Ok, how many of you have discovered during this time that we should have ditched bras long ago? I, like many of you, HATE them. lol. So, I've decided to never wear them again!...except for times when I'm not wearing an undershirt, which is very rare. For those times, I plan on designing a bra that is super comfy. That'll be for another day. For now, I figured since I almost always wear an undershirt, why not convert them to a bra alternative?
You might wonder why I don't just buy shelf bra camisoles. My answer? Because they still have elastic around the torso which I do not want, and because I own like 20 camisoles which I like the fit of so I have no need to buy more.
This process may not work for those with larger breasts, but for those who belong to the IBTC, you might find this to be a good solution for you as well!
Here's what I did:
First, I traced the top of the front of one of my camisoles, as indicated by the red lines.
Note that store bought items made in knit fabric are almost always skewed so I folded my traced pattern and kind of averaged out the difference so that it would be even on both sides.
I cut out my pattern in a lightweight bamboo/cotton knit, which you can find in my Etsy shop here.
I also cut out two rectangles at 75% the length of the curve that corresponds to the armhole by a width of 1". In my case, 75% of 4 1/4" was about 3 1/8".
I attached those pieces to the "armhole" curve with the serger (right sides together) but it can also be done on a sewing machine. You'll have to stretch the rectangle as you go.
Then I folded the rectangle over to the wrong side and sandwiched the seam between the rectangle and the main piece and used a zig zag stitch to finish the edge. There will be about a 1/4 strip of extra fabric on the back side which you can just trim off. Below you can see what it looks like from the front and the back once this step is done.
Pictured here is the right side of the camisole and the right side of the insert facing up. I zigzag stitched the two together along the top edge of the camisole. I'll show below what this looked like from the right side and the wrong side once this step was done.
With the top edges sewn together, I then folded the attached piece down in place on the inside of the camisole and pinned the two side seams together and sewed them with a zigzag stitch over the camisoles side seams.
At this point all I had left to do was tack down the bottom of the attached piece. I made sure I smoothed it out and that it was completely flat on the camisole. I pinned the bottom down and rolled the bottom of the camisole up so it would be easy for me to sew this edge.(I pinned the top too to make sure it wasn't curling toward the front of the camisole.) Again, I used a zigzag stitch.
Here's what it looked like on the front side when it was done.
The opening in the armhole allows you to insert cups when needed for full coverage but no added constriction! Goodbye bras!!
Here is a link to the cup inserts similar to mine except the edges come already finished. (I had to finish mine on the serger.)
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission for purchases made through my links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!