Taking Advantage

I took advantage of the Craftsy two-week trial Membership. Have you?

A new lingerie class came out. I bought it as it wasn’t part of the Membership. However, the next day it was. At first, I thought, ‘Well, I’m sure I’ll want to have this class anyway.’  This was a class I started to watch right away. Then something unexpected happened. I quickly went through the class and then returned the class the same day. I thought you might want to hear some of my thoughts on the class.

The class, Lingerie Essentials: Bralettes with Alison Smith was a bit of a disappointment for me, and I really didn’t want it to be a disappointment.

I have most of Alison’s classes and I love them. I love her style of teaching and all the details she includes in her classes.

 Basic Class Information

It was too soon for there to be any reviews for this class at the time of this writing. The class had only been out for a few days.

Here’s the lesson outline.

First Thoughts on the Class

This class may be great for a beginner because Alison does take her time and explain a lot about the materials, how to handle them, cut them out, and sew them – all in great detail.

She also explains about the difference between measuring for a bra and a bralette. It was about here, I became disappointed with the class.

What could possibly be disappointing? Well, the class comes with a pattern. The pattern Alison has designed for this class is for a B/C cup. She does show how to grade up two sizes, or down a size, but that’s it. I’m still outside that size range; and disappointed.

As well, the pattern does go to a 42, but I don’t need a bigger band. The larger cup/smaller band fit was never addressed.

Here’s a screen shot from the class showing how to grade up two sizes from the B cup. Unfortunately, there was no mention at all what to do if you fall outside that range. I knew then, this class just isn’t for me.
 Here’s the bralette on a model.

Looking on the Bright Side

My disappointment over the pattern being said, there were positive aspects to the class. So, if you’re a B/C cup, or even a D, you may just love the class.

Alison shows how to make the bralette a few different ways: Unlined lace, lined lace, and stretch jersey, shown in the photo above. I really liked the different ideas she covered with information on each material.

Alison is a wonderful teacher. She has a calm manner, and explains everything very well.

Alison does show some great ideas for how to use lace to embellish your bralette, and I did like that. Isn’t this lace detail on the back lovely?

 The last lesson in the class shows how to make some matching knickers and suspenders (panties and garter belt). Both of these patterns are included in sizes S – L. Alison does say you can make the patterns larger, but doesn’t give a lot of detail on just how to do that.

Here are the knickers Alison makes in the class.And here are the suspenders.

Personal Recommendations

Alison is a lovely teacher. I really like her style and think she has a lot to share with us. If you’ve never made a bralette, this could be a great first class to learn some basics.

As well, if you aren’t an A, B, C, or D cup, then the bralette pattern will likely be disappointing.

I bought this class and returned it. I was disappointed. There are other lovely bralette patterns out there with a fuller range of sizes, like the Sweet Sixteen pattern I just made.

Here’s the size guide (from Beverly Johnson’s blog) for the Sweet Sixteen bralette pattern:It goes up to an M cup! And the band goes up to a 38, but it fits loose, so probably more like a 40 or 42 band. So, conservatively that’s a range of 28 A – 40 M! That is a size range!

If you’re taking advantage of Craftsy’s two-week free trial Membership that’s available when you first sign up, then I’m sure there are things to take away from watching this class.

 Happy creating!

Craftsy Class Review – Make the Most of Your Blender

With Craftsy’s Membership rolling out this week, and a two-week free trial, I took advantage right away, and decided it’s a great time to do a review again and let you know a little about the Craftsy’s Membership.

I’m reviewing Vitamix Quick & Delicious Make the Most of Your Blender class. I started to this the same day the membership rolled out. 

Nicki Sizemore teaches this class. I like her. I love that she has a similar philosophy as I do and makes almost everything herself. I do too – mostly for health reasons, but still it’s refreshing to see.

Reviews

 The class has 29 reviews. There’s one 1-star review, and I had to look at that right away to see just what someone found so terrible about the class. The reviewer said there were no measurements given and no recipes. Well, recipes are all in the Materials for the class, and they do have exact measurements. Without giving the whole recipe away… these measurements look pretty exact to me.

Another reviewer gave a 2-star rating for the class because she didn’t realize it was all about the Vitamix Blender. That one is in the title… Another gave a 3-star rating because the last lesson was all about a Vitamix Blender. Again, it is a Vitamix class. So the only negative reviews don’t hold a lot of weight for me. Other than that it was all 4-star and 5-star ratings.

Lesson Outline

 First Thoughts on the Class

Some of my first thoughts on the class were how refreshing it was for me to watch a cooking class where everything is being made fresh and from scratch. I loved it.

There are a few recipes I simply won’t make. I can’t have gluten or dairy for health reasons, so I doubt I’ll make butter myself, but I still watched that lesson. I found it fascinating to see it come together. If I could have dairy, I’d be making butter in my blender!

I loved watching Nicki make dressings, and the nut milk too. I got so many new ideas for how to use my blender.

The one thing I’ve never done, and doubt I’ll ever do is make soup in my blender. I have no desire whatsoever to run my blender for 5 -7 minutes to heat the soup. I do use it all the time to puree soups, and then I return everything to the pot to simmer.

See the steam coming from the blender in this screen shot from the class? That’s just not for me. I could see making the soup recipe and then pouring it into my nice stainless steel pot to cook it. That’s just my preference.

One recipe Nicki demonstrates is a soft-serve-style ice cream. We make soft ice cream all the time in our blender. It’s one of our favorite desserts. I use frozen fruit and either cashew milk, or coconut milk, and blend them together. Sometimes I add a date or two to sweeten things a little more. It’s an ice cream we can feel good about eating.

The last lesson is, again, one I won’t use, but still watched. It’s making fresh bread from wheat ground in the Vitamix! I don’t think I ever knew making bread could be that easy. Alas, no wheat bread for me.

Personal Recommendations

I think this is a great class, and definitely one I will want to buy when there’s a sale – and there will still be sales! There are so many great tips for using a high-speed blender, especially a Vitamix.

Thoughts on Membership

I wanted to share a few thoughts on the new Craftsy Membership. I don’t know that I will want to do the Membership continuously. I may do it once in a while – and that is a possibility. I checked with Craftsy, and I can join up for a month and then cancel, and then six months later do that again. I love that!

There has been a lot of wondering with talk of Membership if the classes we’ve purchased are still ours. Yes. They’re still ours.

Here’s what is says in Membership about our classes. 

In Membership, you can find your classes fairly easily in your Class Library under your Account Settings. This was the easiest way I found to find my classes.

You can also access Help from your account settings. Help isn’t so easy to find at the moment, but this is one way to do it. Help is right under that red arrow on the left-hand side.

Craftsy Membership doesn’t have all your previously purchased classes separated like they had them before. There isn’t a Library of just the ones you’ve bought. All the classes are there. Well, almost of the classes are there.

The one thing I couldn’t find were the Great Courses. I asked Craftsy about them and was told  ‘The Great Courses are not available within Membership right now. Currently they only allow their classes to be sold a la carte.’

Lastly, if you have a Membership with Craftsy now, and are trying to access it from your Class Library where all your classes are, you can do that easily too.

Do you see the red arrow at the very top? When I click that, I can access all of the membership classes.

So far, membership is looking great!

Happy creating!

Split Personality Inspired Panties

After my attempt at Rad Patterns’ Split Personality Undies, I decided I wasn’t going to try another pattern size. I was going back to my self-drafted pattern, and using it to make my own version of those adorable panties.

Inspiration

I do really think these are adorable. So they were my inspiration.

However, while I’m changing things up, there were a couple of other changes I decided to make.

Personal Preferences – First Change

As much as I love the side panel, I wasn’t sure I was going to love the seams in the back. So, I decided to leave those out. My panty pattern has the sides coming around to the front to give a similar look in the front, but a smooth back.

I’m still using the two tones of beige, although in the photos here the lighter tone looks off white. It’s not. They are closer in tone than the photo is showing.

Here’s the back of the panty with no seams. I think I’ll prefer no back seams for under clothes. That’s a sad baggy-looking bottom in the photo. Thankfully, I fill it out much more.

And on the left front seam, I added a little lace tab.

Personal Preferences – Second Change

Another change I made when making my own version was to use the ‘Burrito Method’ of enclosing the seams on the gusset. The Split Personality Undies do not have enclosed gusset seams. After making panties with an enclosed gusset, I just didn’t want to not do it.

A Second Pair

For my second pair, I made my basic self-drafted pattern. The one that is so similar to my former favorites, Kwik Sew 2286.

However, for this pair, I doubled the lace at the front and added a lace bow just for something a little different.

As well, this pair has a lace tab on the left hip.

For both of these pairs of panties, I used the pattern I drafted using Craftsy’s  Sewing Panties: Construction & Fit! You can also find the same information in Beverly Johnson’s Make & Fit Panties booklet.

Happy creating!

Testing my Drafted Pattern

I’ve made my drafted pattern, but I want to check how it will fit before I sew up a bra.

Testing

There are a couple of ways I can test the fit before I start sewing up a whole bra. In Beverly’s Craftsy class, Foam, Lace & Beyond, she shows how to convert your Classic pattern from a diagonal seam to a horizontal seam. I did this to compare the two patterns because the original pattern I made from the draft was a horizontal seam.

It’s looking pretty good on paper and I’m feeling encouraged.

Alterations

Even though I’m encouraged by my pattern, I still want to make a tester cup. There are no alterations done to this basic pattern, and I have a list I usually need: make the underarm smaller, a flat spot adjustment, check the bridge height and bottom width. Then there are the Omega considerations. Making a test cup is simply one more confirmation for me.

This tester cup is looking good too.

Here’s the dart I pinched out. I’ll adjust the pattern and then it’s time to cut out a new bra! I’m going to adjust the strap and upper cup at the side too. You can see both in the photo below.

A Trial Bra

My sewing was going along nice and smoothly, and then a tiny snag. I pulled the elastic out of the finding kit and it was the ‘old’ elastic. There’s been a change in elastics and the newer one is 20% less stretchy. It’s a good thing the Fairy Bra Mother blogs. I went over to Beverly’s blog and used her information to take out that extra width I’d added to my band. You can read her post here.

I not only looked that up, but also her post on sewing a Gothic Arch because it’s such a comfortable alteration.

New Bra

Here’s my new bra. It fits so well, and I’m so excited about it! I think I’m more excited about this bra than any bra I’ve made in the past.

Here’s the side view. You can see there are a couple of little alterations I want to make.

The pin there? I want to take a little more out from the underarm there. As well, I’ll want to raise the side there 1/4-inch. The wire is coming to the top of the elastic, that’s why I didn’t finish it there.

The back is fine. Taking out that 20% makes it fit perfectly.

Here’s the Gothic arch I added. It is such a comfortable pattern alteration.

All in all, I’m thrilled with my new bra, and the drafting experience.

Happy creating!

P.S. You may want to look at A Review of Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond.

A Review of Craftsy’s Coverstitch: Basics & Beyond

It’s time for another Craftsy class review.

This review is for Coverstitch: Basics & Beyond with Gail Yellen.

I’m on my own for reviews at the moment, as Marsha and Naomi have other pressing engagements.

Reviews

This is a fairly new class, so it doesn’t have the amount of reviews as some of the other classes I’ve reviewed. At the time of this writing, there were only 35 reviews, and a few of them were less than favorable.

A few reviewers expressed a desire to have had more information that fit the ‘Beyond’ category.

If you notice the Instructor rating, Gail gets her highest rating there, and I agree! I had a couple of questions and Gail answered really quickly – I’m talking the same day – and her answers were very helpful. Gail deserves that high rating.

 Outline

First Thoughts on the Class

I was really happy this class came out. I’ve been purchasing a Janome Cover Pro 1000CP from a friend. It had been staying at my house, and I decided I wanted it. Thankfully, my friend is being very patient in my paying it off.

Seeing as this was a brand new machine to me, I knew nothing about how to work a Coverstitch machine and wanted a class that started with the basics. This class did that.

In the class, Gail shows both the designated Coverstitch machine, and the Serger/Coverstitch combination machine. She goes through how to change the needles on both machines, and how to set the needles for different stitch widths. For a complete beginner, that is great!

Gail also gives us ideas on how to use these different stitches and demonstrates them on a few projects.

In the above collage, all taken from screen shots from the class, Gail shows how to make a tassel, sew a flat fell seam, and install a zipper – all with the Coverstitch machine. I would never have thought of using this machine for any of those. Honestly, I really thought it was just for hemming. So, this was all much more ‘Beyond’ than I was expecting.

Gail also shows how to hem an unbound neckline.

This is a lovely neckline. Hmm, this is a pretty idea to try on my next tee. I know I’ve wanted to hem a few things using the Coverstitch machine. I hadn’t even thought of necklines.

Disappointments?

There were a number of reviewers who expressed they wanted more and there wasn’t enough beyond the very basics. So was I disappointed? Well, no. Looking at the class, I can’t say I am. The class does cover a lot. More than I thought or expected.

There was only thing I wanted to see and didn’t – the foot shown below. My machine doesn’t have a regular presser foot (I have one on order), but it has a Center Guide foot, much like a Stitch-in-the-Ditch foot. I did realize I can take that center guide off, and I have a see-through foot. So, I’m happier with this foot now.

Feet

Let’s go over the machine feet Gail does cover in the class: the regular pressing foot, a curved pressing foot, a see-through pressing foot, and a narrow chain stitch foot. She also covers a belt loop binder, and a down turn feller, and seam guides. She even gives an idea for how to make a seam guide using a Post-it note pad.

I thought this was a neat idea, and tried it twice. The first time the pad moved, and I was also sewing a curved hem. That whole thing didn’t work out. The second time, I really pushed on the pad to make sure it was good and stuck down. I had no problems at all. It’s a great little trick if you don’t have a seam guide. (I want one of those too!)

Recommendations

 I do recommend this class. It’s a great class, with a lot of very good basic information in it, and some not-so-basic information too. This class made the difference in me bringing out my CoverPro machine and using it rather than letting it sit like it had been.

What I Made

Well just before I go there let me tell you one really great thing about Coverstitch machines: I learned if you make a mistake, you can very easily rip out the stitches – from the last stitch back to the first. I needed to use that tip. It took me a minute or two to find the right thread to pull, but once I found it – those stitches came out so smoothly and easily! What a nice feature.

So what did I make? I made a very sloppy looking hem! I don’t think a curved uneven hem is the first thing I want to try sewing and showing from my machine. I pulled those stitches out.

I also planned to hem a gorgeous Maxi skirt I wore once and then the hem started coming out. It’s been sitting in a mending pile for the better part of a year waiting for me to learn to use this machine. I got it out and… it’s a blind hem on it! (Rolls eyes!)

I did shorten my favorite pants. I’ve been wearing them too long for over a year, but every time I put them in a mending pile, well, they just couldn’t stay there – they’re my favorite. This time, I did hem them using Gail’s Post-it Note pad idea!

If you have a Coverstitch machine, and haven’t used it, I do recommend Gail’s class to give you a great base to learn how to use your machine.

See below for a coupon for this class.

Happy creating!

P.S. You might want to look at Another Perfect T-Shirt.

A Review of Craftsy’s Sew Better, Sew Faster: Garment Industry Secrets

It’s time for my Craftsy class review again.

craftsy-script-with-magnifying-glass

This month, I’m reviewing Sew Better, Sew Faster: Garment Industry Secrets with Janet Pray.

craftsy-gis-700

Marsha and Naomi couldn’t join me for this review. Unfortunately, I don’t know when they’ll be able to join me again right now. We’re all still good together, just all busy working on different projects.

Basic Information on the Class.

Janet’s class has quite a few reviews compared to the last class I reviewed. This one has 170 reviewers, and only a couple didn’t completely love the class and give it Five-stars. It has a 4.8 rating. That’s still really good. That’s a lot of love.

reviews

Here’s the Lesson outline.

class

My First Thoughts.

I’ve watched through the class. I bought the class in mid-December and it’s now mid-February and I only received the pattern two day ago. I contacted Janet’s company, Islander Sewing Systems and they sent a second pattern. Unfortunately, as a reviewer, I can only share my thoughts after watching. I can’t give an opinion on the pattern or pattern instructions because there just wasn’t time to even begin a project.

No Pins.

 Janet emphasizes that no pins are used in making the class project. I know she’s not alone in her no-pins philosophy. However, I had a neck/arm injury years ago and although I’ve recovered quite a bit, I’m not where I was before the injury. No pins and using my hands more isn’t a selling point for me.

I did try the no-pins a little though. I tried it on the Raspberry Ripple handbag I was sewing. Yup. I tried it. Then I ripped the seam out again because I only caught part of the fabric underneath. Then I pinned it the second time. So, if you have any reasons of your own why you need to use pins, then follow your own wisdom.

I will say though, after watching how Janet does her no-pins on a long straight stretch of fabric, if you don’t have any hand/arm issues, try it! It does look simple, easy and very efficient.

 Helpful Class Features

Something I’m finding very helpful in Janet’s class is after explaining each part of the jacket construction, she shows you exactly which pieces you’re working on.

Here’s a screen shot from the class showing the pattern pieces that were pressed at this stage of construction.

That is such a helpful part of the class. I haven’t seen this done in any other classes.

Panties

This class is all about techniques used while constructing a jacket. I’m sure you’re all wondering how panties fit in with this.

Well, when Janet is showing us how she does the inside shoulders on the jacket, I’m thinking panty construction. She gets things twisted around so the seam is enclosed once it’s sewn. It’s the same as when we’re using the burrito method for our panties. Just take a look at how twisted the material is for sewing this seam. I love it! I definitely want a few pins though.

This sewing method also produces a great finish that is just as neat as the burrito method is on panties.

More Burritos

 Imagine my surprise when just a little later in the class, Janet is demonstrating The Burrito Technique! She tells us ‘we will know it’s a burrito because of the filling. If we don’t have any filling, it’s just a tortilla.’ It makes more sense when you see it, but it is another great technique to make a really nicely finished garment.

Here’s the photo showing everything all nicely encased in the cuff using The Burrito Technique.

Personal Recommendation

So, do I recommend this class? Even though I wasn’t able to sew along and make the jacket, I do recommend this class. I think Janet really knows her stuff and I learned a lot of great tips and tricks watching her class. Some of them I will incorporate, and some of them I will not. I’m mainly thinking of the no-pins.

Other than that one point where I have personal reasons for not following Janet’s tips, all of her tips were great! The jacket she makes is lovely too.

Happy creating!

A Review of Craftsy’s Vietnamese Classics: Pho, Noodles & Beyond

It’s time for my monthly Craftsy class review. If you missed our first review of Design & Sew an A-Line Skirt, you can read it here.

craftsy-script-with-magnifying-glass

Marsha and I agreed, with Christmas, holidays, and the New Year being such a busy season, we’d be a little easier on ourselves and review a cooking class this month.

A friend of mine had this class before I did and I heard so many great things about it from her, I had to buy it too. I was not disappointed. (Thanks, Naomi!)

 What is this great class? It’s Vietnamese Classics: Pho, Noodles & Beyond with Andrea Nguyen.

pho-class

Great reviews.

This class has 35 reviews, which isn’t a lot, but… of those 35 reviews, only one review wasn’t a Five-Star review. That one was a Four-star.

reviews

There are so many reviews that say ‘Love this class’. I love it too. If you read my last review, I had a little trouble with my feelings towards the class. I have no trouble at all with this class! I not only bought this class, but also Andrea’s Favorite Asian Dumplings from ScratchI didn’t even think about it.

A personal comment.

Just a personal comment here. Andrea really has to be great because I can’t have gluten and I bought her dumpling class! I will share more on that when I review the class.

Class content.

class-lessons

There are a number of lessons in this class I was thrilled to try, starting with lesson One. I love Rice Paper Rolls, and Andrea shows how to make them, and make them so they present well too.

rolls

Aren’t these lovely? This is a screen shot from the class. Mine didn’t look that nice, but no one here was complaining about them. They were delicious!

Andrea shows us how to make these, with tips on displaying the shrimp and making the rolls look pretty and delicious. It’s little touches like this, that make this class great. As well, Andrea is so engaging.

Pho, Pho, and more Pho.

From the Rice Paper Rolls, Andrea takes us right into making Pho. In fact, she shows us Pho four ways. We start with a shortcut Chicken Pho, which I haven’t tried yet, but have heard it’s really good. Then right on to full traditional Chicken Pho, Beef Pho, and Grilled Pork Rice Noodle bowl.

Last month in our teaser posts, Marsha and I each made one of the Pho recipes. You can read Marsha’s recipe review here. You can read mine here.

For my recipe review, I made rice paper rolls and traditional Beef Pho. All I can say is my house smelled so good! And there were no leftovers. My family was delighted with the recipes I tried.

Recommendations

So, would I recommend this class? Yes! I have no hesitation in recommending this class. It’s really great. From the lessons, to the recipes, to how engaging Andrea is, in my opinion this class is one of the best classes Craftsy has to offer and I’d love to see more classes with Andrea!

For a frame of reference, I previewed almost every cooking class Craftsy offered in October 2015 when they had a monthly pass. There are a lot of good cooking classes, and really good recipes, but I can’t say all the instructors are as engaging as Andrea.

I’m going to head over to Marsha’s post now to read her review. Let me know if you have this class and have a favorite recipe too. Of if you don’t have this class, what is your favorite cooking class on Craftsy?

Happy creating!

2017: The Year of Finishing Things

I don’t make many resolutions, but as I began my sewing year this year with messes all around me, I made one. I’ve decided that this year I’m going to finish a lot of the unfinished projects that are all around me.

Let me give you a few examples of what I’m going to work on.

Footstool

Our footstool is often used and looked like it. The top had split along all four seams, and my wonderful hubby suggests I make a new cover for it.

I got as far as cutting the old top off.

Then after another month or more, I tried some material on it to see how it would look.

I even cut out material to make a band all around it. All I have to do is sew it. Yet it sits there, with half my pins in it.

It’s been sitting there for two or more months just waiting for me. Part of the problem for that is I’m not 100% sure just how I want to finish it. The other part of the problem is I want fresh and new projects all the time.

Purses

Do you remember when I’d met a sewing friend a year or so ago? She had made her own handbag, and I complimented her on it. She also gave me three handbags that she’d cut out and interfaced! All I have to do is sew them! But I haven’t yet.

They’re all cut out! And interfaced!

That is one of my UFO projects I’m going to do this year. In fact, I’m not packing them all back up and putting them all away again. I’m keeping one of them out to sew up.

Pants

More specifically, hemming pants. I have a favorite pair of pants that I love, but hate to wear because they’re too long. Every time I put them on, I thinking I’m ruining them because they need hemming. Pretty much weekly, they make it to my mending pile, only to be taken back out again.

We won’t even bother going into mending…

Enough!

Craftsy Classes

I love Craftsy, and unfortunately I have a lot of classes I haven’t watched yet. I’m changing that. Once a month, I’m going to review a Craftsy class. Since I’ll have to watch them to review them… You get my logic here. I win, and hopefully, you win too with the reviews. I’ll say here, although I am an affiliate with Craftsy, any class I review will be my honest opinion.

Let me go back to those favorite pants for a minute. And while I’m there address something else – my CoverPro machine. One of the reasons I hadn’t hemmed my pants was because I have this wonderful CoverPro machine and I wanted to use it to hem the pants. But… I didn’t know how to use it!

So I bought a Craftsy class on that. Coverstitch: Basics & Beyond. I’ve watched it, and hopefully, with my new resolve to finish some UFOs, I’ll use the class info and my machine to hem my favorite pants. I think there’s another pair of pants and a skirt in that hemming pile too. Yup, it’s time to get around to this.

So, I’m trying to plan out my sewing and blogging for the year. My goals so far are to do a class review once a month. I was thinking if I also do one UFO each month, that leaves me two weeks to play with new things, which are much more motivating for me.

So, we’re into our second week of January. Did I start? I did! I repaired a blouse I’d bought. It’s a stretch knit, with chiffon below the hem. As pretty as it looked, the chiffon had no stretch but the rest of the top did. Here’s the photo from the website. There’s a link in it too.

Well, because it didn’t stretch at all at the hips, it wasn’t fitting very well. I opened those seams and did an overlock stitch along them. There! The first of my mending pile/UFOs done. The chiffon is now vented giving me that little bit of extra room where I needed it.

Do you have a UFO pile? How about your Craftsy classes? Are you getting through them? Did you make any sewing resolutions this year? I’d love to hear!

Happy creating!

Navy Panties

I made some panties to go with my new bra. I used my self-drafted panty pattern from Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Panties: Construction & Fit class.

I have to say, the only thing I like better than making my own panties, and making matching panties, is making them from a pattern I drafted myself. That is the best panty-making experience. Ever.

These are indigo cotton Lycra from Bra-Makers Supply and navy stretch lace trim from Frog Feathers on Etsy. I had hoped to use the same lace I used on for the bra for the whole front panel of the panties, but this lace isn’t a stretch lace. No stretch, no front lace panel. So, I’ll save my lace for future bras and just use little bits of the left over lace to embellish my panties. Like this partial rosette on the hip  shown below.

Here is my set together:

I’m really happy with this. The navy may become my new ‘black’, or at least they will until I make myself a new black set.

Do you remember I mentioned a nasty little sharp spot on the hooks and eyes? Linda Crawford, a profession bra-maker in Ontario, Canada (Linda was part of our Canada Cups tour) shared this tidbit with me on how to fix that problem:

What I do to help with those sharp edges on the hook and eye is I put a piece of cut and sew foam under the eyes, and tiny zigzag all round the edges, then trim it so there is 1/8″ – 1/4″ left. It helps stop that scratch and it is comfy too!”

Thanks, Linda! That’s a great idea.

Back to my panties. These panties are very similar to an old favorite of mine – a pair of La Vie En Rose panties that were discontinued. I loved those. They are also similar to another favorite. Kwik Sew 2286.

After I drafted my panty pattern, I started looking for more panty-making resources. One can’t have too many resources! It wasn’t long after I took Beverly’s class that Margreet, the owner of Merckwaerdigh on Etsy, brought out her own Mini Panty course to design your own panties. One of the things I love in this mini course is how Margreet shows the original master pattern in her sketches and then the altered one. I really like seeing both images together. It’s helps me understand the changes. A comment I recently read on one of the bra-making forums on Facebook had this to say about Margreet’s designs: “The brains behind Merckwaerdigh has a talent for making the female form look exceptional.” I agree!

Here’s a video glimpse into her course from the Merckwaerdigh Facebook page (used with permission):

It’s a great mini course, and Margreet’s designs really are lovely!

As much as I wanted to make a second pair of panties to go with my new bra, I’ve had to work on some sewing for gifts. That second pair will have to wait.

Happy creating!

Trying Some Recipes

Next month, my fellow Craftsy Review bloggers and I will be covering Vietnamese Classics: Pho, Noodles & Beyond. We thought in the time between now and then, we’d each review a recipe or two from the class.

pho-class

This is really exciting for me as my favorite restaurant is a Vietnamese restaurant. I hope I can learn to make a few of my favorites.  Here are the recipes I tried, and Marsha and Naomi will be in the next couple of weeks. I’m making Goi Cuon or Rice Paper Rolls, and Pho Bo (Traditional Beef Pho). Yum! One of my standard orders at the restaurant is for Salad Rolls, so the Rice Paper Rolls are perfect for me.

First up was a shopping trip. Andrea gives you all the ingredients and supplies you’ll need to make these recipes. Oh darn. I had to go buy more fun kitchen supplies. I think kitchen utensils are the cooking equivalent of a sewing stash!

I needed a skimmer for making my broth. Unfortunately, I bought a skimmer that looks like this:

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It didn’t do a thing. Then watching the video again, Andrea is using a skimmer that looks like this:

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This is a fine mesh skimmer and it actually skims. I don’t have that exact one, but I do have a fine mesh skimmer that worked a lot better than the one I just bought.

Something I had to search for were the spices. I could not find them at my local grocery store. However, I did find them at a local Bistro. They have a whole wall of spices.

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They had everything I needed.

As far as the recipes go, I’ve made Rice Paper Rolls before. I really love some of the tips for making them more presentable that Andrea shares. Edible is one thing, pretty and appetizing is taking it to a new level.

For both of the recipes I’m trying, I’m using screen shots from Andrea’s Craftsy class and then comparing them to my makes.

Here is one of Andrea’s Rice Paper Rolls:

andrea-rice-paper-roll

And here are mine:

I had a little more trouble with my second roll (top in the photo) than my first one. This is definitely a skill one would need to practice. My husband had no complaints though. He enjoyed them and said the recipe is a keeper.

I can’t have seafood, so I left out the shrimp and added some seasoned chicken, but everything else that’s yummy is included. They were a wonderful lunch.

Next up is some yummy Pho. Again, I’ll start with Andrea’s beautiful Pho Bo. Hmm. Maybe I need new Pho bowls…

beef

I decided I didn’t need new bowls. I’m using the bowls I have now.

Here is my Pho stock simmering away. My house smelled wonderful while it was simmering.

Pho Ba stock

I’ll skim it again when I’m straining it. There are too many flavorful goodies floating on the top too. I want them in there adding flavor.

Just before I show you the finished Pho Bo, I want to show you my assembled bowls. My son decided he wanted a small bowl, so he got a small one.

Here they are waiting for the broth to be added.

In this next photo the broth has been added to the small bowl. Can you see the difference in the color of the meat and how the hot broth cooks the meat? That was fun to see. It happens right away too.

Here’s the second bowl all ready. I’ll warn you right here; there’s no photo of all three bowls. Once that third bowl was ready, we were all ready to eat. In fact, my hubby started eating right at the counter! We had to call him over to the table to join us.

Check out Marsha’s post next week on Flying by the Seam of my Pants for her recipes makes from this same class.

 Happy creating!