ChrisW Designs Global Blog Tour – Serendipity Hip Pattern

Welcome to my little corner of the blog sphere from here in Canada!

I was asked to be a part of the Chris W Designs tour, and I couldn’t resist!

 It was one of Chris’ designs I first fell in love with that made me want to make my own bags. I’d been searching the internet for handbag patterns to sew myself, and I found this:This is Evelyn. Isn’t she lovely? I love everything about this. If I could only find this same material. I’ve kept this photo on the wall in front of my desk for sewing inspiration!

A Journey to Get Here

My bag-making has taken a round-about journey to making a Chris W Designs (CWD) pattern though.

After that initial searching, my first and second bags ended up being made following video classes. Being a very visual learner, it really helped me to start that way.

After both of those, I felt ready to tackle a pattern without a video. I chose an easy bag, and made a few of them. With a few successes behind me, I felt ready to branch out. It was at that point this tour was mentioned to me. Perfect timing! I really do feel like I’m coming full circle.

My Tour Make

 For my make on this tour… I’m still not making an Evelyn! Can you believe it? No, this time around I’m making a bag for a friend. She loves cross-body bags, so that’s what I’m making her.This is the Serendipity Hip bag. CWD graciously gave me this pattern to make for the tour. I think my friend will love it!

The Materials

This year marked Canada’s 150th birthday. To celebrate, there were lots of Canadian-themed fabrics. My friend has family members who are RCMP. Do you know what the RCMP are? They’re the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, often referred to as Mounties. These are our police.

So, seeing as my friend has a close connection, I couldn’t resist this adorable Mountie motif fabric, after all, I Am Canadian.Along with the Mountie material, I chose a dark red that coordinated, and a Native print to contrast for the lining.

How Did I Do?

  So after following videos and only making an easy bag pattern, are you wondering how I did? I found CWD patterns to be very well explained. Whew. That was a relief for me. Each step is not only well explained, but most steps come with a photo to show the step as well. Oh, I love photos to help me understand.

Something else that impressed me were there were even pattern pieces for rectangles. I can’t tell you how many patterns don’t include those, and I find them really helpful. I can get numbers mixed up sometimes, so I’m always double and triple checking them, so having that pattern piece instead of simply saying a 20″ x 8″ piece or whatever – it makes a difference for me.

My Finished Bag

 Here’s my finished bag:

I really think this is charming with all those little Mounties. The pattern front features a large slip pocket with a cell pocket inside, as well as a front zippered pocket. That’s three pockets before you’re even inside the bag. I was impressed.

Here’s a photo with something in each of the front pockets. The inside has another zipper pocket, and a card pocket with a small slip pocket behind it.There are lots of pockets! That seems to be a theme of CWD’s bag patterns.

Here’s the back of my ‘Hip Mountie’ bag.No pockets here, just Mounties! I really love this bag.

Bling

I had to do a few little bling things for this bag too. A little Sewn zipper pull.   And a leather tassel because I made an extra one with my last bag and it matched this bag too! My hardware came from Emmaline Bags.

Those Straps

For the straps, I used something I’d read on Chris’ blog: Jazzy Straps. This style of straps have made an appearance on a few of the bags in this tour. They give more of a pop to an otherwise basic part of the bag. Here are mine from the front:And from the back:I love these straps! Adding that extra bit of color takes them from basic and functional to not-at-all-plain, and makes them another feature of the bag.

Something For You

  Chris has also given each of us bloggers two of the patterns we’ve made to give to our readers. So, I have two Serendipity Hip PDF patterns to give away! Thank you, Chris! Not only is Chris giving each blogger 2 patterns to give away, but all her patterns are on sale this week! 20% off. Check out the code below.

 So for my give away, I want to make this fun. I mentioned a well-known line from a Canadian commercial. What commercial is it? Comment on my blog, and Marsha (Flying by the Seam of my Pants) will randomly pick two numbers out of how many have answered correctly. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow when I post tomorrow’s blogs for the tour. As well, I won’t approve correct comments until after the draw is finished. (This draw is closed now, but if you want to still comment, please do.)

If you don’t know the answer, I’d still love to hear what you think of the tour, and my Hip Mountie bag.

If you love all of the designs you’ve been seeing of Chris’, check her out on Instagram, and on her Facebook group.

Below are all the details on what you can save now, and the prizes to be won! Those prizes wouldn’t be there without the amazing generosity of our sponsors.

Thank you!


Tour Discounts

  • ChrisW Designs is taking 20% off all patterns until end of day (Australian Central Standard Time) November 21. Code GlobalBlogTour17 (applied automatically with this link. Buy without fear: If you purchase during the tour and then win a pattern, your purchase price will be refunded.
  • Handbag Hardware Australia (aff link) is offering a 10% discount for the duration of the tour. Use code: CWD10. (Excludes interfacing and Emmaline Bling.)
  • Bobbin Girl has a 10% discount using code BLOGTOUR17. (Not to be combined with any other discount or rewards points.)
  • Gold Star Tool is taking 15% off for our tour readers. Use code chriswdesigns.
  • Zipit (aff link) is also offering a 10% discount on shop items. Use code chriswdesigns. As well, you must be signed in and the discount is applied to your cart after you add your items.

Giveaway

Prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway (wait for the end of the tour for this!)


Tour Schedule

(Australia Central Standard Time)


// Please note that none of these post links are available before the scheduled date (ACST). If you click on one too early, you will get an “Error 404: Page not found.” You know about those, right? //


Sunday, November 12


Monday, November 13


Tuesday, November 14


Wednesday, November 15


Thursday, November 16


Friday, November 17


Saturday, November 18


Tuesday, November 21

  • Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:

ChrisW Blog, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle’s Creations, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, Serial Bagmakers, Tiger in a Tornado, Vanaehsa, Judith Stitches and More, Doctora Botones, Sewsewilse, Suck It Up Buttercup, Vicky Myers Creations, Marvelous Auntie M, inspinration, Fée bricolo, Trisha’s Craft Corner


 

Getting Some Sewing Done

I’ve had a few things on the go lately. The Canada Cups tour, which just finished, and a tour starting tomorrow! More on that a little later. Both of these have been taking up a fair amount of my time, but as I’d mentioned in my last post, my pup really needed new boots.

Done

  I finished a pair of booties for my pup. Rather than following the pattern and making a circle of faux suede, I used some faux leather and covered the whole bottom.I’m hoping they’ll endure a little better. Also seeing where the wear and tear is (no pun intended), I hope a more-padded bottom will prevent that.I cut the ‘strings off the old booties to re-use on the new ones. So the straps are looking a bit fuzzier, but they work.I also cut off the old Velcro and elastic bits from the worn out boots to use again, because wearing these every day from November until March, I’m sure I’ll be making a new set again next year. I am hoping this set will endure better though.

Next Project

   Have you heard of Beautiful Pie Shop’s slippers?

I bought the pattern last year thinking they’d make a great gift. I bought the fleece and the non-slip material for the bottom. I did everything except sew them up. I decided this was a project I was completing!

You know when something is just that perfect timing when the Facebook group announces they’re doing a sew-along the day you’re going to start to sew. I think I’ll wait a few more hours and sew-along with the pros.

 A Few Bumps

 You know how things always look so much easier when someone else is doing the sewing? That’s how it was for me with these slippers. However, now that I’ve made a pair, the next ones would be much easier.

My first little bump was not using my Teflon foot to sew over the non-slip bottoms! I pulled that first slipper through the machine.

Then I switched machine feet for the second slipper and I still pulled the slipper through the machine!  Yup, definitely non-slip!

I used tissue paper when I had to sew another part on that sole again.

The tissue paper tore off easily and for the first time sewing these slippers, I didn’t have to fight with the sole.

I did struggle a little with the instructions over which side was the inside and which was the outside as that’s never set plainly in the pattern – because it’s left up to you. You can use cotton on the outside and fleece on the inside or vice versa. However, it did challenge me.

Finished Booties

     I managed to make an adorable pair of slippers.  Aren’t they cute? And I know they’ll fit as Em and I wear the same size shoe, or in this case slipper.

Here’s a photo of the bottom of one slipper. I know one thing, she won’t be slipping around in these! And here’s the inside of the slipper.Do you see the little fleece bow? That’s covering up a mistake I made. I didn’t realize from reading the instructions to only cut through one layer of material for the elastic. Whoops! But a little bow over top and it’s all hidden.

The cute heart material was something Em gave me. I thought it would be fun to use some of it for her. The photos don’t show it very well, but the fleece is a dark fuchsia.

Starting tomorrow (or later today)!

Tomorrow, we have a blog tour starting! It’s the Chris W Designs Global Blog Tour. Come back here for a listing of all the blog stops – all over the world! If you’re not in Australia, but maybe in North America, the tour will be starting later today.

Happy creating!

Time for New Booties

Sewing for my Pup

I’ve made dog booties three years in a row now. That’s how long we’ve had our rescue pup. It seems each year, I have to make him new booties because one got lost, or one fell apart. Here’s what’s left from the last two years.

Three of one set. Two from two different sets, but the same material. Only one sad little one left from some that were gifted to us. Since losing those first booties, I’ve been using the old mittens-on-a-string trick to keep him from losing any more.

Here are last year’s. Thanks to the ties, he still has them all, but…

They’re in really rough shape. He and my hubby like to go off the beaten or plowed path. So they’re off in the bush for their walks. Not me. I’m on the sidewalk. Still my pup is rough on his booties there too. He catches a scent and he’s kicking up a storm with his paws. No wonder they wear out so quickly.

It’s time to make him some new ones, especially considering we got snow this week!

  I’ve got things all cut out, but I’m not going to cut out the little circle of faux suede this time. I’m going to use a full square on the back to hopefully make these last a little longer.

If you’re interested, here‘s where I got my pattern. And here‘s a great video to show you how to sew up a pair on your own.

Adorable

  I have so much Christmas sewing to do, and I found this. This is the Color Wheel Pin Cushion.

This is the most adorable tuffet pin cushion. I was told it hardly takes any material, so it will be great for all those little scraps I just couldn’t throw out.

However, as adorable as this is, I have to make booties, and slippers, and a scarf, and two lap quilts, not to mention I want to get back to my bra draft. It was just too adorable not to add to my list of sewing plans.

Happy creating!

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!

Canada Cups – Coming Unwired in a Bralette

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Canada Cups – Coming Unwired blog tour.

This tour is all about soft cupped bras in their many forms, whether it be bralettes, camisoles, or actual soft cupped bras – all designed by Canadian Designers. For my stop, I’m making a bralette from the Pin-up Girls Sweet Sixteen Bralette Collection.

The Pattern

Beverly Johnson is the designer of this pattern. Beverly owns Bra-Makers Supply here in Canada, and is one of our amazing sponsors! Beverly was willing to provide a pattern to a reviewer, but I’m such a pattern hound, I already had a copy of this pattern. Rachelle of That’s Sew Venice gladly accepted that offer though, so we are both making the Sweet Sixteen bralette pattern. You can read Rachelle’s post here.

A Few Details About the Pattern 

Beverly says, “Most would not say “support” and bralette in the same breath, but oddly enough, this one can be very supportive. With the options this pattern offers, this bralette could become your new breast friend! The typical ready-to-wear bralette is only available in smaller sizes..not ours!”

It’s because this pattern offers both support and a fuller range of sizes, that Rachelle and I both wanted to make this bralette. Just so you know, there are 72 sizes included in this pattern.

A little later in the post, I have some ideas to share with you about making this bralette more supportive.

Another Sponsor – Club Tissus

Another of our fabulous tour sponsors right here in Canada is new to me: Club Tissus. They very generously offered the tour bloggers a discount and free shipping to try their merchandise for this tour. Thank you, Club Tissus!

My thoughts were, ‘A deal on lingerie supplies?’ I went to their website right away.

My first impressions were, well, it was all in French. I do know some French, but am not familiar with French material names. Then I found the box in the upper left corner that allows us to switch from French to English. (Whew!) That was better. I had no trouble navigating their site after that.

I bought this gorgeous mesh to use for the cups.

I found everything I needed to make my bralette there except neckline trim elastic. I had some of that in my stash.

Living across the country, mine took four business days to arrive. That’s still really good. I did have one mistake with my order, and after emailing them, they had the right item in the mail within a day.

Set Backs

I had a couple of set backs with my plans for my first bralette (okay, there three all together) – which is not something you want to happen when a sponsor has donated your material!

My first was mistake with this material wasn’t a mistake, and I should have stuck with it. I simply cut out cups from the material – no matching, just random cut outs. But no, I decided I could do better and I tossed those cups out. (Remember this bit for later.)

Then I decided to use the colored part of the mesh. I didn’t like that once it was cut out and sewn. It was too multi-colored. Those went in the garbage.

Next, I was going to match the patterns. It turned out I wasn’t able to match the print exactly for each cup. No matter where I laid my pattern pieces on the remaining fabric, I could not get a match. Unfortunately, I had already cut out one half of the bra and matching pattern designs takes a lot more material than not matching.

I let that idea go, and just cut out another set of cups – I was right back to what I first did, except it’s three cuts into the material later. I was on my way.While sewing the cups, and then top-stitching them, my machine decided to eat my material and made a big knot! As I gently tried to unpick the knot… I made a hole. 

Sadly, there’s no repairing that, and by this time, I didn’t have enough of this mesh to make new cups. I had to start over.

Take Two

  Thankfully, I was able to make this beautiful bralette with a stretch lace cup, and power net for the band from materials in my stash.

Oh, I love these colors together. This is the Platinum duoplex, power net, and strap elastic from Bra-Makers Supply. The lace is some gorgeous lace I found at Fabricland in Ontario. I really love these together.

I couldn’t find a 4 x 3 hook and eye in Platinum and I didn’t like it in black, beige or ivory, which were all I could find. So I lowered the back where the straps attach to use a 3 x 3 hook and eye.

 Here’s the side view. So very pretty.

 How does it fit? It fit quite well after I shortened the back band.

Here’s the band I cut out based on what I thought were my correct measurements. After re-measuring, I was an inch smaller than I thought. However, I ended up shortening the band to that red broken line. That’s more than just the inch difference. So if you’re making this pattern, which is a great pattern, just know the band fits big.

Once I had the band shortened, it was perfect. I’ve worn this for full days, and it’s very comfortable.

PHDs

  There are always the Projects Half Done. This was one of them. A lovely camisole pattern.  I bought the material for it; a gorgeous cotton/silk blend, and this lacy material I thought went well with it. I received the High Neck Camisole pattern from one of our wonderful sponsors, Lingerie Secrets.

As it turns out, I’m actually glad I didn’t get this completed because just before the tour started, I found an even better lace in my stash!The lace is a cotton lace too. I like this so much better than the original material I bought for this.

Support 

Using only stretch lace for the cups, I wasn’t expecting this to be the most supportive, but I would say it’s actually better support than any other bralette I own. It’s also very comfortable.

I thought of some options to make this pattern more supportive: Lining it with foam, which is an option mentioned in the pattern, but not my preference. Other options could be to line the lace cups with sheer cup lining, or some firm stretch mesh, or even duoplex. All of these would make this very supportive.

Thank You

I  want to express my gratitude to these wonderful sponsors for our tour! They’ve donated patterns, fabric, and findings to our bloggers, and have gone above and beyond and donated prizes for you – our readers.

Tour Discounts (These discounts have ended.)

  • Funky Monkey Fabrics is offering a 10% discount for the duration of the tour. Use code: CC10 for 10% off store wide until October 22nd. Not valid on already discounted full bolts.
  • 20% discount storewide at Fabric Please. Use code CANADACUPS.
  • 10% discount from Central Sewing Machines (email your order directly to Muriel@centralsewing.com to receive the discount)
  • 10% discount from Midnight Mountain Fabrics. Use CANADACUPS10 for the code
  • Free shipping from Club Tissus on all orders over $100. Use code: livraison100

 Come back here for our wrap up to enter into a draw for one of the prizes! Just look at these prizes!

Happy creating!


Tour Schedule

Hang with us as we reveal our inner secrets. 😉

 

 

 

 

// Please note that none of these post links are available before the scheduled date. If you click on one too early, you will get an Error 404: Page not found. You know about those, right? //

Sunday, October 15


Monday, October 16


Tuesday, October 17


Wednesday, October 18


Thursday, October 19


Friday, October 20


Saturday, October 21


Monday, October 23

  • Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:

Little Heart Threads, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle’s Creations, Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables, Gracious Threads, Élégantine!, That’s Sew Venice, Sprouting Jubejube, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, Filles à Maman


 

Sewing Plans

I always have a long list of things I want to sew, and since my sewjo has taken a late-summer vacation, I’m organizing some of my plans. At least I still feel I’m doing something and making some progress this way.

Another Watson

Em has told me so many times that she loves the Watson I made her. She’s hinted she wants another one. She’s told me her favorite colors. She’s mentioned she wears the one she has all the time. So, I have one cut out for her in this adorable polka dot material. I think she’ll like this. 

You might recognize this material from a previous Watson I made.

I love this polka dot material. I still have a little bit left too, so we may see it again.

A Camisole for Me

  I found this gorgeous cotton-silk blend. Oh, it’s sumptuous. That’s really the only way to describe it. To make this even better, I found it in the clearance section at my local fabric store. That was just a bonus!

I also found some lovely lace material. Together, it will make a very pretty camisole.

This being such lovely material, I may look at some actual lace I have too and decide then. I just need some sewjo again. 

A Handbag for a Friend

   A dear friend of mine has been living in the US for the past year. She saw my Canada 150 bag, and said she’d love one too. I don’t have any of the original fabric left, so found some that was perfect for her. Her hubby used to be a Mountie. I think she will really love this! 

Aren’t those Mounties adorable?

Drafting Ups and Downs

You know, sometimes, I fuss too much.

My fourth draft (second with Karin) only needed small adjustments. I don’t know why I simply didn’t make those small adjustments to the pattern. Instead I went back and re-drew everything. I didn’t get the same results.

As well, I ran out of duoplex from my stash. I still have a couple of kits, but I wasn’t going to cut into those. I had to take a break from my drafting.

On that day, with no bits of duoplex left, and a draft that wasn’t what I wanted, I was ready to throw in the towel. For the better part of the day, I was defeated. I was giving up. I couldn’t sew. I couldn’t draft. I might as well delete my blog. I’m sorry I wasted all our money. Blah. Blah. Blah.

That’s when my hubby came to my rescue – he calmly told me I was doing well. Look how far I’d come. Then he told me to go ahead and order some more duoplex to keep going. He is my hero.

Future Plans

 Well, I do plan to finish all of these projects, including sewing up that fourth drafted pattern with a few adjustments. As well, I have a Spring/Fall jacket I want to make, and a Agnes top with sleeves. I have the material for both of these as well.

All of these projects are just waiting for me to get my sewjo back. I hope my sewjo doesn’t take too long a vacation.

Happy creating!

The Fifth and Final Draft

This bra is my fifth and hopefully my final draft at this time. I hope it’s… well, I hope it’s perfect!

My Fifth Draft

  I really went back and forth before I sewed this bra – Should I sew it with the water-soluble (WS) thread, or just sew up a bra. If I use the WS thread, even if this bra is perfect, I will be re-sewing it. I really didn’t want to do that. I just want to sew a bra. However, I finally decided to just sew up it as another tester with the WS thread.

This looks better than the other two, but you can see it’s still not finished as nicely as a bra I want to keep.

A wonderful little tip I heard after I’d sewn my first bra with WS thread is to use the thread in the needle only, and regular thread in the bobbin. Water will still dissolve the upper thread, and the seam will come apart just fine. I’ve also heard to just dab the seam with water, which would save a lot of the drying time, and ironing.

Changes

 My band was a bit too big. Well, an inch too big to be exact. I’d recently lost a little bit of weight, and of course my ribs being one of the smallest parts of my body, that was where it showed first.

So before I sewed up another bra, I re-drafted the pattern for my cradle and band with my new measurements. I didn’t mind re-doing it all either. I really want to get drafting down pat, so a little extra practice isn’t a bad thing as far as I’m concerned.

 More

I re-drafted the pattern for my cups, again too – just for more practice. In fact, I spent the better part of a day drafting over and over. I made three drafts of both the cups, and the cradle and band by time the day was done. 

One other change I made while I was re-drafting my cup pattern was to lower my strap placement.

In addition to the changes I’ve mentioned above, I made my usual adjustments: a custom bridge, lowering the upper cup to meet the bridge, and adjusting for a flat spot.

One thing I’m not having to adjust is the difference between my cup and cradle caused by being an Omega shape. Let me tell you what I’m doing differently.

A Different Change

I’d heard before that you can go up or down one size in the cradle from the wire size you’re using. So if you’re using a 40 wire, you can use a cradle made for a 38, 40, or 42 wire.

It’s the same if you’re using a 40 cradle – you can use a 38, 40, or 42 wire. You can go up or down one size.

I’m doing that with my drafting. I’m using a 42 extra-long wire to draft my cradle – that’s one size bigger than the wire I normally use. It just happens to be the same length as the wire my cup size normally uses. Does that all make sense?Do you see how the 42 Extra Long wire is the same length as the 44 Long wire? My cup size matches a 44 Long wire. I normally wear a 40 Long wire. Using a 42 Extra Long wire to draft my cradle size, I’m able to make my cradle match my cup size perfectly.

The Conclusion?

 Somehow the band is still a bit too big! I’m having to fasten it on the middle eyes, but that’s a small adjustment. As well, when I lowered my strap placement, I achieved a bit more Va-va-voom than I want. A few tweaks to my pattern and I’m sewing up a real bra next!

Happy creating!

A Few Alterations

My third bra draft was pretty good. In fact, it would have been wearable except I used water-soluble thread. That little fact alone would make it good for one wearing only. Well, the water-soluble thread and the fact that it was slapped together…

It fit pretty well. That’s what I’m really trying to say here.

There were only a couple of changes I still wanted to make to this. I wanted to add a bit to the underarm area for more coverage there – just a half-inch. I wanted to round the cups a touch at the apex. And I wanted to lower the bridge a half-inch as well.

Changes

While I was making those couple of changes I listed above, I decided to change the style of the bra too. I added a power bar. So  now it’s the same style as the Pin-up Girls Shelley pattern with a split lower cup and a power bar. Shelley has been my favorite pattern, so it only makes sense I make something like that. 

Making these changes were such much easier than the actual drafting of the cups. That was much more of a challenge.

 Leftovers

After soaking my bra, all the threads dissolved, and I was left with bits again. This is great as I can re-use most of these bits. It’s just the cups I need to cut fresh. I found the band too big as well, so have adjusted that. It’s all ready to go for a second sew. 

Stay tuned for my bra-drafting. I’m hoping only one more draft and I’m cutting into some gorgeous lace again.

Seize the Day

Remember how I couldn’t put a bow on Em’s Watson because she didn’t want to take it off once she’d tried it on? Well, I had my chance. The circumstances surrounding this? Well, I don’t want to know. I do know the bralette was on the floor and got stepped on… That was already more than I wanted to know.

It seems little plastic rings can’t withstand being stepped on. I had to repair the bra. I replaced the rings and sliders with metal ones from a little second-hand bra I bought. I also added the bow! I had no intention of missing that opportunity.

Happy creating!

A Third Bra Draft

My third bra draft really was a success!

A Few Differences

There were a few things I did differently this time. One of the changes I made was to use water-soluble thread – and it came in handy! I realized very quickly I had mis-measured my cradle for the elastics. A quick little soak in some water, and it was all bra bits again rather than a partially-sewn bra meaning I’d have to start over or unpick the whole thing.

 I was not expecting to have a bra when I was done. I was simply seeing how my draft fit and what changes I needed to make. That is a very freeing feeling.

My Pattern

I made a diagonally seamed bra with a split lower cup. Nothing fancy for this bra – I only want to see the fit.

My ‘Kit’

  The same attitude I had for the pattern, I had for the kit. Nothing fancy, just bits of this and bits of that. Not all the bits were even matching, but they worked for their purpose.

In this little pile of a kit, I have beige Duoplex and Power Net, some beige and some white bottom band elastic, white upper band elastic, white strap tape, and blue trim! I’m really not expecting this to look good.

As well there’s the YLI Wash-A-Way thread. If you haven’t tried it, it’s great! It works perfectly for testing a pattern like this.

A Hot Mess

Honestly, the sewing on the bra looks terrible. Well, not the sewing really. It’s more the techniques or lack there of. It’s a mis-match of colors, and I didn’t do a lot of the things I’d normally do to ‘neaten’ things up. Just look at the bottom band elastic.

 Normally, I trim the elastic under the channeling – I like a thinner band running under the cups. Not this time. This time I’ve simply folded the channeling over the elastic and pushed it out of the way.

It’s looks so bad.

 While we’re talking about the bottom band elastic, I used two colors because I didn’t have enough of one color to do the full band. I used a great technique of piecing together bits of elastic. I saw Monica Bravo do on a YouTube video. It’s quick and it really doesn’t show at all from the front. You can view the video here.

You can see I wasn’t trimming anything, not even threads. This was a quick sew to see how things were going to fit. That’s it.

Does It Fit?

I have to say I am so surprised by the outcome of this drafting experience. First off, I never thought I’d be drafting my own bra pattern from measurements!

Secondly, I made a very wearable bra! Well, it would be wearable if I hadn’t used the water-soluble thread! But it fits. There are a few tweaks I want to make, but it fits.

The whole time I was sewing this, I kept thinking how I’d never sewn/thrown a bra together like this. There are bits hanging or sticking out everywhere! The upper band elastic is hanging out of the side of the cup because I didn’t finish the straps; on the other side it’s hanging down the back at the hooks and eyes. The channeling is sticking out. It really is a mess to behold!

There’s not a top-stitch to be found, and barely a back-stitch present. I sewed it just enough to hold it together to try it on… well almost. I did pull on the strap a bit too much and pulled it off! I had a pin handy, so was able to continue in the trying-on/evaluating process. 

Adjustments

  There are only a couple of adjustments I want to make. I plan to add a little more coverage to the underarm area – probably a half-inch will do. I want to lower the bridge by about a half-inch as well. Rounding the apex and adding a power bar will complete this. I’ll also likely do another test run. Then I should have a perfectly fitting self-drafted bra and pattern. What a feeling!

Happy creating!

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!