This guest post by Lake Lili and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.
This contest will end on February 16 2013 – prizes include:
- First Place winner will receive Two cases of MRE’s courtesy of Camping Survival, A Wonder Junior Deluxe hand-mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads, $150 gift certificate for Fiocchi Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo, A Big Berkey Water Filter System courtesy of TruPrep Emergency Preparedness and a one year subscription to Personal VPN service courtesy of unspyable.
- Second Place: A $200 gift certificate for any order from their store courtesy ofShepherd Survival and A Doom and Bloom Mini Trauma Bag courtesy of LPC Survival.
- Third Place: A Bar-ricade door bar courtesy of My Locksmith, Inc.
Okay Guys… time for a break. This article is really directed at the women in your lives and some prepping items that don’t get discussed too often. No I am not talking about hygiene items – I am hoping by this point that those items have been taken care of and that even you single guys have some stocked away just in case (note: pads are good for dealing with wounds too). Nor am I talking about the extra essential stash of chocolate that if it doesn’t save your own life might make that guy of yours crack a smile in the aftermath.
No I am talking about your bras. Don’t burn them, they are way too handy. But in order to be handy then need to fit correctly. I’ll bet when you went out buying your fabric for your preps, bra fabrics didn’t even come to mind. Nor perhaps did finding a pattern. But before you do it, please go and get properly fitted.
Now fittings used to be done in every department store by elderly ladies who usually also did the alterations… but that bit of service has gone the way of the dodo bird, so you usually have to look for a specialty lingerie store. You usually have to make an appointment. Look for one who charges for the appointment so you don’t end up having to buy a $100 French lace bra. If the embarrassment is too much then here is how to get your proper sizing.
This is still going to be easiest done if you have a friend (or husband) to help. You will need paper, a pencil and a cloth measuring tape (or a good long piece of string and a regular measuring tape). Put on the bra that make you feel your best – obviously make sure your breasts aren’t hanging down to your waist or hiked up to your chin. Neither position will be comfortable when you are chopping wood or feeding chickens. Now:
Measure under the bust. You have to keep the measuring tape snug to the body – not too tight and not loose. This strap is the main support and if it doesn’t fit snuggly, all the weight will end up on your shoulder and your back will ache at the end of the day. Put a line on the paper and write this number under the line.
Now measure the upper bust. This is the spot where the breast comes out from the ribs. This number gets written above the line.
Now measure the full bust. Again the measuring tape goes all the way around the body at the fullest part of the breast. This is the around number.
Now comes the math part… Okay I never said there would be math but this is how you get those fancy numbers they use on bras in the stores.
The band number is obtained by adding 4” to the underbust number. So if your underbust number was 32”. Your band number is 36”. However if you measure an odd number like 32 ½“ then after you have added 4” and got 36 ½“ then you round up to the nearest whole, even number – so your measurement is 38”. Those 4” are designed to give you room to breathe and are where you put the hooks and eyes.
Now to get the cup size, subtract the upper bust number from the full bust number. Each inch of difference represents a cup size. 1” = A cup, 2” = B cup, 3” = C cup and so on through the alphabet. If the difference is less than an inch, it cup size is a AA.
So the number you see in the store are the band size and then the cup letter.
Now you know what size you really are. This is important to remember because given the increased amount of physical work most of us will be doing after the SHTF, that number will change as our weight does. Knowing how to make new bras will make you very popular in the neighbourhood and give you trade items in the future.
Take the time now to research bra and pantie making. There are some great sites out there like Make Bra (www.makebra.com) and the ClothHabit, which just ran a bra-sew-along (http://clothhabit.com/bramaking-sew-along/) and has a pattern for panties (http://clothhabit.com/free-pattern-rosy-ladyshorts/). A company called Sew Sassy Fabrics in Huntsville, AL (http://www.sewsassy.com/index.shtml) sells all the fabrics and notions needed, including patterns. In Canada, there is the Bra Makers Supply in Hamilton, Ontario (www.bramakerssupply.com ) which also has classes.
Also remember that you can have fun with these. There is no reason why what you wear under the camo has to be dull. Give it a bit of spice.
The point of all of this is that without good and comfortable undergarments, the amount you can accomplish in a day goes down. When the SHTF and you are guarding your family and working in the gardens and butchering a hog, you do not want to be worried about sliding bra straps and panties the hike up. And even more to the point, if you know how to replace what gets worn out and can do it for both yourself and others around you, you will be miles ahead.
Okay guys you can come back in… it’s safe now…