How to Sew Bra Straps

How to sew bra straps | Cloth Habit

Sewing bra straps might seem ridiculously simple but when I first started out sewing bras, I could never figure out which end went where through the slider. Maybe it’s because I’m lefthanded–the visuals always look backwards. So today’s tutorial may be for the lefties out there!

A couple of notes before we begin:

Straps are constructed the same way whether the adjusters are in front or back of a bra. If putting them in the back of the bra, you’ll need to sew a strip of strap elastic to the back band and leave a little bit hanging off in order to create a loop around the ring. If putting the adjusters in the front of the bra, you’ll need to create a loop for the ring at the top of the cup. This is done in one of two ways:

  • If your cup design has a strap extension (examples of that here and in the Watson pattern), you can loop this around the ring and stitch to secure.
  • If your cup design does not have a strap extension, you will secure the ring using extra underarm elastic. Here is an example of how I did that, while using a bit of firm ribbon inside the elastic to stabilize the loop.

Step 1: Cut Your Strap Elastic

I like to cut my straps about 18 inches for insurance. How long each strap needs to be depends on two things: the length of your shoulder to bust and the design of your bra. Most women need about 15-18″ for a full elastic strap.

Step 2: Attach the Slider

Thread one end of your elastic through the slider. Fold it over so that the wrong (plush) sides are facing each other and stitch a secure seam. I use a small straight stitch (about 1.0-1.5 length), and stitch back and forth.

How to sew bra straps | Cloth Habit

Step 3: Finish Threading The Elastic

Slide a ring over the unstitched end of the elastic (which you can see in the above photo). Then bring the unstitched end up toward the slider, so that the plush sides are facing each other.

Now thread your elastic up and through the slider like so:

How to sew bra straps | Cloth Habit

Keep pulling the unstitched end until you end up with a loop.

How to sew bra straps | Cloth Habit

The finished loop should be about 1-2 inches but no more than that. Remember that you will be tightening your bra straps as the elastic ages, which creates a longer loop.

The straps are sewn at the end but it’s always nice to have them pre-assembled.

As you can see from the top photo I’m making my straps using half elastic and half spaghetti straps using silk charmeuse. I had to come up with this fun design since I forgot to take my own advice and buy extra strap elastic! The Bra-makers notions kit I used includes about 10 inches of strap elastic per strap (since their patterns are designed for a half-fabric strap). I’ve assembled the elastic portion of my straps identically to the nude straps, but the ring and the adjusters will be in the back. The spaghetti straps will go up and over my shoulder meeting the ring at the top of my back.

How do you like to do your straps? Do you favor the adjustment in the front or back?

(p.s. For rouleau/spaghetti ties like mine, here is a very clever tutorial at 3 Hours Past.)

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