Are you trying to get a ready-to-wear bra line going, but you do not want to use commercial patterns? Do you want to start a custom bra business with specialised sizes and shapes? Our Bra Design and Draft class here at Bra-makers Supply could be the secret to your success. We teach you how to draft a bra, then how to re-design it into virtually every style on the planet. It is five days of intensive learning!


Since this is a five-day class, the week starts off with a lesson on how bra sizing works. Our system starts with the breast diameter  Students learn what measurements to take on a live model. We take 10 measurements altogether. We use each one to create a bra pattern for a unique individual.


Two Days Drafting

On Monday and Tuesday the students draft the frame, then the lower cup and the upper cup. Surprisingly, it is often the upper cup that gives them some angst! Finally we learn to add some strap details. Students learn about the “magic number” and how that affects implanted breasts or those with a low contour.  They also learn about the DoGS and how they can use them to their advantage.


Up Close and Personal

Wednesday, it is time to get up close and personal, as the students measure each other. The nervousness quickly disappears once measuring starts. Then the drafting begins. Students can see how differences in measurements translate to the draft. They are ready to add the seam allowances by mid afternoon. Only then can they can get out the sewing machines! They make a mock-up of the bra they drafted. I let them use coloured fabric. It seemed a shame to restrict them to plain white fabric!


Tweaking the Fit

No bra design and draft class would be truly valuable unless there was something to learn in the fitting stage. And there sometimes is a bit of tweaking of the fit.


I always recommend the students take pictures of the fitting process. It is especially valuable when you go to transfer the fitting marks back to the fabric. Here is a photo editing tip – we use Aviary (a free app) to add text to the photos. The original is not harmed but you can see at a glance what changes need to be made.


Fun on Friday!

The drafts are fitted and now we can have some fun! Woo hoo! Today is the day they learn about changing the style lines, and making the bra a designer original. Power bars and split lower cups are easy drafting now. However, now we are going to change the draft into styles you see in ready-to-wear. You know – the ones that never have a pattern available! I think they were quite excited about the baseball cup and the integrated bridge!


Our week of Bra Design and Draft came to an end on Friday. However, the bonds of friendship formed this week are just beginning. These ladies are going to their communities to start perhaps a new career, or a new serious hobby. I wish them all the greatest success in what they choose to do!

As always, I appreciate and welcome your comments to this post. Did you add it to your collection of bra-making magic?


13 replies
  1. Agnès
    Agnès says:

    Hello Beverly,
    I’m writing from France, and I really am interested in your bra making classes. I have already purchased your 3 classes about bra making on Craftsy, and I love them. I find they are very clear, interesting,
    I read your post about drafting a bra pattern, and I can’t go to Sweden or Ontario to take this class in person with you, so I’d be delighted if I could get this class about bra drafting on Craftsy.
    Do you plan to have this class available on Craftsy some day?
    Thank you for your answer,

    • Beverly V. Johnson
      Beverly V. Johnson says:

      Although a segment of the bra-making community would love to see a class on drafting, there is too much information in the class to be able to offer it in Crafty’s two-hour time frame. That course is 5 days long, and there is no way to condense it to fit the Craftsy format. However, I do include the information in my book, The Bra-makers Manual Volume 2.

  2. Deborah C Cobb Felts
    Deborah C Cobb Felts says:

    This class looks wonderful but I don’t see it in your list of available classes. When will this be offered?

    • Beverly V. Johnson
      Beverly V. Johnson says:

      Hi Deborah,

      The next class we have with opening is going to be held on January 30th to February 3rd. I’ll be updating this blog post shortly and publishing the Bra Design & Draft Class info very soon as well. (hopefully tonight)


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