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!

10 Comments on Quick Fix for Pokey Underwires

  1. June
    December 20, 2011 at 9:51 am (5 years ago)

    Great idea! I have two bras where the underwires keep wanting to poke out, I’m definitely going to try this….

  2. .
    December 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm (5 years ago)

    that’s actually a really good idea. A version for people who can’t sew might just be with some foam/felt glued on P:

    • Ms. Pris
      December 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm (5 years ago)

      I don’t think that glued-on felt would hold up to the movement and heat in that area, tbh. But this stich is really easy :)

  3. Alicia
    January 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm (5 years ago)

    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…?

    • Ms. Pris
      January 13, 2012 at 12:19 am (5 years ago)

      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.

  4. Alicia
    February 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm (5 years ago)

    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.

    • Ms. Pris
      February 21, 2012 at 1:41 am (5 years ago)

      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.

  5. Rhonda Farmer Goodwin
    March 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm (3 years ago)

    Great idea! I do sew and had thought of it years ago but never seemed to make time. I had an expensive nude colored bra I purchased at lane Bryant and loved the bra otherwise. I bought moleskin made by dr scholls because it too is nude. It had an adhesive on the backing which made it easy to line up in place but made it difficult to sew because the adhesive would get coated on the thread and needle. So I think I will buy black felt with no adhesive to do this on my black bra. I did this to my bra before the wire broke thru the material! I knew it would happen if I didn’t, not to mention going through the pain that might be avoidable! Glad to know I can use felt! It comes in all colors!

    • Ms. Pris
      March 31, 2014 at 12:39 am (3 years ago)

      I’m so glad you found this helpful! I do want to add though that if you find that your underwires frequently poke through, that’s a sign of a poorly-fitting bra. You might want to visit a Nordstrom or Intimacy or a local bra shop to get re-fitted :)


1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Quick Fix for Pokey Underwires

  1. [...] The cheap, thin fabric issue extends to the underwire casing. It is the thinnest I have ever seen. This means that the underwires very quickly began to dig into my armpits, and that was painful. The Sasha is in fact the bra that I used forĀ  my tutorial on adding padding to a pokey underwire. [...]

Leave a Reply