Quick Fix for Pokey Underwires

I came up with this fix for a bra that has pokey underwires. I have a bra that I like, but which has very thin underwire casing, and as a result, the wires poke me under the arm sometimes. The bra is fairly new and I want to keep wearing it, so I brainstormed a little and ended up with this.

The fix is very simple.It assumes you know some basics of hand sewing/mending, like how to tie off your thread, make stitches, etc.

1) Cut a piece of felt that is a few inches long, and twice as wide as the underwire casing. Fold that piece of felt in half lengthwise, so it is as wide as the underwire casing.

2) Line the fabric up with the underwire, so that it extends, along the casing, almost a centimeter past the end of the underwire itself. Then, hand sew the felt to the underwire casing. There is no need for pinning, just hold the felt in your hand and occasionally nudge it into place; once you have the first few stitches in it will stay put (the first stitch is not helpful. It makes things look worse. Do not despair! Carry on, and you will be rewarded.)

Try not to sew through the other fabric of the bra, but only through the casing, so you don’t risk damaging the bra. The way to do this is to be aware of where you are inserting your needle; look at the casing and insert the needle into it underneath the edge, then push it through the casing and the felt. It helps to point your needle toward the center of the casing when you insert it under the bottom edge, rather than trying to make it point straight upward.

This is less easy than it sounds, because you do need to take some care to make sure you sew only through the casing. The care and time are worth it, though, to save a bra.

I used pink craft felt because it was what I had in my fabric stash. You can use any kind of felt you like, though. The felt adds some padding over the tip of the underwire, to make it less painful.

I really dislike hand sewing, but fortunately, it doesn’t matter how my stitches look here as long as they are comfortable and secure. Again, the felt is sewn ONLY to the underwire casing, not to the rest of the bra. So, it won’t restrain the movement of the bra or stretch or tear the fabric.

The reason the felt is as long as it is, is for security. Extending down about 2 inches along the underwire gives room to anchor it securely with stitches, and means that as the underwire shifts when you move, the tip of the wire will still be cushioned.

This is in my opinion a great, easy way to save a bra that you learn belatedly has pokey underwires. My bra was instantly improved and I wore it all day, and then out dancing all night, with no problems at all. If you try this method please let me know how it works for you!

8 thoughts on “Quick Fix for Pokey Underwires

  1. This is f-in’ brilliant. I have 2 ($$) bras that fit beautifully – except the wires are not properly cushioned in that exact spot. When I go to Joanne’s (where I do not blend in any way, except the knitting section) what exactly should I look for? Is it actually called ‘felt’ – or is there another name…?

    • Oh, I am glad it is helpful! Yeah, just go to Joann and ask for some craft felt. It is very cheap. Once you know what it looks like, you could even look in the remnant basket to see if they have some in there.

  2. I just finished trying this on my Freya Mischa, a beautiful bra that is not comfy to wear all day. It was like magic! The bra is now completely comfortable.

    Two things came to mind while I was doing this:
    1) I really hate sewing, which you can tell by the fact that the right side up has small, neat stitches & the felt is very aligned, & the left cup the stitches got bigger & sloppier & the felt more mismatched as I got tired & wanted to just be done with it. =o) But it made no difference in the comfort, & I used cream felt so you can barely see it.

    2) The longer I sewed the angrier I got that makers of $60+ bras do not do such a simple thing as properly cushion the wires! For what bras cost, it is outrageous that Freya, Fantasie, et al cannot add a basic comfort feature that cost about 2 cents. Many U.S. brands do have heavenly foam-cushioned wires (Lilyette, Vanity Fair, Wacoal) but they also have cups that flatten & are shapeless & do not go past DD.

    Next, I am going to try the stick-on felt, just to compare how well it holds up. Thanks again for this wonderful tip! Even though tedious to do, it transformed a bra I rarely wore into something I can wear all day at work.

    • You’re welcome and I am so glad it worked for you! Thanks for commenting and letting me know.

      I absolutely agree with you about the quality issue. We spend a lot on these bras, I do not think better cushioning on underwires is a lot to ask. I would love a bra with foam-cushioned wires as long as it wasn’t too bulky.

  3. Pingback: Review: Cleo Sasha Balconette Bra | My Curves

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