Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Monday, 17 October 2016

Inspiration for the Lucky Muthah nursing Bras

Even though I've been selling my own lingerie creations for a few years now, I never really thought of myself as a designer. I don't know why, it didn't really cross my mind. When someone asked me what my job was I'd always mumble a bit and sound off something long winded and slightly incoherent along the lines of 'I sew lingerie and I design it too and I sell it online'. Why couldn't I give myself a normal job title like everyone else? I think I was worried it would come across a little self-inflated and egotistical. I'm humble and a little shy, and I didn't want to seem like I was bigging myself up, I suppose. I'm not a horn-tooter, at all.

When Rori came along the thought to make myself a nursing bra didn't actually cross my mind for a reaaaaaallly long time. Because I didn't think of myself as a designer yet. I hated all of my nursing bras and would moan about them not being what I wanted and being uncomfortable and frumpy, but I didn't do anything about it. I bought a lot of different nursing bras in the hope that I would find one that I liked and one that worked for me, but that bra remained elusive. 

One thing I have always loved about sewing my own lingerie is that even though I have a large bust, using certain fabrics and techniques, I was able to make myself bralettes that supported my melons, quite the contrary to popular beliefs that bralettes and big busts won't work. This meant that I made myself styles of bras that a few years ago I would never have imagined wearing. When strappy and cage bras came around, I pretty much fell in love. The majority of bras and bralettes with these strappy parts that I loved weren't quite right for me, and I got to thinking about if I could make my own, and then Life got in the way and the thoughts got lost in the thick jungle of thoughts that is my brain.

Lustre - from our 2015 collection. The pattern i adapted from a vintage 60's bra and adapted for the Lucky Muthah nursing bras


One evening, when the house was quite and the children asleep, I had a bit of an epiphany. In our previous collection I'd worked with a vintage 60's bra and adapted it into our 'cut out' bra pattern. That shape worked so well for me, I much prefer the seams on this cup over princess seams. Like a lightening bolt to the head, the idea came to me. I could combine the strappy bras that I love, with nursing clips and make myself the nursing bra of dreams. I was in a sewing frenzy for the next hour whilst the idea poured from head and through my fingers and as if by magic the most amazing nursing bra was forged. I tried it on and instantly fell in love with it. The next day I sewed up a sample in a different pattern fabric, in lighter colours, so I had a light and a dark. I wore them for a few days and it was confirmed that these were the best nursing bras I'd worn and I never wanted to take them off. Always a good sign. 



This was the first 'light' sample that I sewed up.We wasn't able to get anymore of this fabric so it didn't feature in the collection. We went with the 'Tropical Fall' print instead which I prefer!

The first leopard print sample. The straps are made from an elastic which I had lying around, which wasn't the best quality and wasn't wide enough.We sourced elastics straight from a factory for the collection, which was a first for us!


Aside from the functionality, what made me fall in love with these bras was how different they are. They're a bit edgy, a bit sexy, a lot awesome, and made to be seen - to be worn with a little sass and a lot of pride. These are the nursing bras for the oddballs, the 'alternatives', the weirdos, the unusual, the outlandish, the different. And I fucking love that. 

I had designed my perfect bra. I guess it's really been from the conception of the idea for this bra that I started to think of myself as a lingerie designer. I've learnt to trust my instincts a little more, embrace the odd, and dance to my own beat. Because that's what makes me who I am, and I think that's why people love these bras too.



When you become a Mum it's so easy to loose yourself because you are completely consumed by Motherhood. And we all know it ain't easy Sister. You can feel so lost. Like you're not 'Mumsy' enough (what the fuck even is that anyway?!) and like you need to conform to the general idea of being a Mum and loose touch with who you are as an individual.  I speak from experience when I say that shit is hard with a capital H my friends. Along with all of that, when you're breastfeeding, you have to make sure you choose an outfit based on how easy it is to get your baps out and not on style. When the thought of the local coffee shop catching sight of your ugly beige monstrosity that is barely containing your milk-full boobs fills you with dread. I was done with that. Over it. Being able to wear a nursing bra that looks cool as fuck when it peeks out of my top was actually pretty life changing. I might be exaggerating a little, but indulge me for a minute. Now when I get dressed I wear my nursing bra with pride. It gives me more options for wearing vests and v-neck tops and dresses too. I'm not going to lie, I even wear it on a night out without the kids because I wear it like part of my outfits. I get comments all the time when I'm wearing my bra that people think it looks awesome, and I think that's amazing. People are always so surprised when I tell them it's actually a nursing bra.

So, the nursing bra of dreams had been designed and tested. I posted a sneaky peak on Instagram and the reception it had was overwhelming. I was received message after message from girls asking me when these bras where going to be available to buy, so I knew I'd better work on getting them released. 

I contacted a photographer who I've used a few times before for previous shoots with the kids, and asked if she old be open to working with me on my idea. She's young and cool, and I thought she would get the overall look that I wanted to put across. I sent her a Pinterest board that I'd put together which was a collection of images in the sort of style that I wanted to go for. Dark, grainy, edgy, cool (and all those other cheesy descriptive words too). We were doing this shoot on a budget, and we only had the 2 nursing bra samples that I had made up in my own size, so I decided to model the shoot myself. I am totally not a model, I HATE having my photo taken and I'm so awkward. But luckily Laura managed to direct me and get some great pictures which were exactly what I wanted. I wore my leather jacket and my denim jacket which both have various patches on. As I've mentioned before, we're a biker family and it just seemed natural to me to wear these. Plus, the biker lifestyle is quite alternative, so I figured it would work well with the alternative style of the bras.



Rori was also a little model for the shoot. She was wearing her vintage denim dungarees and her denim cut, which I sewed patches from the Lucky Muthah collection on to. I am so in love with the pictures from the shoot with me and Rori together. I hope it puts across that you can be whoever you want to be as well as being a Mum, which is something that is so important to me.






















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