Thursday, April 24, 2014

Slip Sew-Along #6: Sewing the Bra Top

Ready? Ok! Start by putting a stretch needle in your sewing machine.

Next we're going to sew our darts on the bra pieces. Bring the slits you made for the dart legs together, and place a pin at the dart point.

Stitch from the notches to the point. Backstitch at the beginning, but not at the end of your stitching. Tie your thread ends together to secure.

Finger-press the dart to the center front (the side with one notch, not two). From the right side, edgestitch very close to the dart seam. Do not back stitch. Pull the threads to the wrong side and tie off (see this post if you don't know how!).

On the wrong side, trim away the dart excess next to your edgestitching.

Get out your wide stretch lace. Pin it so that one scalloped edge is flush with the neckline edge of the bra piece.

When you get to the peak of the neckline, fold the lace to form a corner. Continue to the opposite edge of the piece. 

Set your machine to a zigzag stitch. Mine is 2.5 long and 2.5 wide. Stitch along the lower edge of the lace. Do not stretch the lace or the fabric.

If your lace has small scallops (like mine), you can just stitch straight along the edge. If your lace is very scalloped, like in the picture below, you'll need to curve your stitching to follow the curve of the scallops. Take your time with this.

When you get to the fold of lace, pivot.

Here's what it will look like. My stitching is a contrast color so you can see it. Use a color to match your lace, and it will blend in completely.

Using small, sharp scissors, trim away the excess fabric from behind the lace.

Repeat on the other bra piece.

Now we're going to stabilize the neckline with 1/8" elastic. Use pattern piece number 4 as a guide to cut two pieces of elastic.

Pin the elastic to the wrong side of the neckline lace, 1/4" away from the edge of the elastic. Your elastic will be slightly shorter than your neckline.

Set your machine to a zigzag that is 1.5 wide and 3mm long. Stitch the elastic in place, stretching the elastic slightly to fit. Go slowly--that elastic is narrow! Pivot at the peak of the lace, making sure that the fold in the corner stays folded.

Repeat on the other side.

Now we're ready to stitch the center front seam. Pin the two bra pieces together, right sides together.

Set your stitch width to 1mm and your length to 3mm. This is a very narrow zigzag, sometimes called a wobble stitch. Stitch the two pieces together with a 5/8" seam allowance. Then stitch again just to the right of your first line of stitching.

Trim away excess seam allowance.

Finger press the seam to one side.

Your bra piece is finished!

We're going to put a bow at the bottom of the lace, so don't worry if it doesn't match up perfectly!

We'll sew the lower slip in the next post.

Previous sew-along posts:

Slip Sew-Along #1: Inside the Kit, Plus Other Supplies
Slip Sew-Along #2: Pre-treating Your Fabric
Slip Sew-Along #3: Picking a Size and Making Adjustments
Slip Sew-Along #4: Bust Adjustments
Slip Sew-Along #5: Cutting and Marking


  1. Wow. Your tutorial is AMAZINGLY clear. I wish you could do tutes for every single pattern that I make! I am making some shorts right now that had me scratching my head a bit. Thanks for all the wonderful instruction, and I'm looking forward to making this slip in the future when I get some time!

  2. I agree! I'm wishing I would have joined in simply for the great sewing tutorials. There are a lot of things I'm still unsure how to do. Hopefully I can jump on board with a future sew-along and learn a few things. :)

  3. Such great information! I am so trying this this weekend!

  4. I love you tutorials but I have a suggestion: iron your paper pattern pieces, it looks sloppy. I hope you don't take me wrong, I personally iron all my pieces before cutting my fabric.

  5. At risk of sounding somewhat dim, can I ask why you have to stitch close to the edge on the darts and use two rows of stitches on the seam? I have never seen that done before.

  6. Sewing with tissue paper on top just saved my machines' skipping stitch butt! It feels so good to be sewing clothing again. Thank you, Gertie!

  7. Thank you so much for this sew along. Would it be possible to include recommendations for which seams one might use a serger? I own a serger but are still unsure when to use it.

  8. Gertie, This is a great tutorial so far! Thank you for the clarity this brings. I also wanted to let you know that after doing all of my pattern adjustments, the amount of fabric you sent for the plus-size/tall kit was perfect. Thanks for adding that option. Now...I just have to keep myself from sewing ahead! ;)

  9. So cute yellow colour! You are ingenious, really !

  10. listening and reading an interesting article and a lot of helpful info I really like blogs like this

  11. you make it look sooo easy i am jealous of your ease with sewing machine


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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