When Life gives you Grapefruits…

Sometimes I hear breasts called different food related names, such as fried eggs, lemons, grapefruits or melons. You get the idea. We can deal with that. When life gives you grapefruits… or even a set of melons, that’s one thing. But what happens if you are blessed with both a grapefruit and a melon? On the same chest. At the same time.

First of all, let me go on record as saying…If you are concerned about “someone” noticing the difference in size, you can rest easy. Most people have no idea you have any unevenness going on. Really. Most people don’t notice anything about someone else – they are too busy thinking about themselves.  It’s probably safe to say that only another bra-maker is ever going to notice and then, only if you take off your bra in front of her. Then believe me – she will be very sympathetic!
But I digress…what do women of uneven sizes do about fitting a bra?  I have seen women who buy really stretchy bras  that more or less conform to the two sizes.  I call those bras One Size Fits No One. To me that is not a solution. That is giving up. This gal is not that big, but she is not getting any help from this “panty hose” bra.
When we sew our own bras, we have 2 different options for dealing with uneven cup sizes.

Option 1 – pad the smaller

You can pad the smaller to even it out to match the larger. Most professional bra-makers I know do this on a regular basis. Cut & Sew foam is especially useful as the larger size can use one layer of foam just to smooth out the profile, while the smaller can have several layers, depending on what is needed.

Just like when we make a prosthesis (as in this post), you can cut the second and third layers of foam smaller than the first so that the thickness and bulk at the neckline is reduced as much as possible. If you pad up one cup with 3 or 4 layers all the way to the neckline edge, those layers will create a ridge that will be visible under clothes.

Another suggestion  if you need more than two layers of foam, is that you keep them to the lower cup if at all possible,  where they create a cushion (like a push-up pad) to boost up the smaller one and make them appear the same size. Will anyone know what you’ve done? Not unless you feel you have to tell them…and why would you do that? Really!
Speaking up push-up pads…you can easily make a push-up pad that is exactly the size of your lower cup by using your lower cup pattern to cut many layers of cut & sew foam, each smaller than the next to layer up as I show here. When all the layers are cut and stacked (with the smallest bits of foam in the centre of the “sandwich”), just zig-zag around the edges to secure them. Now you have a custom push-up pad that fits your bra exactly!

Option 2 – Make Each One Unique

Will padding the smaller breast work for everyone? If you are of a certain age, do you really want multiple foam layers when you have “power surges”. Probably not.

Some women forget trying to even them out and make a cup that fits for each side. (Remember what I said about no one will notice…they really won’t! You see it because you are looking at them very close and from above, everyone else sees them from further away and straight on)

Making and fitting each side separately has advantages.

  • in the mornings, you just put on the bra and go to work
  • no more worries about the padding shifting
  • no extra work making the pads
  • once you make the pattern, it is regular bra sewing
  • no padding to make you sweat!

Let’s say you have a 36D on the right side and a 36C on the left side as shown here. Trace the pattern for each cup. Remember to flip the pattern pieces intended for the LEFT side and label them like this.

Next, draw a balance line across a piece of paper and a centre front line at right angles to it. Line the “bowl” of each frame up against the horizontal line and the centre fronts along the CF line.

Notice that the tops of the CF are different as is the bottom of the band. They need to be the same. I almost always raise the shorter centre front to match the longer side. On the band I make the two sides look as similar as I can.

You will also need to raise the upper cup of the 36C a little higher to match with the frame we raised.

To see this and much, much more, see my Craftsy class Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques. The above screenshots were taken from that class.

6 replies
  1. Ringoot Godelieve
    Ringoot Godelieve says:

    Merci pour tout vos conseils, cela sera très facile à faire étant donné que quand on a été opéré d un cancer du sein (une ablation total), et ensuite on fait une reconstruction du sein il y a toujours une différence c’est pour ça qu on fait ses sous vêtements soie même merci pour tout j adore votre site

  2. Julia Dallyn
    Julia Dallyn says:

    Beverly, thank you for making all your solutions so simple for us to do. This is just a great fix for uneven “grapefruits”.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *