Zigzag stitches

Zigzag stitch of the lining

Place the edges of the parts of the lining accurately against each other. Sew on top of the parts so that the zigzag stitch extends to both sides equally. Feed the pieces evenly and use alignment marks as an aid. Remember to stitch back and forth in the beginning and end.

Full Cup Bra Pattern #4011: Extra Support to a Bra Cup

Sew the supporting tape (e.g. satin band, width 1,5cm) underside the upper edge of the cup lining to side of the armpit. Zigzag the inner edge of the band to the lining. The outer edge will be attached later under the fold-over elastic. The supporting tape can be whatever thin, non-elastic band, not wider than 1,5cm.

Pattern #4800: Supporting Tape

bra-strap-support-tape

Before you attach the lining pieces together, sew the supporting tape underside the upper edge of the side part of the lining (3). It reaches up to the end of the strap in this model. Zigzag both edges of the band to the lining. The supporting tape can be whatever thin, non-elastic band, not wider than 1,5cm.

Elastic to the bottom edge of the band

Sew the elastic to the lower edge of the band on the top side with a zigzag stitch so that the edge of 1-2mm stays outside the stitch. Later, when the band will be turned to the back side, this small edge forms a beautiful, carefully finished bottom edge. You do not need to stretch the elastic when sewing. See more specific instruction images from the Partial Band Bra instructions.

Inner fabric piece (is not necessarily needed in this model)

Sew an inner fabric piece to the bridge a few millimetres away from the edges. Be sure to check that the both edges are placed symmetrically. Cut away the excess part of the inner fabric piece.

Cup cover

Combining the cup parts

Sew the seams of the cup from the distance of the presser foot from the edge. The length of the stitch is about 3mm.

Finishing the seam with zigzag

Open up the seam allowances of the previous stitch and sew a narrow zigzag on top of the seam. Make sure that the seam allowance stays open when sewing.

Trimming the seam allowances

Trim the seam allowances.

Note! If the cup is formed of three or more pieces, perform the previously mentioned stages to each seam individually. You will find the sewing order from the information page delivered with the pattern.

Shaping the cup

Pinning the cover

Place the finished cup cover on top of the lining by pinning them first approximately in the centre where the seam is. Stretch the cover gently in the direction of the seam(s) and pin it in place from both ends. When the seam(s) is nicely in place, you can continue placing the cover by gently stretching, evenly in every direction. Pin from the edges. The fabric going over the edges will be cut away later.

Pin the both cups ready, so you can state that the cover is stretched approximately in the same way in both cups. The stretch of the fabric and the direction of the thread influence how much the fabric falls over the edges of the lining in different parts.

Stitch

Sew a stitch on the edge of the lining a few millimetres away from the outer edge. Cut off excessive material carefully.

Update! Sew a zigzag instead of straight stitch around the cup. See here.

Attaching the tape providing extra support

If you want, you can attach a satin or nylon band to support the cup. You can see the centre part of the inner tape from the pattern of the lining. The most important thing is that its upper edge is under the strap. Attach the band from both ends to the lining with a straight stitch. The band must be exactly as tight as the lining.

Combining the cup and the band

Attaching a finished cup to the band

Pin the cup and the curve of the band together. Note that the curve of the band is a bit shorter than the curve of the cup. This way the band is beautifully placed around the cup. The band is preferably stretched only on the side of the armpit to match the measures of the cup, so the tightness of the parts is the same in the centre-front. Compare the seams of the cup in the centre-front and the lower edge of the inner fabric piece of the band, so both cups will be placed symmetrically. Sew the parts together from the distance of the presser foot from the side of the cup.

When you become more skilled in sewing, you can leave out the pins and sew the cup directly to the band.

My way of doing this

The right-side cup (left breast): I start sewing from the side of the cup in the centre-front. I sew the parts together without using pins.

The left-side cup (right breast): I sew from the side of the band starting from the centre-front all the way to the lower edge of the inner fabric piece. Then, I turn the work over and sew the rest from the side of the cup from the armpit towards the centre.

This is a little complicated but a fast way, since normally corrections do not need to be made and the cups are placed symmetrically.

The underwire channel tape

Attaching the underwire channel tape

Sew the underwire channel tape on top of the the seam that combines the cup and the band, to the side of the lining. Place it in such a way that the inner stitch in the underwire channel tape, the stitch that combines the cup and the band, and the new stitch are placed on top of each other.

Zigzag of the lower elastic

Finish the inner edge of the lower elastic of the band with zigzag by sewing on the top side.

Stitching the underwire channel tape

Now you can continue attaching the underwire channel tape. If you want two stitches to be visible, this is what you do: Stitch about 1mm away from the seam that combines the cup and the band on the top side. If all has so far gone well, the stitching should be exactly in the right place when viewed from the back side.

Make another stitch about 6mm away from the previous. Check from the back side that the stitches approximately follow the stitches of the underwire channel tape.

If you want only one stitch to be visible, this is what you do: Stitch on the top side from about the distance of the presser foot from the seam combining the cup and the band. Check from the back side.

It is desirable that the elastic of the lower edge goes under this stitching a short way in the lower part of the cup.

Fold-over elastic to the upper edge

The bra part

Sew a fold-over elastic with zigzag stitches to the upper edge of the bra, from one attachment point of the strap to another, on the top side. Do not stretch or feed the elastic band. The width of the zigzag should be about 5.5mm and the length about 2.5mm. You can sew a double stitch in the centre-front to close the ends of the underwire channel tapes for certain.

Thread the underwires in place, the coloured part of the underwire in the front.

The band

You can stretch the fold-over elastic that comes to the upper edge of the band a little when sewing, but do not stretch when you come to the sides of the cup.

Note! In a balconette style bra, you can make the finishing touches of the whole upper edge at one time. Just remember to change the “handwriting” when you come to the cups, meaning that you should not stretch the band. Remember to place the underwires before sewing!

Full Cup Bra Pattern #4011: a Boning Tunnel

When your bra is almost ready, straps still unattached, sew a boning tunnel on the sides of the bra band under the armpit. The tunnel can be made of bias band or equivalent tape. The underwire casing should be fine too, if you have the right size bones to put in there. The edges of the tunnel have been sewed with zigzag because it’s more durable when stretching. Bones should be 1 – 1,5cm shorter than the tunnel because the tunnel will get shorter when you put the bras on.
I recommend to round off the ends of the bones so they don’t push through the tunnel.

Finishing

Instructions for making straps, the hook closure, and stitches that strengthen the tips of the underwire channel tape can be found here.