Bra-A-Week Challenge: Week 34, Bra Theory Power-bar edition

Hi All!
Another week, another bra, and this week more bra theory! More specifically power-bar and push-up theory!

Now I have to say that the bra was a nightmare to photograph, and I feel like the photos don’t really do justice to what it looks like in real life.

But I’ll start off with a little description. This is a short-wired low cut bra. I made this bra using bra-tulle, which is a softer tulle with NO stretch, and I used two layers opposing the directions of stretch to make all the pieces completely no-stretch.

Now – the difference between the cups- on the right side (right side of the photo) I have a cup that is a three-piece, cup with a diagonal seam running through the apex and a split in the lower cup. On the left side I have that same seaming, but instead with a power-bar running from the strap and wrapping under the apex.

Power-bars work to push the breast tissue up and out.

And you can see on the left side with the power-bar- that I had to pinch out a HUGE pinch from the cup, because so much of my breast tissue was pushed out of the bra! and up!

Now how to photograph that. lol

It might be hard to tell but there is significantly more tissue and mounding up on my chest wall on the breast on the left (the further one away) than the one closer.  The breast on the right is more contained in the cup and less mounded higher on the chest wall.

You can see from this photo of the power-bar breast, that there is  a lot of tissue that is pushed UP and out of the cup! And that the power-bar is really pushing me in and up!

And in this angled shot you can see just how much more tissue there is mounding out of the top of the cup on the power-bar side rather than this side without a power-bar!

Now I’m not sure whether this make the breast appear larger, or smaller. I think looking at if you’re looking at the comparison in the bra- the side without the power-bar looks bigger because there is more breast tissue in the cup. However, in person and under a t-shirt or tank top, the other side actually looks bigger because you can see more clearly all the tissue that is pushed higher on the chest wall.

Also consider in this photo that I have the same tan lines on both sides, but the power bar has pushed that inch of un-tanned breast up higher and out the bra on the left side! crazy!

So what do you think? Have you ever used power-bars for lift? do you notice the difference? Let me know what you think!

Now on to your beautiful makes!


First we have this cozy bra from Karin of Mrs.Weaver’s Finest!

This is Karin’s ‘Wild Rose’ bra, and wow isn’t this just the epitome of comfort chic? It’s definitely one of those bras that just calls out to be worn! Made with all of my favourite things too! The cut& sew, the fold over elastic, and lovely soft cover fabrics!

Karin also made these beautiful ivory lace panties to go with it, along with a matching cami! You’re lucky that I wouldn’t fit into this Karin- that’s all I can say!

Although someone might be lucky enough to have one of these beautiful bras for themselves!! Karin is very generously donating one of her bras to a silent auction for Breast Cancer Support!! What an inspiration for all bra-makers 🙂

Don’t forget to check out Karin’s post about her beautiful creation over on her blog!


Next we have a strappy black number from David of Bonnet Bleu !

David made this bra using strap elastics and foam cups!

The straps that connect between the bridge at the front of the bra, continue to the back band and are placed in the normal strap placement at the back of the bra, where the straps front the top of the cups wrap around the neck line a halter.


Very interesting style lines! And this doesn’t affect the style lines of the straps in the back! Very chic in black!
And last but not least we have this pretty bra from Christie!

Christie made this bra for her sister using foam cups covered in a very thin stretch pink fabric, she used an embroidered tulle lace for the front frame and pink powernet for the back band! And look at that cute detail on the straps!

Christie based her inspiration off of this RTW bra- super cute. Unfortunately the fit wasn’t perfect for her sister- but definitely worth trying again!
Thank you so much for your lovely contributions this week!
How is everyone feeling about the challenge so far this fall? Are there any specific topics that you can think of for more bra-theory? – I’ve already had a suggestion for theory on changing cup seaming and modifying patterns (thanks Sofia!) any other suggestions?
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 [email protected] by Friday for the next Sunday post!!
Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend!
xo erin
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  • Reply

    Hi Erin, I am relatively new to bra sewing and have only just discovered your blog and all these fabulous bra posts. Thank you so much for documenting all this. I find it fascinating and very informative! Silly me thought I would settle on one 'perfect' bra pattern and just make that forever but there is so, so much more fun to be had than that 🙂

  • Mon

    I love this post Erin,
    It contains so much interesting information on how the construction affects the fit of a bra. I fully support your bra theory posts. I may give a try to drafting powerbars when I'm done with other projects in my queue.
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Reply

      Thanks Mon! I'm so happy that there is so much support for Bra-Theory! I think this is going to last longer than September 🙂

      I can't wait to see your drafting work with powerbars! Please share them with the challenge!! 🙂

  • Reply

    Love it! I hope you will continue with the bra theory, it's really helpful!

    • Reply

      Thanks Amelia! I'm loving it too- I'll be doing Bra Theory for the next two weekends in September, then four weeks of corsets for October- but I might come back to it again in November 🙂

  • Reply

    Very interesting to see the difference! I love power bars because they help with my side tissue.

  • Reply

    Great post!! I've been wanting to draft a power bar since I watched Beverly's course on Craftsy, so now is definitely the time! I thought that the effect would be more subtle, but… Wow! I didn't know that you could achieve such a push up effect without padding!
    And the bra submissions this week are all so pretty. What a pity that such a lovely bra couldn't fit Christie's sister!

    • Reply

      Thanks Sofia! It was more of a push-up effect than I thought it would be! Crazy! I think it's also because I used bra tulle which is a very rigid fabric. I can't wait for you to try out a power bar, and to see what you make next 🙂 🙂

  • Reply

    wow what a lovely bras

    with love your AMELY ROSE

  • Reply

    Hey Erin, will you be offering the bra-tulle in your shop at some point? I like the look, but I've never come across any to purchase.

    • Reply

      Hey Ginny! Yes I will be offering the bra tulle very soon. I just like to work with something and test it out lots before I offer it to all of you- to make sure it's something that works really well and that I love! It should be up in the shop very soon! 🙂

  • Reply

    Great post this week, Erin! The bra theory really comes alive when we can see right in front of us the difference the two cups make – I don't think I could sew up a bra with two cups unless it was for teaching purposes like this. I love Karin's bra, and David's bra too, and feel for Christie – I've made my share of bras that didn't fit perfectly, but she did a lovely job.


    • Reply

      Honestly I'm so fascinated by the theory of the bras that I don't even think about it being asymmetrical and not wearable. It's all for teaching and learning 🙂

      So many beautiful things this week- can't wait to see what you make next too!

  • Ilna

    Hi Erin, I love these bra theory posts! I never did a power bar, but I'll definitely look into it – it might just be what I need. I just love the pink bra from Christie it is sooo cute!

  • Reply

    Thanks for another very informative post Erin! I'm loving your bra theory series!

    I'm generally a power bar kind of girl. I'm well past the age of self-supporting breasts and I find I feel more firmly held in place when the cup incorporates a power bar.

    • Reply

      Thanks Ginny! I love a good power bar too! beyond being functional, I think they're also just really pretty- and there isn't a woman out there who wouldn't like a little extra lift! 🙂

  • Reply

    I"m loving these experiments! I would love to see one about direction of greatest stretch – partly because looking at your pattern pieces made me realise that I have my DOGS in the lower cup going side to side, and you have them running towards the apex! (Although you doubled the fabric so in this case it's not a factor… but it still means my bras are wrong, and I'm wonder which of my fit issues fixing that might change! 😉 It would also be fascinating to see the same pattern altered to be full cup, demi, and plunge, with no other changes than the wire length and bridge height.
    Sounds like you had fun teaching this week – I'm looking forward to hearing what comes next!

    • Reply

      I second that. I'd like to see a comparison between full and demi cup.

    • Reply

      Thank Gillian!! I'm absolutely loving bra theory too! 🙂 This might be my favourite month of the BAW challenge! I did cover the DOGS a bit in my lesson last week (comparing having your opposed vs not opposed) but I didn't talk about which way you should put your direction of stretch. I could do an experiment with that!

      I will definitely do a bra with the different wire lengths! Although you can't really do that in one bra! it would have to be two! But so worth it!

      There is so much on the horizon!! 🙂 🙂

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