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An estimated 80% of women are wearing ill-fitting bras. This may be due to the fact that they've never truly taken their own measurements. More likely, it's because brand sizing is inconsistent.
If you're tired of shopping for bras that cost a fortune and don't fit the way they're supposed to, why not skip the stores and learn how to make a Bra on your own?
Making your own bra may sound daunting. The truth is, as long as you have the right bra making supplies and a little know-how, you can totally do it!
Read on for our guide to making your very own bra.
First, let's talk about some of the bra making supplies you will need to gather to complete this project. We'll go over the fabrics, hardware, and tools.
Before we break down every piece of fabric you'll need to craft your own cups, let's talk about bra pads. Where does padding fall in the history of brassieres?
Padding was popularized somewhere between the 1940s, when padding provided added protection to women working in factories, and the 1960s, when the first push-up bra became popular.
The reality is that you don't need padding. It isn't necessarily adding more support to your bra. However, you may prefer the look or feel of a padded bra and that's important, too!
If you do want to pad your bra, you have two options. You can either add foam to your list of required fabrics or you can purchase pre-made padded bra cups and save yourself quite a bit of work!
When you're choosing your primary bra fabric, you will need to find fabric with a horizontal 2-way stretch. It's okay if your fabric has 4-way stretch, meaning that it can stretch horizontally and vertically. As long as it can stretch horizontally and then regain its former shape and elasticity, it's fine!
Note that a completed bra doesn't require a ton of fabric, but you'll probably want to do a test run first. To be on the safe side, buy a yard or two of the fabric you love!
You may also need to purchase lingerie elastic, although this really depends on whether or not you're going to finish the bra cups with lace or something more subdued. You can also get elastic for plain, traditional bra straps, although we recommend using our glamorous sexy straps!
Finally, you will need a few feet of knit interfacing. Not that the knit interfacing is used to secure the underwire, so it doesn't need to be wider than a few inches.
Consider how you want to decorate your bra. Are you adding lace to the cups? A bow or two?
Don't forget the bits and pieces that will make your bra unique and sexy!
First, you're going to need underwire. You can purchase underwire at a fabric store or you can actually disassemble a bra you are planning on throwing out. Cut into the fabric band surrounding the underwire in your old bra and slide the underwire out.
You will also need a bra back extender that has bra buttons sewn into it already. You can individually sew hooks and eyes yourself but purchasing a bra back extender ensures precise placement.
The most important tool you'll need to make your own bra is a sewing machine. You don't need anything too fancy, just a machine that can do a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch.
If you don't have your measurements already, you'll need to take them with a vinyl measuring tape.
Taking your bra size measurements isn't as hard as you might think. Grab your measuring tape and let's get started!
First, measure your band size. To do so, wrap the measuring tape around the bottom of your bust, just below your breasts.
To find your cup size, take a loose (but not too loose) measurement that wraps around your back, as you did when measuring your band size, but this time around the largest part of your bust.
Now, it's time to do some simple math. Subtract your band size from your bust size.
If the difference is less than one inch, you have an AA cup.
If the difference is an inch, you have an A cup.
If the difference is two inches, you have a B cup.
It continues this way up the line. Three inches is a C cup, four inches is a D cup, and so on.
The first thing you need to do is find a pattern based on your cup size. This will provide you with the proper measurements for cutting your fabric.
Most standard bra patterns will require that you create your cup from two pieces of fabric. These are referred to as the upper cup and the lower cup. When you cut your upper and lower cup pieces, make sure you position the fabric so that the stretch remains horizontal.
Most patterns will factor seam allowances into their measurements but this is something you want to check for. Make sure you have about half an inch to an inch of extra fabric all the way around your upper and lower cup pieces.
Line up your seam allowances on the inside edge of the upper and lower cup. When you lay them one on top of the other, the pattern side of the fabric should be facing inward. Use a straight stitch to attach the inner edge of the upper cup to the inner edge of the lower cup.
To eliminate the bump made by the seam, use an iron to press the seam allowance open. Topstitch each side of the flattened seam so that it rests against the cup. In other words, topstitch the upper cup's seam allowance to the upper cup and the lower cup's seam allowance to the lower cup.
Before we move forward, now is your chance to make sure that the cup you've made matches up with your breast size.
If the cup is too small, try again with the next larger cup size. Once you have sewn it together, you can trim down the excess. If the cup is too large, simply trim out the excess now.
Note that trimming should be done in very small increments. Try not to cut more than an eighth of an inch at a time or you may find that your C cup has suddenly become an AA cup!
If you're constructing your own padded bra, you're going to need to cut an upper and lower cup out of foam that matches your fabric upper and lower cup. Sew the pieces of foam together the same way that you will sew the upper and lower cup.
Once both the foam and the fabric are attached, use a zigzag stitch to sew the fabric to the foam. Make sure they are lined up by pinning them in place first. The stitch should go around the entire perimeter of the cup so that no edges are loose or gapping.
If you don't want to pad your bra but you do want a little bit of extra support, you can attach a piece of thin-to-medium interfacing to the lower cup. We recommend this for women with larger busts, as your cup has more breast tissue to support!
If we're being totally honest, using pre-made padded cups is a lot easier. You would have skipped just about every step we've covered so far!
However, if you need a more customized cup size or you want more freedom to pick your shape, making your own is the way to go!
Once you know that your bra cup is the right size and padded to your liking, it's time to finish it up. Finish off the top of each cup how you see fit. You might use lingerie elastic to prevent fraying or add a layer of lace for some extra frill!
While some bras use a bridge and a frame for extra support, we're going to keep our guide simple and stick to bras that have a bridge and no frame. The bridge is the piece of fabric that connects your cups. It rests between your breasts.
Note that the width of your bridge will depend on the amount of space between your breasts, regardless of what the pattern suggests. If you're using your bra to create more cleavage, you will actually use a smaller bridge, as this will push the breasts together.
Hem the top and bottom of your bridge and pin each side to a cup. You may want to give it another test here and adjust the bridge's placement as necessary. Once it is in the right place, use a straight stitch to attach it to the cups.
Feel free to add a bow or other cute decoration to the bridge at this point!
When you're cutting the sides of your bra, make sure that the pattern accounts for your bust size but also leaves a few inches of overlap. This is because when you attach the hooks into the eyes, this side fabric will have a bit of an overlay.
Once you've cut your sides, you will need to cut two pieces of lingerie elastic that will go along the bottom of each side. When you cut the elastic, it should be slightly shorter than the side fabric. When you sew the two together, the elastic will stretch to accommodate the fabric.
The first step is to sew the elastic to the fabric. Next, sew the sides to the outer edges of the cups. Try to leave a small seam allowance so you don't feel an uncomfortable bulk in the pit of your breast.
Cut two pieces of interfacing, each the length of the bottom of a cup and about an inch wide. Take a piece of cut interfacing and fold it in half with the open side facing up. Sew it along the inside bottom of the cup, about half an inch from the fold to create a tube for the underwire.
Once you've attached your interfacing tube, slide the underwire in use a bar stitch on either end to hold it in place and keep it from sliding out on either end.
Repeat the process on the other cup.
It's time to add your bra back extender to your sides! Line it up so that the three outermost edges are evenly overlapping your side fabric. That way, when the bra is on, you can't see the bra back extender.
Sew along all four edges with a straight stitch so that it is completely secure.
If you're not using elastic straps, bra clips are a great way to hold your straps in place. Bra clips attach to the top front and back of the bra so that you can slide the straps on and off with ease. That way, you can even change your bra straps for a new look!
Make sure that your bra clips line up in the front and back. You want your bra straps to lay in a straight vertical line.
Hand sew the bra clips and attach your sexy bra straps. That's it, you've made your very own bra!
Once you've learned how to make a bra and accumulated all of your bra making supplies, you'll be making store quality bras at a fraction of the price! Plus, you'll have a collection of bras that actually fit!
Let us contribute to your bra making supplies! Check out our line of sexy bra straps today.