FREE Download : How to choose and use lining in your bra

A new FREE download for the use of cup lining in bras has just been added in Merckwaerdigh Home  You can download it through the link free downloads.

The download compares different types of lining, regular ones but also types of lining which will add extra volume to the bra cups. Not only comparing them, there are illustrated instructions how to use them as well.

You might remember the blog I wrote a while ago how to add volume to a bra where I explaned what voluminous foam type filling can do for a bra. In other countries (beside Holland where we call it fiberfill) the stuff is called batting I’ve learned by now, and used for quilting as well. Don’t use the cotton batting for lingerie and certainly not for swimwear, it’s drying very slowly so wearing close to the skin and washing could be a problem. The synthetic batting would be a much better option. In that earlier blog is a full description of the whole process so I will concentrate on the other types here.

Let’s concentrate first on the ‘regular’ linings like charmeuse and netting. It would be a good idea to always use lining in the bra cups; the main support for the bust comes from this undervalued material. Allright, it’s true underwires and firm elastics play an important role as well but without lining the bra the poor breast would bag down in no time. So, what exactly is this CHARMEUSE?


Charmeuse lining is a smooth very fine knitted silky fabric which was already used in the fifties for underwear, they still use it for slipdresses and sleepwear I think. It’s usually can be a bit shiny but can also matte, sometimes it’s almost sheer but it can be pretty opaque as well. Different types are available and all can be usefull for the bra cups. Because of the knitting there is always a little ‘give’ in one direction. Be sure to use that ‘give’ horizontally, when used in vertical direction the bust can still drop a bit and we don’t want that to happen! Never cut diagonally because left and right won’t be the same with a knitting. Charmeuse can also be used for lining the bridge midfront, between the cups. A more delicate lining is NETTING


A picture never shows fabrics properly, this was the best I could do I’m afraid … Compared to charmeuse netting is more open, like the tulle used in petticoats. Only, netting is very soft and supple so it won’t scratch the skin and the openings are very very tiny. It’s always sheer, some types still have some ‘give’ but other types are completely rigid. Both can be used for the bridge as well though the full rigid ones are the best choice for that.

When sewing these regular linings it’s best to spray-glue the lining on the fabric before pinning and sewing. When you don’t want to or don’t have spray-glue you can also pin them all around the part, don’t be shy in the amount of pins! These soft and smoth fabrics tend to slide away very easily during stitching which will end up in a wrinkled and messy product. So be sure to keep them together with your glue or pins during sewing. When done just handle it as one layer.

The coupe seam in the cup (the one running over the nipple) should best be stitched with an overlock stitch (serger) which will keep it flexible. Do topstitch the seam because a loose seam allowance will irritate the nipple. Also it will not stay neatly at one side which will show through the cup! In stores you sometimes see the topstitching very close to the seam, leaving the raw end still a bit loose. I prefer to stitch at the very end, preferably through the yarn loops. That’s not achievable very easy but when you take your time and concentrate it can be done. Make sure the fabrics are completely flat at the seam, you have to stretch them a bit during stitching to keep them flat. Sewing can be like handling kids, you have to let the fabric know who’s boss! Anyway, this way the seam will be very flexible because it doesn’t go through al these layers of fabric, it just stitches through the yarn. And it will not irritate the nipple at all!

topstitch locknaad

Beside these regular linings you could use volume cup lining. This can be the volume fleece (batting) by itself which would need an extra layer of regular lining between the skin. The process for this in a bra with separated band is described in my earlier blog  how to add volume to a bra and the process for a bra with full band in the FREE download cup lining The difference between the 2 is in the underwire seam. In a full band the underwire is placed in the band and the batting needs a seam allowance at the underwire seam. In a separated band the underwire has to be incorparated in the cup because the band is not all around the cup, this means the batting doesn’t need a seam allowance at the underwire seam. Another type of lining to add volume is PADDING, which basically is batting with regular cup lining glued to it at both sides.

foam + padding

In the picture it shows the padding on the left and the batting on the right. As you can see padding doesn’t have as much volume compared to batting. This is caused by the glue which flattens the materials and also adds some stiffness to it. Comparing both materials you might say batting adds volume and softness (like caressing you breast) while the stiffer padding gets your breast to stand out more. The next pictures show one bra with batting and one bra with padding. I hope the difference will show!

bras insidebras outside

Padding comes in different varieties, it might be very thin but can have quite some volume as well. Beside batting it can have a different type of foam layer in between.  Next picture shows some types I had still laying around but there are more varieties.

padding types

There are illustrated instructions for this in my download pattern Strapless in the Etsy shop and in the FREE download cup lining but I will repeat it here as well. Just like the batting only add a seam allowance at the underwire seam! For a bra with seapareted band don’t even add one there! These materials are far too thick to double up. Sewing the coupe seam  (the one running over the nipple)  in the cups is the same for both batting and padding; just zigzag them together with a stitching 3 steps zigzag stitch. Difference is; the batting coupe seam will be covered with lining while the padding coupe seam stays nude and needs covering with strip of lining.

Cut a strip of 25mm cup lining and triple fold this lengthwise. Pin the whole length tranvers to keep the layers in place. Pin the strip loosely over the seam with the raw edges downwards. Topstitch along both lengths with a large straight stitch.

Padding seam

When using no scalloped lace for the cups but plain lycra the top edge can be finished with folding elastic or use a blind seam. Blind seam??? Let me show you;  first stitch the lycra cup with an overlock stitch (serger). Pin the lycra with the right side downwards on the wrong side of the padding and stitch the top edge 2mm from the raw edges with a straight stitch. Fold the lycra loosely back to the right side of the padding and be carefull NOT to fold the padding as well! Carefully pin the layers along the raw edges with the pins transverse. 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. Stitch around the underwire seam with a stitching zigzag to secure the layers.

Padding Topedge


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One thought on “FREE Download : How to choose and use lining in your bra

  1. Pingback: FREE download : How to make your own PADDED STRAPS in a bra | Merckwaerdigh Blog

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