Bra-A-Week: Week 23

Jun 21, 2015 | Swimwear Makes | 23 comments

Hi All,

Today I have possibly the cutest bathing suit ever! Sorry if this post is a little pic-heavy- but I just love this suit!

I attribute these last two suits as a repercussion of too many sporty suits in the weeks before. I just can’t keep my girly side in for that long!

For this suit I wanted to bring it back to my bra-making roots and make a balconette style bra-top, with a long line frame and matching high-waisted bottoms! I am really loving the proportions on this too! longline with high waisted bottoms!

The back is pretty simple, just high-waisted bottoms with a centre back seam, and a row of three G hooks for fastening.

There are lots of little details in this suit!! And being a retro style suit there is a lot of ruching – on the upper piece of the cup, and the centre front panel of the bottoms, which I think worked out really well with the gingham!

And mom made me a flower headband to match!! But now let’s get into the details of the suit!

The cup is a strapless-style cup that I drafted for myself. It is a three piece with two lower cup pieces and a horizontal seam with one upper cup piece. As usual with a strapless style it comes up quite high in the centre front and I needed extra long wires for this!

The cup is lined with peach cut & sew foam, and the fabric on the outside was made as a cover that I basted to the edges of the foam cup. and I finished the top and bottom edges of this suit with a self-binding.

I lined the frame with swimwear lining all over, with a little bridge piece of 15 denier caught between the layers to make the bridge stable.

I used underwire channelling for the side seams, and the back seam where the back G-hook straps attach so I could add some boning to the side seam and the back to make it lay flat and not crush down- like it definitely would! And I think it makes the inside of this suit look so finished, no seams showing!  (oh and the back piece I lined with powernet!)

The back was a bit of a conundrum – as I always find with a long line- how are you supposed to finish it when G-hooks only come in 1″, and I’m not a big fan of using hook and eye tape, especially in swimwear. So I figured I’d just do three straps with G-hooks. So I covered a nice 3/4″ elastic in my swim fabric, and attached the G-hooks! I love how it turned out! But you definitely need the boning on this edge or else these will not lay nice and flat. I used a 1/4″ plastic bone that I cut to the right length, and trust me- this is so comfortable! and definitely one of the sturdiest bathing suits I own, it’s not going anywhere!

Oooh I love my suit! And I just had to do a super-styled pic! Here’ me and Gibby off for a vintage-theme picnic at the beach!

I wish I was invited to a pool party! or a beach picnic!


First we have a beautiful pink set from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

This is Maddy’s first underwire bra and wow didn’t she do an amazing job! I love this! She made it using the Marlborough pattern, in pink milliskin and some light beige lace and elastics to coordinate!

And – as every beautiful bra deserves, she made a matching set of Rosy Ladyshorts to go with them! Wow this set is SO pretty! Don’t forget to check out Maddy’s post over on her blog! She goes over her bra with lots of details!

Next we have a fancy longline from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

This is Sofia’s Marie Antoinette bra- and can’t you see why? All the beautiful luxurious lace! She used some white stretch lace on the cups and for the front panels with some pink power mesh and black power mesh for the back, coordinating elastics and a bow- and wow! what a difference those little details make!

She made this bra using the pattern she drafted for her first bra, making a few adjustments for the wire. And don’t you love this inside finish of those cups- just as luxurious on the inside as the outside! Don’t forget to check out Sofia’s post about her beautiful creation!

Next we have another lacy beauty from Monserratt Lopez of Mexican Pink!

Monserratt made this gorgeous bra using the Classic Pin-Up Girls pattern, with some sheer cup lining and black lace, lovely!! She definitely pulled out all the stops on this bra with an internal power bar and boning on the side seams- fantastic!

She said she feels so sexy in this bra and I can see why- absolutely gorgeous, it’s so important to feel gorgeous- and bras can definitely do that! Don’t forget to check out Monerratt’s post over on her blog!


Once again I am completely blown away by the submissions this week! You are truly out-doing yourselves! Gorgeous! You ladies keep me so inspired!

Don’t forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! To grab a challenge button and to send your bra for next week to by Friday for the next Sunday post!!

You can also check out Week 1Week 2 , Week 3 , Week 4 , Week 5 , Week 6 , Week 7,  Week 8 , Week 9 , Week 10Week 11 , Week 12 , Week 13 , Week 14Week 15 , Week 16Week 17 , Week 18,  Week 19 , Week 20,  Week 21 and Week 22 of this challenge for more amazing bras! (this list is really getting ridiculous- I need to find a better way!)

Hope you’re all having a very lovely Sunday, and that you give your dad a big hug if it’s father’s day in your country!!

xo erin



  1. Rosemary Griffin

    Your swim suit is amazing. Lots of people will want a pattern for that one. Everyone created lovely bras.

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Rosemary! I'll keep that in mind 🙂

  2. Miss J

    Flipping heck Erin! How are you churning these out so fast?

    Ps have you had Dita Von Teese knocking on your door for a swimsuit yet?

    Love your posts, if only I could make swimwear!

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks! I think it's partly due to the daytime-lighting that my dad just installed in my sewing room, I'll stay up until 2:30 in the morning sewing and not know it's the middle of the night until I finally look at the clock!

      I really hope Dita does knock on my door (Dita- if you're reading this- you can pop over any time!)

      And anyone can make swimwear!! I believe in you!

  3. stitchstudy

    My sister has been asking for a longline like this, but figuring out how to close it up in the back was an issue. I love your idea of the three straps!

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks! I've had that issue for a while, wondering how I could do it- then this idea came to me- I highly recommend it!

  4. monserrattlopez

    Hi dear, I am totally in love with your swimming suit!! I is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the inside and going into a bit of the construction details. I may one of these days give swimmingsuits a try.
    You should definitely show it off at a pool party! 🙂

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks! and I would definitely try swimwear- it's my favourite! 🙂 I was thinking of doing some posts in the future where I go over all the swimwear I've made in detail and show all the construction. I loved your contribution this week too!! 🙂

  5. Ariana Bauer

    I love your suit! What kind of foam do you use in the cups? Yours are shaped so beautifully.

    • EmeraldErin

      Thank Ariana! I use the cut & sew foam or pre-finished foam padding. I buy mine at Bra-maker's Supply. The shape all comes down to the bra draft though- I like a shape that is more round, but still shapely.

  6. Shannon

    Wow, this swimsuit is amazing! I love the ruching, the gingham, and everything – so gorgeous! I'm also a little in awe of your drafting abilities. I'm only just starting to get into bra-making, and I can't imagine drafting a bra (or swimsuit) pattern for myself (although it would probably fit better than the patterns, so maybe I should give it a try!)

    I'm a new follower here and I love your Bra-a-Week posts! I love seeing all the bras that people have made – it really makes me want to give bra-making another go!

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Shannon!! Definitely give bra-making and swimwear another go- it's amazing! I personally prefer a self-draft over patterns (because they are based on your measurements). But it can be a little hard to learn from a book without guidance. I might do a post on some tips for self-drafting!

      I'm so happy you're enjoying the challenge- make sure to send in any projects that you make 🙂 We'd love to have you in the community 🙂

  7. Rikki B

    What cute, girly suit! I love all the ruching:) Curious about the boning you used and just want to clarify. Is it regular plastic boning inserted in a channel?

    • EmeraldErin

      Thank Rikki! Yes this was a regular plastic bone that I inserted into the channel. It's a bit of a tight squeeze but it fits!

  8. Sofía

    This is gorgeous, Erin!! I'm complettely in love with the balconette style top, and it goes so well with the high waisted bottoms! The gingham fabric makes everything look so sweet. And you had a genius idea closing the top with G-hook straps!
    Maddy's set is really nice too, I love matching underwear! And Monserratt's bra is beautiful, no doubt she feels gorgeus when she wears it!

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Sofia! surprisingly I'm most happy with the back closing- I've been putting off a style like this for a long time trying to figure out a good back closing.

  9. eforshopping

    Wow! All the submissions are so incredibly gorgeous! I just want to sew another bra right now. They are lovely and SO inspiring. Beautiful!


    • EmeraldErin

      Do it! Go sew one right now!! 🙂 🙂

  10. Lauriana

    What a lovely swimsuit! (note to self: Make a new retro swimsuit…)
    It's interesting to see the small differences in technique and supplies in all the bras and swimwear on display here because of your challenge. I've been using cut-and-sew foam for my bras for years but so far, I had rarely seen it on other blogs (and usually only connected to patterns from one specific company, I think it was Make Bra but I could be wrong, I always draft my own patterns). I think it's great material to use, much more versatile that pre-made foam cups.
    I'm going to have a look at the challenge, it seems very interesting and I'm enjoying making lingerie at the moment anyway (I've just finished a new set, it's on my blog: ). I just don't think I'll make a bra a week… That would give me too many 😉

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks! I love cut & sew foam- definitely one of my favourite materials to work with! If you ever want to submit a bra or swimsuit to the challenge you are more than welcome! It's a very open challenge- you don't have to make yourself one every week!

  11. Lorna

    Ok so I don’t know if you will see this as it is older. I just ordered from your site and this is only my 2nd bra. I have not quite found a pattern I like. LOVE LOVE this cute suite — If you have not already — I so would buy the pattern and the kit. Just saying.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *