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All TopicsForum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy → Topic: How do sew a bra pocket

Topic: How do sew a bra pocket

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Jun 27, 2010 02:50PM

RegulJ wrote:

http://www.whatididtosurvive.com/category/how-to-make-a-mastectomy-bra/

I don't sew but found this very useful!

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Posts 1 - 27 (27 total)

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Jun 27, 2010 03:16PM LindaLou53 wrote:

Wow...thanks RegulJ!  That was a very helpful video!  I have been playing around with adapting old tank tops and camisoles with bra pockets.  This lady makes converting a regular bra to a mastectomy bra so simple and with great video instructions.  Great Link!

Life is not measured by how many breaths we take...but by the moments that take our breath away! ...I am a 14/8 yr survivor of 2 Primary BCs, 23/23 Positive Nodes (Zometa x 5 years) Started Paloma-3 Clinical Trial 4-14-14

Dx 7/14/2000, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 1, 2/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 11/21/2005, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 1, 23/23 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-Dx 3/21/2014, ILC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-Surgery 08/11/2000 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 08/30/2000 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolRadiation Therapy 02/26/2001 ExternalHormonal Therapy 05/10/2001 TamoxifenSurgery 12/05/2005 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 12/23/2005 Taxotere, XelodaRadiation Therapy 04/07/2006 ExternalHormonal Therapy 04/07/2006 AromasinHormonal Therapy 04/14/2014 Faslodex
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Jun 27, 2010 03:51PM otter wrote:

OMG, that is so easy!  Hey, everybody -- be sure to watch the video.  It's even better than the written instructions.  I'm not sure I want the ragged edges, but sewing-then-cutting strategy allows someone to do this in, what, just a couple of minutes!

Thanks so much, RegulJ.  Gosh, I love this forum.  It's exactly like the web address says:  "What I did to survive", with the help of the women here!  (Sorry about the excessive use of exclamation marks.  I'm just really excited about this stuff today, and feeling optimistic.)

otter

Dx IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 27, 2010 05:48PM Binney4 wrote:

Nice find, RegulJ! But being me, I just want to warn about the underwires being a problem with blocking lymph flow. No reason I can see why this process wouldn't work with a regular bra or a cami, though. I like the soft t-shirt fabric.

Binney

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Jun 28, 2010 09:12AM otter wrote:

Hi, Binney!

I know it's important to warn women about the potential LE risk associated with underwire bras.  In fact, I hate underwire bras -- I always have.  It has nothing to do with lymph flow in my case -- I just never have liked the "feel" of an underwire bra.  (Also, my boobs have always been so small that I didn't need the wire for support.)

But, I am wondering something.  Isn't it true that those concerns about obstruction of lymph flow by the wire applied to women who still had a breast on that side?  If the underwire bra fits properly, the wire is supposed to sit right up in the "crease" underneath the breast, wrapping up around the breast tissue and pressing flat against the chest.

So, what if there isn't a breast on that side anymore?  It's just a fabric-enclosed wire, sitting on a flat chest wall (in most cases).  There's a foob in the pocket (once the pocket is attached), but the foob isn't attached to the chest wall.

I'm thinking maybe the risks associated with underwire bras might not be as great in women who've had a mastectomy, as they would in women who've had a lumpectomy + rads.  Does that make sense?  Of course, we all need to be careful and know our bodies; and women who are having trouble with truncal LE probably ought to avoid underwires.

Just wondering...

otter

Dx IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 30, 2010 12:40AM LindaLou53 wrote:

Otter I think you make a good point!  Without a breast to tightly press against as in the case of mastectomy I think an underwire becomes less of an issue.  The primary concern in that case would be the tightness of the bra band around the trunk and the straps on the shoulders.  If the bra band is tight that could certainly cause increased pressure across the chest. Underwires are probably more an issue for women with remaining breasts.

The concern is aways any highly compressive areas around a body part that is preventing the natural flow of lymph. Whether that body part is a finger, an arm, a breast or a truncal circumference.  General overall compression of the truncal area such as applied by a compression vest or shaping camisole can be beneficial to LE as opposed to garments that apply pinpoint areas of pressure. So yes I would agree with you that the underwire itself is probably less risky for women who have had bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction.

One clothing area sometimes overlooked is a tight elastic waistband on underwear, slacks or skirts.  If a waistband leaves a reddened indentation in the skin, that is probably sufficient pressure to impede the flow of lymph down the sides of the trunk and into the groin area for proper drainage.

Life is not measured by how many breaths we take...but by the moments that take our breath away! ...I am a 14/8 yr survivor of 2 Primary BCs, 23/23 Positive Nodes (Zometa x 5 years) Started Paloma-3 Clinical Trial 4-14-14

Dx 7/14/2000, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 1, 2/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 11/21/2005, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 1, 23/23 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-Dx 3/21/2014, ILC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-Surgery 08/11/2000 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 08/30/2000 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolRadiation Therapy 02/26/2001 ExternalHormonal Therapy 05/10/2001 TamoxifenSurgery 12/05/2005 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 12/23/2005 Taxotere, XelodaRadiation Therapy 04/07/2006 ExternalHormonal Therapy 04/07/2006 AromasinHormonal Therapy 04/14/2014 Faslodex
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Jun 30, 2010 11:54AM BoobsinaBox wrote:

I appreciate this discussion about impeding lymph flow with our various garments.  I'm still looking for my best kind of under-garments, and it seems to me that I need to get busy and put pockets in the tops that are most comfortable, if I'm going to be wearing these microbead forms, as it appears I am!  I am also realizing I need to be more careful with my waistbands!  Thanks, Linda & Otter!

Dawn 

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Jul 8, 2010 06:58AM roseanne wrote:

Thank you so much! I am a small girl also and the insurance bras are too much! I will be trying this method. You are kind to share your video.

Regards,

Rose Anne

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Jul 8, 2010 11:53AM crazy4carrots wrote:

RegulJ -- Thanks so much for posting your extremely helpful video!  I've just sewn pockets into 3 Bali bras that are so comfy and light, using jersey materials I had left over from making nightcaps and turbans because of you-know-what!

Again, many thanks -- and warmest wishes!  (Well, maybe COOLEST wishes, with the thermometer reading 90F here....!)

Linda

To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly -- Benjamin Franklin

Dx 1/10/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 8, 2010 08:07PM Musical wrote:

Great discussion ladies. I tried to view the video and as usual Dial-up presents too many problems. (I dont need to go away and make a cup of tea, but rather go away for holiday! ) grrrrrr!

Ive NEVER had any use for underwire bras either, even though I was pretty "well endowed". Im with you LindaLou. I think the waist band and shoulder straps would be more of an issue than the underwire. Youve explained it so well about "pinpoint areas of pressure".

Musical

Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)

Dx IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 10, 2010 09:03PM, edited Sep 10, 2010 09:05PM by rhondaabrams

Thank you to all who liked my video on how to make a mastectomy bra.

whatididtosurvive.com/category...

In answer to your questions:

You don't see the ragged edges.  Use small scissors and cut the material close to the seams.  It won't unravel, even after you wash it a million times.  

I like the underwire because it doesn't ride up.  I asked my naturopath her opinion on underwire.  Her view is if you can put two fingers under the wire in the  armpit area there is enough circulation.  It's the really tight underwire bras that push the boobs way up that you want to avoid.  If the underwire is just there for light shaping, it's no different then elastic.  In fact with the underwire I find the bra doesn't need to be tight at all. I am a small size and this works well for me.

Let me know how your bras work out!  And if I can improve the instuctions at all!

Rhonda

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Sep 13, 2010 01:32AM 3jaysmom wrote:

also ck out the "poofy" thread on this site. i wear both, but love my poofys. at target, they sell the kids ones for 1.00 for 2, and cvs 1,49 for BIG ones..cut to size.. about underwires. was large, hAD BDMX. TRIED TO SORRY, NOT screaming, its my neuropathy..wandering fingers,, hmm back to where i was...was trying underwire from before.. its strapless and soooo comfortable, as well as cheap.. it DID sit on the underneath where they were. and they did irritate me, and cause an le problem. not bad, mld took care of it, but never had it there before, don't wanna again. im not judgin i'm just sayin... light and love   3jaysmom

3jaysmom

Dx DCIS, 2cm, Stage IIb, 1/27 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 04/21/2009
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Feb 26, 2011 11:11PM, edited Feb 26, 2011 11:12PM by Trudi51

Wonderful Video:  I ordered the micro bead breast forms from America, Size 2, they arrived in a week without any hassles, absolutely brilliant.  I bought an A cup bra and followed this wonderful video and I am delighted with the result.  I prefer going flat but sometimes I am very conscious of the sunken look and wanted something that balanced that out.  This little bra is light and comfortable, it will be interesting to see how it sits overtime with having both sides done.  I would now like to play around with camisoles.  Would appreciate any feedback on anyone else's experience with this.  Thank you LindaLou and RegulJ for your wonderful posts.

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Mar 28, 2011 10:16AM, edited Mar 28, 2011 10:18AM by Hoolianama0508

I am not good at sewing, but I tried something slightly different that matched my skill level (or lack there of):

I bought a $5.00 bra (clearance) that was padded. 

I then made an incision on the inside of the bra just at the space where the cup and the strap meet to create a opening/pocket. This allowed me to fill in the open space with microbeads tied in knee-high hosiery socks (1 pair).

I then bought a $0.33 pair of knee level panty hosiery socks and 1 bag of $4.97 Polyfill microbeads (Walmart).

I filled each hose with 6oz of microbeads, tied a small not and encased the shape with the excess hose. 6 oz gave me a nice size A cup. I orginally attempted 8 oz but found it too large for comfort.

I then inserted each shape into the exisiting bra (in between the padding and the material) and hand stitched the incison back.

The one thing that I did notice is that I have to avoid wearing V-necks for the time being, as it can gape open when you bend.  As the video mentioned, if you select a bra that is high cut and has a wide gusset, you won't have that gaping problem. I am going to try that version next.

I matter, I count, I am important. I am living strong

Dx 3/27/2009, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2011 10:18PM Faithroad wrote:

Wow,
Very interesting.  If I have my implants removed like I'm planning.  I will give this a try!

Thank you for sharing!!

Bilateral BC, Ductoal & Lobular, Stage I and II.

Dx 9/2010, Stage IIb, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 27, 2011 07:19AM scrabblenan wrote:

This can also be done in regular bathing suits to make them fit a prosthesis. I did this for the first time this winter when I was so frustrated with the suits I was finding for a trip, and it came out great!

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Jul 3, 2011 01:05PM River_Rat wrote:

Rhondaabrams, thanks for the wonderful video.  I've done this in bras without wires and swim suits and it works great!

Fear is the highest fence. ~Dudley Nichols

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Jul 3, 2011 01:17PM SpecialK wrote:

I had BMX with immediate placement of TE's but lost the left one last Jan. due to skin healing.  I just finished chemo and will attempt to replace that left TE this month.  One of the things I did was to find one of my old underwire bras and make a small incision (ha, sounds surgical!) on the inside of the fabric casing that holds the wire in place.  I used a pair of pliers and pulled the wire completely out.  That left me with a fairly structured bra that would hold the prosthetic in place without the uselessness and discomfort of the underwire since the TE side isn't squishy.  

Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Grade 3Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+Surgery 11/01/2010 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 12/06/2010 Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 12/21/2010 Reconstruction (Left)Surgery 01/07/2011 Reconstruction (Left)Surgery 01/21/2011 Reconstruction (Left)Chemotherapy 02/17/2011 carboplatin, TaxotereTargeted Therapy 02/17/2011 HerceptinSurgery 07/20/2011 Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Left)Hormonal Therapy 08/01/2011 FemaraSurgery 02/24/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 06/20/2012 ArimidexSurgery 12/14/2012 Reconstruction (Both)Hormonal Therapy 07/18/2013 FemaraSurgery 03/07/2014 Reconstruction (Both)Surgery 04/02/2014 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Left)
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Jul 3, 2011 01:30PM SoCalLisa wrote:

very helpful

DX 2000-IDC-DCIS-LCIS- 2B..POS NODE--ER+. PR+, HER2 NEG

Dx 11/24/2000, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 7, 2011 08:21AM shippy41 wrote:

do you know how to sew something inside a cami that has a shelf so that i can fit a form in it? the shelf opens down, btw.

Dx 11/11/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/4 nodes, ER+
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Aug 7, 2011 10:20AM BoobsinaBox wrote:

Shippy,

Lindalou gave you a link on another thread to show pics of how she did this. She gives excellent instructions!

Dawn

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Aug 7, 2011 10:27AM SoCalLisa wrote:

For a bathing suit, I used an old mastectomy bra and cut the straps etc off and just

hand sewed in into a regular bathing suit..and used a swim form

DX 2000-IDC-DCIS-LCIS- 2B..POS NODE--ER+. PR+, HER2 NEG

Dx 11/24/2000, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 7, 2011 10:28AM SoCalLisa wrote:

I bought some of the "pockets" that are commercially available, but

found they were too flimsy for a regular prosthesis

DX 2000-IDC-DCIS-LCIS- 2B..POS NODE--ER+. PR+, HER2 NEG

Dx 11/24/2000, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 11, 2011 12:34PM shippy41 wrote:

i didnt find the instructions for a cami, i found how to make a form out of microbeads and how to sew a pocket into a bra? where would i find the cami instructions on how to make an already shelf into something that can hold forms.. thanks!

Dx 11/11/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/4 nodes, ER+
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Sep 2, 2011 07:11PM, edited Sep 2, 2011 07:12PM by hymil

I did it I did it  Smile  I sewed a pocket in my regular bra. then I did another and even my high school sewing teacher woudl have passed the second one. It took much more than five minuites as I had to give my sewing machine away a few years back so it's all hand-stitched but I'm feeling so pleased with myself!
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Oct 20, 2011 01:51PM Monty wrote:

I finally got around to "transforming" more regular bras this weekend.  The first one I ended up putting the pocket on the wrong cup - dur, but after that I figured it out and in no time had 4 completed.  Yippee, stocked for the next several months at least.  Now I have to start searching to buy new white ones to convert for next spring/summer.  I like to wear the T shirt type bras but I have to be careful to make sure the cup is the right shape, other than that I am starting to get the hang of this.

Dx 5/29/2008, 5cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 5/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 1, 2012 05:42AM 3jaysmom wrote:

bump

3jaysmom

Dx DCIS, 2cm, Stage IIb, 1/27 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 04/21/2009
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Jan 3, 2012 08:59AM Monty wrote:

FYI - anyone checking out this thread who lives in the UK please check out your local Matilan store as they have now started to stock "post-op" bras which are mastectomy bras under a different name.  My mom bought me several and sent them over to me in Canada - they were only 6 sterling pounds, which is an amazing price compared to what we pay in Ontario.  They are extremely comfortable and pretty too!  Some have a lace insert so it looks like you are wearing a camisole, great with vest tops that are a little too low, they others are like cotton sports bras, great for under tight fitting tops or t shirts.

Dx 5/29/2008, 5cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 5/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+