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!
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!


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!


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!! 🙂


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!


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!


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

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 [email protected] 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


Saturday Life [05.09.15]: Family, Etsy, Exciting News & This Fall for the Bra-A-Week Challenge!

Hi All!

This week has been CRAZY!! and I have SO much to tell you all! I have: 1. that exciting news I mentioned a while back!, 2. Updates from the Etsy shop, 3. What’s coming up this fall for the Bra-A-Week Challenge and 4. Some family fun 🙂

First I’m going to start off with my exciting news!

I have been given the most amazing opportunity to travel to Connecticut to teach private bra-making classes! YAY! I’m heading out early next week and I’ll be gone for the week! I’m teaching a lovely lady that I know who is looking into designing a RTW collection, and needs some assistance on designing the patterns, figuring out fabrics, and understanding all the fundamental elements of bra-draft & design that will help make her bras exactly what she wants!

What this means on the blog is: for the next two Bra-A-Week Challenges, I’ll share with you two of the tester bras that I’ve made for the private lessons that show more about the impacts of direction of stretch, the amount of stretch and the impacts of different design elements! (YAY for bra theory!)

I will also be leaving my Etsy store in the very capable hands of my mom 🙂 although I will always be available for questions!

I can not wait for next Saturday Life – (when I’ll still be in Connecticut) and to share my week! 🙂 🙂

And that brings me to The Emerald Studio Etsy Shop!

Wow it’s been absolutely incredible!- if you didn’t know from my previous post, I launched my bra kits this week! And you have been loving them! I am so excited that I’m finally open and getting to share all my favourite bra making supplies with you! And this is only the start!!


This is my shipping department, beside my elastic department! lol

And here is a ready-to-go bra kit with small sized findings! I like to keep them all nice and tidy so they don’t get wrinkled on their journey through the post!

I have been absolutely loving running the Etsy shop so far! and I can’t wait to bring out more products! If there is anything that you know that you LOVE for bra-making and you think I’m missing, please let me know- I would love to grow this business with all of you in mind 🙂

Also a little bit of extra business stuff- I just got my “The Emerald Studio” Sign art digitized and put on my business cards!! I’m obsessed with them! YAY

You might be seeing more of this branding coming up!

Now the next order of business is the Bra-A-Week Challenge!

I can’t believe the summer is over! and my break from the Bra-A-Week Challenge. (Again many many thanks to this lovely lady!!)
I have to say that I’ve really missed hosting over the summer, and that unless I force myself, by hosting- I won’t actually make a bra every week, let alone once a month- it’s just been so crazy this summer that it keeps slipping down the priority list!
But no more!! I will make a bra every week again!! And the first two will be about bra theory!
But I was also thinking of doing something interesting this fall- and having Corset October! I’ve been really wanting to dive further into corset making lately and I feel like fall is the perfect time! (not to mention I’ve been completely swooning over all the corset patterns from Scarlett!)
So I will be making a corset every week in October *sweats nervously*. And I’m not alone! I heard that the amazing Karin of Mrs. Weaver’s Finest will be joining the corset party – and possibly Maddy and Sofia?? 🙂
So if you are into Corset October- let me know! Also- how is everyone feeling after the summer? What are your bra-making goals for this fall coming up? Any new ideas or projects? 🙂
And finally after this long post I’ll leave you with my little bit of family time for the week-
My dad’s side of the family is visiting from California, so we’ve been doing a little bit of:

Lovely  wine tasting in Prince Edward County 🙂

Some strolling around the vineyards 🙂

Some family feasting at my grandparents house 🙂


And last but certainly not least, a few hands of bid euchre that went late into the night 🙂 my favourite!

So that was my week! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week- please tell me about it in the comments 🙂

until tomorrow for the Bra-A-Week Challenge!

xo erin

BRA KITS!! They’re finally here!!

Hi All!

I’m so excited to announce that my BRA KITS are up on Etsy! and available for purchase!!

YAY!! and to celebrate every bra kit comes with a FREE PAIR OF WIRES!!!

This has been quite a while in the making, and it’s still just the start! 🙂

So let me tell you a little bit more about these kits!

The main feature in these kits is this lovely no-stretch knit for cups!

You may remember the red bra that I made a few weeks ago…

When I said I had a beautiful new fabric that I was testing out..

Well I can honestly say that I’ve hardly taken this bra off since I made it. It is by far the most comfortable and favourite bra that I own! (shhhh.. don’t tell my other bras!)

So I’m very excited that I can bring this fabric to you! YAY Comfortable bras for all!

Let me tell you a little more about this fabric! It is a lightweight, knit fabric with NO stretch! Perfect for making bras!

It’s very breathable, and has wicking properties (who doesn’t want that in a bra!) and is really smooth against the skin! And I find that it has just enough ‘give’ to be really nice and smooth in the cups, unlike some other super-rigid fabrics.

It doesn’t have quite the super-duper support and rigidity of fabrics like duoplex, or completely rigid embroidered lace, but it is very light and comfortable!

And now I found it in four other colours! I don’t just have the red but also: Pink, Raspberry, Chartreuse & Blue!


(sorry if the colours seem a little off- you wouldn’t believe the problems I had trying to white balance these! I tried to make them as colour accurate as possible!)

Here is a behind the scenes photo where you can see them all together!

But besides this fabric- I wanted to make sure that these kits have everything that you need to make a bra! Because I know how hard it is to source out all the little pieces!

They also include:

– Powernet – .5m X .38m (or 20″ X 15″) Perfect if you want to make a regular OR racer back!

– 15 denier- in a lovely nude colour for lining the bridge for extra stability (although I include enough to line the cups if you like!

Along with those fabrics I offer two sizes of findings!

For the SMALL range of findings kits I include:

– 3 m of 3/8″ plush back elastics (for top and bottom band)

– 1 m of 1/2″ strap elastic

– 0.8 m of channelling

– 1 set of 1/2″ sliders & rings (in black, silver or gold)

– 1 set of Hook & Eyes (2X3)

** These come in White, Black & Red! **

And for the LARGE range of findings kits I include: 

– 1.2 m of 3/4″ plush back elastics (for bottom band)

– 2 m of 3/8″ plush back elastic (for top band)

– 1 m of 3/4″ strap elastic

– 0.8 m of channelling

– 1 set of 3/4″ sliders & rings (in silver or black)

– 1 set of Hook & Eyes (3X3)

** Currently these are only available in white***

I wanted to give two size ranges for the findings because everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to their elastics and findings! Personally I find myself grabbing for the smaller range for some bra styles and often the larger range for bralettes! (I mean, who doesn’t love a 3/4″ strap!)

I don’t have the findings kits up separately right now, they are soon to come!

And of course I’m offering a FREE pair of wires with every bra kit!! YAY!! You simply need to make a comment on the purchase of what size and style you want!

Taken Straight from Etsy!:


I also have extra sliders and rings up for purchase 🙂

I’m so excited to be able to spread the love of bra-making and all my favourite things with all of you! And I promise this is just the start!
Let me know if you have any questions about the kits or anything else!
xo erin
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