Can I make your patterns without underwires?
You can make all but the Fenway and Lansdowne bra patterns without the underwires; however, you will not get the same degree of support or shaping if you do so.
If you do decide to omit the underwires, I recommend raising the height of the center front (the bridge piece) and raising the height of the upper cup at the center front correspondingly. I recommend sewing the bra as directed, the only change being that you do not insert wires into the wire casing.
These alterations will help a bit if you choose to leave out the underwire.
What underwires do your bras use?
All but the Esplanade bra use the regular underwires from Bra-makers Supply. The Esplanade bra uses their extra-long underwires. Both wire types have a nice, neutral shape. Note, based on the style of the bra, you may need to cut the underwires to size.
Can I substitute different underwires in your bra patterns?
As you may know, bras are drafted from the underwire on up! That said, I know many bra makers who substitute underwires that are shaped differently than what was used to create the bra with very good results. I have even worked with clients who were happy with some of their ready-to-wear bras just by changing the underwires!
Try your favorite underwires in our bra patterns and see what you think!
How do I select the right shape underwire?
There are so many different shapes available to purchase these days, I recommend getting a selection and trying them on to see what fits your shape best.
To help you out with this, I have a list of online bra-making materials and notions suppliers on my site here, and my book tells you how to fit an underwire to your body.