How to make strapless bras

Make your own strapless bras instead of purchasing them and you’ll get a perfect size every time. Stretch fabric is very important when making strapless bras since it’s much easier to work with than many bra fabrics and gives a nice fit. Those who are skilled at sewing can make bras from fabrics that don’t stretch, but it’s a difficult project for beginners.

There’s a difference in stretchy fabric. Some are lightweight and don’t offer much support, others offer support but not as much comfort. When choosing the perfect fabric look for something that will stretch both ways, has a thick feel to it, but is soft, not scratchy.

There are many different designs and ways that you can make strapless bras. Beginning with one of the easiest designs, take a rib cage measurement from just under the breasts, all the way around, adding two inches to the amount. Do the same just above the breasts, adding two inches. Now take a measurement around the body, directly across the breasts, adding two inches. You’ll also need the cleavage measurement, from just above the breasts, to just below. On the side, just below the armpit, measure how wide you want the bra to be, and add an inch and a half.

Some people find it easiest to begin with a rectangle of fabric, with the breast measurement as the long side and the side measurement as the small end. Start at what will be the bottom of the bra, at the fold, and cut across to the side measurement. Now start at the top side of the bra, at the fold, and cut across, tapering considerably, down to the side width measurement.

Sew elastic in the bottom part of the bra by laying it in place and bringing the edges of the fabric up and over the elastic. To leave a perfectly smooth edge, allow an extra inch while cutting the side measurement and place the elastic, cover it, then flip it over once before sewing. Elastic should be 1/2″ wide, but for those who prefer it wider, allow for extra widths of elastic when cutting the pattern.

While sewing in the elastic, stop just below the apexes of the breasts to put a small pleat at the bottom. For A and B cups, allow a half-inch for each pleat; C and D cups allow an inch for each. Sew the elastic across the top and the bra can be worn like this, with tube tops, or make some adjustments to make different styles.

Before sewing the elastic across the top, cut a piece of elastic about half the size of the cleavage measurement. Stitch it from the middle of the bottom elastic up to the top edge. Stretch the elastic while stitching. The small elastic piece will gather the cups, giving a shapelier look to the bra. For small cup sizes pull the elastic gently, pull tighter for larger cups. Add lace to the top edge of either bra style by stitching it on with the top elastic or after the elastic is sewn.

Before sewing

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