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Tutorial - Sewing on the Underwire Channeling

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Today’s topic is how to sew on the underwire channeling of a bra. In this example, we are using the Lotus Wireless Bra Pattern but this technique may be applied on any bra needing channeling.

We begin at the stage where the cups have been sewn on to the band.

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Then fold along the wireline so the seam allowance is one one side and cups/cradle on the other.

 Cup and cradle (LEFT) folded along wireline to expose seam allowance (RIGHT)

Cup and cradle (LEFT) folded along wireline to expose seam allowance (RIGHT)

Place the channeling on top of the seam allowance. The goal is to line up your needle with the previous line of stitches on the cup/cradle with the channeling between. I have found it easier and more accurate to omit pins (with the exception of one at the beginning) and to sew a few stitches, lift the channeling to check alignment, replace and sew a few more stitches. If your machine as a speed control, this is where it real helps!

On an underwired bra, I like to start sewing at the center gore and finish 1/2” before the edge of the underarm. Then repeat on the other side.

On the Lotus, you can sew the optional channeling in one shot. Begin at one side with interior of the cups facing up and sew toward the center front. It is important to keep the top and bottom layers of the fabric smooth to avoid wrinkles. I accomplish this by rearranging the fabric every time I stop to check the channeling/seamline alignment. As you near the curve at the CF, sew until your needle hits the “dot” and with the needle in the fabric, lift up your presser foot and rearrange the fabric so it lays smoothly for the second cup.

 Sewing first cup while keeping both layers smooth.

Sewing first cup while keeping both layers smooth.

 Stopped in the middle with needle down and presser foot up, rearrange fabric so second cup is smooth.

Stopped in the middle with needle down and presser foot up, rearrange fabric so second cup is smooth.

Continue in this manner for the second cup and end 1/2” before the end. This allows you to fold the elastic over the channeling for a clean finish. For an underwired bra, you can bartack the ends closed (to the seam allowance only) before applying the elastic or bartack it closed after the allowance (visible from the outside). I prefer the second method as it allows me to double check the fit of the wires one last time.