Today's DIY arrives in the form of this easy-to-sew harness or cage bra. It's a take two on my original cage bra DIY tutorial. (It's also a sneaky hint at the bra that Rachel Berry wore in this performance in Glee!) A while ago one of my readers sent me a photo of a cage bra she'd made following my original tutorial and I was so impressed and inspired it encouraged me to shoot round 2!
So this time I'm using thinner straps and adding more of them. I wanted a detailed bra to wear under low cut or sheer tops and dresses. The idea is the exact opposite of trying to disguise your bra straps. You need a few simple items for this DIY and everything was hand sewn. These harness style bralets such as this one from Free People and this Nasty Gal one are very expensive. My project took an afternoon to complete and cost very little.
What You Need
Plain Black Bra
Needle and Black Thread
Centre Strap 10cm
Bottom 2 Straps 12cm
Middle 2 Straps 13cm
Top 2 Straps 15cm
I like to sketch out a design first to give me something to work from. These above measurements will entirely depend on your size and shape. I found out what length my straps needed to be by putting the bra on and holding the elastic up to my own body. Use my measurements as a guideline and remember you want the elastic to be tight across your chest not loose so take a comfortable measurement and then drop that down by 1cm.
Making the centre ring. Start by creating the centre of the bra with one small silver ring. You can use a jewellery jump ring but I had this pack of midi rings and I used one from the set. Loop one end of your centre strap through the ring and sew together in a straight line
Forming the structure. Attach this centre strap to the middle of your bra (where the cups meet.) Hand sew it firmly. You can cut your other elastic straps to size and lay them out on a flat surface.
Attaching straps to ring. Attach these two top straps to the ring, using the same technique as before.
Pinning. Use sewing pins to create the rest of the harness. Once pinned in place you can carefully try on the bra to check everything's in the correct position. Remember the angle in which you attach the straps is also important. I sewed mine at a slanted angle and then cut off any unnecessary elastic.
Tacking. I recommend you tack your straps into place (sew a quick temporary stitch) because you may need to juggle the positioning of them at first. Once everything's sitting properly on your chest you can go ahead and sew the straps firmly.
Ta da! This is the finished result! The original bra I used (from LaSenza) had removable straps so I was able to try out a cross-back version by swapping over the back two straps like...
And finally, it's optional, but I also added three straight straps across my back for extra detail. This is perfect for when you have a dress or top that has a low back too. If you liked this DIY tutorial please check out my original Cage Bra DIY and you can find plenty more DIYs here.