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Bra Physics 4 - What can we learn about the cups and straps?

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In this part, I talk about the physics involved in the cups and the straps. The cups are by far the most complex part of the bra, and their geometry befuddles millions of people worldwide. I won't be talking about geometry here - cup shape, strap positioning, and necklines (well, I do a tiny bit in the extended version), but instead your material choice and how it impacts a bra.  You can check out part 1 where I go over the main function of a bra and the forces it needs to provide. part 2 discusses the design of the band, part 3 the wires and cradle.   A s b e f o r e , a n e x t e n d e d v e r s i o n o f t h i s p o s t c a n b e f o u n d o n m y Ko-fi , w h e r e y o u c a n g e t i n s t a n t a c c e s s t o t h i s a n d p r e v i o u s e x t e n d e d b l o g p o s t s f o r j u s t £ 2 / $ 3 . I f y o u w a n t , y o u c a n t h e n c o n t i n u e s u b s c r i b i n g o n a m o n t h l y b a s i s t o s u p p o r t m y

Why the Omega Alteration keeps messing up your armpit (and how to fix it)

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There are a few different adjustments you can make when altering a pattern to fit a smaller frame - Emerald Erin has a great rundown here . One that I have mentioned before on this blog is called the omega adjustment.  Now, a bugbear of mine is that while this is called the omega adjustment, doing this alteration doesn't mean your breasts are omega shaped . You can need a smaller wire than intended for your size range without being omega shaped, and this is known as being projected - if you need a truly omega shaped bra, additional alterations will be required. I just thought I'd mention this here to avoid confusion, but the link above goes into this in more detail. You can read an extended version of this post and many of my other bra making blog posts for just £2 on my Ko-fi , and make a monthly pledge to continue supporting my blog if you want! Theory Behind the Omega Alteration Let's stop thinking about bra cups for a minute and instead start thinking about their ge

2 Ways to Widen the Lower Gore - Wire Spring or Wire Rotation?

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Widening the lower gore (aka the lower bridge) is a common alteration for those with a splayed root shape , but the techniques in this post can also be used to turn a regular wire into a plunge wire. Here's two ways to widen the lower gore, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Wire Rotation The wire rotation method is a simple alteration, made by literally adding a triangle to the lower gore to widen it. This is the alteration most people talk about when recommending widening the lower gore, such as in this post by Cloth Habit . The alteration is very easy, you just add as much width as you want (half of the total width increase of course) and make sure the top and bottom off the gore are sitting at 90 degrees to your new centre gore line, and off you go.  The standard method of widening the gore by wire rotation You can also test out this alteration on a toile/fitting band by slicing it up the middle and patching it with a triangular piece of fabric.  You can see that

Bra Physics Part 3: What can we learn about the wires and cradle?

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This is Part 3 of my Bra Physics series. In Part 1 , I described the forces involved in supporting your breasts and what parts of a bra are responsible for providing those forces. In Part 2 I introduced the concepts of stress and strain, and applied these and part 1's principles to the design and fit of bands. Now let's move on to the much maligned underwire (and the cradle). In the original Bra Physics post , I didn't talk much about the role of the underwire. The wires are a critical part of the "foundation" of a wired bra, as improper design or fit can cause pain and even injury, as well as reduce the support available in a bra. The underwire's main job is to resist the forces of the band, maintaining a cupped shape despite the bra being under high degrees of tension. Because the underwire is being pulled on by the band, we need to recap the stress and strain concepts discussed in Part 2 . Recap: Stress and Strain The strain of an item is essentially