Bra-making Sew Along

During this sew-along, we walked through the process of fitting and sewing a basic underwired bra pattern. We took our time so we could get to know the patterns and learn how to make design and pattern changes for style.

Please note: This sew-along ran in January 2013, so the Flickr group is now closed. All the tutorials and sew-along posts will still be here!

All the posts related to the sew-along are listed below. Scroll further down for a few FAQs.

schedule and introductory posts

week one: measuring and testing the pattern

week two: fitting & style changes

week three: sewing our bras

blog badges!

Sew Along FAQ

Note: When shopping for underwires, buy more than one size! For insurance. See also: Fitting an Underwire.

Where can I buy lingerie supplies?
This prep post has some information on basic supplies and traditional bra-making fabrics. For more ideas, visit my Lingerie Resources page.

Where do I sign up or enroll? Do you have a website where I can join?
The sew-along was be posted as a series of tutorials over a period of three weeks. It’s finished now, but the posts will always be here for you to follow at your leisure!

What pattern should I use?
During this sew-along, we worked with patterns with a full frame (also known as a “full band” bra). Many of the steps here can apply to any bra pattern. No matter what pattern you try, bras require some time to fit and shape to your specific needs, so keep at it!

What kind of sewing experience do I need?
Making a bra requires some basic sewing experience, because you will be working with a lot of elastic and tiny, very curved seams. The great thing about making a bra is that it helps with your sewing accuracy and creativity in so many other areas!

31 Comments on Bra-making Sew Along

  1. judy
    January 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Hello, I am looking for week 1 posts? Have I missed them?

    Reply
    • Amy
      January 9, 2013 at 12:20 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Judy, nope you haven’t missed anything. Anything I’ve posted is linked above in the schedule… keep checking back on my home page to see if it’s been updated!

      Reply
  2. debm
    January 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi! I just learned about the bra-making sew along from the message board on Pattern Review. I’ve been planning to tackle lingerie for over a year, so this is perfect timing (especially since I’m already doing the sewing for a year challenge and it’s time to restock lingerie without the option of shopping!).

    I have a Kwik Sew KP 3300 underwire pattern, plus an Élan pattern (not sure of the model number). I have tricot, stretch lace, lingerie elastic, lingerie straps, power net, even an assortment of underwires in my stash, just waiting for my mojo to engage. Thank you for the help and guidance!

    Reply
  3. Sharon
    January 9, 2013 at 5:43 am (2 years ago)

    I’ve learnt about this from a couple of Australian bloggers, Carolyn and Robyn and between them they have made me realise that I need to learn to sew my own bras, so please count me in. I have a Booby Traps patterns B003 (Australian company) and also plan to purchase the KS3300.

    I am really looking forward to this and appreciate all your help and guidance.

    Reply
  4. Norma
    January 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm (2 years ago)

    I just saw this sewalong on Carolyn’s website. Am I too late to join in?

    Reply
    • Amy
      January 9, 2013 at 10:21 pm (2 years ago)

      No, feel free to join along!

      Reply
      • Norma
        January 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm (2 years ago)

        Thanks!

  5. Kbenco
    January 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm (2 years ago)

    I’ve come here from Carolyn’s blog too, what a great sew a long. I have several bra patterns but have not made one I’m happy with yet. I need some prompting!

    Reply
  6. Merche
    January 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm (2 years ago)

    Hello! I´ve come here from Carolyn´s blog too! I´ve been planing to make underwear for some months, I have a kwicksew pattern that I think will do, some of the notions are tricky to find where I live but I can manage…can I join you?

    Reply
    • Amy
      January 10, 2013 at 11:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Merche, sure!

      Reply
  7. Nessie
    January 11, 2013 at 8:23 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Amy, I would like to join in, (from Carolyn’s blog also).
    I have just purchased the Elan pattern, so am awaiting its arrival in my mailbox.

    Reply
  8. Atty
    February 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Amy I’m interested in making bras but I want to make ones with padded cups in them. Could you give me any tips on how to sew them in properly?

    Reply
    • Amy
      February 11, 2013 at 2:12 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Atty, I didn’t cover foam cups in the sew-along but there are a few patterns that use them if you wanted to learn some techniques. I hope to post about some of my own experiments in foam bras soon, so keep checking back!

      Reply
  9. Brenda
    February 26, 2013 at 12:39 am (2 years ago)

    I signed up for the bra making sew-along, but did not receive the first few lessons. Could you please email them to me? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Amy
      February 26, 2013 at 1:11 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Brenda, the sew-along was posted as a series of entries on my blog. I don’t have a way of emailing them but each entry is listed under the heading “Schedule and Posts” on this page. You can click through the ones you missed.

      Another option is to subscribe to my blog via an RSS reader like Google Reader. It works a little bit like email and it’s the best way to subscribe to blogs so that you can view all past and current posts in one convenient spot.

      Hope that helps!
      Amy

      Reply
  10. elise
    March 19, 2013 at 3:12 am (2 years ago)

    I received my Elan pattern yesterday ! Looking forward to the sew along !
    elise

    Reply
  11. BikerGranny2
    May 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm (1 year ago)

    Just purchased the Danglez patterns. Got two as I wasn’t sure of my size & it seems they are quitting business! Of course, the 50% off was great. Thanks for sharing that.

    Reply
    • Amy
      May 24, 2013 at 12:20 am (1 year ago)

      Glad you were able to get one in before she closes!

      Reply
  12. Lynda
    August 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm (1 year ago)

    Is this still going on? I just found it and am wanting to build my own bras since store bought ones don’t fit.

    Reply
    • Amy
      August 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Lynda – the sew-along ran in January, but all the posts will stay up so you are free to follow whatever you’d like to! The Flickr group is closed.

      Reply
  13. Laura
    August 27, 2013 at 8:55 am (1 year ago)

    I am a little late to the party but I am going to be joining in soon!! Blogging about it on my website too… thanks for all the amazing advice, it’s quite fired me up!! xxx

    Reply
    • Amy
      August 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm (1 year ago)

      Glad you found it! And hope you have fun on the bra-making journey!

      Reply
  14. Brenda
    August 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm (1 year ago)

    Laura, what website do you have?

    Reply
  15. Lynda
    August 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm (1 year ago)

    thank you

    Reply
  16. Buying Bra online
    October 1, 2013 at 11:48 am (1 year ago)

    Hi , my name is janna , is still possible for me to join ??

    Reply
    • Amy
      October 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Janna, please read through this page – the Flickr group is closed & all tutorials will remain on my site.

      Reply
  17. Colette
    January 20, 2014 at 9:31 pm (9 months ago)

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone here ever tried making a bra (foam or non foam) sewing by hand as opposed to using a sewing machine? I never actually learned how to use a sewing machine and want to know how much more difficult it would be to do.

    Reply
    • Amy
      January 21, 2014 at 11:02 pm (9 months ago)

      Hi Colette, I would guess that depends on what kind of bra you want to make and your skills in various hand stitches. For a bra with elastics and elastic fabrics, such as those we made in this sew-along, you need to be able have a stretch-able stitch (zig zag). The stitches around the underwire and cup seams would need to be pretty secure and hard to do without a machine.

      But there are all sorts of bras–something like a soft cup bra made from non elastic material might be a better candidate for a hand-sewn bra. BTW, you don’t need an expensive or fancy machine to make a bra–I’ve made several on this inexpensive, simple machine. This would be very easy to learn on if you are interested in learning basic machine sewing.

      Reply
      • Colette
        January 21, 2014 at 11:19 pm (9 months ago)

        I do quite a bit of hand stitching (clothing repairs, drawstring bags for SCA stuff) so have some experience with zig-zag stitches. I guess it probably wouldn’t take much to learn how to operate and thread a machine, but I’ve always enjoyed hand sewing and it would mean I could make lingerie for photo shoots while I sit in Tafe lectures without disturbing anyone. I’ll definitely check out the Janome Mini though :) And the fact that it goes slowly is probably a good thing for me ;)

        I think, based on your reply, that I might go ahead and give it a go, just to see whether it works out or not.

        Thanks :)

  18. sue
    June 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm (5 months ago)

    Hi, thanks so much for the info on bra making. I am making one this week.
    I love your blog and am going to follow.
    Please hop over to mine and follow me and like me on http://www.facebook.com/sewmanysavings

    Reply
  19. Carol Roger
    July 13, 2014 at 11:50 am (4 months ago)

    Hi Amy thanks for sharing such wonderful bra making sew along. This sew along was easy to follow.

    Reply

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