I’ve officially jumped on the bralette train.
As a rather flat-chested gal (and I’m not afraid to sing it loud and proud) I’ve long avoided lingerie that doesn’t at least give the illusion of a little curves. In college I was totally the Wonder Bra type with a minimum of an inch of padding, but since then, the padding has progressively thinned until I reached my current status: shaped but very little, if any, extra oomph.
These days it’s all about accentuation, not complete and total fabrication, and lately I’ve found myself being drawn to simple and dainty bralettes.
Most bralettes are nothing more than a couple pieces of lace sewn together with the addition of elastic straps, and while they look delicate and time-intensive, I knew one couldn’t be hard to make. Not to mention, spending $50 on something so simple didn’t really float my boat when all I needed was to get the right fit and add a couple straps. Easy, right?
While most tutorials online featured triangle lace cups made by sewing the lace together at an angle, I wanted something even easier. So I chose to go with a gathered cup that still looks pretty but doesn’t have the seam running down the front (which can be trouble if you’re on the flatter side and don’t get the fit just right). I also added a little plastic closure at the back to make it more practical and easier to wear.
As for the fabric, I picked a light, printed chiffon top that I no longer wore and that I figured would be the perfect weight for a lingerie project. It originally came from Madewell a couple years ago but after a recent closet purge, it ended up in my DIY project box. I thought it would be pretty paired with a soft berry colored elastic but all the fun colors were sold out at my local JoAnn, so I decided to dye my own. As luck would have it, the only dye I had was for natural fibers and, while I went ahead and used it anyway, it resulted in a lavender tie-dyed effect, which I ended up loving. Hooray for happy accidents!
1/2 yard lace or chiffon fabric
2 yards elastic (1/2 inch wide)
Clear 1/2 inch swimsuit bra hooks ( I like these from Dritz)
Pen and paper
Need, thread, sewing machine
- Start by creating a paper template. This will vary depending on your cup size, but I made a simple triangle 6 inches wide at the base and 5 inches tall. Then I added a 1/2 inch seam allowance on all sides. Once you get the size just right, cut it out and pin it to your fabric. Cut two pieces.
- Using a sewing machine set to the longest stitch, sew a running stitch along the bottom (6-inch side) of your triangles (don't back stitch at the beginning). The machine will slightly gather the fabric as your sew, but I gathered it just a teeny bit more. Again, this will vary depending on your cup size. Be sure to experiment until it's gathered enough for you.
- Cut your elastic. Wrap the elastic around your torso, right underneath your chest - add an inch to this measurement to allow for a little extra give and cut one. Then cut two 5 1/2 inch pieces (one for each of the inside edges of the cups). And finally cut two more pieces that will go along the outside edge of each cup, all the way over your shoulders and connect to the back of the bottom strap.
- Pin one of the 5 1/2 inch pieces of elastic to the inner edge of each triangle, and using a zigzag stitch, sew in place. Trim any seam allowance that may be showing.
- Pin one of the long shoulder straps to the outside edge of each triangle and sew.
- Finally, center your triangles on the bottom piece of elastic with a 1/2 inch gap in between the cups. Pin and sew using a zigzag stitch.
- Attach the bra hook by taking 1 end of the bottom elastic piece and folding it over to create a small loop. Pin the end down and sew a straight stitch. Take the other end of the elastic and thread one of the plastic bra hooks, fold the elastic over, pin and sew closed.
- Attach the shoulder straps to the bottom elastic at the back (I placed mine about 2 inches from the closure). Attach using a straight stitch.
- Try on and adjust for fit if necessary.