How to add volume to a bra with foam filling

Yesterday I’ve added another download sewing pattern in my Etsy shop for the Pushup bra This one has an extra option to add a layer of soft fluffy and voluminous foam filling. Very different from the quite stiff padding used in most bras.Since I’ve noticed a lot of ladies have never used this material it seemed a good idea to share the process in this blog. You can use this in most underwired bras and it will give the impression your bust has grown a whole size overnight …

In the description for the Pushup bra download pattern are step-by-step illustrated instructions how to add such a high volume layer. I’ll share those illustrations here with you for better understanding the process. The same bra is also available as part of a paper version in pattern PBH30 but that pattern only describes adding a removable foam pad for the lower cup. This is the bra we are talking about but you can do the same for most underwired bras:

Pushup Coverill

The top edge of the cup is shaped with 3 scallops instead of a straight line but you can make it in a straight line as well, instructions for that are also included. The illustrations show these scallops though, so don’t get confused because you can add foam filling to most cup shapes! The foam filling will be settled between the lycra or lace outher cup and the lining on the inside.  Curious what this mysterious fluffy foam looks like? Probably you already know this as filling for furniture cushions …


Because of its volume you will have to cut its pattern parts WITHOUT any seam allowance. The doubled layer of the seam allowance would really be too much volume. So how to connect the coupe seam in the upper cup to the lower cup? Simple, by using the stitching zigzag as shown in the picture below. The zig and the zag are formed by 3 stitches each instead of just one stitch to the left and one stitch to the right. Make sure to push the foam seams together a bit while stitching so the zigzag is covering the seam without gaps.

Sew foamFilling

The lycra cup parts and the lining cup parts are sewn separately. Just sew their upper cup and lower cup together with a straight stitch. Then pin the lycra cup with the right side on the right side of the lining cup. Check before stitching; the seam allowances must be visible at both sides! Next pin the foam cup on the lycra; this one has no seam allowance so the lycra and lining are sticking out all around the foam.

Now stitch the top edge (curved or not) with a straight stitch. The machine will flatten the foam a bit and some stitches will slide through the foam as well. This way it will be just fastened enough. The picture shows some small insert cuts which are only needed when the top edge is curved.

Pushup sew upperedge

Next step is folding the lining back over the foam cup. Secure the top edge  with a row of pins; this needs some of your attention to get a smooth top edge. Then fold the lower cup of lining back over the upper cup. In the picture I used sheer lining to still show some of the upper cup for orientation. Carefully pin the coupe seam allowance on the zigzag stitched coupe seam of the foam. Don’t forget the foam has no seam allowances so the lining must stick out at both sides! Make sure the lycra cup is folded away and doesn’t get pinned as well. Stitch the lining (not the lycra!) on the foam filling just beside the earlier stitching. This will keep the lining tight against the foam and avoid the lining from wrinkling and floating inside the bra.

Pushup sew liningonfoam

It’s a bit difficult to keep all 3 layers together all the time when adding the bra band, they might start moving around during stitching. This is easy to avoid; smoothly fold the lycra and lining over the foam filling and pin all around the edges. Try to  stretch the foam a little bit so it will be stitched along as in the top edge. Secure the edges with a straight stitch at 0,75cm from the raw edge so it will not show after the bra is completed. The bra cups are now ready to sew into the bra band.

Pushup sew aroundcup

You might have noticed the pins are all in transverse to the seams and edges during the whole process. This is a little sewing trick to keep the layers in place during stitching since stretch fabrics can be quite slippery. When pinned along with the seams the fabrics tend to slide away from each other. In this aspect sewing stretch fabrics is very different from working with woven fabrics.

In case you consider to give this a try, keep in mind you might need to choose the bra cups a whole size larger due to the thickness of the foam. For my own bras I usually choose this option because the super softness of the cups against my skin give me a very luxurious feel. For the upper cups I always split the thickness of the foam in half to avoid the top edge standing out. Hopefully this illustrated step-by-step description helped to clarify the process of adding this type of foam filling for you all.

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4 thoughts on “How to add volume to a bra with foam filling

  1. Pingback: Adventures in bra making | IngeMaakt

  2. Pingback: FREE Download : How to choose and use lining in your bra | Merckwaerdigh Blog

  3. WoW this was verry helpfull i have been trying to figure out (with only the written instructions) and could not get my head around it. But this makes everything crystal clear THANKS

    Liked by 1 person

    • The paper pattern PBH30 for this bra is not the same as the download PUSHUP bra when it comes to the foam filling. The paper pattern has not the same integrated foam filling but instead describes a removable foam pad. For the download bra pattern PUSHUP I’ve used this integrated foam filling.


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