Using a custom fitted Basic Bodice Block constructed previously, a detailed, step-by-step explanation of how to create a bra pattern is presented. The overall idea is that if you have your own bodice block, by following these steps you will be able to construct a custom-fitted bra pattern.

References :

1) Ann Hagar, Pattern Cutting for Lingerie, Beachwear and Leisurewear, 2nd ed., Blackwell Publishing: Oxford, 2004, 279 pp.

2) Winifred Aldrich, Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear, 5th ed., Blackwell Publishing: Oxford, 2008, 215 pp.

N.B. An additional method for determining the size of the darts has been introduced as of March 5th.

NOTE : FOR A DOWNLOADABLE PDF VERSION OF THIS, SEE http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/gedwoods-developing-a-simple-bra-pattern-from-basic-bodice-block

Technique Materials

Paper, pencil, ruler, , tape, French curve (or dinner plate!)

27 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Mar 17, 2013, 04.31 PMby sewandgarden

    I cannot get past this page to download the bodice block. I did download the File Viewer but it did not take me anywhere. Please help. Thanks.

  • Missing

    Aug 28, 2012, 05.45 AMby JustJanet

    I wasn’t able to download the PDF with the instructions. Is the link correct?

  • Missing

    Jan 24, 2012, 09.48 PMby Squirelly TheRed

    I have been unable to find a downloadable .pdf for this technique, and I really wanted one, and I know others have asked for it. So, I made one. Hope this helps!


    1 Reply
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      Jan 25, 2012, 01.49 AMby gedwoods

      AWESOME! I put a pointer in to the main text for this.

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    Jun 18, 2011, 03.26 PMby abicairns

    could you send me a link to the bodice block tutorial please? thanks! xx

    1 Reply
    • Photoge01_large

      Jun 18, 2011, 11.23 PMby gedwoods

      Just look up my techniques within my studio and you’ll find it along with several others.

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    Apr 29, 2011, 12.06 AMby Jnettistitches

    I was looking for you email since I updated my pc and lost it. I love your new site. You are amazing and so motivating. I am working up a bra making intstructions book for a class I would like to teach. You helped me with the pattern with this great tutorial. I would love to know what you think about my plans and if you have seen an interest in bra making among those who visit your site and this tutorial. Your insight on my pattern problems were great. Thanks for any comments or advice you could give. Jnetti.

    1 Reply
    • Photoge01_large

      Apr 29, 2011, 02.23 AMby gedwoods

      Hi Jnetti, you can always reach me through my company email these days, “info@gdotmoda.com”. Your initiative sounds super! I really haven’t done as much as I would like to have done with the bra development, and now my company is taking up pretty well all my “loose time” to get my current set of projects produced in hundreds of copies. I do intend to introduce some lingerie elements into my products, but this won’t be for a few years now as there are other priorities. I do think there is a need to “take back” the process of making items such as bras from the big companies, so your initiative certainly carries this project forward. As for popularity, the bra tutorial has been viewed nearly 30000 times since it was posted – it is one of the most popular tutorials on BurdaStyle. So yes, I think people are interested! Good luck with everything, and let me know how the class and book works out!

  • Missing

    Mar 30, 2011, 11.02 PMby dazzlebmw

    did anyone get the pdf instructions on this? It is my first time on this site and I can not seem to find the right way to download

  • Missing

    Mar 7, 2011, 11.15 PMby denisium

    thx mister, this is useful tutorial U’re so generous, thank You :) keep giving us more of your knowledge :):):)

  • Missing

    Dec 25, 2010, 04.24 AMby thatcutegirl

    Great! Been looking for something like this.

    Was wondering if you had a pattern for a swim-suit like thing? I’m trying to reconstruct Brittney’s “I’m A Slave For You” Top (what Brittney was wearing in Glee’s cover) as a swimsuit.


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    Oct 21, 2010, 06.22 AMby Kelsey Edwards

    hi can any one who has used this block to construct a bra from please share with me a picture of the end result? i am sure that it is wonderful but i am going for a particular look and want to make sure i will achieve this :)

  • Fashionista_large

    Aug 26, 2010, 12.22 PMby ladyedirin

    Hi there? how do i get the pdf instructions for this bra pattern

  • Fashionista_large

    Aug 26, 2010, 12.22 PMby ladyedirin

    Hi there? how do i get the pdf instructions for this bra pattern

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    Jul 28, 2010, 03.06 PMby rifqafg

    Thank you very much! I hope this will be a good shape bra…………….

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    Feb 1, 2010, 01.24 PMby hexo

    Thank you so much. I will transform this into a bra dress, that I’m dying to make.

  • Missing

    Dec 4, 2009, 02.55 PMby xxyyzz

    i cant wait to try this out!!!!! thanks

  • Photoge01_large

    Mar 3, 2009, 11.00 AMby gedwoods

    I think you could follow the same general steps leaving your darts where they are, and move them once you have the bra outline in place. Like for a blouse, you can swivel the bra darts around the bust point into almost any location that suits. Try it out on a muslin shell.

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    Mar 3, 2009, 03.51 AMby Zyanya Walker

    thankyou so much for this how-to. i have been wanting to do this for so long but havent found much info in the internet, that was free anyway!

    im worried about trying it though because my bodice sloper has under-arm darts and waist darts but no shoulder dart so i dont know how i would go about it. i think i will have to remake a new sloper.

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    Mar 1, 2009, 06.41 PMby kora-bean

    Thanks, this helps. And I am really pleased that you shared this how-to. Bras are my nemesis. I am beginning to design clothes so that bra structures are built right in, and understanding the mechanics is very important (as I know you know).

    Any plans to create a how-to on corsets?

  • Photoge01_large

    Mar 1, 2009, 11.59 AMby gedwoods

    Essentially, you are removing the ease that was introduced into the basic bodice block. The bra has to be skin tight in the bust dimension – you don’t want any ease in it, so you reduce the width of the bodice block to exactly half the bust width. The ease is taken out of the underarm area in this design – it’s why I didn’t draw in the middle waist dart, because the overlapping operation removes it from consideration anyways!

    In my books, at least some of the bra strap should have stretch, no doubt at the back if the cups and front of the bra are made stretch free, because you are working so close to the true bust size and small measurement errors are going to be important. In the design I proposed here, the strap behind the side seam has stretch in it, but the front does not. You could put stretch into the front too, in which case you might want to break the side seam at the forward front seam, not the side seam, where I’ve split things. Hope that helps. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

    (In fact, I’m not entirely happy about the horizontal darts – I may go back to a vertical dart design… but the process as laid out obviously encourages variations in design choices, and making up a bra once you’ve a pattern is not all that time consuming or expensive in terms of fabric, so you could easily experiment with more than one variation before finding one you like!)…

  • 223e58ec190aead2945686fb1df52ea4442bad3a_large

    Mar 1, 2009, 06.33 AMby kora-bean

    I want to try this ASAP. It is a fabulous breakdown of the steps involved. There’s just one thing: I am not clear on the 2nd step. I don’t quite understand how much to overlap the two blocks to achieve the exact body measurement—isn’t that the measurement it was originally measured for? If you could clarify that for me, I would be quite happy. Thanks!

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    Feb 28, 2009, 02.27 AMby artistlarge

    thank you so much for the great tutorials…

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    Feb 25, 2009, 09.09 AMby redoubt

    Wow! I must try this!

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    Feb 24, 2009, 08.40 PMby bajmie

    Thank you, I really would like to try this some day. I love making my own lingerie!

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    Feb 24, 2009, 08.05 AMby arsonista

    whoa, nice work! i know you have been posting about bra patterns but it looks like you’ve got it in hand now. (har!)

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    Feb 24, 2009, 07.27 AMby akwa

    Genial! I never thought I would find such knowledge! Thank you!

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    Feb 23, 2009, 02.06 AMby lybu

    Thank you. This is what I needed.

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    Feb 21, 2009, 05.08 PMby camilaustral

    this sounds great!!! thanks!

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    Feb 21, 2009, 02.59 PMby stephiaffi

    Thanks a lot! This is great!

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