Blue and white lace set (Danglez DB5)

Blue and white lace set
Blue and white lace set

Recently I just came to a conclusion that my bra size is not quite right (!!!). You might ask how I didn’t realize that sooner? I think that a part of it was caused by years of never finding the right size so I never knew how the right bra size are supposed to feel. Another part of it was because I haven’t find the right way to find my correct bra size. I will post about this in the future.

To cut it short, I found out that my bra size is not 30C as I’ve believed before but a cup size bigger and a band size smaller, which is 28E (60E). I have to say that this is a bra size that I had never imagined a few years ago! But as I broaden my knowledge about bra sizes, I realized that this size is not that uncommon.

An E cup sounds overwhelming, but here is a helpful post about bra cup sizes and their relation to the band sizes. This is the bra calculator that have helped me finding my right size. My band measurement is 26.5 inches and my bust measurement is 31.5 inches, with moderately snug band option ticked, the calculator gave me the size 28E. I know that there are a lot of ways for finding the band sizes, one of them is adding several inches to the underbust measurements. Well, this doesn’t work. Band measurement is the same as underbust measurement, it is that simple.

Unfortunately the smallest band size for from Merckwaerdigh and Pin-Up Girls bra pattern is 30. As the cup for size 30D is the same as 28E, I can still use these patterns with few alterations. I’ve written to the most helpful Margreet from Merckwaerdigh asking about this, and she advised me to alter the 30D pattern by taking off about 2 cm from the center back, and make little pinches on the upper cup if necessary. This had been proven successful when I made a try-out bra  using my Pin-up Girls Classic Bra #1230 size 30 D. I was quite happy about this pair and have been wearing it a lot  (more about it on later post).

Danglez DB5
Danglez DB5

However I still wanted to try finding a bra pattern in my size, and found it one day when browsing the patterns at elingeria. It’s the Danglez DB5, an underwired bra pattern in multisize 60 C-E, 65 C-E, 70 C-E, 75 C-E, 80 C-E, 85 C-E. There is one review for DB5 on by Sigrid my lingerie heroine, and it helped convince me to try this pattern.

The pattern sheet is very clear with every sizes indicated by certain colors. I can’t speak about the instructions because unfortunately I forgot to ask for English instructions when ordering, so the instruction is in German. As I have made several bras before, it was not really a problem. But if you want to order this pattern, please take note of the instruction language.

I use baby blue lycra fabric, leftover from previous project. All the fabric and notions are from Merckwaerdigh. After finished sewing the bra, I wore them for several hours before noticing that the band kept riding up on the back. It is usually a sign that the band is too large. I unpicked the closure (hook and eye) parts and cut 2 cm off each side of center back (a total 0f 4 cm) then reattaching the hook and eye. After this alteration, the band stays without a problem.

In the future, I will add a downward hike to the back pattern piece to further prevent the band from riding up. The downward hike is a technique developed by Beverly Johnson, the author of the ‘Bra Makers Manual‘, to make sure the band doesn’t go up on the back. I found it from Sigrid’s post, unfortunately the link to Beverly Johnson’s post is not working anymore. Maybe I should buy this Bra Makers Manual as there are lots of good reviews about the book. Has any of you bought the book?

I still have enough fabric and lace for one pantie, so here is a matching one with my usual  Merckwaerdigh Mix30.

Blue and white lace set

Several pictures of the construction details. There is a bit of folded area around the closure area because the band is wider at the shortened parts. The bridge between the cups on this pattern is small so the underwire channeling lay on top of each other. For some people, this bridge area might be too small but it actually works for me.

Blue and white lace set Blue and white lace set

The lace is attached to the lycra using three step zigzag stitch. I attached thin elastic on the inside of the scallop part.

Blue and white lace set Blue and white lace set

Blue and white lace set Blue and white lace set

I’m extremely happy with this new bra. So this is how it is supposed to feel! Sewing a pair of bra is not difficult, the problem is always finding the right fit. Right now I feel that I’m at the closest point to the perfect fitting bra that possible. The journey will still continue though!

Bra pattern is Danglez DB5 size 60E (28E) , bought from elingeria.
Panties pattern is Merckwaerdigh Mix30 (bra, pantie, knickers) size S. 

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  • Amber

    Hi Novita,
    I am trying to make a bra from this pattern and was perplexed by the notion called “cup elastic.” I was wondering if you knew what that was. Thank you!

  • Michelle

    I just found your blog and thought I’d comment. I have both of Beverly’s manuals and they’re GREAT!!! I have learned so many things from those 2 books, and I am constantly referring to them. They would help you adjust your patterns to that smaller band. There aren’t a lot of patterns in my size either. From the books, I made my own pattern for a band! And that’s what I use for everything now. It fits perfectly and I just put whatever cup pattern into that. I highly recommend them both.

    And that perfect fit… I think I’m one alteration on the cups away from my perfect fit. Never did find it in RTW.

    • Thank you for sharing your thought Michelle! You just made up my mind and I will get the books immediately. It is so wonderful to finally find your perfect fit, congratulations!

  • Wow, these are gorgeous! I’ve been really struggling to find bras but I’m not quite ready to sew them yet, so for now I’ll just admire yours! Uhhh, that’s not as creepy as it sounds.

    • Don’t worry Dana, you can admire my bra as much as you want! lol 😀

  • Melissa

    You made me went and check my bra size! I honestly believe and actually fit into a 34D. Now it seemed I am a 30G which is a tad too much for me. On the other hand, I am getting bigger in that department and I am in a desperate need for a new bra for at least a few more months.

    Anyways, love the bra. But I am curious – how in the world you deal with perky nips in those thin unpadded bras.

    • Hi Melissa, actually that was the same mistake that I (and many women) made. Many women wears the band too large and the cups too small. But as the bust circumference is the same, they don’t know that they’ve been wearing the wrong size. The band always riding up on the back, the underwires make marks on your skin, armpit fat, and back fat are some of the signs of wrong bra size.

      I don’t really have problems with my nips fortunately, they don’t get perky that much 😛
      Maybe because I rarely wear tight tops, my dresses are usually lined and I often wear layered clothing 🙂

      • Melissa

        Ah… that explains it. It is kind of hard to do layering in Malaysia. Too warm. And I rarely bothered wearing lined clothing mainly because I am a t-shirt and jeans gal, nevermind that I actually sew dresses for myself. Go figures.

        Thanks for the reply btw. I loved the bra pattern so much that I actually went and ordered it!

    • This is what I was wondering as well…I had a look at as one of the other commenters suggested and they have styles with a foam lining and they come with instuctions on how to make that lining. Sizes go up to 95G in some styles.

  • thanks to your many great bras i made my new year’s resolution a bit early: next year i’m going to make a bra myself! i like the pattern you used, do you think i could add some sort of thicker lining like in store bought bras?

    • Hi Corinna, the greatest thing about making them yourself is that you make them anyway you want! Yes you can add lining and use thin cotton jersey, powernet, or lycra for them. You can also insert padding between the fabric and lining.
      For this bra, I use powernet for lining the lower cup 🙂

      • eva

        I know most bras use a knit and not woven, but could I use a woven fabric for the whole bra if I cut the band on the bias? I have a nice woven fabric I want to try making a bra of, but I don’t want to buy extra for the band…I thought maybe if I cut it on the bias there would be enough stretch already. Would that work?

        • Actually I’ve tried it before and it worked. I cut the band on bias and lined it with stretchy net, I think you can try without lining as well. Good luck!

  • Hi there! I love the look of this bra and am so impressed that you made it yourself. I was wondering if you would consider making bras to sell? I would absolutely love this bra in a 26FF, but I don’t exactly have an interest in sewing 😛

    • Hi Windie, sorry I don’t make custom order. Thank you for the comment 🙂

      • Too bad, you’d make a killing 😉 Awesome work, might just inspire me to start sewing!

  • Oh I recently found this site – a Danish bra pattern maker… I really want to get one of her patterns as they are really nice.

    • Those patterns look very nice! Sadly none of them is my size…
      Looking forward to your new set of bra! 🙂

  • That is a beautiful set! I love the colour and I think you are right… many people are wearing the wrong size… too small a cup and too wide at the back.

  • joelle

    that bra is wonderful! thanks for sharing the pattern you used, it is not easy to find bra patterns in those size (it’s not easy to find bras in those sizes!!)
    i thought i would share my recently acquired little bit of wisdom about bra sizing… i have been wearing a 36C all my life and i wasn’t quite happy with the fit, but i thougt that good-fitting bras were a myth. something for only a few lucky girl with the “right” measurements for the bras in the store. then i found kline’s blog (serioulsy go and read it) and figured i just was wearing the wrong size! i’m still experimenting a little, but a 30DD/30E seems quite right and there is no words to describe how much more comfortable this is. my world was revolutionized also when i found out there are bikini tops with the right sizing, and not just in s, m and l!! anyways, measure yourself, and your underbust measurement IS your bra band. as novita says, it’s as simple as that. i do not have big boobs, and wearing a E cup doesn’t change anything to that!

    • Thank you Joelle! And congratulations for finding better fitting bra size!

  • Deb

    By that calculator, I should be wearing a 40DDD or E. I’m not even sure what size I’m actually wearing (need new ones) but I’m sure its not that size.

    • I wore 32B for years before finding out that I’m 28E and I couldn’t believe it either. That is why it took so long for me to finally try them out 🙂

  • Such a pretty bra, as always!
    I am very interested in finding my correct size, because I have lost some weight over the last year, and none of my bras fit properly now, in the cup, the band is still fine.
    I like M-C’s idea of putting different cups into the Pin-up back, because I have that perfected, after lots of tweaking. I have a downward hike added.
    I also own the bra-makers manual, and indeed, it is very good. I must go and have a good read about how to draft a better cup for myself! I have the printed version.

  • Amy

    This is a pretty bra pattern. I like the lace inset. And how great that you’ve figured out your best bra size! I’ve been making a lot of different bra patterns lately and have realized that I’m sort of in between cup sizes. You would really like the Bra-makers Manual. I have both of the manuals and they are wonderful. The first one has a lot of different ideas for fitting adjustments.

  • Ann

    You are so good at sewing bras I can’t even believe it! Everything you post is gorgeous (correct size or not)!

  • M-C

    Very good looking! It’s scary isn’t it, to find that you need a cup size that’ll probably put you right out of most commercial possibilities? Especially when you go simultaneously down to a band size that makes you at least as much non-standard. Sigh. But clearly you have the solution right here :-).

    Only one small detail.. This looks to be a back with 2 hooks. The larger your cups, in general the wider your band should be, as this provides crucial leverage. I’m beginning to just plug all the cups I like into the Pin-Up back, as this one provides really the most comfort and support no matter what else is happening in the front. Downward hike, 3 hooks, straps centered enough not to slip down, the works, to me it’s perfect. And I can’t say enough good things about the book.. you may consider the electronic version which is considerably cheaper?

    • I agree that it is scary! I always thought of myself as having small breasts because of my bust measurement. Suddenly having an E cup is scary indeed!

      Thank you so much for all your suggestions M-C! They are all very helpful!
      I can see the logic between large cups and wider bands (only that now I don’t know what to do with all my 2 hooks >_<). I was always not sure where to place the straps, centered enough really makes sense! Why didn't I think about it before? Will definitely consider buying the book! This whole journey to find the perfect bra fit is too exciting 🙂

  • It is perfect!
    I like it very much.
    Regards 🙂