Bra-A-Week [36]: Lift Lift Lift


Hi All!
This week is the last week of bra theory before Corset October. And I have a really good one for you! All about lift!

Now as a 24 year old with no children, and medium cup size- I don’t really have enough of a lift issue to show this very well- so my mom very kindly offered to model this bra for me 🙂 in exchange for a custom bra of course- in her favourite kit-  chartreuse, with white findings, with the more vertical ‘Bliss’ wires. (I’ve decided to call these wires ‘Bliss Wires’- for obvious reasons 🙂 )

Now this is one of those tester bras with two different cups – one side lifts and one side doesn’t (and I promise that I replaced the non-lifting cup for mom after I was finished with the lift experiment!)

Before I jump into this bra- first I’m going to talk a little bit about lift- and I think this is where people start to get confused and terminology starts to get mixed.

Lift is the upwards force that is pulling the breast up from the strap and is controlled by the upper cup. This is not to be confused with ‘push up’ or ‘push in’ forces that come from slings and powerbars on the underside our outer edge of the cup.

Lift is controlled by the upper cup- and if your upper cup is too long from apex to neckline/strap- then your bra is going to be letting you down- literally.

So to show this- I took moms custom pattern, and I added a bad alteration to one of the cups- The blue is the original seamline, and in pink you can see the additional curve and vertical length that I added to the upper cup in the cross-cup seam.

And this is the effect:

You can see that the right side (right side of the photo) is lifted and rounded, no wrinkles in the cup, breast sitting entirely above the wireline, apex pointing ahead.

But on the left side- there are wrinkles, the breast is drooping below the wire, and even the apex looks off centre now.

The effect is even more dramatic when you see it from the side view:

This side is a nice lifted, but round and casual fit for under T-shirts.

And this side is is looking quite let down.

You can even see through a T-shirt how much more lifted the right side is!

Isn’t it amazing how a little alteration like that can make such a huge difference to the fit!

A good way to test your bra to see if it needs this alteration is to take a big horizontal pinch from your upper cup and see if that makes things more lifted for you!

Thank you again so much to mom for being such a good sport! And for breast-feeding me for those 9 months! I already have your bra cup replaced with a lifted one- ready for you to wear! 🙂

What are you opinions on lift? Is that something that you struggle with in your bra fit?

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Now on to your lovely submissions!

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First we have this super fun bra from Amber!

If you can believe it this beauty is actually a nursing bra! Who says nursing bras can’t be beautiful!

Amber made this from a Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern- modified for a horizontal seam with split lower cup and powerbar! And modified for nursing clips!

Amber made this bra with white duoplex, and stamped these little bees on with stamps and fabric markers! HOW CUTE ARE THEY! I want a bee bra! She also used fold-over elastic and a little folded ribbon for the front! Love it! Thanks Amber!

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Next we have this gorgeous lacy number from Karin of Mrs. Weaver’s Finest!

Karin made a strapless bra! which is always quite the feat in bra-making- especially with larger cup sizes!

And oh my is it pretty- such a delicate feel- and that little bow 🙂

She also added little loops for G-hook detachable straps- just in case she wanted them- love it!

Make sure you go over to Karin’s blog to check out her post on this beauty, and all the info that she gave with it- more Bra Theory 🙂

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Next we have pretty lace bra from David of Bonnet Bleu 

David made this bra with underwires and two types of lace- non stretch embroidered lace for the cups and stretch lace for the back band. Love those lace cups, and a perfect job on mirroring the lace! So pretty!

 

David is a freelance lingerie designer, label: Bonnet BlueFacebook Page

dpolrolniczak (at) wp (dot) pl

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Next we have a very luxurious set from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

This is Maddy’s Burlesque set! She made it using stretch velvet (found in the remnants bin *all hail the remnants queen!*) and stretch lace. What a gorgeous effect- there is just something about velvet- and this colour is gorgeous!

And of course she didn’t just stop there but she made the whole set, panties, garter belt and all! Wow- I must say that I’ve been feeling a bit of lingerie envy – I definitely need to get making some full sets! I bet you feel like a million buck in this Maddy!

Make sure that you head on over and check out her post on this delightful set!

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Next we have a very fashionable bra from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

This is Sofia’s second Maya pattern bra- and tweaked with perfect fitting alterations! And this time Sofia was really resourceful with her fabric and made it from her boyfriend’s shirt sleeves! Love it! She even used the cuff buttons for the front embellishment!

I’m really loving this look for fall- I think you could wear this under a sheer shirt or a mostly buttoned up blazer! very tailored/menswear feel! Fantastic!

Make sure you head on over to Sofia’s blog to see her lovely post about it!

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Next we have two beautiful makes from new contributor Anna of AnnaSkapar!

Anna made this beautiful bra using the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern with modified seams. She used a lovely turquoise fabric with foam underneath! Loving that lace trim along the top!

She also made this gorgeous bikini top for her trip to Mallorca! She said it was the only top that didn’t have to worry about falling off when she jumped in the water! She made this using the Pin-Up Girls Three Sisters Bikini, the Rebecca version, with some modifications. Love this print! So tropical!

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And last but not least we have these two lovelies from Diana of Diana Lingerie Design

These are both from Diana’s new pattern that she is testing, and she made these for her sister- What a great sister!

Wow these look so pretty and professional- and I’m loving the shape on that vertical seam! Great!

Make sure to check out Diana’s post about these two over on her blog!

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Again I am so in awe of the beautiful submissions this week- you guys are amazing! 🙂
Don’t forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! To grab a challenge button and to send your bra for next week to [email protected] by Friday for the next Sunday post!!
I can’t believe that September is already coming to an end- and with it the first month of Bra-Theory. If you didn’t get a chance to read them all I also covered:
If you’re sad about Bra-Theory ending, I wouldn’t worry too much, I have a feeling that it will be back in November with more special posts 🙂
Also I hope you’re just as excited as I am for Corset October!! Of course you can continue to submit all types of lovely intimate apparel to the challenge- but you are also welcome to join me in my corset-making quest! I’ll be doing a post this week about patterns, fabrics and inspiration that I’m using for my corsets this month!
Hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday!
xo erin

Bra-A-Week [35]: Bra Theory- Plunge Wires


Hi All!
Today I have more bra theory for you all and another bra to demonstrate!
*sorry for the late post- usually I like to get these up before noon- but this is quite the big post and I had some last minute urgent shop errands to run!!*
And finally a Bra-Theory bra that is symmetrical!!
And made with my Ravishing Raspberry & Black Bra Kit!! <3 (shameless self promotion)
So as was suggested in the comments last week I thought I would demonstrate changing your regular or long-wired bra into a plunge bra! – Lowering the wire for a shorter wire front and bringing the bridge and the cups down! Great for plunging tops!
So now I’m going to show you how I went from this pattern:
(my red old faithful)
To this pattern:
 (my daring raspberry plunge!)

* now I want to make a comment on this right away about the bridge width- since I’m sure I’ll get a comment that it looks really wide- but this is how wide my bridge is naturally at this low point on the bra- and it is the same width on my red bra with longer wires at that point in the bra. Generally when I make a plunge bra I artificially narrow the bridge to give more of a ‘cleavage’ effect. But I wanted to show what a plunge bra without that modification looked like for this Bra Theory. Plus this type of bra does have it’s place for wider plunging necklines!*

Here we go!!
First you want to mark on your pattern pieces your wireline- because this is what you are modifying! I’ve highlighted it in pink! Now I should mention here that my pattern pieces have NO seam allowances- and I highly recommend taking away all seam and elastic allowances so you don’t have to worry about them- then add them back after you make your new seam lines.

Then you’re going to look at your wires- how long are the ones in your original pattern? How short are the ones for your new plunge look? Generally underwires should come up to the same height under the arm (since you don’t want to lose support there), and they are shorter in the front- where you want the exposure!

So in my red bra I used an  Extra Long wire, and for my new plunge bra- I’m using a short- you can see that in their correct orientation, they are the same height under the arm, but one is much shorter in the front!

Then you have to measure the actual difference in length between the wires. This one is 2 and 3/16ths   of an inch shorter than my extra long wire and my pattern.

 

Then you go back to your pattern and mark down your wireline in the front the difference between your wires on your centre front of the cup.

Now you might run into the problem that I did- your cross cup seam is in the middle of the amount you have to mark down.

So then what you have to do is join your upper and lower cup along the seamlines (overlapping your curves), to connect your wireline. Then you can mark down for your new shorter wire.

 

Once you’ve measured the point where your new wire ends. Then you connect your strap point to your new wire-end – and voila! You have your new neckline!

So you can definitely leave the draft here- just cut off the new neckline and get back to stitching- but you also might like to re-arrange some of your seams to work better with your new shape. For example- in this new neckline- my horizontal seam would end at an awkward point on my neckline (awkward point circled and highlighted in blue)

 

Now you can decide how much you want to change your seamlines – vertical seams are quite popular in plunge bras, but for the sake of an exercise I’ll keep the seams similar- just bringing my cross cup down a little so it’s back in the wireline and not ending in my neckline.

These are my new seamlines highlighted in blue!  All you have to do is cut your new pieces apart along the seamlines and add your curves back into your bottom cup pieces!

These seamlines should give me similar lines to the cups in this bra: (although I had my cross-cup seam ending a little lower in the wireline)

Now that you have your seamlines in your cup- now we can move onto the frame! So you’re going to mark down on the centre front of your frame the difference between your wires.

Then- as simple as that- you cut your bridge off at that point, making sure that your line is perfectly perpendicular to your centre front.

 

*Now this is the point where you might think ‘wow my bridge looks wide’ and that is because your short wires are ending at a point where your breasts have started to splay and where they’re further apart from each other. NOW- that doesn’t mean that you have to stick with your natural shape and width at that point. I quite often narrow my bridge to bring the cups closer together and give a more “pulled-in/ cleavage look” like in this ivory bra:
But you can choose the look that you’re interested in- what you like better. I think that there is a place for both type of bras in a bra wardrobe, but I have to say that personally I like my cups nipped in a little at the bridge to reign the girls in a little closer!
Then when you’ve decided how close you want to pull your bridge in (minimum two channel widths) then add seam and elastic allowances back to your pieces and sew it up!
Maybe with a gorgeous bra kit?? (more shameless self promotion 😛 )

And there you have your most basically modified plunge bra.

You can see in the overlap it’s essentially just cut the chunk out of the middle.

But I hope you can see from this tutorial the limitless ways you can modify this bra to pull you in, or give you more room for a wide plunging neckline- but still work with the same pattern where you can limit your fitting issues!
Let me know what you thought of this Bra-Theory tutorial! Questions? Comments? Suggestions for next week?
And now on to your lovely submissions!
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First we have this super chic set from Diana of Diana Lingerie Design

Diana made this set using her new pattern- soon to be released!  It is her Triangelbra! How gorgeous is this! Made with spandex and stretch mesh and push-up wires!

I really love this asymmetrical look for the panties too! I think there are so many possibilities for colour blocking and lace-inserts. Congrats on the pattern Diana- looks fabulous! 🙂 Check out her post on this set over on her blog!

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Next we have this very pretty set from Emma of A HandStitched Life!

Emma made this set using the Marlborough bra pattern from Orange Lingerie and the Alice Knickers from Ohhh Lulu! She used this lovely printed polyester and embroidered lace. Such a nice colour combo!

This is Emma’s first underwired bra! YAY! And the fit is okay- which is a great starting point! 🙂 I’m so excited to see more!! Don’t forget to check out Emma’s post over on her blog!

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Next we have this super cute set from Christie!

Christie made this bra by covering foam cups with this adorable polka-dot fabric- which is set off perfectly by the red trim on the top- what a great retro vibe! Gorgeous! She says there’s some gaping in the top- but it’s so close!! 🙂

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Next we have this lovely bra from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

Sofia made this bra using the soon-to-be-released Maya pattern from AFI. As a pattern tester Sofia had early access to the pattern and made up this beauty!

Sofia did an amazing review over on her blog where she talks about how well the sizing worked out and the great round shape. And I can agree with you there- that is a lovely round shape! Perfect for under thin knit shirts! Love it! Don’t forget to check out Sofia’s post about this bra over on her blog!

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Next we have some gorgeous lingerie from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

Maddy focused on the other lingerie additions this week and wow- I’m feeling some real lingerie drawer envy! Maddy made this cute garter belt and Grace Panties to go with her coral set from the past week!

What fantastic additions! Doesn’t it all just look so beautiful as a set?! It really makes me realize I need to step up my panty game! Wow- love it! Don’t forget to head over to Maddy’s blog for her lovely post!

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Next we have very pretty bikini top from David of Bonnet Bleu!

David made this bra using foam cups and strap elastic. This is his sixth strappy bra! He’s definitely getting the hang of it! I love the back of this one too! Definitely a highlight you could show under a sheer dress!

 

 

David is a freelance lingerie designer, label: Bonnet Blue

Facebook Page

dpolrolniczak (at) wp (dot) pl

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Absolutely amazing submissions this week- you guys continue to blow me away and inspire me to do more!
Don’t forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! To grab a challenge button and to send your bra for next week to [email protected] by Friday for the next Sunday post!!
What did you think of plunge bras? Think you’ll try making one? Any suggestions for next week before I dive into the wonderful world of corsets?
Let me know & hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend 🙂
xo erin

 

Bra-A-Week Challenge: Week 34, Bra Theory Power-bar edition


Hi All!
Another week, another bra, and this week more bra theory! More specifically power-bar and push-up theory!

Now I have to say that the bra was a nightmare to photograph, and I feel like the photos don’t really do justice to what it looks like in real life.

But I’ll start off with a little description. This is a short-wired low cut bra. I made this bra using bra-tulle, which is a softer tulle with NO stretch, and I used two layers opposing the directions of stretch to make all the pieces completely no-stretch.

Now – the difference between the cups- on the right side (right side of the photo) I have a cup that is a three-piece, cup with a diagonal seam running through the apex and a split in the lower cup. On the left side I have that same seaming, but instead with a power-bar running from the strap and wrapping under the apex.

Power-bars work to push the breast tissue up and out.

And you can see on the left side with the power-bar- that I had to pinch out a HUGE pinch from the cup, because so much of my breast tissue was pushed out of the bra! and up!

Now how to photograph that. lol

It might be hard to tell but there is significantly more tissue and mounding up on my chest wall on the breast on the left (the further one away) than the one closer.  The breast on the right is more contained in the cup and less mounded higher on the chest wall.

You can see from this photo of the power-bar breast, that there is  a lot of tissue that is pushed UP and out of the cup! And that the power-bar is really pushing me in and up!

And in this angled shot you can see just how much more tissue there is mounding out of the top of the cup on the power-bar side rather than this side without a power-bar!

Now I’m not sure whether this make the breast appear larger, or smaller. I think looking at if you’re looking at the comparison in the bra- the side without the power-bar looks bigger because there is more breast tissue in the cup. However, in person and under a t-shirt or tank top, the other side actually looks bigger because you can see more clearly all the tissue that is pushed higher on the chest wall.

Also consider in this photo that I have the same tan lines on both sides, but the power bar has pushed that inch of un-tanned breast up higher and out the bra on the left side! crazy!

So what do you think? Have you ever used power-bars for lift? do you notice the difference? Let me know what you think!

Now on to your beautiful makes!

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First we have this cozy bra from Karin of Mrs.Weaver’s Finest!

This is Karin’s ‘Wild Rose’ bra, and wow isn’t this just the epitome of comfort chic? It’s definitely one of those bras that just calls out to be worn! Made with all of my favourite things too! The cut& sew, the fold over elastic, and lovely soft cover fabrics!

Karin also made these beautiful ivory lace panties to go with it, along with a matching cami! You’re lucky that I wouldn’t fit into this Karin- that’s all I can say!

Although someone might be lucky enough to have one of these beautiful bras for themselves!! Karin is very generously donating one of her bras to a silent auction for Breast Cancer Support!! What an inspiration for all bra-makers 🙂

Don’t forget to check out Karin’s post about her beautiful creation over on her blog!

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Next we have a strappy black number from David of Bonnet Bleu !

David made this bra using strap elastics and foam cups!

The straps that connect between the bridge at the front of the bra, continue to the back band and are placed in the normal strap placement at the back of the bra, where the straps front the top of the cups wrap around the neck line a halter.

 

Very interesting style lines! And this doesn’t affect the style lines of the straps in the back! Very chic in black!
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And last but not least we have this pretty bra from Christie!

Christie made this bra for her sister using foam cups covered in a very thin stretch pink fabric, she used an embroidered tulle lace for the front frame and pink powernet for the back band! And look at that cute detail on the straps!

Christie based her inspiration off of this RTW bra- super cute. Unfortunately the fit wasn’t perfect for her sister- but definitely worth trying again!
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Thank you so much for your lovely contributions this week!
How is everyone feeling about the challenge so far this fall? Are there any specific topics that you can think of for more bra-theory? – I’ve already had a suggestion for theory on changing cup seaming and modifying patterns (thanks Sofia!) any other suggestions?
Don’t forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! To grab a challenge button and to send your bra for next week to [email protected] by Friday for the next Sunday post!!
Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend!
xo erin

Bra-A-Week: Week 33!


Hi All!!

I’m back!! Hosting the Bra-A-Week Challenge! And can you believe we are at Week 33?! Crazy!! It seems like only yesterday it was Week 27 and I submitted my sister’s bikini! Well it’s time for me to get back behind my sewing machine- and this is what I made for the challenge this week!

Overall not an exciting bra- but there is some learning in this bra! and I’m actually surprised by how much I like the beige… this can’t be good!

So now on to the interesting part- the fitting!

There are two main differences between the cups- the direction of stretch and the wire. Both are made with a double layer of 15 denier with the identical pattern pieces. It should also be noted that I am very evenly balanced on both sides- so the fit isn’t influenced by asymmetry 🙂

*Also I should note that to reduce confusion- when I say ‘right’ and ‘left’ side- I mean of the photo and not my right and left side!

On the right side of the photo is the cup made with the direction of stretch in opposing direction- basically eliminating the stretch in either direction. And in that side is a different wire- a more vertical wire.

On the left side is a cup made with the usual direction of stretch (direction of stretch following the neckline on the upper cup, and pointing from mid-wireline of the bottom cup pieces towards the apex) and my normal long wire.

(please excuse the mediocre photography- I didn’t have help today! and excuse the tissues- for modesty sake- if I have any left lol!)
See the difference? The right side is definitely more projected, it also looks a bit tighter and a bit more lifted. Which I think overall makes that side almost look larger. It is a subtle difference – but definitely a difference – and feels very different on as well!

So first I’m going to talk about the wires- because I think they have the biggest impact.

I think it’s easiest to see from the front just how much impact the wire has- you can see on the left side the wire is splaying a lot further into the bridge area, which has the effect of being a bit wider and a bit flatter, where on the other side, it’s more upright and not flattening the cross cup or the neckline edge. Also- from the outer edge of the wire- you would be able to see that the more vertical wire really pulls the breast tissue towards the front.

Here you can see the difference between the wires: There’s definitely more splay on the left!

Next I’ll go into direction of stretch differences. Now I have to admit that it’s hard to see from the photo- and for me this is much more based on the feel. I think this is partly because I am younger, don’t have many support needs, and will stay put regardless of the direction of stretch, BUT I can really feel the difference of support between the two sides, and I do think you can see a bit of the difference in the photos!

Here are my pattern pieces and the direction of stretch I used for the left side (look at the stronger arrow- you can see the opposing direction of stretch through the other side!), which are the usual direction of stretch. And for the other side, I used this direction of stretch along with a second layer of the opposite direction of stretch.

So on the left side- which has the usual direction of stretch, and my usual long wire (this is the identical pattern to my red bra.) You can see that it’s a great fit, really comfortable looking, not super tight or lifted looking- and I can tell you that it is a much softer cup- it isn’t very restrictive, and there is a nice amount of softness and ease in the cup.

Now on the other side- the combination of the opposing direction of stretch from the two layers of 15 denier and the more vertical wire give this cup a more ‘upright appearance’. It also looks more lifted, and it changes the neckline to be slightly more angled. This cup is also much more firm and slightly more restrictive.

Overall from this experience I have to say that I love both cups for different reasons. I really like my original wire and direction of stretch for a more casual and comfortable bra- it definitely was the more relaxed and comfortable cup!

But I really love the shaping and look that the vertical wires and the opposing direction of stretch (almost no stretch) that the other cup gave. Although I don’t think that this cup is quite as comfortable- but definitely not uncomfortable.

What do you think? Let me know your opinions!

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And now on to all of your gorgeous submissions!

First we have this awesome swimsuit from Andrea of Obsessive Creativeness!

Andrea drafted this bathing suit pattern from a combination of her bra pattern, stretch bodice sloper and the bottoms from a pair of RTW undies! Very resourceful! And it all came together so well!

 

She used this lovely blue spandex, and foam in the cups! To read more about the drafting and making of this suit be sure to go over and check out Andrea’s post on her blog!

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Next we have a beautiful submission from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

Maddy made this from the Boylston Bra pattern from Orange Lingerie. And she said the fit is bang-on!

She made this bra using fabric she found in a remnant bin (I feel that remnant shopping/hunting should be a sport- and if it were I give you a 9.8/10 for finding this gorgeous fabric and making it into this bra). She also used foam in the cups, and made this amazing pair of panties to match! *swooning* Very lovely! Check out more about this set in Maddy’s post over on her blog!

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Next we have this very pretty submission from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

Sofia branched out with this new bra- trying a new fabric and vertical seam! Modifying the seam from her basic bra pattern. And that silky fabric- how pretty!

The fit didn’t end up being a favourite for this bra- but there was a lot of leaning! Make sure you go over to read Sofia’s post about it over on her blog!

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Next we have a stunning submission from Karin of Mrs.Weaver’s Finest!

This is Karin’s ‘Black Pearl’ Bra. And this one is definitely a pearl! She made this beautiful bra for a client out of black silk and this beautiful deep red ribbon trim! The cups are also made with foam, and a three-piece vertical seam cup, giving a lovely shape!

And that little bit that finishes it off perfectly- the pearl on the bridge! Very lucky client! Make sure you head over to Karin’s blog to see more about this beauty!

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And last but not least we have this pretty lace number from David of Bonnet Bleu !

David made this bra using black lace over nude foam lining. Very pretty lace! He made this bra with vertical seams, and a partial band, and a real balconette feel on the cup shape with wide-set straps!

For the back band of the bra David used more embroidered black lace for a decorative touch. Very classy!

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Wow- Amazing submissions this week! What a great week to kick off my hosting this fall!!

I’m so excited to be back in the swing of things with this challenge!  And to be bringing a little more theory and info into these challenges too!

For anyone new to the challenge – firstly Welcome! Also if you would like to submit a bra to the challenge I accept submissions 24/7! and any bras that are submitted by friday at midnight, will be included in that Sunday post! 🙂

Please submit your beautiful creations to : [email protected] 


Please include two photos of your beautiful me-made intimate apparel, along with a short description and any and all links that you would like attached to it! (share the blog love!)

I do wait with anticipation on those emails – and they’re all lovely little surprises sent right to me!! 🙂

Hope you all have an amazing Sunday!

xo erin

 

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