I made this top with high-waisted shorts/pants/skirts in mind, so it hits right above my waist. It's up to you how long or short you'd like your top to be.
If you decide to make this, you MUST make sure that you're able to put on (and take off!!) the bra without disconnecting the straps. There aren't any zippers in this project, although you're more than welcome to add one in if you know how to do so, even with the bra involved. This might be a tight squeeze (and you might look a little funny putting it on) but I did it in the interest of making it as simple as possible, and a way to repurpose a bra that you might not use often.
(EDIT 6/12: Check the comments for an awesome suggestion by rhelm_2: "To make it easier to get off and on, you could do step seven first and instead of sewing all the way up to the top on this step, only sew until the last inch or two. You could leave a little peep-hole type thing by sewing the edges of the bra to the edges of the fabric so you could clasp it together instead of wrestling it on")
Since this doesn't use a pattern, little things will vary for everyone, so here's a general run thorugh of how I did it. Let me know if you have any questions! xo
Step 1: Supplies
- About 1 yard of jersey fabric (I used an ITY jersey knit from Fabric.com. I think it'd help to get a fabric that has a little bit of stretch to it)
- Sewing machine
- Coordinating thread
- Craft needles, for hand sewing
- Measuring tape
- Dress form might be useful!
Step 2: Measure Your Fabric
Using a tank top as a guide, I cut out a rectangle that was the same width of the tank top at its widest point. In my case, my tank top was 14 inches laying flat (or 28 inches all around). I added 4 inches extra on each end (so 8 inches total). The total width of my rectangle was 36 inches. I placed an arrow where I ended up cutting my fabric.
Length is up to you. You can make it a crop top or a full length top - or somewhere in between - depending on your preferences. I kept mine at the length that you see above, just because I knew I could always shorten it in the last step. It's better to start off with too much and then trim down later!
Step 3: Start Sewing
Step 4: Determining Where the Bra Will Go
I laid out the fabric and place the bra along the top, giving it enough room for the fabric to fold completely over the bra (which you'll see in the next step.)
Step 5: Fold and Measure
Step 6: More Sewing
After double checking with my tank top, I hemmed up the sides, then sewed them together - right sides facing each other. I essentially ended up with a tube of fabric.
Step 7: Double Check Measurements
Step 8: But Here's a Tip...
Step 9: Sew
Step 10: Insert the Bra
I took off the straps from the bra, then inserted the bra through the gap, making sure that the the straps of the bra were straight and not twisted.
**REMINDER: Make sure you're able to put on/take off the bra without unhooking it!
Step 11: Handsew the Straps Together
Then, I handsewed the straps/hooks to keep it in place.
Step 12: Adjust Before Sewing
Step 13: Pin and Sew
Step 14: Gather, Pin and Hand Sew
My favorite part - when the top starts to come together! On the front of the shirt, I gathered the fabric around the center of the bra, pinned, and then hand sewed it. This creates the sweetheart neckline.
Step 15: Hand Sew If Needed
Step 16: Hem the Bottom
I tried it on and finalized where I wanted the shirt to hit. Again, I opted for a shirt that would work best with high waisted bottoms. Then, I hemmed along the bottom.