Sewing: Cloth Habit Harriet Bra

How to sew the Cloth Habit Harriet bra review

Bra and lingerie sewing is one of my favourite things. When I started sewing a few years ago, I never dreamed I’d be able to make anything that would resemble a real bra in any way – I was doubtful I could even make a skirt that didn’t look like a pillowcase! The project that gave me confidence was the Cloth Habit Watson bra that I sewed here and is now an old favourite pattern for me. Since then, I’ve moved into underwires and sewed a Maya, a few Boylstons (here and here), a Marlborough, a couple of bras hacked from ones I already own, but none of them have actually fit me. They’ve all been alright, but needed plenty of tweaking and I still hadn’t got the right fit and comfort in a homemade bra…until now!

How to sew the Cloth Habit Harriet bra review

I’m part of a couple of bra making Facebook groups and on these I saw that Amy at Cloth Habit had released another bra pattern: an underwired one in sizes 28 to 42, A to H, in UK sizing – the Harriet bra. It costs $16.50 for the downloadable PDF pattern (buy it here) and I didn’t have to think twice about buying it! An underwired bra pattern from my favourite bra maker! In my size!!

How to sew the Cloth Habit Harriet bra review

I was so excited that I printed it off that day, cut out the paper pattern when I got home, then had to wait for Saturday to sew it because of, you know, work and other commitments. I’ve had a couple of bra kits hanging around since my birthday that Ben bought me – I’d been a bit disheartened by bra making because none of my creations had been quite right for me – I was having to pick sizes like 38DD and shorten the band and mess with the cup grading – and I didn’t really ever wear them, so I hadn’t picked them up. But I decided to give this grey/blue mesh and blush lace kit from this seller on eBay a go for the new Harriet pattern.

How to sew the Cloth Habit Harriet bra review

The sizing for the Harriet bra pattern is based on the UK sizing method that I endorse – taking your underbust measurement as your band size (or rounding up if it’s odd) then +1″ overbust is A, +2″ is B, 3″ is C and so on. This gave me my usual ready to wear (RTW) size of 28GG, so I decided to go with that. And IT FITS!! Can we just look at how perfectly fitting this bra is please? The band is tight enough but not too tight. The cups fit with no gaping, no overspill and no digging. The wires are just the exact right width. I’m SO impressed with this pattern! The problem with small band/large cup combinations in bra making is that they’re often graded down poorly from more common sizes such as 36DD. I understand why (because it’s more difficult to construct a pattern for a more projected and narrow breast shape that you usually get with a smaller band and larger cup), but it can be frustrating. So it’s wonderful to find a pattern that’s graded properly and fits me!!

How to sew the Cloth Habit Harriet bra review

I found the pattern and instructions easy to follow. It followed the usual method of bra making, so if you’re used to that, this one will be a breeze for you. For beginners, I’d say it’s probably a good place to start for an underwired bra as the instructions are nice and clear, the diagrams are good, and considering that it fit me so well, hopefully it won’t need too many tweaks for you either. I only had one problem, which was all my own fault: I put one side of the underwire channeling in upside down so the plush side isn’t facing towards my body – whoops! But that’s only something I’ll know, so it doesn’t really matter all that much in the end!

How to sew the Cloth Habit Harriet bra review

I’m DEFINITELY going to be making this bra again. I have another kit to use and I’m pretty certain it will be with this one. One of the great things about this pattern is that it’s so versatile – the 3 cup pieces can be made from lace (with a scalloped edge or not), normal bra making fabric, and I believe even foam for a more padded look. I’m not sure which I’ll try next – possibly a lined cup without lace, but we’ll see. I wore this bra all day after finishing it and it was just as comfortable as any of my ready to wear bras, with the same amount of support and a very similar fit – like I said, so impressed!
Let me know if you give it a go – I’d love to hear other people’s experiences of it 😀

How to sew the Cloth Habit Harriet bra review


  1. February 4, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Oh wow! This is fantastic! I’ve been trying for ages to make a decent bra but a bit like you I’ve a small band big cup combination. I’ve been looking at this pattern since it came you but I think you may have convinced me! I love your colour combinations!

    It reminds me of the claudette three piece bras (what has happened to that brand) which I find SO comfortable. Thank you for posting a review so quickly and I’m a little in awe at your speed!

  2. February 4, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Well, you sold me. I’m also a small band, large cup person.

  3. February 4, 2017 / 11:18 pm

    Wow, this is awesome!! Congrats 😀
    I bought the Harriet pattern right away, too, since I love the Watson and had already made multiples of them. But I was very afraid of underwire bras till now, especially of the correct wire size finding part >_< I sewed a Madalynne 8229 today, quite successfully I would say. I'm a bit proud, so surely the Harriet will be next!

  4. Lynsey
    February 5, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Your bra looks gorgeous and fits so well, it fills me with hope as I’m halfway through making this pattern, I brought it and printed straight away too, I’m a 32f and the soft cup (easy) bras didn’t have enough support. I have throughly enjoyed making it so far, will check out your link for a kit as I’ve been buying bits separately.

  5. February 5, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    I’m excited to try this. So far I’ve found the Maya to fit the best, but still needed a few tweeks, and I’d like to find one that didn’t require foam. I may have to give this one a go. Thanks so much for the review.

  6. Ginny
    February 5, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    Oh gosh, thats one gorgeous bra and the fit is divine! Love the subtle color combo! I can’t wait to make this bra! Especially as I’m a member of the smaller band / larger cup crowd too! It’s printed out and ready to cut, but darn it, too many obligations have kept me away from sewing it this weekend.

  7. February 5, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    I just made this at a 30F and it’s perfect!! I’ve had issues fitting the Marlborough and the Shelley bra, so I didn’t have high hopes for this one, but it blew me out of the water!

    I made two this weekend — one with duoplex and stable lace, and one with stretch lace in view C. I think I might go up a cup size, since I’m between an F and an FF, and the stretch lace bulges a little. Did you use stable lace in the kit?

  8. Angella Harry
    February 6, 2017 / 9:57 am

    Hi where can we get this gorgeous pattern please

  9. February 9, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    Wow thats a stunning bra! I just spent a chunk of money on some more kits and the Madalynne pattern. I have the Maya but the foam puts me off. Thanks for the link to that ebay seller, I’ve found it so hard to find stuff based in the UK and ebay seems to be the best bar Evie la Luve and Elise. You’ve inspired me to give it a go now!

    • Sian Thomas
      February 9, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Thank you! Apparently you can make the Maya without foam, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. I hope your Harriet goes well too!

  10. February 27, 2017 / 5:06 am

    Your bra is beautiful and the fit is perfect. I also found Harriet to be my bra savior as the many others I’ve made and worn in good faith did not stand the test of time. Is the mesh you used for the cup stable? It’s so pretty 😉
    Happy bra making!

    • Sian Thomas
      March 5, 2017 / 10:22 am

      Thank you! The mesh has a small amount of stretch to it, I think it’s most likely a very strong power net 🙂 I’ve since made 2 more already – I love it!

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