Here is a review of a quick-to-sew Christina Sports Bra Pattern by Porcelynne. This VERY size inclusive pattern boasts a whopping 13 band and 14 cup sizes for a total of 182 unique sizes!! It features modern princess seams and some eye catching crossover front elastic detail. The pattern pieces of this pattern is also interchangable with the pieces from the Laurel Pattern which feature a v-neck, lattice front band and heart shaped cutout.
A few quick notes before we launch into the nitty gritty - I did make some [minor] pattern changes to the pattern to suit my personal preferences. Namely, added a traditional hook and eye closure to the back as I GREATLY disliked pulling sports bras over my head (anyone who has tried Bikram or Hot Yoga would understand). This necessitated a reduction of the band elastic by roughly 2” and a traditional strap elastic at the back scoop.
Instructions for the sports bra was adequate with accompanying diagrams for every step. I found the steps to be fairly intuitive for someone with some sewing experience with clothing (but perhaps little or none with bras). My favorite aspect of the instructions had to be that the supply list not only listed the various types of appropriate fabrics but also their weights and spandex content! This is a huge boon for those who are foraying into athletic fabrics for the first time and certainly makes online shopping easier. I used a 325gsm brushed performance fabric 88/12 lycra from So Sew English.
I chose a 32E to test based on my 30” underbust and 37” full bust. It is very important to follow your measurements on her size chart as the cup progression is VERY different from most RTW or bra patterns - especially if you are larger than a D cup. I believe it is “International” vs the UK or US cup progression.
Due to my pattern changes, I was only able to follow the majority of the instructions with a few changes in sewing sequence to accommodate the hook & eye. I opted to add the optional rolled elastic between the layers of elastic and sewed on the straps at the same time so all of the elastics are sandwiched between the layers.
This pattern was a definitely a quick sew with the help of a serger/overlocker for the main body. That said, a combination of the two is highly recommended (by me - not the pattern). I needed to use the sewing machine multiple times to “flatten” certain seams where I know my serger would struggle getting through all of the layers. This being a muslin, I did not top stitch anything so that also reduced the sewing time.
There was one area that I spent far too much time on - and that was the front strap attachment. It seemed bulky where the 3 elastics overlapped (1 strap elastic and 2 optional rolled elastic) and despite trimming the corners and stitching down the seam allowance, it still seemed bulky. This may also be due to the fact I decided to “enclose” the edge of the strap within the body of the bra rather than follow the instructions.
There’s no bones about it. The Christina Sports bra is VERY comfy. It fits well without being too compressed and I was happy to report the straps stayed put despite no longer being a racerback. That said, I would likely never wear this for its intended use as its “too” comfy for high impact exercises to me. This may be due to the fact my performance fabric only had 12% spandex vs the recommended 20% (I thought it was 20% until I actually looked it up post bra completion) but was 325 gsm as recommended. Combined with a personal preference for a firm band (from years of corset wearing) love of wired encapsulated sports bras, I would only likely wear this around the house or to yoga.
I would make this again using fabrics that FULLY fall within the guidelines and include the optional layer of powernet for another analysis. Two layers of athletic fabric wasn’t quite what I was looking for and it seems unfair to review a pattern without following the basic tenets of fabric requirement. The Christina Sports bra (as made with 2 layer of performance fabric) seems like it would be great for yoga, hiking, lounging around the house, nursing (with a nursing conversion), pregnancy, or a cute bathing suit (pair with your fav bottoms). Sewn with a layer of firm Powermesh or Techsheen, I have no doubt it will be a fine sports bra for those who crave a bit more support.