In  Lingerie

Bra Making – how to DIY your own pattern part 5

By Susan | Comments: 7 | January 14, 2015


A finished bra, a properly finished bra.

bra 1

For this version I’ve gone with a plain woven cotton fabric for the cups, cradle and bridge. Seams are covered with some pretty bias tape and white mesh used for the back. I used some teal coloured underwear elastic from the stash for the edges. Underwires, foam lining and bra strapping were purchased but the O ring, sliders and back fastener were all salvaged from a worn out bra.

bra unfolded

A few people have asked how the plain cotton wears, I find it great to wear and I like the fact I can use up scraps. It’s also a nice stable fabric to sew which can be handy when you are going through a process it’s easier to put some known variables into the mix. So instead of having to deal with a super slinky slippery fabric on top of sorting out tension and fit, it’s easier to use a cotton and perfect the techniques before moving onto harder to deal with fabrics.

After the disaster sewing of the last one I played around with the zig zag stitch on my machine until I perfected the settings. I’ve now got the instructions on how to recreate those settings written in my process notes so I can replicate perfect stitching every time.

I’ve made a few minor alterations notes but want to do some wash and wear tests before I make another one to ensure I’ve got my pattern perfect before I make ALL the bras. For ease of sewing I already know I want to increase one of the seam allowances as it’s so small and fiddly now. Will increase it and trim it to make the sewing easier.

Like all sewing, bra making is not difficult to do but takes time to perfect and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of making my own pattern and creating bras from it.

Seems like more than a few of you have been interested in DIYing your own bra pattern as I’ve had many requests to teach classes on the process. So I’m in the midst of working out the logistics am happy to announce that…

DIY bra classes will be coming soon to Sydney!

Be sure to sign up to the newsletter or follow on instagram to ensure you get first notice about it.



  • Kate
    January 14, 2015

    Wish I lived in Sydney……

  • Velosewer
    January 15, 2015

    You’re really generous with your time and knowledge. I’ve really enjoyed seeing your process and I hope the DIY classes happen:-))

    • Susan Goodwin
      January 17, 2015

      Thank you! I do like sharing knowledge as I feel we all get better and next time I want to learn something there will be someone with the knowledge to help out.

  • Vanessa
    January 16, 2015

    Great post.
    I’ve been wanting to make my a bra for ages but have been put off by all the ‘specialty’ bits and pieces needed. However, I recently went to the ‘Undressed’ exhibition currently at the Qld Museum and I realised that I can just fool around with the materials I already have access to. After all, if a bra can be fashioned out of a couple of handkerchiefs I’m sure I can work something out πŸ™‚

    • Susan Goodwin
      January 17, 2015

      So jealous you got to go to that exhibition it looks amazing!

      Once I realised how much I could salvage from old bras I got less worried about getting all the specialty bits as I had most of them already.

  • Carol
    June 13, 2016

    I am in Detroit, Michigan, USA metropolitan area. I have wanted to make my own bras for ages. I have been sewing since I was about 9. I have extremely sensitive skin, latex sensitive and other issues that cause discomfort. I have watched numerous videos here and other blogs, etc. Although wires give much more support I don’t want to wear them anymore (discomfort). I have several spandex bralettes but they give no support and I have reactions to the latex in them. Also the band rolls. I have 1 RTW Wacoal bra left that has wires. ($68) It is a 34 DD. The band fits well on the tightest hook but I don’t like the way the cup goes all the way under my arm pit. I would prefer that it started at the front of my arm, keeping the breast in front, on my chest where it belongs. I was wondering if you know if I could use it as a pattern, leave the wires out, widen the band (vertically) for support and stabilization, and use woven cotton fabric for the main & lining? Possibly using stitching on the lower cup to create more support similar to the “bullet” bras? I would put the elastic between the two layers. I considered using a sateen (a strong cotton fabric constructed in satin weave and having a lustrous face). I do not want to use anything that would create more bulk. I think I could tolerate some vertical boning but not the wires. The other issue is, moving the attachment for the straps in back to almost center to prevent slipping off the shoulder. I recently purchased an Under Armour sport bra which the band is wonderful and back strap placement is good. It has cups but flattens me out (as with most sports bras). It would be wonderful if I could find a local tutor, but have no idea where. Sorry for “blathering” on but I really don’t know where to start and don’t want to waste time and money. I want something that really fits, is comfortable and I can duplicate so I have more than one. Thank you!

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Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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