I want to start this series off with online courses, because they are readily accessible to anyone around the world. The beauty of online classes is that they are not location specific and you can start to learn the art of bra making in the comfort of your home. Most online classes nowadays also offer lifetime access, so you can constantly refer back to the content.
(Note: Signing up for any of the classes by clicking on my links will result in a small commission for me. Thank you for your support.)
Create custom-fit bras with your home sewing machine.
Choose the perfect fabric, pattern and size.
Create the cups, add the straps, sew the side seams and attach the cups to the bra’s frame.
Apply elastic to the bottom bands, top bands and neckline.
Build structure with an optional underwire.
Make basic fit alterations such as adjusting the strap length or fixing a gaping or too-snug band.
My Notes: I personally own Sewing Bras: Construction & Fit and this is the class I recommend to all beginner bra makers. Beverly Johnson does a great job breaking down the art of bra making and provides very in depth explanations for all the steps to make an underwire bra. This is a foundational course and you will be able to tackle more advanced bra projects using the skills taught in this course. In addition, you can interact with Beverly Johnson and other students if you have questions or suggestions.
Use a well-fitting pattern to design, draft and make your own bras.
Turn a full-band bra pattern into a partial-band bra.
Change the neckline and design the straps you want.
Modify bra frames and bra backs.
Support and complement your shape with power bars.
Alter a bra pattern to fit asymmetric breasts.
My Notes: I also own Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques and it is the perfect next-step course if you are looking to further develop your bra making skills. My favorite lessons are the ones that cover partial band conversion and cup seam modification.
Add lace to cups, bridges and partial- or full-band bras.
Use cut-and-sew foam for versatile styles, shapes and sizes.
Create a balconette and demi-cup bra.
Choose, fit and place pre-formed foam cups in your bras.
Cover your cups with wrinkle-free fabric and lace.
My Notes: Surprise! I also own Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond. This class is excellent for learning how to apply lace to bra making. Beverly teaches you how to manipulate lace for the most flattering results. You will also learn how to change your bra into a balconette or a demi-cup style. Finally, this class is perfect for those of us who are interested in using foam in their bra projects.
• Draft and sew three bras styles: full coverage bra, demi and a bralette style
• Learn how to add padded cups, underwire and boning.
• Find out how to alter bra patterns for large and small sizes.
• Draft slips, camisoles and petticoats
• Learn how to draft basic panty blocks in three styles: hipster, vintage style and bikini
• Learn how to add trims, lace and elastics to panties.
• Plus, what tools and supplies you will need for lingerie making.
My Notes: I have not personally taken or tried this class. The format of this class is “On Demand”, and the website specifically states that there is no live support or interaction with the instructor. If anyone has taken this class, I could love to hear your thoughts.
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Final Notes: This list is only complete if I regularly update it as other online classes pop up. I will keep my eyes peeled for new classes, but if you see any new ones or if you are launching one yourself, feel free to comment below and let me know so I can keep this list up to date!
Obviously that is not the most comprehensive answer and I thought I could do better. So I decided to assemble this guide. I hope this series is helpful to anyone who is looking to get into Bra Making and I hope it is still a useful resource for those of us who are more advanced bra makers!
In the coming weeks, I will publish the posts in this guide and link them to this page for easy reference. If you have any suggestions on what topics to cover or what needs improvement, feel free to share in the comments below!
So this is a second try of the Merckwaerdigh Triangle Bralette for myself. (You can ready about the first try here.) I reduced the volume at the apex by 1/4″ and graduated to 0″ on both ends. I added a bit of height and width to the triangle pieces so it provides more coverage. The verdict? Still a bit too voluminous in the over bust area. Hopefully the next one will fit perfectly after I make an adjustment to the pattern.
Did you know that Merckwaerdigh now offers PDF Lingerie Patterns in her Etsy Shop? I recently brought and downloaded the Triangle Bralette Bikini Pattern found here. I made the XS and used elastics for the bra band and straps instead of using the pattern pieces that came with the pattern.
For sizing reference, I’m about a 30AA/30AAA. I can still pinch out extra volume at the princess seams, so I think the XS will be a good fit for ladies who are about a 30A-32A. I also don’t think that the XS cups offer enough coverage (it’s pretty skimpy)…I will probably add more height and width to the pattern pieces for the next iteration.
Front bra closures! How do we feel about them? Personally, I think this will probably be the first and last time I will install a front bra closure for my personal projects. It looks okay flat, but I don’t like how it looks on the body. What are your thoughts?
The matching hipster pantie is a free underwear pattern by Make Bra. For such a dainty bralette, I was tempted to make a matching bottom in a dainty silhouette (think a thong or a tanga). I don’t really like to wear thongs or tangas and much prefer the coverage that hipsters, bikinis, or boy shorts provide, so I decided to try the hipster pantie.
And I have to say, this hipster pattern is the real MVP! The fit is spot on and the cut is flattering. The only changes I made was to grade it down to a XS (pattern is sized S-L), maintain the Size Small front and back rise and then I was off to the races. I have made a total of five hipster panties as of this posting (!).
Happy Monday! I am really excited to announce that I’ve added these sewing themed zip pouches to my shop. They measure 9.25″ x 5.5″ and will comfortably carry your sewing supplies (including 8-in Gingher scissors with its guard). They can also be used to carry make-up, pens & pencils, or travel essentials. Click here to shop.
They come in two colors: black and natural with 5 zipper color options each. They are the perfect addition to your sewing arsenal and an excellent gift for anyone who sews.
Honestly, who can’t use more sewing paraphernalia? 🙂
I am giving away a “Sewing Notions” Pouch on Instagram! Head to Instagram to enter this giveaway. The giveaway will end next Monday April 4th, 11:59 EST. Good luck!
A partial band bra has been on my to-do list since I watched the chapter on partial band conversion in Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques Class on Craftsy.
In terms of personal aesthetics, I love partial bands on underwire bras. It makes the bra look more delicate and pretty in my opinion.
The mint lace I used for this bra is available in the form of a bra kit in my shop. The photos don’t do the lace justice–it’s a really pretty mint. The cups and the cradle are lined with bra tulle and the band in stretch mesh. The pattern used is Orange Lingerie’s Marlborough Bra.
So what do you think? Do you personally prefer full band or partial band on underwire bras? Share in the comments below.