Monday, April 25, 2022

Madalynne x Simplicity 9478 Bra Pattern

I take no joy in writing bad pattern reviews, but I DO take joy in helping other sewists avoid problems. I can't tell you how many times someone has sent me a message to say thank you, that they thought there was something wrong with THEM because nobody online told the truth about a pattern. Not today, not on my watch!

Madalynne x Simplicity 9478 review

In case you don't know, Madalynne is a lingerie designer who sells patterns, kits, and RTW items. I've previously made the halter bra Simplicity 8228, the Noelle bralette (no blog post but I've made this one twice), and the Fenix bodysuit. A few years back she partnered with Simplicity for her patterns. I don't know who writes the directions but I do know that Madalynne uses her own grader, not Simplicity's, so you do need to take measurements and follow her chart. I've never had a problem with her sizing as long as I followed the chart.

Before diving too deeply into this review, please note that I deviated from the pattern. The pattern shows a lace appliqué in a V shape, NOT all over lace like my sample. But I bought a kit based on an Instagram photo showing all over lace, not realizing that what I was seeing was not the pattern. It was a photo of one of her RTW pieces. My bra shows my best attempt at recreating the photo I saw, but my criticisms are limited only to issues I would have had following the pattern exactly.

I quite like my previous bralettes and the halter bra. I like Madalynne's designs and her aesthetic. I like the variety of models she uses and her connection to her local community. BUT.

The directions are just not good enough. There is a consistent method that she uses for construction that isn't the highest quality. She recommends spray basting lace to mesh and treating them like one, rather than treating them individually and using one as an outer and one as a lining. I will never understand that, and I have never done that. I always change my construction to allow the seam allowances to be contained and not touching my skin. It's a bra. It's kind of important that it's comfortable. Why not just add a lining?

Simplicity 9478 has a seam allowance of 1/4". If your materials are stretch mesh and lace, that's a totally bonkers choice. I think 1/4" is always a bad seam allowance, but here it's particularly awful. I have a lot of experience sewing (and failing at sewing lolol) these materials, but if you don't, this tiny seam allowance is going to frustrate you. It got even worse when it was time to insert channeling for the boning. It was meant to be sewn into the seam allowance...the 1/4" seam allowance. Channeling must be sewn on the very edge so that you can insert boning inside it, and trying to sew the edge of the channeling to such a tiny SA was a nightmare.

At one point, the picot elastic is sewn around a corner. The directions say some nonsense about "folding out" the fullness around the corner. What?

Lastly, to get to the size chart for the underwear, I had to go to the listing for one of the kits, and then click on a link to the size chart. Here is a link to it. Frankly, I have second hand embarrassment for Simplicity that they printed a pattern without a size chart. I understand that the underwear is kind of a throw-away, you're buying the pattern for the bra, but seriously? Do better Simplicity. I'm still holding out hope that I'm wrong and the chart is somewhere I'm not please tell me if so.

So once again, I'm left with a garment that I do rather like (except for the white channeling...hate it) but mostly because of my own skill set and ability to adapt the pattern to be better than written. I definitely do NOT recommend the pattern to anyone without bra-making experience. I'd say you need to be solidly an intermediate, perhaps even advanced level sewist to make this work. 

I made mine using leftover stuff from other projects, NOT the kit I ordered. Now that it's done, I'm not in a big hurry to make another with the kit stuff. I did have a need for a bra like this, specifically to wear with the plunging neckline of Vogue 9253, and it works for that. But I don't think I need another. I'm sure I'll use the kit for something else, so it's fine.

There you have it, my honest review of Simplicity 9478. Please let me know if you have questions, I'm happy to help!

1 comment:

  1. Great review, I have this pattern but will leave it alone until I have some more experience.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this review to warn others.


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