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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

A Review of Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace & Beyond

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Canada Cups – Cross Your Heart Relay blog tour, 2016.

banner-improvedYou’ll see in my sidebar menu, I’m an affiliate with Craftsy. I decided to do this because I can do it without any compromise. I really do think they’re great. In fact, I love the whole concept: You buy a class that never expires; you can watch it anytime; the instructors answer your questions. From sewing to cooking to gardening and more, they have classes. They really are great!

I’m reviewing Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Bras Foam, Lace & Beyond class and so is Rachelle from That’s Sew Venice. Have you seen Rachelle’s blog? She has some great posts on her blog, and I think you’ll love what she does. Any blogger who falls in love with making lingerie is my kind of blogger too.

Here’s my review: The first thing Beverly Johnson, suggests in this class is that you take Sewing Bras Construction & Fit, which is another great class. I have that first class, and go back to review my notes again and again. I still find it valuable.

So, once we have that foundation on making bras, Beverly now takes us into the gorgeous world of lace bras. Oh, so much lace! And oh so pretty. I love lace. But as the name of the class implies, it’s not just lace. It’s Foam, and Lace, and more.

Here is some of what Beverly covers:

What lace to use

Lace on the upper cup

Full lace bras

Lace partial-band bras, and lace full-band bras

Lace and foam

Making Demi cups

Making Balconettes

Preformed foam cups

Cut & Sew foam cups

And there’s more. This class really covers a lot.

Here’s a screen shot from the class of a beautiful lace-covered full-band bra.
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Isn’t that lovely?

Here’s another sample from the class:

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Isn’t this gorgeous? Just wow. Beverly not only makes everything look amazing, she really instills confidence that we can do this too.

Here’s one more example from the class:

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The bras Beverly makes and teaches in this class rival any Ready-to-Wear bra – anytime. Every time.

Both my Eastern partner, Rachelle, and I both made a bra to go along with what we were learning from the class. Rachelle used the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern to make a Demi cup bra. I’m starting with the same pattern, but just wait until you see how different our makes are!

The bra I chose to make is from this class and Beverly’s first class (Construction & Fit): the Heather bra.

In Beverly’s first class, her model, Heather, was wearing a RTW bra that became a Craftsy hit! Everyone wanted to learn how to make this bra, and naturally attributed this beauty to Beverly.

Heather

Here’s another screen shot of Beverly measuring Heather wearing her lovely bra. I was going along with the crowd on this one – I loved that bra too.

In this class, Beverly takes us through the steps to make our own Heather bra.

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Here’s Beverly’s Heather bra. It’s gorgeous!

The first thing Beverly shows us is how to change the seams on our bra pattern. She takes about a minute and a half to show this, and she draws it all out and cuts it. It took me… longer than that… and a break for lunch, and two cups of tea to do mine.

IMG_0665Once the pattern was done, it was time to cut the bra out. I’m always amazed at how little fabric goes into a bra. This little pile is about to become something very pretty.

Do you remember my teaser post? Now you’ll see just what I made with this lovely tulle.

Polka Dots

Here’s my Heather bra:

Front

A few of the alterations I made to my Heather to make her fit me are: I lower my bridge, so my bra has more of a plunge look to it. (All my bras do.) I also used a smaller cradle and wire (Omega shape), and shortened the underarm of the bra. Those are my personal fitting alterations.

The last change I made was to  use polka dot tulle and sheer cup lining under my lace. The Heather bra usually only uses sheer cup lining.

Here’s where it all starts. Remember, go see what Rachelle from That’s Sew Venice is making – we’re both starting with this pattern. The Classic Pattern or ‘Linda’.

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You can see by comparing the photo of my bra front to the pattern, the cross cup seams are different. Where the straps join is different as well. Beverly shows how to change both of these in the class. There are also some pattern pieces included in the Materials of the class, so you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

Now for a few more features of my bra.

Front bow

On this close-up of the front you can see I made my bows out of the polka dot tulle. Just peeking out from behind that bow you can see a Gothic arch. Those are so comfortable.

Bow

Here’s another little bow. Both straps have bows covering the seams where the upper cup and strap are sewn together. Another change I made was to have the trim that’s along the upper cup go all the way up the strap.

The polka dot tulle continues up the straps as well. And around the bra band for a delicate polka dot look to the whole bra.

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I love polka dots.

This class was really something I’d wanted for a long time. Since I first saw the Heather bra, I knew I wanted to make one too. There is so much more in this class as well. Don’t forget to pop over to Rachelle’s post to see what she made using the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern, and read her review.

Do you have a favorite bra from one of Beverly’s Bra-making classes on Craftsy? I’d love to hear which one it is.

I want to thank Craftsy for donating this class to me to review.

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

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

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Wednesday, September 14

Every day I’m posting the day’s links. Want to see the whole blog tour schedule? The complete schedule will be available at the end of the tour.

We have such a wonderful group of bloggers on this tour! They’ve all done an incredible job. Thank you.

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 Happy creating!

A Trip to Bra Makers Supply

We all have plans and we all have schedules. Mine changed suddenly last week, and my husband and I found ourselves flying to Ontario, Canada with only a day and a half notice. I knew right away though, there was no way I was going to be within hours of Bra Makers Supply and not go there. I started to make new plans right away.

So here’s a little post about my trip to Bra Makers Supply. I was so excited to go, and to meet everyone. However, I arrived the same morning everyone was leaving for the Bra Makers Cruise. That was a small wrench in my plans, but I did get to meet Beverly and some of the staff. It all worked out great.

Beverly and M

Beverly is as wonderful as you think she is, and so is the store! Due to our own schedule, my DH had to rush me a little to get me out of the store. I arrived with a list in hand, and wanted to take my time and enjoy the whole process of being there, looking at everything, selecting what I wanted, taking photos all along the way. Our schedule demanded otherwise.

I did buy all the things on my list, but I didn’t take anywhere near as many photos as I wanted.

There were shelves that went almost to the ceiling. Everything is wonderfully organized; truly a bra-maker’s delight. Along one wall there were plastic baskets of rings, and sliders, and wires, oh my! Along the opposite wall were more shelves with laces, elastics, simply everything we need.

shelves

Just imagine shelves of laces!

wall of lace

Next to these were the Stretch Laces. I really could have spent a lot more time there. Well, my money would have run out eventually.

Below are just a snippet of the elastics. Right in the middle of the lower shelf that’s showing in the photo – the new Grey and to the right of it, the new Black Cherry. Oh so pretty! I heard they are going to be part of complete Finding Kits in those colors. Yay!

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It was so fun, but DH was keeping me to my schedule. So a few quick photos, and it was time to seriously shop and hit the road again.

I bought everything I need for my Spring/Summer bra and panty wardrobe. That will be another post.

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Oh, just look at that wonderful stash and me not at home with my sewing machine.

After we went to Bra Makers Supply, we made another quick stop: the location of the original Tim Horton’s restaurant. This may be the original site, but a new building has been put up.

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This location is part restaurant – you can buy your coffee and whatever else Tim’s offers – but it’s also a museum. It was really a fun walk-through. Here are a few photos from the upstairs.

Does anyone remember these prices?

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Here are the original donuts that were offered. I don’t remember any of these.

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I thought this was a cute sign, so took a photo of this too. I have no desire whatsoever to be a Donut Maker, but a Bra-Maker. Yes, please!

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This poster was great. I love how it tied the donuts to hockey. For all the non-Canadians reading, Tim Horton was a Canadian hockey player, who after that career, opened this chain of famously popular coffee shops, that are still very popular today.

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My hubby is a Timmies fan, so this part of our stop in Hamilton was a highlight for him. With me not shopping, I had a little more opportunity to take  few photos.

D and sign

I can’t wait to get home and start sewing. Happy creating!

Some Light Sewing and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

My hand really has to get better. I have lists of things I want to sew and do. It’s not hurting all the time now, but still sometimes – like the other morning when I tried to cut my hubby’s bagel for him. I have no idea what I did to hurt my hand, but it really does have to get better quickly.

I promised myself I’d take it more slowly this week, so I cut out a couple of pair of my TNT panties – one beige and dark purple lace, and one black and leopard mesh. When I’d originally made my beige set (pictured below), I didn’t have very much beige cotton spandex, so only made one pair of panties for my set. In the second photo, the lace on the power bar looks much lighter than the lace on the upper cup because it’s lined with beige duoplex rather than the black sheer cup lining I used on the upper cup. They’re both the same lace though.

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That first pair of panties I made matched the side bar better than the front. Even so, this is one of my favorite sets, and I really found I wanted a second pair of panties to go with it. So, on this second pair of panties, I decided to more closely mirror the upper cup of the bra and use black cotton spandex behind the lace.

New-set

Below are the two pairs one on top of the other. The lace looks so different on these.

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Now, the black and mesh panties to give me a second pair of panties to wear with my Bra/Camisole set. That too-big pair really wasn’t going to work for me, so I used my TNT pattern again, and just re-drew the front to mix it up a bit. The bow is from the too-big pair. I’ve also un-picked the stitching from the mesh on those too-big ones. I didn’t want to waste any of it. When I showed my DH these panties, I told him they were super cute. He agreed; he thinks they’re super cute too.

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Now onto the Bra-A-Week Challenge! This week we’re on week 32.

Our first submission comes from Diana. Diana made a balcony bra from very lovely print.

Diana-bra-front

Diana also wanted to make something special so she made the straps herself using soft tulle and satin ribbon.

strap

Those straps are adorable! So very nice, Diana. You can read more about Diana’s bra on her blog.

Our next submission comes from Andrea.

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Andrea self-drafted this bra pattern based on the method from Beverly Johnson’s Bra-maker’s Manual.

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This version is a 3 piece cup with bra wadding overlaid with patterned satin. It’s lovely, Andrea. You can read more about Andrea’s bra on her blog.

Such wonderful submissions this week! Thank you and Happy creating!

Size Chart Woes

I had two experiences this week that I want to share with you. Both were basically the same thing – and both dealt with size charts. I have a question to ask you: Do size charts actually work?

My first experience was when I ordered the Rhonda Shear 3-Pack Pin Up Lace Leisure Bra. I heard on the video how Rhonda said to ‘order your top size.’ Well, great, but when I’d looked at the size chart that didn’t make sense. There was no way my top size, usually a Medium, was going to work, or at least that was what I was thinking. My bust and their size chart put me in the XL range. I was too hesitant to order my top size, so followed their size chart.

Rhonda-Shear-Size-Chart-REVISED-1

Here’s their size chart. The photo is from The Shopping Chanel.

The bras arrived yesterday, and they’re lovely leisure bras. And they’re too big. Not a lot too big. The Medium would not have been a better fit. I think, judging by how the bras fit me, the Large would be my best fit. However, they are for leisure, so a little loose will be okay. I’ll know for next time.

Here’s one of the bras on Catherine.

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For on Catherine, I’ve added foam cups, so the bra is filled out the same as when I wear it. It’s really lovely and very comfortable. I was thinking when I bought the bras that I just might be interested in cloning them at some point.

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Here’s the back. It’s super smooth on, and again, very comfortable.

My other experience this week with size charts was with Style Arc. Style Arc’s Ann T-Top on Etsy. Again, I looked at the size charts and saw where I fell by my measurements. And I ordered that size for the top.

Nope. Again. Too big.

Style Arc chart

Here’s a screen shot from the Style Arc Web site showing the size chart.

This time the size was off, not just by one size, but by two. This time the charts put me in a 16, but when I printed it off and laid my sloper over it, it was way too big. So I contacted them and ‘exchanged’ the pattern I’d bought for a smaller size. I made up the 12, and it looked close when I laid my sloper over it.

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Here’s my Ann T-Top. This top has some elasticized gathering at the waist. I think that little detail is very attractive.

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Here it is from the side. I have the same Rhonda Shear bra under the top to give it a more realistic fit.

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And from the back.

Here’s me, (finally getting a photo) in both my denim Flirt Skirt, and my Ann T-Top.

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And a tired me (it’s almost midnight), in my Ann T-top. It’s too big.

The highlight of my week was ‘a little lingerie surprise parcel’ that came in the mail for me. Thank you, Ginny! What a treat!

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After watching Beverly’s newest bra class on Craftsy, I have lots of ideas for how to use this lovely lingerie fabric!

Happy creating!

La Bella Luna

I hope all my Canadian and American readers both had wonderful holidays. Canada’s birthday is July 1st, and America’s is July 4th. Let me tell you, there’s one week a year where most of the continent is celebrating.

I just finished the cloned bra I made for a friend of mine. and it looks so pretty. Prettier than the pictures show. And she LOVED it. She exclaimed when she saw it that it was prettier than the original. Well, that made me feel good!

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She chose Ivory & Pink for her colors. And they really do look so nice together. All supplies came from Bra Makers Supply. Here’s a close up of the set we bought at Bra Makers Supply.

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And the back of  her bra.

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It all went together quite smoothly. Cloning is easier than pattern adjusting!

There were a few things I noticed on this bra that were a bit different than I was expecting. One was on the original bra, the manufacturer only used 1/2″ band elastic – if it was that wide. I was really surprised when I saw it and how narrow it looked. I didn’t measure it, but honestly, it looked like the same as the upper band elastic. I changed that to 5/8th width which is more supportive and should be more comfortable.

Changing the size of the elastic meant I had to add that extra bit to the pattern I traced. That wasn’t a problem, but there was not room for all that elastic under the cups. So, with bated breath, I followed the advice Beverly gave in a recent blog. She explains how to cut the elastic so it will fit under the wire.

I read her blog and thought, ‘that makes sense’, but then when it came time to actually cut the elastic! Oh, my! What a terrifying feeling. I had just spent hours sewing this bra… and it’s for someone else… and she paid for all the materials… and I’m about to cut it! Can you feel the drama there? Well, I can tell you I’m so very thankful it all turned out.

But I didn’t just cut the elastic. That was too big a step for me, so I took a preparation step first. To help me feel more comfortable cutting, I folded the elastic over the seam where the cups were sewn into the cradle – that same seam the channeling will be sewn onto – and then traced on the elastic where I could feel the seam underneath the elastic. Sorry, no pictures of that. I was busy holding my breath that it would all work out! Then I simply cut along that traced line. It all worked perfectly. When I do this again, I’ll take pictures to show you.

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On this slightly blurry picture (Sorry, technical difficulties), you can see the elastic is much wider at the lower bridge than what can possibly fit under the channeling. Trimming the elastic is a great option.

As well, on the above picture you can (barely) see the seam in the bridge. That was another one of the surprises I found on the original bra. Most patterns I’ve come across have the bridge cut on the fold. This original bra had a seam in the bridge. So I added a seam allowance to the bridge, and seamed both the duoplex on the front of the bra and the sheer cup lining.

Again, not super clear, is the lower cup of this bra is lined and there is a vertical seam in the lining. It shows up much better in this photo of the original bra.

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That seam line that is visible is actually in the lining, not in the lower cup. So I copied that as well.

The only finishing touch I’d still like to add are a couple of bows to cover the strap seams. They always make it look so much prettier.

One last surprise on this original bra was the lower cup fabric is stretchy! That one doesn’t even make sense. When dealing with cups larger than a C why would a manufacturer use stretchy fabric? It’s not supportive. So one negative is my friend said she could use a little more room in the lower cup. It fits and she’s still thrilled with it, but we’re thinking of changing things up for her next bra. I’m thinking the Shelley bra will be perfect for her.

And lastly, my friend, Jan, really loved her apron. She wanted a picture of her wearing it for the blog. Not only her wearing the apron, but she grabbed a spatula from the kitchen to make it look like she was busy cooking too.

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Happy creating!

I’m Copying Again

I’ve come full circle in my blogging. I started off with a blog called I’m a Copy Cat. Well, it’s been over a year of bra-making and I’d promised myself that even if I was hugely successful at bra-making, once a year I buy a good quality bra and copy it. I don’t know that I’ve been hugely successful, but I certainly can  make a bra.

So I went back to the boutique and bought one of those bras I’d tried on and treated myself.

Vivienne Fantasie

Here’s the bra I bought – but that’s not me in the picture. This is a very pretty bra, and I do like how supportive it is. It’s a Fantasie Vivienne in berry.

Once I got it home, something was bothering me a little. You know, just one of those nagging things in the back of your mind. Then I realized what it was – the underwires weren’t as big as some of the Prima Donna’s I’ve had in the past. The Prima Donna’s are really too big on me, but this one is only about a size too big.

I couldn’t figure this out. From everything I looked at in size charts, the wire should have been the same size of wire as the Prima Donna’s.

To begin, I got my stash of wires out and laid them over the bra’s channeling. I wasn’t getting a match though. This was really bothering me, so out came the seam ripper and I opened the channeling under the arm. I know how to fix it again, so I thought why not? Although I will say it was the first time I’ve ever ripped out stitches on a new bra!

I took out the wire and to my great surprise, it’s a Vertical wire! I was SO very surprised by that. I had to be sure though, so I went to Bra-Makers Supply’s web page and printed out their forms for Vertical wires. Just look under Information to Download, and it’s in that list.

Interestingly, the wire in the bra wasn’t quite a 44VW, but not a 42VW either. Just slightly bigger than the 42VW wire. When I tried the Vertical wires, I was informed that a 40VW corresponds to a 38 wire. I found the 40VW a bit small, so 42VW would be the size for me. And I find this only a tiny bit big. That means very little alterations for me!

And I’ve mentioned this before, but Vertical wires are a much better fit for women like me, dealing with what Beverly Johnson refers to in her manuals as the Omega shape. I had no idea there were bras on the market that used Vertical wires!

I also thought I’d mention a great resource, just in case you’re wanting to clone a bra. For me, it originally came from my first Threads magazines purchase. Sadly, it’s an out of print issue from Feb/March 2002 (#99). Beverly Johnson wrote an article called “Clone a Favorite Bra”. There’s a review of this article  on Pattern Review. I recommend it as well.

But don’t be discouraged that you can’t get that magazine back issue; the same information as the article is in the Bra-Makers Manual; the only big difference is the article had photos with it; the information in the manual has illustrations.

Happy creating!