Anyway, you might remember in my last post I showed a method for making a high-cut bra look lower-cut. I’m going to show the alteration to make a pointy bra give a rounder shape on the same bra I showed in that tutorial, but you don’t need to do both together. You can make a bra more round even if you haven’t done any other alterations on it. And in fact, this alteration is in some ways simpler than the alteration that makes a bra lower-cut. To make a bra more round, you don’t need to cut anything, and you can take out the stitching at any time without significant damage to the bra itself. I still wouldn’t recommend doing this to an expensive brand-new bra, but use your judgment and proceed at your own risk. I also wouldn’t recommend doing this to a bra that is too small or close to too small in the cups. The nature of the alteration takes some of the space out of the cups, so it’s better to do this on a bra that fits well or runs a little big on you. However, you won’t lose a whole cup size—more like 1/4 of a cup size, if that--unless you go really wild with it. This alteration will also probably not work with a bra that has a thin lace or mesh upper section—it will only work with fabric that has enough weight to hold a stitch.
The concept for this alteration is pretty basic. Think of it like this: a bra that gives a pointy shape does so because there is too much depth in the cups compared to their width. A view from above:
From the front, the alteration will look like this:
The red line along the seam will be brought up to the red line above the seam. What you will do is take in some of the fabric along the seam that goes diagonally across the cup. Basically you will pull the bottom sections up over the top section and stitch them in place there. When you’re finished, the bottom sections will look the same but the top section will look a bit smaller. It really doesn’t take much to significantly change the shape a bra gives. On my Pippa, I took in slightly more than half an inch at the deepest point of the alteration.
To start, put on your pointy-shaped bra and grab the seam that we are going to sew along. Pull it up over the top section and see how it looks from the side. Try to get a gauge of how much you are going to want to take it in. When you find the best position, tape it in place at the center of the seam (I used scotch tape) and take the bra off.
Now, place the bra over your knee and tape the whole seam.
It’s not going to be at the same width the whole way around. Instead, you will take in the most fabric at the center of the seam and taper off to nothing as you approach the bottom and top of the seam. Remember that you can’t take any volume out of the underwire, so you have to get all the way back out to the normal seam before it hits the underwire. This will probably make more sense to those who sew regularly. For those who don’t, it is ultimately going to look something like this:
When you’ve taped all across the front of the seam, turn the bra inside and tape the inside too. First make sure that the fold is as flat as possible—you want to be sewing three layers of fabric, one of which is the seam, not a crumpled bundle of several layers. This is why I recommend taping. If you want to pin it, you can try to do that too but I think taping makes it a LOT easier to ensure a continuous rounded shape along the alteration.
Now that you’re all ready with your thimbles and tweezers and tape, start sewing. It’s sort of an involved process so take your time. I recommend starting at the bottom of the seam, near the underwire, and working your way towards the upper corner where the strap is. You might find that you need to pause a few times to rearrange the tape along the fold so it stays as neat as possible.
When you’ve sewn the whole seam, you should be able to rip the tape off along the stitches. If it’s a really thick layer of tape, be careful and hold the stitches down so the pull of the tape doesn’t distort them.
The finished result from the front:
And the difference from the side, here is the bra before alteration:
Here’s the same alteration (taped but not sewn yet) on a Freya Nieve, before: