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Hi everyone, thanks for your concerned messages, and for the gentle (and some not-so-gentle!) prompts for the Elan 510 bra pattern giveway. I’m doing okay here but will probably be sparse on both sewing and blogging for a bit.

I finally went through the comments, and my goodness! I learned so much more than I ever wanted to about everyone’s unique mammary situations, and also that people are generally not so good at following essay instructions :) Granted, a small number of you did actually manage to explain why you deserve the bra pattern and why no one else deserves it within a slim 100 words, but really, uh, not so many.

So because Selfish makes the rules here, Selfish can change them at her will, and she’s awarding the pattern to one of the many who didn’t follow instructions. After reading so many sad sob stories about “girls” too big or too small for department store offerings, figures ravaged by nursing and pregnancies, natural lopsidedness which render symmetrical bras useless, foundation garments worn down to decaying threads, I have to admit that my heart-of-ice thawed just a tiny bit.  After all, the Selfish Seamstress knows too well the frustrations of the lingerie fitting room. And she had no idea that her blog was frequented by so many suffering women! But surely reader Amy had the most pathetic story of all, like a kitten with a missing leg wearing a big cone around its neck bumping into walls:

“I deserve it because I have the chest of a 12 year old boy. Victoria’s Secret laughs at me… the only bra they have that might fit is one that “enhances” me by 2 sizes, making me look like a schoolgirl that just overstuffed her bra with tissues. So, now I, a 37 yo woman, have resorted to wearing her 15 yo daughter’s outgrown training bras. What I wouldn’t give (or take!) to be able to make a lovely bra that made me feel like I could shop in the grown ups dept!”

I mean, Amy was not the only reader to admit to resorting to training bras as an adult, but HAND-ME-DOWN training bras?? From one’s teenage daughter?? Is there any mammary dignity left after you ask your offspring if you can have their castoff underwear??

Yes there is!  When you win a free bra pattern. Congratulations, Amy! I hope we can put an end to this oh-so-wrong situation. And I hope you never again have to leave a comment on anyone’s blog about how you wear your kid’s outgrown undergarments. Drop me an email at selfishseamstress[at]gmail[dot]com with your mailing address :)  The rest of you should wander on over to Sew Sassy and snag your own because it sounds like a lot of you have some real bra issues that you need to deal with.

In sadder news, my wonderful grandmother passed away last weekend at the age of 103, painlessly, and in her sleep at home. Growing up I did not have the opportunity to see her often, but she was a clever, spirited, and giving person whom I am fortunate to have known. Some of my fondest memories of her are of sitting on the living room floor with her at the age of 8 during one of her rare visits to the US, utterly enraptured as she taught me how to knit. It never occurred to me to ask her how someone who had spent almost her entire life in the sweltering tropics with no air conditioning and little time for leisure even knew how to knit. I guess it’s just a grandmother thing, and for that I’m grateful.

I’m going to take a short hiatus from sewing to revisit knitting. And in honor of my Ahma’s generous spirit, I will knit for someone else.

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Back in college when the Selfish Seamstress was a mere Selfish Regular Person, or perhaps more accurately an Avidly Unselfish Crocheter, she experienced a pair of rather traumatic back-to-back events. She was minding her own business at her academically rigorous liberal arts ivory tower in the Northeast when she received two extremely disturbing pieces of post in her campus mailbox: the J.Crew catalogue and the Victoria’s Secret catalogue. You see, younger readers, it was a simpler time when the interwebs was just a nascent technology, and online shopping was a rose just beginning to bud. We would receive these “catalogues” made of “paper” in the “mail” and then promptly run off to our dorm rooms to our Apple computers (think like an iPhone but with wires and much bigger and you couldn’t take it around with you) and order things on sale online before they ran out of our sizes. We thought we were pretty fancy, snapping things up before the old people who still relied on the paper order forms in the catalogues.

Wherein lay the trauma, you ask? Well, in this particular year, within the span of a few short months, J. Crew stopped selling size 5 shoes (the only place she could reliably find them at the time), and Victoria’s Secret discontinued the only bra she had ever found that actually fit, the racerback Second Skin Satin. Between daily dance classes, a teenage metabolism, and (gasp!) cheerleading practice, she had quite the pixie-ish figure at the time, so a fitting bra was no common occurrence. Needless to say, it was shaping up to be a tragedy, and the Avidly Unselfish Crocheter feared entering her senior year barefoot and unsupported. She managed to find the occasional size 5 at Nine West and padded her toes with tissues when necessary. She prudently bought up about a dozen of the treasured VS bras on clearance and rationed them out little by little over the next ten years or so.

Fast forward to now. The addition of pounds and years has done nothing to enhance her bustline, but the flourishing of interweb shopping has made the finding of tiny shoes much easier. As for bras, the 21st century has been accompanied by the ever increasing ubiquity of H&M, which, for all of its faults, recognizes the need for a true A-cup, and is even so understanding as to provide it in colors other than white and beige.

And still, much like the 20-year old who survived these traumas, the Selfish Seamstress has the attention span of a fly. Her obsession over shoemaking is simmering on the back burner while she fixates on the idea of making her own bras (by most accounts an achievable feat with some patience). And oh how the interwebs makes it easy for her to plunge right in, despite a bunch of other projects that are still waiting for hems and zippers!

I just clicked the “Submit Order” button on the Elan B540 bra pattern (pictured above) as well as a Sew Sassy kit (actually for a different bra, but it looks like it contains materials that could be used for the B540). Yes, the kit only comes in white, but I figured it would be a good idea to get a starter pack to try it out before investing in prettier choices that will likely have to be purchased in larger quantities. Like these:

And who knows?  If all goes well, I may have to indulge in some of these magnificent (and surprisingly reasonably priced) lingerie kits from Kantje Boord. Unless I get distracted by something else first, that is.

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

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