First off, I would like to thank everyone for their comments and ideas on my Bra Quest! Your suggestions and support are such a resource, and I am drawing on the whole internet community as I do this. I am beginning to feel like this is a bit of an epic quest, with lots of wizards and magicians encountered along the way.
After trying on some RTW bralettes earlier this week, I decided it might be time to actually find out my bra size (I probably should have done this before making up a few tester bras, too). And, surprise surprise, it's not what I thought it was going to be!
I used A Sophisticated Pair's Bra Size Calculator and then, because I'm a nerd and work a lot in data, I confirmed the results with Her Room's Bra Chart (video above) and Wizard of Bra's Cup Size Chart (see? there's a wizard on my quest already!). I found that you can take the measurements with or without a bra on and they pretty much come out the same for me. (As a note, Victoria Secret's online size chart seems to be wildly incorrect. It shows you only how to measure your store-bought band size- the 32 in 32A, for example - but not your true band measurement - size 32 fit someone with a 28" measurement - and then it tells you how to calculate cup size using your band size. Really?!)
Out of curiosity, I also wondered what Kwik Sew #3300, my Big 4 bra pattern pick, recommended for measuring your size. But all it says is to sew your store-bought size number, which is ridiculous! Imagine if the Clover pattern told you to just sew your store-bought pants size! Of course, bra sizing seems to be a little more standard than pants sizing, but it would have been nice to have some fitting guidance here given the fact that many women reportedly wear the wrong bra size.
Luckily, a little research on my part has paid off. I usually buy the 34A size at the store, but after taking my measurements I found that I'm actually a 32B! This is hardly surprising as it seems like most women have this revelation at some point, but I am quite happy I found out now!
For the fitting part that is still to come, EenNieuweJurk has also recommended this great bra fitting resource.
OK, off to re-cut my pattern and do some more bra sewing!