Through the Keyhole
Once again I've made you wait for a new bra. I do have a good excuse - the last few weeks have been spent renovating a brand new space for Mrs. Weavers sewing room and a parlour, dedicated to receiving clients in a comfortable space in which to provide fittings and amazing custom made lingerie...it's not finished yet, but more on that in another post.
For now, take a look at my pale Pink Keyhole bra:
This is my first partial bra in the Spring/Summer series. A partial band bra differs from a full band bra in that the cups do not nestle in 2 bowls cut into a frame. Instead, the back band is attached to the cups, as is the bridge and, most importantly, the wire is stitched into the cup instead of the frame.
To illustrate the point, here's a picture of a full band frame/back band used in the Peaches & Cream bra:
And here is one showing the partial pieces:
The tiny little piece resembling a moustache is my bridge piece. As regular readers will know, I have virtually no bridge which is generally quite limiting when it comes to fancy bridge embellishments. This is one case where a narrow bridge is a bonus - I can have a keyhole!
The keyhole is achieved by sewing the cups together at the top of the bridge, for about 1-1.5". A smaller strip, at the bottom of the bridge is by modifying the pattern piece for a full bridge and sewn onto the cups. This leaves a pretty gap in which I can add my pearl, the signature embellishment for the range. How pretty...
The cups in this bra, are made using my favourite cut and sew foam, covered by the palest pink silk charmeuse, another signature element of the Spring/Summer bras. The cups are in fact the same as the ones used in Lavender & Lace, except this time the top edge was covered in ivory fold over elastic.
The band on this bra, as well as the bridge, is made using gorgeous, heavier weight cream lace, and as with Peaches & Cream, a lot of time was spent ensuring the pattern matching on both sides was perfect.
Further pattern matching was performed on the next design element - the external lace power bar. Power bars provide a directional push to maximise cleavage and are often found on the inside of a cup, integrated into the cup or, as in this case, form a very decorative external power bar. In this case, I have enough cleavage of my own, so I chose not to line the lace to give it more strength to push. Instead, it's intent is purely decorative. Had I wanted more oomph, I would have lined the lace with 15 denier.
The lace is also used on the straps, which gradually tapers away, providing a lovely, delicate frame to the chest area. I used foldover elastic on the top of the back band to provide continuity to the cups, and I chose to continue to use the FOE on the outside of the lace, to finish the raw edge and the create the strap. My heavier bust doesn't appreciate elastic straps, so I needed to reinforce the FOE using a thin strip of sheer cup lining. This gave it a sturdiness that cancels out most of the stretch. There is still a little stretch, but it's minor. If I were making a strap like this for a heavier bust, I'd back the FOE with ribbon or something similar.