Slight nudity warning!
Guest Blog Post By: Anne Bertha
I’ve been making bras now for two years. Very soon in that process, people told me that the first thing you should do is search for a wire that fits you. Well, that proved to be very difficult. By now I have a whole range of different sizes and styles of wires, but none of them really seem to fit me. After noticing a post on Facebook of someone who made a plaster cast of her ribcage and seeing the transformation in bra fit, I decided to make my own plaster cast. This is the tutorial.
You will need:
- Plaster gauze. For a cast of one underbust, I used 2 rolls of 3 m by 7.5 cm (3.3 yds by 3 inches).
- Scissors, to cut the plaster gauze in pieces.
- Latex (or other) gloves. It gets real messy.
- Petroleum jelly or olive oil. You want the cast to come off your body easily. For my first try, I used petroleum jelly and for the second one, I used olive oil. I must say I liked the olive oil better. It’s just easier to wash off afterwards.
- A bucket (not the best one you have).
- Towels (not the best ones you have) or a sheet of plastic to cover your working station.
- Preferably a person to put the cast on you. It can be done by yourself, but that makes it much harder.
When doing my cast, I stood in the bathtub. There will be splashing of plaster drops, so make sure you think about that beforehand. A day after making the cast, I still find plaster spots everywhere in my bathroom.
How to do it:
1. Gather all of your materials, and put them near you. Make a working station, preferably at a convenient height. Especially when you do your cast yourself, you don’t want to move too much or else the cast in progress will also move.
2. Cut up the plaster gauze in pieces of different lengths. When doing a cast of your whole underbust, make sure you have two piles, one for each underbust. That way the cast will more likely be evenly thick around.
3. You want to wear as little clothes as possible. I advise a bikini bottom which will wash out easily. If the side of your breast crease is hard to identify like mine, mark it with a (non-permanent) marker.
4. Fill the bucket with water of the temperature indicated on the plaster gauze packaging.
5. Find a comfortable position. This can be seated or standing, try to sit or stand as naturally as possible.
6. Put on the gloves. Time to do this!
7. Apply vaseline or olive oil (I recommend olive oil after doing this a second time) to your underbust, it’s best to cover a slightly larger area to be sure it will all come off easily. It’s best to be thorough but don’t add a layer that’s too thick because otherwise the plaster won’t stick well and slide down.
8. Pick up a piece of the plaster gauze, put it in water and take it out. Run it through two fingers so the excess water comes off, and stick it to your body.
9. Repeat to cover the whole area you want a cast of. Work sequentially from one side to another, and work as fast as possible. How quickly the plaster dries depends on a lot of factors, but mine did that quite fast.
10. You’ll notice at some point that the cast will start feeling loose, that’s a sign it’s drying. I followed the instructions on the plaster gauze so I stood for about a quarter in the bathtub waiting for the cast to be dry enough to be taken off my body.
11. If you want some additional dryness, take out the hairdryer and apply some heat to both the outside and the inside (if you can reach it) of the cast.
12. Gently put the cast somewhere it can dry completely. Depending on thickness, this might take up to 48 hours. Make sure to flip it carefully once one side is dry.
13. Take a good look at your own plaster imprint! You can’t see my smile on the picture but it was quite large.
Notes: the type of plaster gauze varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. I first tried making a cast using rolls from the hobby shop for this tutorial, for my second one I used rolls from the pharmacy. Those were substantially softer before use and harder set after use.
Guest Author Post By: Anne Bertha
While some people find their wire shape and size easily, it can prove to be a real challenge for others. There are some other ways you can make this process easier. All the methods have one idea in common: to make a mould of your ribcage so you can decide which wires are the best fit. There’s always a compromise to be made between ease, cost and accuracy.
I will be discussing the pros and cons of three methods: using masking tape, tin foil and making a plaster cast. Finally, I’m showing you my root trace on paper.
First up: masking tape mould.
The idea behind this one is quite simple: by sticking layers of masking tape to your body and carefully peeling it off, you’re able to replicate your wire root shape on paper in 2D.
Notes: You want to make a construction in which your breasts are encased, with kind of like anchor points. Otherwise, when you peel your tape construction off, it will lose its shape.
Pros: Easy and cheap way to get a rough idea of your root shape.
Cons: Can be painful to peel off, depending on the masking tape itself. Because you mould it to your body (3D) and try sticking it to paper (2D) afterwards, it’s not that accurate. It can be quite tricky to figure out how to stick it to paper without distorting the shape.
Second: tin foil mould.
Tin foil has an interesting property: it’s malleable and will hold its shape quite well. I made this one by moulding pieces of tin foil to my body and sticking them together as well as to my body using masking tape.
Notes: Try and keep the mould quite flat. I folded some tin foil, shaped it, but in some places I got a little overexcited and the tin foil piled up. It won’t stick to the masking tape as well then.
Pros: Easy and cheap way. A bit more expensive than the tape mould, but also much more accurate.
Cons: There is a hint of a 3D shape there, but it’s still much more of a 2D shape. You don’t get a clear idea if your ribcage is particularly cylindrical and you might need to bend your wires or not.
Third: plaster cast
For a how-to, read the separate blog post. Because this shape is very 3D, it can be tricky to translate it to paper to get an idea of your wire size and shape. I suggest taking a flexible wire, moulding it to the cast and then scanning that wire.
Pros: Very accurate method to get a 3D mould of your ribcage.
Cons: You need specific materials and, preferably, a second person to make the mould on you. It takes a while to dry so for the impatient ones amongst you, you’ll have to wait at least a day to start working with it.
As you can see above, I only made a plaster cast of half of my ribcage since I didn’t have enough plaster gauze. This root trace on paper is made using the tin foil mould, which was quite easy to translate to paper. Not only does this root trace allow for an accurate way to determine wire size and shape, it also makes it possible to make a custom bridge pattern.
Which method you choose is up to you, they all have their pros and cons and will all help you towards a better wire (and thus bra) fit. If you have additional ideas, suggestions, or want to share how yours turned out, feel free to do so in the comments!
This pattern has been a labor of love. I have had to go back to this pattern about 4 times, each time approaching the grade differently. But I am confident that these cups work well now. I have created 4 different torso shapes each in 36 different sizes. One download gets you everything.
I have only been able to verify that the Ivy works well with the regular wire. I have been unsuccessful in testing the Ivy for vertical wires, although I do have the entire range graded and ready to test, but no one has committed to it. If you are interested in participating in the test, please join my pattern testing group on Facebook. I do offer compensation in the form of a gift certificate to my shop.
Well, back to the Ivy. I wanted to create a 1 piece cup that can be used with the Eve. This would be ideal as a swim top, or a lacy addition to any neckline.Ivy-Criss-Cross-Overlay-Bra-Cup
I recently received a batch of new swim hardware and I wanted to test it’s durability before being able to properly sell it. Here is a link to my swim hardware.
I know that the gold and silver plated hardware I have been selling is appropriate for swim and was very durable for that purpose. The new swim hardware I received isn’t as shiny, so I began to question its durability.
I do believe that the new hardware was not tumbled prior to plating, which is why the surface is not as shiny as my other hardware. I did have to get this from another factory that I had not purchased hardware from in the past, mainly because finding swim hardware is very hard to do.
I worked out the math with my husband, as as you will see from the video, I’m not 100% sure of what he did, but the gist is we converted teaspoons to gallons, since we know we have a 5 gallon bucket and we also knew that the smallest unit of measure we can gauge is about 1/8 of a teaspoon.
I just had him re-explain it to me, so he is walking me through this math in case you want to do this yourself.
The highest strength a pool should be is 3 parts per million of pool chlorine, which is 10x the concentration of household bleach.
There are 768 teaspoons in as gallon, so to convert the 3ppm, you divide 3 by (1 million teaspoons/768 teaspoons per gallon), which gives you 3 by 1302.08 gallons. We then divide that by 8 because the smallest measure is 1/8″ we can positively do. That gives us 3/8 divided by 162.76 gallons. We then divide by 3 so we have 1/8 tsp on the top, so 1/8 teaspoon per 54.25 gallons and at the 10 times concentration of household bleach, we divide the 54.25 by 10, giving us about 5 gallons.
Don’t ask me to do that again. We did a control of straight tap water, then 1/8 teaspoon diluted in the 5 gallon bucket, but then decided to double that to 1/4 teaspoon for our 3ppm, which really is closer to 5ppm and took a sample. Then we doubled that again and took another sample for our 6ppm (or really 10ppm).
In the end, my hardware was still completely fine after 9 days in the strongest strength of chlorine water. The only item that seemed to break down was the cotton elastic. I don’t know how general wear and tear will affect these items with this extended amount of chlorine exposure, but in chlorine that appear to be fine with minimal, if any, degredation of the material, for a total of 216 hours of chlorine exposure.