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What I Made: Isla

how to make a bra
I hate underwires. Let me repeat that in all caps and italics. I HATE UNDERWIRES. Mona, owner of Coeur Boutique, says that a bra must have underwires. Being petite and bony, underwires literally hurt. They press into my ribcage. I have steered clear of underwired bras for quite some time. I still sew them as custom pieces, but the last time I made one for myself was the Marlborough. That was early 2015 – yikes! – that was long ago. I’m currently lusting monowired styles, and I plan to make one next month. Keyword being plan. Before I get to it, I tiptoed back into the world of underwires by remaking an oldie but goodie, Noelle, but altering the pattern for underwires.



The bra was based on a For Love and Lemons style I’ve liked, okay serious lust, for a long time. Actually, that bra was the original inspiration and I think this version is the closest I’ve ever been to it.

how to make a brahow to make a brahow to make a bra

Fabric + Trims

Front Bodice and Back Band: Black stretch lace underlined with beige powernet from Tailor Made Shop
Frame: Black stretch lace underlined with black powernet from Tailor Made Shop
3/8” picot plush elastic: Arte Crafts
3×3 hook and eye: Tailor Made Shop
1/4” black strap elastic: Arte Crafts
1/4” rings and sliders: Tailor Made Shop

Front and Back: Black stretch lace underlined with beige powernet from Tailor Made Shop (same as bra)
3/8” picot plush elastic: Arte Crafts
1/2” floral strap elastic: Tailor Made Shop
1/2” Rings and sliders: Tailor Made Shop


Other than hurting, I eliminating the underwires because I didn’t get the point. It’s supposed to be a soft bra, so why put an underwire. While comfortable, the halter style creates a monoboob; it flattens you out like a pancake. I don’t mind having small boobs or being flat chested, but a little projection would be nice. Well, adding the bottom band and underwire created lift, separation and (little) volume.

The diagram below shows how I first transformed the Noelle pattern into Isla. From this pattern, I sewed a muslin, and had to make a few additional changes, the biggest one adding more volume. What I did was a total pattern hack. I worked backwards, then forwards, then sideways and ended up with my current pattern. Don’t really now how to explain, but it worked!

In hindsight, I should have started with a full band, underwired pattern. Oh well. You live, you learn and you make more bras!

pattern-correctionhow to make a brahow to make a brahow to make a braisla-1


The fit is spot on! After a year of posting about this (damn) halter bra, I may be releasing a free pattern! Just like Sierra, you’ll be able to make your very own. Yay for free patterns! Sign up for my newsletter to get first notification.

how to make a bra


  1. Reply


    Hurray! I’ve been waiting for this one and I love your hack! I love that my small boobs can go in bralettes, but often the low mono boob occurs. I love Noelle, and this version (isla) is top of my list to make myself now! hurry hurry hurry newsletter and tell me where I can get this one 🙂

  2. Reply


    I love them all… the hacks, ideas etc. Lol. I have not been seeing a bra since hmm… I got pregnant. That was roughly 19 months ago. My boobs might have droop to my knees now, but I do like soft bra.

  3. Reply

    Regan Louise

    It’s lovely, and seems like the perfect combination of full on bra and bralette. This is the kind of thing that –when done up in gray or green or some hideous floral– I would love to wear.

  4. Reply


    Very cool…just the right amount of edge.

  5. Reply


    Beautiful! I’m a total clumsy beginner at sewing and I admire your work.

  6. Reply


    this bra is beautiful! but–will you tell us about the undies? did you draft or adjust from another pattern? they are SO cute!!!

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