For those of you not familiar with Make Bra 3226, it is a full band bra with cut-and-sew diagonally seamed cups. It is one of my favorite bra patterns because it gives a subtle push-up look without extra padding, and the neckline edge is very open. The resulting look from this bra is very round – almost a little too rounded. I really like it under wrap dresses though. Gives a little lift and extra cleavage, and the subdued projection helps minimize gaping. This is a great bra if you want to widen your bustline. Obviously not everyone is looking for that effect, but a wider bust is a good thing when you’re pear shaped.
For this version I used some periwinkle stretch lace and coordinating channeling from a Merckwaerdigh kit. I supplemented with elastics, bridge lining, and hardware from my stash.
With an underbust measurement of 73 centimeters I often go up to a 75B or down to a 70C depending on the stretch of the band fabric. Since this lace didn’t have a whole lot of stretch to it I went up to a 75B and chose to not underline the band. The fit is perfect.
As designed, this bra uses foldover elastic for the neckline. It also has a shaped band. Neither are very friendly if you want to use a scalloped stretch lace as your fabric. I’ve made this bra before, so fortunately I had a real version to work and compare changes to. In order to make this in stretch lace you need to modify the band and upper cup. I photocopied the original pattern pieces onto card stock before making alterations.
The Upper Cup
The upper cup of this bra is not straight. It actually curves down by the armhole. My first instinct was to just draw a straight line from the armhole to the center front. When I compared this to the actual bra though, it was clear that this would result in the neckline being too low. I ended up starting from the center front and extending the neckline about 1″ up from the previous upper edge at the armhole. Since the line was now straight instead of curved I lost some of the upper cup length. So I also added 1″ of width to prevent the upper cup from digging in. This was a generous amount; I probably could have gotten away with just 3/4″ but I figure it was easier to trim away what I didn’t need. This is shorter than the length of the original seam, but since it is placed by the hollow spot by my armhole the length works out quite well.
Here’s a comparison of the original vs modified foam cup pieces. You can see how I had to keep piecing card stock paper together to get the final modified version.
Once I finished the alteration to the foam lining I traced it to the upper cup cover piece.
When attaching the lace to the bra I zigzagged it in place along the upper edge of the foam, keeping the foam edge even with the lowest part of the scallops. The foam provides enough stabilization (at least for me) and I didn’t need to reinforce it with any sort of tape or elastic.
First I split the bridge off from the band, making the new seam just below the lowest part of the cup curve. I always do this with Make Bra patterns since I like a very stable center front.
First I added a 1/4″ seam allowance to the center front. (You need a seam here if you want the scallops to be placed along the bottom edge.) Then I started drew a straight line from the bottom of the center front to the edge where it is pieced together with the back band. With a scalloped lace bottom edge there’s no longer a need for lower edge seam allowance so I cut those off too.
For the back band I drew a straight line from the seamline where the lowest point of the cup is to where you would sew the back closure. I measured this line and compared it to the length of the original curved band. It was 1/4″ shorter than the original band length, so I added it back in at the center back, making where the lace attached to the back closure angled rather than straight. I also slightly curved the upper edge of the band and made the back curve where the strap elastic attaches a little less severe.
The band appears quite wide, but I find wider bands look a lot smoother under clothes and more comfortable to wear than narrower ones like Merckwaerdigh BHS10.