Whether you’re a seasoned bra maker or a beginner, the right supplies can make a big difference in your garment’s fit and function. From fabrics to elastics and closures, having quality materials at your fingertips is important.
Lingerie sewing is a dedicated craft, so stores like Porcelynne and Madalynne carry bra-making kits and supplies. They also offer bra and knicker patterns and basic bra notions.
For lingerie sewing, having access to high-quality fabrics and laces is crucial. This is especially true for bra making, as the right supplies make all the difference in a well-fitting, comfortable bra. Many bra making supplies are available, from bra tulle and mesh to hook & eye bra backs to meet your design needs.
When choosing fabric, keep in mind your desired style and comfort level. Some lingerie fabrics are made from natural materials, such as wool, while others are made from synthetics like polyester and nylon. In addition, some lingerie fabrics have a small percentage of elastane mixed in to provide lasting elasticity and stretch.
When choosing a fabric, it’s important to know its GSM or grams per square meter. This is a metric used to describe the thickness and weight of a material, which can impact how it drapes and how it feels on your skin. Thinner fabrics are generally better for lighter bras, while thicker fabrics are better for heavier bras. GSM also impacts how quickly the fabric stretches and holds shape.
Having a good pattern to work from when making your bras is important. Purchasing new ways can add up, especially when making muslins to test fit the design before you commit to sewing up the fabric. This can cost you money in muslins and elastic to finish the edges of your bra.
Charmeuse is a silk-like, stiff, woven fabric for bra cups and front frames. It has a glossy front and matte back and feels luxurious against the skin. This fabric is typically more expensive than other lingerie fabrics, but it gives your bras a high-end look and feel.
Duplex is a low-stretch knit fabric with very little mechanical stretch on the cross-grain and no stretch lengthwise. This fabric is often used to make bra bridges and cups because it offers great support. Duplex is also popular for bra bands because it is soft and comfortable yet has a professional look and feel.
The underwire is the thin semi-circular strips of rigid material sewn inside a bra to support and lift the breasts. Underwires can be made of plastic or metal and are typically soft on the ends to prevent them from irritating the skin. Different types of wire are used to create different styles and shapes of support for the breasts, and several factors determine your underwire size, including band and cup size.
Fabric and lingerie supply stores may carry bra-making supplies such as bra kits, patterns, lace and elastics. They can be found in larger chain stores and small independent boutiques. If you are new to sewing lingerie, purchasing a bra-making kit specially created by the patternmaker may be a good option. It will save you time and money from sourcing your fabrics and notions.
Some bra makers have shopped online, selling various bra-making patterns and supplies. Their prices are often based on the quality of materials they use, their design and production processes and their ability to create and market many products simultaneously.
In addition to fabrics, bra-making requires specialized elastics to finish straps and support areas. The right type of elastic can add a unique look to your project. Whether you are looking for plush-backed, fold-over elastic or clear elastic, there are many options. Select a stretchy thick enough to resist deformation when cutting. Testing the elastic before cutting is also important to ensure it returns to its original length when stretched.
Another option is to buy pre-packaged bra kits, which can be a great way to save time and money. However, be sure to purchase equipment designed for the bra you want to make. For example, a kit made with stretch lace may not fit well with patterns that require supportive non-stretch fabrics. Additionally, it would be best if you only bought equipment that contains lace, as it can be difficult to find matching materials for the rest of the bra. Instead, consider using a wide range of fabrics for the bra and supplementing with lace if needed.
Lace is a wonderful fabric that can enhance and improve almost any garment. It can add beauty and luxury to a dress or create the perfect finish for lingerie. However, sourcing quality lace can be difficult.
One of the best places to find lace is in fabric stores specializing in sewing supplies. They usually have a good selection of lace and other lingerie materials. They may also offer group orders so you can buy in large quantities at a discounted rate.
Another place to source lace is online. Many sellers on Etsy and other online marketplaces can offer good lace at affordable prices. A final option is to purchase lace yardage instead of buying a full spool at a fabric store. Yardage is inexpensive and can look just as nice when paired with pretty elastics.