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Sewing a sports bra with power mesh lining

Lining a sportsbra with powermesh

I put built-in sports bras in pretty much all workout tops that I make. Since I’m a B-cup I find that a regular tank top sports bra works fine for me, however, the bra fabric needs to be really firm, otherwise I don’t get enough support (plus my breasts are a bit flimsy and floppy so they need good support even though they are fairly small!). And it’s nice to use a cool fashion fabric and not some black or nude bra fabric for this, hence why lining the bra with a stabilizing power mesh or power net can be a good idea. I’ve tried it now several times and really like it, because it’s so simple, yet really keep my boobs in place when jumping around. This might not be ideal for larger sized chests, but if you are small to midsize, this method could definitely be worth trying out!


Tutorial on sewing a sports bra with power mesh lining

You’ll need

  • Firm power net or power mesh (it should be firm but not uncomfortable to the skin)
  • Bra fabric (any moisture wicking spandex fabric will work)
  • Binding or fold-over elastic to cover the edges
  • A second layer of fabric to put closest to the body (optional)


Lining a sportsbra with powermesh

1. Cut two layers of the front picee

One fashion fabric and one mesh. Place the mest lining against the wrong side of the fashion fabric. If you want a layer of fabric closest to the body too, this is when you add it too.

Lining a sportsbra with powermesh

2. Baste the pieces together

This is an important step that will keep the pieces aligned during the sewing


Lining a sportsbra with powermesh

3. Sew the side seams and the shoulder seams

Don’t remove the basting, it will be useful for the next step


Lining a sportsbra with powermesh

5. Cover the edges with binding, fold-over elastic or ribbing

Again basting is your best friend. I always baste when sewing with knits as it’s so slippery to sew.

Check out my tutorials on ideas on how to cover the edges of a bra:

How to attach fold-over elastic

How to cover a sports bra with binding (a built-in bra tutorial)



6. Attach the elastic

On this bra I used a casing, but you can of course attach a stable elastic directly on the bra.

The elastic needs to be firm and fit tight (tighter than a regular bra band)


Lining a sportsbra with powermesh

Voilà! I love how this bra fits on my body and the power mesh works great for keeping my boobs in place.


Further reading on sewing a sports bra

Nike sports bra FAQ

How to sew a built-in sports bra (another tutorial that I’ve done which includes the attachment to the outer garment)

Petite Josette great tutorial on how to sew a built in bra with padding


How to sew a sports bra


  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    December 10, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Another great tutorial Johanna! I am a huge fan of FOE and use it often around the neckline or even arm of my knit tops. And another thing I often use for bias binding is a firm mesh. It can make for an interesting almost see-through binding but as for a bra it definitely wouldn’t work for me 😉

    • Johanna
      December 10, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      That’s interesting to hear, I have yet to try mesh as binding fabric, but I can totally see why that would work, at least in some cases 🙂

  • Laura
    January 19, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Hi Johanna,
    If you were using power mesh to line a bra that has darts, would you mirror the darts in the power mesh layer?
    I’m trying to mimic my favorite, but very expensive, sports bra!

    • Johanna
      January 19, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      I would either do the darts double layered with both the outer fabric and mesh (i.e not sewing the power mesh darts separately) or see if I don’t need the darts since the power mesh adjusts the body without the need for darts. But I think it depends on both the bust and the bra construction. Good luck with your bra project!

  • Diana
    June 3, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Great tutorial, Power mesh is amazing cloth. I have been using it in my clothes and it makes them so breatheable and light. You can instantly feel the difference.

  • Victoria
    March 30, 2018 at 2:11 am

    Just curious why power mesh wouldn’t be good for us large chested ladies (34 FF here)? I can do well in a shelf bra if it is made with strong enough fabric and thick elastic. I feel like adding power mesh would help even more am I incorrect?


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