For the cover of our latest Clara leggings pattern, we wanted a cute sport bra to go with it. We hacked our Julia bralette pattern into a low impact bra with exposed elastic band and hook-and-eye closure in the back.
We changed a few things but kept the modern design with curved V neckline and delicate racerback finished with foldover elastic, with adjustable straps.
HOW TO REMOVE THE DART
On piece C, you will find a small, rounded dart in sizes P and up. To remove it:
- Using a ruler, trace a line from the tip of the dart to the tip of the piece
- Cut on the line, keeping a tiny bit of paper at the tip as a hinge
- Close the dart by bringing its corners together and tape
- Redraw the bottom edge of the piece
- Remove excess paper. You have your new front piece!
Removing the dart this way will remove some fabric overall. This means more compression, which is what you need in a sport bra(lette).
PREPARING THE ELASTIC
Soft, wide elastic band is not always easy to find. You might be lucky and find some at your local notions / fabric store. You can upcycle elastic waistband from underwear (usually the elastic outlasts the fabric) or look online for it. Here are a few options:
- Butt fold line edges of pieces E and F and tape
- Your elastic, FOLDED IN HALF, should match the combined bands (don't forget to take into account the 6 mm (1/4'') allowances!
|If you are lucky, the elastic you find will be the same length as standard hook & eye closures :)|
Pin and sew hook and eye fastener to the ends of your elastic. If you found a gorgeous elastic that only comes in a different width than the standard closures you find in stores, you can use continuous hook & eye tape for your project.
|Continuous hook & eye tape we purchased from Bra Makers Supply that we used for this beautiful elastic band we found at Fabricland in Brampton, ON during the last PR Weekend.|
CUTTING AND ASSEMBLING THE BRALETTE
For this post, we used spandex from the Fabric Fairy for the outer fabric and PowerNet for the lining. We picked a colorful foldover elastic for the finishing. Foldover elastic is getting easier to find. For large quantities, Aliexpress is interesting but shipping takes forever. For a few garments only, you can purchase it at a reasonable price in many stores, in many fun colors. Google "foldover elastic" and the color you want and you will find something I'm sure!
Pin back to front at side seams and stitch. Pin outer fabric to lining, wrong sides together and baste with a zigzag. You are ready to sew the foldover elastic (FOE)! Cut it to the length indicated in the chart and MARK the strap length (also indicated for each size).
Pin wrong side of neckline elastic to the lining. You only need to pin at ends and center, the fabric edge along the line that runs down the center of the elastic. Baste with a zigzag (over the basting zigzag that is visible on the fabric). You will need to stretch the ELASTIC gently as you sew to fit the fabric edge.
Fold the elastic to wrap the raw edge of the fabric and stitch again with a zigzag along the edge of the elastic. When we say "along the edge"... we mean it :). The basting and topstitching are visible inside, only the topstitching zigzag is visible on the outside:
Use the same technique to apply the foldover elastic to the armhole, using the marks as guides indicating where to pin. At center back, the first elastic will be encased in the second one to create a strip of the width of one folded FOE.
Install rings and sliders as per the instructions for adjustable straps. Rings and sliders are available in a ton of colors, metal or plastic. You can find them on Etsy, eBay and in specialized notions stores like Bra-Makers, Emerald Erin, Sew Sassy and many more!
OPENING IN THE BACK
In order to create some space to attach the closure, we need to cut an opening at the back. Cut the piece in the shape you want (after a few tests, we settled with a narrow, slightly curved triangle shape. Draw it on the piece, cut the paper and use it as a template to cut center back of the bra.
Apply a piece of FOE to the edge of the opening, using the same technique you used before. Then, sew a guide seam, 1 cm (3/8'') from bottom edge, using a long straight stitch:
Mark center front of the bra and elastic with pins and pin wrong side of elastic to outside of bra, along the guide seam. Stitch on the elastic, along its edge, stretching it as you sew to fit the bra. Make sure the top edge of the elastic is always on that guide seam. We use a zigzag because it is easier to control on the fairly narrow black line, but a cover stitch would have worked too.
Turn inside out. You can see the guide seam (fabric basting (white), guide seam (blue) and elastic seam (black). Remove the guide seam only.
We look forward to seeing you sporty chic Clara bralettes in our photo gallery and on Instagram #jaliejulia #jalie3886 #jaliepatterns!