How to Add a Shelf Bra to a Raglan Rash Guard

When I made my sweet girl the Made for Mermaids Women’s Reagan Rash Guard this year, she wasn’t comfortable not have any support in front. She wasn’t thrilled with adding cups to the lining. My solution was to add a shelf bra to the front piece. In this post, I share the instructions, because I couldn’t find any instructions out there for a raglan rash guard.

I don’t want to share the actual picture of the pattern piece, so I don’t have a picture of this part. However, the first thing I did was determine how long, I needed the bra piece to be. I took her favorite bra and matched it to the arm scythe of the pattern piece but started 3/8″ from the top of the piece to allow for the seam allowance. This got me pretty close but Elise still felt it was 1/2″ to high. So, you may need to adjust.

Then, I cut the entire front piece for the rash guard out of power mesh but shortened the length based on the measurement above. I read some posts that said make the power mesh larger due to the lack of stretch or smaller to make it have better support. So, I went with just the same size. You can definitely adjust this based on your experience, but this worked for us.

Next, I cut the swim elastic for the bottom of the power mesh. I used 1″ wide swim elastic. You’ll want to cut the length of swim elastic an 1″ or 1 1/2” shorter than the pattern piece/power mesh piece.  You may want to play around with the measurement a bit until it gathers just a tiny bit as illustrated in the picture below.

Here is what it looked like sewing. I needed to stretch a bit.
This illustrates after you’ve sewn on the elastic.

After I sewed the elastic in place, I basted the bra piece on the wrong side of the front piece of the rash guard. This pattern has a 3/8″ seam allowance, so I basted with a the 1/8″ – 1/4″ seam allowance.

After that, I added a lining, because I thought my girl would be fussy with the elastic and power mesh against her skin. I cut the entire front piece out of swim lining to make the lining. It might not be strictly necessarily and could be cooler if you didn’t use the additional lining piece. But our Indiana summers don’t get too hot and if they do it’s not for long.

I basted the lining again with a the 1/8″ – 1/4″ seam allowance.

After this, I just used the front as one piece and followed the directions. My daughter was so happy with this fix. She feels much more comfortable and supported. She loves going to water parks and being very active in the pool. So, this rash guard pattern has been perfect for her year after year.

Also, I made her rash guard and bottoms with the new 2021 Raspberry Creek swim prints. Here are so more pictures of her Made for Mermaids Reagan Rash Guard featuring the prints.

Here is another Reagan Rash Guard that I made with last year’s Raspberry Creek Fabrics prints. I’m excited to try some other of the new prints.

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