I’ve always wanted to make my own bra but never quite had the confidence to do it. It looked to be quite a daunting task and one that despite being an advanced sewer I really wasn’t sure I could do it.
Until I reached my mid to late 50’s I was happily wearing size 34B bras and though not as colourful and varied as they are these days the choice for the average bust was a good one.
And then came the menopause!!!! My body size increased and along with it my bust followed and seemed to overtake everything else. It was rather like a cartoon film where my bust increased to 36D then 36DD and until recently it seemed the only bra that could hold it all in without it overflowing was a 36F!!! And of course along with this increase in size came a reduction in bra colours, styles and choices. Unless I opted for padded! (Why on earth a large bust wants to be wearing a padded bra to make it even bigger I have no idea) then apart from the very rare turquoise bra my options were always flesh, white or black in colour.
So, one day I found that you could join certain groups on facebook that were created for certain aspects of sewing. One such group was a group called ‘Braphoria’ where people made bras and showed you their creations. Oh what beautiful colours and styles. And what’s more they were being worn by some ladies with equally as large boobs and sometimes even bigger than mine.
And so it was that one day in Sept/Oct 2017 I put a message on their page..
“I am a fairly advanced sewer but have never sewn a bra before and wondered if you could advise me on just how easy it is and how one goes about starting to make one.
Within minutes I got a response from a lady who directed me to the Shelley Bra as a great starter bra and I was advised to enrol in the Craftsy bra making class run by Beverley Johnson the creator of the Shelley Bra and many other items of underwear.
Within minutes I also got a message from a lady in California (I live in the UK) asking if I’d be her sewing buddy as she had the pattern and material and needed someone to sew along with. Apart from not knowing what a sewing buddy does I felt that I’d better say yes. I hadn’t planned on starting a bra immediately, my idea was to make it in 2018 or even 2019, but this agreement suddenly threw me into ‘MUST BE DONE NOW’ mode and so I started gathering together all the necessary ingredients to make it. I subscribed to the craftsy bra making videos and watched them from beginning to end.
I kept messaging my sewing buddy and told her that I had all that was necessary to start making it. No response. Then a couple of weeks later she messaged to say she was ready to go. Well, I started on the Friday evening and by Sunday morning after working on it for about 6 hours in total it was finished. What I did find irritating was that you really can’t make any adjustments until you have completed the bra and been able to see what needs adjusting and where.
Fortunately for me, it only involved shortening the bra straps and a possible need to trim 1/2 an inch off the underarm seam when making my next bra. Apart from that, the fit was perfect. A turquoise bra was born!
I have a vlog and so decided to tell all about how easy it had been and suggested I could do a sew-along to show just how straightforward it was. I was met with great approval and so the sew-a-long vlogs were created.
Having now made 2 bras I am totally hooked. At last I have two great fitting bras and even moreso I am now the proud owner of a pink and a turquoise bra which I have never ever had before!
And of course, plans are afoot to make more in floral fabrics and pretty coloured laces.
Watch this space.
Bra supplies UK:
Craftsy Bra tutorial:
I made a Shelley Bra…
Shelley Bra sew-a-long