Tutorial:: How to make your own bras

By Max California - July 24, 2010

Hello visitors! This tutorial is the most popular page on my blog! Thank you for coming, I hope it helps you make your own bra, or at least give you confidence that you really can make anything! While you're here, you should check out all my other tutorials by clicking on the Tutorial page, or look at other stuff I have DIYed by checking out the DIY Directory Page. Please leave a comment!

Craftster Best of 2010 Winner

Yesterday I got sick of waiting to go to Spotlight to buy a good bra pattern, I decided to DIY! This is good if you do not have a very large bust. I'm a 12C-ish, and this tutorial shows you how to make a basic padded bra. You can easily add underwiring, which - when I get some - I will add to this tute on how to put that in as well.

I am going to buy a bra pattern, and give that a test run too, the most widely reviewed one that seems to be good is Kwik Sew 3300, so hopefully I can pick that up tonight as well as some bra-making supplies.

You're probably wondering why on earth I am making my own damn bras? Well part of it is because of the Self-Stitched September pledge I took a few days ago, and part of it was because I was so intimidated by making my own bras I had never attempted it before! Knicker, ha, old hat. Bras? EEK! Well not anymore!

Please note:: there will be no shots of me actually wearing these bras! I took a few, then decided it looked alot less like me modelling a bra I made, and more homemade sexy photos D:

This is the quick n dirty version. I'm going to do an in-depth tutorial of fold over bands {Edit: tutorial for Fold over bands here} and more about the back clasp, but for now, it's not hard to wing it from where I leave off ;D ((sorry!))

Are you ready? What you'll need is::

  • A bra you are willing to cut up that fits you well. If you don't want to cut it up, you can make a pattern from it, but it's ten times easier to just cut the sucker up! ((See that ginormous leopard-print bra? yeh that's how big I got when I was breastfeeding Vince. It's like 16DD))
  •  Fabric. I used two old singlets. It doesn't NEED to stretch, but it does help! 
  • Fleece. I used regular ol' fleece to pad my bra! ahah. Did you notice this is a quick n dirty bra tute?
  • Bra Straps - I didn't have any of these handy, so I just stitched lace onto regular 1cm wide elastic
  • Bra closure - I didn't have any of these handy either, so they don't do up at the back yet! ahah

Now you're going to cut your bra up. The key here is to only cut up ONE HALF of the bra, so that you can see which way the pieces go with the uncut side! I'm using the black bra I already cut up as a guide for you guys. You'll want to cut down the middle of the bra ((centre of your chest)), cut the cup out, cut down the seam in the centre of the cup - if your bra doesn't have this seam, cut a curved line approximately down the middle. Cut the straps off too. If you're using shirts and not one continuous piece of fabric, cut the side seam of the bra as well. Cut the bra closure at the back off also.

This is what your pieces should look like

Now get the shirts you will be working with. Cut up the sideseam and the shoulderseam. If it's a tee, cut off the sleeves.

Ok, here's a good tip. Instead of cutting straight onto fabric, trace around your pieces, adding 1cm on all edges for seam allowance onto paper. This way you can adjust your pattern when you finish your bra - to make it fit better. Now use those pattern pieces and cut out 2 of each pattern piece.

Don't forget that the main part of the bra ((the bit that the cups are stitched onto)) should be cut on the fold ((remember you cut down the centre of this piece and left half of it intact)). Don't add a seam allowance to the centre front like I did. Lol.

If you've got the underpart in two pieces, cut the back pieces out now too. Add seam allowances!

Cut out a pair of the two bra cup pieces out of the fleece. This is going to serve as your padding. :D ((wow.. super blurry photo Max...))

Now find on your outside cup section the part where the strap was attached. line this up with the pieces you cut out and do a little snip to mark that point. This is to mark where you will sew your new straps onto.

Do the same for the back

    If you havm't bought proper bra straps for this, cut elastic to the length you need. You can use fancy elastic, I just used plain white elastic and...

    stitched some red lace onto it! If you stretch the elastic as you sew, it will ruffle up nicely

    Ta-Daaaa, pretty bra-strap!

    Now we'll do the cup.

    Get the inner cups and place them ontop of the outer cups, right-sides together. Use the uncut side of the old bra as a guide.

    Stitch 1cm from the edge.

    Do the same with the 'padding'

    Now lay the cup over the padding, making sure you're matching up the right ones.

    Sandwich the bra strap between the padding and the cup.

    Pin, then stitch across the top of the cup and the outside.

    Clip the corner where the strap is.

    Whoops. I had my strap the wrong way! Trusty unpicking time!

    Yeh that's better!

    Top-Stitch the edges you just stitched.

    Get your main bra pieces.If they aren't in one piece, stitch the backs to the front.

    Get your cups and line them up

    Sandwich the cups between the main pieces and pin

    It should look like this.

    Stitch from the end of one cup right acrossto the other side. The middle part where the cups do not join should be flat across. Flip it the right way and it should look like this. Now flip it back inside out again!

    Pin the ends of the bra straps down to the parts of the bra back where you snipped it earlier. Sandwich the strap between the ends and then stitch.

    Then top-stitch.

    And this is where I cleverly forgot to take more pictures! I'll give you a wordy tute now, and add photos for ya'll later! If you're stuck on anything, let me know! Send me an email!

    After you've top-stitched, cut a piece of fabric 2x as wide as you want the little band at the bottom ((don't forget to add seam allowances)). The piece of fabric is going to be as long as the bottom. Fold it in half lengthways and stitch it the bottom of the bra. Topstitch the seam allowance down.


    You're done, now just DIY some sort of bra clasp if you havn't bought one. Velcro? Press-studs? Mine have pins in them, ahahahah. So rock n roll...

    They are talking about me at CraftGossip.com

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    1. Max! I love this tutorial! Amazing! I'll be sending you some good stuff via email soon. tee hee!


      Thera Joyce

    2. awesome think out of the box tutorial! Thanks!
      I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to add this to my tshirt upcycle meta post... It usually gets between 13/26 hits a day so you'll probably get more traffic...

    3. I have to get rid of my fear & just try this as well! Awesome job!!
      Thanks for posting!

    4. Awesome tutorial! (And oh, do I hear you about the large boobs - when I was breastfeeding my kids I was a 30F! Craziness.)

    5. OMFG, this is so good! You are completely amazing. I've been way to scared to try making bras, but I think I'll give it a shot now.

    6. It's amazing how empowered we feel after we face a fear head on!! Zippers frightened me for so long until I started to manipulate them in ways they weren't meant for. Now i can sew a zip in mostly anything well sometimes I need to unpick then when I put them in backwards or inside out. So I might move bras to the top of my fear list!!

      Xo Steph

    7. Wow, I love this. Why didn't I think to cut up a bra? I was so worried about fitting a bought pattern. I'll have to give it a try for my 42D's and see how it holds up.

    8. Love it! I'll definitely be giving it a go :)

    9. That is awesome and amazing and just Whoa. :D

    10. Awesome Ari! If I can find some underwire in my size (F is hard to find)I may just give this ago! My bras are always so expensive *sigh* I will have to look around online - neither Spotlight or Lindcraft cater to big girls LOL

    11. nice article, i will bookmark it!
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    12. Wow, that is so cool! I just came across your blog via Craft Gossip. It's so fun here!

    13. We dig it! Featured you on our blog :)

    14. Now you need to figure out larger cup sizes and nursing bras! lolz

    15. I love it! I am trying to make a 30DD Let's see how it goes... haha

    16. Nice! I've just done a bra-making tutorial myself, but mine was for bigger sizes. I've added your link to my bra making squidoo lens :D

    17. Love this! Thank you so much for sharing. I would be way to intimidated to even attempt to make one of these bad boys.

    18. awesome. dont forget to save the hardware from your old bras , its free, including you can reuse underwires. love sara

    19. we love it and we will give it a go! Cheerios!

    20. The pics all say that they're unavailable :(
      Looks like you need to visit your Flickr account

    21. Thank you! I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to make my own bras, since I'm allergic to latex, and physical stores don't sell ones with latex-free materials. (There's some you can buy online, but you can't try them on first!!! And some don't sell for smaller sizes.)

    22. This is pretty cool. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog from Pinterest. :)

    23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    24. you are incredible, really..

    25. Good job, Thanks for the tutorial

    26. Whatever you have provided for us in these posts really appreciative.
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    27. Found you via "Craft Freely" - you are amazing! Thanks!

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    29. Thanks for this wonderful tutorial.. I plan on trying this. However ill have to opt for wire underneath the cups cause of my size but still cant wait to try it thanks.


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