Hello and welcome to my bra making and lingerie sewing blog! I created this blog in order to share my bra making journey and showcase my projects, provide lingerie sewing tips and tricks, and serve as a bra making resource for my readers.
My name is Ying and I am the owner of an online lingerie sewing supplies shop called Tailor Made Shop. I launched my online business in May 2015 and the goal is to give sewists access to quality lingerie sewing supplies.
Why Bra Making?
I started sewing my own bras because my needs weren’t being met by retail offerings.
I had known for the longest time that I was not wearing the correct bra size. I often purchased and wore a 32A because that was usually the smallest band and cup size offered by stores. The band frequently rode up my back, the straps slipped off my shoulders (despite being very broad shouldered), and I could not fill in the bra cups. And due to my broad frame, the cups were often too close together and the underwires would dig into my breast tissue. It was terribly uncomfortable and unsexy.
I remember being really excited when Victoria’s Secret came out with T-shirt bras in size 30A. I purchased one and found that they were still not a good fit. The cups were still too close together and the underwires dug into my rib cage and breast tissue. I still had trouble filling out the cups.
Frustrated, I decided to get measured professionally.
I went to a well known lingerie boutique in New York.
The sales associate took my measurements and said, “You measure a 30AA/30AAA.”
Then she paused.
I looked at her expectantly.
“We don’t carry anything in your size!” She blurted out.
I thanked her for her time and left the store empty handed.
When I went home, I furiously googled for bras in size 30AA/30AAA. There was virtually nothing and if there were, they were very plain and unsexy.
So I decided to do something drastic.
In 2014, I signed up for a bra making class.
I was largely inspired by this bra making class report by a sewing blogger named Tasia. She had taken a two-day bra making workshop at a fabric shop called A Great Notion in Surrey, BC. In her post, she had positive things to say about her bra making class experience and shared drool-worthy photos of the bras that she had made.
After reading her post, I immediately googled local bra making classes. Turns out that the only thing available at that time was a Fashion Institute of Technology Lingerie Curriculum that was only open to students pursuing a degree. I then expanded my search to nationwide bra making classes and still turned up nothing. Not one to give up, I decided to email A Great Notion to see if they were running the bra making workshop again. Luckily they were and they were happy to (although flabbergasted–since I will be flying in from New York) sign me up for the course.
This bra making class changed my life. In two days, I finished an underwire bra with cut and sew foam cups. I was given additional fitting tips by the instructor. I had a lot of fun socializing with the ladies who took the class with me. (Fun fact: They had all signed up for this workshop after reading Tasia’s post…ha!) And for the record, this first bra did not fit me.
However, I left with the skills and knowledge to make my own bras. Today, I own a large drawer full of bras that fit me perfectly, in any design or color or print that I wanted.
The world of bra making has exploded since 2014. Today, there are a lot more bra making classes available (both in person and online). More and more bra patterns and being released and there are now a plethora of tutorials and blog posts covering the subject of bra making. There’s even a community of bra makers on Facebook.
The point I want to make is this: our breasts are all unique and the lingerie industry only caters to a small range of standard sizes. If you are on the smaller or larger end of the size spectrum, it is unlikely that you will find anything in your size. Even if you wear a standard size, your breasts may not fit a given brand’s shape perfectly. If you are unhappy with what the lingerie industry is offering you, it’s up to you to do something about it. And you can by learning how to sew your own bras and making bras that fit.
Inspired to give bra making a try? Here are some helpful posts:
About Tailor Made Shop
I started Tailor Made Shop in May 2015 when I realized that there were not many shops that offered lingerie sewing supplies. As a newbie bra maker, it was incredibly annoying to have to source my materials from several different places whenever I needed to gather materials for a project. So I decided to leverage my industry experience in Sourcing & Development in Fashion and launched an online fabric and trims shop to give sewists access to quality bra-making materials.
I firmly believe that you can make bras that practically look store bought. I’ve curated a selection of beautiful and quality materials to help you achieve that.
Also, fun fact about the shop selection. I have major wanderlust and I love to source materials during my travels. The goodies in my shop hail from Japan, UK, Netherlands, Canada and other places around the world.