A racerback Watson

I've been following the Watson sew-along, but once I started sewing I just wanted to get on and finish it, so here it is!

One of my sewing resolutions for this year was to sew some bras to go under tops with cut-away sleeves and racer-backs, as I have sewn a few of these tops in recent years that I don't wear much just because I don't have the right bra to go under them.  Sometimes I wear them with a strapless bra, but I don't find that it is the most comfortable solution. I have made racerback bras before, but that was when I was a smaller size.

Generally, I find that the most flattering bras for me have wide set straps.  When Amy shared an earlier version of this pattern a while back, I modified it to have wider set straps.  This time, I went with the cups as drafted, so that the straps would sit closer to my neck and could be crossed over at the back.

For wired bras, I generally make a 34B and modify the patterns to reduce volume from the upper cup.  This bra is not wired, and the 34A size, based on my measurements, fit just fine.  For my muslin, the 34A band fit fine, but because I was using a stretchy lingerie lycra, I went down a size for my final version.  (I also went down a couple of sizes for the bikini because of the stretchiness of my lycra.)  I used a sports bra that somebody gave me to modify the back band piece to facilitate crossing over of the straps.

I did have a bit of trouble curving my elastic around that corner to the back strap.  I also had to re-do this elastic, as, in spite of taking measurements of the elastic and hook and eye, these heights did not match up very well at all once sewn.

I am very happy with the final bra, as it has liberated quite a few tops from my wardrobe.  I still have one or two with high necks and very cut-away shoulders that probably need a halter style bra, so I will make a convertible bra, or maybe think up another style, later in the year.

My poor body tape double is looking a bit worse for wear after 7 years and 3 house moves.


  1. That's a nice set that would be so useful, in colour and back straps. I'm so frustrated with my bras lately that I am on the verge of plunging in when time allows. Your body double does look a little tired, but boy they are a huge effort to make. Do you think they help a lot with fitting or more so for display.. having said that I don't recall seeing her before.

    1. Hi Summer Flies,

      I do use it a lot for fitting shoulders. I have a lot of trouble with fit, and getting the hang of the shoulders right helps me to fit everything else. I made this body double between pregnancies, so it is a bit bigger than me now, which makes it hard for me to use it for waist and hip fitting. I';; need to make another one soon.

  2. Hi Katherine! I really like the racerback alteration! And you remember the very first incarnation of this pattern. That's like a Dali body double--I kind of dig it as a piece of art ;).