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.
lace covered full band

Isn’t that lovely?

Here’s another sample from the class:

partial band

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:

foam

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.

Heather on Ashley smaller

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.

Band

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.

bloggers

 Happy creating!

Pretty In Pinks and The Bra-A-Week Challenge

This week, I’ve made another lovely Shelley bra – in pink.

Front

For this bra, I used my custom Shelley pattern, but I did make a couple of little changes.

I added some lace to the power bars, which is really only a change to the look.

power BAr

A few changes I made to the pattern itself is I made a Gothic Arch on the bridge. I didn’t get it perfect, but close. I also now know what to do for the next one. I think I missed a couple of stitches on the first pass of the elastic on the one side. When I turned it, because I missed those stitches, I got a tiny pucker. That bridge is looking so unadorned… I need to get my Hotfix crystals out and put some bling on it!

Gothic Arch

Oh, I have to show you how lovely and neat the inside is when sewing a Gothic Arch.

Inside

Do you see how the ends of the elastic are tucked nice and neatly under the channeling? Ooooh, I love that! I’m all for the inside of my bras or garments looking as nice as the outside. I lined the cups using the Sewy Rebecca method, so all my inside seams look as nice and neat as that Gothic Arch.

One other change I made was in how I put on the straps. I usually use some of the band elastic to attach the strap – making a loop at the top of the band where I put the slider.

gap

However, a few weeks ago, I showed you how that really hadn’t worked well on my beige Shelley. When I was looking at the elastics for this bra, they didn’t seem as firm as some others I’ve used, so I decided to use the strap elastic on the band. I don’t like it as much. It always seems to pucker where it meets the band when the bra is on me. It’s even puckering a little bit here on Catherine (my dress form).

One last comment on my own make. I tried the little tutorial I’d posted on making your own bows with a fork. Hmm. Well, I tried a number of times, and it did not work. I used the cardboard method again, and made little bows for my straps. I’m going to take that link out. I don’t want to recommend something that doesn’t work.

pink bow

It’s so fun to make my own bows,  I wanted to find a way to do the bows with all ribbon that actually worked and I found one. I even made a couple before I shared the site with you. You can find the tutorial here.

Now onto the Bra-A-Week Challenge! We’re on week 27!

Our first submission is from Sofia.

Sofia made a Partial-Band bra this week.

Dotted-bra

That is so pretty! Sofa made this bra from her full-band pattern and modified it. She also added an inside pocket for cookies. Sofia said this was the slipperiest Lycra she’d ever sewn. I understand about slippery Lycra. You did a beautiful job!

As well as modifying her bra pattern, Sofia made knickers from a pattern she drafted herself. They’re a high-waisted brief with princess seams.

Dotted-Bra-Knickers-set

What a beautiful set! You can read more about Sofia’s set and her alterations on her blog: Silver Lining.

Our next submission comes from David.

David made a stunning ‘open’ bra.

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David explained with a triangle breast shape the pink lace will still cover – over the apex of the breast.

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           Here we can see from the side.

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And the back of the bra.

David is a freelance lingerie designer, his label is Bonnet Bleu.

Happy creating!