Learn how to make a custom sized supportive bralette cup that will fit your unique shape using basic crochet stitches.
I have attempted at least four times now to crochet a bralette based on online tutorials plus my own techniques. If you're reading this post, chances are that you have had no luck either in making a cute crocheted top that fits your chest. In the past, the cups either ended up squashing my bust or being too loose to the point where it provides no support.
If you Google "how to crochet a bra cup" or something similar, you'll see the classic straight bottom cup with a slightly curved top. In every tutorial, however, the solution to a curvy bust was to use the same cup, but make it wider/taller. Nothing exists yet to adjust for the actual curve.
I actually tried creating a whole bralette using that method, pictured below, hoping that a lace-up back and tight band would compensate for a poorly fitted cup. Spoiler alert: it did not. Without darts sewn in at the end, creating a way-too-small cup that would squash my chest, or wearing a sturdy bra underneath, no traditional bra cup was ever going to fit me.
The obvious solution? To invent my own cup designed specifically for a curvy bust!
Even if your cup size is not very large, your shape can be what causes the weird bunching and lack of support. Regardless of size, if you have a bust that is more rounded, finally, here is a tutorial for you! The finished cup is rounded throughout, unlike some tutorials that simply try to curve the cup at the end. These other tutorials will work great for people up to a certain size, but beyond that, they become practically useless.
In the past, I posted a tutorial for a similarly shaped curvy crochet bralette cup, as shown above. If you would like to learn how I came up with this pattern, which can help you design your own garments, you can check out the old version of this tutorial. This cup had the right curved shape, however, when I created a full bralette and wore it, the cup ended up stretching out a lot and not providing enough support. I'm sure many of you have noticed this with crocheted projects, especially with ones that need to hold so much weight.
This tutorial solves the stitch stretching issue using a more dramatic curve, and linked double crochets!
Since linked double crochets only rely on the previous stitch, and can even be created adjacent to a turning chain, they are perfect for this cup! They are also simple: instead of completing a yarn over as the first step, as in a traditional double crochet, you just pull up a loop from the previous stitch. You can view a detailed video on making this stitch here.
ROUND 1: To begin, create a magic loop. I used a size I hook and an unlabeled yarn which I found at the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, so I am not sure of the weight, but I would guess it is worsted weight. Next, chain 2, and work 12 linked double crochets into the loop.
Pull the free end of the yarn until the loop is closed. Now, join the first and last stitch together (skipping the chain stitches) with a slip stitch.
ROUND 2: Chain 2, and create a linked double crochet into the first stitch of the previous round (excluding the chain stitches). You can put a stitch marker in the top of this first stitch to help identify it in future rounds.
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Now, it is time to create two clusters next to each other. In the next stitch, make two linked double crochets. Move to the next stitch, and create two LDCs again. This will create a smooth corner that gives the cup its triangular shape.
The next 2 stitches will be regular, unclustered LDCs. Now, you will make the double clusters again. This creates the second corner of the triangle. Make another 2 regular stitches, and another cluster group, for the triangle's third corner. Finish up the round by crocheting 1 regular LDC, and slip stitching to the first LDC you made this round.
The rest of the cup is a repeating pattern, where the only thing that varies between rows is the number of stitches between clusters. Here is a chart that gives instructions for how the numbers change. The white columns represent steps that remain the same for every round.
For example, round three goes like this: chain 2, make a linked double crochet into the same space that the chain is attached to (which is just the first stitch of the previous round), and make another LDC in the next space. Now, use the next two spaces to create 2 clusters containing 2 stitches each. LDC 4 times, make another set of clusters, LDC 4 times again, another cluster group, and finish off the round with 2 LDCs and a slip stitch connecting to your first stitch this round.
Now it's time to try on the cup and see how it fits so far! Keep adding rows to get the amount of coverage you want. Make sure to weave in the ends using a tapestry needle! Including the cornerless circular round of double crochets from the beginning, I created 7 rows. For reference, I typically wear a size 34DD bra.
The best part of this pattern is that it is completely adjustable! Add an extra stitch to each cluster for a less round cup, and omit one cluster for a very round cup.
For example, a less rounded cup would follow the same steps as above, but Round 2 would include clusters of three LDCs instead of two. Every round after that would then only have clusters of two, just like the original cup. The remaining rounds would follow this count:
To find out whether you will need to adjust the cluster count, I recommend crocheting 3 or 4 rounds and testing the fit, since it's difficult to detect the curve properly before that. If you follow the count that I used, this is what your cup will look like after completing a few rows. If the curve is only slightly off, you can try varying your tension or hook size to get the perfect fit!
Here is a shorthand version of the standard pattern. If any sections are confusing, or if you would like to know how to modify the pattern, please refer to the tutorial steps above! (Note: if you can't see the below pattern on your browser, make sure to disable simplified view.)
And here is a printable pdf version.
Now you can substitute this cup into your favorite crochet crop top, bralette, dress, swimsuit, or festival top pattern!