Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bras are just one more tool used to oppress women

Despite the title of this post might imply, I'm really not a bra-burning feminist.  So hear me out.

Today, I had the misfortune to learn that the only strapless bras I ever wear have been discontinued.  And since I only buy strapless bras, this means that the only bras I ever wear have been discontinued.  I discovered this fact yesterday upon my last me-colored (I'm reluctant to say "flesh-colored" because plenty of people aren't pasty white) bra biting the dust.  I am well and truly stuck.

Yes, I have tried to find other brands that work for me.  In fact, I tried as recently as four months ago.  Other bras either don't fit or dig in to my skin so hard they give me welts.  I honestly do not know how this is possible.  As you can see from my photos, I am really not very busty.  As long as the bra can hold itself up, we're good. 

Bras are not a thing I can make on my own.  I know that there are plenty of people who do make their own bras, but I only wear strapless bras, and I can't exactly mold my own foam cups and cover them with fabric smoothly enough for the sorts of tight knit tops I tend to wear. 

Thus, I am completely and utterly at the mercy of clothing manufacturers.  And guess what?  They can discontinue the only bra I can wear at the drop of the hat.  My size, and the two other sizes I can reasonably wear, are already sold out.  I don't know what to do.*  I'm stuck.

And I really am stuck.  Not only have I been through the entire inventory at the mall, I also hit up the best we-stock-lots-of-bras-and-fit-you-professionally store in town.  There is really nothing else left to try.*

Going bra-less is not acceptable in today's society.  Quite the contrary.  And it's not enough to find a bra; you have to find the optimal bra.  As Gorgeous Fabrics says, "the right bra makes all the difference."   I can't argue with that sentiment-- if you're going to wear clothes, they better darn well fit you right.  It just makes trying, and failing, to find a decent bra that much more agonizing.

When someone who wears a the most mundane and uncomplicated bra size ever can't find a bra, you know the system is screwed up.  And I haven't even gotten around to the time and opportunity cost, and the real dollar-value cost, of bras-- things that men just don't have to go through.  I can waste hours or days searching for bras.  They're around $50 a pop, and you're supposed to replace them, what, every six months?  I could buy some really nice camera gear for that sort of money.

I am so sick of this.

Something needs to change.

*Once I had typed this post up, I realized that I do know the answer-- a lingere-buying trip to Japan or Vietnam.  In general, they do much better with smaller sizes than the US.  If you need larger sizes, on the other hand, the Netherlands is the place to go.  But the point is the same-- I should NOT have to make an international trip every time I need to buy lingerie.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Vogue 2787: 1948 Evening Dress

Here's another project from a while back that I'm only just getting around to blogging about-- an evening-length Vogue 2787.
After making my wedding dress, I had about a yard and a half of cobalt blue 4-ply silk crepe left over.  I wanted to make another evening dress out of it, and decided to use Vogue 2787, a reissued 1948 day dress. 

I'd made this dress once before, back in the days when I really didn't know what I was doing.  I made it out of cheap cobalt blue cotton voile, which, in addition to being obviously poor quality, was unfortunately see-through.  Clearly, a replacement was in order.  Another point in favor of this pattern was that it really doesn't require much fabric.  But, even so, I had to order an additional yard of 4-ply silk crepe.  Still, that wasn't a big deal.

The dress as presented in the pattern is mid-calf length.  I decided to make it floor-length.  Calf-length dresses generally look dumb on me, and the remaining options were knee-length and floor-length.  I felt that a knee-length hem would unbalance the lines of the dress, so floor-length it was.  Now that I've actually made the dress, I think it looks stunningly awesome.  Plus, it works well as another warm evening dress for the bitterly cold weather we've been having up in Boston.
Construction generally went smoothly.  The lapped seam at the center front required time and care, but otherwise, I didn't find the pattern to be particularly challenging.
I used some vintage buttons for the back neck closure.  I loved these buttons from the moment I laid eyes on them and I'm excited that I finally got to use them!
Anyway, it's a spectacular dress, it fits me like a glove, and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a relatively quick and easy project.
I carried out this photo shoot at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just outside of Las Vegas.  It was certainly nice to see the park, but I think in general I prefer the Valley of Fire, which was larger, emptier, and had more spectacular scenery.
Happy sewing!