Yes. I made K a “bralette”. Or, as it is known in preadolescent female circles, the training bra.

She almost exploded from happiness. I self-drafted the pattern (it’s just a cropped tank top after all) and as soon as I tied off the last knot, she whisked it from my hands and hasn’t taken it off for the last 48 hours. M recommended that I make her a few more versions or the beautiful white Anna Sui knit (also used for the puff-sleeved tee) may end up some unspeakable hue.

We’re prudes here, so I didn’t want to post an image with her wearing it, but she’s declared the bralette “ah-mazing”. That bashful and secretive smile! I remember when I was about K’s age, I desperately wanted a training bra too — what was the allure? Some romanticizing of womanhood, certainly, but maybe it gave me a new and exciting sense of belonging, even though on a practical level there was absolutely no need for one? A little like dress-up, tween version.



I’ll put together a tutorial at some point if anyone is interested. I like the one I created because it’s so sweet and innocent-looking and met with K’s approval. She will want, of course, an animal print bralette, but that won’t be happening…

It’s an unexpected milestone! My little girl is growing up too fast.

21 thoughts on “Bralette

  1. So cute. A tutorial would be awesome. I’m sure my daughter would be stoked if I made her some 🙂

    1. Thank you, Cherie! I have a track record of taking forever for tutorials, but since K is asking me to make many, many more of these, I bet I can whip something up :-).

  2. Oh yes, a pattern please. I have a couple of granddaughters that have to wear them to school because their uniform blouse is white and they are at that tween age. They really don’t need them but they don’t want to be different from the other girls. Ha! I was such a tomboy that I had no clue until my mother dragged me off to buy my first “training bra” and I complained about how uncomfortable it was to wear. But my daughters and granddaughters all look at it as a “right of passage” and was as tickled as K to get one. Yes K is growing up, isn’t she. Enjoy it as she sounds so sweet and innocent and just wants to see how Mom reacts to the request for an animal print bra! My reaction would be an eye roll! The daughters would have been laughing as I exited the room.

    1. Oh yes, the eye roll! Isn’t it interesting how these symbolic items can make kids so giddy? What would be the male equivalent, I wonder? Thank you, Karen!

  3. This milestone always gets me, I want to say run away as fast as you can from the bra!!!!! Ha ha I mean they will be wearing them for the rest of their lives and probably spend half that time wishing they weren’t. Well at least that’s how I feel 🙂 On the other hand it seems like a healthy and probably smart thing to embrace growing up since we all have to do it. I’m glad for K that she is accepting life but I wish her many more happy childhood days!!!

    1. A part of me wanted to run away, Tracy! I’m in denial that K is growing up…but it’s also amazing to watch her transition from a baby who couldn’t pronounce the hard “c” sound, to this articulate, funny, richly emotional human.

  4. Haha we all had the same pre-teen experience, eh? Wanting to wear a training bra when we didn’t need one, feeling so “grown up” when we put one on while our mothers groan…you’re a good mama for sewing this for her, it looks so cute!

    Side note: I tried to wear an underwire bra yesterday after living in nursing bras/camisoles for a year and a half and it was AWFUL. Ugh. Bras are such a necessary evil.

    1. Underwire bras are the bane of my existence, Kristin! I try to avoid them when I can, but there are times when I don’t want to rock the saggy look if you know what I mean. K is seriously in love with this bralette and I see many more in her future :-).

      1. These comment are great! I was totally like K. Now I’ve had my spine fused for several years and have found non-foam underwires to be the most comfortable. I think the foam ones tend to rely on molding for support which doesn’t work. Just as a PSA, the unlined underwire bras from Target are amazingly supportive and inexpensive.

        1. Now you’ve got me all curious about Target bras, Becca! I have vague plans to make my own at some point, but they seem quite complicated…Thanks for the tip!

  5. I was so miffed when my mom suggested I get a training bra. I got the thickest, ugliest Champion sports bra I could find because it was more like gear than an admission I was growing up and changing. I guess I never really got excited about padding and lace because these days, my favorite underthings look pretty much like K’s new one!

    1. Haha, I can totally see you as the strong-willed preteen, Morgan! I wish I could get away with a bralette, but padding etc. is for the public good in my case! 🙂

  6. Oh go on with the animal print! I’ll bet you’ve got little leftover scraps that would be perfect!
    This one is really sweet. I thought this was for you at first glance and thought, how lucky is she that she can get away with wearing something so comfy looking. Even my unremarkable bust needs underwire type support.

    1. As my comments above attest, nope, underwire is absolutely necessary, Shelley! I do have a bunch of sports bras, but I’m suspicious of their effectiveness. And animal print….hmmmmmmmm….I don’t know, it just seems to encourage a career in pole dancing, you know?

  7. Yes, it sure goes by really fast! I remember when my daughter was saying, “I wish I had just one wiggly tooth!”

    1. Those were the sweet old days weren’t they? Now K is asking me when she can get her own phone/ipad/whatever the latest gadget is. 🙂

  8. You never cease to amaze me! It never even occurred to me to sew Katie a “bra-lette” when she entered that tween stage. It was off to Target we went! I love the sweet floral fabric you used for this – and I would imagine it’s super comfy to wear. I chuckled when I read she hadn’t taken it off for 48 hours: that’s exactly what my daughter does too and for the life of me I can’t understand why! I’m always so eager to get mine off at the end of the day. Of course, there is no underwire to be seen in these sweet bralettes so that might make a difference:)
    Welcome to yet another stage of parenting . . . glad K is embracing it with such joy!

  9. I’m 40+ and I wear a bralette. I guess you could say I never grew out of my training bra! 😉 On a completely unrelated note, my maiden name is Ishida. Beal is easier but I still have to spell it because there are many variations (Beale, Beall, Biel, etc). Oh well!

    1. Haha! I have a bunch of bralettes too that are great for just lounging around in. 🙂 Thank you, Beal, and how cool that we have the same last name — it would be interesting to see how we’re related! I had a friend in college whose last name was Ishida as well, which was a pity because he was quite a catch but the shared last name thing was a deal-breaker. 😉

  10. Hi!!
    I may have missed the boat but I’m super interesting in making this cute bralet!! Did you end up putting together a tutorial? Or even have a pattern I could use?


    1. Hi Kat! I didn’t actually do a tutorial but I may create one for my etsy shop. Thanks for the idea – stay tuned!

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