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Inspired by some of my favorite yoga tops and vintage bathing suits with built-in bras, I’ve been experimenting with building shelf bras with cups (for more support and shape) into tanks, t-shirts, and bodysuits. I decided to try my method with Burda’s top with crosswise bra straps ( (07/2010 #115), which has a great, sporty design. This pattern has a backline that would show regular bra straps. I’ve shared a tutorial ( for built-in bras on my blog, but Burda’s tank pattern allowed me to expand on this method. I connected the cups with bias tape and added elastic straps to make this bra super supportive. In fact, I think even larger chested women would feel comfortable wearing this pattern. In addition to wearing this tank as a top with a skirt or jeans, I think the pattern could easily be used to make a yoga top, tankini (with quick-drying swimsuit cups), or even a sporty dress. Note: The pattern comes with a dress variation (07/2010 #113).

Technique Materials

Jersey knit
-Polyester swimsuit lining (optional)
-2 yards 1-inch wide elastic
-Ball-point needles
-Sewing pattern (


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