Bra-A-Week: My First Bra!

Yay! I’m so happy I finally gave bra-making a try. I was hoping to have the bra finished by Sunday but took me a bit longer. I took my time sewing this bra because I really wanted to understand each construction process and overall I feel more confident in making another bra. This is just a test fit bra so you will notice I didn’t use all that great fabric, elastic and straps but I’m still proud of the outcome.

SAM_2561The pattern I used came along with the book Bare Essentials Bras Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design by Jennifer Lynne Mathews-Fairbanks which is a basic bra pattern. The instructions in the book were good but the only thing they really failed to explain was what direction the pattern pieces need to be cut from the fabric. As I sewed the bra, I followed along with Beverly Johnson in my Craftsy class, Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit. I really enjoyed sewing along with Beverly, she made every step seem so easy and it was. I think the hardest part for me in sewing the bra was the top-stitching of the channeling but I’m not too worried about it because I know as I continue to practice these skills, it will only get better.

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The pattern that came with the book is a very basic bra but has similar components as the Pin-up girls classic bra Beverly was using in the class. Beverly does mention most bras have the same components and so I’m glad this pattern worked out. One thing I did not like is that the band of this bra is really narrow, at least it seamed that way. After sewing in the channeling, I noticed the channeling would stick out a bit. The bra surprisingly fits very well in comparison with what I have been using in RTW. I did not add the underwire to the bra because I did not want to waist the wire on my test pattern but I think it would not make a difference because of the type of fabric I used on the cups. I used 40 Denair Tricot in white for the cups, the center front band and the side front band. I also interfaced the side front band and the center front band with fusible tricot to give some stability. When I was ready to sew the cups onto the band, the cups were too flimsy so I cut out strips of fusible tricot interfacing and sew strips onto the armhole  and the neckline of the cups. It really made a difference in sewing them to the band and when adding the elastic. I made a few mistakes as I tend to do since I still consider myself beginner sewer but as always they turn into a learning experience and wouldn’t have it any other way. This bra is my first bra of the Bra-A-Week challenge and so happy I got to start.

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I’m participating in the Watson Bra Sew-Along  which is starting this Thursday and I’m out of some materials. I guess I will have to start a bit late. Anyone who is nervous to start sewing their own bras should know this is so much easier than trying to fit a basic top pattern. 100 times better! I will be talking about my fitting troubles in another post. No matter what, I will continue to conquer these skills in bra-making and I hope to be of inspiration and motivation to others.

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