Momentary Discouragment

Discouragement 

Last week I had a moment; a melt down. I was discouraged. I felt I couldn’t make bras, especially bras I’d drafted. I was giving up!

My size recently changed somewhat and the only bra I had left that fit was my navy Shelley. All my other bras didn’t fit. And both of my drafting attempts just weren’t perfect. I was discouraged.

That momentary discouragement lasted the better part of a day. All it took for me to get back on track was a trip to the local bra store.

Beauty

While there I saw such beauties as this Cassiopee Bra by Empreinte.

Isn’t this pretty? There are no cup seams to this lace bra. It’s molded lace! It was a marvel to behold.

No Turning Back

However, I  know too much now. After trying on ill-fitting uncomfortable bras, I knew I had to keep going. As well, two wonderful bra-making friends encouraged me and told me I was so close I couldn’t give up.

The bra store did hold one surprise for me. The Felina bra.

I tried on this bra and was so surprised. The bridge sits just a bit lower – the same as the bras I make. The wire was hitting in the right place too. It was so comfortable, I bought it and wore it out of the store!

I wore it all that day and could hardly believe how comfortable it was. How could this be? I knew my wire size had changed recently – don’t ask me how that happens! I’m the same cup size, same band, no change in my weight, but my wire size changed. My wire is closer to my cup size now. I’m still an Omega, just not so pronounced. But finding a RTW bra that would fit? How could this possibly be?

Wires

My husband and I were out at a function all that afternoon, but as soon as I got home, I had to find out what was going on with this bra’s wires. I just couldn’t believe a RTW bra could be comfortable. All of the other bras I tried on were not, and they weren’t comfortable because of the wires. The wires were too high under the arm, or too high at the front, or just too big. So how were these wires comfortable?

Imagine my surprise when I put a 40 long wire over the channeling of the bra… And. It. Fit! Perfectly!

Well, you have to see this too!

I’m still wondering how a cup that should take a 44 wire clearly has a 40 wire in it.

Perseverance

So, am I going to give up making bras? No! After trying on a whack of them, and only finding one that fit most of my wants for a bra, I will still be making my own, and going back to the drafting table too to fix that cradle issue too.

Did you catch that little comment above? “… one that fit most of my wants…” This bra is great, closer than any other bra I’ve ever bought, but it does have a couple of things that keep it from being perfection. The cup material has stretch. That makes it very comfortable, and it will fit more women because of that stretch, but it’s not as great for support. The other imperfection is the straps are elastic. They are a firm elastic, but still. Elastic isn’t the best to support a larger cup either.

In the meantime, I need a couple of pair of panties to go with my new bra, and I just happen to have some lovely indigo cotton spandex from Bra-Makers Supply.

Happy creating!

P.S. You might want to read A Spy in the Changeroom.

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!

A Dress Form Cover

One of the many projects I plan to make is a dress form cover. I love Catherine, but we’re not the same size.

This is something I’ve looked into a bit, but haven’t found that perfect solution yet. I think a lot of the dress form tutorials and classes are all great for sewing, but not perfect for bra-making. From what I’ve seen, most dress form covers result in more of a uni-boob look, which would not work at all for bras.

Here is the first one I found, which I still think is so beautiful! Mary uses the sloper she made from Suzy Furrer’s Bodice Sloper class.

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This image is from Cloning Couture‘s blog post. Isn’t this professional looking? I do love this! If I decide to simply to cover my dress form for sewing clothes, I’ll do this too.

I had similar thoughts about the Craftsy class Customize Your Dress Form. This class takes you through exactly what to do, step by step. I watched this class when Craftsy had their October pass in 2015. I thought it was really great, but again, it wasn’t addressing my desire to have the bust defined. That definition is an important part of bra-fitting.

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So, I kept thinking about how I could adjust my sloper so I could have that bust definition I wanted.

Let me take a side road here and show you why I haven’t been 100% happy with any solution I’ve seen yet. This is the bra dress form Beverly uses in her Craftsy classes; Naomi, of Barely Beige also has one. This dress form is called Ashley. There’s no uni-boob happening here.

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How am I supposed to be satisfied with anything less than bust definition on my dress form after seeing this?

I recently came across a blog post by Sew Chic Pattern Company. They have a three-part post called Copy your Figure: A Dress Form Tutorial.

 Laura does do a dart to give bust definition, but I’m still thinking it won’t give me as much definition as I’m wanting.

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Here’s a photo from her blog. This is getting closer.

I know from making my own sloper that mine doesn’t give enough bust definition the way it is now.

moulage done

Here’s the one I made. There’s a small dart there on the sloper, but…

So what I’m thinking is do some draping with fabric to see what size of darts I’d need, where I’d need them, how many darts I’d need. I might need to play with it a bit, but I think it can be done.

Has anyone made a dress form cover with more bust definition? What did you do? How did it turn out?

Happy Thanksgiving & happy creating!

A Little Upcycling

I love to find a new use for something. I love to go to thrift shops too. I really like a good bargain.

Here’s my latest find. It’s an old wooden spice rack that will now happily serve as a thread holder. And look at how much more room I have! The little plastic thread box I had was full. This is much better.

spice-rack-with-dress-forms

How do you like my little toy dress forms? They add the perfect touch of whimsy to my thread rack.

Recently, I was inspired by reading Emerald Erin’s blog. She was going through her closet and working towards a capsule wardrobe. That is something I’ve been thinking about doing too. I have a full closet, but open the door and feel like there’s nothing in there.

After reading Erin’s post, I went through my closet. The problem was, although there were things in there I really had no problem getting rid of, there were some things in there I really did. Even though I never wore them, I loved the material. I didn’t want to get rid of them.

I set them aside. I had three piles on my bed. Pack away. Give away. I don’t want to give away.

3-piles

I was not going to put that third pile back in my closet or pack it away. Then I thought of what I could do. Upcycle!

I have Betz White’s class on Craftsy. There’s a link in the photo to take you to the class on Craftsy.

project-upcycle

As well, I just bought a new pattern. (ClubBMV has too many sales!)

I’m sure I can use some of this material towards something like this:

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Or maybe more like this:

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This second pattern is used in the Craftsy classes The Ultimate T-Shirt and The Artful T-Shirt. Both of these classes are by Marcy & Katherine Tilton.

In the photo for the Artful class, they show this same T-shirt with a lot more piecing.titlecard

I’m thinking there must be a way to use some of these materials I love so much and make something new.

tops-and-skirts-use

There’s one other thing in that hard-to-give-away pile: a silk skirt. The blue floral material? That’s silk. I’ve been holding onto it for years. I think I wore it once, maybe twice. This is going to make a few lovely bras.

Time to get cutting out. Have you upcycled anything? How did it turn out? Do you love it? Will you upcycle again? What’s your favorite thrift store find? I’d love to hear.

Happy creating!

Pinterest Find and More

Kantje Boord

Do you remember a few weeks ago I posted about my hubby’s trip to Germany?

I’d mentioned some gorgeous material from Kantje Boord. Gorgeous material I’d seen a few years ago. Gorgeous material that Sigrid made into a lovely bra. Gorgeous material that I didn’t order.

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When I initially wrote the post, I couldn’t find a photo of the bra, even though I knew I’d saved it… somewhere. This week, I was adding a photo to my Pinterest page and there it was. The bra Sigrid made.

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Isn’t that lovely? Do you follow Sigrid? I really enjoy reading about her makes.

After seeing how pretty this bra is again, I’m having a second thought or two about not ordering this, while telling myself, ‘I will not be tempted by Lycra.’ Sigh. I’ll have to see when my hubby’s work takes him to Europe again.

Sew Canadian Sewing Swap

As well, a few weeks ago, I posted I participated in the Sew Canadian Sewing Swap. Here’s the lovely little zippered pouch I received:

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I love it! Such adorable fabric.

The note that came with it said it could be a lip gloss holder, or a Wonder Clip holder, or a coin purse. When Catherine (Cee Gee Couture) mentioned the Wonder Clips, I knew right away how I would use this.

Hair clips. Hair clips are annoying when traveling. I will now have a lovely little zippered pouch to use to hold them, and any other little bits I have to dig down to the bottom of my travel bags to find. Thank you, Catherine!

Do you follow Sigrid’s blog? Have you been part of a sewing swap before? What ideas do you have for sewing swap gifts?

Happy creating!

Canada Cups Posts for Sunday, September 18th, 2016

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Here is our wrap-up post for the tour. What an incredible week it’s been! Don’t forget to enter the give-away and come back for some wonderful prizes.

Sunday, September 18

  • Linda, the instructor from the newest Corset-making class and owner of her own Corset business, is doing our wrap-up on Farthingales.

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All of the talented bloggers on this tour have done a fabulous job!

bloggers

If you’re looking for any of the past posts, here they all are.

Follow the magical tour to see what we all have under our clothes

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Sunday, September 11

Monday, September 12

Tuesday, September 13

Wednesday, September 14

Thursday, September 15

Friday, September 16

Saturday, September 17

Sunday, September 18

  • Linda, the instructor from the newest Corset-making class and owner of her own Corset business, is doing our wrap-up on Farthingales

Whoohoo! It’s giveaway day today!

Monday, September 19

Have you entered the giveaways yet? Today’s your last chance.

Tuesday, September 20

Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:

Life of a Fairy Bra Mother, Little Heart Threads, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle’s Creations, Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables, Braphoria, Gracious Threads, Élégantine!, Shelaine’s Designs, That’s so Venice, Sprouting Jubejube, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, The Wild Stitch, Farthingales Corset Blog

After September 20

  • Come back to visit all the blogs for followup posts. It’s always fun!
  • Craftsy class discounts expire at midnight Sept. 30

Happy creating.

A Review of Sewing Panties Construction & Fit

Welcome to Michelle’s Creations for the Canada Cups – Cross Your Heart Relay blog tour, 2016.

banner-improvedI hope you’re enjoying all of our makes and reviews so far. This time around, I’m reviewing Beverly Johnson’s new Panty class and so is Deb, my booty buddy, from Sprouting JubeJube. Make sure after you read my post, you hop on over to read Deb’s thoughts on the class. If you started with Deb’s review, welcome here!  I do know Deb has been really busy with all her makes and has them all here in a separate write-up than her class review.

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Don’t you love Craftsy? It really is the best. They offer online classes that never expire, and in so many different categories (sewing, cooking, gardening, painting…); the instructors they get are the best and they answer your questions; Craftsy offers kits and supplies as well. They really are great!

You’ll see in my sidebar menu, I’m an affiliate with Craftsy. I decided to do this because I can do this without any compromise. I really do think they’re great. You won’t see me stand behind everything. But Craftsy, I do.

Back to Sewing Panties Construction & Fit. I started watching. I watched the class half way through the first night. Then got up the next morning and watched the rest of it. I felt ready and confident to draft my own panties which was something I’d wondered if I could really do before the class.

Beverly assures us that drafting our own panties isn’t hard. It’s just a few simple measurements. Then she proceeds to show us just how to do it. This photo is from Craftsy showing Beverly making her master panty pattern.

She was absolutely right! It’s not hard.

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The drafting of the panty is very reminiscent of Suzy Furrer’s Sloper classes. Once we’ve drafted our pattern, Beverly moves on to show us the three basic styles of panties – Brief, Hipster, and Bikini – and how to make each one from our own master pattern.

From those three styles, Beverly shows some more variations like making your own French cut panties. There is also a style with the seams in the front. I had just been looking at the Make Bra DL21 pattern. I’d read great reviews on them and how the seams didn’t show at all. I’m going to try my hand at drafting my own!

My big question is how will my class-drafted pattern compare to my favorite pattern?

Before I made a pair up, I wanted to compare my class-drafted pattern to my favorites: Kwik Sew 2286.

Here are both back pattern pieces – the black outline is the class-drafted pattern; the white pattern piece is my 2286 pattern:

back 2

The pencil wasn’t showing up very well in the photo, so I redrew the lines in black on my computer. The class-drafted Hipster hits the center back exactly the same as my 2286s. The hip sits a bit higher on the class-drafted pair. As well, the class-drafted back is a bit wider in the hip and gives a little more cheek coverage. I had no idea my 2286s were cheeky!

I was thinking about the size difference, and remembered Beverly does suggest in the class to start with a 20% reduction when drafting the pattern. Clearly, my 2286s have more than 20% reduction, which shows even more on the front piece.

Front

Again, the front is bigger on my class-drafted pair. And the Hipster line sits a little lower. The leg opening on the front of my class-drafted pair (again, outlined in black) is definitely lower, and that would be something I’d want to change.

Gusset

The class-drafted gusset is shorter and although you can’t tell in the photo, it’s a touch narrower as well. I’d even narrowed the gusset pattern piece on my 2286s.

For my panties, I’m going to use my favorite 2286s like I often use my sloper – to help me get the fit I want. I will change the leg opening on the front, lengthen the gusset a tiny bit, and since I haven’t found my 2286s to be too small at all, I will narrow the class-drafted pattern.

It’s time for new panties! New, drafted-to-my-measurements, incorporating-all-the-aspects-of-my-favorite-pattern, and matching-my-new-bra new panties. These are not just any panties!

panties on table

Oh, I like these. I incorporated the lace application on the legs the same as my 2286s, and did a lace front panel to match my bra.

I wanted to show you a few more details. One of the things I’ve learned making my own panties is the side seam is a weak spot when you’re using lace on the front like this. So, for these panties, I used a 1/2″ strip of knit interfacing to reinforce the seam.

reinforement

As well, having a lace front isn’t quite the same without some elastic. It will often be too loose. So a little bit of lingerie elastic behind the lace is hardly visible, but makes a big difference when you’re wearing them.

Elastic behind the lace

I like everything to look as nice inside as out. I pin my lace out of the way and use my Pinking blade to trim away the excess fabric.

Pinking the edges

There’s only one more thing to add. This is one of the bows I made for my bra.

One more thing to add

Here’s my matching set.

Full set on table 2

 I love them both!

Set on Catherine 3

I loved making self-drafted panties, but that wasn’t all I made. As well as making these panties, I reviewed a pattern.

Did you see my teaser posts? I’ve had a few over the last week. They were all letting you know there was a tour coming up.

This photo is the cover of the pattern I made. Can you tell what pattern it is? I tried to make it hard.

pattern mix 2

 A little Photoshop and it’s hardly recognizable. Here’s what it really looks like:

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Yes, it’s the Pin-Up Girls Boy Short Collection.

Along with covering Beverly’s newest class, Deb from Sprouting JubeJube and I are both reviewing panty patterns, but not the same pattern. I’m reviewing the Pin-Up Girls Boy Short Collection. Although I know what pattern Deb is making, I’m not going to tell. You’ll have to go to Deb’s blog to see her pattern review and all her makes. She really did make some lovely panties, and we found out we love the same materials. Really. We have the same Cotton Lycra stash. That’s all I’m saying.

Let me show you the Boy Shorts I made.

Front of panty

 They look just like Boy Shorts, but they also looked bigger than what I usually wear.

comparison

And they are bigger. To be totally honest here, they looked HUGE to me!  It’s mostly the different shape. Boy shorts have material over the leg and what I usually wear doesn’t. Oh my! Here they are being compared to my favorite Kwik Sew 2286s. I know what size not to use so my next pair will fit.

The best part of these panties is the back. I made view 4. They really have a super cute back and I will use this feature in the future.

Back lace detail

Isn’t that a lovely detail?

I want to thank Bra-Makers Supply for providing me with the Pin-Up Girls Boy Short Collection, and Craftsy for providing me with the class Sewing Panties Construction & Fit.

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

Follow the magical tour to see what we all have under our clothes

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Saturday, September 17

bloggers

A big thank you to our wonderful bloggers. They’ve all done such a great job!

Happy creating!

An Interview: Central Sewing Machines

Welcome to another stop at Michelle’s Creations. Today, as part of our Canada Cups Cross Your Heart Relay blog tour, 2016, I’m featuring Central Sewing Machines in Edmonton, Alberta.

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Before we start our interview, did you see my post saying why I’d become a Craftsy affiliate? I think Craftsy is great!

Now, on to our feature post. You might be wondering how a sewing machine store features in bra-making/lingerie tour. Let’s find out!

Who is Muriel? Tell us a little about your new ownership venture.

We are very proud to be a brother and sister duo owning Central Sewing Machines. Our official start date was July 19, 2016. We are thrilled to be part of this new world and look forward to bringing our brand to a whole bunch of new venues. 

In fact, if you’re in the Edmonton area, tomorrow (September 17th) it’s Central Sewing Machine’s Fall Open House.

central-sewing

Where is Central Sewing Machines located?

Central has two locations and classes are held in both our South and West stores. Our South store is at 8649 – 63 Avenue, and our West store is located at 10642 – 170 Street. Both in Edmonton.

 Central Sewing Machines (CSM) offers bra-making classes. Will that continue now under your new management?

Absolutely! We love the idea of offering a lot of variety and as long as our clients want to take these classes, we will continue to offer them.

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The Basic Bra-making class offered this fall.

Oh, that’s wonderful news! Any plans to expand the classes? Offer more? Or have the classes held more often? Or other lingerie classes?

Expansion of classes? Absolutely! We have set up an Education Team. This Team is looking for other types of classes we can bring to our store, along with new teachers who are interested in bringing something unique.  I cannot speak directly about other lingerie classes, but if there is a desire for this, and a teacher willing to offer this, we would love to bring these to fruition.

Mrs. Weaver? (Nudge. Nudge.)

How long do you see this trend of making our own bras/panties/lingerie continuing?

I think this trend will continue to be very strong. It is something that speaks to all ladies, ways they can personalize their own look.

bra-displayThis lovely bra is on display at the South store. Ooh, I love the bow on that bra!

How do you get the word out?

We send out email blasts on our courses. We also have a new website that we will be unveiling shortly which has all of our courses listed. You will be able to search and purchase classes online.

CSM has been offering bra-making classes for close to 20 years. In fact, the first bra-making class at Central was with our very own Fairy Bra Mother!

Yes, that’s right. Beverly Johnson was the first woman to teach bra-making classes at Central.

Beverly, when did you teach at Central Sewing Machines? For how long?

It had to have been 1999 or earlier. I talked to Bev S. (Bev still works at Central) and she wanted to book one class. I told her she should book at least two, as they would sell out. She announced it to her customers and we sold out 3 classes. The next time I was there I taught 8 classes in a row!

At that time the classes were only offered once a year. Is that right?

Yes. I was in Edmonton once a year, but it was always for multiple days at a time.

What were those early classes like?

They always put 24-25 women in a class.  Imagine 75 women on that first trip! No helper either!

classroom

Here’s the classroom where the bra magic happens. Twenty-five students would be really crowded.

That must have been a challenge to try and work with that many women at one time. The classes now have a limit and a waiting list. No more 25 women in one class.

Classes that are too big are not good for the learning process.

How long were you teaching at Central?

I taught there for four years, maybe five.

Who is there now?

Margaret started teaching there about five years ago. She is a great teacher!

Margaret Ferguson is teaching two bra-making classes this fall.  Bra Making – The Basic Bra, and Bra Making – Cup Design Styles.

It’s so great we have some local access to bra-making, and for those who aren’t local, there are bra-making classes on Craftsy!

 I would like to thank Muriel from Central Sewing Machines, and Beverly Johnson, from Bra-Makers Supply, for taking the time to allow me to interview them.

Have you (my readers) taken bra-making classes? The Craftsy classes count.

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

Follow the magical tour to see what we all have under our clothes

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Friday, September 16

bloggers

Thank you to our wonderful bloggers for making this such a great tour!