Bra mending: from halter neck to straps

lingerie Mar 18, 2021

I don’t know about you, but my neck doesn’t want me to wear halter neck bra’s anymore. The pressure is even unbearable after half a day. It feels wrong to throw away my beautiful selfmade bralettes, so I’m putting in some effort and taking the time for bra mending. From painful halter necks to comfortable bralettes with straps.

If you’re not familiar with lingerie sewing, you will learn how to make straps. And if you do already know, I hope I can inspire you to have a second look at those lingerie items in your drawer that you don’t wear anymore. Maybe you can tweak something here and there and renew the love for your bra’s and undies.

Materials for bra mending

  • Your halter neck bra or bralette (you can find the pattern that I used for these bralettes here)
  • 2 rings and sliders
  • bra strap elastic or foldover elastic
  • seam ripper!

If you don’t have rings and sliders, look around for an old bra that is beyond saviour. You can use these rings and sliders and maybe even the bra strap elastic if it’s still fine. If your fabric shop doesn’t have bra strap elastic, I’m sure they do have foldover elastic. You also have more color options with FOE, but it’s not as firm as the bra strap elastic.


Preparing the fabric strap

Before you attach the new straps, you have to unpick the seam at the center of your halter.  Now I have to unpick 5 cm of my fabric straps as well.

In the red bralette, I have an encased seam between lining and lace, so I can’t unpick it. I just cut the seam open for 5 cm’s.

Next, you place your edges on top of each other. The end of the strap needs to fit into your ring. When you have a 1cm ring, you need to narrow the strap down to 1cm. You arrange your opened seam in a way that the edges are folded to the inside and that the straps get more narrow. Like when you would make a dart. It’s harder to explain then to actually execute

On the white bralette I’m doing it a little bit different compared to the red one. I hope you can tell in the pictures. You just want the fabric to narrow down towards the end so it fits in your ring. Because I want to avoid bulk, I opened the seams, but you could just make a dart in it as well.

Sew over the middle with a zigzagstitch. Make sure it is secure. Cut away any excess fabric.

Fold the edge over your ring and sew it with a small zigzag stitch. I use a 1.5mm width and 1.1mm length. Do this for both straps. (when there’s too much bulk for your machine, you can use a leveler plate to even the sewing foot).

Making the elastic bra straps

On the white bra I’m using bra strap elastic and on the red one FOE. You need to sew the FOE first. That way it will provide more support. I cut 2 straps of 30cm for each bra.

Fold one edge of your elastic over the middle leg of your slider. The wrong side of your elastic is looking at the inside when doing that. Sew this with a small zigzag stitch. Do this for both elastic straps.

Take your fabric strap and ring with the right side up. Place your elastic strap next to it with the right side facing down and the open edge (so the opposite end of the slider) to the ring. Slide the elastic through the ring, continue over your strap elastic (like you are folding it double) and put it through both legs of the slider.

Now you have your straps ready. All you need to do is attach the loose ends to the back.

Attaching the straps to the back

Mark 5cm left and right from the centerback of your bra. I put my hook and eyes into the position that I am always wearing the bra. Place your bra straps at the 5cm marks on the inside of your bra and sew it with a small zigzag stitch.

Congrats, you just turned your halter neck bra into a bra with straps!

If you’re doing some bra mending as wel or are using one of my tips you can tag me with #cliosatelier and #cliosatelierlingerie on Instagram and Facebook. If you feel like learning much MORE, why don’t you have a look at my ‘Start to sew swimwear’ online course.



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