It appears to be bra month around here at Phee Fabrics if you haven’t noticed already. I started off with a pattern that has been in my stash for a couple of years, then once I received my lace realized that it wasn’t going to work for my pattern. So I set to find a different pattern because I had a look I was going for, and had to use this beautiful black and white lace.
I then decided to use Cloth Habit’s Harriet Bra Pattern in view C, it comes in sizes 28-41 A-H. I used the Cloth Habit uses the UK method for bra sizing, and provides a sizing guide on their site so you can figure out if the pattern will work for you before you buy. Since I haven’t worn a real bra in far too long, my closest thing to a real bra is from Athleta and comes in a size medium made for cups A-C, so I’m not sure how to compare the sizes. I made a size 32DD, and the fit worked out pretty well, although I did find the band a tad tight.
With this being my first underwire bra that I’ve sewn, and first lace item, I made a lot of mistakes with the actual sewing (I’ll share some tips at the end of my post so you don’t make the same ones). I used Phee’s Heavy Duty Underwires, which I initially ordered in what I thought was my bra size, plus one size over and one size under. I found out that the largest of the three would work for only my right breast, and it was really easy to send back the other 2 and get the next 2 sizes. I loved that I wasn’t stuck with wires that wouldn’t work for me and I got the wires I did need.
I got a little scissor happy and started cutting into my lace and quickly realized it wasn’t going to look the way I wanted it to. So I ordered some additional 9” wide white lace to use for the rest of the cups and the cradle. I used a lot of different materials on this bra, but with them all coming from Phee, they worked together beautifully. I wanted to pull from the black in the lace at the top of the cups, so I opted to use black notions and black powernet for the wings of the bra. I love how they all come together.
- Upper cup lace: Black and White 6” Stretch Lace Trim
- Lower cup lace & front band: White 9” Wide Lace
- Lining: White Powernet
- Bridge Lining: 40 Denier Tricot in White
- Back Wings: Black Powernet
- 2×3 Bra Hook and Eye Fastener in Black
- 3/8” Double Plush Picot Elastic in Black
- 5/8” Double Plush Picot Elastic in Black
- 5/8” Silver Metal Ring and Slider Set
- Plush Bra Strap Elastic in Black
- Plush Underwire Casing in White
- Follow the instructions on the pattern, and if they don’t make sense, then see if your pattern maker has a photo tutorial on their website. I don’t suggest trying to make things up as you go, that’s where I got in trouble. I decided to not follow the instructions and it made things really hard in the end. Cloth Habit does have a great Sew Along if you need more help.
- The Harriet calls for a 1/2” band elastic, I didn’t pay any attention to this, and I should have lengthened the seam allowance on the cradle and band to account for this and make for easier sewing.
- Don’t stretch elastic when it says hold taunt, I did this on my clear elastic at the top of my cup on my scalloped elastic, and now it’s not smooth, it pulls in on my breasts.
- Practice stitches on scraps of the same lace/powernet/fabric combos before actually sewing on your bra. I don’t know the last time I’ve used my seam ripper as much as I did on one project as I did on this bra. And trying to take seams out of a lace bra is not the easiest.
- When sewing your hook and eye on, make sure they are facing the correct direction before sewing. I accidentally sewed my hook on so that it faces out.
Happy bra sewing!
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I would have never guessed you made all those mistakes, looks great! I’ve had sewing a bra on my list since 1991. THAT pattern doesn’t fit anymore! I’ve been accumulating materials and fixings, so maybe I’ll get around to it this summer…..All you phee fans are inspirational.
I need an underwire large cup size with a lot of support. My “girls” are very heavy. I wear a 36DDD now. I need straps that are wide so they don’t dig in my shoulders. Can you offer a suggestion? Please!!!!