Modern Edwardian Bra – Historybounding

My modern Edwardian bra has a button closure, adjustable shoulder straps, elastic lacing at the back and is boned like a corset.

Modern Edwardian Bra - Historybounding

I made another historybounding garment! My modern Edwardian-style bra is inspired by antique Edwardian brassieres. But I’m wearing the bra as everyday bra because my DIY bra turned out so comfortable.

Related: Modern 18th Century Recycled Denim Stays – History Bounding

Edwardian Bra Inspirations

In the Edwardian era, bras were worn over the corset and chemise like on this Edwardian photo. The main inspirations for my modern Edwardian bra were this Edwardian cotton bra at Abiti Antichi, this 1910s cotton bust bodice and this Edwardian cotton brassiere with elastic sides at the MET museum.

Related: Dressing The 1900s Woman – Edwardian Lingerie

Single Layer Bra

Because most corsets in the Edwardian era were single-layer corsets, I also used only one layer of fabric for the Edwardian-style bra. I used pale blue cotton fabric that I dyed myself.

Related: Edwardian Single Layer Summer Corset

Seams

So, because it’s a single-layer bra, I couldn’t use the welt seam method. Instead I used flat felled seams which was one of the most popular seams for underwear in the Edwardian era. I also finished all raw edges either with cotton bias binding or cotton tape.

Related: Handkerchief To Top Refashion Tutorial – Edwardian Handkerchief Camisole

Modern Edwardian Bra WIth Elastic Corset Lacing
Elastic lacing at the back

Boning

My Edwardian bra is boned at the front, side front and back. There are a total of 8 bones in the bra. I used synthetic whalebone because it’s the best substitute for real whalebone. The bra is boned like a corset with vertical boning and cotton tape boning channels.

Related: 10 Types Of Corset Boning For Historical Corsetry

The boning prevents wrinkles in the bra. And what I also like about the corset-style boning is that the vertical boning doesn’t dig into the body like the underwire of store-bought bras!

Button Closure

The bra is closed with buttons at the center front. A button closure was the typical closure of Edwardian bras. I used historically correct real mother of pearl buttons.

Related: Edwardian Corded Health Corset With Button Closure

Elastic Lacing

Edwardian bras often had lacing at the back. And after reading that some Edwardian corsets already had elastic lacing instead of ordinary lacing cords I decided to use elastic lacing for my bra too! Because elastic corset lacing is no longer produced, I used ordinary elastic band instead.

‘Bust support […] in batiste, with elastic back’ (Eaton’s Spring and Summer Catalogue, 1907). ‘Corset Laces – Round elastic, black or white, 2 1/2 yards’ (Eaton’s Spring and Summer Catalogue, 1904).

Here‘s an antique 1900-1905 girl’s corset bodice with original elastic lacing.

The elastic lacing at the back makes the bra really comfortable to wear! And there’s another advantage of the elastic lacing: If the elastic becomes stretched out, I can easily replace it.

Modern Edwardian Style Bra Details History Bounding
Modern Edwardian bra details: button closure, hand-braided lacing cord, elastic lacing & inside view with boning

Hand-Sewn Eyelets

While most Edwardian bras had metal grommets for the lacing, I made hand-sewn eyelets. On instagram I shared a video of how I hand sew eyelets.

Adjustable Shoulder Straps

The adjustable shoulder straps of my DIY bra are inspired by 18th century stays. Edwardian bras usually had adjustable shoulder straps with buttons like my Edwardian health corset. But the buttons create an unsightly bulk if the bra is worn under modern clothes. So I used lacing cord instead. I used pale blue cotton yarn for the lacing cord which I braided into a four strand braid.

Related: 18th Century Linen Stays With Adjustable Shoulder Straps

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