Simple Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra Fit

Marlborough Bra by Orange Lingerie Close UpNeed a little extra room across the upper cup of your bra? Or, perhaps the upper cup is just a bit to large across the top? This bra sewing tutorial is for you!

Thankfully, changing the upper cup is simple. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to increase and decrease the upper cup for both the Marlborough and the Boylston bras side-by-side. As usual, let’s go through this step-by-step.

  1. The first step is to determine the amount of the increase or decrease.
    • To determine the amount to increase, you must estimate. More often than not, I start with ¼” but feel free to deviate from that amount as necessary.
    • To determine the amount of the decrease, pinch out the excess material. For the Marlborough bra, I like to take the pinch where the upper cup connects to the power bar. For the Boylston, you can pinch out the excess from wherever it is handy.
  2. Let’s start with an increase adjustment. On the upper cup pattern piece mark the amount of the increase outside the outer edge of the pattern piece. I am using ¼” for these examples. Remember, all pattern alterations are done from the seam line, not the cutting line! Fortunately, my bra patterns include markings for all seam and trim lines which is very useful when making pattern alterations!

Easy Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra FitEasy Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra Fit

  1. Now to redraw and true up the seam lines. The seam allowance to the outer edge of the Marlborough bra upper cup is ¼” and the trim allowance at the outer edge of the Boylston bra is ⅜” for sizes A to C and ½” for D to J.
    • On the Marlborough bra you do not have to true up the seam to the power bar unless you need more room on the power bar above where it meets the upper cup so you can fold the fabric over the strap ring. You should, however, add a notch where the revised upper cup meets to the power bar so you will sew symmetrical bra cups!
    • On the Boylston bra you need to redraw the underarm curve so it is smooth and connects nicely to where the strap will be attached.Easy Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra FitEasy Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra Fit
  2. Now let’s look at a decrease adjustment. Start by marking the decrease inside the outer edge of the pattern.Easy Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra FitEasy Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra Fit
  1. Again, true up the seams and add the seam and trim allowances as detailed #4 above. Easy Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra FitEasy Upper Cup Adjustments to Improve Bra Fit

You are now all set to cut and test your alteration!

Did you know that altering the cups is actually the last fitting adjustment you should make? If you want to learn more about pattern alterations for bra fitting get my book where I take you through my systematic fitting process and the most common pattern adjustments!