Hi guys, I’m doing a simple tutorial today: I will be covering how to sew adjustable bra straps. Sewing adjustable bra straps is fairly easy, but can be pretty confusing for a first timer. There are also many chances to make mistakes that you never even consider. When I first stared sewing bras, I had a few snafus where I threaded the strap elastic incorrectly through the slider. I would end up with the wrong side of the strap elastic facing outwards!
Technically if you are sewing your own bras, you can just cut the strap elastic to the length that fits you perfectly and leave it at that. However, overtime, the strap elastic will lose its elasticity and you will be forced to shorten the elastic when that happens. Otherwise the straps will keep slipping off your shoulder when you wear the bra. This is why it’s advantageous to make your bra straps adjustable–you can just tighten the strap elastic once the elasticity goes.
If you want to learn how to make adjustable bra straps, read on!
What is Strap Elastic?
Strap elastic is usually a firm elastic that has a shiny or decorative side and a plush underside. The shiny or decorative side is the one we see and the plush underside lays against your skin when the bra is worn. Above, you can see that strap elastic can come in a variety of decorative finishes.
The shiny or decorative side is considered the right side and the plush side is the wrong side. This makes it easier to distinguish the sides when walking through the steps of how to make the straps.
How Long Should My Bra Straps Be?
This is honestly going to depend on your body type and the style of the bra you are sewing. A good rule of thumb is cut the strap to be 18″.
How to Make Adjustable Bra Straps
To make adjustable bra straps, you will need strap elastic and two rings and two sliders. Bra strap elastic can come in a variety of widths, so make sure to find rings and sliders that fit the elastic! For my demo, I am using a strap elastic that is 1/2″ in width. The gold rings & sliders are are also 1/2″.
To start, cut two lengths of strap elastic that are 18″ each.
Take one length of elastic and hold it with the right side facing up. Thread the elastic through one opening of the slider and through the center bar and come out the other opening.
Straight stitch the threaded elastic end back and forth a couple of times to secure.
Take the free end of the strap elastic and thread it through a ring with the wrong side facing up. Pull the free end through the ring towards the end with the slider.
Take the free end with the right side facing up. Thread it through one slider opening again and through the center bar and come out through the other opening.
Et voilà! You have one adjustable bra strap. Repeat the above steps with the other strap elastic.
Where to Attach Adjustable Bra Straps to the Bra
Bra straps can be attached to bra with the adjusters at the front of the bra or the back of the bra. Below, I will show you a couple of common scenarios you will run into when attaching adjustable bra straps.
Attaching the Bra Straps with the Adjusters at the Front of the Bra with Strap Extension
You can see a couple more photo examples of bra styles with front strap extensions below:
Attaching the Bra Straps with the Adjusters at the Front of the Bra with No Strap Extension
You can still have the adjusters at the front of the bra even if your pattern doesn’t have front strap extensions. All you have to do is create a loop for the ring by using a short piece of strap elastic and attaching it at the front of the bra.
You can see more photo examples of bra styles with no front strap extensions, but with the adjusters in the front below:
Attaching the Bra Straps with the Adjusters at the Back of the Bra
To attach the bra straps with the adjusters at the back of the bra, all you have to do is create a loop for the ring using strap elastic once again. You will attach those loops at the back of the bra some distance away from the hook & eye. This part is up to personal preference.
You can see more photo examples of bra styles with the bra adjusters at the back of the bra below:
If you are new to bra making, I hope this tutorial made sewing adjustable bra straps manageable and easy to understand.
As a final note, I want to impress upon you that when you are sewing your own bras, everything is customizable to your personal preference and taste. This includes bra straps.
Take a look at the photo above. I have the standard ring and slider adjustable bra strap that I made above. Next to it, I have a peach satin adjustable bra strap made with two sliders instead of a ring and a slider. And next to that, I have a silver adjustable bra strap with a triple ring detail.
The point I want to make is this: When you are sewing your own bras, you are in charge of all the design details that go into the bra. And this includes the bra straps. I hope this gives you a few ideas of some of the bra strap details you can implement once you are further along your bra making journey.