You might be wondering what goes into a bra if you’re new to bra making. Read our guide to find out exactly what you need to get started. I’ve included a handy checklist for you to tick off as you shop to ensure you don’t miss anything!
Bra making essentials:
- Fabric. Probably the most obvious, you’ll need some fabric. You can choose from lace & embroidery or opt for a plain fabric such as mesh or satin. Stretch or no stretch, I hear you ask? Well that really depends on the type of bra you’re making and it’s best to refer to the sewing pattern you plan to use (it should outline the fabric requirements). As a general guide, a rigid or stretch fabric will usually work for the cups, rigid is recommend for the cradle & a stretch fabric (with good recovery) such as powermesh or powernet is needed for the wings.
- Lining. Quite often you should line the cups with a stabilised nylon or rigid tulle. Opt for something with a soft hand feel as this fabric will be against the skin. The cradle (or CF bridge) should always be lined, especially if the outer fabric has any amount of stretch.
- Elastics. I always recommend a plush back elastic for bra making: they are strong with good recovery (this is important so that your garment doesn’t stretch out over time) and have a super-soft back which sits against the skin. This elastic is usually added to the underarm/top of the wing & the full underband. 10-12mm width is ideal and I recommend using 12-15mm for sizes DD and above. Sometimes a narrow, lightweight elastic is added to the top of the cup or neck edge. I often opt for Framalon which is a clear elastic - perfect to use with sheer fabrics.
- Bra strapping. Bra strap elastic is firmer than plush elastic and is durable enough to withstand frequent adjustment (see hardware section below).
- Hardware. Rings & sliders (or slides) are used to make your straps adjustable.
- Wire Casing & Underwires. If you’re making an underwired style you’ll need both wires & wire casing (sometimes called channelling). The casing is one of the last things to sew on your bra & it covers the raw seam that joins the cup & cradle. This seam can either be pushed upwards & the casing sewn onto the inside of the cup: this is called “wired up’ or pushed down & the casing attached to the cradle ie. “wired down’. Which one you choose will depend on your pattern.
- Hook & Eye. Finally you’ll want to add some sort of fastening. A hook & eye is the norm and is attached to the wings at the CB. As worn, the hooks go to the right & the eyes to the left. Hook & eyes with metal hardware can elevate your bra to a new level and it’s lovely to be able to match it to your rings & sliders. As with all supplies, quality can vary so look out for a super soft version such as these microfibre hook & eyes.
An even easier option is to purchase a bra kit. I offer two types of bra kits for bra making; findings kits with all of the components you need (just add your own fabric) and findings & fabrics kits which have absolutely everything you need to make a bra from start to finish!
I hope you found this guide helpful. I can’t wait to see your beautiful makes!