Monday, October 16, 2017

Sweet Sixteen Pattern Review (Canada Cups)

Sweet Sixteen Bralette

  by Bra-Makers Supply

Happy Mail!!!! I was very exited to receive this pattern in the mail, I hadn't really looked at it before but was looking forward to reading it over, and picking fabrics and the style I wanted.  I went with the Sandra.

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for a list of prizes, good luck. 

I was given the pattern for free for the purpose of this review.  That said all the thoughts and comments are my own, I will be giving you and open and honest review of this pattern. 

My first decision was to pick my size!!!  This pattern has a different way of choosing cup sizes, but it's said to be one of the most accurate.   You measure bottom cup depth.  Which is taking a measurement (while wearing a well fitting bra, that's not padded), and measure from the Apex (nipple) straight down to the wire line.  You find your measurement on the chart, then do another measurement from wire line to wire line across your breast at the level of the apex, then find that one on the chart, hopefully they fall into the same size. Mine did NOT!!!  Since my bottom cup depth measurement matched my usual cup size I decided to go with that.  I was using a knit fabric so figured that would take care of the discrepancy.

Next choice was fabric.  This is always the hardest for me in any project.  I usually play around with fabric combo's until it feels right.  Clothing items are even harder because you have to take into account drape, comfort and in this case support.

For my first bra decided to use cotton jersey since it was one of the recommended fabrics.  Now I know what you're all thinking WHAT??? that's not very supportive.  And you would be correct, but it was on the list in the pattern and I figure if it did work it would be really comfy.  So I got all my fabric and notions together and traced my pattern.  I used freezer paper, but you can use any white, thin paper that you can see through.  The first bra I made I used jersey fabric and a 38" H.  My under-bust measurement is 37", and since this is supposed to be comfortable I sized up as was recommended.

The jersey had WAY too much stretch in it for the weight of my breasts.  I think the pattern should reflect this, and recommend jersey only for smaller cup sizes with self supporting breasts.  Had I not been expecting this, and experimenting I would have been devastated going through all that work.   To remedy the saggy cups, I sewed two more cups out of a much less stretchy fabric, and just sewed that onto the frame.  Then I sewed it to the back of the elastic.  Not so pretty, but it worked. 

The next issue was the band it was way too big, like it didn't even touch me.  I've seen on other reviews this is an issue, I started with 38" band and ended up taking a large dart out of it on each side.  I have a flared rib cage which means I usually have to take a dart out of the top of the band, but the bottom should fit ok.  Turns out I took out 4" off the bottom of the band and 6" off the top.  I had some pretty large darts.  Once I did thisadjustment, the band fit fine.  I'm not sure why this is, if perhaps this style of bra is not really meant for larger breasted ladies who are used to a tighter fitting band???  When you try this bra out I would recommend going down a size or two in the band for sure.  I used the 34 H band for the second bra, and still needed to take the dart in on the top, but the bottom of the band fit good.

Points to consider, when you size down in the band.  If you're not sure measure the band back band, and front frame, subtracting your 1/4 seam allowances, and adding in the length of your clasp.  Just doing a quick rough estimate you should be able to see how much you need to adjust.  When I do this measurement on the pattern the size 38 comes out to 41.25" total.  The 34 came out to 37.25".  Since I measured at 37, with the elastic pulled on this band it fits comfortably.  For the elastic I wanted it a bit stronger then just the FOE, so I laid it flat and doubled it up I sewed it on, then flipped and zig zags like you would a regular bra band.  Worked out great. 

The second bra I made I'd learned my lesson.  On the website for the Sweet Sixteen class they recommend using duoplex for the cups.  I wish this recommendation had been made more prominent on the package, especially if you're new to sewing bras.  Since even with duoplex I'm not planning on this being an 'going out' bra I wanted to make it more comfortable, and when with this black knit that is very thick and has very little stretch.  I used red duoplex from Club Tissues, and power net (Bra-Makers Supply) for the back band, which I doubled up to make it stronger as recommended for larger sizes (I did this on both bras).  The rest of my supplies were either from Bra Makers Supply or salvaged off of other projects.

This bra fit MUCH better, I was very happy with it right from the start.  I did notice a bit of gaping in the under arm area, so I took a dart out of the side of the top, and tapered it down to just above the band.  I have to make this adjustment on many bra's so I wasn't surprised, I will transfer the changes over to the pattern so I don't have to go through that on my next one.

Overall:  I'm very happy with the fit of the Sweet Sixteen.  It only took 2 tries, and both are functional.  It's comfortable and holds the girls up enough for around the house.  It's also great for yoga, or walking the dog as long as I'm wearing a sweater ;).  I'm used to foam cups, so for colder weather I prefer a bit more umm uhhh coverage, if you know what I mean ;).

The instructions can be bit confusing since she gives you instructions for all 4 styles together in each step, so you have to make sure you're following the correct one, once you figure out which one, it's pretty straightforward.  I've made several bra's in the past, and have all of Beverly's bra making Craftsy videos so construction came together pretty easily. 

However if this is your first bra, then I recommend getting her first bra making class on Craftsy or perhaps watch something on YouTube to familiarize yourself with the construction. 

I have made two of her other bra's the Classic and the Shelley, but didn't really use the instructions provided, I followed along with the online class.  That said I wish the instructions were a bit more detailed, but if you need any help she's always willing to answer questions. 

I wanted my second bra to be a bit fun!!! I didn't plan on it looking so piratey, but I love it!!!  It's very fun and colorful.  I plan on making an underwire bra in the same colors.  I figured I might as well have fun with it, so decided to use contrasting threads, this was one of the scariest aspects of the entire project, since there is nooooo room for error. 

                                                Wait is that RED THREAD YIKES!!!!!!  

This was a bit scary at first, since matching color would hide a multitude of sins.  If it's your first bra, then I'd recommend blending your threads, but if you want to be daring and like the look just go slow!!! Super slow.

 YAY!!! it worked out.  I was nervous but I love the extra detail it adds to the black. I did contrasting thread on all of my seams and elastic as well. 

The most important part of the construction  to me was getting my front seam to line up.  I really wanted my cups and the top-stitching to line up exactly.  It took me a few tries to get it to work.

I recommend pinning it lengthwise along the seam-line, so that you can fold it back and double check that it's lined up, then put a few pins in crosswise to hold it in place, and slowly pull out the needles as you come to them. 

When you sew on the elastic to the cups, I pulled my elastic a wee bit for more support.  I also stretched the elastic when sewing to the side pieces. 

TIP:  Even though the pattern tells you to sew your elastic to your cup before sewing it to the band, I waited and then could sew the side elastic all at once, instead of having a bump where you overlap them. 


TIP:  When sewing Fold over elastic in one pass, I like to tack the first inch or so to the inside.  I just line it up with the center line, and tack it down.  



Then I'll pull it out and start sewing from the top.  This helps hold it in place so it doesn't slip out on you, really speeds up the process. 

I made a pair of matching panties for my first set, using my own self drafted pattern that I learned how to make in Beverley's underwear class on Craftsy.  I was very happy with how they turned out, and I'm please to report they're very comfy.  I struggled to get them on my other dress form, I felt like I should be on a Lucille Ball episode, I hope no one was watching outside as I was right in front of the window!!!! 

I plan on making a lovely Kaftan to match!!! I found this gorgeous sheer fabric at Club Tissus (one of our lovely sponsors for the tour.  They carry a ton of bra supplies)!!!   I can't wait to wear it around the house, or out over a tank top and leggings.  Ohh and I'll make matching panties for sure. 

I hope you've enjoyed the pattern review and decide to take a risk and make yourself a new bra!!!! Check out the other blogs on the hop today.  We're reviewing different bralette (no underwire) bra's this week ALL from Canadian designers.  Enjoy!!!!

2nd Annual Canada Cups Blog Hop


Tour Schedule

Hang with us as we reveal our inner secrets. ;) 


// Please note that none of these post links are available before the scheduled date. If you click on one too early, you will get an Error 404: Page not found. You know about those, right? // Sunday, October 15
Monday, October 16
Tuesday, October 17
Wednesday, October 18
Thursday, October 19
Friday, October 20
Saturday, October 21
Monday, October 23
  • Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:
Little Heart Threads, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle's Creations, Mrs. Weaver's Finest Unmentionables, Gracious Threads, Élégantine!, That's Sew Venice, Sprouting Jubejube, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, Filles à Maman


Prizes and Discounts

*A discount code from Funky Monkey -code: CC10 for 10% off store wide for the length of the tour.
 *A $25 Store voucher & Discount code from Fabric Please (CANADACUPS for 20% off storewide during your tour)

 There will be a Rafflecopter at the end of the tour for the following prizes.  Make sure to check back and fill out your form.  There are some really great items, that'll make your next, or perhaps first bra extra special.  

*A bra kit from Atelier Fiber Arts and Abrakdabra
*A bralette kit or scuba print from Bra-Makers Supply
*A 10% discount from Central Sewing Machines 
(The discount for Central Sewing needs orders to be emailed directly to (
*A pattern from Chelsea C Designs
*A Sophie swimsuit pattern from Closet Case Patterns
*1 yard of in-stock fabric from Crookshanks Custom Textiles (winner splits shipping costs)
*A $25 Store voucher & Discount code from Fabric Please (CANADACUPS for 20% off storewide during your tour)
*A pattern from Favorite Things
*A discount code from Libelle Sewing
*A bralette kit from Braphoria
*A pattern from Ohhh Lulu Sews
*A pattern from Lingerie Secrets Patterns by Jan Bones
*A discount code from Funky Monkey -code: CC10 for 10% off store wide for the length of the tour. active until the 22nd 😊 Not valid on already discounted full bolts.


  1. Great post! I love the black and red, and that red top-stitching is beautiful. Really pops out.

  2. Wow, your second one turned out so beautifully! Way to go for taking on this challenge. I have all the supplies but still haven't worked up the nerve to get started on mine.

  3. Love the way both came out - the black and red is lovely