Canada Cups – It’s a Wrap

Welcome back for the final stop on our Canada Cups Coming Unwired tour.

I’d Like to Thank the Academy…

Before I say anything else, I really want to say a big thank you! We put out the call to some incredibly talented Canadian designers, suppliers, and bloggers, and got an amazing response! Well, you’ve seen the prize list, seen the makes, and read the blogs. It’s been great!

Personally, on behalf of the bloggers, here’s a shout out to Bra-Makers SupplyChelsea C. DesignsClub TissusFavorite ThingsJalie Sewing PatternsLingerie Secrets, and Ohhh Lulu for donating patterns and/or supplies to our bloggers!

We had two guest bloggers on the tour as well! Some wonderful professional bra-makers took time out of their very busy schedules and wrote up posts. Thank you, Linda (Uplift Custom Bras), Maria and Karin (Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables). We are so grateful to you.

Our tour really wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for our bloggers willing to take their time too. Thank you Deb, Jessica, Lisa, Marsha, Mel, Michelle S., Rachelle, and Valérie! I loved seeing your gorgeous makes!

Lastly, there are all the wonderful prizes donated for the tour. Thank you Atelier Fiber Arts & Abrakdabra, Bra-Makers SupplyBraphoria, Central Sewing Machines, Chelsea C Designs, Closet Case Patterns, Crookshanks Custom Textiles (I’m totally envious of whoever wins this one), Fabric Please, Favorite Things, Funky Monkey Fabrics, Libelle Sewing, and Midnight Mountain Fabrics. (Oh, I’d like any or all of these prizes!)

Behind the Scenes Highlights!

 Now for some behind the scenes fun! Let’s talk about a few things that went on while getting ready for the tour!

Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Knot!

Lisa made some hipster panties. She was questioning her fabric placement ability after putting that gold LOVE smack dab… well, you can see for yourself.

Lisa also had to draw on her own sewing experiences when she put off sewing until close to the tour and found she was missing a page of instructions! There wasn’t enough time to get a new pattern and get the panties done in time. I wonder if that could have been the pattern placement page.

You Don’t Say

Rachelle and I both made the Sweet Sixteen bralette pattern. In fact, we not only both made the same pattern, we found the same material! Yup. It’s gorgeous, and we both loved it. We both almost made the same bralette out of the same material.

That Didn’t Work!  

I had a whoops moment I shared with the other bloggers. I called it when bad things happen to good cups. That gorgeous material I couldn’t resist? I had some technical difficulties with my machine… and then my seam ripper.Yes, that’s a hole in the middle of the cup, probably right about where the apex sits in the cup. There were jokes about leaking cups!

I wasn’t the only blogger who had trouble with my materials. Marsha shared with us how her crepe crept off the table and she cut one side of it 1-inch too deep!

 Kids Say the Cutest Things!

Jessica had a laugh when her toddler asked what she was sewing. She said ‘a bra’, and he replied…” a broccoli?'” Nope. Can’t sew a broccoli! It doesn’t fit with our soft-cupped theme either.

Deb told us her girls loved the nightdresses she made for them. They found them a little cold to sleep in now the weather is turning, but had a perfect solution: They suggested going on vacation. I like they way they think!

Name that Movie!

Michelle made the Romy bra, and Marsha reminded us all of the movie Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.

Do you think we could get that out of our heads once it got in? Hmm, I wonder if those are soft-cupped bras they’re wearing?

Fitting

A number of us dealt with fitting issues. Cups too big, bands too big. I don’t know if anything fit perfectly the first time around.

There was one comment made to us about the patterns all being for skinny bodies. Nope. That’s not the case. More than one of us does not fit into that category anymore. We really enjoyed calling each other skinny after that though.

We really do have a lot of fun on these tours, and hope you enjoy them too! So, we’ve wrapped everything up, thanked everyone. All that’s left is for you, our readers to win a prize! I want to hear if one of my readers wins a prize!

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway (This giveaway has ended.)

 

Prizes

Tour Discounts (These tour discounts have ended.)

  • Funky Monkey Fabrics is offering a 10% discount for the duration of the tour. Use code: CC10 for 10% off store wide until October 22nd. Not valid on already discounted full bolts.
  • 20% discount storewide at Fabric Please. Use code CANADACUPS.
  • 10% discount from Central Sewing Machines. Orders must be mailed to Muriel @ centralsewing.com to have the discount applied manually.
  • 10% discount from Midnight Mountain Fabrics. Use the code CANADACUPS10
  • Free shipping from Club Tissus on all orders over $100. Use code: livraison100
  • 10% off a retail purchase from Libelle Sewing with $15 purchase. Use code: CANADACUPS

   If you missed any of the tour, here’s the schedule again.

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 ThreadsGlitter in my CoffeeMichelle’s CreationsMrs. Weaver’s Finest UnmentionablesGracious ThreadsÉlégantine!That’s Sew VeniceSprouting JubejubeFlying by the Seam of my PantsFilles à Maman

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!

An Interview: Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables

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

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

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

Who is Mrs. Weaver?

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

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

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

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

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

How did you get involved in bra-making?

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

When did you make your first bra?

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

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

Do you teach?

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

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

What are your future goals?

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

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

Tell us more about where you see your business going?

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

What are your businesses plans locally? Nationally? Globally?

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

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

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

trip-map

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

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

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

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

What do you despise?

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

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

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

What trends have you seen?

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

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

What is the difference between RTW and custom-made?

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

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

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

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

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Here’s another example of stunning luxurious material.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you reach your target market?

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

Do you use technology?

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

How do you get the word out?

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

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

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

Happy creating!

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Tour Schedule Itinerary

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

Canada Cups Logo Draft

Thursday, September 15

bloggers

And congratulations to all our bloggers on a wonderful tour!

Happy creating!