Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!

Have a question or want to show off your project? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Hey!  While I've been waiting for my Fantasie bra to come back from the
pattern cloner (Brenda Solanki) I decided to try my hand at making a
pattern from a Freya bra.  It's significantly easier than the Fantasie,
which has 4-piece cups and is fully banded.  The Freya has 3-piece
cups, 2 of which pieces are padded so they lie flat easily.  It also is
only partially banded and has just a 1/4 wide filament to join the cups
(essentially no center gore to copy).  To copy each cup section I had
to pin them down to cardboard and then use layers of scotch tape as my
tracing "paper."  Just traced right onto the tape. (Dusted the sticky
backs with baby powder afterward.)   It worked quite well, although the
upper cup was so curved it required moving and repinning 4 times.
Luckily the fabric, embroidered tulle, has distinct vertical lines in
the design so matching the grain was fairly easy.

I'm going to start cutting tonight!!  More news as events warrant.


Re: Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I for one will be looking forward to your progress reports! :)


I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your hearts. (Henry VI, Shakespeare)

Re: Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!
Okay, here's the more news:

I finished the bra this evening.  In general my pattern copying was
accurate and the finished product looks pretty cute on the body.  I
will pat myself on the back for choosing well which pattern to copy.
(Freya Tallulah padded plunge bra)

Good thing, because I've got lots to be disappointed about, too.  The
biggest lesson is the same one I've always had the most trouble with:
fabric selection.  Being impatient to sew this weekend I substituted
Poly fiberfill (meant for quilts?) for padded bra foam, which was sold
out.  I've seen something similar used in cheap padded bras, but maybe
this wasn't exactly the same.  It was slightly stretchy, so I bonded
fusible tricot to the inside to stabilize.  It turned out to be 1) not
stable enough, 2) too thick, 3) not smooth enough, and 4) itchy!  (I'm
wearing it right now and am uncomfortable.)  I'm guessing the fill took
on unwanted curves during various phases of ironing, so the peak of the
bust is too low.  And the improper thickness probably is adding to the
unsatisfactory shape.

Also poor fabric selection was to use a lycra in place of wovens of the
original bra.  I fused the same tricot in angled layers to stabilize,
but the final results are not perfectly smooth and are too thick
anyhow.  The lycra covering the padding is quite wrinkly.  Maybe I'll
take pictures to show why Lee Anne Burgess says not to do this.  (If I
stretch the fabric is looks smooth.  Could do that in future, but for
this bra I won't put in any more time.)

On the plus side, I've never used a multiple zigzag before.  Had to buy
the cam for my old Singer.  The results look very finished and sturdy.
And applying the elastic worked out great, no issues.

All in all, making a bra is much easier to execute than I imagined,
just like everybody said :-).  Copying an existing bra that already
fits me well worked out much better than trying to fit a basic bra
pattern to my body.  Simply being able to wear the finished product at
all is an achievement for me!  I'm very pleased and will order fabrics
from Sew Sassy for my next one.

BTW, I'm motivated to try to sew a bra for a full-figured friend of
mine, using Lee Anne's tape-on-the-breast method.  Being a size 48HH/I
hasn't allowed her much satisfaction in bras.  Onward!


Re: Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!
wurstergirl wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it
Well, you may never be able to wear this one for real, but it taught you
lots!  :)  Thanks for the reports.  With such encouragement I might yet
find a week or so to try this trick myself.  Last time I went out to buy
bras they were 28 in the only designed that fitted!  AKK!

Here's wishing you luck with the one for a friend.

Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!
 well, it sounds like you've had pretty much the same experience I did when
I made my first bra - not perfect, but easy to see where you went wrong and
the new techniques were successful. And the important part is that the fit
is good. Congratulations!



Re: Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!
I've taken pictures and will have them up by tomorrrow.  I wore the bra
all evening and determined that it was the tricot lining that was
itchy.  I backtracked and tried on the original bra again and found
that my own copy was closer to the original fit than I realized.  Good!
 Also, when inserting the underwires at the end, I wish I had put them
between the channeling and the fabric, rather than inside the
channeling tube.  They're a little poky, which is a first for me.

Thanks for the encouragement Ladies!!

Regarding fabrics, I'm going to ask Brenda Solanki what is the name of
the fabric of the bra she's making my other pattern from.  It's super
duper stable yet very soft.


Re: Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!
Congratulations!  I might even have to try making myself one from a pattern
an aunt designed for herself years ago, and it is my size.

Re: Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!
That's lucky it's your size.  Is it a style you like?


Re: Made a bra pattern from an existing bra!
Yes, sometimes as I grow older, I think I become more like her in so many
ways, she was a very DA.

Site Timeline