bra patterns out there that aren’t full coverage? I like the demi cups / less coverage. I was thinking of the craftsy class, but just don’t like the bra!

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      Hey Leigh! You could always make the Classic Bra into a demi cup. I did it (on a bra I haven’t photographed yet) and it was more modern-looking. Just lower centre front by an inch, and draw an angled line on the upper cup to match.
      The push-up bra I posted last week is definitely less coverage but the instructions are not clear enough for a beginner.
      Another point to consider is that the class is about learning the techniques, once you have them down you can apply them to any bra pattern. I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I believe the Marlborough Bra is still full coverage. I’ll keep your question in mind and come back if I think of anything to add!

      • Leigh December 3, 2014 at 11:02 am #

        Thanks! You’re probably right – I should just go with it and learn the techniques with the main one. I think part of why I don’t like the full coverage is that they never fit in the store, and that’s the point!

  12. Laura December 1, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    This would be a great bralette for my kid, who would wear it like a cami-bustier I’m sure.

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      It does feel very much like a tank top, more so than a bra. It’s certainly more supportive than those shelf-bra tank tops that were popular a while back. You could probably lengthen it even further and use a 4 or 5 hook closure.

  13. Christine December 1, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    looks adorable Tasia! I bought this too and can’t wait to have a moment to make it up!

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Thank you! I’ll have to look for your version when you get around to it!

  14. French Toast Tasha December 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m pretty excited about this pattern, and your version looks lovely! Thanks for sharing.

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Any time! Hope you enjoy it as well :)

  15. Bliss Cochran December 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    It looks comfortable, which is something almost never found in store-bought bras. I might just try this one.

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      It is comfortable! From my experience wearing it during the day, yes it is. I imagine the softer the fabric, the more comfortable it will be.

  16. Sarah C December 1, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Very cute. But as someone who was young in the 70’s I can assure you it was inspired by something other than a 70’s lingerie set because in the 70’s everyone young enough to want//need such an item didn’t wear a bra-

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

      That may be true, I’m just using the words from the Cloth Habit site! :) Perhaps it’s the relaxed and simple styling that’s inspired by the time period, if not the literal garments of the time.

    • Amy December 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      I was born in 1970 and I didn’t wear a bra until I was 15! My first one was a Playtex “cross your heart” bra in white. This isn’t a literal interpretation of a 70s style although little triangle bras were in fashion particularly in swimwear. It’s more about the period and attitude.

  17. Agneta December 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Yours look great! But I can’t imagine this Style would go very well with bigger boobs or flat saggy ones. I didn’t know the price was higher but I’d hate to pay that much for a pattern that isn’t my style. I wish more reviews would pick out the good AND the bad, “does not fit….” etc. sometimes it feels like no one wants to admit to the bad stuff because the pattern maker might get sad. :/

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      That’s a good point, but I can only speak from my experience. It’s not accurate if I say something like ‘this pattern is only for smaller busts’ because I don’t know that for sure unless I’ve personally sewn it for someone bustier and seen it not work, you know? I can speculate but it’s probably not fair since it’s only based on my guesses and not actual experience.
      That being said I do try to point out things I didn’t like with a pattern when they occur! For me the only real negative is the price, I personally felt $15 was high given it’s a small and simple garment. But I paid it, so I suppose it wasn’t that much of a negative. :)

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

      Also, the pattern goes up to an I-cup! So perhaps it will work on fuller busts as well as smaller ones. I can’t tell cup size from looking, but I did see one on Instagram on someone with fuller cups than me, and they were very happy with it.

    • Debbie December 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      This will probably come across as TMI but as one of the breast types that you mentioned, flat and saggy B cup, I can tell you this bra is great! I just finished my second version of this bra today and it’s both supportive and most of all comfortable. Being made from lycra fabrics I was afraid that I wouldn’t get any lift and it hoists them right up there as good as any bra I’ve every bought!

      Personally I don’t think the price is that high even considering it’s a PDF. There’s another new bra pattern that’s a PDF that’s $23. Most paper patterns are in the $15 – $25 range ( plus they don’t include a panty pattern ) and then you have to add shipping.

      This pattern is also geared perfectly to a new lingerie sewer ( I’m not ) since it’s easier to construct. The fabrics are easier to source plus there’s no channeling or underwires. Depending on your local resources you may still have to order the notions needed. I can’t buy them locally so I order online in bulk.

      Just thought I’d add another take on the pattern. Please know that I any not in any way connected to Amy or Cloth Habit. I’m just a happy bra wearing customer!

      • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

        Thanks for the feedback Debbie! It’s not TMI in my opinion when we’re talking fit and pattern suitability. Especially on something like breast type, which is not something we talk about in regular conversation. So thanks for jumping in! It’s so great to hear others’ experience with the same pattern.

  18. Debbie December 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    I just finished my second make of the short bra. I love it! I used a fabric with about 50% stretch for the entire bra. Went down a size on the band since I didn’t use powernet and used the same size cups. The band fits great but I may go up a cup size for the next one since they seem a tiny bit snug. And yes there will be more. Lots, lots more. Since the pattern uses lycra fabrics the possibilities are endless.

    I was surprised to read you used double knit. It must have a fair amount of stretch. I do plan on making the long line but I’ll have to add boning at the side seam since they like to roll up on me.

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Awesome! I agree, this pattern is one that’s easy to picture making multiple times. People who like it really like it!
      Yes, it was a very stretchy knit, but doesn’t stretch quite as much as this pattern needs so the band is snug. I’ll sew it again in a better fabric choice and then I bet the band will be exactly as it should be.
      About the boning, I feel like it’s contradictory to the simple, wireless nature of this style! I do know what you mean though. It doesn’t roll up, but scrunches ever so slightly under the front cups. Which is possibly due to slouching posture, too.

      • Debbie December 1, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

        I don’t have a problem with the bands length under the cups in front but I have had problems with the band rolling up at the sides in a regular bra. It may not be a problem considering it’s actually designed much longer. I’ll have to make one and see. :)

  19. Lynn December 1, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    This is the second pattern you are responsible for me buying, ha ha! Can’t wait to try the longer bra version, thinking about making matching tap shorts to go with it. Thanks so much for all the info!

    • Tasia December 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      Oh no, hope that’s a good thing! What was the first pattern? :)
      Matching tap shorts would work but perhaps you’d want to use something other than Lycra. Tap shorts I picture in silk or something loose. (Unless I’m thinking of something else!) Although you could probably use stretch silk for the cups maybe? So many possibilities!

  20. lisa g December 1, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    This looks great! I’ve wanted to try bramaking, and this pattern will definitely be my first go at it. In fact, it may be a “jump the queue” project… as soon as I pick up some supplies!

  21. Francesca December 2, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Wow, Tasha, thanks so much for the detailed post and the pictures. So nice to see it being worn – I personally am very grateful. And thanks to Debbie to for her pointing out that it’s actually supportive – I fall into her camp and even though Cloth Habit says that it’s supportive I was a bit worried it wouldn’t be enough for me.

    • Tasia December 2, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      I’m so glad it’s helpful to see it worn. I agree, it’s more useful than flat photos alone. (Normally I’m uncomfortable posting bra photos online, but this one’s so opaque and looks almost like a camisole top, so it’s not too bad to post.) Glad it was worth sharing the photos!
      And I agree, it’s so useful to hear other people’s experiences with the same pattern!

  22. Julie Culshaw December 2, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Tasia, you should be linking to Rhonda Buss’ blog as she is starting a sew-along of the Robson Coat. This is on Sew News blog and it looks great. Sew up the coat in the month of December, along with your directions and Rhonda’s notes as well. A great idea. I might even try it myself.

    • Tasia December 2, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      That’s fantastic! Thank you so much for letting me know. I’ll do up a post to let people know so they can join in!

      • Julie Culshaw December 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

        They didn’t contact you to let you know? I am stunned, after all this is your pattern. They should be linking to you with every post.

  23. Sara December 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Will we be seeing a Sewaholic bra pattern soon? ;-)
    Bra sewing aside, I love that you put a necklace on your dress form. Too cute!!

  24. Ms. Sew N Sew December 3, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    i am totally smitten by the Watson bra. The email came last week and its been in my dreams ever since. Am going to order the pattern today! Yours is beautiful Tasia! It looks really comfortable and that’s what I am looking for. Hope you have an amazing day!

  25. Heather December 3, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    This looks great! Thank you for the comprehensive review. As I was reading I was thinking it would be nice to see how this bra actually fits and then I got to the last picture. Thanks for being brave and posting it!

  26. Susan December 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    This might be the post and pattern to actually get me started making bras :) I’ve loved all your posts on bra making, and I’ve wanted to try it, but been intimidated. Also, I hate wearing underwire! Small bust here (36A) – it’s not always necessary :) But this pattern looks comfortable and your version looks great! Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Amy December 4, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    I love this! The fabric has a cool denim look and I confess to liking neon elastic, too. Looks great on you!

    • Tasia December 4, 2014 at 11:58 am #

      Thanks Amy! I really enjoyed your pattern and I hope to make many, many more. It’s a lovely design with a great fit.

  28. Pir December 19, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

    I was wondering if this can be adapted into an underwire triangle bra? I love this style but my boobs are too heavy and I don’t think it can properly support them. Thanks!

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