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A question for the Old Dolls

GailAnn | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

I’ve been posting and reading some posts recently about bra making.  I am very interested in making myself some natural fiber bras for next summer, hoping to increase my coolness. 

 I’ve looked at the elan patterns, Fabric Depot, the Sew Sassy kits, and several of you have kindly sent web-sites to check out.   Today I went to Hancocks to look at the Kwik-Sew bra patterns.

Here is my question and I’m sort of directing the question toward you ladies who have graduated out of your 40’s (I’m 56), we are the old dolls.   

Question is Have bras always been as complex as they now seem to be?

I seem to remember the $1.50 two cups on a band around with shoulder straps.  Comfortable, and controling even on the ‘Old Dolls of the day’, but faily simple affaires.  That is what I’m looking for, somthing to be made up of cotton or silk.  The perky, pointy, lush cleavage, underwired, hoisted up ship has pretty much sailed!

I’ve even toyed with the idea of using a bikini bathing suit top pattern.  Gail 


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    "The Girls" in this shirt have never (when not nursing) been very big, so I haven't had trouble finding bras big enough. Last summer I discovered "Cotton Curves" by Hanes at my local Wal-mart, under $10. I now own 3 white and one pink! They are lightly padded (no poking for me, thanks!)with just a little stretch lace along the top edge.
    I haven't looked at bra patterns, but if you already have the swim suit pattern, give it a try! If it is comfortable,but not the look you want, you can always use it for 'at home'.

  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    Old dolls are just antique little girls! 

    1. rodezzy | | #3

      Oh, that's so sweet!

      1. MaryinColorado | | #4

        sweet as chocolate!

    2. Jannet | | #8

      Talking about old "Dolls"  Remenber Poor Pitiful Pearl?  I still have mine sans clothes.  At least she still has her panties.  All I remenber is a red head scarf and a blue dress, both flowered, I think.  Did she have a white apron?  No shoes, right???  Hair in pigtails?  Her hair is really a mess.  But oh that same face, unforgetable, I still love it.

  3. Tatsy | | #5

    I made my own bras in the 70's by copying the ones I had.  As you say, they were just two cups on a band with straps.  The control came from two seams in the cup, which was made in three curved pieces. A vertical seam in the center of the bottom half of the cup provided most of the lift.  The horizontal seam across the center of the cup allowed for the curve of the body. They were very comfortable and only stopped making them because kids came along, then a job, and time vanished.

    1. GailAnn | | #6

      Amen Miss Tatsy!  That is exactly the kind of bra I'm talking about.  Now, I'm thinking about looking in thrift stores for an old one to tear apart.........The bras I have now are all underwire or synthetic stretchy fabrics.  Too old to care about the underwire, to sweaty (in Summer) to want the synthetic.

      Recently I've been sewing with some of Miss Khaliah Ali's patterns for Simplicity.  Sure wish SHE would design a "Lingerie Set" Bra, Panty, Full and Half slip (O.K. almost anyone can make one of those) with a cammi to match, for silks or cottons.  They would probably be a perfect fit.  Gail

  4. cree9 | | #7

    I started to reply and message got lost in shuffle - I use sports bras from Walmarts 3 for$9.99 - I don't do buttons, bras that fasten in back, and anything with shoe laces. I am practicing for getting older - I am 70 now - I have made bras without patterns but haven't been particularly happy with them - I am going to try making one with flat back and gathered at side seams to provide extra front material - with elastic below I think this would work. Meanwhile why not use bathing suit pattern if you really want to make that kind of bra.

  5. merimore | | #9

    ROFLOL!!!  I have never dreamed of trying to sew a bra, but I loved the heck out of your post!  Thinking my ship(s) have sailed too!  This was my laugh for the day

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