Jackie Sports Bra For Beginners

Anticipated Pattern Release Date: Sunday November 21st 2021

I decided to create the Jackie Sports Bra pattern as a solution to a problem many of my customers often complain about – getting into a sports bra or getting out of a sports bra. Enter Jackie.

Jackie was designed for a front zipper closure with either a hook and eye or a zipper shield. The construction steps are far more complicated than a pull-over-your-head bra, such as my Christina or Laurel Sports Bras.

But not all people want to zip up their sports bras. The zipper can show through clothing making it more of an athletic bra rather than a every day sports bra. There is a solution for that too. I have seriously thought of everything here.

The pattern pieces of the Jackie can be mixed and matched with the Christina or Laurel Sports Bras, meaning that the seam lines make the sizing consistent and the pattern pieces interchangable. You can use the Jackie front with the Christina band with the Laurel back, and they all work with the Tankini Add-on.

The center front pattern piece of the Jackie can be cut on the fold for a pull over the head version or cut 2 for the zipper front closure. That also means that you can do the same thing to the fronts of the Christina and Laurel! They can all be zipped up.

For those who would like to make the Jackie as a pull-over-the-head sports bra, those steps are relatively easy. Now, understand that after I release each of my sports bras, I continue to make the construction cleaner and cleaner, meaning I have opted for a clean finished waistband on the inside. This might add a few steps of complication, but it makes for a very nice finish.

The first thing to do is make your straps. Now, I love how I created the straps for the Jackie and they are my new favorite straps. I will make all my future sports bras with these straps. They are fun and a bit decorative. You can follow the steps in the instruction, but I made a series of photos to document those steps for your convenience.

As you can see, one of my straps twisted, but once I put it together it fit fine. If you want to avoid the twisting, I recommend sewing from the same end down on both sides. I don’t think I did that on the twisted strap.

The next thing to do is to attach all the pieces together in the body. I like to topstitch my seam allowances down, but you don’t have to. If you decide to topstitch, topstitch each seam as you go. Complete both the self and the lining layers. I would recommend topstitching the seams of the lining in the opposite direction of the self.

After you sew the body pieces together, sew the waistband in a flat tube, attaching the side seams together. The with the waistband flat, sew one side of the waistband to the self then the other side of the waistband to the lining.

Pull the sports bra right side out and attach the waistband elastic to itself, overlapping the elastic edges. Place the elastic inside the waistband and pin the waistband around the waistband elastic, pinning the seam allowances together. Then zigzag the seam allowances of the waistband together, completely encasing the elastic.

The next part is a little tricky. You need to clean finish the front neckline, but you can’t just sew it and expect to turn it right side out (or you will have to seam rip – ask me how I know). You need to do a bit of a burrito roll to get the neckline attached. The best way to do this is the lay the sports bra with the right sides out, put your hand between the layers from under the arm area. With your hand between the layers, reach in and grap the two necklines, by folding them in then pin immediately so you don’t sew it wrong.

Phew, hopefully you followed that. Its too hard to photograph, mainly because I needed both hands to do it and I cannot opperate a camera with out hands.

With the front necklines pinned, sew carefully. You might want to baste stitch it first to make sure it will pull out correctly. Once you have confirmed it will be correct, attach the front necklines then do an understitch, stitching the seam allowance to the lining and make a corner on the side of the neckline so you get a nice crisp corner. You can snip into the corner to release the shape if needed.

You can then clean finish the front strap point and the underarm neckline in the same way, but you don’t need the understitch there. If you are using 1″ rings, make sure you narrow the front strap by 3/8″ or 10 mm. I would recommend the 1″ rings over the 35 mm slides. They have a tendency to shift on their sides and scrunch fabric unless you are using cut and sew foam on the fronts.

Once you have the underarm completed, then you can attach the straps.

The last thing to do is clean finish the back neckline. I like to attach elastic right on the inside catching both layers together, then I fold to the lining side and zigzag over the edge.

In that above picture, I show the rings attached already, so I missed taking a photo of that step, but once you have the straps attached to the back, you can loop the front strap points through the rings and top stitch.

And voila! The sports bra is completed. Now, I don’t like to photograph myself in my sports bras, but here is an exception. You can’t see that its me, except my identifying arm tattoo. I am asymmetrical, about a 2 cup size difference, but I generally just make the average, so the center always pulls to one side.