7 Sewing Adjustments That Can Improve The Fit Of A Bra
Have you ever walked into a lingerie store and fallen in love with a bra, only to take it into the fitting room and discover to your heartbreak that it doesn’t fit right? Sometimes, it’s not as simple as just trying another size. Bras come in all sorts of different styles, and some are simply better suited to certain breast or body shapes than others.
But if your dream bra doesn’t seem like it’s going to work for you, don’t lose hope! Perhaps it can be adjusted. Below are seven modifications that can often be made to bras, either by you or by a seamstress. (And hey, it’s worth enquiring with the boutique staff – some stores actually offer on-site adjustments, or can recommend a local tailor).
Shorten the band
This is usually a very easy adjustment to make. It essentially just involves unpicking the hook-and-eye fastening, cutting some of the band length away, and replacing the fastening.
This modification can be very helpful for those who wear sub-32 band sizes, which can be quite hard to find. But it can also work well when the cup sizing stops just short of the one you need. For example, if a brand doesn’t go above a D cup and you need a 34DD, you could buy your sister size of 36D and shorten the band.
Move straps inwards
Another simple adjustment, this one can be very helpful if the bra straps don’t stop falling down. Although that problem can sometimes be the result of a too-large band, other times it’s simply the bra design.
Balconette bras for example tend to have wide-set straps which are placed close to your shoulders, and if your shoulders are narrow or slope downwards the straps can easily slip off.
Often, you’ll only actually need to move the straps inwards at back.
Related: 6 Signs It’s Time To Buy New Bras
Create a racerback
Another solution for slipping straps, racer-backs are very secure and can even boost support. While clip-on accessories exist to do this, perhaps you want a more permanent or elegant-looking solution.
In this case, all that needs to be done is to cut each strap at the upper back and sew a J-hook into one, and a matching ring into the other. You can then clip the J-hook onto the ring, drawing the straps together.
One more strap modification idea is to replace them altogether. Maybe you simply want prettier straps, but this can also be a solution for ones that dig in, by replacing them with straps that are wider.
Do check however that you are wearing the correct bra size first. A loose band puts excessive weight onto your shoulders, which could be what’s causing them to dig in.
Narrow the gore
The gore is the bit between the cups, either part of the band or a separate panel of fabric. Gores come in a variety of widths, from where the underwire channels are practically touching to where they’re separated by over a centimetre of fabric.
Trying to fit naturally close-set breasts into a bra with a wide gore can lead to uncomfortable poking, as your breasts push against the wires that are trying to hold them further apart. Making the gore narrower, by removing some fabric, may improve the comfort.
Darting the cups
If the cups are gaping or wrinkly, and you don’t have the option of trying a smaller cup size, you can dart them (sew in a fold) to tighten them up.
This is one of the more difficult modifications to make, and I definitely recommend hiring an experienced seamstress if you’re not confident in your own skills. At the very least, put the bra on and experiment with pinching different sections of cup fabric to see how each seam placement will affect the shape and fit, and pin your darts in place with it still on.
I would only recommend trying this adjustment on unlined bras. For bulkier, moulded cups, try the next tip.
Another way to solve slightly too-large cups is to add some padding to fill the extra space. It’s just like wearing bra inserts, except that by fixing them place you’ll never have to worry about losing them or having them fall out when you take your bra off.
This adjustment can be especially helpful for uneven breasts. For a more even fit, sew padding into one cup only, on the side with the smaller breast.
Simply buy regular bra inserts (also called cookies or inserts), try them on with the bra to check how best to position them, sew into place. Be sure to line your stitches up with existing seams or stitch into the inner lining only, so you don’t ruin how your bra looks from the outside.
Have you ever carried out any of these adjustments on your bras, or do you have any other sewing suggestions to add to the list?
Related: Where To Donate Your Old Bras
We Highly Recommend
Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.
Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.
If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.
Happy bra shopping!