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
- 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)
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.
2. Baste the pieces together
This is an important step that will keep the pieces aligned during the sewing
3. Sew the side seams and the shoulder seams
Don’t remove the basting, it will be useful for the next step
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 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)
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