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Edena: An Underwire Bralette

how to sew a bra

I can’t express enough how good it feels to have more time to sew for myself. Since putting my big girl panties on and taking the leap to entrepreneurship, I’ve had more time to devote to my own growth and learning in both sewing and photography. I so hope it continues.

There was so much experimentation going on with this bralette. First, it is made entirely with a rigid lace (Zero stretch in the length and about 2% mechanical stretch on the cross). It is a bra making rule to always use a stretch fabric for the back band to allow the bra to stretch for breathing/movement. In theory, I get it, but I have seen many high end RTW bras use non stretch lace all over. One of my current favorites, which you’ve probably spotted on the pegboard at my studio, is Morgan Lane’s Annicka bra. Seriously, I’m obsessed. I was able to get my hands on a sample and although the lace is more sheer than the one I used, it had no stretch.

On the interior of this bralette is a “floating bridge”. What’s this? Well, it’s a term that’s new to me as well, but basically, there’s a bridge with underwires inside. The point is to add support and lift. This combined with bust darts on the bodice creates a bralette that is flattering, supportive and doesn’t flatten you out. bra patternsbra patterns bra patterns bra patterns bra patterns bra patternsFabric + Trims:
Bra
Bodice and back band: Red, rigid lace from Anh Tailors
Floating Bridge: Bra tulle from
Tailor Made Shop (cut with direction of greatest stretch going up and down).
3/8″ picot plush elastic for underarm and neckline from
Bra Making Supplies
1/2″ strap elastic for straps and under bust from
Bra Making Supplies
2×3 hook and eye from
Bra Making Supplies

Panty
Front: Red, rigid lace from Anh Tailors
Back: 2 ply red stretch mesh from Fleishman Fabrics
3/8″ picot plush elastic from Bra Making Supplies
White cotton jersey for the crotch/gusset. I didn’t have red, but I think it’s okay because when worn, it is not visible.

Pattern:
Oh Lord, please do ask me to tell you about how I drafted the bra pattern. Serious franken-hack. The panty however is from the Simplicity 8229 but reduced front/back rise.

Construction:
Construction was super simple. Here’s how it came together:
1. Finished top of floating bridge at center front (CF) with a double turnback. Applied channeling, inserted underwires and then closed channeling at CF. The channeling was top applied, so there were no seam allowances.
2. Sewed bust darts using a straight stitch with a very small stitch length (1.5mm). Then sewed floating bridge, bodice and back band together at the side seams. Used a straight stitch, but with a regular stitch length.
3. Attached elastic at underarm and neckline.
4. Basted the bottom band to bra, then applied strap elastic to the exterior of the bra. On the sample bra, I used picot plush elastic, but I didn’t like the look of it. In my mind, it’s a trim that should be on the inside of a bra. I cringed a little when I added strap elastic. I tell all my students to only use strap elastic for the straps; that strap and picot plush elastic are not interchangeable. But since the elastic isn’t serving a purpose other than aesthetic, I think it is okay. In the future, I would buy a flat elastic that IS meant for this purpose.
5. Attached straps, hooks and eyes, added channeling at side seam and last, closed channeling at underarm.

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Comments:

Surprisingly, the fit is amazing. Comfortable, supportive and I don’t feel constrained breathing. Let’s not forget super sexy too!

This bra has got my mind churning to explore other nonstretch lace fabrics that I previously thought wouldn’t work.

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9 Comments

  1. Reply

    J. Linden

    Do you think a floating bridge like this could be incorporated into swimwear?

    • Reply

      maddie

      Yes, but you’d have to use different fabric that could withstand chlorine/salt/sun. You could make the bridge out of stretch mesh instead of bra tulle. I’m dot sure what you could replace the plush channeling with.

  2. Reply

    Jade

    woahhhh sexy lady!! really love this bralette, might have to try something like this!!

  3. Reply

    Sheila Stukenborg Wolters

    This set is one of my favorite with the floating bridge. For an E cup chest do you think a 1/2 cup would work for more support?

    • Reply

      maddie

      Β½ cup? Could you rephrase? I’m not understanding your question.

  4. Reply

    Summerflies

    Oh that’s lovely, especially in the red. I had a bra like that years ago (actually still have it for remembering the style). It doesn’t fit now but it’s what I wore instead of a camisole which I hate (unless something is completely sheer) and find way too hot for most times here. It was perfect for that just a bit too low dress.

  5. Reply

    LaChelle

    Beautiful! Did you used your simplicity bra pattern 8229 to redraft the underwire bra?

    • Reply

      maddie

      No, I did not.

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