Bra Pattern Making Modifications Part 2

I actually found a little time today to do some drafting. I really get things done when I follow my to-do list. I do have to admit that the first thing on today’s list was cleaning the store and the stock room and it took me a good 2+ hours to do. 1 1/2 hours into cleaning, I moved one of the fabric poles and smashed a light in the stock room. That led to the extensive cleaning session.

Anyway, on to the drafting. I decided to take tons of pictures, so this might get a little annoying. I documented all the steps from start to finish. I sewed half the bra today. I’ll finish up tomorrow with a picture of the finished product. This is a little tutorial of turning the 2 piece cup into a 3 piece cup with a little styling.

1. The first thing I did was make manila patterns of my base size in the 2 piece cup. I always use the 2 piece cup. That way it is easy to alter the cup to whatever design you wish.

2. Trace off the cup pieces on pattern paper using the grid of the paper to line up the cup grain lines.

3. Alter the strap placement before doing anything.

4. I altered the apex point to position the bust more front and center. I am making the 36H. If you are making a cup up to an F cup, you might not want to do this. This move is for the plus sized bust so it will position the bust more in the center of the body as opposed to closer to the armpit. I have a bra that does it closer to the armpit and my ladies get in the way when I reach up in the cabinet for things.

5. The next few steps I played around with adding the side panel. Its kind of hard to explain what I did, so here is the series of photos I took. In this first pic. I thought I knew where I wanted the line. What I did was draw in the seam allowance of 1/4″ and overlapped the seam line at both points. This removed some of the curve, but thats a good thing since you want more support here.

6. I changed my mind of where I wanted the seam line after I lined them up. I drew in the new line, but what happened was that the seam to the right no longer lined up on the seam line.

7. So I fixed it and moved the piece ever so slightly so the seam lines met.

8. I cut off the rest of the top cup and taped it back on the piece it originally came from. I separated the full side panel.

9. I reshaped the outer curve on the left side of the side cup. I made my markings in red. I also indicated where I would need to add seam allowance.

10. I decided to make a diagonal seam that goes through the apex. I cut off the piece on the top cup.

11. I basically need to merge these two pieces. I have one method in my book, but after reviewing it. It just is way too confusing.

12. So I flipped the piece over and basically added it to the bottom cup. I lined up the cut line to the seam line on the bottom cup and they match almost perfectly. Because I lined it up this way, the seam allowance is included on the top of this cut piece. If you are confused. Stop, think about it and wait for it to make sense. I had to do this, twice.

13. I then reshape the curve on the bottom cup and cut off a piece to add to the top cut. Don’t forget where the apex notch was. You should keep this.

14. I did the same thing on the top piece by flipping the pattern piece and taping it together. Basically this works because you need to incorporate the same volume you remove. Subtract from one piece, add to another.

15. Add seam allowance to the vertical seam only. I also added back my notches and added a notch to the side cup to line up the other two pieces. Voila- patterns for cup are finished. Now the true test whether I did good will be to make my sample.

Stay tuned to see the finished sample. Plus I’ll grade this pattern once I check that it fits right. I also want to do a little tutorial at some point about grading the cup when the seam does not go through the apex.

I also didn’t address walking the seams, because these all lined up fine.

  1. I can't wait to hear how this comes out! Very good instruction. The pictures are extremely helpful. Once the caffeine kicks in, I am going to go over this again 🙂 Thanks for the step-by-step directions.

Leave a Reply