Underwire Woes

When we last saw my bra muslin, I had it in a good place – or so I thought. I played with the cups to get them to fit a bit better but I had a recurring problem: the underwire was poking me in the area right between the side of my breast and my armpit. Plus it was higher than the actual cup. I tried to ignore it, but I knew in the pit of my stomach that I’d have to find different underwires to make this bra work.

Now to backtrack a bit, I’ve been putting this bra project off for well over a year. But once I got started, I really thought I had everything I needed to turn my fabric and findings into a gloriously beautiful, well fitting bra. So instead of continuing down the wrong road (which I do often: see Miette fiasco), I printed out the underwire guide from my bra-making class to confirm my suspicions. When I checked my underwires against it, they were much too long: size WL-40(!), when I needed a 32 or 34.  In my defense, I bought those underwires on Etsy some time ago and I never questioned if they would fit. Honestly, I never thought much about underwires and I definitely didn’t know that they came in so many different shapes.

Next I read this article on Emerald Erin (her blog is a a must-read for any bra fanatic) and learned so much more about choosing underwires that are not only the right length, but also relate to the actual shape of my breasts.

Regardless, I couldn’t use the yellow tipped ones for my bra. I thought about cutting them and resealing the edge, but it seemed like too much work for too little payoff.  So off to Etsy I went – again –  to order more underwires. Common bra-making wisdom is that you order the size you think you want, one size up and one size down. I was unwilling to buy 3 sets so I bought 32C (WL 32) (which I think will fit) and 32D (WL 34) just in case I’m wrong. But because the bra-making gods seem to have turned against me, the 32C are out of stock (I should be getting them soon though.)

Anyway, here’s a comparison pic of my two underwires. (The one with the yellow tip is the original underwire and the blue tipped wire is the new one).


I put the new wire on my sheet and it’s a perfect 34 (it’s not exactly on the top of the 34 line because it has a little bit of tension so it holds the cups in shape.)


So I’m onto the next muslin while I wait for the 32s.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on color/pattern combinations for my future bra projects. I haven’t found the suggested cup fabrics (duoplex/supplex) locally so I bought 40 denier nylon fabric online as an alternative. I’m not crazy about it because it’s shiny – I mean Vegas shiny – so I’m probably going to put a layer of lace (or another less gaudy fabric) on top of it. I might also use it to make some cute high waisted panties. IDK. Everytime I take it out of the bag it hurts my eyes, so it’s difficult to make long term plans with it.

I’m also on the hunt for some nice lace to make a pretty black bra with matching French Knickers from this Vera Venus pattern. My stretch goal is to make this Cut Out & Keep garter belt pattern for those days when I’m feeling saucy.

Overall, I’m still excited about making my first bra and if my next muslin fits with the new underwires, it’ll finally be a reality.


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