Adventures in Bra Making – Part 1

The concept that I could even make a pair of undies let alone a bra is mind blowing to me but it’s a challenge I have been wanting to take on for years. This month is the month and the reason, the catalyst, has been the release of the Willowdale bra by Cashmerette.

There has been so much hype and excitement in the sewing community about this bra and honestly, I am super excited but also super scared. The reason I am so nervous is, the fitting!

Fitting a bra is hard for everyone! there is no standard size human but certainly when you’re making something that needs to be so fitted not just for appearance or even comfort but for the actual functionality it is imperative that you get the fit right!

So, for me the biggest concern I have is that I have a broad back compared to my actual bust size and how to compensate for that is a very new thing to me.

So, for my first round I am going to work from the size chart and see how I go from there.

According to the size chart I need to make a 42G. This is way WAY larger than I would have ever picked for myself. In ready to wear I buy a B to a C cup with an Australian 20 or 22 size band. This isn’t absolutely perfect, but it fits ok.

The next biggest issue has been trying to source the materials at a reasonable price to make a toile knowing full well that it probably won’t fit. I am expecting this to be an absolute hot mess!

The components that I need are

Main fabric

Lining fabric

Stretch lace


Hooks and loops

Elastics (several sizes)

Power mesh fabric

Underwire casing

There is no one stop shop in Melbourne to buy these things. There are a couple of Australian based online stores but honestly, I have so far found them hard to navigate.

Nellie Jones in NZ is absolutely brilliant at making gorgeous kits, but she sells them for a fair price plus shipping. What I need is cheap as chips until I get somewhere near a wearable size (then I’m gonna treat myself)

So, to collect all my stuff I had to go to a couple of different shops in Melbourne

For the lining and some elastics, I went to Darn Cheap Fabrics in Fitzroy. They have a wide variety of elastics at a really good price, and they had something called lingerie lining so I’m going to use that even if I’m not sure if it’s the intended product for this bra.

For the hooks, loops and casings I was able to find them in some form at Spotlight. I also got my super cute scuba fabric from Spotlight and they actually has a few print options so this was a great find. Spotlight also has power mesh but only online for delivery. The harder parts were the lace elastic and the underwires.

The stretch lace was found at Shine Trimmings and Elastics in port Melbourne and honestly what a gorgeous fabric shop to find! They specialise in dance fabrics and they had an entire wall of beautiful stretch laces in every pattern and colour.

The underwires have continued to be elusive, and honestly I am baffled. Spotlight have about 3 small semi underwires for a b cup but nothing compared to what is available online. Here is where I need to admit defeat and accept that I will need to shop online for this final vital part.

So, lets put this all together and see what Frankenstein I churn out at the end and if I can ever conquer the bra.

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