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Tutorial: Easy cup alterations for Afi Exquisite

There are two prominent questions I get for the Afi Exquisite pattern. One, is it possible to remove the upper part of the powerbar? Second, how to move the strap point more towards the center. In this blog post, I will show you easy cup alterations as one of the ways you can address those two questions.

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As always we start with all the cup pieces for the Afi Exquisite bra pattern. They come with included seam allowances. A sample cup is here:

Remember the golden rule for any alteration? I know you do! Before any alteration, we remove the seam allowances and have the bare pattern pieces. We also grabbed a ruler, a pen, and paper scissors. Excellent, we are ready to change the cup pattern.

Remove the upper part of the sling

  1. All the seam allowances were removed
  2. Join the sling piece A1 with the A2, start from the notch point, and follow the curve between the two pieces. At some point the pieces split and a dart is formed at the bottom.
  3. With a ruler start tracing a straight red line following the neckline of the A2 piece and prolonging it considerable towards the armhole on the A1 piece. Now cut the A1 piece and remove the top part.
  4. New cup pieces

That is how simple it is to change the design of the cup. But wait, there’s more for those who want to move the armhole. All of them continue from this point.

Moving the strap point a short distance

  • 5A – On the neckline of the A1, decide where you want the strap. Then, draft the new curve for the armhole. It doesn’t have to be a deep curve, or a straight line.
  • 6A – Cut away and remove the piece you no longer need.
  • 7A – Trace back the seam allowances. Pay attention, the red zone is where the upper band elastic will be sewn. And this is where the seam allowances must have the elastic’s width. While the green seam allowances are for joining pieces together.

Moving the strap point a large distance

Sometimes you want to move the strap point considerably more. In this case, the armhole spans across two cup pieces. That is absolutely fine. Continuing from step 4, here’s how you do it:

  • 5B – Keep the A1 piece next to the A2 piece. Place the new strap point on the neckline on the A2 piece. Then redraft the new curve for the armhole. At some point your curve will intersect the vertical line between the pieces.
  • 6B – Cut away and remove unneeded parts from both A1 and A2 pieces.
  • 7B – Trace back the seam allowances. Pay attention, the red zones are where the upper band elastic will be sewn – the upper band elastic will spread on both cup pieces. That is why the seam allowances there must have the elastic’s width. While the green seam allowances are for joining pieces together.

This alteration changes the design of the cup. The outer vertical seam will now end in the armhole. In terms of aesthetics, this suffers no loss! All vertical seams will still run beautifully distributed. Only this time you have a cup where the strap sits to your liking!

I hope this short series of tutorials gives you the confidence to experiment with the Afi Exquisite pattern. You can make so many interesting designs with very little effort and boost your design taste and imagination. On the final note, there is one more way to move the strap in. I will have to think about how to structure the tutorial because it’s just a bit more … work.

Cheers and have a great week!

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