Now that I have nailed the fit of the Boylston Bra, I thought it was time to play around with some style lines. Due to the relatively limited range of jade trims out there, I decided to use contrasting black trims, and while rummaging through my stash I found some stretch grosgrain and matching fold-over elastic that inspired this strappy design.
First I remodelled the Boylston pattern by altering the design lines of the cup to suit the strap arrangement I had planned, and I changed the back band to a camisole style. I also made a pattern for some matching underpants, based on my last pair that fitted so nicely. A bra is no good without a pair of matching underpants – or two!
And then I discovered I did not have enough jade lace, so more was ordered. A few other things slipped onto the order. I’ve noticed this happen before actually, and this not-so-unusual phenomenon has saved me a lot of money on freight 🙂
The cups were cut from stretch lace, using the border of the lace along the neck edge. After sewing the seams I topstitched them to one side using a small zig-zag. The cups were lined with non-stretch bra tulle. I cut the tulle 1cm shorter than the neck edge and left it floating. If the layers start to shift I might tack them together in a couple of places later.
The bridge, frame and band were all cut from stretch lace too. The bridge and frame were lined with non-stretch bra tulle, and the band was lined with stretch tulle. I used plush back underwire casing, 12mm black plush back underbust elastic, 10mm plush back picot elastic, all from Elle Joans Lingerie Findings. (Just in case you are wondering, her turquoise bra tulle and petrol picot elastic are a fairly good match for her dark jade lace.)
I used a black 2×2 row hook and eye set – an unusual size, but I have a few bra back adjusters in stock so you might see me using them up for a while!
There are so many different bits and pieces in a bra, it can be hard to keep track of them all! The underwire and straps were both salvaged from an old bra – the straps matched well and were still in really good condition – which is unusual as they are usually one of the first things to wear out in a bra! They were already assembled with rings, sliders and a hook, which I utilised on the camisole style back. This technically makes the bra adjustable to a X-back style, but I doubt I’ll ever wear it that way.
The most interesting feature of this bra is the ribbon extending from the lower edge of the cup up to form a doubled front strap. It looks like part of the support network of the bra but is purely decorative!
On this bra the underarm area is loose – this could be a consequence of lowering the back band to a camisole style. At first I unpicked everything and tightened the elastic, but it is really the band angle that needs adjusting – and I can’t bear to unpick all those elastics again – it will have to do!
I am totally happy with the underpants though and think they are really cute:
Once again they look larger than my ready to wear pants, but I like that they aren’t tight. They are so comfortable, I think I am sold on sewing my knickers for life!
For this style the back panel extends around the side to the front diagonal seam, which is trimmed with stretch grosgrain. This main piece was cut with the leg opening along the border of the lace, and the front leg opening was edged with picot elastic. The front join here was difficult to finish neatly – so my answer was to stick a bow on it!
The upper edge was finished with stretch grosgrain fold over elastic. This is narrower than the flat grosgrain but it is all I had.
Because the jade lace was only so wide it formed a little open triangle at the upper back, so continuing with the strappy detail on the bra, I closed the elastic here with a ring and slider. And another bow. This pair of underpants has four bows, and the bra has three!
Is seven bows too much for a complete set?
(Obviously I don’t think so!)