I do like the look of a racer back.  I have not worn racer back styles though, because it annoys me when bra straps show (how outmoded of me!).  I have tried bras with straps that hook together at the back and ones where the straps change positions, but they still seemed to cross at the wrong place.  Then, a couple of months ago I saw a racer back bra in a magazine..it was a bit of a light bulb / "oh derrrr" moment for me.

So, using the cups from my previous pattern, I set about to make a racer back bra.  I substituted a front opening design for the bridge piece (for one bra I used the opening from Elan 540, for the other I used the piece from Pin-Up Girls Sharon bra).  I took the back piece and split it in two.  I could have made the entire back piece out of powernet, but when you buy a bra kit, often the powernet is not wide enough to cut a back piece on the fold.  This is why I split the pattern and made the centre back piece out of the same fabric as the cups. I actually cut a dart out ,rather than just split the pattern.  I just guessed the width of the dart.  I added some width to made up for the fact that the centre back was not stretchy.

This was my first attempt.  When I tried it on under a shirt, the racerback position was too low and a smidge too wide.

I modified the pattern and made a beige version.  This photo suggests that I need to make the band a little looser.

 Here, it is being worn under Jalie 2565.  No straps showing!
I made this top as a layering piece, using an Eileen Fisher fabric from EmmaOneSock.  I had not heard of Eileen Fisher, but when I looked at her website, she has some great designs for layered dressing.  This fabric is a great "neutral" for me, as I don't  much wear white.

This is how I have been wearing this top.  Hardly seen at all, but the glimpse of colour it offers seems to complete the outfit.


  1. wow - you are SO clever. I am really impressed!

    On a side note, I have never understood the attraction of underwear peakaboo - you know the style where underpants or bras showing are part of the design aesthetic. Here having big man-style underpants showing out the top of low cut jeans is very popular but it just looks so trashy to me!

    Showing my age, I'm afraid.

  2. Nice work...I admire your creations and am really inspired.

    I'm working to get better at bra making. So you recommend the book from "Bra-maker Supplies?" I am considering ordering a book and a couple of sets.

    I blogged my latest creation on www.sewtofit-andrea.blogspot.com

    Please take a look if you have time. Thanks.

  3. Golly gosh you're clever!! I'm not a fan bra straps showing either especially when worn with a strapless dress!!???!! I remember you telling me years ago that you'd read in a fashion magazine that it's OK to show your straps as long as they're pretty...still can't really go there. A pretty racer-back it's a much better option.

  4. Very nifty - I'm impressed by your bra-making skills and by your lovely layering!

  5. Very clever. A perfect solution to those tacky bra straps.

  6. Perfect solution. My daughters think bra straps are a fashion item.

  7. Wow! Your racer back bras look great! I saw a similar use of lace, but have more of an issue with a front closing since I wear a 36G or H bra. I did see one person draft a bra front that had two front closures one above the other, that allowed for a larger cup size... I need to get up the courage to try it, especially after seeing your pretty bras!