Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Construction of a Weapon of Seduction

I thought it might be fun to share with you how one of my bra styles is constructed by taking quick snapshots along the way as I crafted this lovely for a customer. This is Vamp - a silk lined quarter cup bra with lace appliques. Twenty-four pieces of fabric are transformed into a luxuriously glamorous weapon of seduction!

Fabric components included, from top: 2 wing shaped side panels which will attach to strap elastic, two center pieces, two bands, three cup segments for each shell and lining (12 segments total), two channeling linings, two channeling padding (the two pieces of lace will come later).

The center two panels are sewn together at the top and turned out, pressed, and basted. The center panel is then sewn to the two bands. Each cup consists of a shell and lining, each with three segments. These are sewn and pressed.

Each cup's shell and lining are sewn together. The lining is edge stitched so when turned out and pressed the shell of the cup lays flat to the breast.

Lace is appliqued to the shell or front of the cup. This is so when the cup is pressed and basted the lining remains smooth and fully finished which makes it feel luxurious against the skin.

The wing-shaped side panels are sewn together catching the strap elastic on the narrow edge. They are then turned out, pressed, and top stitched. Lastly they are sewn to the outer edge of the cup and the excess lace is trimmed.

Here are both cups shown with strap elastic, and ready to be sewn into the band.

Rings are sewn into the band using the same elastic as the straps. Elastic is sewn into the top and bottom of the band. Top stitching is done in teal thread to match the silk, with the bobbin thread in black to match the inside elastic. This little touch helps make the bra look beautifully finished on the inside as well as outside.

The cups are sewn to the band.

Channeling is made by creating tubes of silk lined padding, finished on one end. The finished end is placed at the center of the bra and sewn in along the same seam as the cups. These are then trimmed, as shown.

The channeling is turned down, towards the band, and basted. This will allow for sewing in place from the right side of the bra without slipping.

The channeling is sewn from the front side of the bra.

The satin bow is finished on the edges, to prevent fraying, and sewn in the center of the bra. Underwires are inserted and the unfinished, or open, end of the channeling tube which is then sewn shut and trimmed.

Slides are inserted in the strap elastic and a loop is formed through the ring and sewn securely. This will allow the bra straps to be adjustable. A hook and eye closure is attached. You can see how the finishing details make this bra as lovely on the inside as on the outside!

Ta-da! And ready for a happy customer's big ta-da of her own :)