You probably already know that bra-making is not an isolated skill set. We borrow skills from all aspects of the sewing spectrum. But when Bra-making meets Quilting, you just know something special is about to happen. That’s exactly what happened when bra-making and quilting combined for a Canada 150 project, you know the magic is about to happen. Here’s how our bra-making instructor Denise, who also “happens” to have taught quilting for the last 20 years, did this pieced Canadian flag bra. Show your civic pride and have the girls salute Canada in a most unique way!
The Canada 150 Draft
Start by using the upper cup and lower cup pattern piece and drawing all the seam allowances on them (shown in pink). Then overlap the cross cup seam so that the seamlines align with one another. They will be overlapped a total of 1/2″ (12 mm)
Now draw the lines that form the maple leaf shown in red. The thing to remember is that all lines must be straight. Any things that will come to a point must end at the seam line, not the edge of the fabric, such as the line that forms the tip of the maple leaf on the upper cup.
Now draw the lines that make up the pieces to be sewn together. This is where you need to think about the sewing in that all lines must be straight. Here is a schematic of how we did the lines for the piecing. label each small piece with letters. These will tell you the order in which the pieces need to be sewn. You can mark dots and notches to help you match the points and seams.
Separate the pieces and draw the DoGS on each piece as we show here. An easy way to remember the DoGS is that all the small pieces would follow the DoGS from the original larger piece. Add seam allowances of 1/4″ to each line that you drew. The seam allowances and the dots we consider essential are marked here. You do not need seam allowances on the cross cup seam, or the wire line, neckline edge or the underarm area, as these alreay had seam allowances on them before you started the draft.
Finally I show the pieces as they would be cut out of the coloured fabric, with pieces B, E and D from the upper cup in red. Cut pieces H, I and K from the lower cup in red as well. lastly cut the power bar M from red. Of course, you know you have to cut 2 of each piece so you have a left and right cup. (You wouldn’t want to do all this work for just one cup, would you?)
Now for the Piecing
The piecing is fairly easy if you have more or less followed the diagram on your own bra pattern. Sew A to B, then sew the A-B unit to C. Sew C to D separately, then sew the C-D unit also to C. To finish the upper cup, sew F to the A-B-C-D-E unit. You can see the seam allowances have been pressed to the red fabric so they won’t telegraph though the white.
For the lower cup sew G to H, then sew piece G-H to I. Sew J to K separately, then sew the J-K unit to the G-H-I unit. L will sew to the G-H-I-J-K unit.
Now your upper cup is finished, and so is the lower cup. The seams are pressed to the red side, as is common in quilting, so the seam allowance won’t shadow through the white. Once the upper and lower cup are sewn together (and all your points of your Canadian flag match up, you can sew on the power bar. here you can see the power bar and some of the piecing.
And here is the final bra. When bra-making meets quilting, you are bound to have a lovely project to get your sewing mojo going! Happy Canada 150 everyone!
Your Fairy Bra Mother