I have sewn my first bra…
… And I’m really proud of it! The bra, the sewing piece that I feared a lot. Then, one day, I told myself that I had managed to sew a blazer so why would a bra frighten me so much? Actually, I was more afraid of the alterations that of the actual sewing. I knew that an alteration journey would lay ahead, but I had already set my mind last December and put some patterns on my Christmas wishlist!
It took me some time to sit and start, to modify and cut. But you will never get to see me wearing that bra you will have to trust me!
Why sewing a bra?
I’m lucky because, for once, I have absolutely no trouble finding bras that fit, contrary to other garments. What pushed me sewing bras is money! Good bras are expensive and I can’ta fford them. Cheaper bras do not resist well overtime.
Then come Beverly Johnson’s videos. I watched her videos on Bluprint thanks to a free week. I literally binge-watched all of her videos, with pencil and notepad at my side. Every video is so well-detailed, packed of useful tips and it really helped me starting my Bra Journey!
Finding the right pattern…and the rest
I belong to the FB Group “Bra Makers” and I saw two patterns that I really liked: the Marlborough bra by Orange lingerie and the Harriet bra by Cloth Habit. Both are underwired bras, what I typically wear.
Since I had a Etsy gift card, I chose the Marlborough pattern on Orange lingerie’s Etsy shop. Contrary to garment patterns, I find that underwear patterns are really expensive so it’s better if you take your time reading advice, looking into your closet, getting to know the pattern (can it be sewn with foam, for instance).
Once I had my pattern in hand, came the time to choose fabric and notions. I bought my stuff from B.Wear, a Swedish company. Some navy blue lace, 15 denier lining, 10mm/12mm elastics and strap elastic, and powernet for the back bands. What’s great is that you can buy kits if you don’t want/know what to choose (there are fabric+findings kits or findings-only kits).
It’s not easy to find findings and elastics in France. If you want basic colors, you can check with mercerie-extra. Great prices, quick delivery, I really enjoyed ordering there.
I might also delve into dyeing my elastics and findings….with acid dyes. Another fun project ahead!!!
Thou shall muslin your bra…
…or no bra thou shall have!!!
I used cotton poplin and swim material for my 5 muslins. I followed the Bra Makers’ advice: Find your wires first! We don’t really have much choice in France so I ordered wires #1, #2, and #4 in size 36 (95) and 38 (100) from mercerie-extra.
Then I started muslining: 36B then 38B then 36C, and 38C. 38B was great, but the lower cup was flattening my breast so hop we go, I cut the lower in half and added extra space (I used that method). That’s ideal when your breasts are different (I added 1/2″ on the left and 5/8″ on the right).
The final bra
The big day came and I cut all of my pieces with a tiny rotary cutter I had just bought: Olfa 18mm cutter if so handy, it goes around the tiny angles and smooth curves so easily. And it’s cheap!
I used a Microtex needle because my Janome is extremely sensitive!!!
And here we have my first real bra!!! I’m so proud LOL.
I know that I made mistakes, but I have a nice learning curve ahead of me and I really look forward sewing many more bras of many types! Actually why did I wait for so long before sewing a bra?
Have you ever sewn bras or underwears? Any tips or advice?
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