Pattern Review: Devonshire Bra by Orange Lingerie

by Jessica Johannesen

Your bra doesn’t fit you. Not really. That feeling you get at the end of the day when you take your bra off? Yeah. it feels so good because it doesn’t fit.

After a year of quarantine and wearing more comfy clothes than not I was definitely starting to think I preferred wireless bras. Then I decided to sew some more bras. I consider my boobs to be average. I am a 38B. They aren’t huge, they aren’t tiny. They aren’t in proportion to my hips, but they also don’t weight a ton. But sewing my own bras has taught me how much more comfortable custom fit clothing can be.

Seriously. I can now forget I’m wearing a bra. Which is insane.

I didn’t realize it at the time I bought the pattern, but the Devonshire bra is a vertical seamed bra very similar to the Watson bra.

Devonshire Bra Pattern Review

The Bra:

  • Pattern designer: Orange Lingerie
  • Bra Type: Soft cup – not designed for foam lining, with underwires.
  • Skill level: intermediate, intrepid skilled beginner
  • Size range: Available in either A to DD or DDD to J size ranges for 30 to 40 band sizes
  • Shape range: For a wide variety of shapes
  • Time frame: one day

Time Frame: My Thoughts

I have learned that sewing lingerie is requires more precision than sewing anything else. So I usually cut the bra one evening after dinner. And the rest of the sewing of the bra can be done in an afternoon. If I do break it into two sewing sessions I’ll construct the fabric parts of the bra and leave sewing on the channeling and elastic for the next day.

I fully recommend sewing elastic when you can focus. Because unsewing it is a bitch. I have sewed my bra straps on wrong several times. Backwards, twisted, one strap shiny side up and the other matte side up.

Value for money 

I love a good deal. It is honestly hard to spend $17 on one pattern. But it is also worth it. The pattern instructions are well written, with illustrations and I found them very easy to follow.

I feel like I got my money’s worth. This is another pattern, like the Watson, where the sizing fits me with a smaller 38B size, and my daughter who has a much larger DD chest. So I can sew for both of us with out buying extra sizes.

Clear Instructions 

I feel the directions were very clearly written, understandable for beginners and the stitch setting information was included in each step. If you go find Liz Sews on YouTube she has a few bra sew-alongs that I find really useful if I’m having trouble envisioning what the pattern is asking me to do. This is entirely a me issue. The pattern is great and clear. But sometimes I overthink things. And others I just want to watch someone do it first.

The part I was nervous about was choosing my size. There is a guide to measuring yourself and selecting a size but I couldn’t decide which to pick. In the end I saw Norma, the designer behind Orange Lingerie, say to start with your ready to wear size and go from there. So I made sure to have extra fabric on hand so I could cut and sew the first bra as a toile. A toile is thesame thing as making a muslin but it sounds prettier. And lingerie should be pretty right?

Accurate materials list 

The pattern lists everything you need. At no point during sewing did I feel like she should have added anything to the list.

Clear fabric recommendations 

Fabric options and stretch percentages listed.

Is the Pattern Hackable?

This was the hardest part to wrap my head around – you have to get comfortable with altering pattern pieces in order to get a good fit.

I have a large space between my breasts. I had to add 1/2 inch width to the bridge piece to have the underwires sit where they should be. I’ve also learned I have kind of teardrop shaped breasts – so I had to remove length on the lace edge that goes from the strap to the center because the cups gaped. But you can’t remove too much length from the bottom edge where the seam allowance is because the underwire is a set length. So I learned to create a hinge and remove length from the top edge without changing the bottom.

I actually can’t wait to make the next version. I want to see how much better I can get at making the perfect bra.

Overall Rating

5 stars. A++ would sew again.

With the confidence I’ve gained sewing this pattern I’m ready to take on a more complicated cup like the Marlborough also from Orange Lingerie, or the Black Beauty from Emerald Erin.

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