by Caitlin Krause
Hello friends! I am so glad to be here showing you how I made this modified Power Sports Bra, The Braided Power Bra! I am Caitlin, and I blog over at Luna & Laika. :)
First up, I’m going to show you how I altered the back pattern piece to get the angled edges going down. You’ll start with the front side piece and the strappy cross back piece.
I am going to show you with my solid front hacked piece, but it would be the same if you are using the normal front pieces.
First, trace the strappy cross back piece onto a blank piece of paper. Draw a line up about ⅜” from about 1.5” from the fold line. Then, draw an angled line up to the top of the side.
Now you have your new back piece! You will need to cut two of these of main fabric and two with lining fabric (mirror images).
Another slight modification you can do to eliminate those side seams is to tape the front side and new back piece together and cut your fabric as one piece. Remember mine is shown with the solid front hack so I have one large piece. If you use the normal front, you would have the front center and the two mirrored front side/back combo pieces.
You will need to cut 6 straps. The length will vary based on your size. I cut mine around 24” long, but ended up chopping off a couple of inches. Please keep in mind I am 5’8” and wear a 34A in the Power Bra, so you may need longer straps.
Moving onto construction:
Sew your main pieces together as normal, and your lining pieces together as normal (unless you cut them as one, then you can skip this step).
Then, place your main and lining pieces right sides together and sew the front neckline per the pattern, adding in your clear elastic.
Next, place three of your straps on the top angled edge of your lining. Make sure the back of the straps are on top of the RIGHT side of the lining. Pin or clip into place and baste. Check placement and repeat on the other side.
Place your main fabric right side down on top of the side and back piece, sandwiching the basted straps in the middle.
Baste the two layers together on both sides. The following photos show the same step, but different angles. I like to lay the two sides on top of each other to make sure they are even at this step.
Sew with a stretch stitch or serge with clear elastic from the front to the back on both sides. Leave long serger tails (or threads) at the back on both sides. You now have the main and lining assembled together.
Next up, I tie my serger tails together so in the next steps I can try the bra on to check fit. The back corners should be about 3” apart.
Next up comes the braiding! Now, turn the bra right side out. I turn my bra around so I can braid easier. Place weights on the bra so it doesn’t move around.
Start with one of the middle straps. I start over, under, over.
Take the next two and braid (or weave) them through the straps on the other side.
Next, you’ll repeat using the outermost straps.
And the other side.
Keep repeating to your desired length.
When I am satisfied with the length, I try my bra on. This is where the tied bottom comes in handy! At this step, you want to make sure the back pieces are close enough to give you support. You may need to adjust the distance to what works best with your body.
I then pull the straps to the front and mark where they need to attach.
Turn your bra inside out and carefully place your straps through the front, making sure the right side of the straps is against the right side of the main fabric. Baste both sides and try on again to double check placement. Once you have the straps at your desired length, stitch the front where the straps connect and cut off any excess of the straps.
When I am satisfied with the braid placement, I sew the straps at the top with my sewing machine so the braid stays in place.
The final steps are attaching the bottom band. Make sure to leave the 3” space in the back. I make sure to baste prior to serging or sewing with a stretch stitch. Don’t forget to add in your elastic in the band at this step (I usually omit the elastic).
Your final step is to push the seam down toward the band and topstitch. This will keep the seam in the back between the angled back pieces from showing!
And there you have it! You’ve made your Braided Power Sports Bra!