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Plus-Sized Bras

icon smMark discusses the issues around bra industry sizing standards, and explores how to create bras for different sized cups that are both proportional and attractive.

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  OMG!!! I have just been measuring my boobs/curves/patterns etc., to try and figure out this VERY thing .. centimetres, cup size and how it relates to shape/patterning in a standard way etc., It's something very close to my heart and a subject i study endlessly. Then I come down to find this concise article. Thank you!  
  Mark, you are AMAZING. I am always impressed not only by your depth of knowledge, but also by your ability to instruct. Thank you so very much for all you do .  
  On your last point; all for it. A national qualification would be wonderful. At the moment, the skill level depends on the standard of the other fitters doing the training. Although there is a degree of group in-house training. But I suspect stores wouldn't support a qualification as it may mean they'd have to pay that fitter above minimum wage!  
Phyll Clinton  
  I would like to be able to make my own bras as I am 70  
you are a wonder,you make all us ladies feel spoiled by your attention to the details that matter to us,and you have a wonderful way of explaining things
long may you reign as king of cups
  Has anyone else tried moving the seams off the bust point by a cm or so? I found that if I wasn't trying to recreate a vintage shape and wanted something that wasn't retro I had to do this. That ICBM comment nearly killed me!! :D  
  Mark, just joined this group. What a brilliant article, sums up what I have been trying to tell every 'bra fitting' shop assistant I come across - that I want my bra to do.  
  I'm one of the lucky(?) women with small back and large breasts (34GG UK, 34J US) and am finding that underwires are increasingly becoming painful to wear as I age and my hormones change. So I'm wanting to essentially revert to the soft bras, and the only supportive enough designs are obviously the more retro. I don't mind the mild pointy nature of old, and honestly a breast isn't shaped like a beach ball anyway. So my question is, how would we modify the pattern for a soft cup bra to reflect the narrower base that omega shaped breasts have? In all my bra making attemps this has been the problem when nothing ever fit properly. Easily done with underwires, but I haven't figured out a good way with wireless patterns. Thank you!  
  Hi ceciled
If you think about the cradles of the soft bra that the cups are sewn to as odd shaped underwires then the idea of drafting the cradles to fit the breast roots, then re-curve the seams of a slightly larger cup to fit the smaller cradles as in the article. Try with paper / sticky tape mock-ups first to check for shaping and seam lengths.
Corset Hugs
  So I managed to modify the soft bra pattern for my omega shape and I was pretty successful on the first mockup! Very happy. However, I have a little more east/west going on than I'd like.And as the breasts fall to the side it seems as if they're almost being flattened in tje front. I read the instructions for lifting with the side panel but I didn't find any instructions on moving the breast point. I'm not sure if this is doable with a soft bra or not, or how much it would help with the issues I'm having. I have not yet built a soft bra with a bridge. Not sure if it would improve or worsen what I have already.  
  Posting on Mark's behalf:

Hi Ceciled,
To move the point of bust of each cup to the centre front more. At the stage in the cup draft when you separate the cup parts along say line 6 and line 3 you then “round” off the points at the cups P of B, instead move this rounding off along line 3 so that you flatten the underarm side of the cup and increase the fullness in the centre front area of the cup. This will “push” the breast more into the centre front area of the cup. The other way is when curving the overbust seam line take more away from the underarm end of the seam lines (line 6) and less from the centre front end (line 3), “asymmetri c shaping”. Again this removes fullness from the underarm side pushing the breast into the centre front area of the cup.

Corset Hugs
  Thank you!! This is exactly the problem I've been wrestling with!  
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