Creative articles about sewing

Sewing a sparkling sports bra

Hello my dears,

The fifth window offers a lovely exercise-themed sewing project. And of course it also has a touch of sparkle and glamour – after all, you shouldn’t miss out on the Christmas spirit even when you are working out. The project I’ve chosen is a sports bra with a pretty, glittering elastic band. 

Time to Shine!

I sewed the sports bra on the bernette 48, a combination machine with overlock and coverstitch functions, which is ideal for sporty sewing projects, but you can also do everything on a normal household sewing machine.

Sewing a sparkling sports bra

The pattern

The pattern for the bra is the Miami sports bra, which you can get today with a 20% discount using the code BERNINA20. The pattern is available to print out yourself in sizes 34-46 in German.


For the sports bra, a fabric with vertical and horizontal stretch of at least 75% should be used. Sports fabrics are usually the best choice here. I used the sport fabric “Laikipia” for a glamorous look. It is velvety soft and features an embossed leopard pattern.

You also have the option of working with mesh, which always makes a difference. For those who need a little more support, it is also helpful to strengthen the bra with PowerNet.

To add a touch of sparkle to the bra, I sewed a decorative elastic band on directly instead of threading the elastic band through a tunnel. Here, too, there are no limits to your creativity, as there are now all sorts of fantastic elastic bands.

In addition to the “main ingredients” , you will need:

  • Matching colored sewing thread
  • Fabric clips
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Ruler/tape measure

If you are sewing on a household sewing machine, think about stretch needles and use elastic sewing thread (Seraflex) or an elastic stitch.

Let’s get started

Step 1: Cutting out

Cut out all the pieces as described in the pattern. Alternatively, you can divide the back piece and add in mesh as I did in this example. To do this, proceed as follows. Using a ruler, extend the line on the back piece from the shoulder seam until you get to the fold. Cut the pattern into two pieces along this line. Remember that now, as with the entire pattern, you’ll have to add a seam allowance here too.

Step 2: Sewing the darts

This sports bra has darts for a better fit. These are sewn first. Draw the darts on carefully and sew them on your sewing machine using a straight stitch. I always curve the end of the dart slightly so it does not form a point here later on. In addition, I trimmed the seam allowance on the darts back slightly after sewing to avoid any unsightly bulky areas in the fabric here when it is worn.

If you added the extra division to the back piece, you can now join the two pieces together on your sewing machine. Leave the needle in the fabric at the end of the V, turn the fabric and continue sewing. This will give you a nice point later on.

Step 3: Binding the edges

Here I moved away from the instructions in the e-book slightly. The reason for this is so that the machine has to be reconfigured as little as possible between overlock stitch and coverstitch.

To bind the edges, prepare a binding strip made of fabric 3 cm wide. Sew this onto the bottom edge of the top front piece, the top edge of the bottom front piece and the curved bottom edge of the back piece with the right sides together as described in the instructions.

After sewing it on with overlock stitch, you can also fold the seam allowance directly around the overlocked seam. If you are also topstitching it with coverstitch later on, you can then just fold the strip over the overlock seam. This means that it is not so thick here later on.

However, the pinned strips are not sewn on yet. If you are sewing on a separate coverstitch machine or even on a sewing machine, you can do this immediately because you don’t have to reconfigure it.

Step 4: Shoulder seams and neckline

In this step, the shoulder seams are closed first. To do this, place the top front piece onto the back piece with the right sides together and pin the pieces at the shoulder seams. Close these seams with the overlock stitch. Now measure the circumference of your neckline and calculate the length of the binding strip as described in the instructions. Fasten the two ends of the binding strip together to form a ring and sew it on with overlock stitch. Here too, you can pin the binding strip immediately for topstitching later on.

Step 5: A trick for removable padding

Some people like to add thin padding to their sports bra for a smoother look. You can get these ready-made cups in many sewing shops or you can recycle them from old sports bras or bikinis. To add the padding option, simply cut out a curve at the sides of the lining pieces and neaten the edges.

Step 6: Closing the side seams

Now you can close the side seams. Also include the lining at the top corners if you cut this out for the cup opening.

Step 7: Coverstitching the binding strips

Now reconfigure your machine for coverstitch. As the binding strips are quite narrow, I selected the 3-thread narrow coverstitch at this point. Sew all your folded-over binding strips in place. 

Step 8: Closing the front piece and binding the armholes

Then close the front piece by sewing the top front piece onto the bottom front piece as described in the instructions. For this, I usually use my regular sewing machine in order to sew as precisely as possible over the topstitched seam. This means you can’t see that it is a joining seam later on. The machine then has to be reconfigured again briefly for the overlock function. In this case, I did the same for the armholes as for the neckline. This method is slightly neater than the one described in the instructions, although it is also necessary to measure and calculate, which is not everyone’s preferred way of working.

Once the armholes have been sewn, the remaining binding strips are folded over the overlocked seam again and pinned in place.

Step 9: Sewing on the elastic band

Before switching to coverstitching for the armholes, use overlock stitch once more to sew on the elastic band. Calculate the length of the elastic band as described in the e-book. Each elastic band has different stretch properties, so no explicit value is given for the length here. Since the sparkling elastic band I used is quite thick, I decided to sew the ends together edge-to-edge using a wide zigzag stitch with a small stitch length. The ends of the seam should be secured firmly and the seam should be quite dense to make sure everything stays in place.

You can then pin the elastic band onto the bra and sew it on. When sewing it on with overlock stitch, the knife should be folded away so it does not damage the elastic band. 

Step 10: Finishing off

The machine is reconfigured one last time to coverstitch the armholes. These are already pinned in place and all that remains is to secure them. Your sports bra with a touch of sparkle is now finished. If you like, you can also sew on a pretty sparkling label.

I hope you have lots of fun sewing this project!

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