One of the best things for me about sewing a handmade wardrobe is sewing my own bras. I have spent too many years wearing uncomfortable and poorly fitting bras so when my favourite bra finally gave up on me I decided enough was enough. Also who really wants to go bra shopping? No thanks.
I definitely wouldn't say I'm an underwear expert but I've managed to sew myself up a few good underwear options and let me tell you, I won't ever be going back to ready to wear bras. For the last year I have been wearing the Madalynne Simplicity 8228 pattern which I love and even made into a bikini last year. It's really quick and easy to sew up, no tricky underwear findings to attach, cute and super comfortable. A winner in my books for sure.
Recently I've been needing a new sports bra and while in the past I've worn Nike or Adidas sports bras, I can't in good conscience support these brands who may use less ethical or sustainable methods of manufacturing. Everything else the comes into my wardrobe is hand made so why should this be any different? I do jiu jitsu (the self defence version of judo, think lots of getting thrown on the floor, close quarters grappling and high impact training) and I run so I need something with a bit more support than a sports bra you might wear for yoga or the gym. I struggle to find ready to wear sports bras that provide enough support and protection for such high impact sports so I knew I had my work cut out for me.
After searching all over the internet I decide on the Brazi bra from Stitch Upon a Time. This is not a company I had come across before so I was interested to try it out. The pattern is designed so it can be made as a bra or a dress, and if you make the dress version it already has the bra built in so you don't need to wear a bra underneath, which I thought was a cool idea. I thought that with the right fabric choices this could be a great sports bra.
So full disclosure I haven't made the sports bra I originally had planned...yet! I wanted to test the size and fit first so I made a toile. I don't often do this but I had bought really expensive fabric from Spoonflower so I didn't want to mess it up. I had a bit of stripey jersey in my stash that I think came from John Lewis many many years ago and some Power Mesh that I got from Ebay. The pattern instructions says it takes about an hour to make and they were pretty spot on with that! The PDF had 6 pages so didn't cost me too much to go print at the library and was super quick and easy to put together. The pattern is made up of just three pieces and comes together so quickly and easily, it really is a great pattern to make. The instructions were really straightforward and well presented. The only tricky bit was sewing the power mesh because it is just so soft and flimsy. This makes it really comfy to wear but a bit of a bitch to sew. I made my stripey one and basically wore it non stop since it's been finished. It is so comfy to wear, providing a good amount of support but being soft enough that it's not digging in or pinching anywhere, no sore shoulders from dodgy straps and no wires or clasp digging. It is quite long so you can totally get away with wearing it as a crop top which was amazing in the hot weather, I was wearing it under my dungarees to survive the heatwave! I'm in love!
Since making my first Brazi about three weeks ago I have barely taken it off and I have now made a swimming costume version (I'm going to use the Megan Neilson Acacia undies as the bottom half) and I've made hack version that just has elastic straps instead of the built-in fabric straps. More on that later and I'll give you a sports bra update once it's done!
Has anyone else tried this pattern? This is a new-to-me pattern company but they have some great looking patterns that I'm excited to sew up soon!
If you want one of these gorgeous and insanely comfortable bras for yourself, head over to my Etsy shop where you can order one for yourself! Get it here!