#AllChestsWelcome: No more poking wires!

Have you gone through the pain of having a relatively new bra and having underwires that poke out of their channeling?  

There are several factors that may contribute to this — manufacturing, how you get into your bra, how well the wire fits, how well the bra fits, what you do or how you move during the day, and even your washing routine. The constant wear and stress of our daily activities can often cause the casing to rip open and poking wires can become quite uncomfortable. 

If you enjoy the support underwires provide, and you invested a considerable amount of money in your bra, you might want to put a little time in repairing it. The repair method I am sharing with you today provides very good protection, and will hopefully allow you to wear your bra for many more years to come. 

My wire is out, what should I do now?

You will need:

  • Your bra
  • The underwire(s) 
    • If you feel like the wires are out of shape or not fitting properly, you might want to consider this as an opportunity to get new or the right size of wires. LizSews has shared a great video on how to find the right underwire size for you here. If you change the underwires, just make sure that they will fit lengthwise in the channeling with about 0.5” of ease, so they can move a little in the channeling. 
  • A piece of elastic 0.5” wide by 2” long
    • You will use 2” of elastic to cover each hole where the wire poked out. In this tutorial, I will enclose both ends of each wire, so I’ll be using 8” of elastic. 
  • Needle and thread and/or fabric glue
  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies.

Let’s get started!

For this demonstration I will insert both wires (left and right) and secure all 4 ends of the channeling.

Step 1

Find or clip the holes where the underwires will be inserted in the channeling.

Place your bra on the table as if you were going to wear it. 

Examine your underwires and place them in the position in which they will be inserted in the channeling. 

Insert the underwires in each of the channels. Clip the channeling close to the top if you can’t find where the wire originally came out.

The bra lies flat on a sewing table, inside out. The underwires lie on top of the empty channels that they will slide into, to check for positioning.
Inside view of a bra with the two underwires lying on top, aligned with the channeling where they will be inserted.

Step 2

Place a 2” piece of elastic on top of the channel, and align the top of the elastic with the top of the underarm elastic. Pin the elastic in place as shown in the image below. You may alternatively or additionally decide to spread a dab of fabric glue on the elastic before placing it on the channeling. 

One 2" piece of elastic, with a bead of clear fabric glue running down the centre of the strip.
2″ piece of elastic, with fabric glue applied.
A view of the inside of the bra cup. One piece of elastic is pinned in place at the end of each channel. Each piece of elastic extends above the end of the channel by about 1/4".
Inside view of bra cup with the two pieces of elastic pinned in place, at each end of the channeling.

Hold the bra in such a way that will expose the side of the elastic and the channeling.  

Slip stitch along one side of the elastic upwards (towards the underarm elastic) catching a tiny bit of the channeling with each stitch. As you reach the top of the elastic, fold ⅛” of the end in, towards the channeling to finish it neatly. Slip stitch along the top end of the elastic and then downwards to secure the other side of the elastic.  

At the top of the channel, the elastic is turned under by 1/8" and sewn into place. The needle is poised to sew back down the other side of the elastic strip.
Close up — the top edge of the elastic has been turned under and slip stitched in place.

Step 3

Turn the bra right side up and use a pin to mark the bottom end of the elastic you placed on the end of the channeling. This pin will be the reference point that indicates the beginning and the end of your stitches.

The bra now lies face-up on the table (right side out). A pin, running perpendicular to the underwire, marks the end of the elastic that has been placed on the wrong side of the bra.
Right side of bra, pins indicate the lower edge of the elastic.

Place the bra in the machine with the right side up. Stitch a line along the outside of the elastic that we just handstitched following the same path.

You may decide to repeat this process for the four ends of the channeling where the wires may poke out, even if they haven’t already done so. 

At the centre gore of the bra, from the outside, the new lines of machine stitching are nearly invisible.
The centre front of the bra with machine stitching along the channeling.

You are finished!

Enjoy your bra with no more poking wires!

Share pictures of your process and tag me @monserratt_l ! !

Monserratt is a past life scientist and founder of Enfance Durable currently living in Montreal. She loves experimenting, learning and sharing all things sewing. If you are looking to learn more about her, you can read her latest interview here.