Monday, 22 June 2015

Sewing a bullet bra

I have wanted to try my hand at sewing my own lingerie for some time now, but haven't quite gotten around to it. I did muddle my way through a self drafted bullet bra when I was competing in Miss Pinup Australia, and while it looked ok for the stage, I didn't have a very good understanding of bullet bra construction, and it ended up being more like a modern bra with a pointy cover.

So I thought I'd have another go using the free pattern from Va-Voom Vintage using some scrap red and white polka dot cotton leftover from when I made a Minnie mouse blanket for my cousin's daughter almost 2 years ago. First of all I cut out all the pieces I needed. I was a bit short on fabric so one of the back pieces is a different red and white polka dot cotton, which has much larger polka dots, but close enough for my first go.

The cut out pieces
I then overlocked around the edges of the pieces and sewed the upper cup to the lower cup for both cups.

Overlocking around the edges
Then I did the spiral stitching which is supposed to help give the cups their bullet-like shape. starting the spiral stitching is probably the hardest part.

Starting the spiral stitching

Spiral Stitching, this got easier as I got further out

Almost finished the spiral stitching on the first cup

I then repeated the spiral stitching on the second cup. Once that was done, I joined the 2 cups together using a french seam. At this point I tried it on for size and decided to trim a little bit from the bottom edge of the cups as they were fractionally too big for me. The 2 pieces of the front band were then sewn together along the long straight bottom edge, then one edge was sewn along the bottom of the cups and the other edge was handstitched along the same seam, completely encasing the bottom edge of the cups.

The back band pieces were then sewn on with french seams and the raw top edge was folded down and stitched. For the closure in the back I cheated by buying a bra extender and unpicking the stitching between the section with the hooks and the section with the eyes. Then I simply sewed the pre-made sections to the ends of the back pieces. I didn't use any elastic on the band as it was a good fit for me, but it would probably fit better with the addition of some elastic. At this point it sat on my sewing table getting covered in other projects (and a few cats) as I needed to buy a set of straps to finish it off.

I finally got myself some bra straps from Spotlight (and I may have bought a few extra sets) and attached them to the bra. I wore it for the rest of the day, and while very pointy, it was super comfortable. It is a very supportive bra, and will be especially great in summer to avoid boob sweat!
Rather than taking topless selfies, here's a few photos of the bra on my mannequin. Sorry that they look a little deflated, she isn't as well endowed as me, hehe.

I really love how it has turned out, despite the stitching being a little messy in places, and the mismatched panel. I can't wait to make more of these in cute fabrics!

Anyone else tried this pattern? Or tried sewing a bullet bra from any other pattern?



  1. I want to try this so bad, I'm just terrified of scaling it to fit. I feel like adding that step to making my first bra will make it a tad too difficult :(

    1. The great thing about this project is that it only uses small amounts of fabric. just give it a go with some scraps, that way if it doesn't work out, you're not wasting any good fabric!

  2. After seeing that larger front band, I am keen to try this. I've been having bad shoulder and back pain from nursing (^ . ^'), and a custom built bra may help to avoid that! Although I'll have to change it to make it nursing friendly.

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. I would love to see how you modify it for nursing! My husband and I will be trying for a baby soon, so I may need some myself :)

  3. It looks amazing! One day, I want to try sewing my own bra, so this is quite inspiring. I love that you can personalise it and make exactly the bra you want. The polka dots are brilliant!

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. Thanks Katie! I can't wait to make some more variations!

  4. Where can one purchase a pattern? I'd love to try.


    1. Hi Imelda, I made mine using a free pattern from this site: but it is only offered in limited sizes. There are other patterns available on Etsy and such, just search for a Bullet Bra Pattern. Hope this helps :)