August 24, 2016
I have been kind of absent from posting lately. One of the reasons is my new sewing obsession – I have learned how to sew my own bras. I have spent half my summer sewing bras (when not doing other things) and having a lot of fun learning something new as I make each one.
I actually got interested in making my own undergarments last summer. I started making my own underwear after getting so fed up with the ones you buy either not fitting well or falling apart after six months of use or just wearing out quickly. I don’t care if I bought expensive, high quality underwear or the less expensive kind that come in a package it seemed they did not hold up well. Anyhow – I got a couple of patterns last year from some Etsy sellers – one for a Stretch and Sew underwear set and the other a Kwik Sew pattern – which I believe the Kwik Sew one I got at Hancocks as it is still a current pattern – or was a year ago.
Well, I am happy to say that after a year ago of making my own underwear they are still in good shape after repeated washing. I also bought a bra pattern that was from Kwik Sew, #3594, and decided I would make my own bras as well. I guess I got cold feet on actually sewing them after cutting out the pattern last summer and set it aside. I then noticed Craftsy had a class on bra sewing and construction and decided to take it. Craftsy has great online classes that you can watch at your convenience and watch over and over once you buy them. Anyhow – after taking the bra class then watching some of it I got brave enough to sew the bra and it actually turned out okay. Not great but okay for the first one. It is slightly too large in the cup but I can wear it for working out in or walking or doing yoga so at least I am able to use it. Below is a photo of my first bra.
The bra above is made from nylon tricot fabric, lingerie spandex, bra elastic, bra slides and rings which were all bought from Sew Sassy. Sew Sassy is an online store that specializes in lingerie and swimwear supplies and they have great prices and fast shipping. You can also purchase bra patterns there. I bought an Elan bra pattern there that I have also made and really like the fit.
The bra above is my second or third try at sewing the Kwik Sew pattern and this time I made it with a lace overlay. I had bought the lace last year so I had it available. I also made some matching panties but I didn’t get a good photo of them – you can see a little bit of them in the lower left of the photo. The lace is a stretch lace which is sewn over the tricot fabric.
The navy blue bra above is made with the Elan bra pattern #645. This was my second attempt with this pattern. I had to make a couple of minor fit adjustments from the first one I made and now I am happy with the fit and the style of this pattern. The navy bra is made with navy power net fabric for a lining in the band and with a navy tricot fabric over the top and for the cups. The lace trim was an elastic type of trim I bought last year for my underwear making and decided to trim the upper cup with it and it worked out well. The power net fabric, rings and slides from this bra were bought from an Etsy seller called Tailor Made Shoppe. She has lots of bra making supplies and ships quickly. I have ordered from her two or three times now.
The bra in the above photo is made from the Jalie bra pattern. They are an online store and the pattern can be downloaded. I like this pattern more for a T-shirt style bra. I have made about 3 of them in different colors. The one above is my second attempt and it fits well. I will say that when you try a new pattern there will be some fitting issues to deal with. That is why it is best to kind of do a rough draft with the first one and not really be too concerned with you best sewing – just on getting one made to see how it fits and where you need to adjust it. In the Craftsy class there are lots of tips and instruction for how to adjust fitting issues which helped me in using all three of the patterns.
So, I am sure some are wondering why make your own bra? Well, one thing for me is I wanted and now have bras that fit well and fit right. I think for years I have been wearing ill fitting bras. The other is I am trying to get away from underwire bras and the patterns I have shown you above do not have to be made with an underwire. Also, the last one is cost. The materials you buy to make a bra are considerably less than going to buy one. I can also cut out and sew one in about 3 hours or less and it would probably take that long to drive to a store, try many on and then buy them and drive back home.
Here are some photos of some of the other bras I have been making this summer:
The above purple lace bra is one of my favorites. I had to dye the bra closure as I could not find a purple one that matched to buy. You can dye some of the fabrics and elastics to match if you use the vinegar dye bath method and Rit Dye. I have had fun learning to dye things as well during this sewing project.
The above photo is my most recently sewn bra project. I learned a lot more about sewing the lace bras in the second Craftsy class called Sewing Bras – Foam, Lace and Beyond. I am currently enrolled in that class and watching it when I have time to learn new things about bra making. I have not tried the foam cups yet but that is next on my list of bra patterns to try. Currently I am obsessed with lace.
To learn more about Craftsy and the bra class or other classes they offer you can click on the link in the sidebar to the right to take you to Craftsy.com or click on the highlighted text. So far this bra making class is one of the better ones I have taken there – along with the jeans sewing class I took a couple of years ago.
What have you been working on lately? I would love to hear about it in the comments.