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Altering a RTW Bra....
Have you done this???
Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Alberta CANADA
Member since 10/30/10
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Date: 5/17/12 1:43 PM

Went looking for new Bras the other day. Being "well endowed" this usally means a trip to the Bra boutiques.

Went to one and tried on numerous bras and finally found one that was not too bad. But the band size felt too loose. It was a 40. I normally were a 38 or 36.

This bra was $212.

Here is what I thought was strange. The fitting woman suggested that I could alter the band myself. My reaction was "I think not" at that price.

But then I got to wondering if anyone actually does this. Is it hard to do?

This could open up a whole new world. The thing I have noticed is that a DDD on a 44 band is a much larger cup than on a 36DDD. I need cup size - not band size - so if I could make the band smaller and maybe move the straps a bit - I could save a small fortune in bras. I might also have one where the straps don't fall down.

Happiness would include a bra that fits.

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<
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Date: 5/17/12 4:34 PM

Hi Canadian Jane...funny you should bring this up. I've had a Thread going on about just this type of thing("Say it Ain't So"). I've been on a mission to find a bra that fits. One day I looked in the mirror and noticed I was spilling out of my bra. I went to a boutique and got nowhere. The young sales woman didn't even measure me("we don't measure") I was wearing a 34 D. I know for a fact I'm a 34. She was trying to squish me in to a 32 DDD(F). I finally got her to undertand I needed a 34 "whatever". I left there with a 34DDD. I wore it around the house for about 10 minutes and knew it wasn't right for me.

After returning it, I went across the street to Nordstroms. OMG What a wonderful experience. The sales lady was the best. I found the bra for me. They only had black, so I ordered Three nutural color to be sent to my home. This lady understood, I wasn't just looking for the right size, I needed the right shaped cup. I came out of there a very happy 34DD It was great to have someone there who could give me an honest opinion. She could have sold me a much more expensive bra(It wasn't as comfortable, but I could have been talked into it)...instead, she told me which one really worked for me, front, back and sides. AND it was so comfortable. My mirror lies, so I need someone who will be straight with me.

I guess what I'm trying to say, don't settle. Your bra is out there. Your size is not out of the ordinary. You shouldn't have to do your own altering after spending all that money on a bra. My three bras came to over $190 total and that was hard for me to take If you have a Norstroms in your area, I would suggest giving them a try.

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Alberta CANADA
Member since 10/30/10
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In reply to JTink <<


Date: 5/17/12 7:37 PM

I will have to check out that thread.

A 32 band is pretty small. I used to wear that size (DDD cup) many pounds earlier in life. You sure do need to be comfortable in your Bra and I agree that only you know what feels right.

We don't have Nordstroms in Canada and I am an 8 hour drive north of the Montana border. I just can't easily scoot across the border like some people who live in southern BC, Ontario, or the Maritimes perhaps. Too bad really.

I need probably a GG or JJ cup and a 36 or 38 band. Very few stores except the boutiques carry that combo. The plus stores have the cup size them but usually their band size starts at 40.

I plan to have Breast Reduction surgery but that probably is not happening until Jan/Feb of next year. (Because we have public health care , the wait for these types of surgeries can be long.) I am so looking forward to it. I am so sick of bras that don't fit and cost a small fortune . And sorry - I don't want a bra in neon orange or vivid blue either.

I have some old bras. Maybe I could practice on those.

After the surgery, I image I will be looking at my spare tire below my belly button wondering where did THAT came from and do I need a bra for it?

Thanks for the encouragement.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/17/12 8:56 PM

It's not uncommon for lingerie stores that sell bras in that price range, to have free alterations.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

momtoesther
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momtoesther
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Date: 5/17/12 9:24 PM

I do this often. I wear a relatively common size (36D) but often the sizes on the clearance rack are often 38/40D. I take in the band and occasionally move the straps. I stick with a brand I know has the right shape cups for me though.

OP, I've found that the best place to buy a bra is a small boutique. What I do is go there and get fitted, then find the identical bra at sears or the bay, and wait for bay/sears days and get several for up to 75% off.

MagnoliaHoney
MagnoliaHoney
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Kansas USA
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Date: 5/17/12 10:52 PM

I would try buying online. Nordstrom's is worth it, however, the fitters are inviduals some are good and some are not. But, they carry great bras with a large variety including the JJ etc.

Sears and such doesn't sell my size. I'm a I cup. I love elomi's.

I also really really like My Intimacy.

I'm taking a bra making class next month.

For larger cups, I would NOT buy a bra for 200 Plus dollars and do alterations, they are really really sensitive, and things need to be just right to hold things up right and to not hurt, etc. So for sure I wouldn't be doing my own alterations, but yes some shops like My Intimacy will do the alterations for you.

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Visit my blog http://www.heathersprairie.blogspot.com

Cathy Loves Fabric
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Cathy Loves Fabric  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/18/12 0:42 AM

I find the best fit I can and alter. The most I've paid is $60. I add a bit of soft elastic between the two straps in the back to keep them from falling down. I've altered the cups and removed additional fabric from the bra front when it came up too high and showed up through my tops. I've permanently shortened my straps and shortened the back band. When I get a good fitting bra, it will be mended until the elastic is worn out. I certainly get my money's worth, lol.

I am very busty so most of my bras come from online stores.

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My hope is to sew to the very end. They'll find my head slumped over my precious Kenmore 19606 and have to pry the seam ripper from my cold, dead hands.

tinflutterby
tinflutterby  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/18/12 1:10 AM

I think it might be easier to make the whole bra rather than alter one. I certainly expect my expensive ones to fit but by taking good care of them they also last.

JTink
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JTink
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Date: 5/18/12 8:40 AM

I've altered straps before. Such as, moving them more to the center back to keep them from slipping off my shoulders. Buying on line is fine, once you have found the bra that fits. I had to have a certain shaped cup. I'm petite, short/high waisted, have narrow shoulders, underarm fluff, back fluff, and have a sensitive scar where lymph nodes were removed, near the side of my left breast. All this has to be taken in to consideration, when finding the right fit. Now that, I've found a brand and a style that fits, I might be able to find the exact one on line at a cheaper price(even though mine were $62.00 apiece, I would like to get them at a cheaper price).

I suppose I could have gone to Kohls or Pennys and grabbed a bunch of bras and tried them all on. But it's overwhelming to do on your own and it's nice to have someone else there to make sure all the "boxes are checked" for fit.

Boutiques are fine, but you can also run in to some that haven't got a clue about fitting. I did.

Magnolia is right. Nordstroms does have the larger bras in the smaller bands. I saw a HH (can't remember the band size, but do remember it wasn't large).
-- Edited on 5/18/12 1:44 PM --

clothingengineer
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clothingengineer  Friend of PR
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<


Date: 5/18/12 9:12 AM

Before I started making my own bras I used to alter if I couldn't find a band smaller than 34 (I wear a 32) and was not very happy with the results. A smaller band size is smaller all around, not just in one spot, so even though the band stayed in place the straps tended to slip a lot since they were set too far apart for my frame. Plus there was a bump where I had to sew the elastics together. IMO this is completely unacceptable when you're paying that amount of money!

If I was in your situation I would get the Pinup Girls Classic full-band or Pinup Girls Linda partial band pattern from Bramakers Supply and make your own. It would be WAY cheaper than $212, even if your first few bras don't work out. If you get the Bramakers Manual (Version 1) it will show you how to increase the volume of the cup if the pattern doesn't go up enough for your size. Or you could click on the Teachers link on the bottom left menu and contact someone to help you make your own pattern. It might cost a bit more but would be a worthwhile investment since you could keep making it over and over again. I'm not sure if your exact location but there are 7 teachers in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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-- Anne
clothingengineer.com

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