My First (hand-made) Bra!

I’ll always remember my first time…

Okay, it does sound a little weird to say this is my first bra, I admit. It’s been quite a while since the day I struggled to put on the unfamiliar little thing. Actually, my memory takes me more to the feeling of fervently wishing to have reason to wear my first bra! Oddly enough, it’s not that different than how I’ve felt throughout this process of making a bra for the first time: hopeful, nervous, excited, a little shy, and more than a little intimidated.

So, after some initial angst, a great deal of procrastination, a few moments of puzzlement (not to say frustration), and ultimate success, here it is:

My first bra!
My first completed hand-made bra (and matching high-waist panty). See the end of this post for a list of material and pattern resources and links.

Since it didn’t occur to me to write about this process until after I completed my bra, I can’t show you step-by-step how I made this one, but I certainly will next time! I’ll be making a few tweaks to the fit, and trying a few design modifications as well. Stay tuned!


Note: At the end of each post, I’ll list links and other resources relevant to the specific content. Here are today’s:

Pattern (bra): The Marlborough Bra, from Orange Lingerie. This link is to the company website; the bra pattern itself is available through Etsy, here. This downloadable PDF* pattern also comes with thorough instructions.

Book: And if you want even more information, I highly recommend the book Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction, written by Norma Loehr, the same knowledgeable woman who designed the Marlborough Bra pattern.

Pattern (panty): The Betty High-waist Panty pattern is from Ohhh Lulu Sews, also on Etsy. This is also a downloadable PDF** pattern.

Materials: I cut the snakeskin print parts from scraps of silk (am I glad now that I compulsively save even the tiniest bits leftover from my sewing projects!). The white lace (at the top of the cups), white elastic trim, power net (forming the back bands), and ring/slider strap hardware all came from my local fabric store. Oh, and I reused the underwires from an old bra, which is incidentally a great way to ensure that the underwires will be the right size.

The only thing I couldn’t find locally was the channeling, which is the tubular stuff the underwires go into; this I ordered from Sew Sassy, a great resource for virtually anything you’ll need to make lingerie, swimwear, and more.

*Fortunately, because these bra pieces are quite small, they easily print at full size on letter-size sheets, without having to tape things together.

**The panty pattern pieces do need to be taped together. Well, except for the crotch lining piece.

In both cases, you can then trace them onto tissue or pattern paper; it’s much easier than trying to pin printer paper to fabric.

13 thoughts on “My First (hand-made) Bra!

  1. […] 1. Like the turquoise version (see 2 in the photo at top of this post), the stretch lace fabric retained the white flower outlines. 2. Curiously, on this bra back closure, the hooks and eyes took on a pink tint, while the elastic stayed white. But if you stretch that elastic out, there are strands inside that are bright fuchsia! Also note that the stitching stayed white— this is most likely sewn with polyester thread. 3. Semi-sheer dotted stretch mesh. 4. Underwire channeling, also with stitching that stayed white. 5. Panty Spandex. 6. Stretch lace trim. (This is the same lace that forms the upper cups of my first bra!) […]


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