The finished Bra, as promised

I’m a bit late posting this but better late than never.

Here are the materials I used.  The elastic/straps etc on the left is, from top to bottom, wire channeling, 1/2″ band elastic, 3/8″ band elastic, and fold over elastic.  The fabric on the right, from top to bottom, power net and simplex.  This photo was taken after the bra was finished and I didn’t have any of the strap elastic left to photograph and the rings, sliders, hook and eye closure were already attached.  I’m sure most women know what these look like though as they are standard on just about every bra.

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I finished making up my bra, using a pattern made by copying a bra that already fit me, about 2 weeks ago.  I was a bit engrossed in what I was doing so I don’t have any progress photos of the bra going together and since I wasn’t using a commercial pattern there weren’t any directions for me to follow so I just did what felt right. 🙂

I first put the cup together.  I pressed the seam open and then top-stitched on either side to hold it flat.  If you are using a lace or other ‘scratchy’ material, you can stitch a bias strip of tricot over the seam when you do the top-stitch, or there is a pre-cut tricot tape that you can buy for this purpose.  I then attached the sling and the straps.

Next I stitched the band together.  I didn’t top-stitch the seam because I knew from my old bra that once the elastic was on, the band is almost non-existent so I figured it wouldn’t matter.

Then I stitched the cups to the band.  I stitched one edge of the wire channeling to the stitching line of this seam so that when it was folded over it would encase the seam.  I then top-stitched around the seam to catch the other side of the wire channeling making sure to just catch the edge of it so the wire would slip in easily.  I then attached the wider band elastic to the bottom of the band.  I flipped it to the inside and topstitched it.  I used a zigzag for this part, everything up to this point was done with a straight stitch.

Next I used fold over elastic to finish the top edge of the cups.  I did a satin stitch over the center front to make the wire channeling secure.  I put the wires into the wire channeling and then used the narrower band elastic to finish the upper band/underarm portion of the cup.  The band elastic and fold over elastic both extended up the strap to finish the edge.

I folded over about 1/2″ of the strap around the ring for the strap.  I stitched and backstitched several times to make sure it was secure.  Then I cut a piece of strap elastic and attached one end to the slider, then threaded the other end through the ring and the slider so the elastic can be adjusted.  Next I attached the strap elastic to the back of the band, attached the hook and eye closure and done!

I know pictures would really help to explain all that but I’m sure if you took a close look at at the construction of one of your bras, this should all make sense.  😀

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Some thoughts on this project.

I should have either doubled the fabric on the bottom half of the cup or lined it with some non-stretch tricot or interfacing.  I think it’s  a common misconception that bra fabric should be stretchy but in reality the less stretch, the more support.  While this bra fits me well, I find that the cups have a tad more ‘give’ than I would like so if I do this again, I will make sure to lessen the stretch for at least the bottom portion of the cup.

I have some adjustments to make to this patter.  In some areas I added seam allowance that wasn’t necessary due to the way the edge was finished (ie. the top edge of the cup and straps since they were finished with fold over elastic which does not need seam allowance.)  I may not have positioned my grainlines quite right so I’ll be revisiting that when I make this again (and yes, I will make this again!)

Give this a try.  If you are a fairly experienced sewer then this really isn’t a difficult project.  The fabrics are easy to work with and once I sat down to put it all together it only took me about an hour (that’s with both kids home and some ripping out/restitching).

I highly recommend going to www.bramakerssupply.com to buy your stuff.  There are several other places to purchase your materials including your local fabric store, but I’ve yet to come across a more complete shopping experience.  You can even buy a kit with enough fabric in it to potentially make 2 bras but not only that, they want you to be successful in your bra making adventure so the ladies that work in the shop are also there to guide you through the process.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Wow, I find it amazing you managed to actually make a bra! I really wish I could make one, as I have a very hard time finding one that fits properly.

  2. How can the band on a bra be altered when the slope from the cup to the band does not match the bra hooks after cutting away the amt from the band needed to make the band smaller? Do I just cut the bra slope to match the hooks? Sorry to be a SC (sewing challenged). Thanks, Gerrie

  3. Posted by Punkn on October 12, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Yes you would need to trim the band to match the hooks. Remove the elastic from the top of the bra band, about 2 or 3 inches depending on how much you need to trim, and trim off the excess. Be sure to take into account any seam allowance or the amount that will be turned under when the elastic is put back on, if thats the case. Some bras have a fold over elastic on the top edge of the band so there wouldn’t be anything turned under. Then re-attach the elastic and attach your hooks.
    I hope that helps, if not there is a link in my blogroll for bramakers supply in Hamilton. They know anything and everything to do with bras. 🙂

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