Galina by Madalynne Large Cup Pattern Review & Debug (Part 1 - Band and Cradle )

The Galina by Madalynne Intimates has had lots of exposure lately, it's been all over Instagram and TikTok with a bunch of bra influencers promoting it. I've been meaning to tackle patterns lately, hoping it will help others fit bras to themselves - and why not start with this pretty iconic bra?

Part 2, where I alter the cups, is out now!

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Left: Screenshot of @fullerbustbestie on Instagram, retrieved from @madalynne. Right: pattern cover photo for Galina, retrieved from

Pre-Impressions and Intentions

While I really like the design as shown in smaller cup sizes, I'll be honest in that I'm not really a fan of how it turns from a plunge to almost a half cup in larger ones, nor the very separated shape that seems to come along with it. Here, here, and here are some examples so you can take a look for yourself. 

Having seen these ads on instagram, I came away with the opinion that while the Galina is very pretty, its scaling is pretty duff - I believe the essence of the design could be more successfully carried through into its larger sizes. So I bought the pattern to see what I could do! I also did a bit more Instagram perusal, and ended up noticing a few other potential issues with the bra in large cups: the underwire frequently floats off the chest at the armpit and underbust; there is often spillage out the centre front; straps frequently seem to be hiked pretty tight and placed close to the neck; the cups look pretty small overall; the band frequently rides up.

Thumbnail retrieved from Instagram @madalynne, overlaid with my preferred Galina silhouette.

I approached this bra with the plan to implement my own vision of the fit and silhouette, while still trying to stay true to the intentions of the design. I understand this bra is not intended to be very high support, but I want a bit more than I've seen on Instagram, with the wire firmly anchored on my chest, all my tissue sitting above the wire and none in front of my armpits. I want the bra to remain that plungey silhouette, with a reasonably nice and lifted side profile, while maintaining the single vertical cup seam, and having some cleavage but avoiding spillage. 

More pictures can be found on my Instagram

After all my work, I think I did reasonably well on all accounts, although there's still some room for improvement.

The Monowire

Wire chart for the Galina monowire, retrieved from

The monowire for this pattern was designed specifically for this bra, and I am a fan of its shape in theory: the gore is high for a monowire and has a good width at the bottom (not too wide), which makes it more suitable for large cups than most. When I received mine (I chose size 100 as it is most simliar to my favourite wires, ~42 vertical), I noticed the wire is pretty soft and has a round profile - where I am more a fan of firm underwires and flat profiles. So bear in mind if you are trying to make this bra high support you may struggle, as the wire is unique, and probably not up to the task of full support for larger cup sizes due to its softness.

Just a note on monowires in general - while I like the design of this wire, I am less of a fan of how monowires are presented in the advertising of this bra. Influencers state that the wire is what causes the strong breast separation seen in the bra. Since the gore is not actually wider than a typical bra, I believe this is not the case. It is also claimed that the wire "doesn't bend but instead moulds to your shape" which is pretty nonsensical to me. A monowire is functionally not that different to underwires, as both have to bend around the rib cage to be comfortable. 


Underwires and monowires don't sit flat but instead need to bend around the rib

If we view the rib cage from the top down, the gore on both a monowired and underwired bra is relatively flat/unbent, so the additional rigidity of the underwire should not have a great bearing on fit (although, rounder and smaller rib cages may benefit from bending the wires at the gore for comfort (which Madalynne Intimates points out)).

Unaltered Cradle & Band

The Galina claims to cover underbusts of 26-46" and busts of between 1-10" larger than underbusts. With my measurements of 28" loose underbust and ~38" supported bust that would make me a 28G/H, although I am on the bustier side of this size set, which supposedly covers UK FF-GG cups.

Negative spring when aligned to the 28G/H cradle

After choosing a size, my first step when fitting the Galina pattern was inspecting the band and cradle. Laying the 100 wire on the 28G/H cradle (the recommended cradle for this wire) I saw something very unusual - the pattern has negative spring, with the cradle being a few cm narrower than the wire. I thought this may be a mistake as the size up had 0 spring, but after contacting Madalynne's team on Instagram* I was told "the spring varies by size" and "there is no mistake", so I went with it. In addition to this negative spring, there's not enough wire play in the wireline seam, at least in this size.

The original 28G/H cradle and wing, before I added 1/2" evenly to the bottom to compensate for my narrower band elastic

Another immediate issue to me was the lack of seam truing at the side seam, which results in weird points/dents when the bra is sewn up.

I also saw that the bra has almost no V shaping for the rib cage, with the hook and eye attachment sitting almost parallel to the vertical line at the gore, which is very unusual compared to typical rtws. I also noticed the hook and eye sitting very low in relation to the underwire, an indicator of potential band tension issues that can cause the upper band to be loose and the band to ride up.

Nevertheless, I sewed up the cradle and band directly as the pattern intended, with some preliminary cups in. More on the cups in the next post. The only change I made was extending the band fabric down 1/2" as my elastic was narrower than the pattern intended - I didn't want to unintentionally introduce tension issues by having a narrower band overall. 

Apologies for the bad angle - you can still hopefully see the band riding up

The result was pretty bad, to the point of being unwearable - although the photos don't really do it justice. The band felt like it ran large (I used very firm powernet), but I suspect this is due more to the tension issues mentioned above. Inspection of the band suggests that with a 25% stretch reduction, the 28 band stretches to 28". The size chart recommends this band for those with 28-30" underbusts which is on the small side if powernet is used, although I'm sure it would be fine in stretch mesh (both are recommended).

Another effect of the tensioning issues is that the band still rides up even when tightened, which is both uncomfortable and unsupportive.

The monowire was the worst part of the bra though. After seeing all the influencers say how comfortable it was I was surprised by how much discomfort I was in. Because the wire is not sprung at all (in fact the opposite), it honestly felt like a coathanger was being held against my chest: the gore dug in a lot, the wires floated off my ribs at the sides and even poked into my arms. Not my armpits, my arms. This is not a fitting flaw but a design one - if you don't believe me, you can see these issues in influencer videos in multiple sizes too. Someone else also experienced this issue and posted about it on /r/makeabrathatfits.

 Cradle and Band Alterations

So I set to work fixing the cradle and band. I decided to just redraft it as it's a bit quicker than making alterations.

Original on top, redraft underneath

I have recently hugely increased the amount of wire spring I use in my bras after taking apart and inspecting one of my Panaches - it has improved my bras significantly. I added 4.5cm of wire spring - a little more than usual, to compensate for how soft this wire is - more spring results in a slightly firmer bra but may also pull the wire a little too wide for me. I understand that with this wire being pretty soft, the band will always be a little soft and bouncy no matter how much spring is added.

I also added V shaping into the bra, personalised to my torso measurements, and moved the hook and eye up to an appropriate position - bearing in mind that the lower elastic is still part of the band and should be considered when positioning the hooks and eyes. The band length was drafted directly from my torso, I applied about a 25% stretch reduction to my powernet which is a little less reduction than usual, and it ended up pretty much the same length as the original, but felt a lot more secure overall.

The wire was now curving around my body and the band sitting nice and level!

Trying the bra on again with the same cups was like night and day for comfort. The wires sat properly around my body - maintaining tension on the band and no longer rubbing a sore spot in my arms. I noticed that after just a few minutes of wear the wire started to bend slightly at the gore, a sign it was being appropriately tensioned at the sides, and I have noticed the comfort only improves with increased wear. All this even though I skipped the boning on my redraft.

The band now sits level on my back, not perilously slipping upwards, as it is properly tensioned.

I should also mention materials - I initially used strong powernet for the cradle as recommended by the pattern, but preferred the fit at the gore when it was lined with bra tulle to prevent excess stretch here. In my final bra, I used two layers of bra tulle overlaid with my decorative powermesh and am very happy with that fit. Powernet is expensive! I'd rather use a cheaper option where I can and the tulle functions perfectly. I used strong powernet for the band on my toiles, and a slightly softer one for the final bra which turned out to be just a little looser than my preference, fitting best on the snuggest hooks.

This band is leaps and bounds more functional and more comfortable than the original, so I strongly recommend making changes similar to these if trying a Galina for yourself.

After this success, all I had to do was work on the cups! You can read about that here in Part 2,

*I had a pretty negative interaction overall, so I would definitely not recommend asking them for help.

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  1. This is all so helpful! I’ve been really conflicted about trying this pattern, because the marketing has been so “WOW this is great for large cup sizes!” but the images of it actually on people with larger cup sizes have told a different story. Good to know it’s workable with some adjustments, since the style is so pretty!

  2. I’d really like to see the original style lines and the pattern adjustments for your personalized fit in the band. I mean, can you really even claim that you’re sewing*this bralette when you’ve drafted your own frame & band AND changed the style lines??? It seems that you’ve used the pattern just for inspiration & this is a completely different bra pattern…

    I know that when I’m making bralettes, and bras, too, the width of the band elastic is really important, so I’m left wondering why, for a larger bust to underbust ratio, you would reduce the width of the elastic, when all advice I’ve seen says to increase the size & strength of the band elastic, specifically, for larger cups.

    Additionally, as a customer of a few years of Madalynne Intimates, I’ve always had great interactions with them—whether that’s been through the chat or via email. I feel like Madalynne, herself, is all about Customer Service & making her stuff as inclusive as possible. She has increased her inclusiveness in the past year dramatically, even making a bra & panty pattern for transgender women. She’s not as size inclusive as Muna & Broad, but who else is, except Muna & Broad? Right? Her focus on gratitude is beautiful!

    Your writing comes across like you have a personal issue with her… More so than you just don’t like that pattern or that it doesn’t work for you. Which makes your article difficult to read. Let’s all work together to lift up the bra making community!

  3. I have similar Issues with the Side and the Wire .The Side Boning Puls in my Arm and Armpit ,the Wire fits not really my Ripcage and the Straps are much too instabil too hold my Boobs .I use a very strong Elastic inside the FOE.But the Cups fit quiet good for a Madalynn Pattern

  4. Quite informative. I have been thinking hard about making my own bra but can only find the support I need in an underwire.
    Now I can see that it's doable.

  5. I’ve made a few different bra patterns but I learned the most by reverse engineering a couple RTW Panache bras. The band/frame I used for all my makes is pretty much an exact dupe and I just take the cups from the sewing pattern.

    I’m not sure I quite grasp how much spring to add, or how much to shape the back band or how high or low to position the hook and eye (eg I don’t think I could diagnose a pattern issue just by looking at it flat) but I ended up with a very similar band pattern shape to your draft!

    Great work and keep writing pls!


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