Lonsdale Tutorial – Bust Padding

Lonsdale Tutorial - Bust Padding

I padded the bust on my Playdate Dress, which I’m sure you know by now. It was soooooo easy! I followed Tasia’s own bust padding tutorial for how to make the bust pads and added a small change of my own too. If you haven’t, definitely read through Tasia’s tutorial first.

Since this dress is very simple on top and doesn’t have alot of seams or alot of contouring like the dress that Tasia originally made the bust padding for I decided to make just a few simple changes to compensate for this simplicity. I had actually thought about putting in boning and all that, but I wanted the dress to stay comfy and casual and relatively easy. So I only made the bust pads. And they really worked out quite well. I don’t feel completely flat when I wear the dress and this definitely eliminates the need for wearing a strapless bra. Here’s what I did:

Lonsdale Tutorial - Bust Padding

First, make a muslin underlining to hold the bust pads. Make this from the original front bodice pattern piece and then just whack off the neck ties for added simplicity. Baste your muslin underlining pieces to the front bodice shell at the center front and side seams and before stitching the center seam. I know that’s not exactly what’s shown here, but that’s how I did it, just so you know. Leave the seams at the waist and upper bust open so that you can tack in the bust pads when they are finished. After this, stitch up the center front seam and attach the back panels according to the pattern directions. Now you can set that aside and get working on the bust pads.

Lonsdale Tutorial - Bust Padding

Take a quick measurement of one of your, ahem…. breasts and then wander around the house in search of a circular object that is similar in diameter to the measurement you need. Cut out a circular piece from this circular object (mine was a candle holder – ha). Oval out the piece and then cut a second piece and start chopping off a 1/4″ all around the circle. Do this for a few layers, making each layer just a tad smaller than the one before it. This was more or less the directions that Tasia outlined in her tutorial. Really simple. I made a good 4 or 5 layers for my Playdate Dress and then just hand stitched the layers in place.

Lonsdale Tutorial - Bust Padding

Again, since the dress doesn’t have a contoured bust, I improvised. I already had some elastic thread in the sewing machine from the shirring I did to the back panels and so, I decided to do one line of stitching around the perimeter of the bottom pad 1/4″ away from the edge to cinch in the bust pad and create a similar contour to a bra. Bust pads, done!

Lonsdale Tutorial - Bust Padding

After all this, try on your basic bodice shell and determine where to put the bust pads. I did this without a bra, since a bra straps you in and lifts you up you could get the wrong placements for where to put the pads. So after fiddling with this for a bit, determine the best placement for the bust pads and then pin them in place and hand stitch them into the muslin underlining. From here on, follow the directions for finishing the dress and you are good to go with a little bust padding (especially for those of us with small busts) for added Ooommmph!

Hopefully this helps you if you plan to make bust pads to go into your Lonsdale! If you have questions, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them!

xoxo,
Sunni

  • Becky - Thanks for the tutorial, Sunni! Whenever I finally get to my Lonsdale dress (which may be next summer by this point), I’ll definitely be coming back to this. (Although I think I just may have to go with the boning route that you avoided…I’m not small-busted, and I think I’d need a little extra support!)ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I think you could totally bone the bodice – and it would definitely give you a little added support!ReplyCancel

  • LM - Thank you for the tutorial, I totally need some oomph :) Just to make sure i am getting this right, did you insert the muslin with the pads in between the fashion fabric and the lining? (this would make for 3 layers on the bodice) OR did you treat this muslin as the lining and placed the pads between the fashion fabric and the muslin ? (so only 2 layers on the bodice) I hope this makes sense :) Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I inserted the muslin with the pads in between the fashion fabric and the lining – yes, making for 3 layers on the bodice. I actually thought that it might end up being too hot! But in the end, it’s really no hotter than a bra would be. If you can go bra-less – I envy you! But if you can’t, I personally think this is the way to go. It’s surprisingly very comfy and I feel confident in that I’ve got the bra thing covered!ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - I love all of your tutorials; they’re so helpful! I was just on Burdastyle and they have a pants pattern called Nichola on the front page, and all I could think is “these pants don’t fit her well, but I’m sure with everything Sunni has posted about pants, I could make them fit me”. Thanks for posting all of this wonderful information. =)ReplyCancel

  • Lucy - Cool idea! I can’t get away with not wearing a bra, padding or not, but it would be fabulous for those who were borderline. One thing I’d do is actually measure both of the ‘girls’ and find a circular object that was the size of the larger one, since most people aren’t perfectly symmetrical. Kind of like fitting shoes, you want them to fit the biggest foot ;-) ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Great tutorial, thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Casey - Fantastic! I still haven’t started my Lonsdale (looong week and then I was working on something else that was higher sewing-priority), but I’m thinking I might give this a try. Love the elastic edge idea!ReplyCancel

  • busy as a bee… or a beaver… or some equally-industrious animal… | Ginger Makes… - [...] having lots of fun with that… and by fun I mean, what was I thinking??  I used Sunni’s take on the topic as a jumping-off point.  Her post is lovely and well thought out– the problems [...]ReplyCancel

  • Ginger Made: Lady Lonsdale | Ginger Makes… - [...] added bust padding using Sunni’s tutorial (it was a bit tedious, but mostly due to my idiocy), and I used an invisible zipper instead of a [...]ReplyCancel