#AllChestsWelcome: Post-Mastectomy Bra Pattern Hack Tutorial

Photo of blue bra with black lace and accents

The last few months all I thought about were one-cupped bras. No, I’m not talking about masks. Bras for real bodies that have gone through surgery. Bras that can make the wearer feel comfortable and beautiful without carrying a heavy silicone prosthesis.

In the following video tutorial I show you how you can alter any bra pattern into a one-cupped bra. I’m using LilypaDesigns’ wireless Lotus Bra pattern as an example. I chose this pattern because it comes in lots of sizes. The basic technique is the same for any other bra pattern.

The focus of the alteration is set on making a flat cup and positioning the seams in an optically symmetrical way to trick the eye. This method is also applicable for a bra that is flat on both sides.

Working Steps

Make a paper toile:

  • Choose a bra pattern
  • Measure yourself according to the instructions of the pattern as if you had two same sized breasts
  • Copy or trace the pattern in your size
  • Remove all the seam allowances
  • Trace again to get two cups
  • Stick the paper pattern together

Fit the paper toile:

  • Pin it to a tight-shirt that you are wearing or attach a back band out of paper and tape it around yourself
  • Underlay the flat side with paper
  • Form darts if necessary
  • Mark the center front
  • Press the cup to your body and trace around it
  • Remove the cup
  • Look at yourself in the mirror from the front and draw in an optically symmetrical seam line. Compare the starting and end points of all the seams and where they would cross the apex as well as the steepness of the curves.

Make the new pattern pieces:

  • Take the paper bra off and cut it apart along the new seam
  • Sew a mockup in a fabric similar to the one you are going to use. Follow the sewing patterns fabric suggestions for an optimal fit.
  • When cutting the fabric, make sure the right side of the fabric and the pattern are looking up. This helps to not mix up right and left cups.

Last but not least:

  • Don’t give up after the first time. It takes a few tries to make a well-fitting bra and you will collect a lot of knowledge while sewing.
  • Most importantly: Have fun!

Megan Kelso is a jewellery design graduate and couturiere from Switzerland. For her Bachelor project DESSUS et DESSOUS she designed over and undergarments for women who had a single mastectomy. She celebrates her collection as the recognition of a creative and self-assured approach towards ones own body image.

Photo of designer looking straight towards the camera with a measuring tape around her neck

Instagram: @venusmensch_mk
Website: venusmensch.ch/wordpress/