Reducing the stretch of a bra band

I have a Cosabella Prettie bra I like but hardly ever wear due to the band being way too stretchy. I actually thought the cups were too big, not realizing that the problem was not the cups (which are actually the right size) but the overly large band. It stretched too much and wasn’t holding them against my body very well. The size 32 band measured 25″ unstretched (from hook to the last eye), but 35.5″ stretched! Meanwhile I can’t get my much firmer Panache Andorra size 30 band to stretch more than 30.75″, despite measuring 24.5″ unstretched. (And that 30.75″ is a very, very firm stretch.)

I’ve taken in bra bands before by making a tuck at the underarm. I’m not the biggest fan of this method. It makes a bump, the band looks uneven since the edges aren’t trued, and it is very obvious. Plus the elastic at the upper and lower edge of the band tends to rub.

So tonight I decided to experiment by sewing in a non-stretch woven patch inside the band. My theory was that it would reduce the amount of fabric that stretched, so the whole band would stretch less. I cut a couple of strips of some Pimatex cotton broadcloth about 1 3/8″ wide and used a 3-step zigzag stitch to sew them to the inside of the band. I trimmed it as close to the stitches as possible and then tried the bra on. It definitely felt better, but was still a little too loose despite having it fastened on the first hook. I applied another 1 3/8″ patch next to the first one and tried it on again. Better! This time I could fasten it on the third hook. I stretched it again and measured it. This time it was just 31.5″.

Here’s the outside with the patch applied:

brapatch1

And here’s the inside. Yes, it looks like hell, but it is completely undetectable  against my skin during wear. I should have used a black fabric, but this was the most accessible at the time.

brapatch2

I hand wash all of my bras so I’m not concerned about fraying. The one downside is that the stretch of the band makes the fabric ripple a little. Not nearly as noticeable as a tuck, but not as smooth as before. A little boning would fix that though.

Just something you may want to think about trying if you have a bra that fits in the cups but has a too-stretchy band.

5 thoughts on “Reducing the stretch of a bra band

  1. That is a great idea! The bras I found that best fit my frame (full busted, petite, and narrow shouldered) were for “plus size” women and the smallest band was a 36, I need a 32/34 depending, and so I was putting tucks in, even though they make the bras kind of uncomfortable. I wonder if this will work better–thanks!

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  2. Thanks for your methodical documentation of the different fitting and draping qualities of various fabrics. Wanting to sew more with knits I appreciate benefiting from your experiences. I am very resistant to merely learning from my sewing projects–I want to enjoy wearing them, too! Are you an engineer by day?

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    1. No, not an engineer, though I do work a somewhat technical job. I have two older brothers that are engineers and hung out with a lot of engineers when I was in college.

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