The Sports Bra Grade Adventure

After creating my final sample in the 38J, I came to the realization that I was no longer a 38J and was a 38I. The easiest way to change the size was to go ahead and start grading it.

I worked on the first grade set for the same cup across the range of band sizes from 28 to 52. Many sports bras are designed as XS, S, M, L, XL, but honestly that only covers a 30 to a 40 band and up to a C, maybe D cup. I wanted this grade set to cover the sizes the traditional ready to wear sports bras don’t cover.

I settled on the range of 28 to 52 band sizes and cup sizes A to K, which is a total of 143 unique sizes. In order to grade a bra or sports bra, you need to grade both for cups and for bands. I started with a 38J, so I first graded all the bands sizes for the same cup (28J, 30J, 32J, 34J, etc).

I then extracted each size from that set and graded for each cup size. I know PolyPattern software can work with two grade sets, but I haven’t quite figured that out yet, so I did what I know best. I will ask them how to do two grade sets, then demo that at some later point in time.

My personal trainer offered to try one of the samples, so I took her measurements which were 28.5 under the bust and 35 at the full bust. The lovelies at VS put her in a 34C, which is completely the wrong size. Regardless, I made her a sample in my set in size 30DD.

She loved it and she didn’t want to take it off. I did notice it fit low on her, but her VS one fit in the same place. I instinctively felt it was too low. After 2 days of second guessing myself, I decided to change it.

I had to alter the grade completely for both the first and second set of grades, mainly at the waistline. I am very happy with my new grade set. Given that, I am very open to feedback on my largest sizes. If I have anyone in the larger band size that feel the grade needs to be changed, please share your feedback. I want to make sure I cater to all sizes, not just the “norm.”

I have been prepping to do a video of sewing the new sport bra design and decided to take my measurements again. You see, I have been working with a trainer for a few months now and have been noticing slight changes to my body shape. Image my shock, when my 36 under bust measurement was a 38!

I had to second guess myself again. Did I actually do the drafts for a 38″ underbust?? Rest assured. I keep all my paperwork and notes and I did draft for a 36″ underbust. That only means I’m getting bigger. Frowning face.

I discussed my changes with my trainer and Dr. Google. Both assured me I am putting on muscle under my fat, so I’m getting bigger before getting smaller. The good thing is, since I do have muscle, the fat burns off twice as fat, so I should start seeing some drastic changes in the coming month. I’m crossing my fingers.

Until then, I am now measuring as a 40H. Next week, who knows, maybe a 34D? Wishful thinking.

  1. Thank you everyone who wants to test. I have my testers and I have finalized my patterns. If there are any issues with the current set, I am ready and willing to adjust them and send new patterns to those affected.

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