As a petite but curvy woman, finding a bra in the right size, that looks nice, and isn’t extortionately priced can be tough. I’m convinced that most women are wearing the wrong size as high street stores offer such a limited range, particularly when it comes to a smaller band. There has been some improvement in recent years (notably from Bravissimo, Boux Avenue and ASOS – particularly for swimwear), but I’m still often left unenthused by the options available to me.
So, instead of complaining I thought I should have a go at making a bra of my own.
The traditional big 4 companies all have bra patterns, but there are also some really cool new indie designers out there: I love the look of Orange Lingerie, Madalynne Intimates and Lingerie and Studio Costura. For my first attempt I opted for Emarald Erin’s Jordy Bralette, as it looked fairly simple, with a simple elastic band and no underwiring.
As well as being easy to sew, I was intrigued to see how a bralette would fit me, as most non-wired bras don’t come in my size. I love the look of them, and the thought of wearing a non-wired bra is very appealing!
Thankfully the instructions were really easy to follow. I particularly liked that they give instructions for different materials – whether you’re using lace or fabric, or different types of elastic.
To minimise any potential errors, I decided to order one of the fabric kits. I opted for white lace, which to my surprise was really easy to sew with. I was in two minds about whether or not to take the plunge, but it was definitely worth it, and has given me confidence to sew with lace again.
The kit also provided the notions, including some lovely plush elastic, which made everything a lot easier. When I make this again I think I’ll want to choose these bits myself so I can mix up the colours a bit, but I would definitely recommend the kit for a first try.
I was pleasantly surprised how easily it all came together. The process is pretty straightforward. I would recommend watching the YouTube tutorial, too, as it helped me to visualise that I needed to do.
First you make the cups by sewing the two halves together and edging with elastic. Then you attach the cups to the band – I’d recommend following the advice in the instructions to baste this first as it’s important to get the placement right (I ended up overlapping my cups slightly). Finally you attach the straps – and voila!
I’m so pleased with the finished product. It’s genuinely wearable, which I wasn’t convinced would happen, it fits well, and looks great! It obviously doesn’t have as much support as an underwired bra, but it does hold up pretty well, and will be nice to wear in hotter weather as it’s less fitted.
Next time, I think I’ll use a smaller band size as it could be a little more snug. If you’re between two band sizes, I’d recommend going down to the smaller measurement as the elastic will only loosen over time.
I’m excited to make this again. I’ve proved to myself that I can make something smaller and more delicate and want to experiment with fabrics and colours, before moving on to a more complicated pattern.