Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cups with padding and lace

In the past months I’ve done a few workshops at Kantje Boord, working with cups with padding. My initial thought was that I didn’t want a padded bra, thinking a bra like this would make me look even more full. I do have enough fullness of my own ;) I found out though, that the preformed or cups with padding didn’t necessarily make me look more busty, they provided good support and nice shaping without adding to the fullness. A new area of bra making to be explored…
Below the description of how I constructed the cups for my last bra. I have gone up one size in this pattern. Instead of 75DD I now made a 75F. I had to take away a bit under the arm (bottom right of picture below), which in my case was just comparing with bra’s that I like and have sewn before.
Because I wanted to use the scallop of the lace, I had to straighten the cup pattern pieces. In the picture you can see the (pink) lines I used.

The bra strap is too long for my liking, I changed it like this and added a seam allowance. The MakeBra instructions use foldover elastic everywhere and I wanted to use ‘normal’ lingerie elastic on most of the bra. Thus I needed a seam allowance here.

A rectangular piece of padding is cut, enought for all the cup pieces. Remember you have to cut a mirror image as well!

The padding is covered with lycra (you could also use cotton, but I wanted the same color as for the side/back part because of the mesh lace that covers all. If you have padding in a matching color, you can omit this step, though it also gives more stability to the padding, which I like).
To cover the padding with lycra I used Vliesofix (or bondaweb). This has an adhesive layer on both sides and you iron it to the padding (think steam-a-seam but then on a roll)
In this picture the vliesofix is on the bottom of the padding, but it should be on top of the padding when ironing, with the adhesive layer to the padding and the paper on top.

Iron it with an iron on medium setting without steam.
When it has cooled down, remove the paper layer. The second adhesive layer is now visible.

Put the lycra on top and iron it to the padding using a pressing cloth!! It took a bit longer for the lycra to adhere to the padding.
The padding and lycra are now one layer to be worked as one.

The cup parts are cut.

Sew them together with a wide zigzag stitch, making sure that the beginning and end of each seam are well stitched.
All edges are thinned to remove bulk and to make applying foldover elastic at the top of the cup easier. Just put a sharp pointed scissor between the layers and cut, be careful not to cut through the fabric of the padding or lycra.

Fold over elastic is sewn to the top.

And the mesh lace cup is sewn. This is a very think layer that is then put over the cup of padding.I used a small zigzag stitch to attach it.

Then I pressed shape in the cup, using a styropor foam ball, a press cloth and a bit of ironing spray. The press cloth is important, risking melting the fabric is no good!

I made a stable side to my styropor ball.

The difference before and after pressing. It’s even more clear after the cup is attached to the band and the wires are in.

Construction of side/back and closing was nothing new. Here are pictures of the result.

And just for fun: the mesh fabric on two different colors, a huge difference!

Hope this was helpful.


  1. It's a gorgeous bra, but that's certainly what we all expect from you! Are you entering it in the PR contest, or has that finished?

  2. Very interesting and clear. Thank you )

  3. Weer een prachtige bh en hele duidelijke uitleg! Ziet eruit alsof het prettig en makkelijk werkt zo. Ik ben nu aan een rok bezig, maar moet misschien daarna ook weer eens aan de slag met een bh.

  4. wauw die is gaaf en ja het is zeker nuttige info die je plaatst.


  5. Once again, thank you very much for clear instructions. That is a gorgeous bra!

  6. What a great post, Sigrid. thx!

  7. Thanks for sharing these techniques and your bra is absolutely *gorgeous*!

  8. Wow amazing bra and what beautiful fabrics you have chosen! Very inspiring! :)

  9. Oh, another style on my list of skills to develop in bra making. And I'm only onto my second "real" bra (that is, not a "muslin") today. But just beautiful. And a great explanation of how to make the foam cups.