I finally got a chance to learn to sew a bra to add one more women’s garment I can sew in my quest to be able to design and sew some version of all the main garments in a woman’s wardrobe. This was from Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit class on Craftsy, using one of her bra kits on her Bra Makers Supply site. I had the luxury of having one of my sewing guild’s bra makers near me during a sewing retreat to ask questions, but I think I could have done it on my own. I had held off because of how hard some made made it seem to sew bras. It was probably for proper fit more than sewing techniques that those comments were about. That I can see but techniques, I’ve got some pretty basic skills, even if I’ve done a lot with them. I’m not advanced sewist to be able to do this bra with reasonable ease. Just pay attention to the details cause undoing most of anything is a pain! Lots of short stitches, lightning stitches and/or more than one stitch for strength and/or durability! Trust me, I learned this the hard way many times in doing this, but it was for lack of attention in group social sewing, rather than anything being too hard to understand.
The Craftsy Class
This isn’t a complete review of Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit class on Craftsy, just a general overview. The class was excellent, I thought. There was a lot of topics covered essential to construction and fit, not just sewing techniques. The video was pretty clear, in general, and there were tons of comments and questions asked, with possibilities for the learner to ask and get answers from others and/or Beverly herself. I would highly recommend it… as a guy who isn’t great at following instructions. 😉
Sizing and Fit
Bra sizing and fit is the biggest challenge to getting a bra you can use. Beverly Johnson has a great bra sizing page for her patterns, which is what you’d use it for, or a starting point for commercial sizing that varies greatly anyways. I agree with her that Method 3 is the best one for a starting size for the first bra you’d make. However, as with any generalized method for bra sizing, given the many shapes and features of breasts, it won’t work as well for some busts as others. My model for the bra had top heavy breasts, for example, reducing her bottom cup depth (BCD) that Method 3 relies on for sizing, relative to the full volume of her breasts to be covered by the cup, so this bra was a cup size too small. If you wanted to be more sure, trace out the pattern on tracing paper and try to fit it over your breasts or over the bra cup of a bra that fits you well (without padding unless you sew in some padding). That’s the best analysis I have for now, being a guy sewing this. 🙂
Despite mistakes made and which I can “see” knowing where I had made the mistakes, my model said it could have been off the rack in a store and she’d have bought it if it were the right size. The all black garment hides some other sewing imperfections so I’ll give it a silver rating. Gold ones will be coming! 🙂