My first self-made bra

Ladies, why is it that the articles of clothing that we have the most frustration with — e.g. pants and bras — are the clothes many of us have been most reluctant to tackle?

Maybe it is because bras and jeans seem like architecture or engineering.

I am here to tell you that this soft cup Sierra bra was shockingly easy to make. It took me maybe two evenings. In fact, it went so fast that I only managed to take two in-progress photos!

There is a sewalong to go with this free bra pattern. So you really have no excuse not to try it.

I used a bra supply kit from Tailor Made Shop, full of deep navy stretch lace, stretch mesh, and elastic. But I have seen knit versions as well. It might even work as a swimsuit…for lounging not swimming.

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The hardest part of the process was wrapping my head around the instructions on hiding the side seam allowances between the layers of fabric. The photos aren’t numerous and I hadn’t realized that the two front pieces sandwich the smaller back pieces when you sew the side seam. And then when you fold the front mesh to align with the front lace, the side seam in folded inside. It is hard to tell from my photo and from Madalynne’s that the front stretch mesh is on the very bottom and the front lace on top.

The hardware installation went smoothly. It helps that we are working with stretch fabrics and elastics. So even when I had to tack down the elastic inside the loop, I could stretch the strap enough to get the machine foot in place. It was much easier to do than when I had to make similar adjustable straps for my Catarina Dress.

Ok, so I seriously wasn’t sure if I wanted to post photos of myself in a bra and panties. But I also know that seeing photos of bras laying flat or even on a mannequin, don’t give me a good sense of how it will fit.

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Overall the bra fits. However, there is room for improvement on the next iteration.

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I made a size small. Following Maddie’s suggestion to size down when in between sizes makes sense because we are working with stretch fabrics, but I think I should have made a size medium. I don’t think I was as “on the line” as I originally thought. This is just too snug. There is some pulling at the front.

And you can see how it cuts into my back. Maybe I just need to add a couple inches to the back near the ends at the bra clasps. The cups seem to fit well enough, but I will make a medium just to be sure.

I also manage to sew the plush elastic backwards… *face palm*. This happened even though I spent about 5 minutes making sure I had everything lined up for the plush to be against my skin (or so I thought). I will wait and see how uncomfortable it is to wear before I make any changes.

Is it a perfect bra? No. Is it wearable? Yes.

Most importantly, this demystified bra-making for me. I don’t have many lingerie sewing plans yet, but I won’t be as frightened to tackle them when I do.

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