Phee X Ohhh Lu Lu Sews Hyacinth sports bra

Hello fellow seamstresses!

It’s Brandi. I live in Florida and sew mostly bikinis and workout wear. I love sewing, being creative, lifting weights, surfing and eating cheeseburgers. I may CrossFit 5-6 times a week so I can eat cheeseburgers on the regular. It’s awfully humid and sweaty working out in the southern, wet heat. The right fabric makes a HUGE difference.

I just made an awesome sports bra and need to share it with you. I used Ohhh Lu Lu Sews latest bralette pattern, the Hyacinth. There is a free version on her website and the version with the add ons for all these awesome options on her Etsy shop I sewed view G.

I had to modify it just touch for it to be a sports bra. Before we go over that, let’s talk fabric. All the fabric I used is in the Phee fabric shop. I used the red and white matte stripes for the main and white supplex for the lining, straps and band If your heavy chested or want even more support, add some power net to the front. Lining with the 18oz white supplex was great for me. Let’s go over sizing.

Ohhh Lu Lu has a great range of sizing.
I’m a 30G cup (36” bust and 29” underbust) and somehow fall into Ohhh Lu Lu’s small. Since I have such a tiny rib cage, I usually pick the size I measure to for the front piece (this time a small) and size down one for the back piece (extra small).

Now on to modifications. First adjustment I made was squaring off the front bust line on the bottom. I wasn’t sure if it would ride up once I put the band on so I just squared it off like this. I added a red line on the photo so it’s easier to see.


I knew I didn’t want to use lace or fold over elastic (FOE) for my sports bra. Every where the pattern calls for lace trim or FOE I added a 3/8” seam allowance so I could use 3/8” elastic. You can do this on the pattern itself or mark it on your fabric. I mark it on my fabric. I’ll throw my clear ruler on the pattern and fabric just to double check my extra seam allowance is actually 3/8”. Impressively, I nail it every time. Make sure you add a seam allowance to the front and back. Since the pattern calls for plush elastic at the bottom, it already has a seam allowance. No need to add more to the bottom just where it calls for using FOE or lace trim.


For the band you have 2 options. One, you can either use a pattern piece from another sports bra pattern along with the elastic measurements it calls for or two, you can measure the width of the front and back pattern pieces, decide what width elastic you want to use, double the height and add a seam allowance. I used a 1.25” sports elastic from Joann’s. My band height is approximately 3.25” tall with the seam allowance and the same length of my front and back pieces. I also added a 3/8” seam allowance to both back pieces of view G and cut out 4 pieces (shown in white supplex). Here’s most of it cut out.


Now to cut out the straps. This is my favorite blog post about making straps. It shows you several ways to make them. I did not make adjustable straps. I measured another sports bra from the bottom of the cup (not the bottom of the band but where the band attaches to the bottom on the cup) up over the strap to the bottom of the back piece (not the bottom of the band) to get a idea of how long my straps need to be in comparison with how the Hyacinth. I needed my straps to be about 9”. I cut my straps at 12” just in case things went haywire.

Time to sew! Finally. I sewed my straps and back accent pieces first. I sewed the back accent pieces right sides together (RST) and added 3/8” elastic on both seams. I like sturdy sports bras. Take a strap and push it between the two pieces of fabric to the top of the accent piece while it’s still inside out like this. Sew across the top where my finger is. Trim any excess.


Pull the strap and wiggle the fabric around and you should be able to pull it right sides out. Mine was a little stubborn so there was lots of wiggling the fabric around to get it to pull ride side out. Repeat on the other side and you should have something like this!


Now follow the steps in the instructions sewing the side seams (remember Ohhh Lu Lu uses a .5” seam allowance) and baste only the bottom your accent pieces in place per Ohhh Lu Lu’s instructions. This is where I went on my own path on finishing the sports bra. I put the front and front lining RST and sewed 3/8” elastic with my elastic foot (so I don’t have elastic measurements) to the top center front. I opened it up, right sides up and under stitched the elastic to the lining with a stretch stitch. This will help the elastic from wanting to flip outwards while your wearing it but the right side on the center front will still look seamless! It looked like this under my machine.


I then attached my straps to the front in the same manner we sewed the strap to the back accent piece, basting them in place to make sure they weren’t twisted. This is a great spot to try it on and check everything. If the straps feel like they are good to go, sew from down for good. Now I finished around the underarms and back of the sports bra with the *wrong sides touching* using 3/8” elastic on the lining side. Just like sewing bikinis. Then I turned the elastic under and top stitched using a zig zag stitch. Now it looks like this.


Now it’s time to add the band. I sewed the side seams of my band together then I sewed just one side of my band to the bra RST matching up the side seams. Stay with me here. This is a little different than most pattern designers instruct you to sew the band. I like this way. The band won’t twist and roll around. Once you have your elastic cut, measure the half way point and mark it. Place your elastic on the wrong side of the band starting about an inch before one of the side seams. Leave some of the fabric hanging, like an extra seam allowance about 1/4-3/8”, disengage your serger blade and serge the band making sure the needles are catching the band while you still have some fabric hanging to the right. It should look like this.


Don’t forget to stretch your elastic as you sew it. The center point you marked should match up with the other side seam. Sew or serge all the way around over lapping your elastic at the end. Flip the band up and top stitch with a stretch stitch or coverstitch making sure you catch the seam allowance. This is what the wrong and right side of my band look like.


Ta-dah!!!! You now have an awesome sports bra.


Much love,

A two piece Alexandria

Making any garment is an especially personal thing but the most personal and challenging for me is a bikini top or sports bra. 15 years ago I got breast implants to correct some issues that I had. Fast forward 11 years and I got pregnant which caused me to go from a 34C/D to a larger than a 38E. My boobs are the farthest thing from perfect, there’s scars, stretch marks, sagging, different sizes and on top of all that they’re massive, which makes me self conscious. As a single mom with one income, there is no time or money to fix the issues. Enter the obsession with all things lined with power net or techsheen.

When I saw the Alexandria I instantly got excited but not as a one piece. All I kept thinking was, bikini time and as self conscious about my post-baby body as I am I also realize that I am the sole role model for my son. The person who will teach him how to be a gentleman, respect and appreciate women. He doesn’t care about all the imperfections that I see because in his mind I’m a pretty awesome mom and this awesome mom needs a bikini!

So let’s start hacking

I cut two mirrored piece of the faux wrap in power netlining and the new red and white stripe and basted the flounce. 

Then I realized that these pieces come to my belly button and my ginormous milk pillows do not allow for a simple “fold under with some elastic”. I would need an actual band and then what do I do about the back? So I started cutting, I cut to the patterns ‘shelf bra’ line omitting the elastic because my boobs would eat the elastic (have I said that I love powernet?!).

Cutting it down was perfect. That line was exactly where the flounce ended. I did add the elastic with my super awesome elasticator foot then I followed the same enclosure method as I showed in February in this blog.

I used tie strings that I cut 1.5″ x 20″. With 1.5″ non roll elastic for the back. I made the casing by measuring my back in the places it would sit. My almost 4 year old wouldn’t help with this part so I took the back of something I already had and measured it. Don’t forgot to measure it in a few spots since the elastic bands (two of them) will sit in different spots on your back. I cut the casing 4.5″ wide and 15″ long for the bottom band and 14.75″ for the top band spacing them about 1″ apart. 

Before topstitching and finalizing this I tried it on. Now, I would say the typical “ignore the mess” but let’s get real. My life is messy! It’s filled with monster trucks, hot wheels, nerf bullets being shot at me, hair in a bun, sewing in my underwear while doing laundry, drinking a Diet Coke, trying to keep my sanity all while trying to drown out ‘Ryan’s toy review’ playing in the background

After I had the proper fit, I basted the front enclosure, I crossed over everything minus 2″. Now be forewarned, there were ten, that’s right 10 layers! to baste through. I basted with my serger, lower the tension, go slow and have some extra needles on hand just in case. The other option is to tack down the crossover and cut out all the extra fabric, which I’ll be doing on my next version. After basting I folded under and topstitched everything.

With an excited 4 year old , we jumped in the pool and put this top to the test. It’s sitting very high in my pits, I noticed this with majority of the other pictures that I looked at too, and I decided to revert back to my topstitching technique that I normally use.

Next step is to improve this version to fit me even better so stay tuned. If you’re interested in seeing this within a video just please post in the Facebook group and ask for it.


Welcome to Swim Week

Posted by Mary Kaye Cole

Welcome to Swim Week at Phee Fabrics! We’re so excited you’re here; we have lots of fun things in store for you! So grab your pool chair, a towel and a pina colada, dip those toes in the pool (or lake or ocean) and start dreaming about your next gorgeous swimsuit made with Phee Fabrics for you and/or your children!

Let’s get this celebration started with a one-day SALE on the Navy and White Matte Stripes  – no coupon needed. I’m using the stripes to make my granddaughters coordinating Mairin swimsuits by Sew A Little Seam. I’m also using the Coral Nylon Spandex Tricot  as an accent, but many of the Nylon Spandex Solids would be a perfect coordinate!

Check back each day during Swim Week to find out which item we have on sale that day!

So besides a good sale, what else is in store this week? We’ll have several guest bloggers here on the website and guest videographers in the Phee Fabrics Sew Along Facebook Group  sharing their swimsuit makes, fabric info, hacks, tips and tricks, etc. We’ll also have lots of seamstresses posting their gorgeous suits and accessories in the Phee Fabrics Facebook Group . You’ll see swimsuits from Jalie, Sew A Little Seam, 5 out of 4, Swim Style and many others. You’ll see our Leaf Matte Nylon Spandex, our Leopard Print Nylon Spandex, our Circular Knits and lots of other beautiful swim fabrics on an array of bathing beauties (and beaus)!

Want to get involved and win some fabric? At the conclusion of Swim Week, we’ll announce a Swimwear Contest.

So get that fabric ordered, join the Phee Fabrics Facebook Group and Phee Fabrics Sew Along Facebook Group if you haven’t already, check out all the swimwear we have to show you this week, then start planning the best swimsuit you’ll ever make!

Happy Sewing!

Mary Kaye