Off the Rack ~ Kinga “Nati I” Bra Reviewed

US flash sale site Zulily.com often has sales on British and Polish big-bust brands, including Panache, Cleo, Freya, Fantasie, Kris Line, and Kinga.

I tried two Kris Line bras from the site a while back, and was not successful. But I wasn’t deterred, so I recently tried another Polish brand through the site, Kinga.

Kinga starts at band size 30/65, uses European cup scheme (so no double-letters), and goes up to K-cups depending on the model.

Zulily had two cage bras available, the Nati I and Nati II. Nati I has less coverage and stops at cup size H, which is about a UK FF (Polish D = UK D, E = DD, F = E, G = F, H = FF). These days, I mostly wear UK 28GG or 30G, which would be a Euro 30I. But Nati II was already sold out of that size, so I gambled and tried the Nati I in 30H (30FF), since I can still get away with 28G/30FF in some brands.

Sadly, the Nati I is too small in the cup for me. When you look at the manufacturer photo, the cage straps on my cleavage are located where the cup edge rests on the model. There’s also plenty of escaping tissue on the sides. It’s very clearly too small all over. Though, impressively, there’s no quad-boob! The band stretches from 23″ to 30″, so I’d say it’s a little small compared to most 30 bands, but not by much. It certainly works well for my 29″ underbust.

I think I would fit quite nicely into the Nati II in 30I, but there don’t seem to be any US retailers carrying the brand other than Zulily. So hopefully Zulily will restock sizes and have another Kinga sale at some point because I really want this bra in my life!

The Nati I bra

The Nati I bra

The Nati II bra

The Nati II bra

Aside from the fact that this bra is not my size, I have lots of positive things to note. First some details: The cups are a two-part construction, and are made of a light foam. The band has three columns of two rows of hook-and-eyes. The band also features side-stays and opaque black fabric wings and gore, with additional mesh lining in the space between the side stay and the underwire and at the gore. Finally, the cups offer pockets for teardrop-shaped push-up pads, which are included.

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The cups are fairly deep. They are deeper than British brands Freya and Panache, but not as deep as Polish brands Comexim and Ewa Michalak. On my extremely projected breasts, there’s just a tiny bit of cup crushing close to the wire. The cups also feature very narrow wires—perfect for me!

I love the stretchy yet strong opaque fabric of the band, and I adore the way the gore curves up instead of being a horizontal line. Sometimes that horizontal style irritates and/or itches my skin since I have a protruding tummy. I’ve got to keep an eye out for more bras with this feature. I also like the material the shoulder straps are made of. It’s firmer than average and not so stretchy.

However, my favorite feature is, of course, the cage straps over the cleavage. I’ve been wanting a properly sized cage bra for ages, but all the ones I’ve seen so far haven’t been quite right. I want the cage strap to be completely parallel to the cup edge while following the curve of my cleavage. I also want the strap to be thin and its attachment mechanism to be flat. The strap also needs to be ultra-light and stretchy so that it doesn’t dig in.

The Nati I (and presumably II as well) ticks all those boxes! If the Nati II never comes back to Zulily, maybe I should just remove the cage strap from Nati I and attach it to a black Freya Deco.

 

Doing You a Full Bust Favor: Evie Curve on Instagram (You’re Welcome!)

What’s on your wish list when you’re looking for big bust fashion inspiration? How about someone who:

  1. has Sofia Vergara’s measurements (but “half her stature”),
  2. has a background in fashion buying and merchandising, so she’s on top of the latest trends,
  3. actually wears the trends, and
  4. makes getting dressed look fun and do-able again?

That would be @Eviecurve in Australia.eviecurve bell sleeves

eviecurve fun dress

Naturally large-breasted, she’s posted photos of herself wearing Curvy Kate and Fantasie. Any guess as to what strapless she’s wearing in the pic below?

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More Sewing, Coming Soon!

Hello dear readers! I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. But I have some excellent news….

I unearthed my long-lost Mandarin shirt pattern pieces!!!

We stayed in over Memorial Day weekend and deep-cleaned our house, and that’s when I finally found them. Buried in a box. In my husband’s office. Why?? Who knows!

In case you’ve forgotten what the Mandarin looks like, here is the photo from the Jailyn website! I haven’t quite finished mine up yet. Stay tuned 🙂

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I am so thrilled to be back on track for finishing that top. If you want to join me – check out the Mandarin Shirt Sew-a-long post for all of the pattern and fabric details, as well as the first 3 tutorials (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3). I’ll have the 4th tutorial posted next week, all about the completed muslin and adjustments to make for the final pattern.

I also have some more sewing to show you soon…I want to tell you all about my favorite Indie Pattern Company, Patterns for Pirates! Judy Hale, the pattern designer, has a gorgeous hourglass figure and drafts her patterns to accommodate curves. I haven’t had to do a full-bust adjustment yet! Stay tuned for my reviews of their Slim-Fit Raglan and Sweet Tee tops. They are both fantastic beginner patterns, with gratifying fit results!

Judy is also releasing a new swimwear pattern this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited….just look at these sneak peeks for the Take The Plunge one-piece that Judy posted to the P4P Facebook group:

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Wrap front, nipped in waist, low rise bottoms, multiple strap options…It is literally everything I have been longing for in a one piece. And since Judy made the pattern, I’m confident it will have room for my breasts, too! Can’t wait to try it out and let you know how it goes 🙂

ETA: The swimsuit pattern has been released! They had SO MANY testers of all shapes and sizes, and I am in AWE of how fabulous it looks on all body types! You seriously need to scroll through the image gallery. Look at how well the swim bra supports some of the larger-busted testers (and that Wonder Woman suit!! All the heart eyes):

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It’s on sale through Monday, no coupon code needed. Buy it here (not an affiliate link, I just love it)! I got mine printed and taped yesterday and am soooooo excited.

Happy summer, and happy sewing! Do you have any exciting projects planned? What curve-friendly patterns do you love?

Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Retrospec’d “Norma Jean” Dress

This week I’m revisiting a brand I raved about a year ago, the Australian vintage reproduction label Retrospec’d.

Last time, I tried the Elizabeth dress, which featured a cross-over neckline that was surprisingly boob-friendly. I really liked the quality and fit, so I’ve been eager to try another style. I settled on the Norma Jean dress, but at the time wasn’t really interested in any of the available prints. They were all super feminine florals, and I’m just not much of a florals gal.

Eventually, they released a few graphic prints, as well as a black and white stripe with realistic yellow roses floating on it. And I do mean “floating”—there are shadows behind each flower to make it look like they’re resting above the fabric.

At 37”-29”-41”, I was unsure of sizing because my bust falls in sizes UK/Aus 12 and 14, but my waist falls in 10 (even though my waist is usually size 12), so I hesitated on ordering from Australia. Then one day, the dress disappeared from the Retrospec’d site! I knew it couldn’t have sold out completely, because I’d been keeping an eye on it for months and none of the sizes had yet sold out. Resigned to the idea of ordering my second favorite print, I waited until the $150 (or Australian $195) dress was within my budget.

But then I received an e-newsletter from Unique-Vintage.com, and there was the dress! I guess they sent all the remaining stock to UV. This was great for two reasons: 1) I could try size 10 knowing I could exchange it if necessary, with no international shipping; and 2) I could wait until UV had a coupon or sale, and get it for a better price. Two weeks later, they had a 20% off code for Memorial Day weekend, and I took the plunge!

(Note that UV translated the sizes to American, so to get the Australian 10, I ordered size 6 from UV.)

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