#3 on my "Top 5 LEAST Favorite Things to Do list" is bra shopping. Why do I hate it so? Because my boobs are big for my frame. Last time I checked (which was ages ago), Victoria's Secret, Target, Jc Penney, and Sears do not carry sizes 32F/FF. I have to drive an hour away to visit the nearest bra boutique that caters to my size. AND, I have to pay anywhere between $35 and $50 to purchase a basic, everyday wear bra. PLUS, the lady at the boutique has to alter the bras for me since my ribcage actually measures 30", and they just don't make my cup size in such a small rib band. So, I have decided to take matters into my own hands.
Disclaimer: This is my first tutorial, so it is remedial at best. As usual, I'm certain there is an easier/better way to do this, but this is the way I chose.
Step#1 - Find a cheap bra that has cups that fit your breasts. Band size doesn't really matter that much, but the closer you get to your actual band size, the better. The best I could do was a 38:
Step #2 (not pictured)- Measuring. There are a few ways to do this, but what I did was try on the bra, pinch the band to fit, and have my husband mark the band for me. You could also use an old bra as a guide, or (for the smaller boobed) try it on, twist the band around so the clasps are in front, pinch and mark. Keep in mind that the clasps add an inch or two, so factor that in to your marks.
Step #3 - Use a seam ripper to remove the zigzag stitches that connect the clasps to the band fabric:
(I know it isn't pretty, but my boobs are HEAVY, so I stitch and backstitch the life out of my clasps.)
Now, you may notice the wrinkle I got in my band fabric after cutting and replacing the clasps. This is because I was sizing down from a 38 to a 32ish, and the band width is more substantial the closer you get to the straps. Once the band stretches around my ribs, the wrinkle is less noticeable, but I don't care about it anyway. If you care about wrinkles, choose an original band as close to your size as you can get.
I hope this is helpful to anyone searching for band alterations. The only reason I posted this as a tutorial was because I couldn't find good instructions anywhere else.