Inspiration comes from many places.
Sometimes I am inspired by fabric, by other designers or by the bras made by the wonderful ladies in my Braphoria group on Facebook. Sometimes, inspiration comes straight from nature - from a butterfly, an animal or a flower like these delphiniums from my friends garden last Summer.
Although this is a full year ago now, the colours must have stuck in my subconscious as the colour and pattern of this blue French lace that I bought to on the Tour this March are very reminiscent of Maz's beautiful back yard.
Last week, I showed you my Mock Orange - a successful mock up for a design that I wanted to use with this spectacular French lace. Knowing that the design worked in theory, it was now time to bite the bullet and cut into that lovely, expensive blue lace.
The Mock Orange had addressed the basic cup design issue very successfully. This time, I wanted to refine some details - increase the bridge and cup height at the bridge, just a little. And thin out the band just a smidge.
Unlike Mock Orange, this bra was not lashed together in record time. Instead, I spent a considerable amount of time making sure my pattern pieces would flow seamlessly from the inner to the mid to the outer cup piece. This meant I would waste a portion of this lovely lace, but for the bra to look truly high end, I needed this attention to detail.
Then, I needed to mirror the pattern placement on both cups. The extreme lightweight nature of the lace means it's very sheer. On the left it is pictured with sheer cup lining and pattern paper behind it. And on the right there are 2 layers of lace, 2 layers of sheer cup lining and a piece of pattern paper.
You can barely tell the difference between the two pictures, and it also illustrates that a nice big window is a handy tool when pattern matching!
Because of the precision in pattern matching, I didn't have enough lace left to have the scalloped edge running along the bottom of the bad. While this is a shame on the one hand, it's fine on the other as the scallops would just tend to fold over and the eyelashes are likely to tickle. Additionally, I felt that the magic here had to be in the beauty of the cups, so the frame and back band could be simple and straight forward, letting the fabric speak for itself.
The same is true of the Sarrieri bra which also serves as an inspiration for this bra - it's all about the cups. Sarrieri's use of lace results in ultra-feminine luxury bra's - which are sadly not terribly successful on the bigger, rounder breast.
I had purchased slightly narrower strapping than I would normally use, intending to use multiple straps on this piece, but somehow, I thought that less would be more. Again, I didn't want to distract from the beauty of the lace in the cups.
Despite the small tweaks to the bridge height, this bra is still lower than most and is definitely not a full cup. Although it's not as low as a demi at the underarm area - a place where I always feel a bit exposed in a demi - it's definitely low enough at the bridge. So it's more of a semi-demi, but well, what's in a name, right?!
Once the hook and eye was sewn into place and the wires inserted into their channels, it was time to try it on. Strangely enough, I was a little nervous. It felt impossibly light - how on earth was this going to lift anything up, I wondered as I headed to the mirror.
But if I thought the Mock Orange felt good on, then this felt heavenly. So lightweight and so sheer - yet without any nipple on display - thanks to the white sheer cup lining behind the lace, instead of the nude colour. There is lift and roundness and support, but without the fear of falling out.
The straps are wider set than normal, but this is common of many demi's and not something that bothers me. I used rings in case I ever do want to add more strapping in the future but may change them out for slightly smaller ones.
The back is a straight forward scooped back. Nothing fancy but it covers any and all back fat a.k.a. angel wings effortlessly.
From the inspiration of a backyard bloom, I feel that my Delphinium Demi is equal to the most lavish Sarrieri bra out there! In fact, when compared side by side, I prefer mine:
This lace came from Calais in the North of France and is one of the places we will be visiting on the Mrs. Weaver's European Lingerie Tour of 2018. So if you fancy picking up some similar lace, then make sure you watch Braphoria or the Mrs. Weaver Facebook page for details as seats are limited and I expect them to go really quickly!