Make a …what? Er. Yes. In this episode I’ll be showing you how I made a support breast plate! To figure out what I’m on about, read on!

A big problem some girls have, that is, girls with a generously built… er… bosom, is finding a bra that can support them. My more patient half and love of my life, has just such a problem. Sadly, bras these days – specifically the larger cupped sizes – are very expensive – even if you can find the right size!

What’s even more sad, these bras don’t last very long – the elastic in the cups and side panels stretches and fails, the straps stretch or the clips break – and before long, these items stop being effective.

For the last few years, the only solution appeared to be to just search all the local shops flat in search of bras in the right cup size and in the right style – and fork out another R500 for a new bra each time… which was a bit much! Other possible alternatives included binders for transmen, but these too were impossible to come by in our area – and sad to say, even the transgender FTM community here is a bit ‘closed up’ when it comes to helping ciswomen deal with heavy loads!

What my other wanted was something that would keep the boobages still, supported and in place so that they don’t move about whenever she moves.

Fearing another city-wide quest to find another very expensive bra coming up soon, and having just completed several other projects which had consumed a lot of my free time lately, I decided there was no better time to try and sort this problem out for the love of my life. But what would I do and how? I started to mentally design something that would fit over a bra to support that, and prevent (or delay) the bra wearing out.

Images of Honi, Hagar the Horrible’s armored Viking daughter came to mind! “No, seriously!” I told my cerebral creative department, “I need to make something real that will fit underneath clothing and which won’t be visible!”

“No, seriously!” My cerebral creative department said back at me… and I decided to hear it out.

Ideally, a molded piece of PVC or perspex or something of that sort might be better, but I didn’t have anything of the sort handy. What I did have was a piece of aluminum plate about the right size.

I traced the outline of one a bra on the aluminum plate with a marker and cut it accordingly with a jig saw. Then I used a ball-peen hammer to bulge out the bowls using the opening of a large coffee tin as a hollow. After about an hour’s worth of hammering, bending and shaping, and “quick fits” or sighting references to ensure I was getting there, I reached the point where the shaping of the plate was complete.

After that, it was just a matter of gluing enough padding on the inside and outside (with Gorilla glue), a cover made from an old sports bra, and lots of hand-stitching by the light of an LED headlamp! The pink bra in the picture was added to the outside to smooth off the contours of the breast plate so as to look natural. The black material was actually a worn whole black sports bra used to cover the whole plate, which was glued and stitched in place. I’d bought 3 meters of narrow webbing and 1m of wide to make the straps, remembering the melt-seal the cut ends with a lighter to prevent running. Once I’d measured and cut the straps, I secured them with rivets, did some finishing touches, and it was finally done! And wow, it’s very light too!

Kay wore it the next day as a try-out, and then I got enough enthusiastic input to bend an edge here, add some padding there – and after that, I’m happy to say she was happy with the result – sufficiently impressed to post about it on Facebook! Though I wouldn’t quite run into battle relying on it to deflect any arrows!

Pictures included – enjoy!

Have a DIY week!

Cheers!


This website is about Christina Engela’s inspiring and innovative DIY projects. Follow Innovation DIY on Facebook.

To view her main website, visit Christina Engela – Author. To view Christina’s previous human rights advocacy work, visit Sour Grapes: The Fruit Of Ignorance. You can also visit Our Ghost Encounters, a website about the paranormal.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email via the Contact form.

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2021.

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