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.

Patterns

After working on drafting a bra from measurements, my work wasn’t done with the draft. The next step is to use that draft and make a pattern. Let me show you a little of the progression so far.

Drafting

Here’s the draft. It doesn’t look anything like the pieces I’ve seen in bra patterns.

Horizontal Seam

Then, a few more steps and things start to look more familiar. Beverly takes you through it all in her manual. Take a look at these pieces. These actually look like bra pattern pieces.

I’m not the biggest fan of a horizontal seams. I used one when I made my Heather bra.

Common Bra Seams

Here are some different seams shown in bras (photos are from Bra-Makers Supply and Sewy):

Vertical Seam

I’ve also tried the vertical seam when I made KS 3300. Once I started making my own patterns from the draft, I had to try each pattern. This part of the process was definitely fun for me. The photo of the vertical seam is from the Sewy website. It’s their Linda bra pattern.

Diagonal Seam

My favorite seam in bra-making so far has been the diagonal seam. That’s the bottom left in the photo collage above. A diagonal seam is what we find in the Classic pattern or the Shelley pattern from Pin-Up Girls patterns.

I also love the power bar and split lower cup on the Shelley. Here are a few of my favorites from that pattern.

I love this pattern, and know I will make it using my drafted pattern!

Curved Seam

The one I really wanted to try was the curved seam. All the gorgeous Cloth Habit Harriet bras I’m seeing were making me want to buy that pattern too. I had to be very strict with myself not to buy yet another pattern I have. The photo in the first collage is from Sewy again. It’s their Isabell pattern, which I have. I also have a clone of a Fantasie bra that is a curved seam too. I didn’t need one more pattern, but I was tempted! However, I did want to make one when I was making the patterns.

Patterns I Made 

Here are all my new patterns. I just need to add seam allowances to some of them, and make little changes like adjusting for a flat spot, thinning the band under the cradle, and lowering the bridge.

I also drafted my a new cradle and band.

Happy Creating!

P.S. You may also be interested in Sewing Bras: Foam Lace & Beyond.

Here’s some exciting news.

Merckwaerdigh

The news is from Merckwaerdigh’s Etsy shop. Here’s what Margreet said in her post on Facebook: “SPRING … a perfect time for a major change! As of today all listings in the Merckwaerdigh shop at Etsy are FREE SHIPPING!!!

She is raising her cost a bit, but what she is adding to the costs will still be lower than shipping costs! Yay!

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!

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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.

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 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: Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables

Welcome to something a little different on my blog. As part of our Canada Cups Cross Your Heart Relay blog tour, 2016, I’m interviewing a Professional Bra-Maker.

picmonkey-image-banner-2016Did you see my post the other day when I said why I’d become an affiliate with Craftsy… I really do think Craftsy is great.

Today,  my post is featuring Mrs. Weaver of Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables. I think you’re going to love this personal look into the life of Mrs. Weaver.

Who is Mrs. Weaver?

Mrs. Weaver is actually the married name of Karin Triel, a small Dutch woman married to a tall Canadian man. A bra-maker, teacher, independent designer and corset-maker in Calgary.

When did you start in the bra-making business? And when will you (shudder!) quit?

I’ve been working in Canada ever since the lovely folks at immigration gave me my work permit, which is around 15 months ago. As for quitting, I’ve never thought about that…yet!

That’s good news, Mrs. Weaver! What made you choose Canada?

 Lol, I married a big, handsome Canadian who brought me here. He promised me it wouldn’t be too cold…

How did you get involved in bra-making?

When I was 13, I already had an E cup.There was nothing pretty to fit and would end up with ugly beige bras. I would sabotage them until they broke, forcing my parents to buy me another (which inevitably turned out to be equally ugly). It wasn’t quite bra-making, but it was bra-breaking. One thing led to another, and the rest is history!

When did you make your first bra?

I probably had my first go at it in my early 20s – as part of a bikini. It wasn’t terribly successful. I had many years of tinkering and messing about with patterns. Later, I finally got the opportunity to train with Beverly Johnson and that’s when the magic really started to happen.

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Mrs. Weaver’s Thermal Valentine. View her original post here.

Do you teach?

I teach classes in-person in Calgary. I am teaching Professional Classes and have just launched an online class for those women who can’t get to Calgary. Everyone from total bra beginners to seasoned sewists, from Saskatoon to Sao Paolo is welcome. It’s so exciting to help start people on their own bra-making adventure! I also make custom bras for women who can’t find comfort, fit and pretty in ready-to-wear – every woman deserves those things from a bra! Making them yourself is the best way to achieve this.

Before I move on… did you catch that? Mrs. Weaver has just launched an online school!Braphoria-Home-Header

What are your future goals?

There are lots! I want as many women as possible to discover the joy of a well-fitting bra or corset. I hope to teach more, grow the number of professional bra-makers currently working with me, expand my online classes and take LOTS of fabulous women with me on the European Tour in March of 2017. Basically, I want every woman to know they have options, can learn the skills and can have gorgeous lingerie – regardless of their fitting challenges.

There’s another big announcement right there! The European Tour in March. I hope you’re checking Mrs. Weaver’s blog for all these very exciting happenings.

Tell us more about where you see your business going?

I see my business continuing to expand, with the Braphoria Online School offering more classes and learning for those who can’t get to Calgary. In-person classes are definitely the best, but online offers such  great opportunity to let more women continue in their bra-making adventures.

What are your businesses plans locally? Nationally? Globally?

Locally: I plan to continue to expand in-person teaching offerings and add more professional bra-makers to the Mrs. Weaver family to provide gorgeous custom unmentionables.

Nationally: I plan to travel more and teach across Canada; I have a lecture scheduled on Great Bra Fit at the Creative Stitches Expo in Calgary (September 23-24, 2016); as well I will be an exhibitor at the Love to Sew Expo in BC in November.

Globally: I plan to take women on my European Lingerie Tour in March of 2017 where as well as workshops with me and Beverly Johnson, I’ve arranged for world-class seminars and workshops at the London College of Fashion, and a specialty class in latex in Amsterdam; I also plan to travel back to Europe and Australia for Custom and Teaching work, and to set up distribution for my kits in other countries – to reduce postal charges for my customers.

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All of that sounds amazing! You can read more about the tour here. And I’m sure customers overseas are thrilled to hear there will be purchasing options closer than Canada.

Mrs. Weaver, what do you absolutely love about the business?

I love the look on a woman’s face when she realizes beauty and comfort aren’t just for ‘other people’. The opportunity to make her feel good about herself, to feel beautiful.

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Here’s a glimpse into Mrs. Weaver’s Parlour where her clients begin to experience that feeling of being beautiful. You can read more here.

What do you despise?

Nothing really, although it’s always very sad when women come in apologizing for their bodies with statements like ‘this is probably the worst you’ve seen’ , or ‘I hate my boobs’. Negative body image is desperately sad especially when all women and all bodies are intrinsically beautiful.

Well said, Mrs. Weaver! Do you see any lack?

I think there is a lack of understanding among women that options like sewing your own lingerie, or custom-made lingerie are available to them. Most women believe ugly, uncomfortable or ill-fitting lingerie is simply their lot in life and it’s not true. We wouldn’t wear a pair of shoes that hurt our feet or caused blisters, yet we’ll accept a bra that pokes us, straps that fall off our shoulders, or bands that roll up – that’s just crazy.

What trends have you seen?

Bralettes are big right now, that’s definitely a trend. I’m also seeing women wanting more luxurious materials and less moulded cup bras. 

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Speaking of more luxurious materials, here’s one of the kits available from Mrs. Weaver’s new store.

What is the difference between RTW and custom-made?

The biggest difference is custom-made is made just for you and your unique curves. We’re not putting a square peg into a round hole, instead we are designing the garment to work with your body. Most women find comfort is the biggest factor, with many stating it almost feels as though they aren’t wearing anything!  

What about the difference between custom-made and self-made using a pattern?

Self-made using a pattern is a big step up from ready-to-wear and is a great starting point. However, if your own breast shape is different from the shape used for the pattern (or you don’t like the style) you’ll be faced with alterations which can be tricky to master. You’ll also not have the skills required to create a whole range of bras. Every time  you make a different pattern, you’ll have the same learning curve as before – with alterations being almost inevitable.

With a custom bra, a professional bra-maker assesses fit and makes all the alterations before designing a style to address all your wishes. If you have very specific fitting challenges such as a significant size difference between your left and right breast, or mastectomy/lumpectomy a custom bra can be a faster way to a great fit. Some professional bra-makers like myself provide a custom drafting service for home sewists to help you resolve your fitting challenges more quickly.

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Here’s another example of stunning luxurious material.

What is the difference between the ever-growing number of patterns out there?

There are some great patterns out there! The thing to remember is every pattern is based on one person’s body and that body is unlikely to be the same as yours. Some patterns are better for a smaller bust, others for a fuller bust; some work better for women who are still self-supporting while others will better support a bust that’s no longer very firm. Do your research before you buy – find reviews, establish what type of bust the patterns are best for.

Why did you decide to do online classes instead of another pattern?

With every new pattern you’re potentially back to square one. With my online class, you learn how to change your existing pattern into something new. As long as your existing pattern fits well, you can transform it into so much more!

That concept makes so much sense to me. Thank you! Where can we buy your kits and classes?

You can find them at www.braphoria.com or via www.mrsweaversfinest.com .

Can you tell us why you think bra-making has become so popular now?

I think it’s because in a time when the media is trying to tell us we all need to be the same, the subversive, rebellious, stubbornly individual hearts of women have decided that ‘I don’t need to be the same, I just need to be me’. 

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

I think it will only continue to grow – as long as women have access to patterns, classes and supplies, there will be interest. 

I know I’m so happy with this trend of making our own lingerie and hope it stays around for a very, very long time.

How do you reach your target market?

I use Facebook, my blog, newsletters, and personal interaction.

Do you use technology?

I’m rarely too far from my laptop. However, for my drafting, the only technology I use is a pencil, a ruler, and a set of compasses. My grandfather was a draftsman, he once said you could ‘feel’ what you were drawing with a pencil much better than with a computer.

How do you get the word out?

Word of mouth mostly, although social media, my website and newsletters are really good. Being featured in Vogue earlier this year was fabulous and there’s going to be another piece in the media about Mrs. Weaver and Braphoria soon. 

How exciting that Mrs. Weaver is getting all this press attention. Congratulations!

I would like to thank Mrs. Weaver for taking the time to allow me to interview her.

Happy creating!

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

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

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Thursday, September 15

bloggers

And congratulations to all our bloggers on a wonderful tour!

Happy creating!

Canada Cups Posts for Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

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Here are the tour posts for today. Don’t forget to enter the give-away!

Tuesday, September 13

A big thank you to all of our bloggers! You’ve done an incredible job.

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And I’m sure we’re all thankful for the sponsors! Thank you for making our tour so much better.

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Canada Cups Posts for Monday, September 12th

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Just to save you a little time hunting and clicking to find the tour posts for the day, here they are. And don’t forget the give-away and discounts!

Monday, September 12

Happy creating!

Announcing The Canada Cups – Cross Your Heart Relay Blog Tour

Over the last week, I’ve posted a couple of teasers for our upcoming tour.

picmonkey-image-banner-2016Well, the wait is over. The tour starts today!

Welcome to the Canada Cups – Cross Your Heart Relay blog tour, 2016!

The tour begins with the incredible Fairy Bra Mother herself – Beverly Johnson. Pop over to the Fairy Bra Mother’s blog for a great kick-off post!

Fairy Bra Mother’s blog

Happy creating!