Jalie 3131 Bra


My mom LOVES this pattern. LOVES it! I made the bra for her about two years ago, and despite the elastics getting rather tattered at this point she insists it is just fine and still wears it all the time. (The fabric, a microfiber I bought from Elingeria, is still in surprisingly good shape.) My mother is an incredibly practical woman that’s a self-described “old farmer,” and she spends much of her day doing physical labor. (She claims shoveling manure on a daily basis is the best exercise you can get!) Her favorite bras are soft, unstructured styles made out of stretchy fabrics. She loathes underwires, and her top priority is comfort. She has an average size bust and  doesn’t require a lot of support.

Before you ask – no, I haven’t made the Cloth Habit Watson for my mom. I just don’t see the point when she’s already very happy with this one.

This bra goes together very quickly. From cutting to finishing it takes me about 1.5 hours. There’s only three pattern pieces – cup, front, and back band. It is fully lined and the seams are entirely enclosed (which is why the center front bridge needs to be a little wide at the top.) The cup shaping is done through gathers at the bottom of the cup. This gives a seamless cup, but at the same time it has the tendency to flatten since there’s no seaming to provide shaping at the apex. (Don’t expect a lot of uplift from this bra either.)

The original bra I made her fit great in the cups but was too big in the band, despite having used a fabric which had the recommended amount of stretch. After I took a 3/4″ tuck at the side she was much happier with the fit. When I made the bra again this time I transferred this 3/4″ tuck to the center of the back band. (I think it is roughly equivalent to going down three sizes.) My mom has a broad back and doesn’t like tight bands, so the band on this bra definitely seems to run big.

Another little quirk about this pattern is that the strap extension is not quite long enough, in my opinion. I extended it upward 3/8″ so it wasn’t quite as wide when folded over the 5/8″ ring.

The first bra I made this time (not pictured) was plain white matte milliskin, lined with lightweight by-the-bolt mesh from Fashion Fabrics Club. I wanted to see how my mom felt about the fit before I cut into my good fabrics. She was happy with it, so I proceed to cut out the next bra, which was a lightweight Supplex from Spandex World. (No photo of this one either since she’s wearing it today.) Rather than use the mesh again I went with a self-fabric lining. This fabric is so incredibly soft and smooth to the touch. She says the fit is perfect and the comfort level out of this world.

This pink bra is Bra #3, made out of a lightweight microfiber I bought a few years ago from Elingeria. The bow was pilfered from a RTW bra. While my mom is the least vain person I know, as her daughter I insisted on making at least one bra that wasn’t plain white :).

Jalie 3131 bra
Jalie 3131 bra
Jalie 3131 bra
Jalie 3131 bra
Jalie 3131 bra
Jalie 3131 bra

I lined it with the lightweight by-the-bolt mesh from Fashion Fabrics Club. See how the seams are entirely enclosed? The disadvantage to this is that there’s four layers of fiddly lycra to topstitch! (BTW I did not dye the mesh to match, it is just the pink lycra showing through the weave.)

Jalie 3131 bra
Jalie 3131 bra

The neckline and armhole edge are finished with 3/8″ stretch lace I had in my stash. It was from either Lace Heaven or Sew Sassy.

I attempted to dye the strap and back closure to match using Dharma Trading’s acid dye in Ballerina Pink. Unfortunately the lycra is a little bit more peachy than Ballerina Pink. On the Dharma Trading website Ballerina pink looks a little peachy, but in person the pink definitely has a cooler tone.

Some dye notes:

  • Nylon accepts dye very quickly and very easily. Plan on reducing the amount of dye by 1/4-1/2 of the recommended amount for silk and wool, especially if you’re going for a less intense color. For this pale pink I think I used barely 1/32 teaspoon of dye, and the elastics were in the dye bath a total of 10 minutes.
  • The bottom band elastic from Sew Sassy is a poly/nylon blend rather than 100% nylon. The plush section dyes. The picots do not. The back of the elastic dyes in a checkerboard pattern. I like the strength and durability of this elastic, but obviously this is a deal breaker for dyed-to-match projects. For this project it didn’t matter because the lycra is such a light color.
  • The bottom band elastic from Fabric Depot is 100% nylon, so it dyes completely. (I think just about all of the Fabric Depot elastics are 100% nylon.)
  • I like the back hook and eye closure tape from Porcelynne. The stitching is concealed, so when you dye it you don’t get those bits of white thread sticking out. This took a little longer to dye than the elastics.
  • The 5/8″ strap elastic from both Sew Sassy and Fabric Depot dyes extremely quickly. I take these out of the dye bath first so the color doesn’t end up more saturated than the other elastics.
  • The 3/4″ fold over elastic from the Etsy seller frogfeathers dyed in about the same amount of time as the Fabric Depot bottom band elastic – not as quickly as the strap elastic, but quicker than the back closure.
  • Oddly enough, the nylon coated metal rings and sliders from Fabric Depot dyed with Jacquard acid dyes, but not the Dharma Trading acid dyes. I did a little experiment where I mixed a Jacquard acid dye with a Dharma Trading acid dye in an attempt to get a blended color, and the hardware started taking on the color of the Jacquard acid dye but not the Dharma Trading dye color. The rings and sliders take the longest to dye, and I can’t seem to get the color as saturated as the elastics. I’m ok with that though. If I am being especially picky about rings and sliders matching I’ll just use clear ones. Since the pink was so light I went with white ones for this project.

18 thoughts on “Jalie 3131 Bra

  1. That is a beautiful bra, your mum is very lucky. And thank you for the mention of frogfeathers on etsy! So much nice lace!


    1. I had a very good buying experience with her. The 3/4″ fold over elastic she sells is just a little easier to handle than the far more common 5/8″ width, especially when you use it to bind the upper edge of foam cup bras and thicker lycras.


  2. What a pretty and comfort looking bra! I love those enclosed seams. Anne, I can see why you wouldn’t try the Watson – this is very similar, lovely and works as it is. How nice to read someone else is sewing for their Mom too. 🙂


    1. Yeah, if she loves it and it works for her lifestyle, why bother reinventing the wheel? Due to the stretchy front band this is even more comfortable than the Watson.

      I can’t tell you how many things my mom sewed for me when I was growing up! Both my mom and Tom continue to wear the stuff I’ve made them long after its expiration date. I guess that’s a compliment…but at the same time I told them “I can’t make this beautiful stuff for myself and let you go around wearing that! What would people think of me??”


        1. I’m a little rebel that doesn’t believe in waiting for socially acceptable occasions – if the inspiration hits they’re getting something!


    1. Jalie always includes a huge range of sizes in one envelope. You’ll have to check the Jalie size chart on the pattern (which is available on their website). For this particular pattern you go by full bust and under bust, not RTW bra/cup size.


  3. Well being a farmer gal myself I agree with your moms requirements for a bra :O). Nothing worse than a under wire bra when your gardening or cleaning out the chicken coop or mucking out the goat stalls. :O)..Being of average size myself I like this type bra for daily wear. I like the pink polka dot fabric a lot you used. Your sewing is always quality work. I have considered the Watson pattern as well as its much like this in some ways. Really nice review you did on this. This type pattern doesn’t seem near as intimidating as the under wire bra patterns do.. I do like under wire bras for dress up and am truly amazed at how gorgeous some of them are you gals have made.


    1. In my mom’s case it is mucking horse stalls and the goose house as well as the chicken coop! 🙂 I normally don’t mind underwires, but I agree that for hot, sweaty, low-impact work that stretchy and wireless is far more comfortable than a highly structured wired bra. What I like about this one is that unlike most sports tops there’s a normal bra back closure. The last time I made Jalie 3131 for myself I wasn’t completely happy with it, but now that I understand a little bit more about the shape of my bust I think there’s a couple of alterations I can make that can make it work.


  4. It’s so awesome that you can make these for your Mom. I would guess my Mum would love them but I live much too far away to be able to fit her or to make it practical.

    That polka dot fabric looks lovely, and thanks for the link to the supplex. I just got a few yards of a fabric marked as a lingerie knit from fabric mart, I hope it’s somewhere in the region of the lovely stuff I got from Elingeria.

    Maybe some day soon, you’ll slip some lace in the mix, and your Mom will really have something fancy to wear 🙂


    1. Lace? Believe me, I’ve tried. She ends up not wearing them because she thinks they’re “too fancy” for everyday use.


  5. Nice, I really enjoy your bra pattern reviews.
    I even got inspired enough to buy the material to give it a go. I think, not sure I have everything I need and I have no idea what underwire to buy.
    Now that I have the material I’m thrilled and really afraid of getting started at the same time.. silly!
    It’s a bummer I can’t use wireless patterns like this one. It does look so comfy and your Mum sure is lucky to get three awesome new bras from you. Especially the little organza bow adds a nice touch!


  6. Pingback: Soft Bra Options

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