Why Bra-Repair is Such a Difficult Task – And Why You May Not Want to Tack This Project Yourself.
Bras are expensive.
You want to get it right the first time, and not weaken the bra further; or even ruin it. If you get it wrong. Be sure you know what the full job entails before shopping for the bra parts.
Some knowledge and expertise is a must.
Bra-repair requires knowledge and expertise. A bra is unlike any other garment you’ll wear. A well-made bra is a structural work of art and design. Every element of that bra has a purpose, and each of these parts work together to form this marvellous little foundation garment. The repairer needs to fully understand that design structure and basically should know how a bra is constructed – all the steps; from cutting pattern pieces to attaching the last hook. Only then, can she troubleshoot the problem and fix it.
Bra replacement parts can be expensive and difficult to find. I live in the city and can not find the correct wire sizes locally; forcing me to order in bulk.
Bra-repair requires Precision. Wire replacement is a delicate task because you have to get that machine needle very close to the wire, without nicking it. If your sewing machine’s needle hits the wire: it snaps, and you can begin re-threading your machine using a new needle.
You need fine, yet strong stitching
The stitching has to be fine, because you’re working with delicate fabrics in a tiny amount of space .
The stitching also has to be very strong, because the bra is going to continue to work under a lot of stress, and you don’t want the stitches to tear.
Damaged areas need to be reinforced. If there are already compromised seams; the fabric around them has to be reinforced before the new wire is inserted.
If the wire has stabbed through the casing; then the casing needs to be reinforced; sometimes patched so the wire won’t find it’s way out again.
You need fine yet strong needles The needle has to be strong; yet fine enough to pierce the many layers of fabric surrounding the wire. Your first attempts will probably cost you a lot of needles.
You’re working with a stretchy fabric. Your bra is made of mainly stretchy fabrics so it can adjust to, and support your body. It the repair-stitching is not also stretchy; the seams will break when you wear your bra.
Other Considerations when replacing a bra’s underwire
Reinserting the same wire rarely works.
Often the wire was able to work its way out though the tight weave, only because the plastic cap came off the end. You need a new wire. If the wire has been stretched or twisted, it will never be the same again; so it needs to be replaced.
You may have to replace both wires
On larger cups, you usually need to replace both wires, because the other original wire will have bowed out from pressure and will not have the same shape as the newly replaced one. This means that the another replacement will become necessary in the near future.
You may be wearing the wrong size bra ~ If you’re wearing the wrong size bra; which many women are; your bra is having to do double-duty, and the wires are being “pressured” unnecessarily.
In conclusion: I would suggest you take the time to figure out exactly what the problem is before attempting to repair a bra yourself. Be sure you have all the materials you’ll need, on hand. If you have any doubts; and especially if the bra is an expensive one; seek the advice of a professional.
© Maralaina Holliday 2015 All Rights Reserved.