My Last Canada Bag

I loved my first Canada 150 bag. I used Emmaline Bags’ Miss Maggie pattern.

I even enjoyed making a second and third Canada bag similar to my first bag.

I still wanted to have a Canada 150 bag just for me. So, this is my last Canada 150 bag. There will only ever be four of these made by me.

Things I Love

There are things I love about this bag – the pattern is free. (Have to love that.) The snaps bring it in, giving it a great shape. I really like the strap anchors, especially the Long Johns. This photo shows both the shape and the anchors.

I also love the bling I used like the sewn label, the leather maple leaf, the leather tassel, and handmade hanging tag.

In making these, I found I really liked the two-toned look of the second bag. I found the two-tones made it pop more.

Possibilities and Changes

I do want to include a zipper pocket inside as well as the slip pocket inside.

I’m thinking of changing the side snaps so they’re permanent by using rivets to create that shape. They won’t unsnap, and we’ll have to see if I mind that or not.

Canada 150 Take Four

So, after a little though of just what I wanted to include, here’s my final Canada 150 Miss Maggie bag: 

I went with a solid pattern because I didn’t have enough material left over from my other bags to do the two-toned look.

 I added a Sewn label, but just to keep all the bags individual, I put it in the bottom corner of the bag. I made a leather tassel. The first bag had 1/8″ fringes, this one has 1/4″ – again, just to add little touches to make them all different. This tassel is longer too.

Of course, the Handmade hanging tag. I love some bling.

I really love a back pocket, whether it’s a slip pocket or a zippered pocket. But I decided not to include one on this bag so as not take the focus away from the Long John Strap Anchors.

I saw a wonderful blog tutorial on Chris W’s Designs’ blog – Jazzy Straps. I loved Ellen’s straps. Mine aren’t as vibrant with contrasting colors, but I still love how they turned out. I took the regular 20″ length of the straps and added another 10″. The length is perfect for me for a shoulder bag. 

On the inside of the bag, I’ve made a slip pocket (not shown) which is included in the pattern, but also added a zippered pocket. I used the tutorial from Emmaline Bags for that. You can find that here. Just look at all those maple leafs!

I did add rivets to bring the sides in and secure them on this bag. I’m super happy with that part of my new Canada 150 handbag too. As well, I included a magnetic clasp for a closure.

Something all four bags have had in common is the bag feet I’ve used for them. I love these little feet. So much detail, but they don’t get seen very much. I kept forgetting to show them too.

Such a pretty detail.

All the hardware for my bag (except the feet) came from Emmaline Bags. The feet I found on Etsy but the store no longer has these. I’ll have to look for them again somewhere else. They are adorable.

If you follow my blog, you might be wondering if Em’s Watson bralette fit her.

Was it Bow-Worthy?

Em’s Watson fit her perfectly. However, it will remain bow-less.

Em said she wasn’t going to take it off after trying it on. She said it was more comfortable than the very-well-known-big-name bralette she’d been wearing! That made me feel really good. We already have her next one in the planning. Not only that, but now her Mom wants one too. However, before Em or her Mom get a bralette, I have some bra drafting/sewing to do for me.

Happy Creating!

A Watson for Em

What would you do if your boyfriend’s Mum made bras? Would ask her to make you one? Em did.

First Make

For my first bra-making venture for Em, I thought a bralette would be best. She really wanted a bralette too. So which pattern to try?

I have to be honest here. I have struggled so much with bra-fitting for myself, that I wasn’t looking forward to making a bra for someone else. I found the very thought daunting, and kept putting it off.

Once I started sewing though, well I really love sewing bras. With each step of the process, I admire how it’s coming together and looking more like a bra.

My first make for Em was the Cloth Habit Watson.

I was debating a bit whether I’d make her the Watson or Pin-up Girls Sweet Sixteen Bralette.

I decided to make the Watson because I’ve made it before. She also really liked the long-line version, so that’s what I made.

Hoarding

Remember I mentioned in a previous post how I had to order new wires because I hadn’t kept different sized wires? I had them a few years ago and gave them away? Well, a year ago I gave someone my Watson pattern because it really didn’t fit me and I thought I wasn’t going to make it again. Guess what I had to buy again because I don’t hoard enough? Yes. I had to buy another Watson pattern! I am going to start hoarding all things bra-making.

Much Better Now

 Sewing the Watson was much a much better experience this time than the two times I made this pattern in the past. The big difference is Em actually fits in the pattern’s range. I was just outside it and had to size up and make adjustments. She’s also young, with all the benefits that go with youth. Need I say more?

Sewing this pattern again, I do have to say I really like it. It’s a lovely pattern, with tips in the instructions that are both thoughtful and helpful. While sewing, I had the impression that this is a charming pattern.

Em’s Watson

 Seeing as I don’t know if this is going to fit Em either, I wasn’t breaking into one of my nice kits. Nope. It was scraps and left overs, little bits from here and there. Despite not using a kit, it came together quite well.

Here’s Em’s Watson from the front: 

I used some lighter-weight coral mesh that had been a gift, peach stretch lace which I think also had been a gift, and white elastics from one of my first purchases from Bra-Makers Supply. I didn’t have any smaller rings and sliders for the straps, but have a few kits from Merckwaerdigh and they have smaller findings. I know I won’t be using the findings from those kits for me so pulled them out. They were perfect.

I found an adorable little butterfly bow in my bow stash that is almost a perfect match for the peach in the cups. It’s not sewn on yet. This has to fit before it’s getting a bow of any kind.

 Here’s the back: 

Here’s a side view: 

I am really happy with how it came together. Now I have to wait.

Does It Fit?

  I have to wait a few days to find out whether this fits or not. Oh, if you think the wait is bad when sewing a bra for yourself and wondering the whole time if it will fit… This is worse. At least when sewing for ourselves, we can try it on right after we snip those last threads!

 Happy creating!

P.S. You might want to look at the first Watsons I made. My First Watson, and Long Line Watson and Some Bling.

Another Two Canada Bags

My Canada 150 bag made a bit of an impression. In fact, my original bag is now residing in California, USA with a Canadian woman. I think everyone will know she’s a Canadian now.

I’m going to be making another one for myself soon – it’s all cut out on my cutting table.

However, before I got to sewing my own, I had a special request from my son’s girlfriend. She has some really dear friends in Colombia who just happen to love her, her family, Canada, and all things Canadian. Could I please make two more bags? I couldn’t refuse.

Canada Bag Version Two

I don’t like doing the same thing twice, so I wanted to mix things up a bit. These bags may all be similar, but each is unique. That was just what Em wanted for her friends too.

Here’s the front of Version Two:

I’m still using the Emmaline Bags’ free Miss Maggie pattern. I’ve used the Long John strap anchors, attached a bit of bling – the Handmade tag – and cut out a red leather maple leaf.  Since this bag has the Long John strap anchors, I decided to reduce the size of the maple leaf by 20%. This bag also has the side snaps to bring it in and give it a defined shape, a magnetic snap closure and bag feet.

Here’s the back of the bag. It has a divided slip pocket going across the back of the bag, and some fun Canadian quiz material.

The inside of the bag is the same for both bags. Off white material with red maple leafs, and a slip pocket.

I used the lining material to make the straps as well. I just couldn’t resist those maple leafs! Em told me these women are Colombian and like lots  of color and bright things, so that helped me decide to make one set of straps brighter.

Canada Bag Version Three

Here’s the third Canadian Miss Maggie from the front:

  I really like this one! For this bag, I wanted it to look different so I used the pattern instructions to add a seam in the front, and used that to feature both of the materials I was using. I also added a red leather maple leaf at 100%, a brass Sewn label, the Diamond strap anchors, added a magnetic snap closure, and bag feet.

I made a mistake attaching these anchors. I didn’t know it, but I was coming down with a doozy of a summer cold. So what did I do? I placed the pattern piece upside down when I was marking where the anchors were to go! As a result, I struggled a bit to get them in, and then really had to fight to top stitch around them. I’m not thrilled. However, they’re in the bag, and there’s no moving them.

Here’s the back of Version Three.

You can see on the sides, I’ve added the snaps to the side of this bag as well, but have left them unsnapped. I want the bags to both have their own unique look when they arrive at their destination.

 I hope they’re both loved and cherished.

Along with a fourth Canada 150 bag, I’m back to drafting again this week. I’m really looking forward to it.

Happy creating!

Two More Agnes Dresses

Last summer I bought some gorgeous floral material to make my favorite Flirt Skirt to wear this summer. I still haven’t done that. I have, however, made two  more dresses from the hallå agnes swing top & dress pattern.

This first material has the design as the red top I made, but in blues and I made it as a dress. Here’s the front: 

This dress comes together really quickly with serged seams, and serging used to attach the neckline and armbands.

I had thought I’d change how I attached these bands, but decided to make another change I’ll tell you about below.

Here’s the side view: 

 Here’s the red top just as a reminder to see the print on it.

I know my hubby loves blue on me, so I think this blue dress will be his favorite.

This forth agnes is a dress too, in black, white, with little bits of yellow. 

The yellow isn’t very visible in the photo, so here’s a close up:

I think four agneses is a good place to stop for now. I really do love this pattern, and am living in this dress this summer.

One Change

Although, I’m loving all my hallå agnes dresses and top, but there’s one little element I wasn’t loving. The seams are all serged on these dresses and the top. That’s great. The seams all looks nice and neat this way.

However,  once these were washed, I found the seams at the neckband and arms were flipping or folding in half. It wasn’t visible from the outside when I was wearing it, but I could see it when I was putting the garment on. I didn’t like it.

Here you can see how the seam has folded up:

My fix for this was to use my coverstitch machine. It worked beautifully too. I’ve finished all my dresses this way now, and no more flipping or folding seams.

One of the things I did to help line up the stitching was to use the markings on the presser foot. That first grove was my guideline. It worked out really well.

Drafting Again

My new wires are here and it’s time to start drafting again! I’ve done a few drafts now, and that’s led to a couple of questions. I’m one or two answers away from drafting, what I hope is, my perfect bra pattern.

Happy creating!

Hallå Agnes in Jasper

My hallå agnes swing top & dress took a little overnight trip to Jasper with me and my hubby.

I loved taking both my swing top and my first finished swing dress on a short trip. Both being made from cotton Lycra, they were cool to wear, and were great for traveling.

The View

Seeing as we were in the mountains, it was more of a challenge to get a photo of me, when all we wanted to take photos of were the mountains.

Here’s a couple of photos of the view we had out our kitchen window:

Sitting at the kitchen table looking ahead there are mountains. They’re in the distance, but they’re there.

Then just turning my head to the right a little. More mountains.

Sheer bliss!

Here’s the view from our balcony without any windows or blinds in the way:

 There were mountains on all sides of us, but there were also trees. So some of our view was blocked, but we were still immensely enjoying being surrounded by nature.

Agnes Swing Top

 Being in such an idyllic environment, I had to take a few photos of my agnes swing top and dress.

This is the top. It’s so comfortable. But my top and I are simply the forefront to one of the most majestic views imaginable. Oh, I love the Rocky Mountains!

We weren’t quite in Jasper yet, but had our pup with us, so had to stop for a break on the way there.

My hubby decided he wanted a selfie with those gorgeous mountains in the background. I decided to peek over his shoulder.

 Agnes Swing Dress

   You know, I thought I really loved the agnes swing top and thought that would be my favorite. But after making a top and dress, I really really love the agnes swing dress.

I live in skirts during summer, but I think I’ll be living in the agnes all summer this year. I really love this pattern.

There are two more cut out that need to be sewn. I think there’s no time like the present.

Happy creating!

Waiting for Wires

I’ve ordered a few more sizes of underwire and am doing my best to patiently wait for them. I need these new sizes for drafting.

The Problem

I’ve said this before, but I am incredibly fortunate to know more than one professional bra-maker. Karin of Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionable helped me figure out what I was doing wrong in my drafting.

I had followed the instructions both times from the Bra-Makers Manual. And both times I produced a bra that was close.

In fact, there as aspects of how these bras fit that I like better than any bras I’ve made yet. But… they weren’t fitting perfectly and I really didn’t know what I needed to change.

Those Buts

But. I’ve had a lot of those buts in my bra-sewing journey. The problem is the same problem I’ve had all along in making bras – I’m an Omega shape. Yup. The Omega shape was causing problems again, although I didn’t realize it.

So what exactly was the problem? I was using what I thought was the right wire – the one that fits me. I was using that wire to draft my cradle and my cup too. Normally, this is exactly what someone should do too.

But not someone with an Omega shape.

It was one of those smack-hand-to-head moments when I realized why both of the bras I’d drafted didn’t fit perfectly. If I want the cup to fit, I’m going to need to use a wire that fits the cup – not one that fits me.

These wires show the difference between what I need for my cradle and what I need for my cup. The narrower wire is what I need for my cradle, but the wider one is what I need for my cup.

So for my drafting I will need to use two wires. The first wire (the one that fits me) will be for the cradle’s draft. The second wire (the one that correlates to the cup’s size) will be the one I use for the drafting the cup.

Hoarding

 You know, my hubby has some hoarding tendencies. He keeps things. He says he might need them sometime. He could even be right… sometimes.

I’m not like that at all. I think, ‘I’m not going to use this.’ and out it goes. Well, I’m re-thinking that. I had these wire sizes at one time. When I first got into bra-making I had no idea what size I’d need, so I ordered everything around the size I thought I’d need. My cup usually takes a 44 wire, so I had 42s, 44s and 46 wires – in regular and long sizes. I’m going to start hoarding everything bra-making going forward because I just might need it.

Progress

While I’m waiting for my new wires to arrive, I’m still practicing drafting, only this time I won’t sew up a draft. I know my cup won’t fit just right.

Using a larger wire than will fit me to draft will also mean I’ll have to make a few adjustments to the pattern to help it fit into a smaller cradle, but I’ve had lots of experience with that. Almost all the bras I’ve made, I’ve had to make those adjustments.

I’m really looking forward to getting those new wires and making this next draft. I’m hopeful.

Happy creating!

Have you seen Merckwaerdigh has a new Mini Course out? Design your own BRA. Her panty course is great, so I’m trusting this one will be too. I’ll let you know.

Here’s a video Margreet posted on the new mini bra course:

 

Michael Men’s Underwear

More Birthday Sewing

I had some other sewing plans for my son’s birthday besides the robe. I made him two more pair of the Michael boxers from Pin-up Girls’ Men’s Underwear Pattern.

The feedback from my son, who is an avid SAXX wearer is these are good, and he wears them.

To make up these boxers, I bought two bamboo kits like the ones shown above from Bra-Makers Supply (BMS). The last time I just used cotton Lycra from my stash. His news ones will be a lot more neutral in color. A nice gray with plush black elastic, and a navy with plush black elastic. I think he’ll enjoy both.

Here’s the last pair I made. (Definitely not neutral.) He also didn’t like the elastic I used for this pair (not from BMS).

Although the kits from BMS say they are bamboo, the material in the two kits was different. The gray heather is firmer, and doesn’t have the same hand as the navy; it was also easier to sew.

I should clarify that last comment. The underwear isn’t difficult to sew at all. I’d simply misplaced my washout tape and the waistband was a little more tricky than usual.

 Here’s the navy pair with his robe.

And here’s the gray pair with his robe.

My son will be well covered with new briefs and a robe.

Here are both pair of the Michael boxers.

 There. All the birthday gifts are sewn. I still have a bralette to sew, but after the robe and boxers, I think I’ll really enjoy it. Then some selfish sewing!

Final Thoughts

 My son loves them both! He’s worn them both already too. He does say they are not the same as SAXX, but hey, he’s wearing them. He also likes the plush elastic that Bra-Makers Supply sells much better than the elastic I sourced locally.

Happy creating and Happy Canada Day!

Butterick 5537

I’ve been working on Butterick 5537 for my son.

Favorites

My son’s girlfriend wanted him to have a robe for his birthday. Do you remember the lap quilt I made for her last Christmas?

It’s warm and fuzzy (flannel) and covered in musical notes. I guess someone else is always wanting to use it. Yup, that someone else is my son. So she wanted him to have something warm and fuzzy covered in musical notes that’s all his own.

 Memories

I have to say, almost all of my sewing projects have been much smaller than a men’s size Large robe. I’m noticing it when I pin and sew. But I think my son is going to love it.

Here’s my precious boy many years ago – and this was the last time I sewed a robe too.

 Ooh, he’s so cute! He’s turning 22 now, so this was 20 years ago.

The Robe

Here’s the polar fleece I’m using for the robe.

We (son’s girlfriend and I) had plans to sew this together, but things have been so busy we only were able to get it cut out together. With only a week before his birthday, and her working two jobs. I started sewing it up myself.

Thankfully, the weather was cooperating while I sewed up this very warm material. We’d had a cool rainy day which I’ve appreciated. In fact, it’s taken me a couple of days of sewing, and both of those sewing days were cool and rainy. Perfect polar-fleece-sewing-weather for June.

The Finished Robe

Here’s my son’s robe all done. It dwarfs my dress form, Catherine. I think the belt is hitting about hip level, but it gives you an indication of how it looks. 

Here’s the back. 

You might notice the sleeves aren’t done here. My dear son is always saying sleeves aren’t long enough, so I’m letting him decide how long he wants these. It will mean he’ll have to wait another day before he gets his robe though.

Final Thoughts

He loves it! He hated having to take it off for me to hem those sleeves, but was also so thankful the sleeves would be long enough. He tells me his cat loves it too.

Happy creating!

Another Agnes Dress

I have a few sewing projects on my list of things to sew. Three of them are gifts for my son’s birthday this month. His girlfriend wants me to sew her a bralette. And let’s not forget I want to get back to bra drafting.

In the midst of all that, I’m planning to sew some new clothes for summer.

Thankfully, with all these projects, one project I’m planning for me is really quick and I know turns out well. It’s the  hallå patterns’ agnes swing top & dress.  It’s quick to cut out and quick to sew.

My last one turned out pretty much perfectly with no adjustments. The armhole was a touch big, so I trimmed a 1/4″ off the shoulder to bring that up and am leaving the rest of this as is. I was thinking I’d make another dress, and a couple of tops.

As it turns out, I cut out three dresses and one top. Here are the fabrics I’m using.

The blue and red floral is a dress, and so is the blue splotchy one. The red splotchy one is an agnes swing top. All of these fabrics were Fabricland finds from my trip to Ontario last year, and they’re all gorgeous cotton Lycras.

I also cut this fabric out as a dress.

For this dress, I have some black cotton Lycra in my stash left over from panty-making. I think I’ll use that for the neck and arm bindings. It will give it a nice color block feel, and a pop of contrasting color. This fabric was another one of my Fabricland finds, but this time at 70% off here at home. I love a great deal like this.

Birthday sewing had to come first though, so although I’ve cut these dresses out, only the top got sewn up so far.

Here’s my first agnes swing top. I’ve been wearing it and it’s so very flattering. I love it.

I did have some fun while finishing this off. I’m using my CoverPro machine. I really do love how neatly it finishes the hems.

Oh, that’s a pretty hem.

I’ll have to do a fashion show with all my dresses and tops in an upcoming post. My husband/photographer is out of town today, so a photo of me in my new top will have to wait. I can say, I’m loving this top!

Happy creating!

A Total Failure

A Total Failure

Just before the dress challenges I posted about before the tour, I had another sewing challenge. It was a total failure of a sewing project. I thought I’d share it with you since I asked you all to share your sewing mistakes with me for a chance to win a PDF pattern. My failure was a new pattern for me, and I just blew it – the first time.

Here’s the awesome material I found. This is a big panel of material.

I love this. This was created to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year – there’s one for each province. I found mine at a local quilting store. I thought it would be perfect for my Canada 150 – In the Bag bag.

Do you see that crest on the right side with Canada beside it? I was going to use that to create a beautiful bag. I’d measured everything out and I thought it would all fit perfectly. I was super excited about it. It was going to be beautiful!

I was happily sewing it together. Below in the photo, it’s just pinned. It was looking great.

The Canada quiz material on the right? I was using that for the back of the bag as well as this little side feature. My beautiful leather maple leaf was mirroring the leaves on the back material and was all sewn on.

Great Sadness

Then a very VERY sad thing happened. I hadn’t considered having to turn the material for the bottom of the handbag. I knew there was a bottom, I guess I just thought it was an extra piece.

I now had a bag front showing the word ‘ANADA’ going up the side. I also lost some of my crest. It was the ANADA that did it though.

This was not going to work at all. Sadly, I’d already made internal pockets and bag straps. Sigh.

There’s Always a Silver Lining

The good news about messing up my first bag was I knew exactly what I needed to do for my second bag.

I played a little more with my leaf’s placement. I really wanted it on the side like this.

Then I remembered the strap anchors and this wasn’t going to work. Do you notice it’s stitched down here? Yup. I had to take all that stitching out. It had already been sewn on the quiz fabric, so this was the second time sewing it and then taking the stitches out.

So, before I sewed it one more time, I figured out where my seams were, where the bag would fold, where the anchors would go, where the snaps were. I tried to think of everything. I was not doing this again. After all that, then I put my leaf on. Whew. You’ll notice it’s not sewn down here in the photo below. This was just laying everything out.

Everything turned out great the second time I sewed the bag, or the third time I sewed the leaf.

Overall, I’m really happy with my second bag. I still haven’t thrown out my first one though. I’m hoping I’ll be able to salvage some of that material… Not quite sure how yet.

I had a number of people who shared their own sewing mistakes with me on my blog when I posted about my second bag during the Canada 150 – It’s in the Bag tour. Marsha picked a number for me before the tour even began. Congratulations! An Emmaline Bags PDF pattern is going to Rhonda! Rhonda, I’ll send you an email and give you the details on how to collect your prize.

If you haven’t done so already, there are give-aways on every blog, and lots of prizes! The give-away for the prizes ends at midnight EDT today.

Happy creating and congratulations!

Below are all the tour details again – just so you can still enter.

Tour Discounts

  • 10% off!
    Tangled Blossoms Design
    is offering 10% off anything in stock for the duration of the tour. Offer expires June 10, 2017. Use discount code HAPPYBIRTHDAYCANADA
  • 15% off!
    Bringberry Handbag Hardware and Design
    is offering 15% off anything in stock for the duration of the tour. Offer expires June 10, 2017. Use discount code LOVECANADA150

Tour Stops

June 4

Emmaline Bags

June 5

Tangled Blossoms DesignWith Love in Every StitchHappy Okapi

June 6

Michelle’s CreationsBaraboobooSoca Sewing

June 7

Glitter in my CoffeeMichelle’s CreationsSeam of my Pants

June 8

Seam of my PantsCreative Roots SewingHappy Okapi

June 9

Seam of my Pants

June 10

Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)

July 1

CANADA DAY 150


Giveaway Prizes


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