I’ve always wanted to try making a bralette, so the other day, I decided to give it a go.
I was going through my wardrobe, getting rid of some clothes and I came across a black velvet skater dress that I didn’t want anymore. The material was slightly stretchy, so I thought it would be perfect to make a bralette with.
Now, I’ve never made a bralette before, so this is my first ever attempt and I thought I’d share it. I also don’t own a sewing machine, so I completely hand stitched the entire thing – it took me HOURS.
What You’ll Need
- Material of choice
- Matching thread
- Needle (or sewing machine)
- Ribbon and/or trim
- Bra straps
- Buttons or bra fastening/hook and eyes
I made the pattern templates using measurements from another bralette that I own from Primark, it’s a size Small. Feel free to use the patterns, all you need to do is print them off, scaled to A4.
You only need to print this pattern for the bra cups out once. I’ve marked both pieces with LC, which stands for left cup. After you have printed and cut out the pattern pieces, flip them over and this will make the right cup. If you want, you can write RC on this side and also do dashes down the side that you’ll be stitching together to remind yourself.
For the band pattern, you want to cut out both of the pieces then stick them together with sellotape – don’t overlap the pieces.
Lay out your material flat then place the cut out pattern pieces of the bra cup onto your material. Make sure that both pieces are on the correct side then pin them down.
Using some sharp scissors, or fabric scissors if you have them, carefully cut the template pieces out of the material.
Unpin the paper patterns from the bra cup fabric pieces, then flip the pattern cut outs over and pin them back onto your material. Again, cut them cut out carefully.
Make sure that you keep the right and left cup pieces separate so that you don’t get them muddled.
Take the two pattern pieces for either the left or right cup, then line up the edges (these are the edges where I put dashes down to indicate where it would be stitched together). Pin them together, remember that one piece will be facing up and the other facing down so that the back of the material is facing you.
Stitch these pieces together, try and stitch them together as close as possible to the edge, I left around one and a half millimetres seam allowance. I hand stitched them together, but if you have a sewing machine, then save yourself tons of time and use it!
Do the same with the other cup.
After both cups are stitched, I did a loop stitch down both of the seams to strengthen them. I’m not sure if this can be done on a sewing machine, but it didn’t take long to hand stitch it.
This is how the cups should look after they’ve been sewn.
Since the edges where I’d cut the material were raw and a bit untidy, I took some black ribbon and began to stitch it around the edge of the cups.
Since the edges are curved, you need to manipulate the ribbon as you go to make sure that it fits the shape.
When you chop the excess ribbon off, don’t cut all of it off. Leave at least four centimetres as the extra length is helpful later.
Do the same to other side and also the other cup.
When you’ve stitched the ribbon onto both sides of the bra cup, fold the cup inwards where the seam is. Line up the excess lengths of ribbon then pin them together so that they can’t move.
Stitch the ribbon together then remove the pin and cut off the excess all the way down to just before the stitch. This will create a neat point like below.
Flatten out your material again and then using the band template, pin it to your material and cut it out.
You’ll need another band later, so while you have the template handy, cut out a second band then leave it to one side until you need it.
Take your two cups and lay them out flat then pin them together where you want them to join.
Lay the band that you’ve just cut out along the bottom of the cups. Make sure that the back of your material is facing you.
Pin the band and cups together then stitch.
To neaten the bottom edge of the band, I used some black patterned trim. Use any type of trim or ribbon that you like, pin it along the bottom and then stitch it on.
Try on the front of the bralette to see where the front band goes to. Try and remember where it went to then with the second one that you cut out earlier, hold it around your back and see where it goes too. If it’s too long, cut it to fit your measurements.
If you didn’t cut a second band out, cut it out now, then chop it in half so you have two bands. Take the same trim or ribbon that you put around the band at the front and stitch it onto both of the back bands.
With the ribbon that you used on the cups, stitch it onto the top of both of the back bands. Lay out the two back bands, with the ribbon at the top and the trim on the bottom.
Using a thicker black ribbon, stitch it onto the ends to neaten them. You only need to do this on one end, so on one band stitch it on the left end and on the other stitch it onto the right end. (you can skip this bit if you’re using a bra fastener/hook and eyes)
Pin both of the back bands onto the sides of the bralette front. Make sure to line them up correctly – the bottom trim of the back band should be parallel with the trim on the front band.
Once you have them lined up properly, stitch them together.
After you’ve stitched the back band on, trim off the excess material.
To strengthen the seam, do a loop stitch like the one I showed earlier.
For this bralette, I chose to use buttons as the fastener. To do this, you want to use some small scissors and create two small slits for the button holes.
To strengthen the button holes, do loop stitches all the way around the slit. Make sure that the holes aren’t too big, if they are, you can simply stitch them up slightly to make them smaller. To check the size, get your button and try and pass it through the hole.
Line up the buttons with the holes.
Stitch the buttons on securely.
I cut some straps off a cheap bra from Primark, but you can also buy them off ebay, amazon or from a haberdashery.
Stitch the front of the straps to the front of the bralette cups. I stitched mine around a centimetre and a half down. Make sure that you stitch them on securely!
Figure out where the straps sits best on the back band. To do this, I looked at another bralette that I own and matched it up. Pin the straps into place and make sure that both sides match up. Again, securely stitch them into place.
All you have to do now is try on the bralette and adjust your straps.
I hope that this tutorial is helpful!