Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sewing Bras

When I started sewing bras, I was motivated be two factors: desire to learn new sewing techniques, and save money on quality bras.

I started off with an easy and widely available Kwik Sew bra pattern  3594, available for purchase as a download from or as a paper pattern from KwikSew and from Pattern Rreview.

It is a great and easy pattern with instructions - but not for large sizes!
The skinny strap does not offer enough support.
Of course, my choice of fabrics did nothing to rectify this.
I used 2 layers of stretch satin (one way stretch from famous bra maker fabric closeouts) for the cup and powe rmesh for both cradle and wings.
Cradle: the front flat part of the bra, which supports the cups.
Wings: back panels, traditionally made from stretch fabric, to which the adjustable hooks and  straps attach.

Needless to say, this bra offers no support and is quite uncomfortable, even with underwires, the traps stretch and dig into my shoulders.
Besides, I tried dyeing the power-mesh with food coloring and ended up with tie-dyed wings, elastic and hardware.

(And don't let the pretty deep magenta color fool you)

Back to the drawing board:
I saw an ad for Bra Sewing Class on Craftsy!
After watching the preview, I realized that this (for me personally) would be the most optimal way to learn more about bra sewing.
Yes, I Googled and read reviews, notes, even  the instructor's biography and everyone agrred that Beverly Johnson is the main authority on bra sewing.

After taking the Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit course I was finally confident enough to "hack" my bra.
I used the same Kwik Sew pattern and was able to draft and sew a great fitting, lightweight, which fits perfectly.
Bottom cup has been divided into 2 for more support and  better shaping.
I did not purchase any additional patterns, kits or fancy sewing supplies.

I used opaque firm Simplex (Duoplex is more available), plush elastics in different width, salvaged hardware from old bras and the following notions (not a must but nice to have):

  • mini rotary cutter (I used 28mm)
  • craft clips (better than pins, especially with satin, which doesn't like holes)
  • marking pen
  • ruler
  • ball point or stretch needle, depensing on your fabric type

In my next post I'll review other bra sewing patterns I've tried:

MakeBra DL01 foam lined bra
Maya Foam lined bra by AFI

a review of different supplies, sources and notions.

Take a look at my Pinterest "Sewing Bras" Board

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