Have you ever put on a bra and thought that it would be so much cuter if it didn’t cover your whole chest up to your collarbone? I think we’ve all felt that way at some point. You might never have considered it, but it’s possible to change this. This alteration isn’t as simple as some of the ones I’ve posted about in the past, and it’s also not one that you can undo. So I’d recommend saving this alteration for bras that you can’t return, wouldn’t make money selling, and won’t wear unless they change.
This alteration is shown on the Freya Pippa, an older style. Here’s what it looked like to start with.
As you can see, that is just a lot of bra. There is no reason for it to come up so high on my chest, as I don’t even have any breast tissue there.
To start the alteration, position one cup of the bra in your lap. I find my knee is about the size of one boob (did I really just say that?) so it makes a good “dress form” for more advanced bra alterations.
Cut down and around the lace at a right angle, starting at the shoulder strap.
Can you see how the seam on the bra is right at the bottom of the lace, close to where you are cutting? If the bra you are altering doesn’t have lace at the top, you would want to cut right under the seam. The alteration would be trickier in that case, though, and harder to make it look nice. The lace on the Pippa and on many Freya bras helps conceal the alteration when it’s finished.
Now slowly and carefully cut down along the seam that goes diagonally down the cups. DON’T CUT ALL THE WAY.
You want to be able to position the lace so that the TOP of the lace is where the BOTTOM of the lace originally was, like this:
By doing this, you’ll lose about an inch of the excess height you don’t want. This will generally be enough to significantly change the look of the bra, but you can also go further, if you want. But cut ONLY until you can position it the way you want it without any wrinkling. Don’t cut any further. It will probably be about this far:
Now, hold the lace strip in position (this is where your knee comes in handy!) and TAPE it in place. Yes, tape it.
It’s a good deal faster and easier than using pins to hold it in place while you sew. It will hold a lot better, even if you need to get up and pee or something and have to take the bra off your knee. Yes, you probably will need a thimble to get the needle through the tape and fabric. But this is an alteration best done by hand because of the curve of the bra, and this is the easiest way to make sure that it is perfect.
Now sew along the seam, starting in the middle of the cup where you stopped cutting, and moving towards the shoulder strap. Make sure you are sewing the seam you cut away from the bra TO the fabric still attached to the bra. Don’t just sew the lace and don’t just sew the fabric still attached to the bra, as that will of course accomplish nothing. The easiest way to do it is to literally sew along the stitches that formed the original seam.
When you get to the corner, take a ninety degree angle and sew up towards the strap.
Once you’ve tied off your thread, you can cut off the extra fabric, making sure not to puncture the lace.
Here’s one side done and the other side still undone.
What a difference!
The bra looks MUCH better from the front now. But for some bras (like the Pippa) it won’t change the shape from the side, which I found was still quite pointy.
But don’t worry—this isn’t the end of the road for the Pippa! There is still hope.
Stay tuned for Monday's post—How to make a pointy-shaped bra give a round shape!