Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pin-Up Girls Shelley Bra Review

I'm bound and determined to make well-fitting bras for myself. Bra making is not for everyone but if you are not happy with the fit of RTW bras, what have you got to lose? Since my recent discovery of using a "bra frame" I'm even more excited about making more bras.

Pin-Up Girls "Shelley" bra review

Pattern Description:
Taken from the Bra-makers web page: The designer bra you've been waiting for from Pin-up Girls! This stylish full band bra can be made with or without underwires and features a power bar for push-ahead support, as well as a split lower cup for extra room. It has been specially designed to use with Simplex and other low-stretch fabrics, which give the best support and a flattering profile. This pattern is available in 90 sizes. Be sure to pick the size range that suits your needs. Each pattern has 20 sizes included in the envelope! The patterns have both French and English instructions!

Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn't use the instructions as this is not the first bra I've ever sewn and I have a construction method I'm satisfied with. I will say that I did glance over them and advise that you follow the written instructions and not the pictures. Make sure you mark your pieces properly. I'm still confused by the instruction for the straps but like I said, I used my own method

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the 4-piece cup using lace. I don't like that the cup has a very "70's" shape and don't like that not enough information is given about how much to stretch the elastic when applying.

Fabric Used:
Simplex, Powerknit and lace. The Simplex is available from Bra-makers Supply. The service is wonderful but they are located in Canada and the shipping is somewhat pricey. The Powerknit is from Sew Sassy Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I used an E-cup but wound up removing about a 1/4" from the cup to take some of the "point" out. I used the band from the Anne St. Claire "Queen Bra Elite" pattern and added hook and eyes for the back 4 hooks high. I also drafted my own straps.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'll use the cups again now that I have the right shape and fit. This is a full-coverage bra and is not suitable for deep-v necks or otherwise cleavage "showing" garments.

I would not recommend this as a first bra-making attempt but if you're experienced I think it is a nice one to have in your stash. I'd also recommend reading this post.


  1. You have done a great job. I sometimes think about making my own bras, but don't have any idea how to even start. Maybe you should think about doing a Craftsy Bra Making class. I am sure (me being one) there are ladies out there that would love to make a good fitting bra but are afraid to even attempt it.

  2. You are going to inspire me to give bra making a stab.

  3. Beautiful bra. Your tip for trying a new cup pattern to a band in your previous post is very good!

  4. Thanks for all the tips. It looks a lovely bra! I'm mentally stockpiling all this info to when I have the time to attempt bra making!