Power Bra SewAlong: Day 1
Welcome to the Power Bra Sew-Along!
This week we will be sewing up our Power Bras! I can’t tell you how excited I am to host this event- I’ve litterally been thinking about hosting the SewAlong since the pattern went into testing late last year. I have no less than 6 Power Bras in my closet already, and look forward to making many more. It’s addictive like that- don’t say I didn’t warn you!
The Power Bra is the perfect pattern for a beginner bra sewist or a more seasoned seamstress, and it works equally well as a lounge bra or a hardcore workout topper, depending on which fabric and options you select.
Nursing mamas and those needing a customizable strap fit can also rejoice- those options are built right into the pattern! The finishes are really high quality, and I love that I can get a better fit with better materials (for less than half the cost!) than I’d find in one of the big box athletic stores, like Lululemon or Athleta.
If you’re curious about some of the versions I’ve made, you can check out this post that I wrote when the pattern was released!
If you’re new to my Sew-Alongs, here’s how they work:
I will be breaking the pattern steps into daily tasks, with one each day for the next 4-5 days. You can comment here, with questions, or on the daily posts inside the Facebook Group– I’d love to see your progress each day and am here to help!
Grab your pattern!
The Power Bra is on sale (ends today, so snap it up!) for 25% off! Use the code “PSBSAL” .
The Fabric Fairy is also offering a 10% discount on fabric for the bra through today with the code “PBSAL” (hint: Get extra and make a pair of matching leggings for a FitCapsule!). Kits are also available (but not subject to the 10% discount).
If you’ve never downloaded or purchased a Greenstyle pattern, you can find a tutorial on how to do that here.
Day 1: Supplies, Sizing and Cutting (YOU ARE HERE)
Day 2: Front Assembly
Day 3: Front, Back, Straps and Lining
Day 4: Bottom Band
Day 5: Hacks/Finishing
Each day, I’ll post a video and/or blog tutorial with that day’s tasks, and you can comment with any questions and your progress for that day, so we can all keep each other motivated.
At the end, I’ll be choosing a winner for a fun PRIZE! (and who doesn’t love prizes?!)
Sound awesome? It is! (check out my other Sew Alongs HERE on the blog)
Today’s Tasks: Supplies, Sizing and Cutting
Today we are selecting our size, gathering our supplies and cutting our fabric!
Before you dive into the video, here are a couple pro-tips to get you started off right:
1) Measure yourself!
I can’t emphasize the importance of measuring enough here- please don’t go by your ready-to-wear bra size! Many people are not wearing a very well fitted bra anyway, and most sports bras for sale out there aren’t cup sized- a huge benefit of this pattern and getting a customized fit! So grab that tape measure, put on a (relatively) well fitting sports bra (this one will be better!) and follow the steps in the video for determining your cup and band size.
If you’re surprised by your results or unsure about this step, feel free to ask! If you’re between sizes, we recommend sizing down, since its designed to be supportive, and that requires a little bit of compression (but not too much- no uni-boob here!)
2) Make a Muslin:
A Muslin is a test garment, that is sewn quickly to assess fit before cutting into your final fabric. This is an excellent habit to get into with all patterns, and you’ll thank yourself for taking the extra time here as well. Don’t forget, in order to be informative, a muslin should be cut from a fabric that has a similar stretch and weight as your final fabric (this pattern requires 75% 4 way stretch).
For a muslin, you’ll need the following pieces (at a minimum)
- Center Front (main and lining)
- Side Front (main and lining)
- Back (main and lining)
Sew the Side front to the Center Front, and the assembled front to the back at the sides. Do this for both your main and lining. Don’t worry about pressing or topstitching your seams.
Place the main and lining right sides together, and sew the main to the lining around the neck, arm and back, basting in straps if desired.
Add in clear elastic by zig zagging it around the neck, arm and back while the main and lining fabric of your bra is wrong sides together. I highly recommend this, since the clear elastic effects the support and fit of the bra, and it’s good practice for later!
Turn it right side out (through the bottom, which is still open) and try it on. See how the cup feels. Do you have any gaping? Does it feel snug enough? The top may not sit perfectly under your bust, since you don’t have the band on, but it should be enough to assess the overall fit. The addition of the band will add support and about 1.5-2″ to your bra bottom. You can also pin the straps in at this point, and see if the strap length needs any adjustment.
Feel free to post a quick selfie or send me a message with your photo so I can help if needed!
3) Adding Extra Coverage
Now you’re ready to go on and cut your main fabric! Before you do, read the note below!
I mentioned it briefly in the video, but there is one of more thing to consider: extra coverage. This is an option for in the band sizes 40 to 46 and cup sizes F to H. We added this during testing to eliminate the dreaded “side boob” and add a little extra support in these sizes. I don’t need it on mine, but if you fall in these band/cup sizes and you want to add a little coverage, you can cut on the “more coverage” line- be sure you have that option selected in the layers menu prior to printing!
Day 1 Video:
Ready? Let’s get started!
One more thing! I talked about the differences in power mesh vs power net- you can find all that information in this mesh post!
Thanks for sewing along- see you back here tomorrow!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!
Hi Sarah-Qick question you mentioned sewing the elastic when wrong sides together, should that be right sides together?
I knew I forgot something! Thanks!
Hi Sarah, Where do you purchase black bra strapping?
Here’s the link mentioned in the video! https://greenstylecreations.com/blogs/news/a-crash-course-in-mesh
When using the power net, what is the effect of using the net as the lining?
It would work just fine. Some people prefer not to have powernet against their skin, but it doesn’t bother me. The additional layer would add more support, however.
Hi Sarah, I’ve cut out my muslin in a 40 F ( top fabric, lining and powernet) and am wondering how and when you sew the powernet. To the front piece? to the side piece? Each layer seperate and then sewn together?
Hi Colleen! You sew the powernet with the mesh- you’ll baste them together first, and then treat them as one. Hope that helps!
My athletic bra has an underwire built in – Victoria Secret front closure with an underwire bra underneath. Won’t that throw off the high bust measurement? I want to wear it for hiking and pickleball.
I was hoping to make the bra for my daughter but I won’t see her for a few days due to the pending snow. So I will be making it for me.
So sorry I have waited to the start date to read the directions. I wanted to finish a top I was working on.
Thanks for running this,
I’m so glad you’re joining in! I think you should use your best fitting sports bra- if that has an underwire, its ok, as long as it has some compression, it will still be a good guide for your measurements. A muslin is always a good idea though, to check fit before cutting into your favorite fabric.
If you want to add bra cups how do you know what size to buy as they only come in A, B or C and this pattern is telling me I need a 38F (measure 43″ high bust, 37″ under bust).??
Bra cup sizing can be confusing! I’m not really an expert on that, but you can always email the fabric fairy at email@example.com for help with sizing on her cups. You can also measure cups from a current bra, and go from there. Sorry I can’t help more with that question! If all else fails, I’d order the largest size and cut them down.
I do have well fitted bras and measure 29 underbust 39 full bust – a 10″ difference. This makes me 30J in your sizing – outside size range of this pattern. However I have a wide back which inflates my full bust but not my underbust, exaggerating how many inches difference there is. My RTW bras are UK 30F (US 30G). Given my RTW sizing is it possible the larger cup sizes in this pattern would fit me? Is there any way of working it out?
I am so excited to make this power bra! I’m looking at a few fabric options, but I LOVE that purple galaxy fabric you used for the racerback in the sew-along video – can I ask where you got it?
Thank you! That was a swim print from the Fabric Fairy!
Will the powerbra fit into a fat quarter? I’m about to order from Spoonflower. All fat quarters are 50% off now (August 5, 2019)
I’m not sure- it takes about 3/4 yard of main and lining.
Just stumbled upon your sewing tutorials and they are great! Made the Super G’s in one day quite successfully which I was so happy about. I had a quick question on the bra straps for the strappy option and wondered what and where do you get the straps from? Thanks so much!
I get the strapping from the Fabric Fairy! Etsy has some as well, if you search bra strapping, but the silicone backed stuff is from Fabric Fairy and I love it!
Hi Sarah, just bought my first Power Bra pattern and watched your first two videos. Still need to get fabric, but was wondering what kind of fabric you recommend for the lining?
You can use swim lining, but I’m preferential to the carbon activewear lining from the Fabric Fairy, it just sews so well.
Greenstyle “mist” fabric is also nice and light weight. Keep in mind, if you want extra support, you’ll want to add a lining and something between like power mesh or tech sheen.
Hi Sarah! I made my first bra and I love it, however, I think that for the next one I would like to shorten the bra. I have a small bust area and the lower edge of the bra sits about 1″ under my underbust, before adding the band. Can I just shorten the pattern at the bottom? It doesn’t have a shorten or lengthen line