Sewing Activewear: How to Sew Your Own Sports Bra

With the right fabrics, elastics, and tips for using them, you can sew activewear.

To successfully sew activewear you need to use specialty materials, combined with specific sewing techniques. This can sometimes be a bit tricky, because stretchy fabrics and elastics are typically not as forgiving as traditional, non-stretch materials. Sportswear is also expected to really deliver – it needs to fit properly, stretch while you’re moving, and be comfortable, too. This sewing tutorial shows you how to make a sports bra, which is an activewear basic. In the course of doing so, you’ll pick up some tips for working with specialty materials which you can use to make additional sportswear pieces.

Sewing Activewear: How to Sew a DIY Sports Bra

Sewing Activewear: How to Sew a DIY Sports Bra

Take a good look at the front and back of the DIY sports bra. The fabric for the front is a matte tricot swimwear fabric and the back is a power mesh fabric. High quality fabrics with stretch and coverage are key when it comes to sewing activewear.

Sewing Activewear: How to Make a Sports Bra with Dritz Elastic

The other key ingredients for a DIY sports bra are the Dritz elastics. You’ll use the fold-over elastic around the neckline and arms. The fold-over elastic not only adds support, but it gives a professional finish to the bra. The braided elastic is used on the bottom hem of the sports bra. Other basic sewing tools needed are shown.

Sewing Activewear: How to Sew a DIY Sports Bra

Jump on over to Trash To Couture to see the full sewing tutorial for this sports bra. It will explain how to use one of your existing sports bras to create a paper sewing pattern, and then cut out and sew the fabric pieces for the front, front lining, and mesh back of the bra.

Sewing Activewear: How to Sew a DIY Sports Bra

Tips for sewing with fold-over elastic (FOE): 

1) To keep the FOE-covered edge tight against your body, cut elastic a little shorter and stretch while stitching.

2) Use a zigzag or 3-step zigzag to stitch folded elastic in place.

Sewing Activewear: How to Sew a DIY Sports Bra

Tips for encasing elastic by folding it: 

1) You don’t always have to make a casing for elastic. Stitch elastic directly to fabric, stretching slightly to match fabric. Fold elastic up to encase it in fabric and stitch along top edge to secure. (That’s what was done on this sports bra.)

2) Braided elastic (as used here) gives the edge of your athletic wear body without adding extra bulk.

Sewing Activewear: How to Sew a DIY Sports Bra

When you’re done, this is what your sports bra will look like. Now you’ll need to give it a test run! (Literally.)

Sewing Activewear: How to Sew a DIY Sports Bra

We hope that this information is helpful to you, both the specific bra instructions at Trash To Couture, and the general tips for sewing with Dritz elastics. If you’re interested in all things elastic, check out these additional resources:

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