Cloth Habit Watson Bra

HelenHelen's Makes26 Comments

Cloth Habit Watson Bra

Yup, I have just posted pictures of myself in my underwear on the internet. I did not hit ‘publish’ without a little (or a lot) of consideration. What will my friends think? What will my mother think? What if a future employer sees this? What if my CURRENT employer sees this!? On and on the list goes. In the end, I decided that I felt good about it, regardless of whoever may take a look. I want this blog to promote confidence. Body confidence, creative confidence, fashion confidence, and feeling great about our accomplishments. I’m super proud of my bra-making efforts and am feeling hella-empowered making my own underwear that fits, flatters, and is actually comfortable. In fact, this is a GAME CHANGER, people!

Cloth Habit Watson Bra Cloth Habit Watson BraCloth Habit Watson Bra

This pattern is the much-beloved Cloth Habit Watson Bra. It is a soft-cup bra, so it has no underwires. This is a great thing for comfort and works well for smaller cup sizes. I am a 36C, which is in the the middle range of the commercial bra scale but on the small size of the ‘welcome to the real world of breasts’ scale. The lack of underwires certainly makes for a very comfortable bra, and I find the support is enough despite not having the extra push the wires provide.

Cloth Habit Watson Bra Cloth Habit Watson Bra Cloth Habit Watson Bra

The main thing that I struggle with when bra shopping is finding bras with a longer cradle so that the sides don’t dig in too much, and cups that are spaced the right distance apart. For lack of a better description, my breasts are wide set. I have a broad chest with space in between and little cleavage to speak of. The soft cup is more friendly for this because the breasts can fall where they fall and are not constrained by wires. The Watson fits well as-is and I did not make any adjustments.

Cloth Habit Watson BraCloth Habit Watson BraCloth Habit Watson Bra

The supplies I used are from Blackbird Fabrics. It is made from 4-way stretch lycra and the cradle and band are both lined with nude powermesh. The edges are finished with plush elastic and the straps are satin bra strapping.  I ordered a 2 hook closure kit but decided I wanted the 3-hook wide band, so I just made the scoop a bit deeper in the back to meet the 2-hook closure. I used a zig-zag stitch to construct the whole thing, except for the bottom elastic topstitching where I used a stitch similar to #28 on this chart – I have no idea what it is called.  It stretches really well and I prefer it to the 3-step zig-zag that is recommended.

Cloth Habit Watson BraCloth Habit Watson BraCloth Habit Watson Bra

If you are new to sewing and bra making is something you are hoping to do one day but are not sure you will get there, you can totally do it! You only need a sewing machine with zig-zag abilities and bra supplies.  The Watson is a great place to start and you can buy a bra kit from Tailor Made Shop or Blackbird Fabrics. I was lucky enough to learn bra-making from Amy Chapman herself last year at Camp Workroom Social, and you can take that class this year, too! She also has a full sew-along on her blog and she just released an underwire bra pattern, the Harriet Bra.


For these photos I really wanted that ‘hazy Sunday morning sun streaming through my window and casting soft light on my body” look, but my 2nd story city apartment window on a snow day was not delivering. We shot the pics and I thought they looked nice, but I really wanted that romantic glow. I decided to use my photoshop skills to get the look I wanted with a simple lens flare. Adding this to the shot in the upper right corner quickly achieved very close to what I had envisioned. Check out the before and after below!


I hope you enjoyed this post and that my bra pics have not scared you away. How do you feel about posting underwear sewing online? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

26 Comments on “Cloth Habit Watson Bra”

  1. Beautiful bra Helen! Looks so comfortable and elegant too 🙂 I haven’t forayed into the bra making world and to be honest I doubt I ever will but I’m so impressed with how many young women are! It’s inspiring and you’re right too – empowering! Getting to know your body, it’s unique shape and what’s comfortable for YOU and making yourself just the sort of underthings you like is amazing. Congratulations and hats off to you! 🙂

    1. Thanks Kathleen! It really is so much fun to make bras, not nearly as finicky as I thought it would be! You should give it a go!

  2. Lovely bra! It looks super comfy and just perfect for the days when the bra and wires are driving you insane. And kudos for posting pictures! They are super tasteful and really there is not much difference from bathing suit photos. Also, body confidence message is greatly appreciated! We are all beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Anya! I truly believe that, too. Whenever I see pics of ladies modeling their me-made underwear I never think negative things, only ‘wow, they look amazing’ regardless of body type. It’s nice to share and I’m glad others feel the same!

  3. You look gorgeous in that bra! I love your confidence sharing these pictures. I’ve only sewed Ohhh Lulu lingerie so far, but I do want to try this pattern so much. Thank you for sharing the pictures because I feel inspired to try.

  4. Wow, finally someone to really wear a bra! I like looking at the pictures of all the people making bras, but I always think. Well that’s nice. But does it really fit! Now I know what they look like on and I love it! Love your confidence and your guts! Don’t know if I would have had it in me!
    Best, Nina

  5. Undergarments are on my sewing list, but I have decided it’s just not me to post them modeled on my blog. There are a couple closed facebook groups that I would share in however. It’s a tough call though. I really appreciate those that do model foundation pieces ’cause I get to see how they fit a real body.

  6. A great looking bra – looks so comfy yet stylish and pretty – I really wish I could get away with a wire free bra – they always look so comfortable. For me, once I modeled my swimwear on my blog I found that there was really no difference with modelling a bra – but then my bras are pretty full coverage. I love the post processing you did to the photos, they turned out great.

  7. Looks great! I’m impressed by your courage, too 🙂 The sewing world is funny–I am super reserved about such things in real life, but with a group of sewers I’ll totally talk about bust fit. No problem. I’ve even posted photos of bras on my dress form, which is as far as I can go, sadly, not that much confidence. But the point is, sewing conversation can go places everyday conversation doesn’t dare!

  8. It’s a beautiful bra and it really suits you, and it’s gutsy of you to put photos of yourself wearing it on the internet! Dare I say…bra-vo? (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!!) I have this pattern AND kits from Blackbird, but haven’t made the time to take a crack at it yet. Yours is another beautiful version that makes me want to push it higher in the queue!

  9. Hi Helen, you look fabulous! I am very inspired by all the bra-making going on out there. I always appreciate seeing them on the maker rather than a dress form because you can really see how perfectly a custom-made bra fits (but I understand why some people would not want to model their underthings). Plus the look of pride and satisfaction on your face is a great motivator to bust out my own Blackbird Fabrics kit that’s been sitting on a shelf for quite awhile!

  10. This is beautiful. You are beautiful. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Personally, I’m about halfway done making my first Watson and it’s obvious I have some work to do. I wasn’t sure what to do in a couple of places and since I cut the project, realized it was going to be too small, then let things sit for a month…I forgot there was a sew along. However, since she used the beige fabric there were some spots where I still had some questions. Your close-up shots are super helpful! And I was wondering about top-stitching with a zig zag…thanks for sharing.

  11. Wow, I’m just now seeing this (going back through your blog) and I’m so impressed and think you look so beautiful in your Watson Bra! It is truly lovely on you with great fit. I’ve been thinking about doing a Watson and I think you’ve pulled me over the ledge!

  12. I just tried this pattern and found your post as I am looking for fit examples. I sewed it with a woven (Atelier Brunette viscose remnants) cut in the bias. I have a similar breast shape as you (seems weird to say lol) and I hate wired bras, they hurt me so much. Did you go straight with your measurements? I find that the cup is much smaller than it should be. My husband likes the cleavage but it is uncomfortable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *