The Pixy Bra: Process Shots

We just launched a new production run of the Pixy Bra– a style that we have been out of stock on for quite some time (sorry all!) and are very happy to have back in!

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The Pixy Bra was the second primary bra style we released following our original triangle bra.  The Pixy is designed to fit larger cup sizes because it has full seam shaping through the cup.

A little bit of lingo to get you started- there are a few ways of shaping fabric to fit curves.  These are, in no particular order and no totality:

  • Knit fabrics– jersey, interlock, or some other type of knit. Textile people distinguish between wovens and knits. 
    • Woven fabrics are made in the most traditional way of weaving (over/under) that you can think of, and probably everyone has made some simple thing woven out of paper or yarn in their life.
    • Knits are made by looping yarns around each other, the same as one does with knitting needles. This style of creating fabric provides stretch without using spandex or other inherently stretchy materials.
  • Spandex or other stretch material- stretchy threads are woven or knit into textiles to provide additional stretch and recovery.  All of our jersey fabrics include spandex because without it the fabric would sag and bag after being worn a little while.
  • Darts- this is a method of shaping fabric that is not a seam.  Rather, a dart is a sort of triangular or diamond shape sewn into fabric that creates a convex or concave shape.
  • Seams- Seams are the joining of two separate pieces of fabric. Almost every piece of clothing you have has numerous seams, the common exceptions being socks and hosiery.

So, with that small bit of sewing lingo under the belt, the important thing to know is that seams are better for shaping more distinct curves, darts can be used for slighter curves.  This is as true for shirts and pants as it is for underwear.

The Pixy Bra also has:

  • A wider underbust band of covered elastic
  • Thicker adjustable straps (1/2″)
  • A center-front triangle, which aids in shaping and separation
  • Double layer fabric through the cups
  • 11 sizes, from 32AB to 38CD

 

Marker Making

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This has become a rare sight: almost all of our patterns have been digitized, and this one is a rare holdout.  Thus, when we make a production run of the Pixy Bra, I pull the paper pattern from the rack and individually trace the pattern pieces to make a marker.  The marker is then laid upon a stack of fabric and used as the cut guidelines. Markers get used up (they are literally cut to pieces), which is why digitization is such a timesaver.

However, this pattern set includes 14 pieces per size, across 11 sizes, or 154 pieces total. The simple quantity of pieces means that digitization will take a while (read: be expensive.)  Typically, with simpler patterns, such as tshirts or undies, one can just provide some grade rules and *presto* have computer graded patterns across the size range.  Grading means the process of converting a sample size or fit size to the complete size range. But complex patterns require more complex grade rules, or manual digitization of each size. My pattern making style has always been “intuitive” (not really a compliment if said about a pattern maker!) and the grade rules for bras sort of live in my hands, not in a spreadsheet.

Fit models are another bit of process that might be of interest to the outsider.  Typically, a brand starts with a fit standard (usually the brand’s size medium) which is then automagically graded to express the full range of sizes.  The fit standard gets tested out on a fit model (often, in the case of small brands, the designer themselves.)

But of course, even the concept of “medium” is up for interpretation: a 5 foot tall person and a 6 foot tall person might both wear a size medium, but it will fit them differently.  It’s best if a fit model is the average of a brand’s target customer group. For customers, it helps to understand what shape fit model a brand is using- of course, often this information is conveyed through editorial model (read, fashion/beauty) selection.

Typically, one can only grade fitted styles a few letter sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL) in one direction or another without losing fit integrity. If a brand wants to encompass a larger size range, such as plus sizes, it’s important to have fit models who represent a middle point of each range of sizes. Thus: we would like to add more sizes, but need another fit model.

Like many designers, I’m the first fit model. I’m 5’7, measurements 35-28-37. I’m broad shouldered, from climbing, and I try to keep that in mind in my designs, by not making them overly wide in the shoulder.  I wear a 36AB in our bras and a medium in bottoms or clothing.  I’m generally on the lean side, though not a full ectomorph. People who are shaped like me will fit our products best, for the reasons described above.

Models in Portland Maine

After getting through the background: we are looking for two types of models.  You must be in or around Portland, Maine, because this is work that takes place in person.

Fit Guide Photo Models:

We would like to add more fit guide photos, specifically featuring women who wear larger bra sizes (while still within our size range, see here.)

Fit Model:

I’d like to find someone whom I can work with on an ongoing basis as a fit model for plus sizes.

Please email brook@brookthere.com if you think you would be a good fit for either of these gigs!

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Find the pixy bra here. It looks great paired with the boyshort!

 

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