Determine the Wire Size

Determine the Wire Size

On our website at www.bramakers.com, we have a complete set of all our wires, drawn out to their actual size, complete with measurements around the perimeter from tip to tip. But how do you determine the wire size you need? It’s not difficult with a few tips from the Fairy Bra Mother.

The wire charts are there to help

If you print off these wire charts, you can match up a wire from your collection to see what size it is. If you don’t have a wire that fits and you aren’t sure what wire size you would use,  you can print off the wire page and paste the page on stiff cardboard or pattern paper.  You will have a circular template of the actual wire size and shape. Place the template around the naked breast. The wire should fit against the chest wall with no gaps under or around the naked breast, when the arm is raised. Sometimes the breast looks different when the arm is raised, so raise it to determine the wire size. This wire is too big as you can see by the marks where it should sit. In addition you can see a bit of a gap underneath the breast. Yest, when the arm was down, it looked the right size!
determine the wire size naked

The Pattern back can help too

If you know your bra pattern size, you can use the chart below to find the wire size associated with that bra size. The wires listed in the cells below represent the wire sizes that the Pin-up Girls Patterns use. The patterns will usually accept one wire size lower or higher than the chart suggests. Please note that AAA, AA and A take the same size underwire.

The wire SIZE actually represents the diameter of the breast.

BAND
AAA
A
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
32
30
30
30
32
34
36
38
40
42
44
34
32
32
32
34
36
38
40
42
44
46
36
34
34
34
36
38
40
42
44
46
48
38
36
36
36
38
40
42
44
46
48
50
40
38
38
38
40
42
44
46
48
50
52
42
40
40
40
42
44
46
48
50
52
54
44
42
42
42
44
46
48
50
52
54
56
46
44
44
44
46
48
50
52
54
56
58
48
46
46
46
48
50
52
54
56
58
60
Once you determine the wire size, you will need to know what length in the font you would like to have. Wires are available in a variety of front arm heights, either high or low or anything in between and can be shaped differently in order to encourage the breast forward or back according to its final use.  
The most common wire is the LONG wire, so that is the one I’ve used in most of the bra patterns from Pin-up Girls. That is not to say that you can’t use a Short wire or a Super Long wire but alterations need to be made to the pattern in order to accommodate the changed length.
Now you know how to determine the wire size, what are you waiting for? Let’s get sewing!
4 replies
  1. Sid
    Sid says:

    I have noticed that your chart does not include 30 bands or 28 bands… what sizes are recommended for someone like me who wears a 28DD?

    Reply
    • Beverly Johnson
      Beverly Johnson says:

      My patterns do include a 30 band size. As for the 28, that would indicate a 24″ rib cage measurement in North American sizing. That, I have found, is not practical for us to make

      Reply
  2. Beverly Johnson
    Beverly Johnson says:

    Actually the patterns are designed to be able to use one size wire up or down as needed. You have what we call the "low contour" breast, and it is normal for this type of breast to have a larger diameter wire than what the "standards" allow. So to answer the question, just make your own size and use the larger wire!

    Reply
  3. Scooter
    Scooter says:

    So…I have the Linda pattern. I've made a couple of bras, but discovered that if the cups fit volume-wise, the recommended wire is too small in diameter–as the day wears on there's breast tissue escaping sideways both in the armpits and the front, and a saggy-in-the-middle cup, yuck. My breasts are just wide and flat! 🙂

    So if I size the wire only up, do I need to also use the cradle from the next size up, and size the cups down (like, make a 34A and alter to reduce the cup volume?), or do I make my size (a 32A) and just put the wider wire in, or???

    Reply

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