My favorite company that sells materials and patterns is Make Bra. I have ordered materials from other suppliers and I have found Make Bra is by far my favorite. Even when you take the cost of shipping into consideration, the materials are still very reasonably priced. They also sell kits which is what I purchased when I first started. I definitely recommend starting with a kit, however keep in mind you may need to purchase a few extra supplies (underwires, a sewing pattern etc), but they will tell you which supplies are not included in the kit. They have loads of information on their website with tutorials to help you along the way. Also, when I have ordered from them, they have always shipped everything incredibly fast.
I like to use a non-stretch fabric for the front of my bras, switching to a stretchy fabric or powernet with a 4-way stretch for the back/underarm band pieces. This gives me the fit I want. Some people think that small chested women have an easy time finding a bra that fits. But trust me, it is not that easy! At least not in my experience. You either have cups that are too big and basically give you no support, or you end up wearing stretchy shapeless bras because nothing else fits and you are left with a not very flattering "flat chest" look, which isn't my thing. I discovered that I had been wearing a band size much too large for my frame and cups that were too small. Of course everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to lingerie, but I prefer something that gives me a bit of lift. If you struggle with bra fitting, I would highly recommend you check out the reddit group, ABraThatFits. And if you are crazy like me, consider making your own bras. The best part is deciding which fabrics to use. For me sewing a bra doesn't take a lot of time. I could literally sew myself a new bra in less than a day. The possibilities are endless when you sew your own lingerie!
Here are a few bra making resources to get you started:
- Clothing Engineer (I don't know where all of her foam bra posts went, but she made several bras using the Make Bra patterns and her blog was a lot of help when I first started. Hopefully she will make them available again!)
- The Sewing and Life Adventures of Emerald Erin
- Cloth Habit: Bra Making Sew-Along
- Cloth Habit: Foam Cup Bra
- Make Bra: Full Band Foam Bra Instructions
- Orange Lingerie: Boylston Bra (This is a new foam bra pattern that I just discovered! Looks pretty good!)