Make a Thing: Sports Bra and Wireless Lace Bra

Chelsey’s Wireless Lace Bra

Bras can be super expensive! I’ve been wanting to try making my own for a long time, because it is kind of ridiculous how much money I’ve spent on them in the past. This is my first bra attempt, and hopefully they will get better with more practice! I think this one is pretty simple to make, offers pretty good coverage and is cute! Here we go!

Supplies Needed:
+ Lace fabric (I got 1/2 a yard, but it was WAY too much. 1/3 would probably work nicely)
+ A solid, opaque fabric of your choice
+ Thread
+ Pins
+ 1″ knit elastic
+ Grosgrain ribbon in any color you choose (for the straps)
+ Hooks and eyes (size 2)

Step 1: Measure the elastic around the underside of your bust. Cut a piece that is about 2 inches longer than that in order to leave room for the hook and eye clasp.

photo-7

Step 2: Cut a paper bag in order to make a pattern. (Note: Your cat will probably be attracted to the sound of crinkling paper and lay down on your supplies for a bit, don’t be deterred.)

photo 3

Step 3: Using a bra that fits you well and the elastic you cut as a guide, draw half the bra on the paper. Be sure the cup will allow enough coverage, and make a dotted line, in order to leave room for the stitches. Cut around the dotted line.

photo 4

Step 4: Fold the lace fabric in half and pin the half bra pattern to both sides of the fabric. Repeat this step with the lining fabric as well.

Step 5: Pin the lace cut out to the lining cut out, inside out so that when you stitch them together, you can turn them inside out and the stitches won’t show.

photo 1

Step 6: Sew along the top only, leaving the bottom open so you can turn it inside out!

step 6

Step 7: Measure a piece of the lining fabric that is 4 inches wide and as long as the piece of elastic. This piece will cover the elastic.

photo 4

Step 8: Use the 4 inch piece of lining and wrap it around the elastic piece. Pin all of the layers together, with the unsewn bottom of the top piece tucked behind the elastic.

Step 9: Using a sewing machine, stitch across the top of the elastic, connecting all the pieces together. At this point in the process, my super old sewing machine decided to stop working, so I hand stitched these all together.

photo 5

Step 10: Fold over the edge and stitch it together to make an end. Then attach the hooks and eyes so they adjoin on the ends.

step 10

Step 11: Measure the grosgrain ribbon on your shoulders against the strapless bra you’ve constructed. Stitch those to the shoulder and back by hand or using a machine if yours is feeling helpful!

finished product

Voila!


Header by Rory Midhani


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Chelsey is a previous Editorial Assistant for Autostraddle and currently resides in Los Angeles with her cat Olive and a large collection of cardigans. She enjoys drinking coffee/tea, writing, editing, and validating the humans in her life.

Chelsey has written 52 articles for us.

18 Comments

  1. These are amazing! I’m seriously impressed. I mean, I made underwear but bras are terrifying to me. (maybe because they so rarely fit me properly) Now I want to make one!

    • You shooooould. I was a little scared, but this was actually really easy, and now I have a super comfortable sports bra that fits well and cost me next to nothing!

  2. Awesommeee! I think if I tried to make one it would end up looking like I put on a sports bra, and then got attacked by a hoard of angry cats, but maybe I’ll try anyway.

  3. Wow, this seems like it would be a really ambitious project, but you make it look so non-threatening. I would’ve never thought of making my own bras. Great project!

  4. Both bras look so awesome! Great job, guys! I’m curious how much it was to buy the supplies total?

    • I spent like $2 on a giant roll of thread, but everything else came from my closet! I even had an extra pair of leggings to use when I screwed up the first pair and had to throw them out and start from scratch…

  5. Very inventive and impressive, but still only suitable for the small of bust.

    • I wear a C cup and I made a bra like this one that fits me. So this can definitely be for not small busts, you just have to use more fabric. Just FYI!

      • I was thinking more in terms of support, one piece of elastic doesn’t seem very secure, but hey, you do you and I’ll just avoid stairs.

    • liz

      if you used the back of the pant at the front then split all the way down the seam to the waistband you could sew in a triangle of fabric adding more ease to the bust.

  6. liz

    Well, I did it. I have never sewn before. Hubby gave me a machine over a year ago and I had not yet gotten around to using it. I have RA and I’ve been having a terrible time with costochondritis (inflammation of the ribs). Since I wear a J cup I had not been able to find a comfortable bra to wear at home. I used a worn out pair of Lands End Starfish pants and turned them into the most comfortable bra I have ever worn. It is ugly – LOL, what with crooked stitches and such but it is so soft and comfortable plus fits better and is more supportive than those stretchy sleepy bras. I am thrilled and now inspired to practice and become a better seamstress. Thank you. :-)

  7. Cecilia A. Eades

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, I will definitely make it my business to try this project. I shop in thrift stores for these kinds of pants to go walking so I just happen to have a pair that is too small. This will be my newest project! Once again Thank You.

  8. Amazing!! Thank you for sharing, I will definitely try to make my own sports bra :-) For bra inserts I want to use bylly sports bra pads. I recently discovered them and they stay permanently in the bra pocket. No more shifting and folding bra pads. Sounds amazing.

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