How To Add Foam Cups to the Galina Bra
This week, I had a 1-on-1 bra making lesson with Bridget. We were going back and forth the week before – I asked her what bra pattern she wanted to make, if she had any specific goals, etc. She had never sewn an underwire bra, so the new Galina bra was an obvious (scroll to end to see a pic of Bridget in her finished Galina – so cute!!). She would learn how to sew channeling and insert an underwire (a monowire is a type of underwire), and she could use this same method to any other underwire pattern. Then she asked if she could learn how to add foam cups. With every bra style that is released, this question comes up. Whether to prevent nipple show through or add shape, I am always asked if and how foam cups can be added to lingerie and swimwear. There are several posts on how to add foam cups – Barrett is here and Maris is here – and the same fundamentals apply everywhere. But it can’t hurt to resist the topic. So, in this blog post, I will show you how to add foam cups to the Galina bra. First, let’s go over the basics about polylaminte, also called cut + sew, foam cups. WHY ADD FOAM CUPS? There could be several reasons why to add foam cups. It can provide a nice shape, add support/comfort/coverage, or prevent nipples from showing through. Breastfeeding moms often like foam cups because it prevents leakage.
WHAT IS POLYLAMINATE FOAM? There are different names and types of foam that you can use. Generally speaking, it is a layer of foam that has been laminated with fabric on one or both sides. Just a few names include bra foam, polylaminate foam, foam bra padding, cut + sew sheet foam, or just sheet foam. The thicknesses, qualities and type of fabric lamination can vary – my favorite is 1/8″ thick polylaminate foam (that’s what I call it). Shop all polylaminate foam
USING POLYLAMINATE FOAM The #1 thing to keep in mind with foam is bulk. Polylaminate.foam.is.bulky! So, you want to turn it back at least as possible and when you can, eliminate seam allowances. You may be asking, “If you eliminate the seam allowances, how the heck do you sew it?” Great question. The answer is, polylaminate foam usually isn’t seamed in the traditional way. It is normally butt-together and sewn with a zigzag stitch. I demonstrate this below.
CAN YOU USE MOLDED CUPS? By drafting and sewing foam cup pattern pieces, you are guaranteed that the shape of the foam is going to match the shape of the bra cup. If you purchase a pre-made molded cup online or at a store, you run the risk that it won’t be the same shape or size. Also, for full busts or very heavy breasts, molded cups can’t support the weight of the breasts over time and will warp out of shape.
Okay! Know that you know the fundamentals, let’s get to how to make foam cups for the Galina.
PATTERN ALTERATIONS FOR THE GALINA BRA 1. Cut out all pieces as normal – main and lining fabrics. Then cut foam cups for the Side Cup and Center Front Cup. 2. Remove seam allowances on vertical seam of Side Cup and Center Front Cup
That’s it! That’s all the pattern alterations! Now for sewing…
1. Sew the vertical seam on the bra cups as normal.
2. To sew the vertical seam on the foam cups by “butting” the edges together and sew with a wide zig zag stitch.
3. Use a temporary spray adhesive such as Odif’s 505 to spray one side of the foam cups. Then lay wrong side of bra cups fabric over foam cups to adhere them together. Pin in place for extra security.
4. Proceed with remainder of directions to sew the Galina bra.