How do you adjust the gore (also called the bridge) of a bra to achieve a better fit? Today, we’ll be showing you how to do that on the Willowdale Bra.
Jump to another post in this series:
- Bra fitting guide overview
- How to choose your bra size
- How to make a test bra
- How to adjust the back band
- How to adjust the gore/bridge
- How to adjust the cups
- How to adjust the side seam angle
- How to adjust the straps
- How to adjust the underwires
- How to make an asymmetrical bra
- Additional bra making resources
The Cashmerette Willowdale Bra is a full frame underwire bra sewing pattern for large busts in sizes 28C-54J with a 4-piece cup design for vital support and lift in a beautifully rounded shape—the perfect bra if you have big boobs.
Start your bra fitting journey with the Cashmerette Bra Fitting Guide
To help you sew and fit your dream Willowdale, we’ve put together the Cashmerette Bra Fitting Guide! This post is one of the many tutorials you’ll find there, and if you haven’t yet checked out the main guide page, we recommend starting there. So much of bra fitting is interconnected, and the guide provides a checklist and order to work through the adjustments.
In this post, we’re covering how to adjust the gore or bridge of a bra to achieve a better fit. Let’s get started!
How to tell if you need to adjust the gore
Put on your bra muslin (test version) and check to see: does the gore seem to fit the space between your breasts properly? Is it too narrow or too wide, and does it stand away from your body?
The gore should lie flush against your skin, without sticking out or digging in.
Keep in mind that the fit of the gore can be affected by the overall fit of the bra (for example, if the cups are too small, the gore will stand away from your body) so it’s worth assessing the overall fit first. You can work through our fitting checklist here.
Assess the spacing between your breasts
To determine how much width you need to add or remove to the gore, take a look at the space between your breasts while not wearing a bra. The Willowdale Bra is designed for an average breast spacing of 3/4″ or 19 mm, which is approximately the width of one finger.
If you can comfortably fit one finger in the space between your breasts, you don’t need to adjust the gore. But if the space is less than one finger, you will need to narrow the gore, and conversely, if you can fit more than one finger in the space, you’ll need to widen the gore.
How to make the gore narrower
If you need the gore to be narrower—also called a narrow bridge adjustment—you can do this by moving the centerline seam in by 1/8” (which results in gore that is 1/4″ narrower).
If you make this adjustment, you will find that when you attach the underwire channeling, the two lines of channeling will not sit neatly beside each other at the center of the bra. You will need to overlap them:
- When sewing on the underwire channeling, sew the outer seam only to the point of overlap otherwise you will not be able to insert the underwires.
- Once your bra is finalized and the underwires have been inserted, you will need to go back and secure the overlapped piece of channeling.
How to make the gore wider
If you need to make the gore wider—also called a wide bridge adjustment—you will need to move the centerline out by 1/8” for each additional finger you can fit between the breast root.
This modification should not require any changes in construction.
We hope this tutorial was helpful! Check out the full Cashmerette Bra Fitting Guide for more on sewing and fitting your dream bra with the Willowdale Bra.
5 thoughts on “How to adjust the gore/bridge of a bra”
I always had to make the gore wider at the bottom only. Not on the Willowdale. It is a great fit with almost no adjustment. I doubt I`ll buy another bra pattern again becouse this one is perfect for me! The “one finger between your breasts does not really apply becouse the top of the gore on my W does not sit high enough to be at the narrowest place between the breast but you`ll find out where you need to measure when making a fitting band.
What about the need for a really high gore? My stomach comes up into the area between my breasts when I sit, (about 2 inches) and it becomes agonizing pressure. I start to get cramps.
You could try turning it into a gothic arch, like in this tutorial: https://www.braandcorsetsupplies.com/2016/08/07/sew-gothic-arch/
-Ayelet at Cashmerette
Are there any alternatives to overlapping the underwire channeling? My breasts are only about 3/8″ apart, and they’re quite shallow, so the overlapping underwires are kind of bulky on me.
Hi Violet, you could try the following (definitely make a muslin first to check that it works):
1. Sew one under wire channeling as per usual.
2. Sew on the second underwire channeling but cut it off at the point where it would start to overlap so that it butts right up against the first channel.
3. When sewing down the second side of the channeling, leave a small gap in the stitching securing the full length underwire channel at the point where the shortened channel ends.
4. Put the first underwire in the channel as per usual.
5. Put the second wire into the shortened channel from the underarm and then when it emerges at the front slide it under the first underwire channel to sit right next to the original underwire.
This would leave two underwires basically inside one piece of channeling.