Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques
Sewing Bras Designer Techniques Craftsy Taught by Beverly Johnson
Start with a well-fitting pattern, then use it to design, draft and make your own bras! Learn how with lessons from sewing expert Beverly Johnson. Start by easily turning a full-band bra pattern into a partial-band bra. Next, learn to change the neckline and design the straps you want. Move on to modifying bra frames, creating the world’s thinnest band and making front closures. Bring greater comfort and style to the back of your bra by modifying the width of your fabric or angling the closure downwards. Then, discover how to support and complement your shape with power bars. You’ll even find out how to make cup size discrepancies disappear by drafting your own alterations!
Sew custom bras that are the perfect complement to your curves and your fashion sense! Learn more than two dozen designer techniques in Sewing Bras Designer Techniques Craftsy Taught by Beverly Johnson.
Lesson 1. Introduction & Partial-Band Bra | 38:38
Meet your Fairy Bra Mother, Beverly Johnson, and learn how to use your class as a reference for designing and modifying bras for comfort and style. Beverly begins by showing you how to take a full-band bra pattern that you’ve already determined is a good fit and turn it into a partial-band bra with a few simple pattern adjustments and sewing changes.
Lesson 2. Modifying Upper Cups & Straps | 25:00
Change the neckline of a full- or partial-band bra with Beverly’s guidance and learn how to add padded, tapered or multiple straps. You’ll see how the trifecta of the straps, top of the cup and top of the bridge interact and how your design takes all three areas into account.
Lesson 3. Modifying the Frame | 29:51
Beverly shows how to modify the frame on both full- and partial-band bras. Learn how to make “the world’s thinnest band” or turn the bottom of your bridge into a gothic arch. Beverly also shows how to create a front closing on a partial-band bra and how to add a keyhole to your bridge.
Lesson 4. Modifying the Back Band | 25:50
Add comfort and style to the back of your bra with Beverly’s modifications, such as changing the width of your fabric or angling the closure downwards. Prefer front-closing bras? See how to make a Y-back or add a keyhole.
Lesson 5. Power Bars | 26:44
Give your bust a boost with built-in power bars. Beverly shows how to add a bit of sheer nylon or seams in just the right places to help accentuate your shape. An external, ruched power bar can even be a fashion statement!
Lesson 6. Modifying Cup Seams | 32:28
Altering the seam lines on your cups can give your bras a different look. With Beverly’s guidance, draft your new seam lines using both 3-D and paper techniques and get an amusing but important lesson on the correct choice of fabric.
Lesson 7. Side-to-Side Modifications | 19:50
Discrepancies in cup sizes are no problem when you can draft your own alterations. Beverly shows how to bridge the different sizes easily with pattern adjustments or padding. You can also make your own push-up bra!
What materials are used in this class?
- Unpadded full-band bra pattern (e.g., Pin-Up Girls Classic, Elan B645, Kwik Sew K2374) that you have sewn at least once and adjusted to your measurements. All yardages/quantities suggested here are measured for the largest size, 48H, in Beverly’s Pin-up Girls Classic Pattern
- Stable knits or low-stretch knits for the cups – 1/2 yard (46 cm)
- All-over lace fabric if you wish to cover the cups with lace – 1/2 yard (46 cm)
- Bottom band elastic – 1/2″ (1.2 cm) to 3/4″ (1.8 cm) wide – 1.25 yards
- Top band elastic – 3/8″ (.9 cm) wide – 1.5 yards (1.4 m)
- Channeling – 1-1/8 yard (1.0 m)
- Hooks & eyes – either one 2×3 or one 3×3 set
- Strap elastic – 1 yard (92 cm) or less of 1/2″ (1.2 cm) to 3/4″ (1.8 cm)
- Sliders & Rings – 1 set of 2 sliders and 2 rings in the same size as the strap elastic
- Neckline trim – 1.5 yards (1.4 m)
- Underwires in your size if you are using them (partial band must use underwires)
- A bow or other adornment for the front of the bra
SPECIFIC SUPPLIES YOU MIGHT WANT
- For front-closing bra: a plastic or metal clip or closure any width from 3/8″ (9 mm) to 1″ (2.5 cm) in height and a width that will easily fit in the bridge space
- Fold-over binding for the Y-back edges
- Lace edging if using a lace power bar – 1 yard (92 cm)
- Sheer, 15-denier nylon if making power bars or ruched power bars – 1/2 yard (46 cm)
- Polylaminate foam if using the 3D method of drafting – 1/2 yard (46 cm)
- Polylaminate foam padding for padded straps, drafting and cookies (push-up pads) – 1/2 yard (46 cm)
- Modal or very soft stretchy knit for the cookie pocket – 1/3 yard (30 cm)
- Polylaminate foam padding for cookies – 1/2 yard (46 cm)
- Fabric scissors and thread snips
- Rotary cutter and mat if you are using these to cut
- Drafting paper you can see through
- Basic drafting supplies such as pencil, eraser, ruler and tape
- Wash-out marker
- Glue stick – Beverly uses UHU
- For the multiple straps – Clover bias tape maker
What kind of bra pattern do I need for this class? Full-band? Partial-band?
You should have a full-band bra pattern that you have sewn at least once to get the perfect fit (Beverly’s first class: Sewing Bras: Construction & Fit, is a great place to learn!). In this class, you’ll be able to turn that full-band bra pattern into a partial-band bra pattern and make modifications to both styles.
Will I be able to make foam cups in this class?
That topic isn’t addressed in this class, although Beverly does cover using foam for padded straps, as inserts and as a drafting material.
When does the class start?
Whenever you’re ready! The lessons are available online any time, and your access to the class never expires.
How long is the class available to me?
As long as you need! Your access never expires, so you can come back again and again.
What if I have questions?
Ask your questions in the Craftsy online classroom and you’ll receive instructor feedback. Your fellow students are also likely to jump in and offer advice from their experiences.