My bra making experiments continue, and I’ve been focusing on the Maya bra, which amazingly, is a free pattern.
Firstly I made this black set. The green lace was an op shop find and was basically a bundle of pieces – perfect for embellishing underwear!
I had planned to make a second black bra, but haven’t quite got to it. The fit on this one isn’t quite right, I have still got slight gaping at the top of the bra, and the back wings also gape a bit. I made this set from tricot as I thought it would probably dry quickly whilst I was travelling, but of course all that padding in the bra slows the drying down somewhat, so I might not worry about this for a while.
I had another go with this red and black leopard print set. The fabric is left over from this nettie bodysuit, and it is perfect for underwear as it has good stretch and is a lovely cotton.
I reduced the cup size from a C to a B, to see if that helped the fit, but it’s still not quite as I’d like. This bra was made following Anna’s instructions on her blog. They weren’t quite complete so I had to wing the end of the make. The back bands were collapsing a bit so I took it off to Sarah, my pattern making teacher, and she suggested that I add some underwire casing vertically to give it a bit of structure. Of course I didn’t get a photograph of this, but it is just added about halfway between the cup and where the strap joins the back, and it really works.
Sarah then helped me redraft the top cup pattern piece to help reduce the gaping (which worked) and she also suggested altering the cradle to have a separate bridge and then having the underwires form the base of the bra. You can just see what I mean in this photograph.
I used the leopard print again as I have loads of it and I really like it.
Instead of sewing the cups right sides together and then turning them right sides out, as in the first version, I simply sewed them and used fold over elastic right over the top. The bridge was sewn right sides together and bagged out.
The modified cradle meant that the underwire casing is sewn to the cups rather than the cradle. This had the effect of widening the bridge, so I need to cut it down next time. This bra is a tad small in the cup, perhaps because of the new placement of the underwires, so I now need to find a happy medium.
I dyed the straps, underwire casing, some picot elastic (for the first bra), and hook fastening red and I was really pleased with how these turned out. I shall be doing this again as it’s a really great way of getting matching elements on my underwear. Even the rings and sliders took the dye, which you may be able to see in the photo above. I also had to cut down the underwires to fit and used Plastidip to give a nice coat to the cut edge.
So, my experiments with bras are not over. I do have three perfectly wearable bras, but I don’t think I have perfection yet, so will be making more.
The knickers are all Watsons from Cloth Habit, as the fit is really nice.
Finally, my apologies for the paucity of photos. I had no idea what I needed until I started writing and the underwear is currently packed in a suitcase waiting to be taken on my holiday.
The leopard print fabric was bought from The Fabric Store in Sydney, and the black tricot came from Knitwit in Nedlands.
17 thoughts on “More Mayas”
These are great. I’ve never tried bra making but I would if I could get fabrics like those, especially the red. I don’t like underwiring so my aim would be to find the perfect non-wired bra pattern. It used to be done by finding lots of fabrics with different give for support or stretchiness. Enjoy your holiday. Regards Trish.
Have you looked at the Watson bra? It doesn’t use underwires. I’ve made quite a few and they are a pretty good fit.
Very impressive – and even the ones that don’t fit perfectly are probably at least as good as ready made fit.
Yes, they are more comfortable than many of my RTW bras.
Lovely sets Sue. I’m sure you will have the perfect fit sorted in no time.
Oh I hope so, Jean.
These all look really nice, and I’m sure you must be getting a perfect fit by now! I love the red/black fabric 🙂
Oh, it’s a pity that your black-green set doesn’t fit, it is so pretty! Maybe you could save it somehow? The red leopardy sets are lovely, too! Maybe you could make some bras without padding for voyages, so they would dry rapidly. 🙂
I’m wearing the black one now for a 25hr flight so I hope it is comfortable!
Great work again, Sue! Have a good trip – 25 hours on plane must be something. This bra will have been thouroughly tested for comfort!
I’ve had longer Hélène, but it is torture!
So clever making underwear. I’d rather stick pins in my eyes but there you go, horses for courses and all that! I reckon if there’s one thing I can justify buying, its undie things! But looking at yours, I can see excellent bikini inspiration! Have a great holiday.
You could make a brilliant bikini! I used to make them in my youth…
I do admire people who make their own bras and undies.. I might just tackle a pair of undies one day but never a bra. Nice work and enjoy your holiday.
I wish I was courageous enough to try these patterns. At least I can download the freebie patterns to make undies with knit remnants. But the elastic sewing….I’m sure it’s easy. You make it look easy!
You are certainly getting to the right fit and love seeing all your versions along the way.
Getting there slowly. It’s really hard to get the right fit.