It's not quite true. According to Freya and their design team, it would not be possible to make bands smaller than 28 because there is no demand for them? And also, this particular style loses all support and is not possible to make below a size 30? (words I've seen written by them) Really, Freya?? Do you guys just look for fabric and call it a day? Do you even discuss sizes with your design team? Considering they are only a design team and not a size team...this all makes sense to me now!
This was originally a size 30, measuring 25.5" unstretched and 30" stretched to it's maximum. There are some people out there who really put this last number to the test and pull with all their might to find the max stretch. BIG. FAT. NO-NO! You want this number to be what the bra stretches at comfortably without popping any stitches or turning the fabric translucent and wrinkled. Would you honestly wear the band that tight around? I say that because the people who do this wear the size they measure at and think it's the absolute maximum of stretch in a bra...Dear God, how much pain are they in when doing so??!
Before taking off the amount necessary, 1) remove the stitching from the back closure, 2) the stitching holding the ring/strap in place (or on the strap itself if yours doesn't have a ring), and 3) the stitching holding the decorative elastic that's connected from the strap and running along the top of the band. 4) Mark how much is to be taken off, first on the bottom of the band, then top (mine was 1.5") and also the height of the band at the very end (mine was .75") then make a gradual curve from point A to point B keeping the curve as similar to the original.
After removing and trimming everything away, mark the edge for where the fabric will meet on the decorative elastic. It's easier this way because it slides around like crazy in the machine. Or you can baste it in place but keep the stitches loose because you will be pulling the two together as you sew to give the stitching some stretch. I just used the typical polyester thread and a straight stitch, set at 3 for length (my machine goes up to 4, so 3 is the average for most fabrics). You'll be starting just at where the fabric folded when it was in the ring for the strap. Do 2 rows of stitching, the first one about 1/8" in from the raw edge of the band, then flip the bra over and stitch 1/8" in from the edge of the decorative elastic (about 1/4" from the first row of stitching, alternatively you can do this all on the same side, but flipping it is easier since you know you'll have both piece sewn and won't have your stitching line going off).
Sorry this is flipped upside down. Blooger (haha - give me a break, it's 3:30AM) doesn't work well with JPEG's... Below is the stitching you'll be doing to reattach the strap. Simply fold the little strap through the ring (make sure your bra straps are facing the correct way. I had a retard moment and had mine flipped!), then straight stitch across 1/8" from the edge (on the inside) then zig-zag over that twice to secure.
What it should look like after the main stitching is complete.
The band completed.
The difference between the two sizes. Top is the new 26, bottom is the old 30.
Firm and even, and at the proper level around back (this varies depending on torso length, mine is very long). It may look like the hook & eye closure is strained but I assure you it is not. I can very easily close this on the tightest eyes no problem. Some light stretching like this is quite acceptable and common in a tighter band. What you DON'T want is for it to be strained that you can actually see your skin through the space created, or to have it digging in at the sides to the point of flesh spilling over the edges on top and bottom = both are an all too common problem seen on many women (more specifically on Bratabase) claiming their band fits.
The cups on this will always sit lower than the band because that's the styling of it, you can see this in the photos above when the bra is lying flat. It doesn't pose too much of a problem though, as far as digging in my ribs. I get that more with partial bands, but it's a cup size issue. And...it's sitting much more level, when I move around it doesn't ride up.
THE VERDICT: I am still strongly against one single method of measuring for bras. You'll find tons of nonsense out there ranging from adding 4 to as much as 6" to determine band size, and then you'll find the complete opposite where you don't add anything at all (unless you need to round up or down because your ribcage is measuring at an odd amount). The method depends entirely on the person, and personally...with my somewhat bony ribcage and various health reasons, I prefer a size 28 hands down! For reference my ribcage measures 26" exactly WITHOUT pulling the tape tight - just as you would measure for any other part of your body, it is held around without any slack but without pulling at all. Some rules will say to measure this snug and inhale. If I do that I can get this number as small as 23.5". But, pulling the tape just a little snug results in about 24.75". Some people would argue that I can also try a size 24 band because of this measurement, but if I want to be restricted that much I'll ask Luke ;)
I did this yesterday afternoon and finished some time around 4, then proceeded to wear it out and had it on until about 10. It wouldn't have been uncomfortable had I not gone out to dinner then for a walk and over to a friend's house, but the elastic was a little unbearable with not a whole lot in me. At almost it's (the correct version of) maximum stretch (since technically compressing the flesh around me would still allow for 2.5" of ease, without compressing only 0.5") this was not a good feeling. I had slight heartburn and kept burping because I wasn't digesting as well with such a firm band, and it wasn't so much the fabric as it was the elastic on the band. As far as fit goes, it's absolutely spot on for cup and band size. But this is not something I would wear unless I'm just going out to hang out. I don't know how some women do it (and especially those that are heavier). Do they not eat? Or move?
To Freya: Yes, size 26 IS possible! And yes, this half-cup style is also doable in smaller than a 30. As you can see, none of the support is lost from a smaller band with this style of cup, and this smaller band fits on real women like myself. Because you forget about the slender and curvy much too often, pushing them off to the side as if they do not exist. How many more people and blogs will it take to get you to realize this? Please, listen to your customers. They know what is best, and you definitely have a large market for smaller band sizes.