Merckwaerdigh wings and Harriet bra
Recently Amy from Cloth Habit has just released her newest pattern, the Harriet bra. You’re probably already familiar with her previous pattern, the Watson bra, that is very popular.
The Harriet bra is an underwired bra with balconette neckline and 3 piece cup seam. The sizes range is pretty great, from 28A-42H. I think this is the widest size range available in one bra pattern that I have ever encountered. Amy wrote more about Harriet bra in her introduction post here.
The Harriet bra has similar seamlines as one of Merckwaerdigh pattern, Wings. This PDF pattern is also listed as BHST2 in the printed version. I have made BHST2 several times and always like the result, so I was curious to see how the Harriet bra is compared to Merckwaerdigh Wings.
I use my usual size for Merckwaerdigh, 30E, that I got by using size 36B and shortening the band 6 cm. While for the Harriet bra, I followed the measuring instructions and got 28DD as a result. However, my finished bra was a bit too tight so I decided to make a new one in size 30D, bigger band size with the same cup volume as 28DD.
Frame comparison of Merckwaerdigh Wings and Harriet 30D
The frame comparison is very interesting! You can see how the Harriet bra has much narrower wire line compared to Merckwaerdigh. As I’ve always been happy with my result with Merckwaerdigh patterns, I got slightly worried that the Harriet bra might not be for me.
On my dummy, the cup seamlines on both bras are quite similar. I made the Merckwaerdigh Wings with stable fabric and stretch lace upper cup, while the Harriet bra is made with stable lace with only mechanical stretch. I would say that the stretch factor on both bras are quite similar. Both bras are unlined and use the same wire. The alteration for both is narrowing the center gore because I have small space between breasts. I changed the back of the Merckwaerdigh Wings to U-shaped back similar to the Harriet.
And here is how the fit on my body, surprisingly quite different! The straps on the Merckwaerdigh wings are quite far apart. The cup seamlines look almost horizontal. The neckline is flatter compared to Harriet bra. The breast shapes are more relaxed and natural.
The straps on the Harriet bra are closer together. As a result you can see the cup seamlines more clearly. The cup seamlines are more diagonal and the neckline has more of a V shape. The narrower wire line push the breast more to the center, creating a ‘perkier’ look.
The Merckwaerdigh Wings is great to wear with tops or dress that has wide neckline, but for everyday bra I prefer the Harriet. In fact, I’m very, very happy with the Harriet bra. Usually I have to do several alterations to bra pattern, shortening the band, creating the U-shaped back, moving the straps closer etc. This time I only did the center gore alteration and everything else fit perfectly! I will be making more of this bra!
I’ve been playing around with this neon stretch lace fabric that I got sometime ago. The fabric is very stretchy and transparent.
For the first set, the pattern is Merckwaerdigh BHB40. The pattern set has two underwired bra pattern and two bodysuit with low leg cut patterns. One of the bra is actually has three-piece cup although the drawings show that both bras have two-piece cup. This came as a nice surprise for me as I have planned to draft a three-piece cup bra.
The notions are from the Basic Kit that I got from Makebra. They has the best foam padding that I have ever encountered. I cut the cup pattern without seam allowance (except for the underwire allowance) for the foam padding and attach them together using zigzag stitch with width set on 5 and length set on 0.5 – as shown by Erin on this post. I think the result is indeed quite stronger than my usual method.
Usually I use zigzag stitch with width set on 3 or 4 and length set on 2. Afterwards, I would cover the seam with lining strips and topstitch them with three step zigzag stitch. Using this new satin stitch method, I don’t have to cover the seam with lining strips anymore.
With the black foam underneath, the neon yellow lace shows the most contrast. The thong has no lining and you can see that the appearance looks quite different than the bra.
As for the fit, I always have good fit with any Merkwaerdigh bra pattern and this one is not an exception.
The second set is made with Watson bra and bikini pattern by Cloth Habit. I made size 30C according the measurement chart. The bra and panties are lined with powernet in the same neon color, the lining pieces are basted to the main pieces and treated as single pieces.
With the neon mesh net as lining, the transparency is reduced but you can still see a hint of skin when the set is being worn. I find that this stretch lace is quite fragile, so lining them is a good decision.
Although it is a soft bra, I’m surprised that it is quite supportive and comfortable. In fact, this bra has become one of my favorite bra to wear recently. The cups are a bit too small though, so next time I might make my usual size, 30D.
Acually I’m not too sure if I like this fabric or not. The color is very bright and interesting, but I find the fabric a bit too fragile. I’m afraid I will create a hole everytime I put them on. But both bra patterns are very good and comfortable. I also really like the Watson bikini pattern.
Anyway, I have the same fabric in other color for another set of lingerie. The other one is neon pink. I don’t know why I keep buying these neon fabrics!
Foam cup bra pattern is Merckwaerdigh BHB40, size 30D.
Thong pattern is Kwik Sew 2075 (out of print), size S.
Soft bra pattern is Cloth Habit Watson bra, size 30C.
Undies pattern is Cloth Habit Watson bikini, size S.
Bra notions are Makebra the Basic Kit in black.