Recently, I took a one-week course at the London College of Fashion: Structured Bra Making. I've been intrigued by lingerie-making for a long time but so far I've made only two bras. Sewing a bra represents a lot of meticulous work and precision which scares me away since I am not always good at paying attention to details.
In the beginning, I was tempted by the class which Stephanie took in London, but having researched other opportunities, I finally settled on the London College of Fashion because of its reputation for high standards of teaching and the duration of the course.
The course focused on cutting and constructing three types of bra: a darted wired bra, a padded wired bra and a non-wired lace bra. It did not include information about taking measurements and fitting.
The pattern we worked with was a size 34B which happened to be my size but only one of the three bras fits me perfectly: the darted bra. The other two need to be fitted due to the asymmetry of my cup sizes.
We also were provided with all the materials necessary for the three bras.
|Darted wired bra|
|Padded wired bra|
|Non-wired lace bra|
What really excited me about this course me was the chance to use industrial sewing machines. To make the bras, we used four different machines, each of them performing a single function: lockstitch stitching, zig-zag stitching, inserting channeling and making tucks. Later this year, I plan to purchase an industrial sewing machine and the course was a great training platform. It was not easy to control the machines: a slight touch to the pedal was like starting a rocket engine!
From the learning point of view, the biggest revelation for me was... stay tape! It had never crossed my mind that bras, like any other garments, require stay tape to prevent them from stretching! Silly billy! I also don't remember reading about it. Did you know about it?
One of the books recommended in the class was Bare Essentials: Bras: construction and pattern drafting for lingerie design. I could not recommend this book enough because it has EVERYTHING, starting from step-by-step sewing instructions and ending with pattern manipulation for a strapless bra!
The book also contains a basic bra pattern and offers pattern manipulation advice for all skill levels.
Previously praised by The Perfect Nose (why didn't I get the book back then), it deserves a place on your bookshelf, especially if you are into bra-making.