Self-drafted bra set

White bra set White bra set
I just found out that a bra is not called ‘a pair of bra’! My apology if I was being confusing by talking about ‘a pair of bra’ and ended up just posting one. Where’s the other?! There are a pair of shoes, a pair of pants, and bra has two identical things on it just like shoes and pants, so why isn’t it called a pair of bra?? English is confusing….

Anyway… I recently made a new bra and panties set. They may look plain without all the colorful fabric and lace like my previous ones, but I’m so happy with this set because I drafted the pattern myself. I feel like going a level up in lingerie making now!

White bra set White bra set

I used the book ‘Patternmaking for Underwear Design’ by Kristina Shin to draft this pattern. Thank you to Melissa of Fehrtrade that have brought the book to my attention, you can also read her wonderful review of the book in her post. If you love pattern drafting you will love this book!

The book has drafting techniques for basic blocks for bodice, skirt, and T-shirt; 6 bra patterns, 4 corsetry patterns, 4 panty patterns, 5 sleepwear patterns, and the last chapter for camisole, bodysuit, and leggings patterns. All your needs are covered!

A note to remember though -and maybe the most important one-, the bra and corsetry patterns are drafted for size 34B. If you’re in size other than 34B and  want to use this book, you have to be able to grade the pattern. I usually use size 28F or 30D which fortunately has the same cup size as 34B so I only have to grade (shorten) the band. The cups on size 34B has the same volume as the cups on size 36A, 32C, 30D, 28F, 26G.

The drafting techniques uses the underwire as a starting point. So basically you trace around the underwire and start drafting around it. I love this technique because it makes sure that my underwire wouldn’t be either too short or too long. For this set, I drafted the basic underwire bra and the brief patterns. The bra pattern will later be used as a base for the other bra patterns.


Here is a quick muslin that I made to test the fit of the bra. The foam lining of the bra is in 3 pieces while the outside layer is two pieces. After checking the fit, I narrowed the center bridge area, a common alteration for me. I notice mine are a close-set and bottom rounded pair.

I use foam lining from Makebra shop (my favorite foam lining!), and white lycra for the outer fabric. The band is power net and all other notions are from Merckwaerdigh store.

The inside seams on the foam cup are covered with strips of tricot binding. The outer layer has topstitching on either side of the seams. Initially I planned to make a plain white bra set but then I added a wide lace strips on the upper edge. Maybe plain white is too boring.

White bra set White bra set

White bra set White bra set

1-P1340989I love that the bra pattern creates a rounded shape that suits me, not as pointed as Pin-Up Girls patterns. But the beauty of drafting the pattern yourself is that you can create any shape that you want. Here is a washed out picture of the bra on me in case you’re wondering about the fit. Next time I will add some boning on the side seams.

The brief pattern creates a basic everyday panties that sits slighly below the waist and provides enough coverage around the back. Now I have two basic patterns that I can use as a base for the next ones!

White bra set White bra set

White bra set

Patterns are self-drafted.

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  • This is amazing, as always. I love them. They’re so clean. I’m going to sew a few more bras and then may be get this book. I’m interested in drafting my own bras and undies. Thanks for mentioning the book!

  • Amy

    Oh Novita, this is pretty! I don’t think white is plain, either. I just cut some white cotton for undies and possibly a bra. It’s so clean and pretty. I want your dressform, too…

    p.s. just the other day I started to write “a pair of pants” which is what we say but for a second it looked really weird. Why do we call it ‘pair’? English doesn’t always make sense to native speakers, either!

    • Thank you Amy! Always love to see your undies sewing! The dressform is actually for store display, so while it may be photogenic, it doesn’t do too well for pattern draping. It was quite cheap though, that’s why I got it. I wish to have a real dressmaking form one day 🙂

  • juju calado gago

    So nice! I love the results, and you should be feeling really proud of yourself. They look perfectly made!

  • Lois Holman

    Can you comment on how you do the straps? Tx!

    • Hi Lois, I don’t really understand your question. The straps are done in usual way, the way store bought bras are done.

  • Alice

    Beautiful job. Very well-drafted. Thanks for the book reference; I;ll have to check it out.

    • It’s a great book for drafting 🙂

  • Haha, English is rubbish! I agree! But this set is so inspiring and wonderful, and I don’t think boring at all! If these are boring, then I like boring 🙂

    • Glad that you like them! White undies are so versatile 🙂

  • So impressive! The bra looks like a perfect fit. Well done! And I have no idea why a bra is singular, but yet the pants/knickers/panties are plural. Makes no sense. This is the sort of thing my 4 year old asks all the time!

    • Okay now I have to remember that panties are plural! I was in doubt before 😀

  • These are so gorgeous! You must be so proud of yourself for drafting them! Wow!

    English is such a strange language. You write very clearly and well- is there anything you can’t do?! 😀

    • Aww you’re to sweet Sonja! I write better than I talk though (in every language) 😛

  • savvysista14 .

    Great job. Looks so professional! !

  • This is fantastic! That last image looks as if the set was smiling 🙂

    Quick question – did you make the tricot binding or source it?

    • Haha now that you said it I can see it too!
      The tricot binding? I got them from Merckwaerdigh, who have time to fold those slippery little things??

      • I know! I tried to make them once but it was nearly impossible to get anything close to neat looking. I’ll have to check out Merck and see if they sell the binding individually.

  • Haha, your opening lines made me laugh. I’m an English teacher and quite often my students get confused when I teach them a ‘pair of glasses’ ‘a pair of trousers’ ‘a pair of shoes’, and then ‘a bra’. They always point at their chests and say ‘but we’ve got two!’ Anyway, well done on the bra making, I can’t believe that you drafted this yourself! Excellent work.

    • Ha! Yes there are two of them! So confusing 😛
      Thank you! I’m so happy with them, drafting is an enjoyable experience.

  • lisa g

    english IS funny! it’s a wonder anyone can learn it. sometimes it’s even hard for native speakers… so impressed, as always, with your bra making. i keep talking about wanting to try this myself, i just hate being a newbie at anything!

    • It is funny but interesting too! Every language has their own quirks like that I guess 🙂
      Bra making is addictive once you start!

  • Hoosiermama

    You’re absolutely right that “pair of bra” is perfectly logical! Pair of pants, pair of socks, pair of glasses, but no pair of bra. Anyway, I just wanted to say that having some familiarity with how hard it is to learn a foreign language, I think your English is terrific. And so are your sewing skills.

    • Aww thank you! I never live in an English-speaking country so I write better than I talk. Sometimes I know how to write some words but don’t know how to pronounce it. But I’m glad that at least people can understand what I write 🙂

  • English Girl at Home

    Stunning – they look beautiful and practical

  • Michelle

    What a beautiful set! And it’s fabulous you drafted these yourself. Congratulations!

    • Thank you, I’m so happy with them!

  • I thought “pair of bra” was quite sensible and adorable, even if it’s not the “King’s English.” We knew what you meant! Isn’t English so idiomatic?;-) This set is lovely!!

    • Glad that you find it even adorable 😛 Everly language has their own set of logic I guess, but it is very interesting!

  • Thewallinna

    Drafting your own underwear set should feel so good! 🙂

    • It is a great feeling indeed! (^_^)/

  • sallieforrer

    There’s something about a nice white bra and panty set that I just love! The lace and rosette detail is so pretty and the fit looks superb! Congrats on drafting your own! Really lovely!!

    • Yes they are nice and very wearable! Thank you 🙂

  • These look great, and I always think of “plain” as basic workhorses that get worn all the time. You must have such a deep understanding of bras at this point!

    • The funny think is the more I learn about something, the less I feel that I understand anything about it. There’s always more and more to learn and ‘oohh I should have done it that way or this way’ This is the best fit I have so far, but in the past I also had other ‘best fit so far’ moments 🙂

  • Jen (NY)

    Looks great! It’s funny about the word “bra” and that we don’t say a “pair” (which would seem to make sense)! I suspected that it was because of the original word, “brassiere.” According to my computer’s dictionary, the origin of “brassière” is the early 20th century, French, literally meaning a “bodice” or “child’s vest.” I guess that explains it– the word refers to having one bodice rather than two breasts? It’s interesting, as a kind of word archaeology. But yes, English is confusing and sometimes even weird for native speakers!

    • That makes sense! And makes it easier to remember too. So it is a bodice instead of two breasts!

  • Wow, this set not only looks superbly well drafted, but the construction looks flawless! I love the sweet pop of color that the roses add. Isn’t that sense of accomplishment when you draft your own bra pattern just the best!

    • Exactly! I look at them with smug look, feeling happy with myself 😛

  • These are simply perfect! and I do not find them plain at all … for me white is not synonym with plain! both seem crazy well drafted and made! I’m in awe !!!

    • Thank you! I think white will go well under lots of clothes 🙂

  • Jennifer Hill

    This may be plain and white but sometimes that’s what’s needed and it’s beautiful and looks so well done. Don’t worry about the vocab, I knew what you meant! Jen

    • Sometimes the plain ones get more use! Thank you 🙂

  • Wow, your set looks perfect. I’ve been wanting to start learning how to make underwear but it feels a bit overwhelming. But that book looks really good and I just ordered it two minutes ago, maybe it’ll push me in the right direction.

  • What a gorgeous draft! The cup fit is amazingly perfect. SO beautifully done.

    • I think this is the best fit I have so far, so I’m very happy!