It's almost Valentine's Day, and lots of seductive little sets have been buzzing through my head. It's also absolutely freezing here at the moment, with a temperature of -23C this morning.
This leaves me in a quandary - as I wish to crawl into the softest, most comfortable bra and pants on the planet which, traditionally, would mean zero sex appeal. Now, although Mr. Weaver loves me for who I am, and not what I wear, I do feel his ardour would be somewhat dampened if he saw me in a great big pair of granny panties and a thermal vest...
So the challenge was to create something gloriously glamorous and seductive, yet cosy and comfy with superlative butt coverage.
I went through my fabric stash; plaid ticked all the comfort boxes but I wasn't seducing Elmer Fudd so I kept looking. Satin, although silky soft, has a coolness to it where I wanted to feel warm. Then I had it! Velvet! Supremely soft and luxurious, it's wonderful to wear next to the skin and it is glamorous and beautiful enough for any couture evening gown. But there is one thing better than velvet, and that's devoré velvet.
Devoré velvet is created when a velvet fabric undergoes a chemical process which removes certain areas of fibres in the fabric leaving beautiful velvet patterns with contrasting bare areas. The word devoré is said to come from the French word dévorer, meaning to devour - this was definitely a sign!
Fabric selected, I had to make a few other design decisions, all of which I put in a design sheet:
As you can see from the design sheet, I was initially undecided on the cups, but ultimately I decided on fabric cups as I wanted to feel only the softness of the fabric against my skin. I took out my Pin Up Girls Shelley pattern by the fabulous Beverly Johnson. I have used it before on this bra. I love this pattern, I don't think there are many other bras out there that give such incredible definition to a woman's natural shape. In particular, I love the power bar, or 'angel wings' as I call them; it's these strips of fabric on the outer edge of the cups that help your breasts face forward, giving amazing shape and support.
Although I love this design, I couldn't resist tweaking it just a little, splitting the upper cup from 1 piece, into 2 pieces so that I could have maximum velvet yet retain a little lace for glamour.
Using devoré is not a cheap way to make a bra! I wanted to be sure that the bra looked balanced, so the angel wings, lower cup sections and upper piece all needed to have the same motif on each cup. This meant that there was no opportunity to be frugal with fabric. By the time I had my pieces cut out, I was left with a limp piece of fabric resembling swiss cheese and no room for mistakes.
I toyed with a few lace options. The Shelley is a full cup bra, yet I wanted to create the illusion that there was more skin on show than there actually was. So ultimately, I placed the lace on the cups in such a way, that where it meets at the bridge, there is a gap, a drop, a valley, revealing an extra inch of cleavage without sacrificing any of that warm, cosy coverage.
A deep, burnt burgundy colored bow with extra long tails finished the bra. It's beautiful - seemingly a simple dark hued bra, until the light catches it and turns it the colour of rubies and mulled wine. Then it was time for the panties.
I was really pleased with the bra, I really felt it met the glamour and seduction yet comfy and cosy criteria I'd set myself. Yet, it could all fall apart with the panties. Usually, I prefer pants that are a bit 'cheeky', exposing a little more butt without going to the extremes of a thong. But it's -23C for goodness sake, so I wanted every bit of my butt covered in something soft.
Ultimately, I opted for a hipster pattern from makebra.com. This is a free pattern that I had lying around as I had originally intended to use this for my upcoming post on Understanding Undies, but had ultimately chosen to make a different hipster brief. Yet I felt this pair of panties could just be what I was looking for. Higher at the waist, and lower around the bottom, it would provide the coverage that I craved.
Yet, was it seductive enough? The velvet is stunning, but large devoré flowers on a large devoré butt just didn't work for me. Again, my stash yielded the perfect answer in the form of a black, sheer stretch fabric with a slight sheen to it. This became the rear of the pants, giving a hint of the rear underneath it. The perfect compromise, a win-win - I'd cracked it!
Another deep burnt burgundy colored bow with extra long tails and the set was complete. Although the panties looked large, the fit is fabulous and they seem much smaller when they are on - in no small part due to the detailing on the velvet. The scalloped lace edging around the leg holes mirrors the scalloped edging on the cups giving it a feminine, flirtatious finish.
So there you have it. My attempt at Valentine's Day Thermal Underwear. I know that, strictly speaking, this isn't thermal underwear, but it does make me feel warm and fuzzy inside - so it works for me! I wonder what beautiful lingerie the other participants in Emerald Erins Bra-A-Week Challenge have come up with. Click here to find out!