I've taken a fair amount of time off this summer in order to move house and entertain overseas visitors. It's been a gorgeous summer, but all good things must come to an end, and when I was asked to make a bra in black and deepest red, I knew that people were starting to think about different colours for Fall and Winter. The changing of the seasons had started.
This particular client wanted something deceptively simple, yet stunning and luxurious. Well, I love a bit of luxury so it didn't take long to dig out some black satin. It has such a gloriously rich and silky feel - it definitely screams luxury. Yet simplicity doesn't have to mean plain. My client's eye fell on this beautiful, deepest red ribbon and asked that it be used in the bra. Time for a sketch:
I'm rubbish at drawing, yet a little sketch, however crude, gives me the chance to consolidate my ideas and discuss them with the client prior to starting. This way we both know what we're looking to achieve.
As well as discussing the colours and style choices, materials and alterations are discussed. Here, a clear preference for a foam cup was expressed so that was incorporated. She also had had issues in the past with that feeling that her breasts weren't adequately restrained and could 'fall out' at any time. So I raised the bridge a smidge and increased the height where the frame met the back band.
Her mock up was made in plain black duoplex and once all the fitting issues with this bra had been resolved these pattern pieces were amended to a 3 part cut and sew foam cup, cut slightly lower to reveal a little more skin; perfect for under a lower cut top, yet not so low as to risk 'fall out'. To turn a classic full cup bra with a horizontal seam into a 3 part cut and sew foam cup, I make a foam cup out of the initial pattern pieces first, then cut them into 3, carefully labelling each piece. These then form the templates for the pattern.
Instead of opting for elastic on the top edge of the band, simple black fold over elastic would give a cleaner, less fussy look so that all the attention could be on that beautiful yet understated lace with the ribbon running through it. I've used this lace/ribbon combo before and I really loved this particular colour combination, so decided to use it on the straps also.
This meant that I really had to think about my order of construction. Once the satin was on the cups and the top edge had been covered in fold over elastic. I needed to add the lace edging, the strap and the side fold over in an order that wouldn't mean things got in the way, or worse still, ended up getting sewn together. And I certainly didn't want to see stitching coming through on the front! I decided that I wouldn't drink that extra glass of wine during this phase of the construction, just in case it impaired my judgement... well, maybe just a small glass!
Things went swimmingly, the satin had been a delight to work with, and I just love the clean, modern look that fold-over elastic gives. The deep, red ribbon really took this bra from 'alright' to 'amazing' and I had decided that a small bow in the same colour on the bridge would be more than enough to give this beauty its finishing touch when I stumbled across a small black pearl in the bottom of a little box.
Those of who you followed my Spring/Summer series, including Lavender & Lace, Pink Keyhole and Peaches & Cream will remember that a small pearl adorning the bridge was a bit of a signature on all these bras. When I'd procured these pearls, this stray black one had found its way into my little stash and it must have been providence to stumble across it at this particular time. It went perfectly with the black and red ribbon.
Once it was secured on the bridge it looked wonderful:
This bra is such a deep black that it's been difficult to get a photo of the full bra which doesn't look flat, but I have to say that I am immensely pleased with the result:
It's always a good day when another bra goes to its new home. Although, had it been in my size, I would have been tempted to keep it!