Pop In to My Bust-Friendly Pop Up Shop in Two Weeks!

As I’ve juggled blogging and busty shirt making, I always thought the business side of things that I’ve procrastinated on would fall easily into place once I spent a little less time on Hourglassy. I was so wrong. Even the smallest project is like beginning an advanced course that I have no background in and am expected to teach myself! My latest project is my most ambitious yet–I’m having a Campbell & Kate pop up shop in Manhattan for four days at the beginning of April.

big bust hourglassy pop up announcement

My model naturally fits a size 4M in Campbell & Kate, but a super boost bra plus enhancers helped her fill out this 4L shirt.

If a woman sends me her measurements, bra and pants size, I’m pretty good at fitting her into a shirt she loves wearing, but it’s been my dream to be able to meet with women in person. Now that’s going to happen at Of Mercer, a woman-owned boutique that specializes in desk-to-dinner clothing for professional women and likes to support other female entrepreneurs with their space. (If you visit their website, don’t be deceived–several of their dresses can fit women who wear up to a G cup, and they have a great single-button blazer that works well on busty women.)

I would love for you to stop by the pop up shop, even if you don’t plan on purchasing a shirt. Connecting with Hourglassy readers really keeps me going, and there’s more to do than try my shirts.

I can’t wait to see you there. And please invite your busty friends!

 

Fitting Behind the Scenes for a Full Bust Photo Shoot

Since May, I’ve been reenergized about my shirt company, Campbell & Kate. After months of back and forth among patternmaker, grader and seamstress, my shirts are ready for busty women again. Now my website needed the same new energy.

The prospect of updating the images seemed completely unaffordable until I asked a professional model at my church if she knew any photographers who were just starting out. Not only did she know someone who would work with me, she volunteered to help, too!

With her encouragement, I assembled an amazing team, and two weeks ago it all came together. Today I’m sharing some behind-the-scenes fitting stories that I think you’ll find interesting. If you like the Campbell & Kate Facebook page or follow the new Campbell & Kate Instagram account, I’ll be sharing more pictures there.

We updated the images on the C&K website last Friday. If you’ve visited the site since then, you probably thought, “There is no way the model on the home page wears a D cup,” and you would be completely right. Ideally, every model that I use would have my customers’ bust-to-waist ratio. In this case, however, there was no way I was going to decline a professional model’s offer to give me her Saturday afternoon with no strings attached.

Not only does Maria Golob not wear a D cup bra, but she also wears a 00 dress size! We put her in a 2S shirt and addressed the bust line with breast enhancers (more on that below) and the waist line with a binder clip.

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Looking for a Fit Model for Campbell & Kate’s 8L Sample

Here is the Craigslist ad that I just posted this morning. You’ll notice that I don’t mention a 32H anywhere. That’s because I had a helpful conversation with the representative of a respected British full-bust bra manufacturer at Curve last week. She explained that even she cannot request D+ models for her company because agencies assume she is looking for a plus-sized model. Instead, by requesting a “full C”, the agencies will usually send her models who wear at least a D cup in a small band.

cantaloupe grapefruitFor my ad to the general public, she suggested I ask for someone whose breasts are “larger than a grapefruit” or “as large as a cantaloupe”.  More people understand fruit sizes than they do band and letter combinations even though they often get the large-fruit-to-bra conversion completely wrong. Case in point: Victoria’s Secret has taught its fitters that “a grapefruit represents a woman who is a 34D“. Please send me the woman whose breasts are at least the size of a grapefruit even if she’s wearing a 34D! I can put her into the correct bra before I put her into my shirt sample.

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Side note: When I began looking for a model on February 8, I asked for someone who measures at least 40” around her bust, but yesterday I found that I’m 40″ around my bust (in the Essential Body Wear Abbie bra that I will be writing about soon), and the 8L sample has more boob room than I can fill. Now I want to know how high we can go before it’s too tight, and how low we can go before it’s too loose. I’m starting my search for “fit testers” to get an idea of how the sample works on a variety of women, but I hope that one of the fit testers can continue as a fit model for this size going forward.

Making It

I’m in the middle of writing a post about my interview with the exciting new Canadian full-bust designer Miriam Baker, but it won’t be finished by today, so if you visit her website and have a burning question, be sure to ask it in the comments so I can cover it in my post (of course I’ve already asked about price range and sizes!).

Meanwhile, I truly am learning to sew a classic white shirt. It’s taken me almost two years to reach this point, but last week I finally attached a collar and collar stand to the yoke of a practice shirt I’m making for Mr. Campbell.  The same consultant who is teaching me to sew has also finished correcting my 8M pattern, so I’ll be sewing some practice 8M’s, too. (Let me know if you’re interested in purchasing an as-is practice 8M for the cost of the materials and shipping.) Once the new pattern is graded, I may sew the 2M and 16M samples to test that everything measures to spec, but  ideally I’d like to find a real sample maker for those (and those samples may be for sale, too).

Facing my fear of sewing is turning out to be incredibly gratifying and rewarding, so I hope you’ll excuse my smug look in the picture below. It’s also extremely laborious. I’ve spent more time ripping out seams than sewing them.

practice shirt front

practice shirt back