8 July 2015

Organising my bra patterns

I recently completed a long overdue job of cleaning up and sorting out my bra patterns. Up until this, they had been living in a rather attractive cardboard box, inside a larger box of bra supplies. Now that I've made 13 bras, the pattern pieces are all starting to get a bit confusing. For my first few bras, I labelled the patterns V1, V2 etc. When I changed the wire size, I wrote the size as well, and then when I was still getting confused as to which was which, I came up with style numbers. But they were still all going in the box.

Bra Patterns in the box
Bra Supplies in the basket
I need to be able to find pattern pieces every now and then, so I have a starting point for my new bras. To help me find what I'm looking for, I needed to start a file for my patterns. All my other patterns live in A3 folders, and when if I get around to it, I print out a costing sheet with a picture of the garment, add a fabric sample and may or may not fill in the actual costing information.

Other patterns in A3 folders
As I do record all of this information for every bra anyway, I thought I should probably get my act together and sort it all out, so I don't have to keep scrounging through a box of paper every time I'm looking for something. All of this information, as well as my calculations for working out elastic lengths, have been going on little squares of paper, all neatly stacked thrown haphazardly in the box.

My regular costing sheet
I was going to come up with a totally new costing sheet for bra making, but decided that the one I already use had space for everything that I need. I just customised it with the supplies that go into each bra, and included a faint template to draw the style of bra on. When listing the supplies for a bra, I wanted to make sure that I hadn't missed out any part of it, so I asked my husband what else goes in bras, to which he answered "boobs." Should I really have expected a better answer?

More bra Supplies
I just need to make a few more adjustments to my costing sheet, but I'd already printed out 20, so have used them as is. Who knew there could be so many things in a bra? For my long line black bra, I actually needed two extra lines for all the bits and pieces, so I'll put more rows in for supplies before I print off more.

I used an A4 folder with slip in plastic sleeves, and left a few sleeves empty at the start of the folder to add reference information, and maybe a table of contents or something one day - starting with the settings I use on machine for various zig zag stitches.

Sorting my bra patterns
It took me a bit of effort to work out what all the pieces were used for. I ended up with a pile of leftover bits to work my way through.

Some of my finished bra costing sheets
Finding fabric samples for each of my bras was fun, and always make a folder look prettier!

You may have noticed amongst my photos that some of my patterns are printed. That's not because I've bought any PDF patterns, but because I have been doing some of the pattern making aspects on my computer. What I do is a little ad-hoc, but I'll explain it all in another blog post one day, if for no other reason than for my own reference!

Hopefully I'll manage to keep up with filling my cost sheets in as I go now. Now that I have a pre-printed sheet to keep all my notes for each bra, I'll be able to keep note of all my thoughts in one place instead of scribbling on little pieces of paper.

I've been itching to get going on another bra, but it's been school holidays here, so I'm in "how to keep the kids entertained mode" rather than sewing mode. Soon, I hope, I'll get to do some more selfish sewing, and hopefully that will mean another bra.


  1. Very organised and your husband's answer was priceless. I still need to bit the bullet, but summer tops (heading north in 2 weeks) are on the must do list first.

    1. That's my aim Sharon! Now for the rest of the house to be as organised. Only kidding. That would take away from sewing time! Have a great time away, hope it's a lot warmer than Sydney.

  2. Boobs, ha ha! Love it. I'm very impressed with your organisation. It feels so good to have a small organisational victory in the house!

    1. I'm certainly celebrating the small organising victories here!

  3. I have the same sort of boxes and brown containers as you :).

    What a lot of work getting this lot under control - I love the neat orderly folders - as you say, too much to expect the rest of the house to be like this - that would be a full time non sewing job:)

    1. I love little boxes, I have so many of them, including a pile of Parisian themed ones that are still empty (shh, don't tell the husband, he might forbid me to buy any more).