Ever wanted to sew your own bra but was confused by all the special notions required. You’ve got your pattern and your fabric and are all ready to go but it requires stuff you’ve never heard of and you can’t find at your local Joann’s. Luckily at Arte Crafts Bra Making Supplies we stock everything you need. Let me run down what you need and why and how much you’d need for the average underwire bra.
For a bra, you need 2 different types of elastic. One is called plush back finishing elastic and it has one side that is plush like velvet that goes against your skin and the other that is plain. It usually has a picot edge but can also have a plain or scalloped edge. You use this type of elastic for the bottom band of your bra and the underarm. You need 1-1.5 yards of a 1/2″ or 3/4″ plush back finishing elastic for the bottom band and about 1.5 yards of 3/8″ or 1/2″ for the underarm area. You can also use this elastic for finishing the neckline edge.
The other kind of elastic needed for an average bra is called plush back strap elastic. This can have a matte or satin finish and can have a plain or decorative edge. It is similar to finishing elastic in that it has a plush back that goes against your skin for comfort but it is much firmer to provide support. It is used to make the shoulder straps of the bra. Finishing elastic and strap elastic are not interchangeable. If you use finishing elastic for straps alone they will stretch out and if you use strap elastic for the band of your bra it will be uncomfortable as it will not stretch enough so you can comfortably breathe. One yard of strap elastic is enough for the average bra.
If you want to make your straps adjustable like store bought bras you will need rings and sliders. You will need 2 rings and 2 sliders. They come in several different materials from dyeable nylon plastic to nylon coated metal that comes in a variety of colors or premium metals with silver, gold, copper or bronze finishes. Nickel free rings and sliders are ideal if you have metal sensitivities.
If you are going to put an underwire into your bra your going to need underwire channeling. This is a soft woven tube 3/8″ that comes in a variety of colors. It is plush on one side and plain woven on the other. The plush side goes against your body for comfort. You sew it around the cup of your bra and insert an underwire into it. 1 yard is sufficient for most bras.
Of course, then you’ll need an underwire to put into. The average bra uses what is called a regular length underwire which is a round shape with the wire being slightly shorter in the front. There are many variations on the basic underwire which I will cover in another post but for your first bra start with a regular wire. See this post for more information on choosing the correct size wire.
The final thing you will need is a set of hook and eye closures OR a length of hook and eye tape. I prefer the prefinished kind. They have 2-3 rows of hooks and a plush back for comfort. They come in a variety of widths and colors You need one set in the size indicated by your pattern.
Hopefully this simple article with help you pick the right materials for your next bra project without the stress of getting the wrong thing. Everything I source for Arte Crafts is RTW (ready to wear) quality to help you create bras that are as good if not better than what you can buy. What the industry uses is what I stock and I get from the same suppliers as some of the biggest names in lingerie.