Hello Everyone! I'm Melanie Burns, and like many of you, I'm a HUGE fan of the Power Sports Bra. It's so versatile, and with just a few modifications, the possibilities are endless! In this post, I'll walk you through the steps to hack the racerback to have a criss cross back.
To begin, take your racerback pattern piece and measure from the fold 3/4" and draw a new line. This will be your cut line.
I just folded this excess pattern piece back, but you can cut it off if you'd rather. Cut 2 mirrored pieces of main and 2 of lining. You should have 4 pieces that look like this, and the total amount cut out of the middle compared to the regular pattern piece should be 1 1/2".
Since I planned on using my serger with my knife disengaged to attach the criss cross straps, I only added in the 1/4" seam allowance on each straight edge, since that's the width of my serged seam when the stitch width is set at 5. If you plan on using the typical 3/8" seam allowance, do your math accordingly.
I wanted my criss cross strips to be 2" long (1 1/2" plus 1/4" seam allowance on each side) so I made one long strap and cut it into 2" sections. I used the strappy option's strap pattern piece and 1/4" clear elastic, and constructed it just like the straps in the pattern.
Now you will measure how far apart you want your straps to cross. I made mine 1" apart from the top of the criss to the bottom of the cross, with 1/2" between sets of criss crossed straps. I used my daughter's washable marker to mark on the wrong side of the fabric to help you with the visuals. You can use pins or clips to mark if you don't have a marking tool handy.
Now line your straps up with your markings, with the right side of the straps facing the right side of the fabric.
Then lay the lining piece on top with right side facing the straps and wrong side facing up.
Now pin or wonder clip and serge along the straight edge. Open and fold the piece wrong sides together to expose the crossed straps.
Line up the straps with the markings on the other back piece and repeat.
Now it's time to finish the seam along the top part of the strap that goes along the back of the neck. I reinforced that part with my 1/4" clear elastic, starting at the beginning of the strap and stopping at the top of the straight edge of criss crosses. You may reinforce the straight edges where the criss crosses are connected with clear elastic to prevent any pulling, but it was a little too much bulk for my serger so I did not.
I like to thread my clear elastic through the hole at the beginning of my serger foot to keep it lined up perfectly.
Repeat for the other strap.
Now its time to enclose the seams of the back armscye of the bra using the burrito roll method.
To do the burrito roll method, roll one side up tightly until you get to the criss cross straps. Then, separate the main and lining of the other side and wrap around the rolled part. Pin or wonder clip the edge with right sides together.
Serge the edge with clear elastic in the seam allowance, being very careful not to catch the rolled fabric in your stitches. Pull the rolled fabric through the bottom and turn the strap right side out. Repeat for the other side.
If you need more information on how to do the burrito roll method, Youtube has a lot of videos that demonstrate it well.
At this point, construct the front pieces as written in the pattern. Sew the front main and lining right sides together along the center front curve and on the top of each side of the cup. Now it's time to connect the side seams.
Separate the main from the lining on both the front and back pieces, and pin/clip them with right sides together, main against main and lining against lining.
Serge, then fold the pieces wrong sides together.
Lastly, add the waistband as directed in the pattern. I topstitched the seam allowance down toward the waistband using a zig zag stitch so the seam allowance wouldn't show in the gap at the bottom of the criss cross section.
Now you're done! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and encourage you to show off your version in the Greenstyle Facebook group!