I’ve been meaning to share the Stitch Upon a Time Brazi over the last several years as it’s my absolute favorite sewing pattern but I somehow kept putting it off. Apparently when it’s mostly just a bra it’s hard to justify sharing. This pattern has been featured in all three of my previous years of the 52 week sewing challenge recap posts: 2018, 2019, and 2020 along with being a very common outfit choice as shown in my Me-Made-May 2020 post.
This Brazi sewing pattern says it includes “[t]hree beautiful looks in one!” which surprised me when I looked over the pattern again as I’ve somehow saw the Brazi as, only, two really incredible looks. I absolutely adore using the Brazi as my go to bra and love how comfortable it is. That said the dress version, which I saw as one outfit and not two completely different looks, does come with two different lengths that you can choose from including a knee length version or one all the way to the floor. Personally, I was never a maxi dress fan but I had a lot of fabric when I went to sew the dress up again so I ended up trying the longer version and have now fallen in love with the Brazi maxi dress when using a light-weight and flowing fabric.
The Bra Version
I’ve sewn the bra version of this pattern so many times and love the variety of uses it offers with a single pattern. The Brazi itself includes two different cut lines to accommodate different modesty levels along with including different cup sizes offering a truly custom fit to you. According to the website, on April 2021, this pattern had “tester success in cup size up to F.” The pattern comes with amazing instructions including how to sew bra cups inside the lining for extra coverage. Placing and sewing the bra cups to the fabric is, for me, the hardest part of the entire pattern so I love how this happens near the beginning of the steps so I can truly enjoy the rest of the sew knowing that part was already accomplished. Since buying this pattern I’ve used it to create sedate solid bras to wear under my day-to-day clothing, sewn loud workout bras, and even made a swimming top. The Brazi has absolutely ruined me to normal store-bought bras but I don’t care. Even if the Brazi was only this, and not also a dress, I’d still think it was an epic deal of a pattern.
I love having the simple solid colors in my drawer but I absolutely adore sewing up this pattern in bright and bold patterns. I justify using these fabrics by calling the end result a workout bra. Years ago I sewed up my first Brazi using mystery box knit fabric as a wearable muslin. The fabric didn’t have the best recovery and I had skipped over the bra cups as I wasn’t sure if it would fit me anyway. Once I knew the pattern size I measured into was spot on I grabbed a Wonder Woman themed underwear panel I had bought from Whimsy Baby Customs and turned it into a bright workout bra. Although, looking back, I sewed the bra cups in at a weird location I still wore it proudly for years, including sometimes under my clothing when I left the house, before it ripped and I finally knew it was done for. More recently, I found another adorably cute underwear panel through Whimsy Baby Customs and used it to create yet another workout bra that I’ve been pairing under a loose top when I work out in the mornings.
Normally with bras you try not to let them show at all under your shirt. This is where I both hate and love the Brazi. With the wider straps that intersect in the back it’s sometimes hard not to show off your straps especially when your top’s neckline is wide since the straps normally lay close to my neck. Sometimes I just shrug off the visible straps and sometimes I hate that they show and debate wearing other bras. Wearing a low cut top; however, is where the Brazi shines as I love that I can use the Brazi as a camisole instead of as a bra without any of the extra length or heat.
Or, I guess, I could just not hide the Brazi at all and instead show it off. My favorite use of the bra version of the Brazi pattern was when I turned it into a swim top. I didn’t even need to hack the pattern at all as it was just about what materials I used rather than how I used them. I swapped out the bra cups for thinner swim cups, substituted the normal elastic for swim elastic, and switched out the normal fabric I’ve been using for swim fabric (outer pieces and band) and swim lining (the liner pieces). I paired my swim top with the Stitch Upon a Time’s Scrundlewear 2.0 Women’s Underwear using the same swim fabric as my top so they matched. If you’re interested in making your own swim suit my bottoms were made the same way as my kids’ swim bottoms, using the kids’ version of the Scrundlewear pattern, which I explained, under Sewing Up The Swim Bottoms, in this blog post.
Although the bra version is amazing and oh so versatile the dress version is also epic in it’s own right.
The Dress Version
What’s my absolute favorite aspect of the Brazi dress? The fact that it doesn’t even need a bra! You don’t need to pair this extremely comfy dress with an uncomfortable bra or worry about whether your bra straps might be showing. I absolutely adore it! That said, I haven’t actually worn my dresses out of the house but they’ve become my most worn home outfits which says a lot as I’ve been home so much since the shelter-in-place orders came into effect in our area.
After making that Wonder Woman themed bra I decided to cut into my Doctor Who themed custom fabric to try out the Brazi dress version for my first time. Like before I made sure to include bra cups in the liner so I could wear the dress without a bra…. one of the main reasons I may have bought this pattern. I somehow screwed it up so the bra cups ended up being backwards but I decided to leave it and kept going although I started to regret that decisions more and more as I went on. I never did fix it but I still wore the resulting dress for years around the house. This dress was my excuse for buying bamboo Lycra for my first time, specifically choosing Don’t Blink fabric from a Halloween Fabriculous Custom Fabrics preorder, which I couldn’t wait to use on the skirt. I wasn’t sure how secure the lighter fabric would be for the top portion (I’ve since used light and it’s been fine) or if I’d have enough (I did and still have the leftovers) so I found a TARDIS cotton Lycra panel through Snowy Owl Fabrics that I used for the back of the bra and the band. I ended up using the bamboo Lycra for the front of the bra but lined the entire bra portion with leftover white cotton Lycra from Whimsy Baby Customs so I was sure that it would hold up over time. I absolutely loved the resulting dress but never felt comfortable with the idea of wearing it out of the house with the mistakes I had made in it’s construction. It was hilarious, six or so months ago, when I was going through my fabric stash and came across the extra Don’t Blink fabric as it was so dark and bold compared to how faded my dress had gotten over the years with so much use.
That first dress was made back in October of 2018 and it somehow took me until August of 2020 to finally make another Brazi dress. I can’t believe it took me so long but I’m so glad I finally made another. I think having this, and the one I made a month later, is why I finally stopped wearing the faded TARDIS one. I knew that I wanted to use an extremely lightweight and flowy fabric as I loved how the bamboo Lycra felt and flowed around me so I picked out a double brushed poly I had bought previously from Sly Fox Fabrics to use. I have never been a maxi dress person and never liked any maxi dress I attempted to try on in store dressing rooms. That said, since I had a bunch of this fabric available I chose the maxi length figuring I could easily trim it shorter later. The paper pattern piece looked way to long for me so I held it up against me and trimmed the excess length off so it didn’t drape on the floor. With the pattern piece shortened I then cut out my fabric pieces and, since knit fabric doesn’t unravel and I was feeling lazy, left the finished dress unhemmed and I’ve never looked back. I absolutely love this dress and have since worn it at least once a week. Over time the dress has stretched a out a bit, not helped by when I tuck it around my toes like a blanket every so often, so it does sometimes drag on the floor when I walk and can be annoying if I take the garbage to the curb in the rain. That said, I could always shorten the dress with sewing scissors and/or finally hem the bottom so I’m not too concerned. I’ll leave it blanket-like for now.
Just a quick FYI the solid color of the fabric makes stains more apparent. I’ve found, whenever I notice a grease stain that didn’t come out, that scrubbing it with a bit of wet Fels-Naptha laundry bar either the morning or night before running the washing machine gets it out. It is quite strong so I keep the bar in a sealed upcycled plastic container whenever I’m not using it so I don’t have to smell it.
I loved the flowy Brazi so much that I only waited about a month later before justifying another. I’m actually currently wearing this dress as I type this post up six months later and again, laughing at this, when going through a final review. This time around I used a lightweight cotton spandex blend I bought back in March (2020) from Girl Charlee and, like all the other times, sewed bra cups to the liner and left the bottom unhemmed. I don’t know if it’s only the fabric’s difference in texture or weight from the previous dress or if it’s the print on the fabric but I love this dress even more than the last. Even though I’ve only been wearing my Brazi dresses around the house this is the one I lay out the night before when I know I want to feel great and take on the day with confidence.
I absolutely adore my Stitch Upon a Time Brazi bras and dress and I had to share them with you in their own post. Have you tried out the Brazi yet? What was your favorite fabric to use for yours? Are there any other bra-less and supportive dresses that you love wearing? Feel free to share in the comments below. I hope your week is going well.
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