Hallå Agnes in Jasper

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

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

The View

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

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

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

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

Sheer bliss!

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

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

Agnes Swing Top

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

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

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

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

 Agnes Swing Dress

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

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

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

Happy creating!

Waiting for Wires

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

The Problem

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

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

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

Those Buts

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

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

But not someone with an Omega shape.

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

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

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

Hoarding

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

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

Progress

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

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

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

Happy creating!

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

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

 

Michael Men’s Underwear

More Birthday Sewing

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Here’s the navy pair with his robe.

And here’s the gray pair with his robe.

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

Here are both pair of the Michael boxers.

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

Final Thoughts

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

Happy creating and Happy Canada Day!

Butterick 5537

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

Favorites

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

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

 Memories

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

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

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

The Robe

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

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

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

The Finished Robe

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

Here’s the back. 

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

Final Thoughts

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

Happy creating!

Another Agnes Dress

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

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

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

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

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

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

I also cut this fabric out as a dress.

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

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

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

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

Oh, that’s a pretty hem.

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

Happy creating!

A Total Failure

A Total Failure

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Sadness

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

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

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

There’s Always a Silver Lining

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy creating and congratulations!

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

Tour Discounts

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

Tour Stops

June 4

Emmaline Bags

June 5

Tangled Blossoms DesignWith Love in Every StitchHappy Okapi

June 6

Michelle’s CreationsBaraboobooSoca Sewing

June 7

Glitter in my CoffeeMichelle’s CreationsSeam of my Pants

June 8

Seam of my PantsCreative Roots SewingHappy Okapi

June 9

Seam of my Pants

June 10

Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)

July 1

CANADA DAY 150


Giveaway Prizes


Please join us in thanking our tour sponsors by visiting their websites.

Canada 150 – In the Bag Tour Western Sponsors

Welcome again to my stop on the Canada 150 – In the Bag tour! This is just a short (well, I tried to keep it short) sweet post to let you know a bit about some of our fabulous sponsors! Remember, all our sponsors are Canadian. And our tour just wouldn’t be as much fun without their awesome support – prizes for you!

Being a transplanted Westerner, I’m covering the Western Canadian sponsors for our tour.

I’m starting off with Stay Home Fabrics, an online fabric shop located in Saskatchewan.

Stay Home Fabrics is located solely online with 99% of their customer base being Canadians. They also have quite a few customers who make handbags. They offer a large variety of fabrics: fleece, minky, linen, cotton, flannel, knit, and interfacing.

Above is a photo of their wall of fabric. That’s a nice selection.

Next stop:

Traveling west to Alberta, we come across another online fabric shop – Crookshanks Custom Textiles.

Crookshanks is unique in that it specializes in cotton Lycra. (Oh, I love CL!)  Crookshanks owner says:

I had noticed that there was a need for geeky/nerdy based fabric from Canadian sellers. I’m one of the few Canadian groups that’s doing original, nerdy artwork. I think it’s a niche for sure, but there is definitely a market for it that just needs to be tapped.

There are a couple of women who make handbags, but cotton Lycra needs to be stabilized first and many don’t know you can do that for handbags.”

Just take a quick look at some of what Crookshanks carries and how it can be used:

LOVE!

Continuing on our westward journey, there’s nowhere to go after Alberta but British Columbia, at least not if we’re going strictly west. In B.C. we find two more of our sponsors.

First we come to Blackbird Fabrics. Any of my bra-making readers will recognize Blackbird Fabrics as one of the Canadian suppliers of bra-making materials.

“I have sales from all over the world, but Canada and the US is where I ship to the most. More than half of my business is from Canada, so I would say it’s a viable market!  I pride myself on great customer service, staying personally connected with my customers and the community on social media, and I make sure to only bring in fabrics and supplies that are great quality – things I would want to work with and sew with.

Garment fabrics is the bread and butter of my online shop. Alongside the fabrics, you’ll find sewing patterns, workroom supplies, and some lingerie supplies. I’ll be expanding the lingerie section this year, and I’m working on sourcing a nice range of trims and notions.

I know Blackbird’s bra-making kits have flown off the shelves in the past, so I’m going to be watching for that expanding lingerie section.

Our last stop is Sitka Fabrics.

 Sitka Fabrics tells us on their website, ‘If you do not see a fabric you would like, please let me know! I am more than happy to see if I can order it in.’

Sitka Fabrics is also wanting to expand further, possibly building a warehouse shop or leasing a retail space in town. I want to be able to offer more textile varieties, trims, and notions.  We hope to offer sewing classes locally, especially for kids.
At this time they carry mainly European knits. As well as a variety of quilting cottons, notions such as stiff stuff, piping, binding, needles et al.  They are bringing in a really neat product that is not widely found in Canada that will be revealed later in June!
I can’t wait for the reveal!

Each blog has an exclusive giveaway, so be sure to visit them all.


Tour Discounts

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

Tour Stops

(These links will be active on and after the day they are scheduled.)

June 4

Emmaline Bags

June 5

Tangled Blossoms Design With Love in Every Stitch Happy Okapi

June 6

Michelle’s Creations Barabooboo Soca Sewing

June 7

Glitter in my Coffee Michelle’s Creations Seam of my Pants

June 8

Seam of my Pants Creative Roots Sewing Happy Okapi

June 9

Seam of my Pants

June 10

Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)

July 1

CANADA DAY 150


Giveaway Prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please join us in thanking our tour sponsors by visiting their websites.


* Jewellery is the Canadian spelling.

 

Canada 150 — In the Emmaline Bags Bag

Welcome to my stop on the Canada 150 — In the Bag tour.

This tour is a bag-making, bag designer, bag supplier tour, so by my title, you may have guessed I’m featuring a bag from Emmaline Bags.

Most of the bag patterns shown on our tour were donated to the bloggers by the designers. You will be able to buy them, and maybe even win one. (I’ll be giving away a pattern on June 10th, so keep checking in.)

Here are all our sponsors, but some of these are our Designers too. (At the end of this post there are links to all of our sponsors & designers)

All of our Designers offer great patterns you can purchase, however, I really wanted to show there are free options out there. We are celebrating after all!

The bag I’ve chosen is a pattern from Emmaline Bags – and it is free. In fact, the additions I’ve made to it are all from Emmaline Bags’ blog, so they’re free too. Well, you do have to buy your materials and hardware…

Here’s the pattern I made:

Isn’t that lovely? I’ve been admiring the Miss Maggie’s Handbag since it came out, and dreaming of a leather Miss Maggie. However, I found some perfect fabrics I wanted to use for my Canada 150 bag.

Here’s my Miss Maggie’s Handbag:

Oh, I love it! The material I used for this was created to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this July 1st. This is Stonehenge Oh Canada by Northcott. I’m including a link for the fabrics just in case you love it too. Being Canadian, I was able to find this at my local quilting shop.

Here’s the back view of my bag:

Nice hardware, eh? Yup. I really do love this bag.

Pockets

The bag is lovely all on it’s own, but I wanted to add a few things. The first thing I added was a zipper pocket inside the bag.

This zipper pocket is the perfect size.

Here’s the tutorial for adding a zipper pocket to a bag.

SEW AN EASY ZIPPER POCKET METHOD 1- A TUTORIAL.

Janelle (owner of Emmaline Bags) says, ‘Everyone needs an internal zipper pocket in their purse or handbag…’ I felt the same way. I love to have a zippered pocket to keep things tucked away and safe. This tutorial was easy too. I had no problems with it whatsoever.

The fabrics I used for the inside of the bag are both special edition fabrics that were created just for Canada’s 150th. The maple leafs (part of the Canadian Sesquicentennial Collection by Northcott) inspired my maple leaf on the front of my bag, and the Canadiana quiz material (same collection as the maple leafs) was just too fun not to use.

More Pockets

The bag comes with one slip pocket included in the pattern.

That pocket is perfect for a cell phone, or anything else you want to keep separate in your bag. I’m thinking my cell and sunglasses!

You can also see in of all of these pocket photos that I’ve added a magnetic clasp for a closure. This closure is what the pattern suggests, and Janelle has a tutorial for that too.

How to Install a Magnetic Snap Closure

Janelle has some really great tips in this tutorial to keep that snap tightly secured, and I followed them.

Bling Bling

I had to add some bling to my bag.

Who could resist a Sewn label? Not me. Anyone who sees my bag will know it’s an original and handcrafted.

The Long John Strap Anchors, the handmade hanging metal tag, and the leather tassel are more bling. Well, the strap anchors are rather practical in that they attach the straps to the bag, but they definitely bring the bling factor.

So much more love!

To make my tassel, it was back to Emmaline Bags’ blog for another tutorial.

HOW TO MAKE A TASSEL: AN EASY BAG MAKING TUTORIAL.

I had so much fun making my tassel. It was extremely satisfying. Leather is so lovely to use. The leather I used for my tassel was from a second-hand score. A box of leather samples and a few other things for $5.

As well as making the tassel from my upcycled leather, I also made a gorgeous Maple leaf – the symbol on Canada’s flag.

Over the top love!

 All the beautiful bling I bought (commonly called hardware) came from Emmaline Bags’ online store. Unfortunately, it’s not free. But you do have a chance to win some.

Hardware Tip & More

In the Miss Maggie pattern, it’s suggested to keep the plastic protective covering on your hardware while you sew your bag. That makes a lot of sense, but some of my hardware didn’t come with plastic on it.

I used some Press & Seal to cover my hardware during the sewing process and it worked perfectly!

There were no scratches to any of my hardware this way. Not only does Beverly Johnson (The Fairy Bra Mother) tell us how to clone a bra with Press & Seal, but now I can see another great reason why we all need this in our sewing rooms! You can see I started by covering my hardware with a bit of felt. The Press & Seal was faster and no pins.

I have one more little tip for you. To attach the magnetic clasp, I needed double-sided fusible interfacing. I know I had some, but I could not find it anywhere. I happen to have lots of single sided interfacing though and more than one sewing machine.

I sewed a strip of interfacing together with the glue sides out. It worked perfectly under the magnetic closure.

How to Win

For my give-away in the Canada 150 – It’s in the Bag tour, I’m giving away a PDF pattern from Emmaline Bags.

Comment on my post about your biggest sewing failure for a chance to win. Marsha (Seam of my Pants) has already picked the winning post number for me. All you have to do is post. The winner will be announced on the 10th.

As well, on the 10th I’ll be sharing my project that didn’t work out for this tour.

Enjoy the rest of our tour.

Happy 150th Canada!

&

Happy creating!

Each blog has an exclusive giveaway, so be sure to visit them all.


Tour Discounts

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

Tour Stops

(These links will be active on and after the day they are scheduled.)

June 4

Emmaline Bags

June 5

Tangled Blossoms Design With Love in Every Stitch Happy Okapi

June 6

Michelle’s Creations Barabooboo Soca Sewing

June 7

Glitter in my Coffee Michelle’s Creations Seam of my Pants

June 8

Seam of my Pants Creative Roots Sewing Happy Okapi

June 9

Seam of my Pants

June 10

Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)

July 1

CANADA DAY 150


Giveaway Prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please join us in thanking our tour sponsors by visiting their websites.


* Jewellery is the Canadian spelling.