If you’re enjoying an active lifestyle, whether it’s yoga, running or kick boxing, a Sports Bra is necessary equipment. And, with prices ranging from $30 – $70 in ready-to-wear, those of us who sew have a valuable advantage. We can sew our own! Let’s start with a few things you’ll need to know, then you can choose one of the three terrific designs I’ve found for you.
For comfort, look for a fabric that’s breathable and has at least 50% stretch in all four directions. A breathable fabric will “wick” moisture away from your body while you’re active, but it does not need to be cotton. Today’s nylon or rayon and spandex activewear fabrics are structured in a way that leaves tiny spaces between fibers to keep you cool. For support and compression in a Sports Bra without cups, you can add a layer or two of Power Net (above) without compromising comfort since you’re in control!
Thread, Stitches and Needles
For seams, the pattern or tutorial you choose may advise setting your sewing machine for a small zigzag if you’re not using a serger. But . . . Coats and Clark’s new Eloflex Stretch Thread means you can toss that advise aside and use just a straight stitch on your machine. Lucky you to be sewing a Sports Bra now that we have this marvelous thread to use! A double needle finish is also a great place to use Eloflex and it works beautifully in your bobbin, too. Click here for more info about the magic of this thread. Use a ball point or stretch, excellent quality needle, such as Schmetz, for best results and to avoid skipped stitches and holes in your fabric. A walking foot will also be very helpful when sewing up your Sports Bra, if you have one for your machine.
DIY Sports Bra
Jess of the Sewing Rabbit blog just didn’t want to spend the $30+ on a Sports Bra anymore – so she made her own! She created a simple, comfortable design that’s super quick and easy to stitch up and uses minimal materials. Jess includes very nice pictures of all angles of her Sports Bra so you can see just how it fits and looks on a real body. Although many Sports Bras include elastic that is sewn to the openings, Jess’ design has the elastic threaded through a channel in the bra. Again, super-easy! You’ll enjoy this post and find the Sewing Rabbit DIY Sports Bra a great place to start. Click here for the tutorial.
The Ultimate Sports Bra
Mayra of the So Sew Easy blog wanted a Sports Bra that was economical, but also offered vital support as well as comfort. Being a clever and generous sewist, she designed her own and shared it as a free pattern on her blog! It’s a wonderful design, with princess-type seams for shaping, optional bra pads and a racerback styling to keep you secure. Mayra starts with a helpful discussion on choosing fabric that you’ll definitely want to read. She moves on to machine stitches and needles, then jumps right into how to sew up your Sports Bra. The PDF pattern download is free, but you will need to go to the So Sew Easy Craftsy page for the download. All in all a great tutorial and pattern that is well enough worded for even a beginner to follow! Click here for the Ultimate Sports Bra on the So Sew Easy blog.
Peek a Boo Vitality Racerback Sports Bra & Tank
If you’re ready for a more advanced design that includes an optional built-in bra, the Peek a Boo Vitality Racerback Sports Bra Pattern is perfect! Designed by blogger, Amy, it offers sizes XXS – XXXL, so it’s just right for almost everyone. The Vitality is available on Etsy or the Peek a Boo Pattern Shop as a PDF instant download for just $9.00. A far cry from what you’ll spend on a store-bought Sports Bra and you can make your own as often as you like! Along with your pattern download, you’ll receive full color instructions, so you’ll be all set to sew. Amy’s fabulous pattern also includes a Tank view and an optional, nominal fee, add-on Maternity Pack for those sporting a baby bump this season. Click here to visit the Peek a Boo Pages blog and learn more about Amy’s wonderful pattern.
Now it’s time to get active . . . with your sewing machine! Choose a fabric, choose a pattern, measure carefully and exercise your sewing muscles. And, while you’re at it, make several. You can easily be your own Sports Bra factory!