Now that I have a tested the Pin-up Girls Amanda pattern for a foam-cup bra I wanted to make something pretty with lace. Luckily the Pin-up Girls Alyssa pattern that came with Amanda is a lace covered bra..
Modifications to the pattern
However, I wanted to make a little less heavy looking bra, so I immediately started thinking about modifications. For anyone doing the same, I recommend going through your bra drawer for good ideas!
I lowered the cup by cutting away some of the foam at the top of the cup. Then I decided to ditch the wide straps. Instead, I took inspiration from an RTW bra that had narrow lycra straps with a scalloped lace edge peeking out from the seam. I was a bit worried how to make this. Could I turn the strap the right way after sewing it into a tube? I practised with a little piece of underwear elastic and lycra and it worked just fine.
Making the straps
If you want to do the same, here is a little tutorial: Note that you must sew the strap onto the cup before sewing the cup onto the frame but after inserting the lace! Also, using just lycra and bra elastic makes quite stretchy straps. Think about selecting less stretchy materials if you feel you need more support.
Cut a long strip of lycra that is at least twice as wide as your lace elastic (minus the scallops). Just sew the lace on to the edge of the right side of the strap with the scalloped edge facing in. Then fold the other edge of the strap on to the lace and pin it on. Then sew along the same stitching line to make a long tube but leave a few cms unstitched to be able to sew your strap to the edge of the foam cup. Use a safety-pin to turn the strap the right way around. Press the strap.
Sew the lace edge on to the side of the cup and then fold the other side of the strap around the edge of the cup. Fold the edge in and pin carefully. (You can also baste this edge, if you so wish. Then topstitch close to the scalloped edge by using a zig-zag stitch all the way from the top of the strap to the end of the foam cup.
I bought stretchy lycra for the bridge and frame, but I added non-stretchy mesh behind it to make the frame non-stretchy. I used stretch lace to cover the cups and did not put anything between my lace and the foam cup. However, this is probably something you’ll often have to do if your foam cup colour doesn’t match your lace. As I didn’t like the raw edge of the foam cup, I finished it with dense zig-zag stitch.
I added lace also to the bridge area between the cups and to the sides of the front frame and onto the back band. This was easy to do. Just zig-zag the edge of the lace to the fabric underneath. The pattern of the lace makes the zig-zag stitch disappear almost completely!
For the rest of the bra, I followed the instructions. I did use the same elastic for both top and the bottom band.
Some tips for bra sewing
For anyone struggling with lycra and other bra making materials, I recommend using stretch needles. I noticed quite a many skipped stitches before I switched into right kind of a needle.
Another thing that does help is using a walking foot. The walking foot prevents the top fabric stretching while you sew and your seams and topstitching will look much better!
The pattern recommended zig-zag stitching with a zero stitch length at the lowest points of the lace edge to fasten the top edge of the lace to the cups. I tried it but I wasn’t happy how it looked. Instead, I hand stitched the lace to the edge of the cup.
Select lace that has symmetric parts to make the bra cups look identical. You can also cut parts of lace from the middle of the lace. I did so at the bridge part that needed a small symmetric piece of lace.
You can make the bows and other decorations by yourself. I made the bow using narrow satin ribbon and the fork method. I also dug some beads and a head pin and made a little beaded adornment that I sewed underneath the bow.
And finally: Do look at your RTW bras. It is pretty easy to figure out ways to use the same details in your own sewing!
The finished bra
Here is the finished bra from the front:
… the side view:
… and from the back:
Here is still a close-up of the bow and the bridge:
Here is still another view where you can see inside of the bra cups. I am pretty chuffed to see how this bra turned out. It looks much more professional than my first bra as functional as it was.Are you tempted to make your own bra? I can really recommend this. I think I am completely hooked into bra making and I’m no longer buying RTW bras. My next task is to learn how to make matching pretty panties and how to use cut and sew foam.
Thank you for reading and see you soon! Do subscribe to receive notification on new blog posts! Happy sewing!