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In this site, you will find tutorials, pattern drafting instructions, sewing instructions and many other sewing projects.
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PatternMaker Sewing Projects
Bra Without Underwire

To downlaod and buy macros, please go to the PatternMaker Website.

Following the instructions in this sewing project you sew bra without underwire. This kind of a bra can be nearly as tight-fitting as a bra with underwire, but it is much easier to sew. Furthermore, you do not need to get the underwires which might be difficult.


The patterns for a bra without underwire can be drafted with the measurements of the basic sloper and a couple of additional measurements which are easy to take. For bra with underwire much more measurements are needed and they are not always very easy to take.

If you have PatternMaker Home or one of the other CAD versions of the program, you can use the patterns just like you would use any other PatternMaker patterns. You can alter them, join them to other PatternMaker patterns etc. You could - for example - join the bra patterns to the patterns of panties to get patterns for a bodysuit (more about this below).

You get the cups in two versions, horizontal and vertical cut. You can later on make new cup designs using these basic patterns. To read more about the cup designs, please refer to the
sewing instructions page for lingerie on this site.


As closures you can in stead of the hook-and-eye tape use zipper, buttons, Velcro or plastic closures sold for swimwear bikini tops. The closures can be applied to the back or to the front of the bra according to your wishes.

As fabric you can use normal lingerie tricot or jersey. I suggest you use elastic fabric. Part of the cup can be sewn of stretchy lace or lace fabric. You can apply decorations, such as a bow, flower or lace appliqués. For ideas refer to the sewing projects for camisole and panties on this site. To get a firm band, the midriff part should always be sewn of double fabric.

Note! To be able to sew a test garment, always buy extra fabric. The notions can be detached from the test garment and used for the final garment.

Furthermore you need lingerie edge elastic. When you buy it, check that it restores the original length after stretching it. There are a lot of bad quality elastic available. Consider an alternative to use elastic of contrasting color, that might be the only decoration needed for your bra. You can also use normal narrow elastic and sew it under the edge of the garment. If you use lace or lace fabric for some parts of the bra, it usually is advisable to strengthen its edge with transparent elastic (Framilon). Read more about edge elastics and the techniques to attaching them in the
sewing instructions for lingerie on this site.

If you want to sew padded bra choose the horizontal cutting option for the cup and sew the bottom half of the cup of double fabric. You can the bottom of the cup or the entire cup and you can add padding between the lining and the bra, if you want to. The simpliest way of making padded bra is to cut the cups from padded fabric.

Ready made band is sold for shoulder straps. You can also make the shoulder straps yourself. For ideas and sewing techniques, please refer to the sewing instructions for lingerie on this site.

Hint: Using two spaghetti shoulder straps for both sides of the bra may look nice. To get instructions of how to sew spaghetti shoulder straps, please refer to the sewing project for camisole and the sewing instructions for lingerie on this site. You can also sew a fabric tube and insert elastic into it. Stretch the elastic inside the tube and topstitch the tube with 3 stitch or narrow, medium long zigzag e.g. from the distance of the presser foot from both edges.

Always sew a test garment

Sewing bra is much easier than you ever have thought. Nevertheless, always sew a test garment first. It is necessary to check the fitting of the patterns and the scaling factors used to reduce the patterns in size. If you are not used to sew lingerie, sewing a test garment also lets you exercise the sewing techniques.

If the test garment does not fit well, check which pattern pieces have to be changed and how much. Be critical. The aim is to get Very Good Bra Patterns for you to be used in many sewing projects. In the picture to the left you see a test garment. Even if the bra feels all right when worn by the subject and could be used as such, the fitting is not optimal and the patterns need to be changed accordingly.

After having got good bra patterns for your figure you will be able to sew luxurious bra with perfect fit in a couple of hours. After you have learned the sewing techniques it may be worth while investing in more expensive fabrics and laces. And once you have used bra sewn to your own measurements, you never again want to wear anything else. This is especially true with women who have a prominent bust and who need extra support for it but find it difficult to get well-fitting ready made bra.


If you choose the horizontal cut option for the cups, cut the bottom pieces so that the direction of stretch of the fabric is horizontal. Cut the top piece of the cup so that the direction of stretch of the fabric is vertical. The top pieces of the cups can also be cut from lace or lace fabric. If you make the entire cup of lace, consider lining it with elastic gauze sold for this purpose (e.g. under trade mark Spandex).

Cut the midriff pieces in two copies of elastic fabric.


Sew the seams with narrow (1-1.5 mm), medium long (2-3 mm) zigzag or serger. Trim seam allowances near stitches if necessary. Use 3 stitch zigzag or narrow (1-1,5 mm), medium long (2-3 mm) zigzag to topstitch.

Always machine baste the seams first. After you see that the seam is all right you can finish it with zigzag. It is almost impossible to unravel zigzag neatly. You do not need to unravel the machine basting stitches, they will break when you use the garment and wear away.

Sew the midriff pieces together at bottom edge (picture 1A) and at front center top edge (picture 1B), right side against right side. Turn the piece right side out and topstitch with 3-stitch zigzag along these edges.

Sew dividing seam of cups (picture 1C) and topstitch. Be careful not to stretch the seams when topstitching. Loosen the pressure of the presser foot a bit if necessary.

If you apply bones to the bra band, sew casings for them to the midriff piece according to markings on the patterns - or to places where you want to have them. You can draw guiding lines to the wrong side of the bra band with pencil (picture 2A). The marks will vanish when the bra is washed for the first time.

You can buy webbed plastic with caps called Rigilene for the boning purpose (picture 2B).

The boning must end 1/2" to 3/4" from each end of the finished seams. (picture 2C). Topstitch Rigilene with 3 stitch zigzag on the right side of the garment. Bartack at both ends to make sure that the band does not move in the casing when the garment is worn. The ends of Rigilene tape are very sharp and can break the fabric. Caps are therefore recommended.

Finish top edges of cups with edge elastics from the CF end of the cup dividing seam (if horizontal cutting) or from the mark in the pattern (if vertical cutting) to the place where shoulder straps are fastened (marked in the patterns) (picture 3A). For applying edge elastic please refer to the sewing instructions for lingerie on this site.

Fasten cups to midriff piece (picture 3B), matching notches on cup seams to midriff piece. Stretch midriff piece when sewing. If you want the seam to be very neat you can cover it with bias tape. If you want to do that, sew the unfolded bias tape into the seam matching raw edges, trim seam allowance, fold bias tape on top of the seam and edgestitch along other edge (folded). Sew very carefully, the stitch line must stay at same distance from and parallel to the cup seam (picture to the right).

Finish bottom edges of back panels with edge elastics. Sew back panels to cup/midriff part (picture 3C) and finish seam allowances with bias tape if you want to.

Finally, finish the top edges of the back panels (leaving the shoulder straps between the elastic and the back panel) and the cups top edges not yet finished with edge elastic (picture 3D). Leave excess elastic at the cup corners.

Fasten hook-and-eye tape or other kind of closures to the ends of the back panels (picture 4). Put the bra on and check the correct length of the shoulder straps by pinning them to their places at the top edges of the cups. Fasten shoulder straps to the cups with two horizontal stitch lines. Fold the excess elastic you left at the cup corners under the shoulder straps.

Hint: When you are sewing a test garment, sew the hook-and-eye tape and the shoulder straps lightly to their places with normal sewing machine stitches and use the bra for a couple of days. After you have noticed that the bra feels comfortable, strengthen the fastening with zigzag. If you find it necessary to change the length or the place of the shoulder straps or the length of the bra band, you can still do it easily. Hook-and-eye tape and ready made shoulder straps also are too expensive to be thrown away with a useless test garment.

Hint: Shoulder straps may stretch in use and therefore I recommend that you apply adjusting mechanism to the shoulder straps (picture 5). Look at your old bra to see how the mechanism is applied to the shoulder strap. The easiest way to fasten the rings to the cups is to fold the extra elastic left at the bra top edge to the wrong side and put the ring in between. Fasten the elastic to the cup with two horizontal stitch lines.

Other ideas to use bra patterns

Lengthen the bra band to waist and join the patterns to the patterns of panties. You'll get patterns for a bodysuit. If you do not have the pant patterns you can use the miniature patterns included in the panties' sewing project on this site or order them from me. Make a hook-and-eye fastening construction at the crotch of the pants - that way you do not need to undress the entire bodysuit when you pop in the ladies' room.

Sew a waist length bra of e.g. denim and use it under a jacket as a summer top. Or sew it of festive fabric and use it with a long or a short evening skirt, maybe with a bolero.

Lingerie fabrics and notions from the Internet

If you have difficulties in getting fabrics and notions for lingerie, please refer to the following websites

Spandex House
Full & Sassy Pattern Boutique
Nancy's Notions
Élan Patterns & Supplies



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