Quantum Bralettes

Mini bra (and pattern)

Quantum: noun, the smallest possible amount which retains the properties of the substance in question.

Tyo has reached that age.

Despite the fact that she still has very little worth mentioning to put in them (thankfully!), she’s decided she wants to wear bras. She has one fully-formed, underwired, lightly padded AA monstrosity, and a few more sports-bra-like things, only one of which is satisfactory.

So several times over the last few months, she’s let me know that more, of the mommy-made variety, would be extremely welcome.

Back view

And, considering that they use teeny little scraps, I could hardly refuse. Although I should finalize the measurements for the straps so that I don’t have to call her down to fit them every time.

The pattern is a single piece with a seam at centre back, although I can cut the back portion separately if the pieces are extra small (as they were for this pair.) I made it up, loosely based (mostly for size) on a RTW one that she likes. The edges are finished with fold-over elastic, zig-zagged down in this case although other stretchy stitches also work well. The elastic is a little more stiff than I might like, but she seems to find them comfy.

And now Syo (who I’ll remind you is eight) wants some.




Filed under Sewing

56 responses to “Quantum Bralettes

  1. yoshimi

    Wow they’re cute! I understand why Sho would love to have her ones too. You’re super!

  2. Hahaha, oh this made me laugh! I remember being ten and begging my Mum to let me start shaving my legs…. funny how we want to grow up SO fast, and when we get there, we spend millions trying to come across as younger! Think of all the dressing room battles you’ll avoid! šŸ™‚

  3. You are hilarious. I hated having to start wearing bras, but that one is cute. I’d have died of embarrassment had my mom showed anyone pictures of my bras, though! lol

    • LOL. I put off wearing them as long as I could—only sports bras for gym until gr 12. I don’t get it at all.

      As for embarrassment, she was all set to model them. Which gave us the perfect opportunity to discuss what’s appropriate to put on the Internet… Sigh. ’tis an amazing age we live in…

  4. You’re too funny. This is adorable, and you’re using Steph’s fabric! Love it, and I hope Tyo loves it too, because while it’s cute and a nice bra, it’s not PINK like all of mine were when I was wearing RTW starter bras. šŸ˜›

  5. My little girl is eight and I’m afraid she’s going to be in this category in a year or two. I’m hoping two, or more. Are they starting younger?

    • Well, that is the general trend… Tyo might be a tad further along than I was at her age, but I was a bit of a late bloomer. I think she’s one of the last in her class, actually…

  6. If my bras were that cute, I might enjoy wearing them a bit more myself! I am in the teeny tiny department but prefer a bit more padding so I don’t actually look like a teenage boy. Except when I’m bumming around at home or the gym, then it’s sports bras or nothing.

    I love that fabric. I can see why Syo would want one, although in her defense my childhood photos prove that I started budding at age 9 and really could have used “a little something” under t-shirts and tank tops. That age will be there before you know it.

    • Yeah, it took me until my twenties to figure out the desirability of padding… I guess I should be happy I landed in the “small enough to go without but large enough not to feel completely flat when going without” category. šŸ˜‰

  7. oh! I saw those and-


    it’s so frickin’ cute! And pretty and sweet and she’s a lucky girl. I love it!

    Now I want one…. šŸ˜‰

  8. Very Cute…and if you can keep making them from scraps of fabrics, most economical.

  9. Oh I remember desperately wanting to wear a bra around tyo’s age. Now I wish I could get away without one. Funny how things change!

  10. LinB

    My own tyo needed heavy support and underwires. Count your blessings.

  11. oh no. just imagine the day they’ll view bras as the torture devices they are, and laugh.

    when i went to get my first bra, my mom held the teeny thing up in the department store, and said (quit loudly) “why bother?”

    • This was always my viewpoint. I refused to try on anything that said “A” in the cup size.

      Still do, if only because I don’t get along well with A underwires. šŸ˜›

  12. Maya

    I hated, hated, hated the idea of having to wear a bra- Mom took me for training bras after a girl in my 5th grade class asked me if I wore a bra, and I was terribly embarrassed by the question, and started crying instead of answering her. And then there were the innumerable rounds of “you need new bras” “but I don’t Want to” misery… I’m happy for you that you’re being spared that parenting woe.

    • Oh, no! Puberty is enough of a pain without being embarrassed about it. /sigh. I know it was pretty rough for the girl in my elementary class who sprouted two or three years before the rest of us… I don’t think people were trying to be mean, but it sure must have felt like it from her point of view. šŸ˜¦

  13. Oona! My Mother made me try one on over my sweater in the aisle at Sears- it’s no wonder I’m as warped as a tree frog!

  14. JillyP

    My own tyo *needs* to be wearing a little something and wants no part of it. There are other girls in her 5th grade class that are at least B cups! They seem so young to need bras.

    • They are, aren’t they? I think Tyo was one of the last in her class to “adopt”, too. Maybe you could pass something like this (or a tank top with a built-in shelf bra) as undershirts for the winter? I’m not a big fan of forced bra-wearing, but there is a point where it’s just more comfortable, especially for things like gym.

  15. I thought it was horribly unfair when my big sister got bralettes at 10 and I was made to wait. That said, she thought it was horribly unfair that I got them at 9.5. Siblings! LOL

    • That is such a hard line! It continually boggles my mind that Syo (who’s three years younger) thinks she should have all the same rules (allowance, bedtime, computer access) as her older sister. But then, I was the oldest ;).

  16. OMG, I die. Sometimes I am so glad I have a boy and not a girl. I would just not know how to deal with this stuff at all.

    And Clio, I was always jealous of my younger sister getting things earlier than I did. That is soooo unfair!!!

    • No, you get the wet dreams and to deal with! šŸ˜‰ (snerk) I’m pretty glad I have girls… but I’m sure if the reverse were true I’d be counting my blessings as well. šŸ˜‰

  17. So adorable! I have bought these for M at the Gap, but not as cute as yours. Now, my little kiddie, almost 12, has moved onto XS bras from Gap (like a 32A). I’m trying not to freak out about adolescence. Note: They all wear bras of some variety – it’s a grade 6 “thing”. I have taken a vow to ensure my child always has the option to wear lovely bras in the perfect size for her. But I know what it is to be well-endowed and I hope for her that she can be entirely middle-of-the-road on the breast size front. (Like I have any say in it :-)) Don’t get me wrong, I’m very comfortable with my shape. It just took me a long time to figure it all out. No pun intended.

    • Hehe. My mom is quite well-endowed, and I spent most of my adolescence waiting to get “real” breasts. (I think that might have been why I put off getting real bras so long.) Finally around the time I started having kids, I realized it was probably never going to happen. Which has its benefits, too.

      Finding Tyo real bras is going to suck—she’s got the itty-bittiest ribcage ever. Do they make a band-size 26?

      • Very hard to find – def it’s an import thing. Not cheap. Might be better for you to learn to sew her bras – or to alter RTW ones. Depending on the size of her chest as she grows in the rib cage it may not be much of an issue. M had a 26 rib cage till pretty recently – seriously, now it’s a 30. But because there wasn’t much there, the bralets worked perfectly. The challenge is when grown women have 26 back sizes. Finding bras to meet that tiny circumference BUT which also use under wires that aren’t too wide for a frame (having that narrowness of back) is quite a trial, so I’ve heard. Esp. if the breasts are not small on the frame – but which nonetheless sit narrowly on the chest. I’ve gone on quite a tangent here.

        Needless to say, that won’t be anyone’s issue for a while, if ever. For right now, you’ll need to stick with the undershirt style. It’s likely as the breasts require more of a “real” bra, her rib cage will also have developed. In just the last 3-6 months, the thing that’s changed most about M isn’t her slender proportion, but her overall size. She’s now only an inch shorter than me. She can wear many of the same clothes. Her pants size is 2 sizes smaller than mine, adult length. She has strong bones and muscles and substance like an adult. It’s totally bizarre. Sometimes I miss the little twig she was, though her new self is lovely too.

        • It will be a while before it’s a big issue. She has one “real” bra, I think a 32AA though I’d have to check, and the band is hugely loose on her. Her ribcage is about 26″ right now, you’re right it will probably grow at least a couple more over the next year or two. (Although mine is only 29″ and she is much more petite on her top half than I am)

          It’s such a fascinating, poingant transition to watch from the outside, isn’t it?

          • Hey – if your underbust is 29, you should def be wearing a 30′ back size. I’m going to write a post on this soon, but the way they design bands now (with spandex) you really should be buying a band that’s about the same as your actual underbust (not the old style “plus 4 or 5 inches”). Email me if you want to talk more about some good options.

            • Hmm, so if I understand the cup-size/band size conversions, does that mean I’d be a 30D?!?

            • Amy

              Just a thought to add, because I’ve been in bra obsession mode lately and trying on a lot of bras. I’m also a 29 underbust and there is no way I’d fit into a 30 without cutting off blood supply! 32 is usually just right. 34 is okay if I hit the 2nd or 3rd hook. It depends on the manufacturer but seems to be fairly consistent. Strangely, one of my bra patterns has you measure the upper bust and use that exact number (or round up to the even number) for your band size. (So by that measurement I’d be a 31/32.) Anyway, I measured some of my 32″ bands (both bought and made) while they were flat and before stretching they start out around 26 inches and stretch up to around 31. Sorry to hijack but I’m definitely curious about this stuff!

            • Well, in the past I’ve worn 34s and always felt them to be ok, but I can definitely fit way more than my fist inside the band, which is the tightness I’ve heard suggested. A snug, firm band may be less important for us modestly-endowed ladies…

              My high bust is the same as my full bust, 33″. I hate the size-calculator that uses that measurement—it tells me I’m an AA.

  18. Sewista Fashionista

    The bralette is adorable! I wish someone had made me some back in the day. Think of all the whimsical fabric you can use that kind of syncs with her still fey time of life.

  19. Oh, I remember when all the other girls started wearing bras, and while I definitely did not need to, I felt weird that I wasn’t… your girls are so lucky to have lovely custom underthings made just for them!

  20. You know, now that I’m done with breastfeeding, I’m back to my adolescent almost-A cups and I could use a few of these….I have lots of knit scraps around, so I just need to get some soft fold-over elastic. Thanks for the idea.
    I remember my mother wanting to make a big deal about buying my first one, and me not wanting any part of it. They were (and still are) just torture devices to me, and I never saw the point, until bfeeding finally gave me honest-to-goodness ones at age 35. Maybe that’s why I kept feeding them until they were two šŸ˜‰

    • Haha! Yeah, I definitely enjoyed the breastfeeding boobs (I made it last as long as I could, too… well, actually the kids did, but I was amenable.) Sadly it was not a permanent increase…

  21. Those are adorable, but also scary, in a how-fast-they-grow kind of way! They look much nicer than what was available in department stores when I first had to go shopping for them with my mom. My mom was very no-nonsense and went around saying loudly “No, you need a smaller one” and “No one will know it’s pink unless you let them” (I was very anti-pink).

  22. I remember being about that age and all of my friends having training bras. But when I told my parents that I wanted a training bra my dad asked me “training for what?”. I still laugh about that though I was pretty embarrassed at the time. That was pretty much the end of that discussion until later when I needed them for real. Your version turned out really cute though, love that fabric.

    • Hee! That was my position, too. When I was small (maybe five or six) I remember an older girl complaining about how uncomfortable training bras were. I think that put me off the whole idea…

  23. So cute! Love the fabric, and explaining what is appropriate for the internet. Killed me. šŸ˜Ž

  24. Beangirl

    These are totally cute! And very nicely age-appropriate as well. Nice work!

    The really bad thing in our little household is that I’m guessing TLo (being a year younger than The Big One) is probably going to require said items waaaaaaay sooner than The Big One. The Big One probably won’t need said items… er… ever. Or at least until she’s 28.

    So, y’know… I don’t anticipate any jealousy trauma or anything. Right?

    It’s going to be ugly.

  25. these are awesome! you should write up the pattern and perhaps offer it for a few bucks?? It doesn’t look like Rhiannon needs a bra anytime soon (11 yrs old), and she’s not mentally “there” yet either. BUT…… soon. I’d rather make her some than buy the crappy ones out there.

    • Heh… I’d be happy to draw up a digital version of the pattern if anyone’s interested. It’s hardly worth charging for, though ;). I keep forgetting Rhiannon and Tyo are the same age… Enjoy the respite while it lasts! šŸ™‚

  26. Tami

    My very modest seventeen year old daughter has started sewing her own bras rather than endure shopping for them. They turn out beautiful. Sew Sassy Fabrics is a great source for patterns and everything needed.http://www.sewsassy.com/index.shtml

  27. Amy

    These are too cute. I always think girls are growing up so fast now but then again my mom let me play with makeup when I was 13. didn’t wear a bra till I was 16 so this blows my mind, but then again I was a late bloomer, too. You’re going to be a great teenager mom!

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