A Crafty Swap


Do you remember last year when I had the most beautiful scarf and hand-warmers made for me? I wrote about them here. The weather is getting colder and it’s time to pull them out again!

Here they are:

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Aren’t they gorgeous? I love them. You can find more likes these and other styles of Valerie’s in her Etsy store.

Valerie and I were talking during the year after I picked up my beautiful scarf and hand-warmers, and I said I’d like a brooch to match them – black background with white flowers; that I loved her knit brooches. She said she loved my felt ones. We decided we’d do a trade – brooch for brooch.

I sent Valerie a few options, red and white, all red, or all white. She chose the all white option with crystals.


The crystals aren’t showing up very much in this photo, but one of Valerie’s gorgeous scarves is! She really is so very talented.

Here’s what Valerie made for me.


I love it! I pinned it on an old fleece jacket I was wearing that day, but I think this needs to go on my dressy black wool coat. It will really stand out then.

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.

Hmmm, 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!



Odds and Ends


This week has been a week of making odds and ends and getting caught up on things. I keep looking at my sports bra muslin and wanting to get at it again, but other things needed to be done.


One of the things I made this week was some oil for my hair. I have naturally curly hair and if I don’t want a head full of frizz, it needs conditioner, and then more conditioner. I was out of my conditioner and with the temperatures dropping, I needed it.




A few years ago, I made my own version of Ojon’s deep conditioner – I didn’t use all the same ingredients, but looked at the main ones and used a couple of them. Then over the years, my recipe changed. I now make mine with Shea butter, Palm Kernel oil, Avocado oil and Bees’ wax. I melt them all together and then let them cool in a little storage jar. I use about a teaspoon of the oils every time I wash my hair after I’ve dried it with a T-shirt (yep, no towels for curly hair – they just create more frizz) and it really helps to keep my hair from drying out. Here’s my recipe:


4 oz of Shea Butter

2 oz of Palm Kernel oil

2 oz of Avocado oil

1 tsp Bees’ Wax


In a double boiler, melt the Bees’ wax and the Palm Kernel oil, then add the Shea butter and Avocado oil; let them all melt. Pour into a container with a lid and let cool (unlidded). Once you have the ingredients, it’s very simple and easy to make. It also lasts a long time.


Another homemade recipe I use is for my facial toner and I was out of that too, so made some this week. This one has Orange Blossom water (The original recipe had Rose water, but my DH didn’t like that smell, and after he’d something about an ‘Old Lady’ smell, I changed it.), Aloe Vera juice, Vegetable glycerin and Neroli oil. I spray this on every morning before I put on my moisturizer. I love it! Here’s the recipe for this one:


2 oz Orange Blossom water

2 oz Aloe Vera juice

2 tsp of Vegetable glycerin

2 drops of Neroli oil


The toner won’t stay mixed, so just give it a shake in the morning before spritzing it on your face. It feels so refreshing. As well, I use the same spray bottle the Orange Blossom water comes in and store what I’m not using in a glass jar in my kitchen cupboard.




And finally, the sewing I managed to get to this week.


My DS2 is now 20 and getting more and more independent. He heads off to the stores and buys what he likes. Last year he bought two wool sweaters. He loved them, and I think he wore them each once… and then threw them in with the rest of his clothes when he did his laundry. I bet you know what happened to those wool sweaters. They shrunk. DS2 is the Personal Fitness Trainer – he’s not small. The one sweater looked like it would fit a child. The other one didn’t shrink as much, but it was still way too small.


We tried to get them to stretch out again by washing them with lots of fabric softener and stretching them, and although it helped, it didn’t help anywhere near enough for him to wear either of them again. He was so disappointed because he really liked those sweaters.


I’d seen a neat idea for a scarf made from felted sweaters on Betz White’s blog. Although her scarf is very pretty, I tried to make one that was a little plainer and more masculine. I was thinking it was a way for him to keep those favorite sweaters of his. I threw them back in the washing machine and washed them in hot water to get them to shrink more (to felt them), and then a hot dryer. Next I cut them up.




This photo is showing the ribbing from the waistband. I used that for the ends of the scarf.




And here’s the scarf with my son’s ‘new’ coat. The coat was being thrown at as his work. The zipper pull is missing and the seam has come apart on the arm. He brought it home for Mum to fix. Neither will be a hard fix.


broken-zipper      torn-sleeve


So that’s been my week. I hope to get more sewing (for me) in next week.


Happy creating!





How to Grade Up a Size in Bra Patterns


I was asked how to grade up a size in bra patterns. I’ve done this with a few patterns now, so I’ll share with you what I do.


First off, I simply pulled out the nearest pattern I had. It’s the Pin-Up Girls Classic, but any multi-sized pattern will work. I also gather any other supplies I’m going to need: a pencil, an eraser, paper, a seam gauge.


I put my pattern piece under whatever paper I’m using to make my new pattern piece – I use medical exam paper. I love it. It’s a little firmer than tissue paper, and I can see through it easily.




This pattern piece is the lower cup. I get out my seam gauge and measure the distance between the two sizes shown right here. For interest sake, I won’t be changing the gauge while I take photos – just to show you the distances change throughout the pattern.


For this part of the pattern, you can see it’s 1/8″. As I move up towards the apex of the lower cup, I watch to see where that distance between the two sizes changes.




You can see here the distance has increased from the 1/8″. It’s not quite 1/4″ yet, but a little more than it was. As I go around measuring, I make little dots that I’m going to join together to form my new graded-up pattern. I keep checking (every two or three dots) to see if the distance is getting bigger or smaller. If I think it’s changed, I re-measure and if needed, re-set my gauge to make my dots at this part of the pattern.




In this photo, you can see a big change in the difference here at the underarm. Again, just to illustrate that point, I didn’t change my gauge in the photos. Obviously, to make the pattern fit properly, I’d change the gauge here and draw my dots accordingly.




Here at the bottom of the cup, it does get narrower, but I’ll show that in the next photo. What I want to make mention of here, is see all these little B markings? Take note of the distance between these too, and mark your new pattern piece. You’ll want to do the same at the apex mark and any other markings the designer has put on the pattern – they’re all there to help you and you’ll want them on your pattern piece.




In this last photo, you can see there is hardly any distance at all between the pattern sizes – maybe 1mm. The gauge doesn’t actually go that small, so for that part I eyeball it. All the way along the bottom of the cup, the distance between the sizes got smaller and smaller. Just keep measuring and marking accurately.


The next thing I did was to actually go around and draw dots all around the cup using the measurements I’d talked about above. Those dots would not show up for a photo though, so here are a few of them joined together. You can join these dots freehand or have fun with your sewing tools and pull out your curved ruler. I like things to be nice and neat, so usually use my ruler to get the same shape as the original pattern piece.




I have only needed to grade up one size, and then only in the cup. So, for me, I’ve done this for the upper cup, lower cup and power bar. Then I use the custom cradle and bridge I’d made and insert the cups from different patterns into those.


You might need to grade up for each pattern piece. If you’re thinking of grading up, you may need to think about your cradle and bridge too. Just take your time, and measure the distances between every size on every part! Any multi-sized pattern will show you the difference between two sizes.


If you need to grade up more than one size, I’ve read in a couple of places, it’s best to simply buy a new pattern. I think that would mainly be for accuracy reasons.


Happy creating!



A Sports Bra Muslin and a Few More Plans


I’m starting to work out with a Personal Fitness Trainer. You’d think if your son is a Trainer, you’d get free training, but no. He said part of his education was enforcing repeatedly that they are not to give their services away for free. I do understand that. It’s the same as people wanting me to sew for free. I rarely offer that. My boy is charging both me and his Dad. We do want to support him and we want to get in better shape, so it’s a win-win.


Working out brings a whole new set of challenges for me: sports bras. From my reading in the Bra-Makers Manuals, I need more support than a compression-type of sports bra will offer. Anyone over a C cup does as well, which I bet is a surprise to many women out there. I haven’t seen much in terms of sports bras that aren’t compression, and they never fit me very well, but that’s all I’ve seen in the stores and all I’ve ever been able to buy in the past.


The other type of sports bra mentioned in the manual is the encapsulated style of sports bra. Bra-Makers Supply just happens to have a pattern for one too. The Pin-Up Girls Kerri Sports bra.


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BMS advertises this as a ‘no bounce’ bra. That sounds great! They say the design is based on an Indian sari blouse – using darts to give the shape. It’s all sounding good… until I consider my shape and alterations needs.


I bought the pattern and some gorgeous fabrics to make the bra. But before I’m cutting that gorgeous fabric, I made a muslin. Actually, I made two. I made the first one in my normal cup size, but then after re-reading the sizing information again, I realized I could fit into a smaller size and (hopefully) have fewer or less drastic adjustments to make. So I made a second muslin right away after making the first one and made it two sizes smaller.




I have this tried on over one of my bras that fits, with foam in it to fill it out. Looking at this, the strap looks the right length, the front center looks good, the cup depth looks good.




You can see here there’s a little pucker at the underarm, but I usually need a dart there. Remember, this is as is – no adjustments yet – just so I can see what I’m going to have to change or adjust.




The next thing to do was to try it on me. I tried it on over my bra so I had something to pin it to. The shoulder strap could be shortened 1/4″, and I’ve pinned out the excess on me under the bust, which isn’t quite as drastic as on Catherine my dress form. I’m pretty much straight from my underbust to my waist, but she keeps going in. I was out of material to make another muslin, so a trip to the fabric store was in order.


I won’t buy regular muslin material. It’s $15/meter and never on sale. That’s just too expensive. I look for any non-stretch material, so if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve seen many patterned muslins on my posts. This time it was just some basic black cotton. I got a great deal – buy one get two for free. They actually gave me a choice – the material was 60% off, so I could chose to pay for three meters at that price, or pay full price for one meter and get two meters for free. The first way it would have been $28.80 for the 3 meters, the second way I paid $16. I love deals! Guess which one I chose?


While I was there, I also picked up material for my next sewing project (after I get my sports bra done) – The Conference Tote Bag. There’s a sew-along that’s happened already, but all the information is still on the web site right now. The video on the web page shows many of the beautiful bags people have made. I heard so many great things about it and I’ve wanted to make a bag for a long time now. It became my next project.


Here’s the material I chose for my Conference Tote Bag.


material for conference tote


I knew I wanted black and gold, and I looked at a lot of options for my second color. Then I saw the material on top. Everything is outlined in gold as well. I love them together. They look better in person than the photo shows even. Going into fall, I didn’t want anything bright. I’ll save that for spring. The rest of what I need for my bag isn’t on sale for another few weeks, so I’ll have to be patient. It will give me lots of time to finish my sports bra and establish my exercise routine.


One last mention, the Bra-A-Week Challenge is back in the hands of the ever-talented Erin. Pop over to Erin’s blog to see all the incredible makes this week!


Happy creating!

Booby Traps’ Dart Pattern and The Bra-A-Week Challenge


Recently I saw a Booby Traps pattern for sale and thought it was quite nice. There are some similarities to the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern from what I could see – a lace upper cup and an un-split lower cup.














Seeing as I have a bit of a pattern addiction, I was thinking of picking one up. This one was a private sale, and not my size, so I went to visit their web site. After looking at the patterns, I checked to see if they shipped internationally. On the FAQ page it says:


Where do you ship to?

We ship within Australia and to New Zealand. 

Shipping outside these Countries is currently not available. 


Hmmm. I’m never one to be deterred when I want something, so I sent them an email and asked if they mailed their patterns to Canada. The answer I got was: ‘Yes’. Great!

When I was sending off my initial email, I thought I’d throw out a hopeful idea just in case they didn’t post to Canada – I asked if they were going to introduce PDF patterns. Another yes! In fact, it was only weeks away at the time. That’s even better than shipping to Canada! For almost the same price I’d spend to buy a pattern and have it shipped, I could buy two PDF patterns.

I know. I said I don’t like PDF patterns, but a bra pattern is different. I’m not dealing with large pattern pieces, and there’s not usually much taping involved. I’m okay with a PDF bra pattern. However, I did just see a brilliant post by Sigrid on how to use a PDF pattern and not have to deal with a bunch of taping. You can read about it on her blog here. It’s really brilliant. I just may love PDF patterns again.

Back to bra patterns. The B003 wasn’t the pattern I chose to try. I chose the Dart bra.


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Isn’t that a beautiful bra? I love that lace in the second photo. It’s just incredible.


So, the first thing I had to do with my Dart bra pattern was grade it up. I’ve graded other patterns up, so that wasn’t too hard. The next thing was to make adjustments to the pattern to fit an Omega shape. Sigh. That’s harder. The good news there is I have lots of experience! A few years of it, in fact.




There are a lot of darts that aren’t part of the original pattern in this photo. The good thing about trying a test cup on over an existing bra is the wire line is there and the correct shape for me. That really helps me know where to take a little more away from the outside of the pattern.


After the third set of alterations, I was beginning to wonder if this bra will work for me. Then some inspiration hit. I’d make a pattern from my Shelley pattern that fits; I’d make it out of cut-and-sew foam and then just put a dart in it.




Well, that didn’t work either.


I’m not one to give up easily, so, I even-more-carefully-than-the-first-time re-drew the graded-up pattern. That’s when I took a few minutes to play with my pup and got bit. Yup. Same hand I’ve been trying to get better now has one more hurting spot.  Did I sigh already?


I sewed up the cup (at this point, I think I was on tester cup six), and it looked good. I was ready to cut into my good lace.


looks-pretty-good     always-too-big-under-the-ar


I’m also hoping that the extra material there under the arm will be taken away with the elastic and gathering that is done there. That’s one area that’s always too big for me on patterns. I’d already put a dart in the pattern there, so didn’t want to shorten it anymore.


So, how is my Dart bra doing? Well, I’ll show you how far I got.




I tried three different non-stretch laces. This is my widest non-stretch lace. I don’t have a lace that will work for this pattern… in my size. I thought about aligning the upper edge of the cup with the top scallop of the lace rather than the bottom, but this cup was already going to sit low on me. Still not quite ready to give up, I checked Bra-Makers Supply and they only carry 5″ or 6″ non-stretch lace. I checked Etsy, but not much there – I found two. I didn’t love either of them.  I have to admit defeat – at least for now.


I think I’ll pack this pattern away. The only sewing accomplishment I’ve had this week was to put some flexible wires into some bras I’d made before, and now they’ll go from my to-be-repaired pile back into my lingerie drawer.




Let’s put my sewing week behind us and move onto the Bra-A-Week challenge! This is my last week hosting the challenge. I’ve had so much fun seeing all the incredible bras and lingerie being made by such talented creative people. Next week the challenge will be back in the hands of the ever-so-talented and capable Emerald Erin!


Our first submission comes from Amber. Amber made a Pin-Up-Girls with a downward hike, and the front made to look like a demi bra following instructions in Bra Makers Manual. She also added a nursing sling made from 15 denier- which she said she would not do again!




And the upper cup is white duoplex, that has been printed with a rubber stamp and fabric markers. What a great idea! It’s so pretty.




Isn’t that lovely? That makes me want to go out and buy fabric markers and stamps, Amber. Amber’s panties are drafted from Beverly Johnson’s Make and Fit Panties. What a lovely set, Amber.


Our next submission comes from Maddy. Maddy made a yellow lace Marlborough for her sister for her birthday. She says it fits her so well and she was super happy with it! Maddy was also pleased with the finish – she covered the side seams with left over underwire channeling to make everything clean and tidy. I know how that feels. There’s just something to making it as pretty on the inside as it can possibly be. That is so pretty, Maddy.




Next from Maddy still is a pair of Ohhh Lulu Alice tap pants. Maddy bought a gorgeous torsolette a while ago, and although she loves it, couldn’t  justify buying the matching underwear. So she made my own! The colour match is almost perfect, and they’re actually super practical for wearing over the suspender straps.




Gorgeous, Maddy! You’ll have to subscribe to read about these on Maddy’s blog, Miss Maddy Sews, as she hasn’t posted about them yet. If you go right away, you might still be able to enter her give-away!


Happy creating!




Some Light Sewing and The Bra-A-Week Challenge


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


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


beige set bra side


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




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




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


mesh-panties       bow



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


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




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




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


Our next submission comes from Andrea.




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




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


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



Movie Inspiration and The Bra-A-Week Challenge


Where do you get your inspiration? I get mine pretty much anywhere I see something pretty. I remember going through a mall with a friend, and I stopped to take photos of lingerie. My friend was so surprised. I asked her why she was surprised, and she said she just thought I’d make plain things. I remember thinking why would I make something plain if I could make something pretty?


Inspiration struck one night when I was watching The Devil Wears Prada. Have you seen the opening scene? There’s lacy lingerie coming out of dresser drawers; I paused the movie to grab my phone and take pictures. They were all so pretty.


This one inspired me the most.





There’s an overly large generously-covered crystal bow on the front of this bra that doesn’t thrill me so much, but the rest of the bra? It’s lovely. That organza trim against basic black? Love.


This bra was my inspiration for this week. To complete my camisole and panty set, I used a little more of the mesh to make my own trim and made a not-so-basic black bra.




I’m using the Pin-Up Girls Classic pattern, with the lower cup split and all my modifications added to make it fit me.


The bridge has some more of the leopard mesh – I couldn’t just leave it black. There’s also a pretty crystal and bow on the bridge.




Lastly, I’m still deciding if I’ll add bows to cover the strap seam or not. I’m leaning towards bows. I didn’t want anything to distract from the mesh trim, but I don’t think the bows do. Below you can see one strap unbowed, and one strap with a pinned bow.


unbowed to-bow-or-not-to-bow


I was really wondering as the week went on if I’d get this bra done. I’ve hurt my hand somehow and everything hurt. Putting pins in hurt. Taking pins out hurt. Holding the fabric hurt. Seriously. I’ll warn you now, next week will be a light sewing week for me while I let my hand heal up a bit.


Some good news though, is there is enough mesh left after this bra to make one more thing – another pair of my TNT panties. I’m thrilled with my set and although I can’t say I’m looking forward to cooler weather, I am looking forward to wearing my whole set come fall.


Now onto the Bra-A-Week Challenge. This week we’re on week 31.


First off, let me say, we did have a submission last week. But technology got in the way. David sent his submission in time for the challenge, but it took over a day for it to get to me! It was in my in-box on Sunday night.


So, here’s David’s lovely submission from last week:




This is stunning and so very delicate. I love how the elastic is threaded through the lace on the inner cup. David is a free-lance lingerie designer.


Our next submission comes from Emma. Emma made a Longline Watson Bra.




Emma says, this is her first watson, her first actual bra.  Emma also made a pair of high-waisted knickers.  You can read more about her beautiful set on her blog, A Hand-Stitched Life.




What a gorgeous set. Well done, Emma!


Our next submission comes from Amber. Amber made a nursing bra. Amber used the Pin-Up Girls pattern for this and added a few alterations – a split lower cup, a nursing sling, and nursing clips. Pattern, fabrics, (duoplex & power net) and findings for Amber’s bra came from Bra-Makers Supply and BWear.




Amber used power net for the nursing sling, and says it has worked very well; she also used power net with lace on the upper cups – which worked well for nursing as size needs can change throughout the day.




What a great idea, Amber! It’s so pretty and really functional.


Our next submission comes from Lois. Lois knew as soon as she saw this fabric, it would be perfect for the scalloped border on the bottom of a corset.




This border-embroidered organza is from Fabricland. The pattern is Vogue 8393 – an oldie from 2007. Lois used the plain Organza as the lining for the cups and then partially lined the back and side front. She also moved the separating zipper to the side, and used red bias tape for the boning casing.




How very beautiful, Lois!


Such beautiful submissions this week! Thanks everyone! And Happy creating!



TNT Wins Again and So Sew Easy


I was really thinking I’d try another pattern for some panties, but when push came to shove, I just didn’t love all aspects of Butterick 6031.



What I like about them is they sit at the hip. I prefer a Hipster over a Brief. What I don’t love about them is they also look rather like Boy Shorts. As cute as they are, I decided I’d go back to my TNT favorite panty – Kwik Sew 2286.




I played with my pattern using the same technique I’d mentioned a few weeks ago – redrawing the front and making a new pattern. Here are my panties to go with my camisole. I used the same leopard mesh as in the camisole (thank you again, Ginny), and the same lace (Frog Feathers), but this time I’ve matched them both up with some Cotton Spandex from Bra-Makers Supply.

To bring even more continuity to the two, I used the lace in-between the mesh and cotton pieces on the front, and cut away the material behind it to give it the same peeking-through lace look. I think it pulls them together very nicely.




For a second pair of panties I used the mesh again, but decided to venture out and try a new pattern. It was with a little hesitation though. I should have listened to that little voice. I made the Sophia panties from Ohhh Lulu.


Here’s the photo from their Etsy store:




Aren’t they cute? That’s not what mine look like, she says in a flat voice.




So what is wrong with mine? Well, they’re just too big. And I’ve already taken them in a 1/2″ on each side side, and in taking them in I lost most of the ruching on the sides. On their web site, when they released the pattern, they said to test it first before cutting into your good material. Yes, that’s good advice. Back to them being too big… You can see when I put my TNT pair over top of the Sophia panties. They’re not too bad at the waist, but the leg opening. Well, that won’t work for me.




Looking at them, I really didn’t think taking them in more would help how much too big they would be at the leg opening. Normally, the Sophia panty is finished by turning those side panels inside out and sewing them with a straight stitch. I decided not to do that, but to add some elastic there and see if that helped.




It did help a bit, but they’re still to big. I’m really not one to give up. I knew. A bow. A bow makes everything better.




They look a lot prettier now. One thing I didn’t do that I often do when buying patterns is look for the ones lots of people have made and loved. I didn’t do that with this pattern. It was just too darn cute. Sigh. I’ve seen oodles of Grace panties, so maybe those were the ones to try.


Next week I will be adding one more piece I want to make to complete my Camisole set.


Normally, at this point in my blog I’d be saying, ‘And now onto the Bra-A-Week Challenge. This week we’re on week 30!’


Well, we are on week 30, but I think with all the amazing sewing last week, everyone went camping this week. Let’s hope we have lots of submissions again next week!


To end this week, I have some good news – I was asked to write about bra and lingerie making on So Sew Easy. My first post was published this week to coincide with National Underwear Day . You can read it here. As well, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, and what you’d like to read about in the future.

Happy creating!

Butterick 6031 and The Bra-A-Week Challenge


Have you seen any of the Patterns by Gertie? She has some lovely patterns, and her Butterick 6031 is one of my favorites in my lingerie pattern stash… and it was time to pull it out.











It is so pretty! I love that slip – black and white – such a classic!

Another admission I must make is I love watching The Shopping Channel. There are many Today’s Showstoppers in my house. This camisole was something I found on their website and was an inspiration for me. This, as well as some gorgeous material a friend sent me. The photo is the Rhonda Shear Leopard Lace Cami.









I saw this and loved it, but I wanted something a little looser. I have a favorite camisole, and it’s not a snug fit, so I wanted one more like the one I have. That leopard lace? Love! Yes, it was time to pull out the leopard mesh I have in my stash and make something with it. Adding lace just makes it perfect.

Here’s my B6031 camisole.


Love, love, love. However, I did have a bump along the way. I’m still trying to figure out what happened. Somehow, after cutting the mesh material for the cups, I ended up with two right cups. Excuse me? I’m completely baffled by this. I really have no idea how I cut out two the same, but I did.


That was upsetting. I didn’t want to waste any of the material. I will be able to use the material to make a Shelley though, so I’ll save it for future right and left cup pieces. I wasn’t alone this week though, I was reading on another blog how the blogger cut out two left sides of her top.

To make the camisole I also had to do a Full Bust Adjustment. I’ve done one before when I made my moulage from Suzy Furer’s class: Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper.

However, this time I used the information on the sew-along from Gertie herself to adjust my pattern following her instructions. I’m glad I did. The instructions I have would have had me add 3/4″ more than I added. The 1″ Gertie suggested was perfect.

I decided I’d follow along on the sew-along, and the funny thing about following along is once I got started sewing, I forgot about following. I was 3/4s done and remembered. I went back and read through it just to see what it said. The sew-along is for a slip, but all but the hem treatment is exactly the same as for the camisole. I’m thinking of trying the panties from this pattern too. They look really cute and are similar to my favorite TNT Kwik Sew 2286.

I also had some fun making my own bows again. I often like to find some way to do something different or unique. I did that with my bows. The first bow shown here has some mesh with the ribbon, and they’re both tied into the bow, the second bow is ribbon tied with the mess, and the mesh tails hanging down. Both were so fun to make.

Front-bow      Strap-Bow

The materials I used came from BMS (power net), Frog Feathers (lace), and a dear friend, who just happens to be in our Challenge this week, (leopard mesh). Thank you, Ginny! I love how beautiful my camisole is, and will treasure it even more because the material was a gift.


Now onto the Bra-A-Week Challenge. This week we’re on week 29 and we have a great week!

Our first submission comes from Karin of Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables.


This is the Marrakech bikini. It’s based on the Rebecca bikini from the 3 Sisters pattern, a Bra-Makers Supply pattern. Karin altered it to make the cups a little more flattering. The back detail is gorgeous and the fabric amazing!

untitled (2)

That is gorgeous! You can read more about this beautiful bikini on Mrs. Weaver’s blog.


Our next submission comes from Amber. Amber made this beautiful bra for her friend, Helena. She started a while ago, but got interrupted in her sewing by having a son. Congratulations on your son, Amber!


Amber started out planning to make a basic bra, but then saw this lace and wanted to try a couple of different techniques.


Look at that starburst. So very pretty! This is the Pin-Up Girls Amanda foam cup pattern. The pattern, fabric and notions – except for the lace are from Bra Makers Supply or BWear. It’s beautiful, Amber!


Next we have a beautiful bra from Maddy.

Maddy made her third Marlborough with matching Ohhh Lulu tap pants, in coral lace.



Maddy says, ‘I love this set so much! The fit is lovely and comfortable, and I’m so in love with the lace (and its remnant price tag!)’

I agree with Maddy on that – it’s lovely! And beautiful remnant always feels better than full price. It’s gorgeous! You can read more about Maddy’s Marlborough on her blog, Miss Maddy Sews.


Next we have a beautiful bra by Sofia.

Sofia made a very lacy bra. Is there anything more delicate looking than an all lace bra? She also made a few alterations to her pattern. You can read about that on her blog, Silver Lining.


Beautiful. That bow really looks awesome, Sofia! Sofia made her own bow for this bra. It really pops with that deep color.


Our next submission comes from Ginny. Ginny made the Boylston Bra, the newest pattern from Orange Lingerie, and she made it for her niece.


Oh, that is pretty. Ginny describes the Boylston as ‘a sleek balconette style with self fabric straps’.

Ginny also made some matching panties for her niece. Here is Ginny’s first set featuring Make Bra’s DL21 panties.


That is lovely. Ginny, your niece will love it! Here’s Ginny’s second set now featuring Ohhh Lulu’s ‘super comfy’ Grace panty.


I love that floral lace on the sides! You can read Ginny’s guest post on Sewcialists‘ blog.


Our final submission for the week is from David.

David front

David made this bra with pink cups with black lace. The upper part of bra cups are made with black embroidery on tulle.

David side

This bra has a double strapy back and a neck strap.

David back

David is a free-lance lingerie designer. This is really beautiful.

Happy creating!