The bullet bra is a woman's undergarment made to support and enhance the look of the breasts designed during the Cold War Era. The pointy, cone-shaped covering was redesigned by Jean-Paul Gaultier for music icon Madona in her "Blond Ambition" tour circa 1990. Although style influenced today the bullet bra is considered vintage lingerie and difficult to find. As an alternative women combine cross stitch technology with contemporary fabrics to sew modern versions of the bra.
Crafting the Bullet Bra
An upper thread from the spool and a bottom thread from the bobbin are needed to start the sewing process. Place the chosen spool of thread on the spool pin on the top of the sewing machine. Pull the thread away from the spool, thread the eyelet on the machine,bobbin tension disk and over the bobbin winder. Cut the thread close to the bobbin. Pull additional spool thread through the bobbin hole and place bobbin on the winder. Push the bobbin winding button.
Leave the chosen spool of thread on the spool pin. Place a plastic spool holder in front of the spool to prevent slipping. Feed the thread through the eyelet, tension guide, and tension area of the machine. For manual feed raise the hand wheel to expose the arm. Thread the machine needle from front to back. Use the hand wheel to lower the thread up and down. Pull the two pieces of thread in an upward motion.
Choose from a variety of fabric to create the torpedo bra including nylon, silk, satin, or Chantilly lace. Place the tape measure around the rib cage to calculate the band size. Place the tape measure around the fullest part of the breast to determine the cup size. Tally and mark on pattern. Use a marker to note sewing instructions, notches, pieces and grain line. Lay pattern on opened fabric according to enclosed directions.
Pin pattern to fabric before cutting pieces. Use a rotary cutter or sharp scissor to ensure accuracy while dissecting the pattern. Begin construction of the cone bra sewing circle stitch technique on the cups to create support and pointedness. Stitch midriff and side pieces inside out, then turn right side out and top stitch. Fasten the cups to this piece in a cross stitch manner. Pin back elastic to fabric and use a stretchy whip stitch to attach midriff and side pieces. Sew desired hook closure to each side.
Customize the conical bra with lace or ribbon on the bra strap or embellish with bugle beads. Sew the straps directly on to the bra with a zig zag stitch. Adorn with lacy trim, ribbon, and applique for finishing touches. Gently press cups,strap, and band with an iron on warm temperature.
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Riva Waldman has been writing articles for the wellness industry since 2009. Her work has appeared in "A Woman's Worth" and in the newsletter for the Spirituelle Divas Organization. Waldman earned diplomas in cosmetology and coaching from the Seidel Institute and Seneca College.
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