Compared to the rather functional daily bras in the post-war era, modern bras tend look more fashionable.This is mainly because bras nowadays show much more décolleté in the top part of the bra. To get this effect the straps are not placed at the center of the cup top edge but more towards the arm. Still the best support from a bra strap to keep the cups (and the breasts for that matter …) up instead of sagging down is to attach the strap in a straight line from above the nipple to halfway the shoulder. The more a strap is attached beside this imaginary line the less support it will provide.
Luckily there are some tricks to keep the fashionable look of a wide décolleté and still have a good support for your precious breasts. You can use them for an already existing bra that needs a bit of extra support or apply in any bra pattern you want to sew yourself. I’ll show you some different options :
Add split straps
This will be the easiest solution. Instead of attaching the strap directly to the cup you add a piece of narrow strap elastic in between which is attached at 2 different spots : one at the end of the armhole and one on the cup top edge at the imaginary line (the blue dots in the picture) from nipple to shoulder.
You can make a knot around a ring with the narrow strap elastic and attach the original strap at the ring as well.
Add a triangle of scalloped lace
This solution needs a little more of your sewing skills. The principal is the same : to create an extra spot to hold up the cup top edge. This time by adding a triangle from scalloped lace, usually 10cm height will do. The scallops go from the original strap to the cup top edge on the imaginary line from nipple to shoulder (the red dots in the picture).
The best way to decide on the shape of the lace is to wear the bra and pin a piece of paper on it to sketch the triangle. This works better than trying to imagine the right angles for it because this will be different for every type of bra. You can sew the long raw edge directly on top of the strap and the short raw edge BEHIND the cup top edge.
Use padded straps over the shoulder
Of course you could also get more support out of a strap when you use padding inside. This is the option for the more experienced seamstresses among us. I’ve written a blog about the FREE download how to do this; you can find the download itself on my page with FREE downloads.
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