Remember this post about three lingerie projects, where I mentioned I wanted to try another MakeBra pattern? I did, and I love it. This is my favourite bra of all the bras I’ve sewn to date. The pattern is DL03 and it’s a winner!
Why? Three main reasons:
- The fit: it’s rounded, not pointy, not flattening. It looks good under clothes.
- The fabric: you can use any fabric to cover the foam cups, it doesn’t have to be cut on grain, making it even easier to use scraps. This is a stretch cotton shirting, not your usual bra-making fabric!
- The style: it’s so flattering! Balconettes are my bra style of choice. It’s modern, and closer to the rounded shape that today’s store-bought bras create.
In fact it’s so pretty, it’s a shame to cover it up! If I were a different person (more showy? more confident?) I’d wear it with a cardigan unbuttoned to the bra band.
Here’s what it looks like under a knit top – rounded! smooth!
I like that the trims and elastic are ivory, so I can wear it with basic ivory undies. That’s the only drawback to using a woven fabric, I don’t want to sew woven underwear. (I’ve made pairs before with woven and knit fabrics together, it’s okay but not my favourite.) From the back, it looks like a plain ivory bra.
Here’s a look at the inside of the bra. I didn’t line the cups, but I’ve noticed some of my fancier store-bought bras have fabric lining inside the cups. It would be really easy to add for a future version.
The cup pieces are simply zigzagged together. I read this post by Emerald Erin later, that she prefers to use a satin stitch instead for a smoother finish, which I might try.
A look at the cup shape, with the bra band flat against the table:
And from another angle:
It’s very much a rounded half-sphere shape with a straight-across neckline. What’s nice about the straight neckline is that the entire top edge is finished at once! You apply elastic all the way across the back, the top edge of the cups, and the other side of the back in one step.
Changes I Made:
Instead of zigzagging down the middle of the seams, I edgestitched on either side of the seam. It felt like a more suitable choice on a cotton fabric.
I added a seamline in the band so I could have the back cut from powermesh, and the front from the floral cotton. The band in the pattern is all one piece, meant to be cut from lycra fabric.
I didn’t make the fabric covered strap, but used strap elastic instead.
I skipped the foldover elastic and used narrow picot elastic to finish the top edge. This means you’re turning under the foam edge, which is a bit annoying, so I trimmed as much of the foam out of the seam before the final zigzag. It also means the cups are about 1/4″ lower across the top edge, which I don’t mind. I might try it the proper way next time but the fit is excellent just as it is.
Tip of the day: save your old bra parts when the bra wears out! The bow I saved from an old ready-to-wear bra. I save rings and sliders, straps if they’re not stretched out, bows and embellishments. If you wanted you could save hooks and eyes, but that’s too much unpicking for me.
The MakeBra website has instructions online for making the bra. The tip about pinning the cup cover to the foam cup starting at the seamline is a good one. I did a much better job covering my cups this time than when I made my first Makebra bra.
The only modification I’d make is to move the straps closer to the centre front. I placed them way too far to the sides, because I wanted to avoid it looking like the Classic Bra with the straps centered over the cup. I overcompensated and now they’re not close enough! The instructions have you position the straps near the end, so you can put them in the right spot, but there’s no strap placement indicated on the pattern. I guessed and that’s where they ended up. Next time I’ll move them about 1/2″ towards centre.
Next up: either an adaptation of this bra to use stretch lace, with the scalloped edge along the lower edge of the band. I think that would be nice! Or maybe a playful version of this bra with ruffles across the top edge! Lots of possibilities. Even a plain solid-coloured spandex knit would work well for a smooth, versatile set.