Sewing Bras


I've been sewing my own bras for about a year now, but I don't think I've ever written about it here before. I started sewing my own bras mostly out of necessity, however they are pretty fun to make! When I finally discovered the correct size bra (and shape) that suits me, I also discovered that this particular bra had been discontinued. Why?! And while I'm sure I could search and find another perfect bra, I was starting to get tired of ordering bras online from far away places and the cost was getting excessive. Most of the bras I've been able to find in my size are made and sold in the UK, so that means the cost of shipping can get a little expensive. I decided I would try making my own, I mean, everyone else is doing it! I tried a few patterns before I realized I should just copy that favorite bra of mine. Since the band pattern pieces were almost identical to the ready-made bra, I only needed to copy the cup. The band pattern piece I use is from a Make Bra foam bra pattern. Fitting is probably the most frustrating part of sewing your own lingerie (or any garment sewing for that matter!). A lot of people will just not even want to attempt sewing a bra, knowing it will take some trial and error before getting the right fit. To me it is worth it. I guess after you make one bra, it gets kind of addictive! My personal favorite is a foam pieced bra. That means you cut pieces out of foam and sew them together with a zig-zag stitch (no seam allowance between the foam pieces), this forms the cup. I have tried bras without any foam support and they just don't work well on me. I need all the help I can get in that department, if you know what I mean!

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:

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