The Willowdale Bra is here and ready to join your lingerie drawer! Find all of the answers to your top Willowdale questions here.
The Willowdale Bra is a full frame underwire bra in sizes 28C-54J with a 4-piece cup design for vital support and lift in a beautifully rounded shape—the perfect bra for a large bust. We teamed up with a specialist bra drafter for larger cup sizes to develop the Willowdale and we’re really delighted with the fit we achieved with our fit models and photoshoot models!
Bra making can be more complex than other garment sewing, so we know you may have questions about the Willowdale. Check this list for the answers—and if you can’t find the information you’re looking for, drop a note in the comments at the bottom of the post!
About the Willowdale
How do I get the Willowdale Bra pattern?
The Willowdale can be purchased as an instant download PDF pattern in our shop right over here.
Can I get the Willowdale as a printed pattern?
The Willowdale Bra is only available as a PDF pattern, with print at home (very little taping required!) and copy shop files are also included if you’d rather send it out to be printed or you don’t have a printer at home. If you’re new to PDF patterns, check out our complete guide for beginners.
I’ve never made a bra before. Should I try the Willowdale?
Absolutely! Bra making is a whole lot of fun, and so empowering (especially when you’re making a bra designed for your body!). We wouldn’t recommend it as your very first sewing project ever, but if you feel comfortable sewing with woven and knit fabric, we say go for it.
Our detailed instructions and many blog tutorials to come will help you through every step of the process, plus we’ll be sharing tons of resources for online classes, books, and more.
Can I sew a bra on a regular sewing machine?
You sure can! You can make the Willowdale from start to finish on a basic sewing machine (a serger is not needed).
It’s helpful to have a walking foot, but it’s not essential.
Can I make the Willowdale without underwires?
The Willowdale is designed to be an underwire bra, but you can sew it up as is and leave out of the underwires if you’d like something less structured (but also less supportive).
Can I make the Willowdale with bra foam?
The Willowdale is not designed to be used with bra foam.
Do I need to be in the Cashmerette Club to get this pattern?
Nope! The Willowdale is available to anyone to purchase, although as an exclusive offer ONLY in June, All Access members get the Willowdale Bra free a special bonus! (All Access members who are signed up by June 30 will be sent a discount coupon eligible for one Willowdale bra PDF. Offer ends June 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST.)
Not a Club member? Join today.
Sizing and Fit
What sizes do I get in the Willowdale pattern?
The Willowdale includes band sizes 28-54 and cups C, D, DD, E, F, G, H, I, and J, which accommodates a full bust from 31″ to 65″ (79 to 165 cm) and underbust from 28″ to 55″ (72 to 142 cm). All of the sizes are included in the pattern and each size is in a separate file.
To figure out what size to make, check out our Willowdale size guide.
Are these US sizes, European sizes, or what?
There’s so much variation between bra sizing from country to country and company to company, so we recommend identifying your size using your measurements, and the instructions we’ve included in the pattern for choosing your size! You will likely find your recommended size is similar to your RTW size, but even if it’s not, don’t worry! Your measurements are the best guide to start with.
How do I figure out what size to make in the Willowdale?
Check out our Willowdale size guide for step-by-step instructions on choosing your Willowdale size.
Can I use the Cashmerette size calculator to get my size in the Willowdale?
Our size calculator can help you find your ideal starting size in Cashmerette garment patterns, but bra sizing is different and much more granular. To figure out your Willowdale size, check out our Willowdale size guide.
I’m outside the size range of the Willowdale. Can I still make a Willowdale Bra?
If your measurements don’t have a corresponding bra size in the Willowdale, you may still be able to make a Willowdale Bra! It’s all about sister sizing, and we have a full explanation on that in the Willowdale size guide.
Do I have to make an entire Willowdale to check the fit?
You’ll find differing opinions about bra muslins around the internet, but we recommend making an entire Willowdale to check the fit. Bra fit depends on so much structure and tension going in different directions, and it’s hard to simulate that with a partial bra.
However, if you’d like to reuse your elastics and hardware, you can baste your test Willowdale to make it easier to take apart later.
I’ve made a test Willowdale and I want to improve the fit. How do I do that?
Our Bra Fitting Guide is the best place to start! We’ve got loads of fitting tutorials and resources to help you refine the fit of your Willowdale.
I still need help with my Willowdale. Where can I get personalized assistance?
If you’ve reviewed our Willowdale size guide as well as the Bra Fitting Guide and need further help with your Willowdale:
- You can ask questions in the Cashmerette Facebook group or in the Cashmerette Clubhouse (Club members only) and get help from sewists from around the world.
- You can email us directly with your measurements and photos at email@example.com and get one-on-one help from our team.
Fabric & Notions
What supplies do I need in order to make a Willowdale?
You can find the complete list of fabrics and notions you’ll need for your Willowdale in this blog post or in the pattern instructions booklet.
Where do I buy bra making supplies?
Sourcing fabric and notions can be a bit more challenging than just walking into your local fabric store. Check out our guide to sourcing bra materials for online bra shops from around the world.
Can I order a Willowdale kit?
Yes! We’ve partnered with several bra supply shops from around the world to bring your Willowdale kits that contain just about everything you need to make a Willowdale. (The pattern is not included, and underwires may or may not be included.) These kits are sold by the individual bra shops on their websites. See the complete list of available kits in this blog post.
I already have a bra kit that I purchased for a different pattern. Can I use that one for the Willowdale?
Possibly! Different bra patterns use slightly different fabrics and notions, so you’ll want to review the Willowdale supply list to determine whether you have the right materials.
Can I use non-stretch fabric for my Willowdale? What about super stretchy fabric?
The Willowdale is designed for low-stretch (less than 20%) fabric to get the ideal fit. You can use fabric with no stretch, but you may need to do additional fitting since the fabric has no give.
If you use a fabric with a greater stretch percentage, you’ll lose the level of support intended with the Willowdale.
General Bra Making
I’m new to bra making. Where do I learn how to make a bra?
Welcome! We recommend exploring some of the bra making resources in our roundup here, particularly Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy courses.
I’ve heard bra making is hard. Is it?
Like with all sewing, bra making can be boiled down to a series of steps and no single step is inherently hard. Some steps may be confusing if you haven’t make a bra before, but we’ve designed our instruction booklet to make it as clear as possible, and you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re confused about any step.
Where bra making becomes more challenging than regular garment making is with fitting. Bras sit right up against our bodies and provide support and lift, and most of us want our bras to fit well. But boobs come in all shapes and sizes, so you may need to make one or more test versions in order to perfect the fit.
You can find lots of bra fitting tutorials and resources in our Bra Fitting Guide.
Is bra making expensive?
Bras require different materials than regular garments, but they’re generally much smaller than regular garments and therefore require less yardage. Depending on the quality of materials and quantity you purchase, you may find that your bras cost more or less than other garments you make. Also quality, well-fitting ready-to-wear bras can be expensive, so you may find that they cost less than the bras you buy (but take more time, of course!).
We hope we’ve answered all of your Willowdale Bra questions, but if not, you can drop them in the comments below and we’ll be happy to help.
One thought on “Your top bra questions, answered! Willowdale Bra FAQs”
You can also sew the muslin bra with water dissolvable thread to reuse the findings/elastics without the difficult task to unpick the seams!