My first bra (Orange Lingerie Berkeley)

One of the reasons I signed up for the RTW Fast this year was to challenge myself to just sew a bra already! No, bras and underwear are not included in the official pledge, but I wanted to really challenge myself and included lingerie in my own personal pledge, as well as the regular no-clothing-purchasing ban. It may be halfway through the year but I finally did it!

This is the Berkeley bra from Orange Lingerie and it may be the prettiest thing I've ever made. I used a kit from Tailor Made (now sold out) to achieve the exact look as the sample, which I just thought was so lovely it finally convinced me to take the plunge (not really, it's a half-cup! haha) and do some sewing! I went back and forth between purchasing the Berkeley or the Harriet (from Cloth Habit) but finally decided on the Berkeley because I preferred the cross-cup seam as opposed to the more scoop cup seam on the Harriet--can you tell I don't know the technical language for this hobby yet? I have a RTW bra with seaming similar to the Harriet and it doesn't fit nicely. Plus, the lace edging on the Berkeley is just to die for, don't you think? (The main reason for leaning towards the Harriet was that my normal bra size is a 28D or 28DD, and the Berkeley starts at a 30 band.)

I went with the closest match available to my RTW size, a 30C, ignoring the sizing information for the pattern. I also shortened the back strap to the equivalent of a 28. Big mistake! The band on this bra is sadly much too short--the sizing information points out that they are using they add 4/5" method for sizing. However, with a bra strap extender adding to the back... y'all! It fits!! My biggest fear was that I would blow through all my supplies just to get a bra that fits decently--I'm thrilled.

My favorite details of this bra are on the center gore, where there is a little arch and pretty crisscrossed elastic that leads visually into the cup seam. It's really thoughtfully designed! The all-over lace is gorgeous and the fact that it's stretch lace means that I can use any little scraps to decorate coordinating underwear.

I have enough lace and lining left over to make a second bra and I think I should have enough elastic in my stash if I dig. This time, I'm sizing up one all over from a 28/30C to a 32C, which will give me more wiggle room in the band and a cup size larger in the bust. I'm hoping this second one will be near perfect and then I can make allll the lace bras. I'm so excited!! I also need to find a great tee-shirt bra pattern if I want to have a whole bra wardrobe--this one is really only designed for lace and I'm not skilled enough to start playing around with fabrics. I have the MakeBra DL03 (boring name but isn't it so cute made up?) which seems like a great contender and I want to try out the Fenway which could be really versatile in lace or jersey... off to buy more supplies!


ps: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee so excited!!!

this post may contain affiliate links.


  1. I was intrigued by your explanation of the fastening. As you have the bra fastener on the last row of hooks I wondered. I've read that the fasteners should ideally be on the middle row of hooks.
    Bra extenders are a miracle worker though. They work well where the cup size is small and the band measurement large. IE a 38 b and the like. Most bras in B end at 36!
    Very cute pink bra. Is it itchy though?

  2. Love this! I took Norma's class a few weeks back. She's a fantastic teacher and I've been totally bitten by the bra-making bug!



Back to Top