13 May 2016

Lingerie: The Maya Bra

The second new bra that I'm showing you this month is the Maya bra by Ana Filimon.

This bra pattern literally stormed the internet last year (well, if you're part of any lingerie sewing groups on Facebook, or read lots of sewing blogs it certainly felt like it did!) I love the beautiful curved upper cup on the pattern, and thought it would be interesting to see how a pattern not drafted to my measurements would fit.

I downloaded what I thought would be the right size for me at the time, but only just had a chance to look at it again last month.

The Bra
My journey with this bra was almost over before it began. I thought I should probably check how my underwires compared with the cradle pattern before I got too carried away, and discovered that my wires were too long for the size I had printed. I then printed out a few other sizes, comparing my wires with each as I went. I ended up going from my original 34B, to a 34C after printing out these as well as the 32C, 34B and 34D. I almost went larger, but decided to compare the overall length of the wire, rather than the orientation.

The wires were the right length for the 34C, although the sizing was just a little larger than my RTW size. When positioned correctly, my wire starts about 1cm lower than this at CF, and ends 1cm higher under the arm.

Before cutting out my pattern pieces, I drew in my preferred seam allowances (7mm for seams and 11mm for elastic). Knowing that the cradle piece for my recently completed bra based on the Foundations Revealed method was already fitted to me, I overlaid that pattern piece onto the Maya cradle piece, and redrew the curve for the underwire, lining up the centre front, and the lowest point of the underwire.

This then necessitated changes to the underarm line on the cradle and band, and for the notch at the base of the cradle to move outwards by about 1cm also.

Now, onto the cups. I'm sure that the seams are supposed to intersect at bust point. They do in every other Maya that I've seen. Due to my changes however, most notably swivelling the underwire, my seam is closer to the front. I was a little worried about what that would do to my shape when wearing my completed bra, but was loathe to make more changes that weren't directly related to fit.

This is what happened to the shape: more volume towards the CF
After making up a test version in calico, I made a few more changes. Firstly, taking out 5mm starting from the top edge of the cradle and back band along the joining seam, tapering to nothing at the bottom of the seam edge, and subsequent re-drawing of the upper edge of both pieces. Moving the point where the strap joins 1cm towards CF. My last change was to take a sliver off the top of each of the lower cup pieces, to take away some of the volume in the cups. I knew that by making a larger size to accommodate my wires that I would end up with cups that were too large, so I was surprised that the fit didn't seem to be that bad. I had some wrinkling across all the cup seams which disappeared when I removed some excess.

The true test of course, would be the fit when made up properly.

Freshly dyed lemon (antique gold)
For this bra I chose some all over lace that was left over from my sister's wedding dress (from 20 odd years ago) that she made for herself. I think my mother had bought a whole roll, and somehow I ended up with the leftovers. I lined the lace with a polyester satin (dyed here), and the matching dyed powernet, tricot, strapping, ring, sliders and elastic for the remaining parts of the bra. As most of the components turned out more lemon than cream, I was a little worried about how they would go together, but was really happy with the end result.

I even made a pair of matching undies!

I made a few changes to my self drafted pattern to add a panel of lace to the front. I didn't add any extra width to my pattern piece, stupidly believing that the mechanical stretch in the lace would provide enough stretch. It doesn't really, but they're still wearable. The main fabric is leftovers of cream jersey, previously used in my Alabama Chanin dress and Flower and Leaf top, and the elastic was dyed at the same time as all the other bits and pieces.

The Cost (bra only)
Stash    Satin and lace
$0.11    Interfacing
$0.71    Bra Wadding
$0.10    Tricot
$0.24    Powernet
$0.66    Underwires
$0.79    Underwire casing
$0.74    Elastic
$0.55     Strap elastic
$0.33    Rings and Sliders
$1.54    Hook and eye closure
$0.54    Thread (rough estimate)
$0.66    Dye

$6.97    Grand Total

The Fit
I can't believe how well this bra fits. Despite the odd shaping of the cups after all my pattern tweaking, it doesn't give me an odd shape when I'm wearing it. This is one of the most comfortable bras that I have made, and I love how I have a matching set.


  1. Thank you for explaining the steps in fitting the pattern to your wires. Your set looks lovely, and congratulations on a good fit!

    1. Thanks Donna, I'm glad you found it useful.

  2. Thanks for the tips. The dyeing turned out well!