Adapting a me-made bra to fit my new size

Well since my last post about the Harriet bra by Cloth Habit, my boobs have shrunk. I made the other bras soon after I stopped breast feeding. I needed to feel good about myself after feeling frumpy for so long but I knew that my size would change. Next time I buy a bra pattern, I will be buying a smaller size. However, I’ve gone to all that effort to make nice bras and I want to wear them, not to mention I don’t want to be adding to landfill. So alter them, I must!

Choosing a new size

My band size hasn’t changed but my measurement around the bust has changed so my cup size has gone down. I’m now a 32DD. However the pattern range I bought was for cup sizes E-H. So I need use a different size which is the same size.

Sounds a bit confusing doesn’t it?!

Basically as the band size goes up a size, the cup size goes down a size. So a 34E cup is the same as a 32F cup and a 30FF (these sizes are based on the pattern size chart, obviously sizing titles vary from country to country). So working backwards I need a 32DD, which is the same as a 30E.

I’m intending to use the same underwires as before and the same frame. If I was starting from scratch I would just buy the underwire size needed for my correct size but I don’t want to waste good underwires. So this means I need to extend the outside edges of my new cup pattern so that they fit into the existing frame.

I decided I needed to add 0.5cm to the top of piece A and 1.5cm to the outside edge of piece C. I don’t want to change anything on piece B. If I change anything on the inside edges of the pattern pieces, that will alter the fit of the cup which I don’t want to do. See my photo below.

I also remarked the notches on the frame pieces.

Altering the bra

After my last post, I started making another bra in March which I haven’t shown. This is using some cotton lawn I squirrelled away after Cinderella, a tiny scrap I found in the bin after a dress for Sophie McShera was delivered. Annoyingly I can’t find a photo of the costume, so you’ll just have to watch the film.

I only just managed to get all the pieces out at the time. The rest of the fabrics, elastic and hardware were bought from Fit2sew and The Bra Shop. The bra was mostly finished so I had to completely unpick the cups from the frame and unpick each individual piece, so that I could recut each piece again.

Once it was back to bare bones, I could recut my cup pieces and then remake the cups all over again. Nothing was different except when I was setting the cups into the frame, my bra band was sewn in already. This wasn’t an issue and I finished the bra.

Hooray my lovely bra now fits and nothing was wasted except some thread and a few slithers of fabric. I hope this encourages you to alter any lingerie you’ve made that doesn’t fit. I do have my eye on some other patterns which I’ll be making in the correct size. This post was just for altering what I have already.

Thanks for reading.

Rosie xx

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