Behind the Seams: Bra-Lining Tutorial

So now that I’m as free as a metaphorical bird, I’m finally able to deliver on a long-promised post of mine: a tutorial on the method I use to line my bra cups! The main reason why it’s been a long time coming is not that I’ve been too busy, but actually that it’s been quite a while since I’ve sewn a bra that didn’t have foam cups. I sewed up another MarlboroughΒ last week, however, so I’m now pleased to present the tutorial in full. I apologise for the poor choice of fabric; the black and gold lace, while stunning, does not make it exactly easy to see what I’m doing. I’ve done my best with the photos however, and I hope my explanations are sufficiently clear (if not, please let me know!).

Now, this method will work for any bra pattern with: two or more cup pieces; a fashion fabric and a lining. That being said, I think this method works best for patterns with 2-3 pieces.


Here you can see my cup pieces laid out with their corresponding linings. The first step is to finish the top of the upper cup. I do this on the Marlborough with elastic; if you’re not using lace with a scalloped edge, you can do this as usual by sewing to the right side of the cup, through both layers, then turning under and sewing the second pass as usual. With a scalloped edge, I sew it directly to the underside with a zigzag matching the width of the elastic, making sure I catch the edge of the lining securely underneath.


Upper cup finished! Now the next step: attach the lower cup pieces, and enclosing the seam in the process. we’re going to do this by “sandwiching” the layers – sewing the seam with the outer lower cup on top, right side down; the upper cup, right side up, in the middle; and the lower cup lining on the bottom.


Make sure you have everything the right way and oriented correctly! In the Marlborough especially (I know from experience) it’s easy to flip the lower cup accidentally. Now sew that seam.


Here are the two cup pieces joined, and the lower cup flipped over. Seam enclosed! Now we can trim back the seam (but not too much!), and top stitch (making sure you’re pulling the layers taut, so as not to get any bulging of the seam).


Stunning! Now we repeat the process with the last cup piece, the power bar. Sandwich the rest of the cup between the two power bar pieces, sew the seam, trim, flip and topstitch!




There we have it, our lovely finished cup with no exposed seams πŸ™‚ I like this method as you get the same stability as you would as if you underlined each cup piece, but the same tidy and less irritating finish that you’d get with constructing the cup and lining separately – which also carries with it the risk of the outer cup “bagging out” over the lining, especially if it’s a stretch fabric or lace. It’s possible to use this method on other parts of the bra, too, such as the seam between cradle pieces and bridge, or cradle and back band. In my eyes, there’s nothing more beautiful than a bra with no exposed seams πŸ˜‰

I’ve only used this method on the Marlborough so far, but it could very easily also be applied to Orange Lingerie‘s Boylston, AFI‘s Maya bra, or even the Watson if you’re lining the cups (which I have done when using more stretchy or delicate fabrics) – and pretty much any other pieced bra cup you might try your hand at, I imagine.

And of course, because I can’t resist showing off such a pretty bra, here’s the finished product. I made it from a Merckwaerdigh kit I bought ages ago – and how I wish it were for me! It is, however, a bra for my mother (lucky if I do say so myself!), so I certainly hope she appreciates it properly! Or I may just have to steal it back…



Check out those enclosed seams!


Until next time,

Miss Maddy xx


  1. Michelle · November 24, 2015

    This is the same method I use too. I love when the inside looks as pretty and neat as the outside. Your Mom is one fortunate woman to have you making bras for her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · November 25, 2015

      Me too Michelle! She was very grateful for this one, so she might just get some more in the future…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. colormusing · November 24, 2015

    That is a gorgeous bra!! I also use this method for linings; you’re so right about the disadvantages of making to outer layer and lining separately. It’s both functionally and aesthetically perfect this way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · November 25, 2015

      Thanks Lindy! Yes, those are pretty much my thoughts exactly πŸ™‚


  3. Evie · November 24, 2015

    That’s a beautiful bra!! Lucky mom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · November 25, 2015

      Thank you! I think she’d be the first to agree πŸ˜›


  4. Chris Griffin · November 24, 2015

    Pretty! I love the combination.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · November 25, 2015

      Thanks, me too! I only wish there’d been enough to make me a bra too πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  5. CarmencitaB · November 25, 2015

    I had an inkling this could be done this way, thanks for the confirmation!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SofΓ­a · November 29, 2015

    That’s a useful tutorial!! And everything is so well explained πŸ™‚ I use the same method to line my bras too and you’re right, it’s much better than making the lining and the bra separately! Hurrah for pretty lined bras! πŸ˜›
    And that gold and black bra is just gorgeous. Lucky mum! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · November 30, 2015

      Thanks Sofia! Mum seems pretty happy with it too, so she might be getting some more in the future πŸ˜‰


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  9. Marianne Gizzi · January 30, 2016

    Hi Maddy ! Great tutorial. Beautiful bra.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Belinda Adams · January 6, 2017

    Hey I love this tutorial, I’m new to orange lingerie patterns and I love this technique! I tried it on the bolyston, but I got a bit lost as to how to finish the top cup piece with the strap and also enclose the upper and lower cup seam. Can you explain how to do this for the bolyston pattern? Thanks !!


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  14. Lauri · August 22, 2018

    As a new bra-maker, explicit direction is SO appreciated! It makes so much sense, once someone explains it. πŸ˜‰ Would you mind a quick talk-through of how you lined the power net? Thanks so much!


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