This set is the culmination of a little bra project I’ve been working on for what seems like forever… or at least 9 months. Last summer I got the urge to find a bra pattern WITHOUT a wire that I would be comfortable wearing every day. And of course, an every day undie pattern would be nice to have as well! I’m happy to report: mission accomplished!
Last summer, I downloaded the Watson Bra from Cloth Habit and got started. I was a bit hesitant to try this pattern due to the limited size range, but as a small busted curvy lady, I figured I could make it work. After some mostly failed muslins, I abandoned the project in favor of shinier things.
As the condition of my current bras continued to decline to an embarrassing state, I decided to revisit the pattern a couple of weeks ago. I realized the secret (for me) would be foam. It took two more foam muslins, but I think I finally nailed the fit. After getting a satisfactory fit in a stretch fabric, the only modification I had to make for the foam was to add a little volume to the inner cup by slashing and spreading.
For this iteration, I decided to use fold over elastic to finish the cups. This was my first attempt at this finish and I like the clean look! The only issue I encountered was that I forgot to account for how much more the bamboo stretches than the foam. I have already ripped out the bottom of one cup and stretched it to fit and I still need to do the other. Always stretch the fabric over the foam when using a foam lining!
I’ve made quite a few foam lined bras before so I kinda just winged it, but in case you want to try this for the first time there are great tutorials at Cloth Habit and the Sewcialists blog (by Emerald Erin). My only regret is not finishing the edge of that foam cup, I forgot that when you aren’t using a wire, nothing covers the edge of the foam.
Speaking of Emerald Erin, all the fabric and notions are from her shop, except the foam, which is from Sew Sassy. I highly recommend Erin’s shop, all of her stuff is super high quality and she has kits to make things easier if you are just starting out.
In fact, this is the first time I splurged on a finished bra closure and I am really happy I did, it looks so nice! I normally buy it by the yard and cut to length but the finishing on the edges doesn’t look nearly so nice.
I used the same gray bamboo jersey and fold over elastic to make a matching pair of undies from the Soma Swimsuit from Papercut Patterns. If you can believe it, this is a size medium and it fits great. Papercut Patterns run REALLY large and this fabric has more stretch than swimwear fabric would. This is my new everyday undie pattern.
Look at that fold over elastic! I struggled for years with applying FOE, turns out all I needed to do was buy some higher quality stuff!
I also remembered to apply elastics in the way that allows all the edges to be finished with the side seams. If you would like to see a tutorial on that (or sewing this bra with foam) let me know in the comments and I’ll try to make it happen. If you haven’t tried sewing underwear yet, check out all the resources on the Curvy Sewing Collective’s Lingerie Month posts. Thanks for reading!