19 May 2014

Lingerie: My Second Bra

Since I finished my first bra, I've been itching to make another one.

First things first though, I stocked up on some more supplies in preparation for future bra making - powernet, bra wadding, and tricot. I had to use all my reserves of self control to not use all of these things in this bra - I'm trying to only use one new technique at a time to see how they turn out.

I addressed some issues with shape that I'd had with my first bra, making some alterations to the shape of the band, and changing the bra cup to three separate pieces. I cut the back band on the grain instead of on the bias, which worked out really well. I used a different strap arrangement, and moved the strap placement 2cm closer to the centre back. I had planned to put the straps on with the slider towards the back, but changed my mind at the last minute and put the sliders closer to the front. It might make it easier to adjust the straps on the run (if that were required), but I have managed for the second bra in a row, to have the ring right on the top of my shoulder - not so comfortable. For the next one, I think I'll try this same strap design, but attach them the other way around.

This bra is made from a cotton broderie anglaise with lime stitching that I've had in my stash for more than five years. All the pieces are lined in my newly acquired tricot, for extra stability, and to avoid any irritation that the back of the embroidery would cause. The bra cradle also has an additional layer of interfacing, the same as I used in the first bra. I covered all of the seams on the inside with a strip of tricot, and used another strip to do an inside bind on the upper edge of the bra cups. I was going to do this as an enclosed seam, but thought this way would give a better edge to the cup.

I'm pretty pleased with how the construction on this one turned out, although I think I need to think a bit more about how to attach the straps to the front. The widths just didn't match up, so I'll change the style on that for next time.


Interfacing - stash that was gifted to me
$2.00    Broderie Anglaise (stash busted!)
$0.40    Tricot
$0.66    Underwires
$0.77    Underwire casing
$0.83    Elastic
$0.50    Strap elastic
$0.12    Rings
$0.14    Sliders
$1.54    Back hook closure
$0.54    Thread (rough estimate)

Grand Total  $7.51

When you add in the cost of fabric (even for such a small amount as this), the cost starts to go up! It's not likely to ever get as high as a RTW bra though, and one would hope that the fit is superior. If not on this one, then on a future bra. I found that I'd made a mistake on my costing spreadsheet, so for the last bra where I had indicated that the wires were $1.32, they were actually only half that, $0.66! I had put the cost of a pair into the spreadsheet, and then recorded that I had used two, instead of one pair. So my first bra actually only cost me $5.07 to make! And the next one will increase in cost again, as I plan on using bra wadding and powernet!

And how is the fit you ask? Just like my first bra, the fit is great and it's really comfortable, but I'm still not sold on a soft cup bra. There just isn't enough support at the sides. The stiffer fabric helped out a little, and I really like the tricot lining, but I'm looking forward to trying out bra wadding for a bit more structure. The strap placement is a lot better, but the back band could do with being a couple of centimetres shorter. For the next one I'll take 0.5m out of the elastic at CB on both sides. Plus I'll be experimenting with powernet for the back band as well as the bra wadding. I know, two major changes in one bra, but it's taking me too long between bras, and I just want to work out what works best!


  1. Terrific bra, Andrea. I am still working with the pattern, I just don't have the time or energy to make my own pattern. I do have bra envy though :)

    1. Thanks Sue. If you've found a pattern that works for you, stick to it! I'm just getting started.

  2. That's really cute! I love that pretty fabric you have chosen :)