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

  • 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


 

Another Watson for Em

There is nothing so comfortable as a comfortable bra! Or in this case, a comfortable bralette. When a bra is comfortable, there is no feeling of can’t-wait-to-take-it-off. You really forget you have it on. That’s how Em was feeling. She kept telling me how much she loved her Watson, and that she didn’t get home from work and want to take it off right away. I’m so glad.

Em’s last Watson.

This was all just bits of this and that I had in my stash. Despite that, I think it turned out quite lovely.

Hints 

As well as telling me how much she loved it, there were all the hints of what her favorite colors are, that she’d love another one, this was all she wanted to wear…

I got the hints. I dropped a few myself, like you have to buy some materials if you want me to sew you bralettes. Still, I really enjoyed making her something she loved. So… I’m making another one to get my sewjo back.

  Sales

 B,Wear has recently had a few sales. The first one I was aware of was a 35% off sale. I took advantage and I bought some elastics. I’ve found elastics were always what I was seemed to run out of first because I wasn’t willing to unpick it all, especially triple-zigzag stitches!

Along with my elastics, this lovely lace came from Bodil’s B,Wear shop. I used this for Em’s Watson. It’s gorgeous.

I’m matching it up with black to make a striking combination. White lace cups and cradle, black band, straps and findings. Em did say black and white were her favorite color combination.

Other Plans

Originally, I was going to use some more ‘bits’ that were left over in my stash for another bralette. However, once I was sewing with these ‘bits’ I realized the material was terrible! My machine hated it, and I didn’t want to sew with it anymore. After fighting with it and my machine for the better part of a morning, there was one more part that just wasn’t right; I couldn’t face unpicking it again. I turfed it and it felt great!

This is a really thin Lycra material. I still had some leftover after cutting this out, but it’s in a give-away bag now. Someone else might love it, but not me. Not anymore. Along with this, two other very similar Lycra materials are leaving my stash too.

Em’s Second Watson

    Here’s Em’s Watson. I really love how this one turned out as well.

Oh, it’s so pretty. The black and white is so classic.

Here’s the side view: There was a lot of switching thread for this bralette. I only made one little mistake on the first color change. I went over the seam by a couple of stitches.

Other than that, I was quite pleased with all my switching back and forth.

Here’s the back of the bralette.

Seeing as I know this size fits her, I sewed the bow on already. I took advantage of the black and white color scheme to put a black bow on the front.

 Here’s a little tip for keeping these bows in place while getting it all under the presser foot – use a little bit of double-sided tape. You hardly need any, and it will wash away in the laundry, but it keeps it right where you want it until you sew it in place.

There’s only one thing I don’t love about this lovely bralette. The rings and sliders are one size too big. I don’t have any 3/8″ ones. Well, I did have a few but they were plastic, and I know plastic won’t survive being stepped on. (I never asked. I didn’t want to know.) The smallest size I have are 1/2″ ones, and as you can see, they’re a bit too big. I did try moving them, and they seem to stay in place quite well.

The most fun I have sewing for Em is hearing the exclamations coming from the other room when she’s trying something on: “It’s so cute!” I just don’t yell like that over any of my makes for myself. I might have a little more sewjo if I did.

The lace for this bralette came from B,Wear, the elastics from Bra-Makers Supply, the straps from Merckwaerdigh, and the power net from a new supplier to me – Club Tissus.

Happy creating!

Using My Sample Packs

Something I’ve had for a while now are the Sample Packs from Bra-Makers Supply. When I first ordered them, I was more excited about them than the rest of my order. I could see all the colors of Duoplex at one time, in one place. The same for the Power Net. Only a bra-making geek would be excited about this. There’s a link in the photo if you too want your own sample pack. (No affiliation with Bra-Makers Supply – just love.)

swatch-pack-duoplex

That’s the photo from the BMS website. Here’s my own Duoplex Sample Pack.

bms-sample

Here are all my samples:

all-samples

These are the Duoplex, the Regular Power Net, The Cotton Lycra and Tricot Samplers. They really are such fun and very useful. You can find a full listing of all the Sample Packs Bra-Makers Supply carries here.

In the past I’ve show you how I’ve used them. When I purchase a lace or other bra-related material, out come my samples right away to see what I can use to match my purchase.

Here’s a recent one. Merckwaerdigh‘s Etsy shop had a gorgeous Devore Cotton knit bra kit. I’ve learned to not even think about these things. She only ever has one of these treasures, so scoop it up quickly.

devore-cotton-lace

These two photos showing the Devore Cotton are both from Merckwaerdigh’s store.

devore-cotton

Isn’t that pretty? Devore Cotton is also more commonly known as Burnout Knit. Devore Cotton sounds so much more exotic.

However, I know from experience, I need a little more support than this kit will provide. That’s where my Sample Packs come in.

Here are a few of my Duoplex options.

Here’s the Devore Cotton and Light Beige:

dc-and-light-beige

In this photo that looks like a pretty good match, but in person the Duoplex is a little bit lighter than the beige in the cotton.

Here’s the DC with Dark Beige:

dc-and-dark-beige

Hmm. This still isn’t what I’m envisioning. But the beiges are a good match.

Here’s the DC and Platinum:

dc-and-grey

This  was what I was thinking for the kit. I do like this one. The greys are not the same, the BMS one is a little lighter than the one in the DC, but I might be leaning towards this one. I’ve been wanting to make a Platinum bra.

And the DC and Black:

dc-and-black

I think the black makes the DC look washed out, which is definitely not a look I want!

I think I’m going to go with a platinum band and use Sheer Cup lining behind the DC.

Do you have any of the BMS Sample Packs? Do you love them too? Do you have a favorite? What would you use behind the Devore Cotton? Duoplex or Sheer Cup Lining?

Happy Creating!

Prizes and Discounts

The Canada Cups – Cross Your Heart Relay is all wrapped up, but that doesn’t mean the fun has stopped. Oh, no. We have more fun for you.

First, let’s see our winners!

Giveaway Winners

Are you one of the lucky 10?
  1. Lavender and Lace bra-making class from Braphoria: Reece Montgomery (Canada)
  2. Two $25 CAD store credit certificates (for you and a friend) from Bra-makers Supply: Denise Marie (USA)
  3. Exclusive pre-release Latte bra kit from The Emerald Studio: Jodi Barrington (Canada)
  4. Complete bra kit including findings, underwires, and lace from Uplift Custom Bras: Angela Smith (Canada)
  5. The Sophie Swimsuit online class, incl. PDF pattern from Closet Case Files: Yiling (USA)
  6. $50 CAD store credit from Blackbird Fabrics: Chelle (USA)
  7. $25 CAD gift card from Ann’s Fabric Shop & a PDF pattern from Jalie: Jeannie (USA)
  8. $50 CAD gift card from Central Sewing Machines: Patricia (Canada)
  9. Complete bra kit from Custom Bras: Kelly Boggs (Canada)
  10. The 10th prize is a bundle of 3 classes from Craftsy, worth more than $200 USD. Their Giveaway is still open until tonight, 11:59 PM MST. This winner will be notified directly by Craftsy.

Did you win? If not, we have a number of tour sponsors who have not only donated prizes, but have also very graciously provided discounts for us.

Just look at all these sponsors! A very BIG thank you to all of them for participating with us!

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I hope you enjoyed our tour as much as we did making it. Let me know if you win, or if you decided to make something new as a result of our tour. I’ve already heard from one woman who said she “was motivated to finish her foam cup bra and make a lace one after reading the review on the Foam, Lace & Beyond class.” That is so great to hear. Did our tour motivate you?

Happy creating!

A Review of Sewing Panties Construction & Fit

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

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

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

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

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

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

She was absolutely right! It’s not hard.

full_2846_373118_DraftingaMasterPattern_1

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

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

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

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

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

back 2

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

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

Front

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

Gusset

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

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

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

panties on table

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

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

reinforement

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

Elastic behind the lace

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

Pinking the edges

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

One more thing to add

Here’s my matching set.

Full set on table 2

 I love them both!

Set on Catherine 3

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

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

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

pattern mix 2

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

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

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

Let me show you the Boy Shorts I made.

Front of panty

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

comparison

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

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

Back lace detail

Isn’t that a lovely detail?

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

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

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

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Saturday, September 17

bloggers

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

Happy creating!

An Interview: Central Sewing Machines

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

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

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

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

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

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

central-sewing

Where is Central Sewing Machines located?

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

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

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

basic-bra-class

The Basic Bra-making class offered this fall.

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

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

Mrs. Weaver? (Nudge. Nudge.)

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

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

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

How do you get the word out?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What were those early classes like?

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

classroom

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

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

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

How long were you teaching at Central?

I taught there for four years, maybe five.

Who is there now?

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

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

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

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

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

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

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

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Friday, September 16

bloggers

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

My Spring Lingerie Wardrobe Plans

We all have plans of things we want to make or sew, but last fall I realized I had so many projects to make on my list that I needed to break things down a little. I made a Fall/Winter list and left everything off that I wouldn’t be wanting over the winter. That helped me tremendously.

I did the same again just recently when I was planning a trip to Bra Makers Supply. When I started to make my list, there were a lot of darker colors on it like Black, Black Cherry, Chocolate… I took a look. Well, I took a look after I added up what it was going to cost me if I bought everything on my list, and I decided to re-do it for only Spring and Summer.

The first thing to do was to go through my stash and see what I needed to complete what was there already. I have a Pink Bra Kit but I didn’t have a Finding Kit. I had an Ivory Bra Kit too, but again no Finding Kit.

Finding Kits were on my list.

findings and bra kit

As well as the Finding Kits, I picked up a Lavender Bra Kit and Finding Kit. All of these will make a lovely light-colored Spring and Summer bra wardrobe.

While at home I looked at the cotton I had for panties. I had some Beige, and some Pink. So I needed some Ivory. Bra Makers doesn’t have Ivory in their Cotton Spandex, but they do have lovely Modal in an off white that looked nice with the Ivory Duoplex. I loved placing the fabrics beside one another and seeing how close the colors were for myself.

bamboo 2

I had my hubby with me (he was the one rushing me out of the store), and I told him to look at the Bra Kits and pick the one he liked. On his third pick, we agreed. We chose the Lavender Bra Kit and Findings, with Lilac and Lavender lace. The kit is showing above, but here’s the lace.

LS-63.5355%20Lilac%20and%20Lavender

Oh, it’s so pretty! I did realize after I left the store that I didn’t buy the Lilac Cotton Spandex, but BMS does carry it, so that will be something I still need to purchase.

Two more bras will round out my Spring and Summer wardrobe and they’re both Beige. I bought some Beige Polka Dot Tulle, with Beige Sheer Cup Lining, and a Beige lace to make Beverly Johnson’s Heather bra that was shown in her Craftsy class.

Heather on Ashley smaller

This photo is from Beverly’s blog. You can read how she made it and what pattern adjustments to make here. It’s such a beautiful delicate looking bra. I can’t wait to make my own version of it. Here are my materials for it.

beige lace beige tulle beige sheer cup lining

For the last bra on my Spring/Summer list, I chose Beige Cut and Sew foam with a gorgeous Beige and Copper stretch lace.

beige lace over beige cut and sew foam

It was love at first sight when I saw that lace. Just imagine of my delight when watching Beverly’s last bra-making class and I saw she used the same lace over a beige foam cup! It’s beautiful together.

One last purchase and (gulp) possible plan – a bathing suit. Bathing suits simply don’t fit me. If I buy them to fit the bust, they float around me. If I buy them to fit my frame, I’m spilling over the top. They have not been one of my favorite things.

The Princess Tankini Pattern.

tankini 2

Sewing a bathing suit is at the bottom of my list, so if I don’t get to it, I won’t feel overly upset about it. In fact, I didn’t buy any material for this project. The pattern is enough for now.

I can’t wait to start sewing. 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!

elastics

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.

haul

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.

building

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?

prices

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

donuts

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!

sign

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.

wall

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!

How Do I Store My Stash

A fellow bra-maker asked me what type of system I have for storing my stash. So I thought I’d share with you how I store all my precious materials.

A few years ago, a friend was moving and getting rid of a lot of things. I scored this cabinet from her. She’d used it for her kitchen, but I brought it home and put it in my sewing room.

Cabinet

I love my cabinet! The only thing I did to change it was to add some adhesive paper to the shelves. I can close the doors and if it’s not all nice and neat inside, well, I don’t have to look at it.

Here’s the inside:

Whole-Cabinet-Inside

I have a few cute craft items I’ve made glued onto the doors on the left side, as well as all the parts of a Prima Donna bra. On the right side I have my knit and woven Slopers, the Bra-Makers Supply Small and Large Finding kits contents, and an info page from Needle Nook Fabrics.

From the top left to right, I have Cotton Spandex at the back, then stretch lace elastics (for making panties), then in front of that I have my prized swatches from BMS showing the colors of all their Duoplex, Power Net, and Cotton Spandex. In front of that I have ribbons for making bows. The ribbons are probably the only thing I have in my stash that not in a plastic bag.

Next I have my box of bra-making Elastics, with a box of adjusted patterns on top of that. Here are my elastics:

Elastics-Box

Everything is sorted by size and type. The channeling is all in one zip bag. The 3/4″ elastic in another. It is not sorted by color though. If I’m looking for 3/4″ elastic, it’s easy enough to see black from beige in the bag.

Next to the Elastics box are the Laces box which sits on top of the Threads and Wires box. All the laces are still in their plastic for safe keeping. You might be wondering at this point, why I keep almost everything in plastic. I didn’t start that way. One day when I reached into my box for some lace, there was a dead spider in the box. I packaged everything up that same day. I’m not sharing my stash with spiders or any other bugs!

Laces-Box

In my Threads and Wires box you can see I keep my threads and bobbins together in little bags too. That way I never have to wonder if that’s the right shade of pink that matches my good thread for bra-making – my spools and bobbins stay together. The wires are all in a bag according to their size.

Wires-and-Threads-Box

The far right side of the top shelf contains binders with ideas and photos that have inspired me and sewing tutorials I’ve printed off. Lastly there are patterns in large over-sized envelopes.

That’s the top shelf. The second shelf has my Bra Kits box, and my Bits O Kits box. Any kits I’ve bought, as well as Duoplex, Power Net, and cup lining all go in the Kits box. Any bits I have that can’t make a whole bra go in the Bits box. No photos of that as it’s really a rather messy box and I really need to go through it again and trim down what I have in there.

Bra-Kits-Box

These top shelves are the treasures of my stash. But I still have two more shelves to go.

The third shelf in my cabinet has an assortment of fabrics for other than bra sewing. Material I’ve collected for bags, skirts and other fun sewing.

2nd-Up-from-Bottom-Shelf

That red and black material is going to be my next Flirt Skirt (still my favorite!).

The bottom shelf has more material, but it’s all in smaller amounts. There’s also felt on the bottom for any fun felt crafts I want to make. And there’s a small basket for my button jar and a few tools, like my Hot Fix tool.

Bottom-Shelf

At the back of the bottom shelf is the quilting table for my sewing machine, and some over-sized interfacing.

I do need to rethink where I’ll be storing my interfacing. I just may need more storage.

Happy creating!

Fitting the Omega Shape

Here’s a little history of my learning curve on the Omega shape.

Way back in 2012 I wrote a post called The Dawn of the Alteration Age. That was the beginning of my journey in understanding and learning about the Omega shape and the alterations needed to help fit it. In that blog I wrote:

After a few bras, I made a call to Bra-Makers Supply with a question. You see, every bra I wore, whether RTW or one I’d made, all left a line or imprint about an inch or so under the bust line. I was simply wondering what caused this.

Beverly, the owner of Bra-Makers Supply, and author of two manuals on bra-making gave me my answer: the underwires I was using were either too big or too small.

Hmm, too big or too small really wasn’t the answer I was wanting, but it did help me to realize one thing – my wires weren’t fitting. They were the same wires I’d worn in RTW bras.

So, what is the Omega shape? What is this mysterious breast shape all about? Well, I can’t say every woman with an Omega shape will be the same, but there is a common thread: the actual breast is larger than the root of the breast. If you’re wondering what that mean in terms of bra-making – it means the wire/cradle will not match the cup size. For me, I need a 36 wire/cradle, but a cup that would normally take a 42 wire/cradle.

These two sized parts don’t go together easily as they don’t match in size, so there have to be alterations to get that larger cup into that smaller cradle.

Here’s an older photo showing the different length between the two parts. The cup is on the bottom.

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In this photo, you can see the cup extending out past where the cradle and the wire will end.

There are a couple of alterations to help ‘ease’ that cup into the cradle. One method that I’ve used quite a bit is to run a gathering line of stitches along the lower edge of the cup where it will fit into the cradle, then gather. You’ll have to eye-ball it a bit – gather, pin it in and see if you need to adjust the gathers or not. I tend to over-gather, so usually have to let it out a bit.

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I find this method the fastest and easiest alteration. It does leave a few small puckers in the bottom of the cup, but seriously, who’s looking there?

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As well, I think the puckering is a bit exaggerated on Catherine, as she’s not the same size as me. When I’m wearing the bras, I really don’t notice any puckering.

Another method of removing that excess is one I used when I first started making the alterations – I was trimming the corners of all the cup pieces to take out that inch or so of excess along the bottom of the cup. Basically making little darts all along the seams. The Shelley pattern was good for taking that excess out. But I had to be very careful – although I didn’t need the fullness at the seam line, I did all the fullness in the cup. And to be honest, it was a lot of work.

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The benefit is it’s a much neater looking seam line. I’ve found it’s not worth all the fussing with the seams. I’ve found just using a little steam on the bra after I’ve sewn it really makes most of the little puckers disappear.

One last thing to consider when dealing with the Omega shape is the wires. Often a Vertical wire is recommended, and many women find that the perfect wire for them.

Here’s a great photo showing two wires that are the same size – one Vertical which is much narrower, and one is a regular long wire.

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That’s quite a difference. As helpful as that Vertical wire is for many women dealing with an Omega shape – I needed more help. There’s a big difference between 36 and 42 wires. I needed both the narrower shape, but also the length and I wasn’t getting that with the smaller Vertical wires. I found Flexible wires were perfect for me.

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In the above photo you can see how much narrower that Flexible wire can be. I found the Flexible wires to be perfect for me in dealing with the Omega shape. Along with the alterations I make to the cup (to help it fit into the smaller cradle), I’ve found using the Flexible wires really made a huge difference and made my bras (finally) fit me perfectly.

Happy creating!