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:

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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.

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.

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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!

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.

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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!

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!

Canada Cups Posts for Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

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Here are the tour posts for today. Don’t forget to enter the give-away!

Tuesday, September 13

A big thank you to all of our bloggers! You’ve done an incredible job.

bloggers

And I’m sure we’re all thankful for the sponsors! Thank you for making our tour so much better.

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