Adventures in Bra Sewing – Part 2: Making a Better Fitting Bra!

So after my first bra-making endeavor, I was pretty happy with the fit of the bra in general, but I still needed to make several alterations to the second version of the pattern to correct multiple fit issues.

The second version of the bra looks very similar to the first, but I actually made several changes:

  • I went from a 38 band to a 36 band
  • I moved over the back strap point by 1/2″ to fix the wide strap issue
  • I narrowed the width of the side band by about 1/2″ to fix an issue with extra folds of fabric
  • I widened the bridge pattern by 1/8″ so that it would sit flatter on my torso

Overall I think this is a much better fitting bra. There are still a few issues, but I think they are minor. I tried a 1/8″ thick foam in this bra, as opposed to a 3/16″ thick foam in the first bra. Honestly, I think I prefer the 3/16″ foam. I found it held it’s shape better during and after construction. As far as the actual construction, I think I did some things better on this bra and some things better on the first, but in general I’m pretty happy with the tidiness of the results. And no needles were sacrificed in the making of this bra, so that’s a win! (I totally broke 3 needles on the first one…. I don’t even know how in some cases.)

As far as the fit adjustment go, almost all of the adjustments I made have corrected my major fit problems. The only one that didn’t was the widening of the front band. It actually did sit much better on my torso, but now I have a tiny extra gaping wedge at the top. So, apparently, I did need to add some width to the bottom of the pattern piece, but not to the top. I have corrected this for the next variations (this alteration was also discussed in the video tutorial, so I’ve followed that instruction), so hopefully attempt 3 will be the perfected fit I’m going for.

I think I’m finally to the more tricky bit of sewing bras: figuring out what I need to adjust with the cups. I think that there is still a bit of weirdness in how the cups are fitting, but I can’t decide if it is because they are too big, too small, or the curves just need to be redistributed a bit. I’m leaning a bit towards the third option, because I don’t have any of the really obvious fit issues like double boob spillage or baggy cups that I would expect if the bra was just obviously too big or too small. I do have some spots where the curvature of the bra cup feels a little big and some spots where it feels a little small, so probably the curve just needs to be redistributed a bit around the apex point. The Craftsy Construction & Fit class goes through a lot of these alterations, so I will review and possibly consider attempting some of them. Since my pattern already has a split lower cup, some of the alteration options seem a bit more limited, but I think I need to really re-watch the cup alterations video again and think about what my pattern actually needs to have adjusted before I move on to version 3. Since the fit is generally quite good at this point, I might also consider some fun variations for the next version and possibly breaking into the lace stash a bit. At some point I want to play around with pre-formed foam cups, but I don’t think I’m completely there yet.

In other news, my sister’s second bra also turned out much better! While I think we are probably going to need to go through a lot of the same alterations that I did to my pattern to get a more comfortable fit, she finally has something wearable, which is very exciting. It’s been a solid 2 months of planning and patterning and adjusting, but I think that both of us should have some really good TNT patterns soon that we can then use to make much more interesting and creative design choices now that the fit is close to what we both want. I don’t think the bra making adventure is at an end, but I do think we are both past the most difficult parts of getting the basic fit and construction techniques down, so now we can both really work on fine-tuning our patterns to get even better bras.

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Bra Sewing – Part 2: Making a Better Fitting Bra!

  1. Nice! I’m jealous that it only took you two tries to get things nailed down. When I used Beverly’s method of fitting it wasn’t even close, and stumbling around on my own for a couple more tries didn’t get me there. But, I’m better at fitting in general these days, so maybe I should try again. Good luck with the next round, excited to see the *fancy* versions!


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