Made by me

A bra

As I’ve written about before, I have a stash of underwear patterns that has been gathering dust for several years and I want to start using them. This time I did a bra, using the pattern Kwik Sew 3300. It’s actually not my first bra – back in 1989 when I was in my young and enthusiastic “I’ll try anything-phase” I made one too. The bustier pattern I used was from Burda and to get hold of the necessary notions and hardware I had to slaughter an old bra. I did the bra in black lace and it looked pretty good, but the stiff nylon lace made it a little itchy.

So here I am 20 years later, having just finished my second attempt at bra making. This time of course, I had a lot more materials and information at my disposal. There is no way around it – the net has really revolutionized my sewing. Now there are an abundance of bra patterns, easily accessible, and I was even able to buy a bra kit on-line from Germany, with all necessary notions included. Also there are several great resources were people share information on bra-making – I especially recommend Sigrid’s tutorials.

Regarding the design I had to take into account that I prefer to wear seamless, heat molded bras. A style that is technically impossible to mimic at home. Also I don’t like fussy bras. So the challenge was to make something that has smooth lines, but looks a little hotter than my regular flesh coloured t-shirt bras.

The black fabric and most notions are from E-lingeria. The bra kit include everything you need such as hooks, rings and elastic, plus fabric and stretch lace. The quality is very good, though I have a couple of minor complaints. Firstly the rings were in see-through plastic and not black, which I think brings the look down a bit. So I bought some black ones from a local notion store. And secondly the microfibre lingerie black fabric is thick with a rugged backing. Very soft and nice to the body but heftier than regular bra fabric. Perhaps a good thing if you are well endowed, but too thick and warm for me, especially since you are supposed to use two layers of it. So I lined the bra with power net instead to make the bra more streamlined, The contrasting panel is made of the same soft power net and I used foldover elastic for the finishing. For more info on the pattern and the assembly, see my review over at Pattern Review.


  • Cindy
    June 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I just saw your review! Great job. I love the title of the post "A Bra!" What else can you say? I would love to make one but with a D cup…I need the professional bra engineers' help!!

  • Ann's Fashion Studio
    June 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    You did a wonderful job!It looks so professional. Thank you for all the great information.

  • Mary Nanna
    June 27, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    wow. I am so impressed. I will never be brave enough to try lingerie. It's definitely in the too hard basket!
    Your skills and attention to detail are amazing.

  • Morzel:
    June 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Great bra! I also like those non-fussy clean bra styles. This is a great example of a sexy yet simple design.

  • Antoinette
    June 27, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I cannot believe you made that! (Before I learned to sew well, I used to say that all the time to ppl who sewed their clothes. Now I only say it to people who sew their own BRAS!!! LOL) Brava!

  • Lory
    June 28, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Very pretty! That bra makes me want to try lingerie. 🙂


  • katherine h
    June 28, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Definitely hotter than a flesh-coloured t-shirt bra, and it looks like you did a great job. I have this pattern, but have not used it yet. Oh, you are so brave to model it yourself.

  • Johanna
    June 28, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Thank you everyone for your comments! As for those who are on the fence about making a bra, I'd say go for it. I know it looks a bit fiddly, but bra making is much easier than many other sewing projects. It just that it looks impressive!

    And Katherine, I did go back and forth on this one, but the bra looked so horrible on the dress form, so I decided to give it ago. But I cropped my head off just in case!

  • Gail
    June 29, 2009 at 3:24 am

    I agree with Mary Nanna, I will never be brave enough to make lingerie. I also agree with Cindy that being a D cup makes it much more difficult…and if I ever break this resolve…I will NEVER post pictures. Definitely too much information.

  • Johanna
    June 29, 2009 at 9:16 am

    >>Gail: Yes I would assume that a D or bigger is trickier, both when it comes to fitting and stability requirements. However many of those who have made and reviewed bra patterns over at Pattern review are actually well endowed, D or up. It even looks like small chested folks like me are in the minority when it comes to bra making. So I'm sure bigger sizes are very much doable.


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