One of the easiest and most common bra alterations involves changing the length of your bra band. If your band is too tight or too loose, but everything else fits, there is no need to change sizes. You only need to adjust the band.
You may also want to make a length alteration to accommodate different fabrics. If the pattern fits but you decide to use a band fabric with more stretch than you normally use, you’ll need to shorten the band to make it tighter.
How much to reduce or add depends on the fabric and its stretch, but a good rule of thumb for both the Harriet and Watson is to add or remove 1/2-5/8″ for every size. So for example, if you want to reduce by one whole band size, then shorten and overlap by 5/8″ as illustrated below.
How to Shorten a Bra Band
To shorten a band, slash through the middle of the piece, overlap the amount you need and retrace the pattern.
How to Lengthen a Bra Band
To lengthen a band, do the exact same thing in reverse–slash and spread the amount you need and retrace.
Easy peasy! The important thing here is that you don’t want to add length to the end of the band (the center back where the closures are attached). If you were to do this, you would also widen the distance between the straps, and that would have some consequences on where the straps sit on your shoulders!
Would you like more fitting tips? Every other week I tackle a bra fit question or alteration in my newsletter, The Lingerie Maker.