Posts

Are You Overfitting Your Wires?

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Bra making has taken a very modular turn in the past few years: to make a well fitting bra, you must: Take a root trace (while leaning forwards) Match this to a wire chart and order some similar wires Make a fitting band to fit your wire and band Add the cups and fit those This system works well for some, but there are some pitfalls that are very easy to get muddled in when approaching bra making like this. Beginners especially can sometimes be lost in endless alterations, a lack of lift, and perpetually uncomfortable bras. These issues stem largely from the ideas that: The best fitting wire is one that matches your root width perfectly The wire must fit close to perfectly for the bra to fit well A perfectly taken root trace (again, taken leaning forwards) will show your breast root perfectly The fit of the wire can - and should - be determined without adding the cups, to avoid tissue being pushed out by too small cups  The cups can then be easily altered to fit with this new frame

Should you worry about bending your wires? (A response to Bare Essentials)

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For those who are unfamiliar," Bare Essentials: Bras " is a book by Jennifer Lynne Fairbanks, which is most known for its unique bra drafting techniques which allow you to make a custom bra draft based on your measurements. I won't be talking about those in this post - the book is expansive and also covers bra construction, pattern alterations, and information for developing your custom pattern into a few different styles.  When I was writing Part 3 of the Bra Physics series (which is primarily about the physics of underwires), I recalled a passage from the Bare Essentials book which discussed underwires, stress and strain and fatigue, and upon rereading I found it draws some conclusions that I don't agree with from a materials/engineering point of view. I think these issues stem from a minor (but common) misunderstanding of stress and strain, so I hope this post helps clear up these issues for some of you as well, as well as to potentially allay any fears you may

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. As before, an extended version of this post can be found on my Ko-fi , where you can get instant access to this and previous extended blog posts for just £2/$3. If you want, you can then continue subscribing on a monthly basis to support my blog.   Stress and Strain - A Recap The strain of an item is essentially how much its length has increased, as a proportion of its original length. If your bra band measures 30" on the t

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 vs 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