Shelly's Secret Revealed


This past week has been pretty busy for me. At the beginning of the week I did a bunch of sewing for a client. On Wednesday, we took my Kansai Coverstitch machine to Edmonton for a checkup and it turned out to be a stay at the hospital.

I also got to enjoy a lovely meal at the Olive Garden with my two best guys, Bob, my husband and our son Jeff. And yes I also got to check out a couple of fabric stores while there.

I hope everyone had a great Canada Day Weekend. We were able to watch the fireworks from our deck. They were spectacular!


Now I want to let you in on Shelly’s Secret!

I love working with cut and sew foam, and I love the seamless look of a fabric covered preformed foam cup. The one drawback with working with cut and sew foam is that it is not strong enough to be covered like a preformed cup and has to has to have a seamed cover. To me a foam cup provides a smoother look due to less or no seams.

I also love the way the Shelly style of bra fits with the power bar and split cup. As a larger sized cup, I require at least a three piece cup to provide adequate support and volume. That said, the Shelly is a 4 seam cup.

So my quandary, how do I get the fit and support of a Shelly bra with fewer exterior seams on the cups.

This idea came to me when I was working on a cut & sew foam bra for a client who was at least 2 sizes smaller on the right side than the left. I ended up using 5 thicknesses of foam in the right lower cup and 3 on the right upper cup. I found that using the same seam line for the exterior foam and the interior foam did nothing to strengthen the seam and the cup bent at the diagonal seam. What I ended up doing was using the diagonal seam cup on the outer foam and a horizontal seamed cup on the inner foam. With the seams not lining up, there was way more strength and the cup did not fold at the seams. Here is a picture of the finished bra.

I decided to use a similar technique and sew a Shelly style foam cup and a 3 piece diagonal cup pattern for my fabric cover. Next time I am going to try a 2 piece cup pattern for the foam cover out of something that really drapes and is fairly stretchy.

I then used the Beverly Johnson method, which I teach, for the rollover edge on both the under arm and the neck line. I did find it a bit tricky on the strap tab due to the curve section. In the end it worked great! And left me with very nice edges to my cup. I finished the cups and then got to work on the band.

Next time I will go over how I completed the Gothic arch and skinny band prior to adding the foam cups.