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Cami with built-in bra

jewelea | Posted in General Discussion on

Has anyone made any camisoles or tank tops with built-in shelf or underwire bras?  I’ve been wanting to make some and would appreciate any information on patterns, construction tips, supplies.


  1. LindaG | | #1


    I made a t shirt with a shelf bra intended not as a support but as  a modesty panel under a white knit.  However, I should have paid more attention to how long the panel was because it is too short to fit under my full bustline.  As a result, the neckline drops down too low and the elastic band is uncomfortable.  It's worth another try, though, if I can figure out the dimensions.  My white cotton knit fabric is nicer than anything in the stores.




    1. mem | | #2

      why not just wear a camisole??

      1. LindaG | | #4

        You are absolutely right! I wanted the latest, coolest thing...an example of when that's not necessarily the right thing!

  2. woodruff | | #3

    You might want to check out Kwik Sew 2770, which has a built-in shelf bra for the camis in the pattern. Just go to http://www.kwiksew.com and type that number in when you see the search box. There might even be a review of it at http://www.patternreview.com

    1. jewelea | | #5

      Thank you.  That should be a good starting point.  Since I posted my question, I've looked at some camis with built in bras, and it seems to me that you could just buy an inexpensive bra, for instance an underwire bra if that was what you wanted, remove the straps and attach it to the cami.  The TravelSmith catalog shows several camisoles and tank tops with built-in underwire bras at close to $40.

      1. SewNancy | | #6

        And with that option you would know if the bra is a flattering fit.

        1. Broo | | #7

          I take a size L and when I tried to make a cami with a built-in shelf bra I found:

          - you must have a front *and* a back "bra" piece.  Do not try to get away with just half-lining the front, it doesn't work.  The fabric will pull strangely.

          - stitch the front and back lining (bra) pieces together at the sides, but do not stitch them to the side seam of the tank.

          - Make sure you make the shelf deep (tall?) enough.  Better yet, make it a fair bit longer than you think you'll need.  Test-pin the elastic to the bra with safety pins, so you get the depth right.  The depth you'll need with change with different sewing patterns and fabrics you'll use.

          - cutting the front bra piece long enough so you can insert a dart is a good thing (especially if you're a larger cup size).

          I've wanted to try inserting a bra or molded bra cups (from an old bra) too.  I would be careful about pinning in the cups at the right height and testing it out before stitching it in permanently.  Try it out first.  What you think should work may not work when you actually put it on.

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