Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bra Flaws: How To Uncurl a Curling Cup

Edit: the photo order and descriptions have been adjusted. Hopefully Google will keep it that way this time.

One of the reasons I buy Freya is not just for their somewhat extended size range and the availability of a t-shirt bra that fits a natural tall, wide root in a 28. It's also for their somewhat better quality. I'm not going to find the same type of durability or size that fits from a bra bought at Victoria's Secret, Target or Walmart - or any American brand for that matter. Sometimes...even Freya falls short on their own quality. Perhaps their QC team is made up of a bunch of monkeys, or 5 year olds, or disgruntled sweatshop workers...or all of the above? I don't know. But if I'm paying $60+ for a piece of underwear that has a tag loaded with those wretched QC stickers that leave residue to prove they've been inspected then I expect something decent.

That being said...last year I ordered the last of Freya's "original" shaped Deco bra: Deco Honey Plunge in Jade. (Currently they are making them all with an overstarched trim that only fits women with short, narrow roots which was their only target audience with all of their other bras. The original Deco design does not have trim.) Upon receiving it in the mail I noticed one of the cups was badly deformed. Having to avoid shipping it back and waiting close to a month I kept it and figured maybe it'd work itself out. Not only that but I ordered a larger cup size because my others were getting small. Then I lost weight. Then I gained the weight back so now I can wear it again. I had it on yesterday and Luke noticed the flaw, "If I can notice it then it must be bad!". Yes, thank you!

I searched online for a fix. The most popular result, and pretty much the only one, was to iron it with a cloth to protect the fabric. I actually tried that when I first got this but it only lasts through 1 wear, and eventually the cup refolds.

Why does this happen? A couple of reasons:
  1. Shoddy workmanship!
    a) The main fabric has not been cut correctly, usually because it's too short for the foam so it has to stretch over the top of the foam cup and this causes it to pull the moulding out and down. - or
    b) When stitching the main fabric to the moulding, either one of them could have been pulled too much in the process resulting in the fabric being stretched and the thread in the stitches actually keeps this shape.
  2. The bra is old and has stretched out - except this would most likely happen equally to some degree in both cups.
  3. The bra has been man-handled in the wash, and/or put in the dryer. Don't put them in the washing machine, unless you're careful. (See my update below) And always line dry them letting them hang from the center gore so neither the straps nor band can get stretched out in the drying process.
So why did it happen to mine? Reason 1a. There is a super quick and easy fix for this that involves chalk, thread, a thin needle, and a pair of scissors. Below are photos, pretty self explanatory but I'll briefly describe them as needed.

Yuck!

I paid $60 for this nonsense...

Shame on you, Freya!

Unsightly edges under clothes.


Cup appears too big because of the curl.

On the inside of the bra, mark the bottom of the curl with chalk, extending toward cup edges a little ways past the majority of the curling. This line will be where you insert the needle.

Use a double strand of thread. If you want more security you may wax it first. 

Beginning at the outer side of cup (strap side), insert your needle into the cup lining where you've marked it. DO NOT penetrate all the way through the foam! You may go through a little of the foam but not all the way, and definitely not through to the outside of the cup. Your second pass will be at the top of the cup. Same with this, do not go all the way through. You just want to catch a little bit of foam here. The idea is to pull the top back down. Stitches should be no more than 1cm apart.

DO NOT PULL THE THREAD TIGHT! One commenter on here said this fix did not work for their bra, and instead made it worse. If you pull the thread to tight it will create curling in the opposite direction. You only want to pull it as tight as to help the foam to lay smooth. Take your time, and check the foam after every stitch or so to make sure it's keeping a normal shape.

After completion. 

Completed.

Completed. It still appears there is a bump in the two photos above but now the other way. If you're in the correct cup size this will go away while being worn.

Much better!

This is what a t-shirt bra should look like under a t-shirt.


Update 12-29-18: mine is still holding up very well, and I carefully wash all of my bras in the machine, regular cycle, cool to warm water, in lingerie bags, line dry only. I haven't had a problem with the integrity of them, and the hand sewing on this one still looks like new. I wear this bra quite often too.

This is what my stitching looks like after 4.5 years. As you can see it's still intact. The threads have stretched a little but the foam is completely smooth. This is without waxing the thread. (And yes it does still fit  😄 I keep a very consistent weight and shape.)

Nice close up to show the integrity, and also how much fabric is really being held by thread.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, this looks like a good fix. I have a couple new bras with this problem.

Olly said...

This worked perfectly, great fix :D saved an extremely pretty bra from the scrap heap. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this :D saved loads of money and frustration.
Greetings from Finland!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I have been fighting this problem for years. This is a genius idea! So easy and quick. Thank you again!

trouty 1998 said...

What if there isnt a clear line of where the curl/bend starts

Anonymous said...

thank you thank you thank you! definitely a post that deserves more attention! lifesaver!

Call_Me_Little_'D' said...

Thank you for posting this! I'd just bought an adorable penguin print bra from VS and didn't notice the cup curl when I tried it on. Your fix worked perfectly and now I can wear it without dreaded show through!!

Darth Tardius said...

It won't be an obvious line but you will see an area where it starts to look different than the rest. You can also try folding it further to exaggerate the curl to give you a good idea/starting point.

Darth Tardius said...

Awesome!! Glad to hear it worked out! =)

Darth Tardius said...

Aw thanks! =) And you're very welcome!

Sarah Cameron said...

I have been struggling with a way to fix the dreaded "curl" for so long! I cant count how many bras I have had to pitch because nothing worked. I tried this and I cant believe how well it worked!! Its amazing, thank you so much for the tip! No more money down the drain on bras that decide to curl :) You are such a life saver

Anonymous said...

Worked like a charm! Thank you !

Anonymous said...

Uhmmmm...Am I the only one who cant see the pictures...?!?!?

Anonymous said...

is there anyway to get the pictures back?

Anonymous said...

Yes please bring back the pictures! I need to know how this works!

Mette said...

Yes please bring back the pictures! I also need to know how this works!

Darth Tardius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I can't believe I just read this truckload of intro to scroll to the actual tutorial with broken image links.

Melissa Blackbird said...

Please bring back the pictures

Jennifer said...

Yes, I need them please!!

Sonia said...

Me too. Please!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Same as everyone else.

Your blog seems to be the only thing online with an answer and loads of other sites are linking to it, so if you could fix the photos that would be great!, all my bras (I have like 2 drawers full!) have got this problem!

Gabrielle Hedges said...

Pictures are still missing :/

Darth Tardius said...

Pics are back.

Darth Tardius said...

Pics are back.

Darth Tardius said...

Pics are back.

Darth Tardius said...

Pics are back.

Darth Tardius said...

Pics are back.

Anonymous said...

I see the pictures but don't get what to do

Anonymous said...

What's the chalk for? Is all you do, is sew it so it's pulling back?

Anonymous said...

Hello, I see the pictures however I don't see the description of really what to do. Please help :/

Jessica George said...

Thank you for all your hard work on this post! You have saved me a few humdred$. Short story: gained weight, had to buy all new bras, and I always hand wash and hang them to dry. And they ALL started curling! Store wouldn't take them back. Said I caused damage. So THANK YOU!

Mommafo said...

Awesome fix!!! Thank you!

Mommafo said...

Struggling with finding the "line," but have noticed a definite improvement. Thank you for your post!

Mommafo said...

Struggling with finding the "line," but have noticed a definite improvement. Thank you for your post!

Lucia Contreras said...

It looks like a great fix! Thanks so much :) I'll definately try this

Lucia Contreras said...

It looks like a great fix! Thanks so much :) I'll definately try this

April Hansen said...

Just tried this with a VS bra that had this dreaded curl, and it worked like a charm! Thank you SO much for posting this!

Unknown said...

I wish I would have seen this a year ago. I had one that I loved but I gave it away.awesome hack!

Unknown said...

I wish I would have seen this a year ago. I had one that I loved but I gave it away.awesome hack!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thank you for a taking the time to show us how to fix this!

Samic said...

Thank you so much!! I have a bra that the left cup is doing a major curl out on the left cup and I think it might be a bit of a challenge to fix it even with this method!

Still WAY better then having to throw a perfectly good bra away!!

THANK YOU!! 😀

Anonymous said...

Ahh thank you! This is genius. I am definitely going to try this.

Your sewing pictures are super helpful as they are. :)

Anonymous said...

This actually didn't help me that much. The sewing left a huge lining lip around the edges. So it doesn't curl out, great, but it's so obviously forced to curl in, you can still see a definite lining (just not as sharp) of the bra...like a freaking speed bump. Lol. In the end, after a few wears anyways, because I refused to throw them out... the edges close to the cleavage curled right back out. Useless. I just have to buy new bras. I've never even had bras curl before, this is the first with damn Target bras. Bottom line, just buy GOOD bras. Spend. Dx

Lisa G. said...

Wow, I thought I was the only one with not panty lines, but bra lines showing thru! Haha My bra that did this is from Victorias Secret which Im not sure why its done this since I always hand wash all my bras for this kind of reason. Ive tried ironing them flat, pulling on the fabric, bending it back, ugh!!! Will try this and let ya know! I agree, bras are expensive and I expect mine to make my figure more flattering, to keep my boobs from eventual(hopefully) sagging to my knees and that it outlive me. I know, I know, how can I ever expect a bra to keep my boobs from sagging to my knees?! LoL

Lisa G. said...

Wow, I thought I was the only one with not panty lines, but bra lines showing thru! Haha My bra that did this is from Victorias Secret which Im not sure why its done this since I always hand wash all my bras for this kind of reason. Ive tried ironing them flat, pulling on the fabric, bending it back, ugh!!! Will try this and let ya know! I agree, bras are expensive and I expect mine to make my figure more flattering, to keep my boobs from eventual(hopefully) sagging to my knees and that it outlive me. I know, I know, how can I ever expect a bra to keep my boobs from sagging to my knees?! LoL

Anonymous said...

This technique is saving my bras!! Thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

thank you!!!

Unknown said...

Another great way to do this is to get the bra wet with shampoo an conditioner an wear the bra till it drys pulling the bra back to its it's original position every 10/20 min also a great fix an it actually stays

Clarissa Kramer said...

Another great way to do this is to get the bra wet with shampoo an conditioner an wear the bra till it drys pulling the bra back to its it's original position every 10/20 min also a great fix an it actually stays

Mingle Weave said...

Nice to read your blog! to get more information visit our website
@ http://www.mingleweave.com/avoid-bra-sleeping/

Unknown said...

Where exactly are u cutting?

Beverly Grabowski said...

You can also iron the bra cup back to shape.

Anonymous said...

Omg, thank u!!!! This works perfectly. Ironing doesn't work...this is a great fix.

Nikita Gadowska said...

Why can't I see the description of the work you did ? just photos ?

Anonymous said...

Wow! I never would have thought of this! Thank you very much for taking the time to share with us all, even if took awhile. I will definitely be using this hack next time.

Alexandria Colunga said...

Are u sewing the mold of the cup to the top of the seam of the bra?

Unknown said...

Thank you so much. Have a bra that fits perfectly except for this problem. Saved one!

Alina Florescu said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! It really works and saved my bras! 🤗

RD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

Thank you! Iam so glad I found this. I have this problem with my Lane Bryant Cacique full coverage satin bras. It is the only bra that fits right and flatters but I always have this problem. I have zigzagged stitched on the machine before and it worked but just tried it with my new bra and it curled worse. I don't know if the tension was too tight or if it was because the stitch was all the way through. I will try this your way. It seems easier that what I've done in the past. I can't believe all these bras have the same problem. I have contacted Lane Bryant in the past but they don't seem to care.

Cathy C. said...

Amazing! Never would have thought of that in million years! It has happened to many of my padded bras. Makes me self conscious to see that bump under a Tshirt. I actually had a hard time figuring out the pictures but thought if so many have had success I should too. The secret is in inverting the cup and then stitching from the point where the cup is curling to the upper edge of the cup .. as if to force the curl out of the foam and straighten it. When the cup is then turn right side out VOILA!! so dent or curl. Wonderful! Hope I am right and my stitched don't come undone in the wash. I use a bra ball in the washing machine.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant! Thought this was it for my favorite bra but with this hack it got some more time. Thank you a million! Worked like a charm.

Kay said...

I’m glad you attempted to write/ work on this post... however this makes no sense. Can someone PLEASE comment what you’re supposed to do below? There’s no steps?!?! Not that I don’t appreciate the author’s attempt but this post honestly doesn’t make sense and isn’t organized. Just feedback for the future. And maybe try to upgrade WiFi plans?

Darth Tardius said...

Still only have a phone for internet. Sorry! 🤷

Basically you want to curl the foam back in on itself by making two rows of stitches that will create an anchor.

Darth Tardius said...

Sorry to hear it didn't work on yours. It sounds like maybe the threads were pulled too tight and created more of a bump than it should have. I had a minimal one with mine. The cups should be fitting you closely, so it could also be that perhaps they're a little looser than they should be.

The bras I wear range from $60-80. Not exactly cheap. This is something that can happen with any kind of bra. It's just that they're all made in a factory.

ridingstar said...

Thank you so much for this post! I don't have much talent with thread, but I can follow a tutorial. My stitches don't look as nice as yours, but they did the trick! Thanks again, and I'm happy I was able to save my bra that was fairly new to me.

Unknown said...

Just bought a brand new bra after two wears this is happening. Big Thanks for the tip. Im to in love with this bra to have to give it up.

Nicole said...

This is harder than it looks! But it works. :)

For ladies whose breasts are fuller on the bottom (like me), I recommend actually stitching in another section of the bra first. Start around the strap area and sew down toward the band, basically covering the area where the cup meets your underarm. (Sideboob zone!) If the top of your bra is curling out, this part is probably curling out too. By fixing it first, your breasts will be pushed toward the center properly and fill out your bra. Then you can figure out exactly how tight to make the stitches along the top of the cup so it doesn't "over-curl."

Thanks so much for this tutorial! With warm weather coming it will be nice to wear my bras without those irritating curl lines. :D