Pretty bra straps? A crazy tutorial

Okay, I have a tutorial to share with you today that I think is pretty cool, but some of you may think is the craziest thing you've ever heard.

In one of my magazines I heard about the Maidenform Charmed line, which has come out with some pretty bras, including two with pretty lace or straps--so it doesn't matter if they poke out from under your sundress!
And this slightly different one, with a pretty band and plain straps:
Very pretty, right?  They're not the style of bra that I usually wear, but I like the idea of pretty straps that you're not afraid of showing a little.

This gave me an idea--again, please don't judge me too much if you think I'm ridiculous for doing this! ;)
I took an old bra that I liked but didn't care too much about, and added wide lace ribbon straps instead of the elastic ones.  I removed the straps that came on it to do this.  That's okay with me; they were kinda dirty already, you know how white bra straps get.  It may be close to time for a new bra, but until then, I have pretty bra straps that look like another layer of tank or something, not too lingerie-ey!

So how about a simple little tutorial for how to do this yourself (if you're in the school of, "hey, that's a neat idea!")!

You can do this with a regular bra or a strapless (I also tried it with one of those removable strap ones).

  • Cut off the straps if necessary.  you're going to sew at the point where the old strap attached to the bra.
  • Pin your lace or ribbon onto the bra.  I like to make it continue to the bottom of the band, just for less strain on the stretchy nylon.
  • Sew along the ribbon or lace (I matched my top thread to the lace, bobbin to the bra) in line with the band.
  • Great.  Now, try on you bra and pull the straps toward the front.  Pin them in place where they'll meet on the front, and try to move around a lot as you do when you wear a bra normally.  These won't have as much stretch as modern bra straps, so you want them at a nice medium length (not the tightest, not the loosest).  You can always buy lingerie sliding pieces to use with your ribbon or lace, but I went the easy way and just chose a length.  No pics of this part!  Don't want to show the internet too much of my undies.
  • Make sure both sides match in length, or are close, and pin in place.
  • If you're doing this on a strapless, tuck the ribbon or lace behind the edge of the bra.  If you do it on a regular bra, I suggest putting it in front of the cut-off part and finishing it nicely.

Ta-da!  Super easy and fast!

33 comments

  1. That's such a smart idea, I love it!

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  2. Great idea - it's not ridiculous at all!

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  3. I really like this! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. How is this NOT a good idea? I love it! :)

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  5. I love this idea! I'm thinking you could also do a sort of slipcover of some kind that slides on over the straps somehow, that would be wider and would give the effect of wearing a cute printed tank or something. Could be combined with this: http://www.modabakeshop.com/2010/08/faux-cami.html

    Would be a great way to get the effect of a tank with none of the bulk and no ugly bra straps showing!

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  6. Great idea!! One of those "now why didn't I think of that!"
    Thank you

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  7. Great idea, I hate how my bra straps look on my "white" bra.

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  8. fantastic idea - I love it!

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  9. That's such a cool idea!!! I linked to your tutorial over on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-make-your-bra-straps-pretty/2010/08/26/

    --Anne

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  10. I don't think this is a crazy idea at all! In fact, it's brilliant!! Especially since all the adorable sundresses out there havesome crazy top that never works with a regular bra anyway. Very cute!

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  11. This is a great idea! I have a strapless convertible that I don't like....it might be nice to make it a permanant halter!

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  12. Terrific idea! I don't think I would do it for me but maybe for my (30 yo) daughter.
    TFS
    Kathy

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  13. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Time to look for cute straps :)

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  14. What a terrific solution for those ugly straps!

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  15. What a lovely idea! It's not crazy at all!!! Off I go to change some straps!

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  16. ilovecrafts8/27/2010

    I love the idea! I live in the Philippines and all bra straps turn yellow/grey so quickly from perspiration and I hate them peaking out. My bras are often still in perfectly good condition, so from now on I will just change the straps!

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  17. Really cute indeed. Not crazy, just smart! :-)

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  18. Anonymous8/27/2010

    I think this is brilliant! And, like everyone else, not ridiculous at all. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Okay, okay, maybe it's not "crazy"--thanks for the reassurance! I was afraid people would think it was a stupid thing to do to a bra since bras are expensive, and if you need a lot of support maybe it would be uncomfortable to have non-stretchy straps...
    so glad so many of you like it!

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  20. Cute idea and not crazy at all.

    I once took the elastic waistbands off my underwear and reattached them about 3 inches lower, after accidentally buying granny panties.

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  21. I love it! My bra is always hanging out of tight tops and never sits quite right. It would be lovely to make it look like it was another lacy tank underneath or something that actually goes with the color scheme and doesn't look like just an ordinary bra! Perfect...I'm sure VS will be copying you soon! ;)

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  22. Shelby8/27/2010

    This is a great way to style your bra! I am going to try this with mine now!

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  23. genius. you are a genius.

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  24. Erin H8/30/2010

    Great idea! I always have a problem with my straps showing and strapless bras just don't do it for me. Can't wait to try this!

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  25. This is unbelievably cool - so simple, yet so awesome!

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  26. I've got to do this! I hate bra straps showing but I basically sport that "look" all summer long! Although summer is over now, I think I'll be giving a few bras a makeover thanks to your amazing inspiration! Thanks for sharing this!! xo

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  27. i am so going to do this!! you are so funny that you think this is a crazy idea! i think it is a FANTASTIC idea!!

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  28. Anonymous11/06/2012

    This is very late to the game, but any idea how to do this for a nursing bra? The very nature of emptying and refilling your boobs with nutrition for a little one requires something with a lot of stretch - I've been known to change about three cup sizes throughout the day, depending on growth spurts. Does stretch lace even exist?

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    1. Great question but unfortunately I have no experience with nursing bras... but yes, stretch lace exists, although it might not be strong enough unless it was like lingerie bra strap lace--might be able to find it at a specialty/nicer/larger fabric store!

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    2. Anonymous11/07/2012

      Do you think just top stitching it on over the existing strap might work? My machine has a couple of stitches designed for stretching, so I'm thinking of giving it a try.

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  29. I've planned on doing this, and also using stretch lace to cover the entire bra and play about with different colours and embellishments to make a plain old bra look like something out of a Victoria's Secret catalogue. Glad to see someone tried it and it came out well. Will definitely move it up on my to do list. Good job! By the way, you're crazy to think someone will think you're crazy for doing this! This is ingenious!

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