Bra Making Advice
Wether you are new to bra making, refreshing your skills or adding to your knoweldge, here is a bit of information to help you select the correct fabrics and elastics.
There are a number of different fabrics and elastics we recommend for bra making. At Booby Traps you may buy these items in kit form or separately if you wish to save money.
Please note: This is our knowledge and preference from the many years of bra making Booby Traps has had.
What Fabrics and Elastics can I use in bra making?
Bra Backs - Powernet/Elastane is recomended as the best alternative.
However, this does not mean we must restrict ourselves, as specific bust sizes can use other options. Stretch Lace, Lycra and stretch mesh can be used for A-C cups (and D cup and beyond if a 'fun' less structured bra is desired)
Bra Frame (Cups, Centre Front and Side bra pieces) - Nylon Tricot, Double Tricot / Simplex and 100% Baby Combed Cotton are fabulous cup fabrics. Stretch satin or silk may also be used, although they can be more difficult to work with.
Stretch Lace is lovely but often needs lining to gain support. Line with tricot, nylon sheer denier or cotton. Stretch lace can be used in the upper cup without lining for smaller bust sizes.
Rigid Lace is very supportive and does not often require lining unless it is particularly lightweight. Although Booby Traps recommends lining the bra cups for comfort (softening seams over the nipples) and aesthetics (hiding/encasing the seams). Rigid Lace is good support for larger bust sizes.
Laminated Foam and molded cups can also be used in the cups for bra making.
Bra Strapping - You may create a fabric/lace strap using Tricot, Simplex, Sheer Nylon with stretch lace or rigis lace. You should still insert bra strapping from the front/top shoulder to the back to allow for strap adjustment.
Bra strapping is commonly 7mm - 19mm in width and according to specific tastes. The larger the bust the wider the strap should be. Rings and Slides are required (alternatively you can use only slides for a different finish as these can be used the same as a ring attaching one opening to the top of the bra cup and the other to the bra strap).
Each bra used 1m of bra strapping (without a fabric strap attached)
Bra Elastics - Facing elastic (also known as scallop or picot elastic) is recommended for the underarm and body band areas. A-C cups can easily use a 10 - 12mm facing elastic for both areas, but we recommend a wider profile for the band area on D cups and up. A 14mm-16mm is good and some people may even prefer a 19mm width (patterns may need to be adapted for this width). This is also recommended for larger girth sizes as it tends to sit flatter and be more comfortable. Avoid using lingerie elastics as they do not provide enough support.
Underwire Casing - also known as chanelling, it is a slim product with an opening to allow underwires be inserted. Originally sewers had to make their own underwire casing - now it is prefabricated for you and ready to go.
Back Closure - Hook and Eye Tabs or Hook and Eye Tape is good depending on the bra pattern being used. These are available in 1, 2, 3 and 4 hook wide tabs or continuous tape. Most of these items will have a 3 deep hook adjuster system. These are seen in the images provided. For cups above a D cup we recommend a minimum of 4 hook closure as a more supportive option. Hook and eye tape is perfect for longline bras.
Motif - dont forget your cute little finish touch! A classic bow, a crystal element or funky handcuff motif! Whatever your style, you can personalise your bra.
What fabrics are suitable for bra lining?
At Booby Traps we like to line our lower cups. Not only does it allow us more options for fabrics, whicg can be difficult to find in Australia, but it also encases the raw seams of your bra. This can be very appealing to those who may find the cup seam irritable to the nipples. It also makes the finished garment look more professional and it eliminates the need for stitching on the exterior of the cups.
Our preferred linings are baby combed cotton, Tricot, Simplex, SheerNylon and Double Tricot.
Sheer Nylon is perfect for creating those sexy sheer bras. Select a nude or blush coloured nylon to enable it to 'disappear' when against the skin. The sheer nylon denier will provide support if your lace requires it. The nylon sheer is used as a lining and is very supportive when cut the correct way.
What is the composition of your fabrics?
Unfortunately we do not always get this information from our suppliers. If it is provided, it will be in the additional information in each product.
What bra pattern should I use?
That depends on your skill level. To make bras, you require stretch sewing skill. These are intricate and fiddly items to make but very rewarding, and quite simple with experience. It is important to be accurate when bra making, as inaccuracy effects the fit greatly.
If starting out, we recommend the BOO3, Jayne or Dart Bra patterns. These are simpler to start with and when your skill level increases, you can try the more intricate patterns such as the Baroque , Balconette and Julie bra patterns.
The BOO2 and Claudia are frameless and therefore a slightly higher level than beginner.
Beginners also benefit from making the Joy or Gail wire free pattern options. These are great as they do not require underwire casing, but educate you on elastic insertion.