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How To Make A Bra 3

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This is Part Three of our bra making series. So far you have taken your measurements, and drafted a pattern from those measurements, to make a bra. Now it's time to break out the sewing kit!  

In industry, the average time to make a bra, from cutting out the fabric to putting the finished bra in its retail packaging, is twelve and a half minutes!!

The first thing you need to check is that your sewing machine is capable of doing a "Three Step" Zig Zag stitch.

 

 

The garment industry uses ISO (International Standards Organisation) code numbers to specify what type of stitches to use when making up a garment, so for example a designer working in Spain can send their garment design to a factory in Germany and the garment will (hopefully) be made up to the correct specification using the desired stitches.

The ISO code number for the three step zigzag is:

ISO-4915/6

Stitch No: - 321, 3-step zigzag.

You will use the three step zigzag stitch pattern to sew the stretch elastics to the hems of the bra. If you try to use a normal zigzag stitch for all the stretch elastic sewing you will find that the stretch elastics will deform. They won't "sit" correctly and they'll lose part of their stretch.

Regular and Three step Zig-zag

The next thing you will need for sewing stretch fabrics on your sewing machine is "Stretch" fabric needles.

Stretch needles are specifically designed for sewing stretch fabrics and elastics without skipped stitches, needle thread puckering or jamming.

The next things you will need for sewing stretch fabrics on your sewing machine is "Stretch" fabric needles.

One other thing that is useful for straight stitch sewing on a bra with 5mm seam allowances is a narrow foot for your sewing machine. The one I use is 5mm from the needle hole to the edge so it gives me a seam-sewing guide. If you are using an industrial sewing machine it may already be fitted with a narrow foot that can be used as a 5mm sewing guide (lucky you!)

If you cannot get a narrow foot for your machine, you can put a guide mark (use a felt tip pen that won't smear, or a sliver of masking tape) on your machine foot. BUT remember to change the feet when going from straight stitch to zigzag stitch! (Crash! Bits of needle flying everywhere!)

One other thing that is useful for straight stitch sewing on a bra with 5mm seam allowances is a narrow foot for your sewing machine.

Fabrics, Elastics and Findings (the shopping list)

To make the bra you will need: 

  • Fabrics for the cups and cradle
  • Powernet for the wings
  • Lining for the cradle and cups
  • Plush hem elastics
  • Bra strap elastic
  • Seam tape (6mm NL2)
  • Hook & eye tapes
  • Underwire casing
  • Strap sliders and rings (findings)
  • Thread (colour matching or contrasting)

The fabric for the cups and cradle needs to have no stretch or limited "bias" stretch.

(For people who are just starting sewing, bias stretch is a non-stretch fabric's ability to stretch at 45 degrees to its "Warp" and "Weft" weave grain line - see illustration, right.)

To check for bias stretch, just pull the fabric at 45 degrees to the weave grain line.

If your chosen cup and cradle fabric has a lot of stretch, you will need to use a lining fabric (sewn in or "fused").

To check for Bias stretch, just pull the fabric at 45 degrees to the weave grain line.

 

Cup and Cradle Fabric: One type of fabric to look out for the cups and cradle is Laminated Rigid Tricot (laminated means that the fabric has a lining fabric fused to it to help stop stretch). Another cup fabric to look for is "Galloon Lace Tulle"; this is nylon net with embroidery along its edges. The embroidery along each edge must be opposite i.e. left and right handed, or if the length of Galloon Lace Tulle has embroidery only along one edge then you must also get a length of its "mirror image". This is so that you can have the embroidery pattern going in the right direction on each bra cup (or pair of cups). If you use Galloon Lace Tulle for the cups, remove the seam allowance from the "neck hem" of the cup pattern.

Another cup fabric to look for is "Galloon Lace Tulle"; this is nylon net with embroidery along its edges. Another cup fabric to look for is "Galloon Lace Tulle"; this is nylon net with embroidery along its edges.

 

 

Denier: The lining fabric for the cups and cradle is known as "Denier". This is a semi-transparent nylon net type fabric that is sewn or fused (heat glued) to the fabric that you want to stop stretching. The fusible type has a layer of glue on one side and is fused to the main fabric using a damp cloth and a hot steam Iron. This type of lining is also known as "fusible woven interfacing". In industry a laminating heat press and laminating glue film is used to fuse a lining fabric to the main fabric.

Powernet stretchPowernet is the classic stretch fabric for foundation garments. It is supplied in various weights, just like printer/photocopier paper: 150grams per square metre, 190grams per square metre and various stretch factors; 50%/50%, 50%/40% and so on. Most "Home sewing" suppliers just describe their Powernet as "light", "medium" and "heavy" or "strong", however. (Suppliers who are reading this, please take a square metre of your Powernet stock and weigh it. The weight per square metre would be a more helpful description than "light, medium and heavy". Thank you :-).)

As for the stretch factors, 50% means that the fabric will stretch to 50% more than it's "at rest" length. In other words, if you take a 10cm length of the Powernet it will stretch comfortably out to 15cm and then (importantly) spring back or rebound (return) to its original length. I will try to cover stretch factors and working out "negative ease" for foundation garment stretch fabrics in more detail later.

Some Powernets stretch differently in their Warp and Weft directions. "50%/40%", for example, means that the Powernet has less stretch in one direction than the other. When making foundation garments, the greater stretch weave direction goes around the body, so that you can pull the garment on.

To test for the greater stretch direction (for now), just pull the fabric in its Warp and Weft directions; you should be able to "feel" any difference in stretch.

For now, try to go for a "medium" (160 to 170gr/sqm) 50/50 Powernet for the wings of the bra.

 

Plush hem elastics. Plush elastics are used on the "under band hem" (wings and cradle) and for the "under arm hems" (wings, cradle and cups). Plush elastic comes in three flavours: plain edged and picot or loop edged.

Plush elastics are used on the "under band hem" (wings and cradle) and for the "under arm hems" (wings, cradle and cups). Plush elastic comes in three flavours; Plain edged and Picot or Looped edged. Plush elastics are used on the "under band hem" (wings and cradle) and for the "under arm hems" (wings, cradle and cups). Plush elastic comes in three flavours; Plain edged and Picot or Looped edged.

 

One side of the plush elastic is smooth and plain (to sew against the main fabric) and the other side has a plush, fluffy velvet finish (to go against the body).

Standard widths of Plush elastic are 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm 16mm and 19mm. They have a 60% to 80% stretch.

For this first bra, use a 10mm or 12mm wide elastic. If you need a firmer bra with more support (larger cup sizes) go for 14mm or 16mm wide elastic, but you will need to make the cradle and wing patterns slightly deeper.

One side of the plush elastic is smooth and plain (to sew against the main fabric) and the other side has a plush, fluffy velvet finish (to go against the body).

Bra strap elastic: There are so many different styles of bra strap elastic, from plain matt finish to satin finish, picot edged, embroidered and even clear. The choice is yours, but from a technical standpoint, bra strap elastic must not have more than 40% stretch and the width of the elastic strap must match the size of the strap "sliders" (adjusters) and strap "rings". If you want to make non-stretch straps from a tape or ribbon (I know you girls love to put ribbons and bows on underwear), you will still need two short lengths of strap elastic to sew to the "strap platform" points on the Powernet wings. The short lengths of strap elastic have some "give" and will allow for better shoulder movement; non-stretch straps can dig into the shoulders.

You can also cover stretch bra straps with "gathered tubes" of non-stretch fabric to match the cup and cradle fabric, which can be very 1950s chic!

Seam tape (6mm NL2): For this bra you will need to cover the cradle to wing side seams, the centre front seam and the cup neck hems. On most bras the seams are covered with a tape made from a semi transparent nylon net type fabric that has its edges folded under in the same manner as bias binding. BUT seam tape is not made "on the bias", so it will not stretch. In industry, seam tape is some times referred to as "NL2" tape. If you can't get hold of 6mm wide non-stretch seam tape, you can make your own tape by using strips of lining fabric cut along the grain of the fabric (not on a 45º bias line) and a 6mm bias binding tape maker plus a hot steam iron.

On most bras the seams are covered with a tape made from a semi transparent nylon net type fabric that has it's edges folded under in the same manner as "bias binding tape" BUT seam tape is not made "on the bias" so it will not stretch.

Hook & eye tapes: For foundation garment making you can get hooks & eyes on continuous lengths of fabric tape with one, two and three rows of eyes on one tape and the matching spaced set of hooks on the other tape. Just cut to the required number of hooks and eyes deep, sandwich the end of the bra wing in-between the tape and sew.

I have suggested getting continuous lengths of hook & eye tape as some of you may wish to have a go at making a longline bra (just the thing for that 50s shape - spiral stitched cups anyone?) or a basque (Merry Widow, Guêpière, Torselet).

Hook & Eye tapes: For foundation garment making you can get Hooks & Eyes on continuous lengths of fabric tape with one, two and three rows of Eyes on one tape and the matching spaced set of Hooks on the other tape  have suggested getting continuous lengths of Hook & Eye tape has some of you may wish to have a go at making a "Long line" bra (just the thing for that 50's shape, spiral stitched cups any one?) or a Basque (Merry Widow, Guêpière, Torselet).

 

When you have obtained your hook and eye tape you need to decide how many hooks and eyes you want for the bra fastening and adjustment - usually two or three.

Then measure the distance between the number you want and transfer this measurement to the wing pattern.

Remember that the bra straps are sewn to the wings (5mm overlap) so the strap width needs to be taken into account before redrafting the CB end of the wing.

When you have obtained your Hook & Eye tape you need to decide how many hooks and eyes you want for the bra fastening and adjustment, two or three. Then measure the distance between the number you want and transfer this measurement to the wing pattern.

Underwire casing: As with the plush thin elastics, underwire casing has a smooth plain side (to sew against the other fabric) and the other side has a plush, fluffy velvet finish (to go against the body).

It comes in continuous lengths and is simply cut to length and sewn on (this will test your sewing skills, without using a "Twin Needle" industrial sewing machine with a casing feed or guide).

Underwire Casing: As with the Plush thin elastics, Underwire Casing has a smooth plain side (to sew against the other fabric) and the other side has a plush, fluffy velvet finish (to go against the body)

Strap sliders and rings (findings): I do not know why the small metal / plastic parts of a bra are sometimes referred to as "findings", but for this darted cup bra you will need to find two strap sliders (adjusters) and two rings. The sliders and rings must match the width of your chosen bra strap elastic.

As to quantities of all the fabrics and materials, it all depends on how many bras you wish to make. That is one of the good things about making bras; they take very little fabric and few notions to make.

 

For this darted cup bra you will need to find , two Strap Sliders (adjusters) and two Rings. The Sliders and Rings must match the width of your chosen bra strap elastic.

Layout and Cutting

You may be working at home, but there are two "home sewing" practices that you need to stop using when working with small, accurate bra patterns. One is pinning the pattern to the fabric, and the other is cutting out on the fold of the fabric. You have taken the time to draft the bra patterns to the millimetre, so you owe it to yourself to work accurately. In industry nothing is pinned to fabric, or cut out on the fold!

When you have obtained all the fabrics and parts, you can lay out and cut out the cups, cradle, wings and linings.

Follow good practice and iron the cup and cradle fabrics to remove any creases and wrinkles before marking and cutting out.

To mark out the fabric, place the pattern on the fabric and draw around the pattern using an "air erasable" marker pen or a tailor's fine chalk pencil.

The marks made by an air erasable marker pen fade and disappear after about 48 hours (check that yours really does fade first!!) and tailor's chalk can be brushed off.

Remember, you have pattern drafted only half the bra. Mark out one side then "flip" the patterns over and mark out the other half of the bra. (We'll have no making a bra with two right hand cups, I have seen that done!)

When you have obtained all the fabrics and parts you can lay out and cut out the cups, cradle, wings and linings.

The Cups

The first things to sew are the cups. If you are lining your cups, tack stitch the lining cup to the fabric cup. If you are using a fusible lining, fuse the lining to the cup fabric.

Sew the "dart" together on the cup, press the seam flat towards the under arm hem of the cup, and sew the seam allowance down. The trick with this darted cup is to "sew out of the dart" by a few stitches to remove the point. You should always sew out of the dart when sewing garments as it prevents "dimpling" at the end of a dart (think of hip bone darts on the front of a slim skirt or shoulder blade darts on the back of a jacket)

Sewing out of the dart to prevent dimples
Sewing out of the dart to prevent dimples Sewing out of the dart to prevent dimples

Next, fold over the "neck hem" of the cup and sew down, covering the edge with seam tape (stitch along both edges of the seam tape, just like sewing a corset bone channel). This is where a twin needle industrial sewing machine with seam tape feed, or a industrial cover stitch machine, comes in so handy. Leave a couple of centimetres of seam tape overhanging the hem ends. 

If you are using Galloon Lace Tulle for your cups, you will have no neck hem to fold over.

If you want to, you can iron the cups over the end of a tailor's ham just to round them out and shape them, but don't overdo it or you will stretch the cups.

Next fold over the "neck hem" of the cup and sew down covering the edge with seam tape (stitch along both edges of the seam tape just like sewing a corset bone case). Next fold over the "neck hem" of the cup and sew down covering the edge with seam tape (stitch along both edges of the seam tape just like sewing a corset bone case).
If you want to, you can iron the cups over the end of a "Tailors Ham" just to round them out and shape them, but do not over do it or you will stretch the cups

 

The Cradle

Now for the cradle. Sew the cradle halves together at the centre front seam and press the seam open.

Sew the cradle halves together at the centre front seam and press open the seam.

Sew the cradle lining to the cradle along the top at centre front, right sides together, and "bag out" (ie. turn the sewn-together garment parts right sides out. Think about sewing a bag or pillowcase along three of its sides, then pulling it inside out so that the right sides of the fabric are on the outside.)

With the cradle and lining bagged out, baste the lining to the rest of the cradle, or if you are using a fusible lining, fuse (hot iron and damp cloth) the lining to the cradle fabric.

Next sew the cradle lining to the cradle along the top at centre front right sides together and "bag out"

Next sew the Powernet wings to the cradle at the side seams.

 

Next sew the Powernet wings to the cradle at the side seams.

After sewing, fold down the seam allowance towards the cradle CF (centre front) and cover with seam tape.

Try not to get the seam tape stitches on the Powernet wings.

 

After sewing fold down the seam allowance towards the cradle CF (centre front) and cover with seam tape.

Cups to Cradle

You should now be ready for the first tricky bit of sewing, sewing the cups to the cradle (you will be sewing two opposite curves together).

Again, have a go at not doing the "home sewing" thing - do not use pins to hold the cups and cradle together, instead try to "feed" the cup and cradle into the sewing machine (an industrial machinist does not have time to mess around with pins. 12½ minutes to make a bra, remember!)

At the same time as you are sewing the cup to the cradle, you should sew a 4mm wide strip of Denier lining fabric onto the seam. This will help to stop the seam from stretching as you sew it (another industry trick).

Do not use pins to hold the cups and cradle together, instead try to "feed" the cup and cradle into the sewing machine

The overhanging cup neck hem seam tape can be sewn down on the inside CF of the cradle.

When you have sewn the cups to the cradle (unpicked them and sewn them again to get the alignment right or to get the cups the right way around in the cradle ) you are ready to sew the plush elastics to the hems.

The overhanging cup neck hem seam tape can be sewn down on the inside CF of the cradle.

Plush elastics

Sewing the plush elastics to the wing, cradle and cup underarm hems is another tricky bit of sewing, as you need to apply some tension to the elastic as you sew and let the sewing machine pull the parts through (in industry they have a attachment to the zig zag sewing machines to apply the correct tension to the plush elastics).

I would strongly suggest that you practice with some offcuts of fabric and plush elastic to get a good "feel" for sewing the stretch parts before sewing the bra.

 

First you need to set up your sewing machine to sew a plain zigzag stitch with about a 3mm to 4mm throw (stitch width).

Adjust the stitch length so you can feel the machine "pulling" at the fabric / elastic, this will help to stretch the fabric /elastic as you apply the stretch tension and feed the machine.

Place the fabric (Powernet or cradle fabric) right side up on the machine, then place the plush elastic plush side up on the 5mm seam allowance.

Sewing the plush elastics to the wing, cradle and cup under arm hems is another tricky bit of sewing, as you need to apply some tension to the elastic as you sew and let the sewing machine "Pull" the parts through

Start with a few zig zag stitches with no tension applied, just to get the feed dogs (the rows of moving metal teeth under the pressure foot) gripping the parts, then apply some stretch tension and continue sewing.

Start with a few zig zag stitches with no tension applied just to get the "Feed Dogs" (the rows of moving metal teeth under the pressure foot) gripping the parts then apply some stretch tension and continue sewing.

When you have completed the run, set your machine to the three step zigzag stitch with a 5mm throw (stitch width). You also may need to adjust the stitch length.

Fold under the plush elastic so that the plush side is on the reverse side of the fabric (inside of the bra) and sew as you did for the first run of plain zig zag stitching, by applying some stretch.

Fold under the Plush elastic so that the Plush side is on the reverse side of the fabric (inside of the bra) and sew as you did for the first run of plain zig zag stitching by applying some stretch.

When you are happy with the test sewing and you have made a note (on paper or on the machine's stitch length dial) of the stitch lengths you have used, you can sew the plush elastic to the under band hem of the bra.

First measure the length of the hem, then take away 2.5cm from the measurement and mark on a length of plush elastic the new minus-2.5cm measurement (start and finish marks). This will help you to get the stretch tension right.

Now follow the instructions as per the test sewing and sew the marked-out length of plush elastic to the under band bra hem.

First measure the length of the hem then take away 2.5cm from the measurement and mark on a length of Plush elastic the new minus 2.5cm measurement (start and finish marks), this will help you to get the stretch tension right.

If you have sewn the plush elastic on correctly, there should be no increase in the length of the hem and the fabrics should be "sitting" flat or very slightly gathered.

If you have sew on the plush elastic correctly, there should be no increase in the length of the hem and the fabrics should be "sitting" flat or very slightly gathered.

Next is the same plush elastic sewing process for the underarm hems (along the top of the wings and up the side of the cups).

Measure the length of the underarm hem, from top of the strap platform curve, along the top edge of the wing and cradle and up the side of the cup, take 2cm away from the measurement and mark this measurement (start and finish marks) onto a length of plush elastic. 

Next is the same Plush elastic sewing process for the Under Arm hems (along the top of the wings and up the side of the cups).

Stretch and sew. One step 3mm zigzag first then fold elastic under and three step 5mm zigzag.

Stretch and sew. One step 3mm Zig Zag first then fold elastic under and Three step 5mm Zig Zag.

Now to sew on two short lengths of bra strap to the wings' "strap platforms" (the curved edges at the centre back ends of the wings).

Measure the length of the strap platform curve and add 2cm to this measurement; this 2cm will fold over through the strap ring.

There is no need to apply any stretch as you sew the short lengths of strap elastic.

Measure the length of the Strap platform curve and add 2cm to this measurement; this 2cm will fold over through the strap ring.

Cut two lengths of bra strap to this measurement and set your sewing machine to the 3-step Zig Zag stitch with a 5mm throw.

Place the wing right side up on the sewing machine and the bra strap elastic on top overlapping by the 5mm seam allowance.

Zigzag the strap to the wing and repeat for the other wing/strap.

Thread a bra strap ring onto the strap end, fold the strap over by 1cm and sew together using a couple of runs of straight stitch.

Zig zag sew the strap to the wing and repeat for the other wing / strap.  Thread a bra strap ring on to the strap end and fold over the strap by 1cm and sew together using a couple of runs of straight stitch.

Hook & eye tape

Cut your hook and eye tape to length.

For the eye tape, sandwich the end of the left bra wing in between the tape and sew with a straight stitch.

Cut your Hook & Eye tape to length. For the Eye tape, sandwich the end of the left bra wing in-between the tape and sew with a straight stitch.

For the hook tape, fold the tape around the end of the right bra wing and again sew with a straight stitch.

For the Hook tape, fold the tape around the end of the right bra wing and again sew with a straight stitch.

To finish the hook and eye fastening, I like to use a fine, closely spaced zigzag stitch to "overlock" the cut edges of the tapes.

To finish the Hook & Eye fastening, I like to use a fine closely spaced zig zag stitch to "overlock" the cut edges of the tapes.

Underwire casings

Sewing the underwire casing on to the cup to cradle seams is tricky. Cut two lengths of underwire casing slightly longer than is needed. You can start sewing from the CF end or the underarm end of the cup to cradle seam.

The first run of stitches is the most difficult to do as you are sewing "blind". The first row of stitches through the edge of casing must follow the line of the cup to cradle seam and not go onto the cup.

Start with the cup to cradle seam allowance folded down onto the cradle, place the casing (plush side up) on top of the cup to cradle seam so that the edge of the casing is just on the cup, and sew along the casing edge, working around the cup to cradle seam using a straight stitch.

Cut two lengths of underwire casing slightly longer than is needed. You can start sewing from the CF end or the under arm end of the cup to cradle seam.

When you have sewn the first run of casing stitches (and unpicked it and sewn it again to get the alignment right!), sew down the other edge of the underwire casing.

Try to keep a consistent space between the two rows of casing stitches.

When you have sewn the first run of casing stitches (unpicked it and sewn it again to get the alignment right ), sew down the other edge of the underwire casing, try to keep a consistent space between the two rows of casing stitches.

When you have sewn both underwire casings to the bra, close off one end of each casing using a couple of runs of closely spaced straight stitches (in industry this is done with a special "Bar tack" sewing machine).

Push the underwires all the way into the casings and (this is where you risk breaking the needle as it hits the end of the wire - be careful!) close off the open ends of the casings with a couple of runs of closely spaced straight stitches.

Trim off the casing at each end.

Push the Underwires all the way into the casings and (this is were you break the needle as it hits the end of the wire ) close off the open ends of the casings with a couple of runs of closely spaced straight stitches. Trim off the casing at each end.

The Straps

The two bra straps are made from 50cm strap elastic for each strap.

First thread the strap elastic through one side of the strap slider, over the slider centre bar and back through the other side of the slider by 1.5cm.

First thread the strap elastic through one side of the strap slider, over the slider centre bar and back through the other side of the slider by 1.5cm.

Sew together using a couple of runs of closely spaced straight stitches.

Sew together using a couple of runs of closely spaced straight stitches.

Now thread the end of the strap through the strap ring on the wing and thread back through the strap slider.

Now thread the end of the strap through the strap ring on the wing and thread back through the strap slider.

Place the strap end 1.5cm under the cup apex right sides up and sew together with two runs of closely spaced straight stitches, then a second run of stitches 5mm from the first.

Make sure that the strap is not twisted.

Place the strap end 1.5cm under the cup apex right sides up and sew together with two runs of closely spaced straight stitches then a second run of stitches 5mm from the first.

All that is left to do now is to sew a cute bow to the centre front of the bra, inbetween the cups, if you  wish. You could sew any thing to your bra, go wild!

All that is left to do now is to sew a cute bow to the centre front of the bra in-between the cups if you like,  or you could sew any thing to your bra, go wild.

 

Final Steps

Try the bra on to check for fit.The finished bra! The main things to look for / feel for are that the underwires are sitting in the breast root, not on the breast tissue (pain) and not on the chest wall away from the breasts (bad fit and support).

  • If the underwires are sitting on the breast tissue at the sides then you may need to shorten the wings to spring open (pull) the underwires more so that the wire spreads enough to sit in the breast root.
  • If the underwires are sitting on the chest wall away from the breasts at the sides you may need to lengthen the wings to apply less spring to the wires.
  • If the centre front of the bra is not sitting flat on the sternum (breast bone) between the breasts, you need to increase the cup size.
  • If the bra cups' volume is correct and they are "containing" your breast volume, then your darted cup pattern is OK. In the next article we will modify the patterns for this basic "Darted Cup" bra for different styles.

 

For now, practice your pattern drafting / shift grading and stretch fabric sewing by making some bras for your friends.

That was a fun bit of sewing; did you take only 12½ minutes to make your bra?

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Gravatar
d_gold  
  *****

I'm sure more questions will occur to me when I give it a go, but for now:

1) Some of the materials look quite specialised. Is this so, and if so any ideas for sources?

2) I know the above is for bras, but what do you recommend instead of pinning for larger items - e.g. pattern weights? (In the past some people used pins like map pins, and pinned through the pattern and fabric and into the table.)

Many, many thanks for the detailed articles and modern manufacturing references.
 
 
Gravatar
foxworthy  
  Hi d_gold,

Try this website:
www.bracomponents.com

They have everything you need for making Bras and dye all their components to match - in just about any colour you could hope for!
I was really excited when i found them :)

Also, you're right about using weights for holding patterns in place when marking for cutting. I work as a costumier, and i use a couple of pieces of steel which i've wrapped in fabric.
Tins of food also make great pattern weights ha ha!
 
 
Gravatar
gemma  
  Perfect timing on this article, I just impulse bought materials for two bras and came home to find this article waiting for me :)
If anyone's interested, the place I bought the materials is Fabulous Fabrics in Ashby near Leicester, UK. They have about 100 different laces specially for bra making (about 8" wide in great colours and patterns) and once I'd picked the lace I wanted the very helpful staff put together 'kits' for me, with all the specialist stuff mentioned in the article included.
Will be trying it out very soon!
 
 
Gravatar
3mily  
  I've been to fabulous fabrics in Ashby many times. The bra making materials are wonderful and there is a sewing school upstairs where you can learn bra making, corsetry and dressmaking.  
 
Gravatar
melanie  
  Hi Mark--Brand new member here!

Do you have instructions for drafting two-piece and three-piece cups from this basic pattern? The single dart pattern isn't quite enough support for me.

Many thanks for all of this great information. . .

Melanie
 
 
Gravatar
melanie  
  Hmmm. In my new-user excitement I didn't think to search. Found what I was looking for--what a fabulous site!

Melanie (again)
 
 
Gravatar
Savannah  
  Hey, I'm a member, but I can't see the article. :(
I'm signed up with the "aMember Pro" as a free user, but this website won't recognize my user name and password! Please help? I would REALLY like to be able to finish the bra I only have half way made! XD
Is there another page somewhere or copy of this article that I can read? I'd really appreciate it.
 
 
gbarge  
  Mark, I drafted 3-piece cups for a corset; where is the straight grain in the cup pattern?  
 
Gravatar
mark_garbarczyk  
  Hi gbarge
Please look at the forum for grain alignment for bra patterns; I do not have enough room in the comments box for a reply.
Corset Hugs
Mark
 
 
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royannelee  
  why does the print button won't work?  
 
pollyanna  
  Hi there Royannelee,
I'm not sure which print button you're pressing. Is it the one at the top of your browser window? (the one in the drop-down 'file' menu)
If you can send me a bit more info about the problem you're having, I'll see if we can help.
Thanks,
Polly (Harman Hay web bot)
 
 
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warriormaiden  
  My sewing machine doesn't seem to have a three-step zigzag option, does anyone know how to do this on a Bernina 1008? Or is there an equivalent i can use?  
 
Gravatar
mark_garbarczyk  
  Hi warriormaiden.
Yes an oversight on a very good machine. I do not no way Bernina have never put three-step-zigzag on their machines but you should have what Bernina call “Running Stitch” (number 3 on the 807 model) the wavy one that waves form side to side. Try this stitch with a short stitch length, it may work.
Or you could look around for a very inexpensive second hand machine that has Three-step-zigzag on it, remember in one of the articles I showed the machine I picked up for £20 that I have sewn all the articles examples on. A tip, look for an older metal-bodied machine (just like the Bernina) rather than a modern plastic body and look in your local paper.
Corset Hugs
Mark
 
 
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warriormaiden  
  Thanks very much Mark, I did see the running stitch when I scoured my manual, but I couldn't be entirely sure if it was appropriate.

Thanks again :D
 
 
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Bill Smith  
  worth a try  
 
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Rosalind Brooks  
  I don't have a separation "plate" between my breasts. I just have one gently curved to the east and the other gently curved to the west. What shape bra and bra pattern is best for me? I am a 34G! I have attempted a bra pattern before, but did not know how to make adjustments for lift-I want a front upward, straightforward look.  
 
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