Epic Bra Making Fail | Amanda Bra

I’m cringing- This is my second bra making attempt. It started out bad and just got worse. Grab a cup of coffee.

Epic Bra Making Fail- newbie bra making struggles

This is The Amanda Bra pattern, available at Bra-Makers Supply. It assumes some knowledge of bra making and I clearly have none; so I can’t review it yet.

Let me try to start from the beginning, and explain this epic bra making fail.

Bra Making: The Amanda Bra pattern

The Amanda Bra pattern includes the cradle and wings, and you use purchased foam moulded cups. It’s designed for the $10 a pair cups from Bra-Makers Supply. I reviewed some bra kits I purchased there, and while the quality is good, you’re paying a lot to have your bra making supplies sourced for you. I couldn’t bite the bullet for cups at that price.

I ordered some cups from Licorice & Cream for $1.53 a pair. It took a while for them to get here from Austrailia, but they are awesome and they fit and THEY WERE $1.53.

That’s a lot of back tracking, but it gets me to the first sign of trouble whilst making this bra: My cups weren’t designed for this pattern.

*Hindsight is 20/20, and now I realize that it wouldn’t be difficult to redraft the cradle and bands to match the cup. I cut the cup in the armpit area and smoothed it down to the apex instead. This created a super plunge bra lacking support in the upper cup.

Bra Making: Amanda Bra from Pinup Girls

The next issue was covering the cup. You use a very stretchy material and sort of shape it to the cup and mark it to form the cup cover. The trick is to do it in a manner that doesn’t cause the cup to buckle or collapse.

Well, mine was buckling. Instead of starting over, I decided to hand sew a few lines of stitching to secure the fabric to the cup, and give it more structure. It actually worked, and the stitches are nearly invisible. I didn’t go through both sides of foam with my needle,but just caught the surface.

*My store bought bras in this style have gathering along the bottom edge. Perhaps I need to do that in order to make the fabric accommodate the larger cup size?

Here’s the same image, zoomed in and lightened so you can see my hand stitches:

Bra Making Lessons I Learned Sewing The Amanda Bra from Pinup Girls

Above, you can also start to another bra making problem. I realized somewhere along the way that my machine can’t handle sewing the foam pads. That’s hand stitching on the stretch crochet lace, too. The lace sort of flops over like it’s sad. Normally this bra wouldn’t have lace on the top of the cup, but I wanted it on the bands and didn’t know how to end it without looking weird. Lots of newbie issues.

*I tried different needles, stitches, pressor feet, and thread- I really think my sewing machine just can’t foam pad. I’m not giving up, but I now own a vintage Singer 206K25. Once I get it running, it will eat bras for breakfast!

Bra Making: The Amanda Bra from Pinup Girls

I realized almost as soon as I began sewing this bra that a regular strap wasn’t going to do it. A cage strap like this (affiliate link) would would give enough support to the upper cup to fix the upper side gape. Since I didn’t have any more of the fucshia strapping, and was too lazy to dye more, I just kept going.

I have a finish rule…I hate UFO’s. But I can’t get past the ugly and skipped stitches. That last strap never did get finished. I took pictures to show you and then salvaged my hardware.

Newbie bra sewing mistake: the hooks are sewn on backwards

These hooks are sewn in backwards. I didn’t realize until bra #3 that the ends of most hook and eye sets open up like bias tape. You can sew one side at a time for neater stitches. I was sewing like crap by the time I got to that strap- if I was going to force a finish I needed to do it right or stop way sooner.

Bra Making: Amanda Bra pattern from Pinup Girls

All of that lace is hand stitched…I would need another row of hand stitching to secure it.

Bra Making: Hand Dyed Underwire Casing and Straps

Here’s the underwire casing, hand dyed to match the straps and elastic. It’s also sewn in by hand- too many skipped stitches whenever I sewed it to the foam.

Side note- I knocked my timing out twice trying to make a rag rug last year. I love my machine but was raised on an old Singer, and my first machine was a big Blue Singer industrial. Newer machines (and plastic machines in general) hurt my heart.

Sewing A T-Shirt Bra

I mentioned bra #3- I’ve already made another one. I crawled back to the Watson like a coward. (Love that pattern.) I plan to attempt a soft cup bra pattern and tweak the fit until I get my new old baby running.

To sew for myself I’m just going to have to slow down. I now have a bra fail under my belt and an unfinished romper lying crumpled in the corner- in a sewing room doesn’t have unfinished projects.

A lot more effort and time goes into sewing garments for yourself. Maybe that’s why I’ve never had a lot of UFOs…I’ve mostly stuck to easier, less time consuming projects. I like to clean between each project because I can’t work in a messy space.

I’m starting to see how one would need to take a break from a more complicated garment and work on several things at once. My attention span is equivalent to a 3 year old so I’m scared to let multiple projects sit at once. I’m pretty sure they will multiply at an uncontrollable rate.

Anyhow, I’m ready for some sewing “growth” so I have to change some sewing habits. I may write about WIPs and new techniques rather than showing a finished project each week. There will be more bra making:)

I’m curious about your sewing habits- do you work on several things at once, or have a strict finish policy?

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Self Drafted High Low Tunic in French Terry

French Terry Top with High Low Hem

Have you ever messed up a ridiculously easy sewing project? That’s how this self drafted high low tunic happened. And the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. It’s not awful, I think it’s super cute actually. But I only because I stopped before it got completely butchered.

High Low French Terry Top

This is French Terry that I won at Sew Country Chick a while back. I love the striped front and the neon loopy side equally, so I wanted a tunic with raw hems and neckline. I had to have both sides! Unfinished edges with contrasting colors are so trendy right now.

French Terry Top with High Low Hem

The first thing I did wrong was try to draft my own pattern. I don’t like drafting, I really don’t. There’s a balance between trying new things and knowing your weaknesses. I know for a dang fact that I hate drafting, and even if I were good at it; I’d still hate it. That’s 30 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

Self Drafted French Terry Tunic | SewsNBows

So I cut the front too low, in fact she’s wearing this tunic backwards right now. Yeah. And above, you can see the nice high low effect I was going for. But it’s in backwards, so I guess that makes it low-high. Sigh.

Self drafted high low tunic (worn backwards!)

I left the sleeves long and rolled them up. They are perfect for a giraffe. I’m thinking it might fit her well next year as a top, so I kept the length. Apparently I’m not capable of measuring, so I’ll just hack the sleeves/hem to the appropriate lengths when she grows into it.

Self Drafted High Low Tunic

I’ve had a series of projects that aren’t fitting my niece right. It’s really hard to sew and draft on nothing but measurements. I have such respect for women who make clothing to sell, or send to far away loved ones.

Girls Self Drafted High Low Tunic | SewsNBows

The bow is a winner though!

Double Stacked Neon Bow | SewsNBows

Flat drafting is something I’ll never enjoy. I also dislike using a rotary cutter, matching stripes in knit fabric, and shirring on a Brother. (Other machines are fine.) What sewing tasks do you least enjoy? Is there a skill or technique that you have absolutely no desire to learn?

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Epic Fails | Christmas Edition


I will NOT be linking these photos ANYWHERE. I’m not SEOing this crap. I hope Google never, ever indexes this post with me at all. This post is only for you, the loyal folks who read my blog. I’m going to show some of the stuff that happened during my 3 week sewing crisis. It wasn’t pretty. But it’s good for a laugh!

Way Too Small Tie | Epic Sewing Fails

Way Too Small Christmas Tie

He’s making that face because he knows this is the tie version of Fat Guy In A Little Coat.

Epic Sewing Fail: Pajamas

Horrible Christmas Pajamas #1

I have no words for this. There’s no excuse at all. Sorry for the bad photos too. These were never meant for the blog…I wish you could have seen her face. Sofie is only 2, but I swear she looked at me with pity in her eyes.

Ugly Christmas Pajamas

Horrible Christmas Pajamas #2

I didn’t have the nerve to ask Bella to put these on. They were meant to be “ugly Christmas jammas”, but not this dang ugly. I tried to size down a pattern by adding darts in front and back. Then I took the side seams are in. It was still too big, so I put a big nasty seam through the center back; all the way up the collar. I forgot to adjust the shoulders, so the shoulder seam sits a couple inches low.

I made pants too. MC Hammer pants.

Fabric Mod Podge Ornament | Epic Fail

Mod Podge Fabric Ornament Atrocity

After that, my creative block spilled over into crafting too. This looks like some sort of mummified body part. I tried some hair bows, and broke my hot glue gun.

Anyways, it went on and on. I quit taking pictures after these. There was a blouse (for me) that got thrown in the trash. A couple wadders after that I just quit sewing. I sorted my fabric, cleaned my machines, organized buttons. I’d plan a project, iron, then get my fabric on the cutting table….but I couldn’t cut! I still don’t know what happened, but I’m over it now.

I’m posting my Sally dress (sewn pre-crisis) right on top of this. I’d die if someone popped over to SewsNBows for the first time and saw this! I just hadn’t had this many epic fails in a row before and wanted to share. What about you; have you ever had a creative block? How did you snap out of it?


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Picture Frame Bow Holder

By Amy Mayen


Hi guys! I have a lot of things to tell you about- but not a lot to show yet. So check out my latest Epic Fail to break up the monotony of a lot of text! This was supposed to be a picture frame bow holder for my daughters hair clippies. I was trying out mod-podge again. Stupid Pinterest makes it look so easy!


So while you’re enjoying my hilarious craft attempt, I’ll regale you with this weeks happenings.


I finished my first Lucinda skirt from BeMyGoth! I love the waist…it’s paneled like a corset! I adore the pockets too. I can’t wait for nicer weather so I can show you. And, I’ll give you the skinny on this super cool pattern-& tell you all about Parnuuna, a very talented designer. In the meantime, check out her site & tell her I sent you. Parnuuna is the most down to earth and genuine person you will ever meet.


You’ve been giving me good feedback, and I’ve scaled my photos down to half size. I didn’t realize they were showing up so big for Windows users. So keep helping me out! If they’re still big in this post, I’ll scale down some more. I want my site to be sexay!


Also, this weekend I’m going to Dallas for some fabric shopping! I can’t wait to hit the garment district! Im not sure what to expect. I know its not big like the garment district in L.A., but I’m sure I’ll find some awesome deals. I’m going to dress WAY down so I can get my barter on. I hear if you look too nice they wont come down much on prices.


By the way, hubby’s taking me to Dallas for my birthday. It’s the big 30. Yuck! Don’t get me wrong ladies! It’s not that I think 30 is old!!! I’m grateful for every blessed day I have on this earth. It’s just….older than 29. I can’t explain it exactly, but its as if I’m saying goodbye to an era and walking into a new one. I’m not sure how I feel about it! How do/did you feel about turning 30?


My mama & gramma


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