You love to sew and sewing your own custom bra or you have issues with RTW bras.
Sewing your own bras is very addictive, you have been warned.
How to begin with making your own lingerie ?
I followed a bra-making class and first I had to make my own patterns.
In the bra class, I learned to alter my pattern to fit my body.
I have a few basic lingerie patterns, now I can choose from thousands of fabrics and elastics
and make my own unique lingerie.
Copy the pattern pieces out and don't use the original to alter your pattern.
You have a master pattern and the pattern pieces are copied out
and the copies only are altered.
I scanned my patterns and every time I need a fresh set of patterns, the only thing I have to do is; print.
Never alter the originals, at some point you will need them in the original form and if you haven't used copies
you'll have a problem.
I want to make a 3-piece custom bra
This is my custom bra pattern, you can't use it, it is specially made for me.
Google on lingerie or bra making and class.
It is possible to create a perfect bra. You will sew a few trials until you have the perfect fit.
After having got good bra patterns for your figure you will be able to sew luxurious bra with perfect fit in a few hours.
My time for sewing this 3-piece bracup was 4 hours.
Don't use too expensive fabrics for the first 3 bras or so!
After you have learned the sewing techniques it may be worth while investing in more expensive fabrics and laces.
They didn't tell me this, at the bra making class.
As fabric you can use normal lingerie tricot or jersey.
You can use 2-way or 4-way stretch fabric.
Part of the bracup can be sewn of stretchy lace or lace fabric.
If you use lace or lace fabric for some parts of the bra, it usually is advisable to strengthen its edge with
transparent elastic or very thin lingerie elastic.
If you want to line the bracup, cut out lining fabric, make sure the stretch goes in the opposite direction.
If you are not using power net for the T piece, ( or bridge or center piece), you need to stabilize it. ( always )
To get a firm band, the midriff part should always be sewn of double fabric.
Do stabilize the center piece so that there is NO stretch whatsoever.
We use Tule here in the Netherlands, perhaps you call it 'sheer nylon'
Furthermore you need lingerie edge elastic.
You can copy one of your favorite bras. Make a pattern from that bra by "reverse engineering."
While there are methods for pattern making from an intact bra, dismantling the bra provides a more
accurate reproduction. Remember to write the reverse of what you're doing when taking apart the bra
(i.e., when detaching the brastraps, write instructions for how to attach the brastraps).
Google for dismantling the bra.
Always buy fabrics of a good quality, otherwise your bracups will sag.
And once you have used bra sewn to your own measurements, you never again want to wear anything else.
The term "brassiere" seems to have come into use in the English language as early as 1893.
Manufacturers were using the term by about 1904, Vogue magazine first used it in 1907, and by 1911 the
word had made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary.
In the 1930s, "brassiere" gradually came to be shortened to "bra".
Today bras are in all kind of shapes, colors and sizes; lace bras are the most favorite type of bras.
I want to make a bra with a bra band and a “cut-and-sew” bracup (3 pieces) and underwires.
there are basically 3 types of stitches,
Have a new stretch needle, a full
bobbin of good quality thread
Trace out pattern pieces to whatever you like to use.
Mark stretch and grain line directions and notches. There are only 6 basic pieces to my pattern.
Make sure you have the stretch going the right way.
Label everything! How many pieces to cut and what the part is (Upper bracup, Bra Band, etc.).
Just add the seam allowances ( 1 cm ) and you are ready to go!
If my instructions are;
take 80% of this length and so and so on
Than divide this ( for instance elastic ) equally over the length,
because there is less elastic ( 80 % ) than length
My bottom bracups must have extra support.
If you want to line the bracups, cut out lining fabric, make sure the stretch goes in the opposite direction,
then lay the pieces together, wrong sides together and stitch on the edge, then treat as one piece.
Pin bracups wrong sides together, matching notches.
You will use 1 cm seams throughout.
Straight stitch together. I use length 2.0 on my machine.
Stretch bracups when sewing the upper and the lower bracup together.
Fold seam open, Use Finger-pressing throughout - Opening seam allowances with the thumbnail.
Straight stitch for the 2nd stitching at both sides, close to the bracup seam.
Trim away excess fabric.
Now the 3rd part of the bracup, this kind
gives a good support
Stitching with a straight stitch and stretch
bracups when sewing
Fold seam line to one side, here downside, and then straight stitch for the 2nd stitching, stretch bracup when sewing.
Trim away excess fabric. First bracup is finished!
Then sew centre fronts together. Now topstitch just the centre front with elastic stitch
Cut for the centre T piece ( front bra band
stabilizer fabric (sheer nylon) I use a fading marking pen to mark all my notches. Trim away excess sheer nylon.
Sew side seams ( sew the side panel to the
front bra band )
use Finger-pressing -
Opening seam allowances with the thumbnail. I put the underwire casing over this seam as well,
cut 2 pieces of the casing just under 1 cm from each end.
I put some light boning in here for support, which helps when there are wires and when you want to stop the
bra from rolling up! As you can see, I put the boning in the casing, cut of the boning at the right size
Make sure the bones are out of the way when stitching over the casing.
Otherwise you'll break your needle, so stitch very carefully. Use straight stitch to sew the boning channeling (casing) )
precisely in the middle, on your seam, stitch all around, 1 time at the left and 1 time at the right side of the channeling
Trim away excess fabric, careful
This looks nice
Do stabilize the centre piece of the bra
so that there is NO stretch whatsoever.
If you are not using power net for the T piece, you need to stabilize it, I use Tule here in the Netherlands.
First we have to finish the top of the bra
= bridge stitching with a straight stitch
Fasten bracups to midriff piece ( bra band
matching notches on bracup seams to midriff piece.
Pin down the first 2 cms in a straight line
At the other side of the bracup too
Divide the fabric between these 2 pins, equally,
there is more bracup fabric than there is space in the band
Stretch bra band piece when sewing.
Sew very carefully, the stitch line must stay at same distance from and parallel to the bracup seam
Your bra should look like this. The bottom of the bra band is very nice, this will be extra difficult later on.
International Bra Size Calculator
International Bra Size Conversion
Bra Size Information
Take your underwire and underwire channeling
put your wire in the channeling
Cut 2 pieces of the underwire channeling
the length is the length of the underwire + 1 cm at each side, remove the wire from the channeling
Sew the channeling on the bracup edge seam stitches
leaving some channeling past the bra edge free ( 1 cm above the bridge ) in the center
Or if you prefer this
Along the bracup edge seam stitches
stitch in place as closely to the seam of the bracup, as you can,
stitching along the channeling seam allowance
Leave a tail of about 1 cm, so you can feed later the wire through.
The underarm edge will have the channeling “short” by 1 cm
Trim away excess fabric, be careful,
do NOT cut the extra 1 cm of the underwire channeling (casing)
Leave this part of the bra,
we are going to stitch the elastic first.
Before you stitch your elastic,
check the length of the bottom of your bra band.
Note how long the band is, than take 80% of this length for the elastic. ( lingerie elastic )
Pin down elastic ( lingerie elastic
following your pattern and measurements, and divide the elastic equally over the length,
there is less elastic ( 80 % ) than length. Now start at the back of the band.
First step; stop at the blue arrow.
Use a zigzag W 1.5 L 2.0 for first stitching, stop at the blue arrow, trim away excess fabric.
Fold and pin down,
for second step; repeat this at the other end.
Now pin down elastic ( lingerie elastic
) following your pattern
and measurements, at the centre, at the bottom of the bra band ( between the blue arrows )
try to pin the elastic 1 cm below the underwire channeling (casing).
Use a zigzag W 1.5 L 2.0 for first stitching.
stitching with a elastic stitch on the outside for the 2nd stitching ( topstitching )
from beginning to end, over the total length of the band.
Now we have to sew the channeling down
the channeling must be at the center of the bridge; and just 2 channeling's wide.
Starting just on the inside of the bra, stitching with a straight stitch the inner curve down first,
If you're adding underwires, sew the channeling down so it also acts as seam tape on the bracup-to-chestband seams.
You'll want the inner curve stitching to be along the bracup edge seam stitches.
The second row of topstitching can be done
from the inside of the bracup,
the outer curve stitching to be about 1 cm away, on the chestband side of the bracups.
Or you can do that one on the outside of the bracup, staying parallel to the first row.
You’ll usually sew on the channeling guidelines that are woven into every channeling tube.
Being careful not to make the stitching too narrow for the wires to fit through so you get them inside.
Stretch as you sew.
Underarm or armhole-and-back
Elastic length is aprox. 80% of the length of the bra underarm edge measurement.
Finally, finish the bracups top edges and the top edges of the back panels with edge elastic.
Apply the elastic to the top (underarm) edge of the bra,
the edge of the elastic should be next to the top end of the channeling.
The elastic should not sew through the channeling - sew with a zig-zag stitch, just above it.
When the elastic is turned ( folded ) and sewn for the second time, with an elastic stitch,
you will sew through the channeling and cover the raw edge nicely.
The elastics went on over the channeling and the boning and underwire channeling, went in.
I have a crème closing and a light green
with comparing rings and slidings, so I choose green
I have no matching bra shoulder-straps
I will sew my own, by taking 2 length of yellow lingerie elastic and 1 length pink shoulder-strap.
This will be a firm shoulder-strap. Sew like
this, attach the yellow lingerie elastic on
the pink shoulder-strap.
The bra shoulder straps ( aprox. 50
cms each. including the back length )
Measure your bra back length take a piece of shoulder-strap, the length must be 80% of the length of the back + 2 cms
Stitching with an elastic stitch and leaving
2 cms at the end
Attach the strap ring to the bracup top at the blue arrow.
Fold this 2 cms end under and bar tack it
(2 rows of elastic stitches ).
This is how it look likes, the ring is almost
( at the blue arrow )
Sew slides to the ends of the shoulder-straps
stitching with a zig-zag stitch.
Putting elastic through slide and ring to make it adjustable.
Pull the other end of the shoulder-strap,
the end without the slides, through the ring
on the bra, at the back with right side in front of you, pull from back to front, towards you,
Then through one side of the slide en down the other, so that is done.
Attach that same end of the shoulder-straps on the front of your bra, at the blue arrow
under the lace fabric and take care not to twist the shoulder-strap
Fasten hook-and-eye tape or other kind
to the ends of the back panels. I prefer to use a 3-hook closure.
Attach with a straight stitch first, (Hooks on the right, eyes on the left) to hold it onto the bra back.
Put the bra on and check the correct length of the closure, if correct, then zig-zag.
If not, adept the back width and repeat above.
Very carefully stitch this in place as close to the eyes as possible.
I use a zipper foot to attach the hook closure, I find the regular foot is too awkward to handle this task.
Sew the eyes at the other end and use zig-zag
The back of the bra looks like this.
This is where you put the underwires in,
this looks like a big daffodil.
And use a straight stitch at each end of
casing, just before the end,
to stop wires from popping out.
Now you may cut the ends of the underwire
channeling (casing) just under the edge.
The front of the bra, the bridge, looks like this, notice that the underwire channeling (casing) is 2 pieces width
at the center, the white elastic is very thin lingerie elastic.
Sew thin lingerie elastic,
close to the top of the bracups, at the inside, to have a perfect bracup, laying flat on your boobs.
Many women have one breast larger than the other most women have some degree of asymmetry (difference)
between their two breasts sometimes by nature and others after a breast surgery ( like mine ).
Sew on a tiny bow or tiny embellishment of
choice to centre front seam, this fabric is far to colourful to put anything on it.
check the outside of my
bra ( click on thumbnail to enlarge )
I hope you enjoyed my bra making tutorial, I had a lot of struggle to translate in English sewing abbreviations.
If you find something incorrect, please email me, and I will change it.