How to dismantle a bra
June 1, 2014 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I recently purchased this dress. I need to remove the padded cups in the shelf bra without destroying the dress. Is this possible?

I love this dress, but I definitely can't wear it without a real bra. If it was just a shelf bra I could manage, but the padded cups add a level of lumpiness that is unacceptable. I have decent sewing skills but I'm concerned about attacking this problem without a game plan and winding up destroying the dress. So far the only solutions I can think of are:

-Cut out just the padded cups from the shelf bra. But then what do I do with the two giant holes?

-Cut out the entire shelf bra, which is sewn into the shoulder straps.


I'm willing to accept the fact that there's no good way of removing the cups without rending the dress unwearable but I'd rather take my chances if there is a workable solution to this.
posted by fox problems to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total)
Can you post a photo of the inside of the dress? Without knowing what the structure inside is like, it's going to be very hard to answer this question.
posted by anastasiav at 10:21 AM on June 1, 2014

Could you post a picture of the inside bra part of the dress? It would help. Are the padded cups attached to the shelf bra or are they more like the floating type?
posted by Requiax at 10:21 AM on June 1, 2014

It's hard to tell without a picture, but I'm guessing you won't have any trouble if you just remove the whole shelf bra. I've done it before with tank tops etc., just be careful not to cut through the rest of the material!
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:47 AM on June 1, 2014

Pics. The padded cups are sown into the shelf bra.
posted by fox problems at 10:54 AM on June 1, 2014

You should just cut out the entire shelf bra. I don't *think* the dress should hang much differently.
posted by anastasiav at 10:59 AM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cut out the whole bra. If you remove just the cups the fabric from the bra will bunch up in a weird way.
posted by entropyiswinning at 11:23 AM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is a job for a seam ripper, not scissors, unless you are reallllly careful.
posted by Scram at 11:29 AM on June 1, 2014 [7 favorites]

Yes, use a seam ripper and go slowly.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:12 PM on June 1, 2014

Before you cut or rip anything, feel around very carefully; a lot of shelf-bra-with-padding type things have tiny little openings that you can use to maneuver the foam pads out. I mostly see this with swimsuits but also tank tops, etc.
posted by charmcityblues at 12:29 PM on June 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

Before you cut anything out, consider whether the bra holds the structure of the dress together. I cut the pads out of a shelf bra in a bathing suit and, well, bye bye bathing suit.
posted by looli at 2:12 PM on June 1, 2014

I'd cut out the entire shelf bra along where its sewn into the dress. I'd use shears rather than a seam ripper, and leave about 1/4" of the shelf bra behind. If you use a seam ripper, you'll remove the neckline edge-finish as well, and you'll have to re-finish that edge.
posted by mollymayhem at 2:52 PM on June 1, 2014

Update: I cut the shelf bra out of the dress. It was a semi-success; the dress is still structurally sound but the left over bits of the shelf bra and the inner seam are now sticking out of the top of the dress because they're not being held down by the weight of the bra. The situation seems to be salvageable but I'm not really sure how to move forward from here. I appreciate all of the assistance, thanks!
posted by fox problems at 4:53 PM on June 1, 2014

Start by pressing it back in the direction you want it to lie with an iron and see how much that helps.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:31 AM on June 2, 2014

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