I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to sew a bra for a while now, and when this pattern popped up on my instagram feed, I decided it was the one to try first. The Lana Bra is a non-wired full cup bra, with adjustable straps and traditional bra clasp. You can use a number of different fabrics for this – stretch cotton, scuba, lace, power mesh etc and also different elastics such as fold over or picot. There is even a nursing option. Because this was my first attempt, I decided to use some leftover stretch cotton jersey in a beautiful space print, which I purchased from Sewisfaction.
What you need
Of course, to make a bra you do need quite a few ‘notions’ to construct it, so this was a project that involved a little online shopping before starting! I ordered the following items for my bra: power mesh (for lining), strap elastic with sliders, plush band elastic, fold over elastic and bra clasps. If you are making your bra with lace, then you should opt for picot elastic instead of fold over. The pattern instructions are very clear on the materials.
One of the really important bits of sewing a bra (or buying one for that matter) is getting the fit right. Thankfully, this is made really clear by Made for Mermaids and they have both written and video instructions on how to measure yourself to get the right fit. The other wonderful thing about the fitting is they also have a guide on what changes you can try if the fit isn’t right for you (e.g If the cups are too small or loose) and I thought this was great.
I think clear instructions are one of the most important things if you are making something ‘complicated’, or simply ‘new’ to you. Made for mermaids have a full colour photo set of instructions, which is laid out step by step, including each variation (e.g lace or stretch) and it is full of different tips and some in depth stages (such as attaching the different types of elastic). The only thing I did find was the photos were not always clearly indicating the stitching lines – you can figure it out as you go, but perhaps bolder lines to indicate this would be helpful. There is also a video sew-a-long on their website, which is somewhat helpful. Unfortunately the video does have more footage of the sewing machine and is not as close up on the actual steps. That being said, it is still easy enough to follow along and I’d have no trouble recommending the pattern.
I was pleasantly supposed by how quickly I had a finished bra in my hands. I sewed the whole thing up in a day, without rushing, and I do love to have some quick but engaging projects to focus on! Each stage of sewing went well, although I did stretch the band of the bra a little when attaching the band elastic, this doesn’t show while it is on (or affect the fit) but you can tell when the bra is not being worn.
I am thrilled with the finished Lana Bra! I felt challenged but successful when making this and I have a perfectly wearable item now – it fits me perfectly! I used the stretch cotton as my outer fabric, power mesh as the lining and white elastic and straps. To really add a little ‘zing’ to the bra, I chose to use a vibrant rainbow thread throughout which adds a gorgeous pop of fun and colour, and is probably my favourite bit of the bra! I thought that it looked a little untidy at the top of the cups once the straps were sewn on, so I added 2 little buttons either side to hide this.
I honestly loved this little project and I know that I will be sewing many more of these bras! I’m excited to try it out in a scuba fabric, and a lace fabric! I will probably go ahead and order more of the bra notions in bulk so I have them to hand when I fancy sewing a Lana Bra up. The only change I am considering making to the pattern next time to make the back band a little wider so I can use a 3 pin bra clasp. I’m looking forward to making my next Lana Bra already!