Completed Projects · Lingerie · Pattern Review

Shelley Bra

After my success with a wireless bra I wanted to try my hand at a bra with more structure and support.

I ordered the Shelley Bra Pattern in the fall and after watching the Craftsy course by Beverly Johnson, the designer of this pattern, I was set to give it a try.  Definitely can recommend the course – it was very thorough, covering everything from fabric selection, construction, then modifying the fit once you’ve completed a sample bra.

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I have previously ordered online from Bra-makers Supply and been very happy with them.   However, I was lucky enough to go to their Hamilton store (and the first ever Tim Hortons just down the block, lol) while we were in Ontario for Christmas! The staff was so helpful and I was able to stock up on Ivory coloured supplies and choose underwire in person.   I have several beautiful stretch laces from previous online orders so I am ready for lots of bra experiments now.

This is my first go at the Shelley pattern with no adjustments, just choosing the size recommend based on my measurements. With high bust 35″, full bust 38″ and under bust 33″ I choose size 34c.  I’m very impressed with how it fits as is.  I will likely make some very minor adjustments next time but this one certainly fits well enough to wear. I think it might actually be more comfy than the 3 RTW bras I currently have!

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There were 4 full sized pages of instructions with pictures for most steps.  I do think having watched the video class saved me a bit of frustration and seam ripping though. Even with all the written detail seeing somebody doing it in 3D is so much better.  There was only one section in the pattern where I was momentarily confused by the drawing in the instructions. As shown below when I sewed my 2 lower cup pieces together, then opened them up  it looked more like what I’ve drawn in on the lower left photo.  My pattern notches had matched though so I kept going and ignored my confusion with the picture.  So, needless to say, making the notch markings on your pieces (with a washable marker) is very important for this pattern!

Practice makes perfect and I’m hoping to get good enough to make my best friend a bra. Is it weird to gift a friend a bra? 🤔

I’m very impressed with the final tally on cost.  Even including the full price of the patten I came in at less than a purchased RTW bra, and I’ll definitely be using this pattern again!

Total cost $19.06
  • Hook & Eye closure $2.41 – ArteCrafts
  • Ivory stretch lace $1.00 – Sew Sassy Fabrics
  • 1/2″ Strap Elastic $1.00 – Bra-Makers Supply
  • 1/2″ Band elastic $2.00 – Bra-Makers Supply
  • 3/8″ Band elastic $2.70 – Bra-Makers Supply
  • Underwires $2.50 – Bra-Makers Supply
  • Duoplex fabric $3.60 – Bra-Makers Supply
  • Channeling $1.35 – Bra-Makers Supply
  • Thread approx $0.50
  • **update – Jan 31/16 – I missed a item used** Stretch mesh for band $2.00 – Bra-Makers Supply
Pattern cost $20.00 CAD
Next time
  • Taller back band or leotard back
  • Attempt to adjust cup shape to be slightly rounder
  • Raise cup edge slightly at underarm and lower at center chest
  • Boning in side seams
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