Sewing Bras – Construction and Fit

Learn how to sew a bra, and make it fit you perfectly.  Surprisingly easy!New Year – new resolutions. Do you have any sewing resolutions for this year? I have two – I want to learn how to use my new serger and I want to learn how to sew bras, and make one that actually fits and that I would want to wear (and be seen in!)

Now let’s be honest about my sewing – an accurate fit has never been super important to me. Most of us wear ready to wear clothes and get used to how a standard fit we buy off the rack rarely fits us properly as a custom tailored garment would fit. So I’m not too worried about getting the perfect fit when I sew – I’m still new, I forgive myself.

But when it comes to a bra, getting it to actually fit is a bit more important. Well, a lot more important. More important than how it looks even.  You may have read that about 80% of women probably wear the wrong bra size, and this is something I struggle with too.  So I was hoping this class would help me on both counts – learn to sew a bra and make one that actually fits properly.

Bra making

In this class, our teacher encourages us just to measure, pick a best pattern size and then just sew without attempting any fitting.  Fitting comes later once the first standard fit is sewn…

This is what I started with

I bought a ready-made kit which contained the fittings, elastic and fabrics I needed.  It took all the guesswork out of it for the first time, meaning I could just concentrate on the sewing and fitting and not worry that I had the wrong parts or the wrong elastic.

Learn how to sew a bra, and make it fit you perfectly.  Surprisingly easy!

Review of the Craftsy Sewing Bras class

Lesson 1 – meeting the Fairy Bra-Mother, measuring and sizing, and all about fabrics

Wow, you can tell instantly.  This lady knows her stuff and knows how to teach it too.  You can tell she’s taught this class in person plenty of times.  Everything is well thought out, well planned, well explained and indeed she deserve her nickname!  And what a sweetie she is too.

Learn how to sew a bra, and make it fit you perfectly.  Surprisingly easy!

Not too much chitter-chatter – just an intro and then straight to business with the pattern and the measuring.  The pattern isn’t included with the class, because there are a lot of patterns and designs out there to choose from and a lot of sizes etc.  She uses her own designed pattern in the class but mentions others you might like to try too.

You can also buy a starter pack from her website, especially for the Craftsy class, and its that kit that I’m using here for my first trial.  It includes the standard starter pattern, all of the fabrics (enough for 3 bras), a full set of all the trims and elastics and all the hooks, clips and little bits and pieces you need.  Plus of course the underwires.

Lesson 1 is the only one that uses a live model, for measuring.  All other fitting adjustments are shown on a mannequin.

Learn how to sew a bra, and make it fit you perfectly. Surprisingly easy!

There are really good explanations and examples of the right kind of fabrics to use, and what not to use.  How to measure stretch and what level of stretch is right for what sizes and what areas of the bra.  Wow so much info.  I already feel like I’ve learned so much and its only lesson 1.

Lesson 2 – the pattern, cutting out and sewing the cups and frame

Goodness, we’re moving along to sewing already!  Not a moment of this class is wasted.  This lesson is just jam packed with action and teaching.

She shows us step by step how to do EVERYTHING, and explains it all as we go.  What I love – “don’t do your best work on this bra”.  She lets us know that its ok if this isn’t perfect for the first time.  This first bra is just to check fit and to learn the construction and techniques.  If it fits – wonderful, use it.  If not, then we can use this first example to make all of our fitting adjustments.

Lesson-2-b

We learn about one piece of new equipment that you might find useful in sewing bras – the ‘knob’.  This helps with pressing the seams open on the inside of the cup before top stitching, and is the top of a newel post screwed into a block of wood.  This is it you see in front of her – you can of course use a ham too.

Lesson-2

I certainly got some strange looks at the hardware store as I held up the round pieces of wood to my chest to pick the one that best matched the size of my boobs!  Honestly – sometimes I have no shame.  I’ve got to that age where I don’t care any more.  My husband has learned not to question things, and simply gave it a quick once over with the sandpaper, screwed it to the base and handed it over. Thank you darling.

The lessons are highly detailed and she works on the bra right along with us.  We see her cut, and sew each step.  The camera work on this class is perfect.  She also uses a nice bright pink contrasting thread so we can easily see the stitching lines.

Lesson-2-c

Here are some of my in progress shots of the construction process.  In fact, I didn’t remember too take many photos, because I was so engrossed in the process and the whole thing came together so quickly, that I didn’t even pause!   Bras are small, don’t use much fabric and are a quick sew.  I like it so far.

(The little green dots are stickers to help me remember which is the right side of the fabric. And yes, that’s Oliver biting anything that dangles.)
PicMonkey Collage

Lesson 3 – the straps, elastic, trim and closure

More of the same good stuff.  We learned how to add the elastic, where to stretch and where not to and which stitches to use.

My stitching wasn’t as good as it should be – my glasses are at the optician waiting for new lenses and I was using my old back-ups specs.  All that white stitching on white elastic, on top of white fabric and I should have got my stitches a bit closer to the edge – but well, its just a first test and a learning process.  I’ll know better next time how close to the edge I need to sew.

Collage 2

 Lesson 4 – hardware and finishing

Covered in this lesson, stitching the underwire channeling, making and attaching the straps, and attaching the back fastening hooks.

Lesson-4

At the end of lesson 4 our first bra is completed.

So here is my first ever bra.  Looks amazing.  I’m really proud.  Hubby said, “Wow it looks like a real bra”.  That’s because it IS a real bra I snorted.

Learn how to sew a bra, and make it fit you perfectly. Surprisingly easy!

But does it fit?  Let’s look at that next time when the class moves on to fitting adjustments…

Want to sew your own bras too – check out the Sewing Bras, Construction and Fit class here.  Bra making

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Learn how to sew a bra, and make it fit you perfectly.  Surprisingly easy!

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29 Responses to Sewing Bras – Construction and Fit

  1. Tina says:

    Thanks a lot for writing about bra making. You are amazinG. Very interesting, just read the 2nd part too. And a special thank you that you put together the stores around the world where to buy supplies. I bought the class last year and the supply after christmas and did sew 2 muslins with small parts of fabric that i had left overs – not the real fabric/supply. They were not too bad but I have to wait some more weeks till i can follow up on this and make modifications. Too busy with other things at the moment. Looking forward to see what happens with modifications.
    Good luck for your project. I’ll be back if I find out sth interesting.

  2. Val says:

    Hi Deby
    Great review! I bought this class back in Nov/14 when they had one of their great sales on. I live in London, my BIL lives just outside of Hamilton so we were planning to visit and go to the store. We were busy leading up to Christmas then family stuff, just haven’t made it there yet. BIL has been here a number of times. I think I will just order the starter kit then when things settle down here we will go to Hamilton.
    I am excited to start this class. Thanks for your hard work and enthusiasm.
    Val

  3. Judy says:

    Deby, I love your videos, your instructions & illustrations plus your blogs on projects you make and you definitely have encouraged me to “make my own bra” so I signed up for the Craftsy class, however I am unable to locate where to purchase the “complete” kit with underwires, etc like the kit you bought and I love and it includes the underwires. Can you help me?
    Thank you for all you offer us, the home sewer enthusiasts, you are fantastic.

  4. Carla Proffitt says:

    Dear Deby;
    I always enjoy your reviews of the classes you take and your review of this bra making class is no exception. I know I will get honest (and entertaining) advice from you. I really enjoyed reading of your search in the hardware store for the proper size knobs. ;D I have been sewing over 50 years and I have yet to make a bra. I really need to do this, as it is very difficult (and expensive!) to find a bra that fits me. Your review has encouraged me to tackle this next. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Dianna N says:

    I purchased the class a bit ago and started watching it just after Christmas when I received my kit in the mail..Deby you are right…what a great class! I made my first bra and it also looked like a real bra and was able to get it sewn in one day while following along with the video! I am actually hoping to stop at her store later this week when I travel through Canada…can’t wait! All those luscious fabric groupings! After seeing mine, my mom now wants me to make a fitting bra for her! Great review on the class and I hope others enjoy it as much as I did!!

  6. Jane S. says:

    I’m so glad to see this review — I don’t think I’ve ever had a bra that I have thought is truly comfortable and properly fitted! I’ve signed up for the class and will have to give this a go. Thanks! 🙂

  7. Sara says:

    Are you sure this is your FIRST attempt at a bra?!! LOL It looks so nice–I love your husband’s comment and your reply with a “snort”. Too funny. Oliver is a cutie–I have a few furry helpers whenever I sew, too.

  8. Joan says:

    Will you post another review about fitting soon?

  9. onlynbaja says:

    Deby, once again I was completely entertained by your posting ! I had to share it with my husband. He enjoyed it also especially the “real bra” response.
    I signed up for the class during one of those great sales. I need to order the kit and get busy ! you are so inspiring.

  10. Angela says:

    I already have this class but haven’t used it yet – so glad that I can look forward to some amazing teaching!

  11. Lorna says:

    I have signed up for this course but am waiting for my kit, so glad to read your review it make me more confident in my purchase will be starting soon. Thanks again

  12. 4caz4Caz says:

    Fantastic review, Deby – will add this to my growing list of Crafty classes as it’s been on my wishlist far too long

  13. Lori Morton says:

    Sounds Wonderful!!! & doable!!! lol Where did you get your parts kit from? Nice to have that all set to go…& like you said no wondering if ya got right things… Thanks for this Awesome review! 🙂

  14. yvettechilcott says:

    Deby, your bra is lovely, well done. Beverly has been teaching this course for a long time, and really knows her stuff. Great review of her course, too.

  15. Franni V says:

    Aside from snorting my lemon tea all over the place at your description of purchasing the newel post, loved this really detailed review, and that bra is amazing for your first go at the pattern. I’m sure I’m not alone in having bought many bras over the years that didn’t look as good as yours. I’m now going to investigate whether there are sewing patterns for bras out there for those of us of above average size…

  16. Alicia says:

    Deby I think your bra came out GREAT! I have purchased and watched the class also and it is a very thorough class. I have not attempted a bra yet. I am hoping now that the holidays are over I will have more time to try. You have definitely got me wanting to jump at it even more now!

  17. Anke says:

    WOW! This IS amazing 😮 Congratulations, this looks really great. I NEED to take this class, thank you for this detailed review! You realy encourage to try this.

  18. Gina S. says:

    I tryed the link for the 30% off class and it’s not working. 🙁

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