Let’s make a bra: introduction

This is a short tutorial series for my future self who forgot how I did this. It might also be helpful for other beginners wanting to make the leap into sewing their own lingerie.

Most people wouldn’t even think about sewing their own underwear, but if you’ve never found ready-to-wear bras comfortable, it might be worth trying to sew your own! If you’ve sewn a few basic garments already then you probably have enough skills to start sewing lingerie – we only need two or three stitch types: straight, zig-zag, and 3-step zig-zag (optional).

There are lots of bra sewing patterns available today, many of which you can find easily on Instagram with hashtags like #diylingerie. In this series we’ll use the Maya Bra pattern by AFI Atelier, which is a full-band underwire bra pattern available for download free of charge for personal use. The process is basically the same for any bra pattern though, so you can follow along with a different pattern if you already have one.

With any bra pattern, the first version you sew may not fit perfectly (or at all) – and that’s normal. It can be frustrating, but your body is unique and sewing your own bra means that you get to make fitting adjustments. It might take two or more attempts, but your efforts and initial investment will be repaid with a well-fitting bra pattern that you can use over and over again!

I’m a beginner sewist myself – I started sewing in October 2020 and made my first bra one month ago. It turns out lingerie sewing can be addictive, so I’ve already made 5 well-fitting bras with this pattern in that short time! Making my own lingerie has allowed me to better understand my needs, feel better about my body, and create a small collection of beautiful bras.

A collection of red Maya bras

  1. Let’s make a bra: introduction
  2. Let’s make a bra: supplies
  3. Let’s make a bra: toile/muslin
  4. Let’s make a bra: construction
  5. Let’s make a bra: conclusion