The Fresh Collective Kits and How to Order Them
Welcome to our new style of kits -- The Fresh Collective! These kits are designed to work well with the wide variety of shapes, styles and growth patterns for teens, tweens and twenty-somethings. This is a period when a woman's body is in flux, and there isn't a clear and obvious set of materials that will work for almost everyone.
We start out our kit with a base set of materials. This includes fabric for the cup, Bra Tulle, for the band, Stretch Mesh, elastic for the upper band, 3/8" picot, for the lower band, 1/2" picot, a strap, 1/2" strap elastic and a 2 Hook and Eye and usually some fun lace. Bra Tulle will allow for some growth, and if you double it with the direction of stretch going in opposite directions, you have something pretty supportive. Using these materials, you can make a lovely bralette. You can add Channeling and a pair of underwires and you can make a bra instead of a bralette.
This might not suit you or the gal you're sewing for. We offer the ability to upgrade your cup fabric to make it more supportive or to make it opaque. You'll want to use stretch fabrics for girls who are still growing, because usually girls at this stage don't need a lot of support, but they often prefer something opaque. The different scenarios are pretty endless, so we've put together this chart for you so you can figure out the best cup fabric for yourself or the gal you're sewing for:
|Stable and supportive||Microduoplex||Sheer Cup Lining|
|Semi-stable||Super Simplex||Tricot||Bra Tulle|
|Stretch||Microlycra/ Bamboo/ Modal||Microlycra Air||Stretch Mesh||Dotted Stretch Mesh|
You can also upgrade your band fabric. The band of a bra (and sometime bralette) is often stretchy in the back and stable in the front. You'll use some of your cup fabric for the front frame of your bra, but you want something stretchy in the back so that you can breathe. We start with Stretch Mesh, which is our lightest level of support. In general, the more support you need, the more oompf you'll want in your power mesh or net. Young gals without much breast volume can get by with Dotted Stretch Mesh, which is both cute and airy. On the other hand, someone with a very small frame and yet a large proportional cup will need the strongest support since there is the smallest amount of power net to stabilize the cup. Here's a chart that gives an overview of band fabrics:
|Stabilized Firm Power Net||Firm Power Net||Regular Power Net/ Tech Sheen||Stretch Mesh/ Microlycra/ Microlycra Air/ Bamboo||Dotted Stretch Mesh|
Please note, if there is a large amount of breast volume with a longer frame, you can usually size down to Firm Power Net. In our world, a cup size F or higher is a larger breast volume.
The hooks and eyes are a part of the band, so let's talk about those next. The wider the hooks and eyes, the better the support. If you work with a wide lower band, you might need a larger hook and eye, especially if you have a larger breast volume. Lots of young gals like the look of a longline, and for those you'll want hook and eye tape, although a small gal can often make a longline out of a 4 hook and eye. We start out with a 2 hook and eye, but you can specify other widths.
Foam is often part of the cup, so let's talk about that. I know my teen preferred to have foam since she had prominent nipples, and there are a couple of ways to do that. Spacer Foam is stretchy, super soft and great for under knits. It's only 1/16" thick, so you might need a couple of layers. It does not offer support, but can be used to give other knit fabrics more body. Cut and Sew Foam is 1/8" thick and is stable. It can do some of the support work in the bra, but probably isn't adequate on its own. We also carry some sizes of foam cups. Choose a size near to your wire size.
Elastics and Findings are a place where you can really personalize your bra or other garment. Lots of gals love super fun strap treatments. You can swap up your lower band for something else. You can add some frill to your upper band to sweeten things up. Here are pictures of all our elastics options, along with brief usage descriptions:
Foldover Elastics are often used on the upper band of bras and bralettes, and work great on undies. They are more simple than fancy, and can be very soft. Elastic Ribbon is like foldover, but it doesn't fold, and can be used decoratively. You can stiffen Foldover elastic with either Filpar elastic or stable fabric to add enough resistance to make a good strap.
Picot Elastics are used on the upper and lower edges of a bra or bralette. You can often substitute Picot elastic with Foldover and vice versa. Our Scallop Picot Band elastics are lovely, soft and offer great support. Our fancier picot elastics, Froth, Fancy Narrow Picot and Crochet Elastic, are more resistant to stretch than the regular Scallop Band elastic, so are best used where support is less of an issue. Lots of women like to put it on the center top edge of a bra or bralette.
Wide Band elastics are usually used on the bottom band of a bra or bralette, and they are usually used for design flair. They are not necessarily more supportive than regular lower band elastic, but they are a great way to add style! We have Ultra-Wide, Extra Wide, Extra Wide Plush and Wide Plush.
Last, but certainly not least, are the straps. You can have so much fun with straps! We have strap elastic in 4 sizes, 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4", plus we have fancy strap elastic (the scallop is probably the best for the Fresh gals). We're putting our Elastic Ribbon here, too. Elastic Ribbon is great for doing accents, including strap accents. Rings and Slides are dyed to match with the 1/2" and 3/4" and come in black, white and silver on the 3/8" and 5/8". We also have lots of other fun metals in rings and slides, so check them all out.