Bra-A-Week [35]: Bra Theory- Plunge Wires


Hi All!
Today I have more bra theory for you all and another bra to demonstrate!
*sorry for the late post- usually I like to get these up before noon- but this is quite the big post and I had some last minute urgent shop errands to run!!*
And finally a Bra-Theory bra that is symmetrical!!
And made with my Ravishing Raspberry & Black Bra Kit!! <3 (shameless self promotion)
So as was suggested in the comments last week I thought I would demonstrate changing your regular or long-wired bra into a plunge bra! – Lowering the wire for a shorter wire front and bringing the bridge and the cups down! Great for plunging tops!
So now I’m going to show you how I went from this pattern:
(my red old faithful)
To this pattern:
 (my daring raspberry plunge!)

* now I want to make a comment on this right away about the bridge width- since I’m sure I’ll get a comment that it looks really wide- but this is how wide my bridge is naturally at this low point on the bra- and it is the same width on my red bra with longer wires at that point in the bra. Generally when I make a plunge bra I artificially narrow the bridge to give more of a ‘cleavage’ effect. But I wanted to show what a plunge bra without that modification looked like for this Bra Theory. Plus this type of bra does have it’s place for wider plunging necklines!*

Here we go!!
First you want to mark on your pattern pieces your wireline- because this is what you are modifying! I’ve highlighted it in pink! Now I should mention here that my pattern pieces have NO seam allowances- and I highly recommend taking away all seam and elastic allowances so you don’t have to worry about them- then add them back after you make your new seam lines.

Then you’re going to look at your wires- how long are the ones in your original pattern? How short are the ones for your new plunge look? Generally underwires should come up to the same height under the arm (since you don’t want to lose support there), and they are shorter in the front- where you want the exposure!

So in my red bra I used an  Extra Long wire, and for my new plunge bra- I’m using a short- you can see that in their correct orientation, they are the same height under the arm, but one is much shorter in the front!

Then you have to measure the actual difference in length between the wires. This one is 2 and 3/16ths   of an inch shorter than my extra long wire and my pattern.

 

Then you go back to your pattern and mark down your wireline in the front the difference between your wires on your centre front of the cup.

Now you might run into the problem that I did- your cross cup seam is in the middle of the amount you have to mark down.

So then what you have to do is join your upper and lower cup along the seamlines (overlapping your curves), to connect your wireline. Then you can mark down for your new shorter wire.

 

Once you’ve measured the point where your new wire ends. Then you connect your strap point to your new wire-end – and voila! You have your new neckline!

So you can definitely leave the draft here- just cut off the new neckline and get back to stitching- but you also might like to re-arrange some of your seams to work better with your new shape. For example- in this new neckline- my horizontal seam would end at an awkward point on my neckline (awkward point circled and highlighted in blue)

 

Now you can decide how much you want to change your seamlines – vertical seams are quite popular in plunge bras, but for the sake of an exercise I’ll keep the seams similar- just bringing my cross cup down a little so it’s back in the wireline and not ending in my neckline.

These are my new seamlines highlighted in blue!  All you have to do is cut your new pieces apart along the seamlines and add your curves back into your bottom cup pieces!

These seamlines should give me similar lines to the cups in this bra: (although I had my cross-cup seam ending a little lower in the wireline)

Now that you have your seamlines in your cup- now we can move onto the frame! So you’re going to mark down on the centre front of your frame the difference between your wires.

Then- as simple as that- you cut your bridge off at that point, making sure that your line is perfectly perpendicular to your centre front.

 

*Now this is the point where you might think ‘wow my bridge looks wide’ and that is because your short wires are ending at a point where your breasts have started to splay and where they’re further apart from each other. NOW- that doesn’t mean that you have to stick with your natural shape and width at that point. I quite often narrow my bridge to bring the cups closer together and give a more “pulled-in/ cleavage look” like in this ivory bra:
But you can choose the look that you’re interested in- what you like better. I think that there is a place for both type of bras in a bra wardrobe, but I have to say that personally I like my cups nipped in a little at the bridge to reign the girls in a little closer!
Then when you’ve decided how close you want to pull your bridge in (minimum two channel widths) then add seam and elastic allowances back to your pieces and sew it up!
Maybe with a gorgeous bra kit?? (more shameless self promotion 😛 )

And there you have your most basically modified plunge bra.

You can see in the overlap it’s essentially just cut the chunk out of the middle.

But I hope you can see from this tutorial the limitless ways you can modify this bra to pull you in, or give you more room for a wide plunging neckline- but still work with the same pattern where you can limit your fitting issues!
Let me know what you thought of this Bra-Theory tutorial! Questions? Comments? Suggestions for next week?
And now on to your lovely submissions!
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First we have this super chic set from Diana of Diana Lingerie Design

Diana made this set using her new pattern- soon to be released!  It is her Triangelbra! How gorgeous is this! Made with spandex and stretch mesh and push-up wires!

I really love this asymmetrical look for the panties too! I think there are so many possibilities for colour blocking and lace-inserts. Congrats on the pattern Diana- looks fabulous! 🙂 Check out her post on this set over on her blog!

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Next we have this very pretty set from Emma of A HandStitched Life!

Emma made this set using the Marlborough bra pattern from Orange Lingerie and the Alice Knickers from Ohhh Lulu! She used this lovely printed polyester and embroidered lace. Such a nice colour combo!

This is Emma’s first underwired bra! YAY! And the fit is okay- which is a great starting point! 🙂 I’m so excited to see more!! Don’t forget to check out Emma’s post over on her blog!

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Next we have this super cute set from Christie!

Christie made this bra by covering foam cups with this adorable polka-dot fabric- which is set off perfectly by the red trim on the top- what a great retro vibe! Gorgeous! She says there’s some gaping in the top- but it’s so close!! 🙂

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Next we have this lovely bra from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

Sofia made this bra using the soon-to-be-released Maya pattern from AFI. As a pattern tester Sofia had early access to the pattern and made up this beauty!

Sofia did an amazing review over on her blog where she talks about how well the sizing worked out and the great round shape. And I can agree with you there- that is a lovely round shape! Perfect for under thin knit shirts! Love it! Don’t forget to check out Sofia’s post about this bra over on her blog!

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Next we have some gorgeous lingerie from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

Maddy focused on the other lingerie additions this week and wow- I’m feeling some real lingerie drawer envy! Maddy made this cute garter belt and Grace Panties to go with her coral set from the past week!

What fantastic additions! Doesn’t it all just look so beautiful as a set?! It really makes me realize I need to step up my panty game! Wow- love it! Don’t forget to head over to Maddy’s blog for her lovely post!

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Next we have very pretty bikini top from David of Bonnet Bleu!

David made this bra using foam cups and strap elastic. This is his sixth strappy bra! He’s definitely getting the hang of it! I love the back of this one too! Definitely a highlight you could show under a sheer dress!

 

 

David is a freelance lingerie designer, label: Bonnet Blue

Facebook Page

dpolrolniczak (at) wp (dot) pl

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Absolutely amazing submissions this week- you guys continue to blow me away and inspire me to do more!
Don’t forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! To grab a challenge button and to send your bra for next week to bra.a.week@gmail.com by Friday for the next Sunday post!!
What did you think of plunge bras? Think you’ll try making one? Any suggestions for next week before I dive into the wonderful world of corsets?
Let me know & hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend 🙂
xo erin

 

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12 Comments
  • Reply

    Amazing tutorial!! Very clear explanations,you're indeed a great teacher! 🙂 I really like plunge bras, so I'm going to try it right now. In fact, yesterday I ordered some plunge wires at my local supply shop, but while I'm waiting for them to arrive… I've already taken apart an old plunge bra to get its wires! I'm so impatient!
    And, about the wonderful submissions this week… I think I have a favourite: the printed fabric of Emma's set couldn't be more beautiful! I love it!

    PS: I can't wait for another week of bra-theory! Your posts are full of inspiration 🙂

  • Reply

    Erin
    That is a really really interesting article. I have very little space between my 'girls' but a large cup size (UK 36 G / 38 F) and although not yet made my first bra already know from reading the Facebook forum, that my wires will need to be next to each other, if not actually on top of each other at the bridge. Therefore wondering if overall – having a very narrow bridge I could. It out a lot of hassle by going with plunge styles? But would that give me enough support? Maybe plunge style with long band?

    Thanks
    Sue

    • Reply

      Hi Sue!

      A plunge style would definitely work to accommodate your tiny bridge space, because it pulls the girls in closer. Although it won't be as supportive as a longer wired bra, and won't have the same level of coverage to hold you in on top. It's a sacrifice. And a wider band won't give you much more support that way- it's really a coverage issue.

      For longer wires, if you can get more vertical wires (I'm looking into stocking them in my shop soon!) then they will sit a lot closer together in the front and be better options for close-set girls 🙂

  • Reply

    I think this is my favourite bra theory yet; although plunge styles aren't really my go-to, they do work well for my shape – and sometimes you just want, well, a plunge 😉 – so maybe I'll try making one now! Love all the submissions this week, especially Sofia's Maya 🙂 mine's cut out and ready to go, so I really can't wait to try it now!

  • Reply

    Like your explanations, if I may ask for some tutorial for sewing bra for elder women ( without wire, soft9

  • Reply

    Great bra theory, Erin! I love it! And the submissions this week are amazing.

    Michelle

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