There could be several reasons why to add foam cups to a bralette. It can provide a nice shape, add support/comfort/coverage, or prevent nipples from showing through. Pattern drafting, whether it is for “normal” clothing or lingerie, can be intimidating. In this blog post, it is my goal to show you just how simple it is to draft and sew foam cups for the Barrett bralette.
WHAT IS POLYLAMINATE FOAM?
There are different names and types of foam that you can use for DIY lingerie. Generally speaking, it is a layer of foam that has been laminated with fabric on one or both sides. Just a few names include bra foam, polylaminate foam, foam bra padding, cut & sew sheet foam, or just sheet foam. I’m sure there are even more names for it. The thicknesses, qualities and type of fabric lamination can vary – my favorite is 1/8″ thick polylaminate foam (that’s what I call it). You can purchase it in white, beige and black in the Lingerie Notions & Trims section of the webshop.
USING POLYLAMINATE FOAM
The #1 thing to keep in mind with foam is bulk. Polylaminate.foam.is.bulky! So, you want to turn it back at least as possible and when you can, eliminate seam allowances. You may be asking, “If you eliminate the seam allowances, how the heck do you sew it?” Great question. The answer is, polylaminate foam usually isn’t seamed in the traditional way. It is normally butt-together and sewn with a zig-zag stitch. I demonstrate this in the video tutorial.
CAN YOU USE MOLDED CUPS?
By drafting and sewing foam cup pattern pieces, you are guaranteed that the shape of the foam is going to match the shape of the bra cup. If you purchase a pre-made molded cup online or at a store, you run the risk that it won’t be the same shape or size.
All pattern alterations and sewing are demonstrated in video at the end of this post.
PATTERN ALTERATIONS FOR THE BARRETT BRALETTE
1. Cut out foam cups for the bralette center front cup and bralette side cup pattern pieces for both left and right sides.
2. Using a pen or pencil, mark the seam allowances, which are 1/4″ all the way around except for the strap point. The strap point gets turned back 1/2″, so mark 1/2″ at this point.
3. Cut along markings.
That’s it! That’s all the pattern alterations! Now for sewing…
4. First, cut the main fabric and the lining fabric separately for the bralette center front and bralette side cup. The instructions state to use a temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the main fabric and the lining fabric of the bralette center front cup.
5. Sew the vertical seam on the bralette cups on the main fabric and the lining fabric separately. Do not clean finish as stated in the instructions.
6. To sew the vertical seam on the foam bralette cups by “butting” the edges together and sew with a wide zig zag stitch.
7. Sandwich the polylaminate foam between self and main fabric.
8. Proceed with remainder of directions as stated in PDF pattern.