Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Learn how to make an adjustable bralette cup pattern that will fit your unique shape using basic crochet stitches.
I have attempted at least three times to crochet a bralette based on online tutorials plus my own technique. 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, 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, or creating a way-too-small cup that would squash my chest, no traditional bra cup was ever going to fit me.
In addition, the current triangle cup designs are symmetrical on the outside and inside edge of the cup. This creates a problem: the outer edge cannot cup the breast properly, which not only increases the chance of side spillage, but also forces you to displace the tissue in an uncomfortable way.
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 is 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 addition, the bottom and outside edge of the cup are asymmetrical compared to the inner edge. I made the side that rests near your armpit curve more dramatically, to ensure a secure hold from the side. If this were symmetrical like a standard cup, however, this would compromise style in the middle of the crocheted bralette. Fortunately, I took into account both style and support when designing this, since fashion and comfort should not be mutually exclusive.
I always like to include my thought process in my posts, so that you all can adjust the pattern as desired and be on the right track to creating your own patterns in the future.
While the most common crochet bralette cup is aesthetically pleasing, I found in another attempt that due to a lack of curvature along the bottom edge, it does not hold your breasts in place properly. I considered creating a dual sided version, but realized that it would make the cup oblong and not very stylish.
Another version is the triangle cup in the round, which as you can see in this image, lies completely flat. Obviously, this wasn't going to work either! (Note: Morale Fiber has created a curvy version of this bralette, but as I described earlier, it only curves in along the edges of the cup.) However, my knowledge of creating hats inspired me to use this shape as a template.
Now how does a hat inspire a bralette? Well if you have crocheted a hat before, you know that creating a flat circle and slowly curving it to form a bowl shape requires precision and some math.
Let's look at the geometry of a circle. On a 2D plane, the circumference of a circle (or rings inside the circle) must equal 2 * pi * radius. So if the distance around the rings in a crocheted circle increase fast enough, the shape will remain 2 dimensional. For example, if each ring is 1 inch thick, the third ring should have a circumference of 2 * pi * 3 inches.
So what happens when the circumference of one ring is equal to the one before it? The resulting shape is 3 dimensional. This is because the rings will stack on top of each other rather than nest together concentrically, creating a cylinder. For example, if the third ring's circumference only equaled 2 * pi * 2 inches, the second and third ring would stack on top of each other.
But how can you manipulate the circumference in crochet? It's easy! Depending on how many stitches are added to each consecutive round, you can have perfectly concentric circles, a stacked cylinder, or a curved bowl shape that falls somewhere in the middle. The triangle cup I mentioned before was crocheted in the round, so the same rules of curvature apply.
By creating the cup in the round, and using a constant stitch increase algorithm, the curvature of each row varies depending on its distance from the cup apex. This mimics the shape of a bra cup!
To start designing the cup, I first wanted to learn the mechanics of crocheting a triangle in the round. It is essentially like making a granny square, but with three corners instead of four. The corners have three double crochets, three chain stitches, and three more double crochets. Clearly, these triangles have large gaps, and so they weren't ideal for a bralette cup which needs coverage in the middle. Even the bralette cups in Morale Fiber's tutorial have gaps originating from the center. Her method involves two single crochets in the corners separated by two chain stitches. The first row of both methods contain these chain stitches too, but to keep my cups modest, I began mine with a completely filled in circle (no chains).
To do this, I created a magic circle, chained two, and worked in 9 double crochets. NOTE: I apologize in advance: the pictures below won't look exactly how your cup does, since I changed up this pattern as I made it, and forgot to photograph the newest version in its early stages. Most importantly, the counting changed, so do not follow the stitch numbers displayed in the images.
I pulled the magic loop closed by pulling on the loose end of the yarn, and tied a knot at that end to prevent the circle from opening up again. Then, I used a slip stitch to join the ends. I did this by inserting the hook under the double bars of the first double crochet I made (NOT the chain stitches), pulled up a loop, and pulled that through the loop already on the hook.
I chained two, which count as the first double crochet stitch, and then double crocheted normally into the next two double bar spaces.
Now, here is where the magic happens: Instead of creating a corner with a seven stitch cluster, I added thirteen to create a pronounced curve!
I inserted my hook under the same set of double bars from the previous stitch, and created twelve more double crochets in that same space, for a cluster of thirteen.
Now, it's finally time to move onto those next double bars. I chained just one double crochet into each of the next two stitches. Next, I repeated the 13-dc cluster into that third stitch.
I repeated the above step for the final three unworked stitches, and slip stitched to the first double crochet I made that round. I chained 2, and began the next round. Then, I double crocheted as usual into the next 8 stitches, and on that 9th stich, made my new 13-dc cluster. I got the number 8 by adding the two "regular" stitches from last round to the six cluster stiches that appear before the 7th "peak" stitch. After the cluster, crochet normally into the next 14 stitches, and complete another cluster. The number 14 came from adding 6+2+6, from the two previous clusters and two regular stitches that separate them. For the third segment of the triangle, make another 14 stitches before the final cluster. Finish up the round using 6 stitches, which fills in the rest of the cluster from the row beneath, and slip stitch to the first double crochet of the round.
Beyond this row, add 6 to each of the numbers above to stay on track. If you lose count, simply find the seventh stitch of the below cluster, which is the exact middle, to make your new cluster. Try on the cup and see how it fits! Keep adding rows to get the amount of coverage you want. 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 or subtract multiples of two from each cluster for a flatter or rounder cup, respectively.
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. Here was my final result!
Now you can substitute this cup into your favorite crochet crop top, bralette, dress, swimsuit, or festival top pattern!
In the version pictured above, I used unlinked double crochets, which tend to stretch, but ultimately, I would recommend using linked double crochets to provide optimal support. I just added an updated post with new images and complete instructions for the linked version!
I used Phentex White Chunky yarn, meant for a size I hook, which I found at the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. My gauge tends to be fairly tight so I used a size K hook. It is difficult to find this exact yarn, and most of you probably already have some yarns in mind that you would like to use for this project, so using any 100% acrylic, bulky weight yarn should give you the same size results. If you don't have some out home, make sure to check out if there are local places that sell second hand craft supplies.