Q. I downloaded your vintage bra pattern (#610) and I have looked through your links and read the instructions and FAQs. The drafting all seems doable but I am a bit confused about the sizing. I understand using the full bust measurement, but then where does the cup size come in? I am imagining creating this giant thing that fits my bust line but isn't well fitted in any other way, as if I was a B cup. I got the pattern because I am a difficult bra size and was hoping I could get the right fit with this.
A. From the 1920's through 1940's, cup sizes were not typically used, and they definitely never made an appearance in sewing patterns. This is mostly because for patterns like these, there were no under-wires, and few patterns featured pattern pieces hugging the ribs beneath the breast.
The close fit under the bust was usually accomplished with a dart somewhere, as with this pattern, that forms the bra around the breast. With any of our bra patterns, as long as you have a quality closure at the back, and strong straps, the bra should be quite supportive.
For bra sizing issues, we highly recommend this tutorial by Threads Magazine.