I often get asked what sewing machine attachments I recommend using for bra making. Today I am going to share my top five most valuable players. All of them are from Bernina but you can find similar attachments for almost any make and model sewing machine. I sew most of my bras on my Bernina Activa 145 with a Bernina Activa 220 and a Pfaff Creative 7530 as my back up machines.
#1 All Purpose Zig Zag Sewing Foot
Chances are your machine came with a foot just like this and you probably use it for 99.9% of your sewing. Bras are no exception. You CAN sew your entire bra with this foot, however, there are others that do certain tasks better. I use this foot for attaching picot plush elastic to the band and underarm of bras and to the waistband and legs of panties. I use a zig-zag stitch and have my needle positioned to the left. I then line the edge of the elastic with the inside of the foot for a perfect, pain free elastic application.
#2 1/4″ Patchwork Foot
Most bra patterns use a 1/4″ seam allowances. This foot makes sewing precise and accurate seams a breeze. You can’t usually rely on the markings on your needle plate since the feed dogs will usually obscure the line. With this attachment, you can line up the edge of the foot with the edge of your fabric and accuracy will practically be guaranteed. The markings also help you stop either 1/4″ before or after a certain point.
#3 Blindstitch or Edgestitch Foot
Also called a blind stitch foot. Depending on the machine brand your foot may look a little different. For the purpose of sewing bras, I find the blind stitch and the edge stitch foot to be interchangeable. Over the years I’ve collected both and I will reach for whichever one happens to be closer to me at the time that I need it. I use it for topstitching the seams on the cups and also for topstitching the underwire channelling and side boning channelling. I topstitch with my needle position either all the way to the left or to the right.
#4 Straight Stitch Stitch Foot
I use this foot to attach the underwire channelling to the seam allowance of the cup and frame. You can also use the 1/4″ or edgestitch foot for this task but I prefer this particular foot because I can line up the channelling against the left hand inside of the foot. This places the seam ~1/16″ from the edge of the channelling which is perfect for this task. Also because the right-hand side of this particular foot is very narrow so there are fewer issues with the difference between the thickness of the channelling and the rest of the bra. Once I acquire a compensating foot for my primary machine it is likely I will switch to using that foot for this task.
#5 Leather Roller Foot
This is my number one MOST MOST valuable presser foot. I use it to bartack the straps and underwire channelling and for attaching the hook and eyes. These are the most difficult sewing tasks on a bra with most machines struggling to achieve a professional result. I originally picked this foot up to sew the uppers of the shoes I was making at the time. How it works is by creating a feed dog like motion on the top of the fabric and creates an even feed. However, unlike a walking foot, the foot itself is completely out of the way of the needle. This means you can get really close to the hooks on your bra back closures, to the rings and sliders and to the underwire in your channelling. I set the needle position all the way to the left and use a small zig-zag stitch.
Unfortunately, this foot is only available for the Bernina and industrial high shank machines. The reason for this is you need the higher shank clearance that most modern domestic machines with low shanks and snap on feet do not have. Even on industrial machines, you need to make an adjustment to the pressure foot bar to make it fit meaning it’s difficult to switch between feet once you’ve adapted it to the roller foot. Hopefully, you aren’t too disappointed but I had to share my secret tool for perfect bra back closures. If you have a Bernina and have been struggling with bartacks and attaching hooks it’s well worth the purchase price.
All opinions provided are my own and no affiliate links have been used in this post.