A well-fitting sports bra seems like it has evaded me for years. I can't just walk into a department store, grab a small, and walk out with a bra that fits. If I fit my cup size, the band and shoulder straps are way too big. If I fit the band, the cups are squishing me and are too small. For a sports bra to really fit me correctly, I need the measurements to go beyond small, medium, and large and include a band size and cup size. I have found a few that fit the bill, and they were all white, had no fun features, and were rather expensive.
I have wanted to make my own for quite some time now, and I am sooo glad that I finally have! I have made 5 over the past several weeks while testing out the new Greenstyle Power Sports Bra pattern, and bra number 6 is just a few steps away from being finished as well. Today, I am going to share 3 of those bras with you and review the pattern that I have been obsessively making.
The Greenstyle Power Sports Bra covers band sizes 28 to 46 inches and cup sizes A through H. It comes with 3 back options: racerback, strappy cross back, and a strappy U back. It has an optional pocket and adjustable strap for the racerback. The front neckline has the option of a mid neck or low neck cutline. The larger band sizes come with optional extra side boob coverage. All back options come with optional NURSING access. Even with all these options, I felt like the pattern instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow.
I can't get over the fact that I was able to sew a sports bra that fit me so well and that I can nurse in!!
Selecting size. You do not use your regular bra size to select the size to sew on this bra. The band size is determined by your underbust measurement, and your cup size is determined by how much bigger your full bust is than your underbust. The underbust measuring part is easy. The full bust part, however, was harder for me because I am nursing and it fluctuates throughout the day. I learned that the most accurate full bust measurement for me in determining my cup size for this bra was measuring my full bust with a well fitting SPORTS bra on. My measurements when wearing my supportive regular bras were too big and not helpful.
Adjusting the straps. The pattern has markings for all 4 straps on the strappy back version so that it is easy to place them. I suggest trying them on with each bra and removing length from the straps until you have the perfect fit. Also make sure that you like exactly where your straps ended up. It is so much easier to try it on and make sure that you like it, than rip out stitches when you finish (ask me how I know!). The great thing about making the nursing option on the pattern is that you can wait until the very end to check strap length. I noticed that I removed a different amount of length on some bras, probably due to the different fabric that I used.
Two of the bras that I made for this post have nursing clips in them so that they are very easy to breastfeed in. I really wished I would have had this pattern when my baby was a newborn! I would have made all the comfy lounge bras from my scraps while I was pregnant.
I paired all three of my bras in the photos with Super G tights (I blogged about those here). I think it is pretty awesome now I can make one to match each of my pairs of athletic tights!
Clear Elastic. The Power Sports Bra uses clear elastic to stabilize all the main seams. I found that the clear elastic is NOT Optional. Both of the black/white bras above were made according to the pattern, which means that I used the 1/4 inch clear elastic as recommended in all the seams. It really makes for a supportive bra, and it also means that I have to use nursing clips to be able to get access for nursing because I can't just pull the neckline down comfortably.
On the next bra I want to show you (the orange bra), I did not use nursing clips and did not put elastic in the seams. The neckline pulls down easily, which means that I will not be running in this bra. It will be for lounging or lower impact activities like a good long walk.
Straps. Another lesson that I learned when making the bra was that my favorite method for sewing the straps is the one shown in the instructions. The instructions have you sew the straps with a zig zag on your sewing machine, leaving about 1/8 of an inch to the right of the clear elastic. This allows you to put the seam on the back when you turn your straps right side out. It also made the straps lay much flatter. Also, DO NOT leave out the clear elastic in your straps or your bra will have no support!
On this orange bra, I used my serger and fed the clear elastic right into the seam. I felt that they were more tube like and not as professional looking as I would like. I shot a video of me sewing the straps on bra number 6, so send me a message if you need more info, and I will load it onto youtube.
To say I am excited about my new bras is an understatement. I hope you were inspired by my post and get the courage to sew a new sports bra for yourself as well!!
- You can purchase the Power Sports Bra pattern HERE. It comes with layers so that you can easily print out just your size instead of ALL the sizes that are included in the pattern.
- You can find the Super G Tights pattern HERE.
- The tank top I am wearing in some of the photos is the Xpress tank.
- All of the fabrics in this post came from Wherehouse Fabrics Dallas, except the orange and pink supplex. They came from my sweet friend Aimee!
- I bought my clear elastic on Amazon HERE.
- I bought the nursing bra clips from Simply by Ti HERE.
Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the pattern. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.