It seems that bra making is capturing everyone’s interest so I thought I would do a few more technical posts on how I create my own patterns for bras. This way you can see how to create a pattern from a favorite bra you already own. Today is part 1 and I’ll be following up with more posts covering the steps. I do hope that this is useful for you, I know it was the information I was looking for when I wanted to make bras and I couldn’t find it so did it my own way instead.
First up grab a bra you like the fit of but is looking a little worse for wear. In my last bra post I referred to these as zombie bras, as in not quite dead. You want one that still retains the majority of shape and stretch as the more warped it is the more fit tests you are going to have to do to refine the pattern. You could of course use a brand new bra but sometimes we can’t always afford to do that. If you can though, go for it. Using a brand new one means it hasn’t had time to warp or stretch so you should end up with less faffing about to get your fit perfect.
Include detail shots, like how the band/cups are constructed. Interior shots are good too.
What the back looks like.
Then unpick it
As you unpick, it’s a good idea to keep notes on the construction methods used. Like was it straight stitch or zig zag, was there a bar tack at the very top or a few millimeters away from the very edge. Was the elastic sandwiched in between the underwire casing and the outer fabric. I tend to take photos as well as notes to help jog my memory.
Once you have it fully unpicked then grab your iron and get pressing. You want all the wrinkles out and your pieces as flat as possible. Be careful though. What you are looking for here is to press the pieces to their original shape. In the photo above you can see the back of the bra is a floppity looking. It’s quite stretched and in all honesty not perfect for this project. So I press it flat with some of the wrinkles in it. I don’t want to press it out to the newly warped shape. Press but be mindful of not distorting the original shape.
Now that I have all the pieces and they are more or less the correct shape I’m going to scan them. That way I can create a digital pattern for myself. If you don’t want a digital pattern you can create a traditional paper pattern also.
I’m going to leave it there for now so you can get unpicking. The next post will be covering how to make the pattern and then we will continue on from there. If you need anything clarified or just have more questions, ask away in the comments.