Before I made my Plum and Terra Cotta bodysuit, I tested the triangle lace cups to be sure they fit well. This Olive Branch stretch lace that I used for a toile (test garment) might seem like a strange choice, but it came from a damaged piece that was otherwise unsellable.
Can I tell you a secret? When you purchase a massive amount of textiles or elastics from a biiiig supplier, it’s basically accepted practice that you might not get the quantity you’re expecting. Or maybe you do… sort of. That 50-meter roll of lace, for example, might include 50 meters, sure!… but it might be in pieces, or there’s one or two places where it got chewed up in the loom, or (my personal favorite) I may unroll an otherwise pristine run of fabric to find a perfect circle chopped out of the very center (usually it’s done to calculate the weight of the fabric at the factory).
I get the honor of discovering these various imperfections usually right when I’m unrolling the material to pack your orders. What’s a #girlboss to do?
Waste not, want not. I keep a box full of these irregularly shaped chunks of fabric, laces, and elastics to use for test garments.
Can I tell you another secret? I was so pleased to find a good use for this gorgeous mossy-green and gold lace.
It was while rummaging around my scrap box that I happened to get the inspiration to pair the Olive Branch lace with terra cotta elastics. My main focus was testing the cup pieces, and attaching them to the wide band meant I could make a super simple bralette without worrying about extra pattern pieces beyond that.
Lace cups + wide band + shoulder straps + hook and eye closure = done
The cup pieces needed a bit of alterations for their next iteration, but this bralette was definitely wearable! I decided to make a matching set of panties using terra cotta stretch mesh and Olive Branch lace appliques.
I turned to a tried-and-true favorite panty pattern of mine, the Celeste panties by Ohhh Lulu. It’s a low-rise bikini brief with solid front and back pieces; the perfect canvas to jazz up with a few lace pieces.
I laid out the pattern and decided where I wanted my lace pieces to go, tracing new pattern pieces for the appliques. Each applique, one on the front and one on the back, was made up of two mirrored lace pieces that would be sewn together, which means I had to remember to add a seam allowance. (Need more tips? Check out our tutorial for creating perfectly mirrored lace pieces!)
For constructing the panties, I added each applique to its respective mesh piece first, so then I could simply continue sewing the rest of the panties without altering the instructions. I used plenty of pins to hold the lace in place, and the attached them with a narrow zigzag, carefully following along the scalloped edge of the lace.
I love the final look of the panties; the lace really adds an upgraded element to the pair, and also provides some opaqueness as well. By making sure that my lace pieces were perfectly mirrored when cutting and sewing, the end result is pleasing to look at and allows the gorgeous painterly design and gold details to take center stage.
What started as a test set soon became one of my new favorite color combinations! The olive and terra cotta are both warm and autumnal, and surprisingly complimentary. If you feel so inspired to recreate this set for yourself, you can find the Olive Branch and Terra Cotta lingerie kit in the shop now!