Last week, I wrote about my activewear capsule, but I figured my sports bra journey deserved its own post. I chose this pattern because it had the two basic types I was looking for (racerback and criss cross straps) and used fold-over elastic which was a new technique to try.
I made a muslin out of some pink jersey before my fold-over elastic arrived, so I altered the pattern a bit to be able to line it like a dress bodice instead. I added a seam allowance on any of the seams usually bound by elastic, but forgot that dress bodices typically have an opening for a zipper or buttons so I had to slice into the centre back and add a seam. It was a pain to pull everything through the strap to turn it right side out, so I knew that this was not a technique I’d be doing again for this pattern.
I’m quite short and always have the problem of tank tops and sports bra straps being way too long so I chopped an inch off the front and back straps at the shoulder seam. This is how I usually alter my RTW stuff, but I realized (too late) that a better way to do this would be to take out an inch from the strap halfway down, below where the straps meet in the racerback. It’s not the end of the world, but the bra would definitely fit better that way. Aside from the length of the straps, I find this bra to fit very small. The fold-over elastic digs a bit and it’s not terribly comfortable.
I also experimented with different cups. I know from RTW bras that without cups, my breasts are completely flattened out and I find a little boob definition helps me to look more proportioned. In my muslin, I used the gel push-up cups I found on the Cleaner’s Supply site. I find these to be the best push-up cups I’ve found for making your own bras, but I think I got the wrong size as I get a little spillage (if you know what I mean.) Instead of leaving an opening and pushing them in like most of the Lulu Lemon bras I own, I sewed them into the lining so they wouldn’t slide around or get twisted during washing.
For the other two bras, I used other cups I had in my stash from the Bra Maker’s Supply. I don’t love these ones so much as the push up is basically non-existant, but I thought they might do okay in a sports bra. Like the muslin, I zig zagged them to the lining, but found it extremely difficult to stretch, pin, stick or glue the cups in place and got a fair number of puckers in my stitches, despite my best efforts. It was also extremely difficult to get the lining fabric to stretch the right amount over the cup to allow my breast to fit in. The end result is not great and does my cleavage no favours. One cup has a dent in it from the lining fabric being stretched too much and in general the cups are spaced too far apart due to the stretch in the middle.
If you are going to sew cups into your swimsuit or sportsbra, I suggest using the flattest ones possible. Do not use anything overly moulded. What would be best is something slightly curved and foamy.
The last little experimentation I did was adding a wider band to the criss-cross strap bra to make it more like a crop. I would love to wear this under my grey tank adventure tank with the very open armholes, but it’s not super comfortable.
I will be making this pattern again, but I have already recycled the version I printed out because I know I will make it completely differently. Live and learn, right?