The Making of a Bra (or two) – Part 1

Hello! Welcome to my first live project post! Everything on the blog thus far has been past projects, but I’ve finally gotten far enough along on my current project to have something to say about it! Say hello to (the first few steps of) my handmade bras!

Bras pt 1 (1)
Can you tell what it is yet?

Now that pregnancy is over and my body has gotten back to a stable size and shape, I’m unfortunately low on bras that fit. I’ve purchased a few comfy maternity bras, but they’re pretty loose and unsupportive and don’t quite fit the bill when I want something to feel confident and sexy in. Unfortunately, bras (especially really good bras) are expensive and I’m picky. And also a project junkie. So why not make one?

This project began (as many of them do) with a butt load of internet research. I’m talking about 3 weeks of reading, reading, reading articles from lots of different sources about everything from pre-made bra kits and patterns to drafting your own patterns, picking fabrics and industrial sewing techniques.

The culmination of my research brought me to Foundations Revealed, a site primarily dedicated to corset drafting and making, which also happens to have a large selection of articles on making bras, all written by a designer in industry. The first few articles are free (and the rest can be accessed with a “first month free” subscription coupon that’s currently available) if you’re interested in reading in detail the process that I followed to make both of these bras. The black bra follows the basic “How to Make a Bra” series, and the white bra is a modification of the “Corselette”.

I also got a lot of my materials from sources I found in collections online. Some of my favorites are: Sew Sassy (the best for all the elastics, straps, bits and bobs), Kim Thayer (for everything Sew Sassy doesn’t have), and Lacebeauty (my favorite lace shop).

After reading enough to know what’s possible (and what I’m capable of on my first go-around), I started a Pinterest board of bras and lingerie sets that I like and that I’m pretty sure I could figure out how to make. This was partly for myself and partly for a related project that I’ll talk about later . . .

I started working on the draft for my first bra pattern last week, then ordered my underwires from Sew Sassy on Friday, along with all the straps, hook-and-eye tape and so forth at the same time to save on shipping. At this point, all I really have set about my bras is the color (one black, one white) and the general cut (one “daywear” type and one longline).

Bras pt 1 (2)
There are a surprisingly large number of parts in a bra.
Bras pt 1 (4)
Darted cup bra pattern.
Bras pt 1 (5)
Three panel longline bra pattern.

I finished the rest of the pattern drafting today, so now it’s time to start picking fabrics. Bras need a stable, non-stretch material in the front for shaping and support and a strong stretchy fabric for the back “wings” to spring the underwires out to the correct position and make the bra breathable. I’m currently on the hunt for stable lining fabrics to put under the lace I’ve picked out for these bras.

Until then, thanks for reading! Be sure to like, share and subscribe!

Read Part 2

 

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