PinBusted or PinTrusted
Pinbusted or Pintrusted: Moleskin Underwire Bra Repair

pin-busted

On my latest installment of “Pinbusted or Pintrusted,” I decide to take a walk on the wild side and share my experience with a bra-repair idea I came across recently. Bear with me while I “bare all” with you some facts about my unmentionables.

I took a shopping trip to the Mall of America near Minneapolis in January 2010. This was while I was living near Omaha, Nebraska, so it was only about a 5 hour drive. It was one of the more frivolous things on my bucket list, but I’m very glad I had the chance to visit and spend quality time with a girlfriend.

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A view of the massive Mall of America, January 2010. Bear with my while I set the stage for my latest Pinterest adventure. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

We were lucky to hit the mall while many of the national retailers were offering very good post-holiday sales. I remember picking up some nice deals at the Crocs store, Lego store, Gymboree, Bath & Body Works, Yankee Candle, and numerous other not-really-necessary-but-nice-to-have stores.

Victoria’s Secret was offering one of their “Buy One, Get One Half Off” bra sales. I had recently returned from a Middle East deployment during which I only wore very inexpensive sports bras. This was because the laundry service we were required to use was quite brutal on clothing. Fancy lingerie and war do NOT mix.

A Victoria’s Secret sale was just what I needed. I scored a couple of pretty, functional brassieres at a great price.

Fast forward four years. Those two bras, in rotation with my other unmentionables, have served me very well. However, even the best quality lingerie will show signs of wear after four years. I like to think I have taken good care of them, either hand-washing or machine washing in a delicates bag on a delicate cycle…and never letting them enter a dryer. Many will claim that I should have pitched those bras long ago but I don’t wear these bras every single day, and I feel like I take good care of them.

The first thing to go kaput on both of these bras that I bought in January 2010, at about the same time, were the underwires. The wires themselves are perfectly fine, still performing the job for which they were installed. However, the ends of the wires have started to poke through the reinforced fabric along the bottom-edge seam.

While my first instinct would be to run out to Victoria’s Secret and buy replacements for these two bras, I was hesitant. I’d prefer to hit a sale, and over the  years I simply don’t make the time to browse the mall stores like I used to. So I sought ways to buy more time with these otherwise very comfortable, very flattering pieces of lingerie.

The Pinterest Pin

I had seen this type of pin come across my Pinterest feed a few times over the couple years I’ve had my account. I pinned it myself and decided to give it a try.

Basically, you’re cutting a piece of moleskin and adhering it to the area of the bra through which the underwire is poking out. The pin I saw claims that just by wearing the bra with the moleskin, the adhesive will be strong enough to endure washings and buy several more months of wear.

Let us explore this pin in more detail, shall we?

What Is This Moleskin You Speak Of?

Most folks can probably go through life perfectly fine without ever needing to know about moleskin. It was first as a soft, functional fabric that was first seen in the mid-20th century on military uniforms. But in modern times if you run, hike, or do any activities that involve a lot of walking (such as walking commuters in bigger cities and military members), moleskin is a life saver. You can purchase it at most drugstores or big box retailers near the foot-comfort section.

Today’s moleskin comes to us as a self-adhesive sheet with a soft flannel-like surface. Simply adhere a piece to a blister on your foot—or an area prone to getting blisters—and it helps alleviate the rubbing, thus mitigating blister formation and discomfort.

You can buy moleskin at any drug store, but I had some on hand with this little first aid kid that I keep in my hiking daypack. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

You can buy moleskin at any drugstore, but I had some on hand with this little first aid kid that I keep in my hiking daypack. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

By taking advantage of the comfort of this moleskin, it’s an easy way to temporarily fix a rogue underwire.

Easy Peasy!

First, contemplate the area of underwire that giving problems.

OW! The wires on both sides, at the center of the bra, had started poking through the fabric. Photo: Patricia Vollmer

OW! The wires on both sides, at the center of the bra, had started poking through the fabric. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Now let’s cut a piece of moleskin to completely cover the hole.

Cut what you need from the sheet of moleskin. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Cut what you need from the sheet of moleskin. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Before peeling the backing and placing the moleskin over the problem area, take a moment to try to force as much of the wire back under the bra fabric as possible. Then adhere the piece of moleskin to the problem area.

Place the piece of moleskin over the problem area and press it firmly into place. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Place the piece of moleskin over the problem area and press it firmly into place. In this case, I’m still checking that this is an appropriately sized piece before peeling the backing. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Viola, two repaired areas! Not the best-matched repairs, but no one can see this when you're wearing it. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Viola, two repaired areas! Not the best-matched repairs, but no one can see this when you’re wearing it. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

How Did it Do?

The moleskin repairs worked like a dream! It was perfectly comfortable. I usually wear my fancier bras more than one time between washings, and I had no problems at all until it was time to wash.

While many of the pins suggest that the warmth and humidity of wearing the bras will adhere the moleskin well enough to withstand washings, this didn’t happen for me. With each washing, the moleskin would come off. The remnant of moleskin that came off didn’t seem to have much adhesive left, so it was as good as trashed. I simply cut new pieces and did this entire process over again. Once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take long at all.

The Verdict

Pintrusted, but with a caveat. Keep in mind that this is meant to be a temporary fix; to buy a little more time so you can get out to your favorite lingerie retailer for replacements. I needed to re-cut and re-apply moleskin patches after each washing, but I am willing to do this for a little bit until a good Victoria’s Secret sale comes along.

Patricia Vollmer

Patricia Vollmer is a geeky meteorologist mother of two emerging geek sons, ages 9 & 11. She is currently teaching mathematics at the United States Air Force Academy. Patricia blogs about her family's military life at Ground Control to Major Mom. Home is always where the Air Force sends her family, which for now is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hobbies include running, playing her violin, needlecrafts and exploring the world with her boys.

1 Comments
  1. Kay

    Patricia, wouldn’t hand-sewing the moleskin be worthwhile, once you’ve confirmed the placement with the adhesive? It would only take a few stitches and it looks like it would extend the life of the bra considerably.

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