So you want to make a bra....
Well we have great news for you! Stitch Happens is hosting a Bra Making Sew Along from May 1-10
Bra Making - Where do I begin?
The first step in making a bra is going to be choosing a pattern. This can get overwhelming very quickly as there are hundreds of patterns out there and they use a lot of terminology that is unique to bra making. You will want to look for a couple things in a pattern for your first underwire bra.
- Full band - this means the frame of the bra goes both between the cups and underneath them. This creates a more stable bra and is easier to fit/determine any fit adjustments that are needed.
- 2-3 pieced cup - there are many bra patterns that feature a multi pieced cup. For simplicity in construction and fitting, choose a pattern with a cup that is comprised of 2-3 pieces.
- Sizing - unfortunately not all bra patterns use the same sizing system. Multiple sizing systems exists across the world, some companies use existing size ranges and others create their own. Be sure to select a pattern that includes your size as many only include a few cup and band sizes.
- Soft bra - many bras include foam or other types of shaping materials. For our first few bras, stick to a fabric only or 'soft' cup.
We carry 3 paper bra patterns that fit these requirements:
- Elan #520
- Elan #645
- Pin Up Girls Classic Bra
If paper patterns aren't your thing there are a number of PDF bra patterns that fit these requirements. Our favourites are:
- Desiree Bra from Primrose Dawn Patterns (use code stitchhappens to save 20% until May 10)
- Marlborough Bra from Orange Lingerie
- Chloe Bra from The Bra Makery
There are so many more patterns out there, just look out for those 4 characteristics!
You may be looking at the patterns we just listed and thinking, well what size am I? For most patterns, the best way to measure yourself is using multiple measurements of the breast tissue while naked. We like to use the "A Bra That Fits" calculator as it is simple to use and has good directions.
The Pin Up Girls Patterns from Bra Makers supply use a unique measuring system that is based on your bottom cup depth. This is measured from the apex of the breast to the underwire line while wearing a well fitting bra. This sizing system is somewhat complex to figure out initially but since it doesn't rely on the basic cup sizes, it leads to a much better fit. For more information on this system check out this post on the Bra Makers Supply site.
At the end of the day, read your pattern. It will tell you what sizing system they use if it is unique or if it is based on standard sizing.