This year I set myself 3 big sewing challenges – jeans, a bra and a coat.
I’ve already checked jeans off my list and decided I was ready for my next challenging make so it was time to tackle bra making.
I’m keen to make the Harriet Bra by Cloth Habit but decided to begin with the Watson because it doesn’t have any underwires so expected it to be a bit simpler while still giving me an idea of the sewing techniques used.
Fabric & Notions
This was by far the scariest bit of bra making for me. I had no idea what I was looking for! While planning my project I found myself looking at how many little parts and how much detailed construction goes into creating a bra. I printed out the bra design planning sheets from Cloth Habit (which I think came as a free download when you subscribe to their mailing list)
The checklist made it much easier to understand what I was looking for and allowed me to jot down ideas as I shopped. I bought all the notions, lining and band fabric from Sewing Chest
They have a huge wealth of resources but I found the website a bit tricky to use at times until I sussed out what I was after! I used the search function a lot to help find the right product.
I did actually order fabric for the cups and then discovered that I’d gotten in a muddle and bought a non stretch one which won’t work for the Watson. Fortunately I can save this for my Harriet instead.
I had a rake around in my stash fabrics and found a 4 way stretch lycra fabric I’d bought a while ago in the sale (with no real plan what to use it for!) from Girl Charlee so I opted to use that instead.
Sizing / alterations
I opted to sew view B. I didn’t make any alterations and followed the size guide on the instructions to find the best fit. This put me at a different size to what I’d regularly buy in a RTW bra but I wasn’t too worried about this as my experience with making other garments is that each sewing company has its own sizing and that it can be so variable. I also came out as different measurements for Watson and Harriet which made sense as they are different in style and sized in different ways.
Sewing a bra was much less intimidating than I expected! A bit like with jeans, it felt scary because there were so many parts, but once I’d figured out what they were all for it wasn’t so bad. I enjoyed learning as I went and trying to suss out how it would all come together.
How long did it take to make?
Once I had all the pieces gathered it was a quick sew! In all honesty I might have spent more time doing the planning for this make than I actually spent on the construction of it!
Holy moly I made a bra! And it fits! That’s the most important thing. It’s not perfect and there are bits that when I make it next time I’d hope to stitch more neatly but I’m happy with it for a first attempt. In the photo below I’ve pinned it to my mannequin as, although the full bust measurement matches, there’s a bit of variation in her high bust measurement compared with my own.
Wear with /wearability
Its a soft cup bra without underwires so it feels more loungey to me. In saying that it also feels really supportive due to the firm cradle & band. I also made the matching bikini.
Any changes for next time
Now that I know what I’m doing I feel like I can play around with different fabrics, colours and decorative trims. I also now know that lingerie elastic works miles better for making underwear than regular elastic. (these things exist for a reason I guess!)