15 September 2016

Lingerie: A cloned bra for my mother

I have been wanting to make a custom fit bra for my mother for ages. I don't get to see her that often though, and when either she is visiting me, or I'm visiting her, by the time I think of it, there isn't enough time left to get it done.

My mum recently spent a few days visiting with me, and in the middle of her stay the conversation came around to bras. She mentioned that she was having problems buying ones that fit, but that she had an old one with her that fit well, but she hadn't been able to find the same one again to buy more.

Cue the Press 'n Seal that I got my husband to buy at a recent Costco shop. Other sewists rave about the versatility of this stuff as an aid in cloning garments, but I have previously not been able to get my hands on any, as it isn't readily available in Australia.

As soon as I saw a comment on a FB group that it was available at Costco however, Bingo! I now have two rolls of the stuff. And had nothing to try it out on.

The Bra
Have a read of this article which explains how to use Press 'N Seal to clone a bra. It's actually quite fun sticking it on and drawing around the seams. I placed the bra on my tailor's ham to trace it out rather than put it on mum, Which worked quite well, I must say. As I was short on time, I added the seam allowances directly on the press n seal and then stuck it down on the fabric that I wanted to cut out.

A word of warning if you try this though, it will stick really well to some fabrics, and I managed to fray the edges of one of my pieces of satin when I pulled it off. All good though, it was only about 2mm that frayed. I have another 5mm in my seam allowances to play with! The pattern pieces are now safely stuck down onto paper.

The original bra that I copied
The original bra is made from stretch fabrics, but mum doesn't actually need the cups to stretch at all, so I gave her some options of fabric, and she chose a woven cream polyester satin fabric for the cups. They are lined with cream tricot, and for the rest of the bra I used powernet. I copied the application of fold over elastic for the top edges of the bra, and used a 15mm wide elastic for the lower edge. The internal seams are all covered with a strip of folded tricot.

Without the need for bra wadding (AKA cut and sew foam) or underwires, this bra came together really quickly. I actually turned it around in less than 24 hours, pattern and all.

The fit
Here's a quote from my mother "The bra is quite comfortable, I was able to wear it all day without discomfort. Thank you." Considering the struggle she has had recently to find comfortable bras, I'll take this as the highest praise for a job well done. And get to work on a few more in different colours for Christmas perhaps?


  1. Perfect solution and wonderful compliment from your Mum. You have got Christmas all sorted.

    1. Now to find some time to sew some more up for her!

  2. It looks great. Thanks for sharing the cloning part of the bra. Never thought about how to this. I think this first one will not be the last one.