Band Alteration 2

*Note*: I’ve been debating for a while whether or not I wanted to do this post, as BrasIHate made one recently that’s essentially identical to this one. I decided to go for it anyway, as I’ve already started and I suppose this way readers can see how the alteration looks on different bras and in different sizes. So without further adieu:

Some people inherit things like jewelry and novelty pieces. My mother, on the other hand, was born to a seamstress of thirty years and by rite of passage, was gifted with an illustrious sewing kit upon her coming of-age. Deciding that she hated sewing, she moved into a new house and stashed it away in the basement, where it would collect dust for years to come. Fast-forward to some time after I was born, and was seeing the dawn of a raging lingerie addiction. I’d always been on the small side, but I had a growth spurt when I was about fifteen and shot up a few more inches, making the Petite section clothing I used to wear just a bit too short for my frame. This left me with the great option of having my clothes be either too short but fit in the waist, or too baggy but able to incorporate the length of my torso and boobs. This alongside the fact that most bra bands rode up helplessly on my back, I was starting to get pretty fed up. This drove me into the dark and forgotten parts of the basement, long past old school projects and boxes of photographs, to grab the sewing kit, dust it off, and put that sucker to work. Sewing gives me the possibility to wear bras and clothes that I couldn’t previously. It lets me buy all the cute styles of bras that start at 32 bands, and lets me tailor my clothes to my body. I’ve used a LOT of alterations in my time, and the most effective and my personal favorite one is one I’m about to share with you.

This is by far my favorite band alteration. I reasoned that by pinning some fabric behind the boning of the bra and sewing it in place, it would shorten the band without making other parts of the bra stretch out excessively, and it’s undetectable when looking at the bra from the outside. What you’ll need is a sewing needle, thread, perhaps some pins, and maybe a thimble- again, it all depends on how much you value your fingers. Next you’ll have to select the offending bra. Once you’ve done that, choose how much fabric you’re going to sew back. I’d like to say I’ve been using precision measurements to do this, but I’ve really just been pinching the fabric and going “yeah, that looks about right” and then going at it with a needle. You can do this or measure it out yourself- or better yet, choose a bra that has a well-fitting band with similar fabric and then line your victim bra up with the properly-fitting one. Pin back the fabric on each side until the wings of the bra match the length of the properly-fitting bra. Now, you’re ready to sew.

The pinching begins
The pinching begins

On my Patsy I pinned about half an inch of fabric on each side. I started by sewing from the top of the boning to the bottom, and then again just by the bra’s wire where the fold meets the fabric. BrasIHate  sewed (much neater than me, but also) along the perimeter of the fold.

Here's it with the top sewed and the bottom undone.
Here’s it with the top sewed and the bottom undone.

Once you’re done your method of sewing, you can do the other side and then pop that sucker on to admire your handiwork (kind of like I did here).

A messy sewing job, but I think it looks pretty good!
A messy sewing job, but I think it looks pretty good!
Here's how it looks from the side...
Here’s how it looks from the side- if I’d done a better job sewing, you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s been altered at all!

IMG_4952

And congratulations, you’re done! 😀

You’re now free to sew up any bra that gives you band grief, without it showing and without fear of the bra being overly-stretched. Thus far I’ve done this alteration on both of my Curvy Kate Portias, Freya Hello Dolly, the Patsy, and am getting geared up to alter the rest of the bras I own, save for the Ellis and Melissa (but those two are a review for another day). For whatever reason I didn’t take a before shot of the band, but it was a Freya 30 and was more along the lines of a 32, in my opinion.

Here's the altered Patsy with my Freya Ada, a standard Freya 28.
Here’s the altered Patsy with my Freya Ada, a standard Freya 28.
And here's the altered Patsy compared to my 28F Marcie!
And here’s the altered Patsy compared to my 28F Marcie- and my feet. Hello, feet.

This alteration gives me the power to buy all of the bras that I previously couldn’t wear. It allows me to be comfortable throughout the day in my tailored 26 and 24 inch bands, and it’s the reason that bras finally fit the way they’re supposed to. Not only is it great for sub-28 bands, but also for bras that are overstretched, if you lost weight, or if your size is sold out and all that’s available is the sister size. By all means, try this alteration and let me know how it goes!

And take a look at the little gallery of the bras I’ve altered thus far:

Curvy Kate Portia, now a 26F
Curvy Kate Portia, now a 26F

IMG_5164

Here's the post-alteration
Here’s the pre-alteration
Post-alteration, now a 26F
Post-alteration, now a 26F
Freya Hello Dolly, now a 26F
Freya Hello Dolly, now a 26F
Freya Just Flew in Longline, now a 26FF
Freya Just Flew in Longline, now a 26FF
IMG_5172
Pre-alteration
When altering a longline, I recommend you first sew just three parts along the band to make sewing easier (that way the fabric won' slide around as you sew the rest)
When altering a longline, I recommend you first sew just three parts along the band to make sewing easier (that way the fabric won’ slide around as you sew the rest)

IMG_5169

IMG_5170
Sewn in three places to start
Mid-sew
Mid-sew
And yes, even a Victora's Secret bra- this band was once a 34D! Now it's a 24G :-)
And yes, even a Victora’s Secret bra- this band was once a 34D! Now it’s a 24G 🙂
It looks a bit funny because of the difference in width of the band, but I like to think that it looks like it was deliberate- modern and edgy and whatnot
It looks a bit funny because of the difference in width of the band, but I like to think that it looks like it was deliberate- modern and edgy and whatnot

I hope these photos helped, and I encourage you to sew! 🙂

Let me know if this alteration worked out for you, any suggestions, thoughts, questions, et cetera. Cheers,

-AFILAL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *