Gothic Arch

One of the most recognizable shapes in ancient architecture is a Gothic Arch.  It symbolizes strength, and serves as support for the structure above it. All the early architects understood that the Gothic Arch was an integral part of the support system. However, to recognize a Gothic Arch in a bra may not be so easy.

Gothic arch feature

A Gothic Arch is an easy to sew addition to your bra that will make a difference to the engineering of the front. A Gothic Arch is found on a full band bra, most often on a fabric band, and has a characteristic up sweep  and a flat section at the centre front of the bra. On the inside there are two pieces of elastic coming from each side, either crossing each other at the front or mitered to go over the arch.

Here’s a quiz to see if you recognize a Gothic Arch . Which of these bras has what we are looking for?

Gothic arch quiz

The purple lace on black bra at the top is a partial band, so that’s not it. The pink and white lace bra has a lace band, and although it curves up in the centre, it is not a Gothic arch either. However the two bras at the bottom have Gothic arches. They both sweep upward quite sharply but they lie flat in the centre. Here’s what a Gothic Arch looks like on the inside; this one has the two elastics crossed at the centre. So, how did you do on that quiz?

Recognize a Gothic arch inside

The Top Ten reasons for using a Gothic Arch

  • the elastics sew on the bottom edge much more easily than on a standard curved edge
  • it is very comfortable to wear
  • it avoids the high tummy area so it doesn’t bind in this area
  • it can be drafted from any full band pattern, even if you have already cut it out
  • it makes the elastic lie perfectly flat
  • you can practice your precision sewing skills
  • when you sew it right, it makes you feel very accomplished
  • it uses smaller lengths of elastic so you can avoid waste
  • it strengthens the bridge and keeps the breasts together at the bottom
  • it has a very smart look about it!

Now that you recognize a Gothic Arch, in next weekend’s post, we’ll look at how to draft and sew one. Like I said above, even if you have your full band bra already cut out, you can still do a Gothic Arch.

If you can’t wait until then, I teach the technique in my Craftsy class Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques. if you click the link, you’ll get the class for the lowest price that Craftsy offers.

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2 replies
  1. Jennifer Moriarty
    Jennifer Moriarty says:

    I made a turquoise and white Shelley this week with a thin band and a Gothic Arch and it is the most comfortable band I’ve made. I’m definitely going to make more bras with Gothic Arches.


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