Hi folks! I am a relatively new sewist but got into sewing bras and underwear almost as soon as I got my first (real) sewing machine. As many of us curvy/plus-size people have, I found it very difficult to find bra patterns in my size. I’ve made a few underwire bras but find that I tend to reach for soft bras more often than not. So I was so excited when House Morrighan released their inaugural Poppy Bralette in August of 2018!
Pattern description from House Morrighan: “The Poppy Bralette is a vintage-look non-wired bra featuring a two-piece cup which can be easily altered to fit a multitude of cup sizes.
There are four cup size options in this pattern to help you get that perfect fit faster.
Poppy can be sewn in a variety of stretch fabrics.”
Size range (with measurements)
The pattern is available in two ranges: 6-16 (35.6-51.4” full bust, 30.4-40.3” underbust) and 14-24 (43.5-61.7” full bust, 38.3-50.6” underbust). Both ranges include C/D, DD/E, F/G, and H/I cup sizes.
What size did you make?
What are your measurements, height, and body type? (If reviewing a top or dress, bra size is very helpful for our readers.)
49-40-53, 5’9”. I typically wear a 40DDD or 38G bra. My body type is human! But I guess I’m pear-ish.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I omitted the top edge elastic on the back band. I also reduced the length, since longline bralettes tend to roll/ride up on me. This took only a few minutes to remove the same number of inches from the front and back bands. Otherwise, I made no fitting adjustments. I did exclude the rings and sliders for the straps because, frankly, I couldn’t find them in my stash! My sewing space is in need of a good cleaning.
What fabric did you use?
I used a double-brushed poly and an activewear lining fabric, along with some small scraps of lace. It is very soft and comfortable! In the future, I will include a layer of powernet (which is actually recommended in the pattern instructions, but I wanted soft bras for my tester versions) or perhaps even bra tulle. I prefer a firm bralette! I encourage people sewing their own versions to experiment with different materials to find what they like.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
This went together like a dream! I constructed my cups slightly differently than the instructions, following this tutorial: https://missmaddysews.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/behind-the-seams-bra-lining-tutorial/
I find that if I construct the lining and main fabric layers completely separately, the seams shift a little over my bust. I feel that this alternate method gives a little more stability to the seams but it’s certainly not essential.
Otherwise, I found the instructions were very easy to follow. In particular, I love that you end up with most of the seams enclosed. Enclosed seams are so comfortable!
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I absolutely love this bralette. I found it actually ran a little big (!) which is not my experience with most sewing patterns. This is probably because of my omission of powernet. I also have a broad chest and tend to need wide cups with low projection; many underwire bra patterns require that I take volume out of the apex of the cup. For bralettes, I don’t usually take out volume, but sometimes make a smaller cup size than my measurements would indicate. This is sort of my lazy way of accounting for my low-projection chest but it works quite well. I will likely go down a cup size and/or band size in my next version for this reason.
One thing in particular that I love about this bralette is the underarm coverage! I have made the very popular Watson bra before, and while I had other fit issues, I found the underarms were cut far too low and I had too much tissue outside the cup/band. This bralette fits so much better with no fit adjustments needed other than making a different size.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
Absolutely I will! I already have a lace version cut out, and have plans to play around with some strappy details.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
Sometimes the bits and bobs for bras can be annoying (or very fun, depending on how you feel about shopping) to source. Since I’m on a budget, I often save old bras and recycle their straps/sliders, hook and eyes, etc. for my muslins. Bras are one of those things that are hard to fit until they’re finished, so it’s in your best interest to make it fully, then evaluate. Go through all the steps including straps and elastics. And use the same or similar fabrics as in your final version! Don’t try to make a muslin out of soft cotton jersey if you plan to make a final version out of powernet. At least, be prepared for the fit to be different. One suggestion I have seen and plan to try is to sew tester bras with wash-out, water soluble thread. You can then sew up a full bra without wasting any materials if you need to make adjustments
I have experience sewing underwire bras, so this bralette was a snap for me. That said, I have only been sewing seriously for a few years. If you can follow instructions, you can sew this! Don’t be intimidated by bras because they have a reputation for being difficult. They’re not! Go for it!!
Size Range (1-5)
5– This pattern goes up to a 50.6” underbust and 60.7” full bust measurement.
5– Easy to follow, clear diagrams.
Construction Process (1-5)
5– I made changes based on my preferences, but they are great as-written.
Final Fit (1-5)
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation
5– This pattern has a very inclusive size range, great instructions, and lovely look. House Morrighan has been a pioneer in making lingerie patterns accessible to a much wider range of sizes. I haven’t tried their other patterns yet, but I’m confident they will have the same excellent drafting, instructions, and fit!