Mini Review ~ Black Beauty Bra by Emerald Erin

Helen Cloke black beauty bra mini review

The Black Beauty bra View A (modified) made up in the limited edition 'August' kit.

 black beauty bra in satin and tulle

Mini Review

The Bra:

  • Pattern designer: Emerald Erin
  • Bra type: Balconette style, 2 piece cup with external power bar
  • Skill level: Intermediate
  • Size range: Band sizes 28-40, cup sizes B-G
  • Time frame: Moderate

Value for money?

At around $23 NZD for the pattern it is comparable to other bra designers patterns.  The value comes from being confident that coming from Erin, you'll receive a really well drafted and thought out pattern.

The pattern is sold in two different size ranges.  If you are somewhere in the middle of the sizes and are struggling to decide which pattern pack to go for then have a look at Emerald Erin's information on sister sizing and also this youtube video by LizSews.

Clear Instructions?

Absolutely!  The layout of the instructions is great and the line drawings clear.  There are bonus little tips set out in separate boxes so they don't detract from the general instructions but are there to help you out if needed.

The method for fold over elastic application threw me at first because it is different to how I would usually apply it.  Erin has the fabric on the bottom, against the feed dogs when sewing and I put the fabric on top with the elastic on the bottom.  I'll try it Erin's way next time!

black beauty bra inside

Accurate materials list ?

Yes the quantities given are a fair amount, you could get away with less powernet if you can find it sold as smaller units than 1/4m.  The notions required are different between the 2 sets of pattern sizes (patterns are split in to 28-40 B-DD and 28-40 E-G)

Clear fabric recommendations?

There are suggestions of a few different fabrics suitable for each style.

black beauty set

Matching set potential?

View B - the all over lace version, would definitely be easy to match to briefs as a stretch lace could be used for both.  View A is designed for stable fabrics so you would need to do some pattern/material manipulation to make a matching pair of briefs.  I made a silky satin pair of tap pants to match my Black Beauty.

Variation possibilities?

Erin has included instructions on adding cut and sew foam to the bra and I'm keen to try this next time.  I've also seen variations of this made up where the powerbar has been omitted leaving just the 2 piece cup.  My variation involved adding a seam allowance to the power bar where the elastic should go and cutting two powerbar pieces so that I had a facing, so the elastic could be replaced with a crisp edge.

black beauty bra on mannequin


This is a nice classic bra that has some unique details that add interest.  It appears to be quite a successful pattern, fit wise, for many bra makers including myself.  I made no fit changes to mine and it fits almost spot on (you'll have to take my word for it as this sheer bra will not be modelled and photographed for the internet!)  My advice is to take time to accurately measure yourself and then trust what size the pattern gives you even if it seems different to what you usually wear.  

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