Tips for choosing the right size bra

During a presentation a few years back I was asked how best to advise male customers in selecting the right size bra for their girlfriend/wife/female friend.  I was working as a Lingerie buyer for a mail order company and the phone operators were constantly being asked for help.  Apart from a spot of covert lingerie draw reconnaissance I also suggested the highly "technical" and incredible "accurate" FRUIT THEORY...

A cup

B Cup

C Cup

D Cup

Bra sizes can be broken down into two parts; firstly your body size and then the size/shape of the breast, so for example 12AA, 12A, 12B, 12C, 12D, 12DD etc.

As a general rule start by going up one body size; I'm normally a 10 so in a bra I go straight for the 12's.  Applying fruit theory I'm looking for something that would fit a...lemon; 12A perfect.

If you find the body size is a bit big but the cup is perfect, drop down a body size but up one in the cup, so for me that would be a 10B.

If you find the body size is a bit small but the cup is perfect, then go up one body size but down a cup size, so for me that would be a 14AA. 

Some important things to keep in mind...the wires should frame the breast tissue not sit on top of it, the straps should not dig in at the shoulder, the back should not be riding up and importantly when you're wearing the right size bra there will be no breast tissue bulging out either at the front or the underarm.
Hopefully these tips will help when selecting which sizes to take with you to the change room or if you're shopping on line at least which ones to drop into your cart.  If it all possible ask to be professionally fitted in store especially if you have a larger bust.  Don't rush this important purchase, wearing the wrong size and/or the wrong type of bra for you figure can cause all sorts of issues with posture leading to problems with the back, neck and shoulders. 

In designing sewing patterns for bras I decided to develop soft cup styles specifically for smaller body/bust sizes, mainly because I can never find anything I like.  The LITTLE 'GIRLS' TRIANGLE BRA in sizes 6-12A & 8-14B will soon be joined by the LITTLE 'GIRLS' BRALETTE and both are designed to be made using woven fabrics so perfect for Liberty prints like the one above.

My new studio space is less than two weeks away, in the meantime you can follow my gypsy studio adventures via instagram   


Embossing Seal Press

Old tools are one of my favourite collectables and I found this embossing seal press in a junk shop a couple of years ago.  The original manufacturers badge is still attached and reads, Jordon & Sons Ltd, 120 Chancery lane, London.

The feel of the embossed paper under your finger tips is irresistible so instead of just sitting on my desk I decided to give it a little vintage inspired make-over.  Now every new pattern I print will be embossed with my very own top secret seal!

Happy sewing.



I've fallen just a little bit in love with the Spanish brand Delpozo.

Now designed by Josep Font, it sits somewhere between ready to wear and couture.  The attention to detail and workmanship are exceptional but for me it's the pattern cutting.  Often highlighted by interesting colour combinations I find myself making little origami 5th scale mock-ups on my kitchen table.

 Videos of the previous four collections can be viewed via the website along with shots of each of the styles.  All of the images shown were taken from the the AW2013 collection.



Caring for Collectables

 It took six days of hell to go from this...

...to this.

The pace of the studio pack-up was definitely slowed by my constant discovery of forgotten treasures; lace made by my grandmothers, ribbons, vintage clothing, furs and buttons.  A tin of metal and Bakelite buttons given to me by a couple of great aunts had sadly started to rust and melt into each other.  All were sorted and repacked but it raises the question about how best to look after these precious objects.  I've never met a maker who didn't have a collection of some kind so the conundrum must be common place.
My clever friend Shellie recently launched a magazine dealing with exactly this topic.  A recent graduate of the Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation at Melbourne University, she and her friends saw a need to make this information available for collectors of all types both large and small.  

One successful crowd funding campaign later and The Condition Report was born.  The magazine offers insights into how collections are cared for and encompasses everything from a framed painting to rare and precious textiles.  You can subscribe or buy a copy directly from the National Gallery of Victoria or the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art

Another way to support the project is via a little book called The Conservator Versus Life.

Have a question or topic you'd like to see covered, contact The Condition Report right here


Sewing Table

Spotted recently, a beautiful little desk at Antikmodern just made for sewing. 

 It's Danish c1960 and would be a perfect match for the sewing box/ trolley featured previously.  The drawers are adjustable and it still has it's original lock and key...so tempting!