Sunday, July 3, 2011

Answers to Bra Questions.

I wanted to answer some of the Bra related question I received on my last post just in case other readers are interested in the answers.

Lynneb has left a new comment on your post "Bravo":

It's a fascinating concept to me...making my own bras. Thank you again for such a detailed and informative post. I do you feel about the seam across the center of the cup? And is there such a thing as making a seamless cup?

I wasn't thrilled about the seam across the cup because I usually wear molded cup bras, The seam did enable me to get a cup that matched my shape exactly. I sometimes have trouble filling up all parts of a molded foam cup. I won't wear the bras I made under T shirts because the seam does shows through. I think you could cover a molded pad with stretch material and then sew it to the band just like we did for the cup on this pattern. I have been reading Melissa's blog where she is talking about making a smooth cup bra Fehrtrade She hasn't discussed covering the pads yet, which is what I am really interested in.
Bra Makers Supply has foam cups for sale and super stretchy fabric they say is to cover foam cups. I looked for instructions on their site, but couldn't find any. They might be in one of the bra making books they sell.

If you find any info on making bras with molded cups, let me know. I am very interested.

dd has left a new comment on your post "Bravo":

Those bras look great! I love the swimsuit pattern. Can it be purchased online? I hope to be able to take a bra making class when the sew n expo comes here.

The bathing suit pattern was purchased from Etsy seller Merckwaerdigh She is based in the Netherlands. Her pattern prices are equivalent to the big 4 non sale prices and shipping is a bit higher, but her bathing suit styles were different than any I had seen before, and my order arrived within a week.
Sign up for the Bra classes at the expo as soon as registration opens. From what I hear, they fill up quickly.

Myrna commented.
Great write-up. I took a bra sewing workshop a few years ago and loved it. I've sewn Elan 645 numerous times. It's a great pattern. Thanks for showing the strap. We weren't taught that way in my class. Our straps are elastic. I'd like to try that. How are they stitched? How long is the bit of elastic? Thanks.

Here is the quick and dirty description to make the non stretch strap. Cut a piece of the fabric 3 times the width of the finished strap desired and about 16 inches long. Apply "tailoring" weight nonwoven, iron on interfacing to the wrong side of the strap pieces. Fold strap pieces in thirds to the finished width and zig zag, or other similar type decorative stitch, on both long sides of the strap pieces, very close to the edge. We used tricot fabric for our straps in class and I used poly/lycra for one of my bras. With the interfacing applied, the fabric is no longer stretchy. There are variations in Anne's book for a similar straps with padding or padding just at the shoulders. The piece of elastic is 3" long. After attaching to the band with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and the strap with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, the part that shows is about 2.25". The no stretch strap is attached to the elastic in the back as one of the last steps. The bra is put on and the strap is pinned to the front cup at the desired length, making sure the bra cups are pulled up to a perky height. Anne really hiked the bra cups up when doing this step. Mark seam on the strap and cup. Take the bra off and sew strap in place.

I have seen some really pretty bras sewn from the Elan pattern. I definitely want to make that one next.


  1. I took the bra workshop at last year's ASG conference in Atlanta. I remember the reason for the seam across the cup is because most women's breasts are oval shaped and not round so the seam is necessary for fitting the oval.

  2. Thanks for the detailed answer regarding the straps.

    Bramakersupply has a pattern for a foam cup bra that explains everything reasonably well. Here's the link.

  3. Thanks Audrey. I just bought two of their unique swimsuit patterns. I also noticed the Maryland ASG will have the bra-making class in the fall. (It sounds like its the same one you took) I'm signing up today.