The Great Cover-Up


I wasn’t willing to give up on my Ivory Shelley. I’ve made too many bras that didn’t fit. This one was too close – a little underarm gap was not going to stop me.

What the Heck

The first repair I tried was what Beverly Johnson suggested in the comments – “You certainly could take a dart along the wire line with a zipper foot, so the excess tucks in against the channeling, then when you give that a thumbs up, chop the excess off. It is not visible unless you point it out.”

I loved this idea, at least in theory. It sounded perfect, but my attempts weren’t. After a couple of tries, I decided an easier-to-sew-for-me dart was the best repair.


Ta dah! Well, it doesn’t actually look the best, but it fits. I had to be careful not to take too much out of the cup’s volume, which was the problem I kept having with my first few attempts. My hubby knows me so well. Listening to all my grumbling over this bra not fitting perfectly, he said I wanted perfection. Well, he’s got me there. Of course I do! I’m not trying to sew things that don’t fit. He also said, “No one will see it but you and me.” I guess he wasn’t thinking of me blogging about it.

darted front

Here’s the bra darted from the front. It looks fine. In fact, the dart isn’t even showing. So, now my bra fits. I am happy about that. I’m also happy about not having to waste any of this material or lace. But I’m not 100% happy… yet.

I had another idea. Sometimes things aren’t what they seem. Little imperfections can be hidden or concealed. It was time to do some covering up. My first thought was add some bling, but bling wouldn’t really cover up that dart.

Lace. I love lace! Lace will cover things up. Some nice lace covering that power bar area and no one can see the dart – including me. Out of sight, out of mind works for me. Here’s what I’m thinking:

covering the power bar

Some gathers in the lace will offer even more camouflage. I got the idea from something Beverly did in one of her Craftsy classes: the Ruched External Power Bar (Photo from Sewing Bras Designer Techniques).

Ruched External Power Bar

I love this bra, and think if I use ruching or gathering on the lace, it will help cover that dart even more.

gather the lace

I’ll gather the lace at the top (for sure) and maybe at the bottom too. I’ll have to see once I start to sew.

Cover it with a bow

Those little gathers will disappear under a pretty bow, which just happened not to be added to the bra yet.

Here’s the bra all done:

New front

Other than the bows, which have now been attached, you can barely see the lace covering the dart from the front.

Here’s the side:

Look Mum no dart

That dart is gone from sight! Ohhh, I like that.

I did do gathering at the top, and it’s hidden nice and neatly behind a bow.

covered with a bow

However, for the bottom, I decided the gathers didn’t allow for enough coverage over the powerbar area. So those are simply folded over the elastic, and attached with a 3-step zigzag.

3 step zigzag to attach

For a cover-up, it all came together really well.

Happy Creating!

The Pasha Pleated Clutch


The Pasha Pleated Clutch is an adorable clutch pattern by Betz White. You can find the pattern in her book: Present Perfect.


I first saw the clutch last year when it was blogged about on the Sewing Collective. You can see that post here. I loved it from the moment I saw it, but was looking for the just perfect material and hadn’t made it up for myself yet.

Then a friend’s birthday was coming around, and I had to make something for her. I decided to make her a clutch – but not the Pasha Pleated one. I don’t know why not. I didn’t even think of it. I just picked another pattern from my pattern stash.

That pattern really didn’t turn out. I tore out my stitches five times, all in different places. Then at the last, when I should have been finished, it was still wrong. I had no heart to try again. I cut my hardware out of it and moved on.


Sadly, there it is. There won’t be any reminders after the garbage goes out. Just after I tossed it, I remembered about Pasha Pleated Clutch pattern.

Pasha isn’t a hard sew, and really looks so pretty. Pamela, from the Sewing Collective, added a zipper. I think I’ll try that the next time I make it. I’m also thinking a wrist strap will be nice too.

Here’s my Pasha for my friend’s birthday:

Bag front

I love these materials together! You can see here how the pleats are on the front, and why it has its name. They take a little time to create, but are very worth the bang the bring.


Here’s the inside of the bag. The lining is very nicely done – it doesn’t turn out loose or baggy. I’ve made a couple of bags that I haven’t loved the lining. I want the inside of my makes to look as nice as the outside – bras, bags, whatever I make. I love everything to look nice and neat inside and out.

Inside of Bag

Lastly, here’s the back of the bag. Nice, neat, pretty. I’m quite liking this pattern. And I really like how I didn’t fight with every step.


Happy creating!

An Ivory Bomb


I heard today was National Bombshell day. I wasn’t exactly celebrating, but I made a bomb of my Shelley.

There’s been a lot going on all around my hubby and me, so I’ve been taking my time on any projects – trying to not make any mistakes. For the most part that’s helped. Taking my time wasn’t the issue here though.

Here’s the first of my new Spring lingerie wardrobe:


It’s looking pretty good there. I added a gothic arch (and I know I still need a little more practice.) I also added some fun bling. I even added a crystal to the bow to dress it up too. I really like that!

The sides looked great too. I added a bit of lace to the bottom of the band. I always look at the lace that is left over from the cup and want to do something with it. This turned out well. Everything here was just fine too.

side lace

Here’s the back of the bra.


Again, everything worked out just fine for the back of the band. There were no issues at all. In fact, there were no issues until I tried it on.

What the heck! It was puckering out at the underarm. This is my tried and true pattern! In fact, the last time I made my Shelley, I had compared all the pattern pieces to one of my bras and put a big pink check mark on the pattern pieces so I knew they were good. (I have a lot of pattern pieces floating around.) So I knew these fit or at least they fit at the time.

So, really?

What the Heck

Here’s the big pinch I took out of the left side of the bra when it was on me. There’s an identical pinch taken out of the right side. That’s an inch and a half! I am seriously tempted to just cut, overlap and sew the bra back together. It would look terrible, but who’s going to see it but me? It’s been almost a year since I’ve made a bra, and I need to make a few new ones.

I know I’ve lost a little bit of weight, and I really do mean a little bit. It seems I’ve lost a few inches from around my underarms!

As annoyed as I was when I finished this Ivory Bomb, I’ve already re-adjusted my Classic pattern, and will transfer those changes over to my Shelley pattern now. The next one… well, I’m making a muslin of the cup first.


Happy creating!

A Few Odds and Ends


I have a few odds and ends to share with you. I have a couple of projects in the works, but can’t share those yet.

My first project to share with you is a comforter I’m making my son. It’s almost finished. Seeing as I’m not a quilter, there’s no piecing in this – just 4 long pieces of material sewn together with batting. Simple.


He loves the mountains, so the bears reminded him of that. He also loves music and plays the piano. He loves the music print. The music print was to be the backing, but he wants that on top now. To finish this off, I’m hand-tying it with wool yarn. The yarn will felt and make a nubby little ball after it’s been washed a few times.

knotting process

Too bad I didn’t work on this in the winter! Instead I have this wonderfully warm quilt on my lap now that Spring is here. My son is thrilled though.

Another project I’ve been working on is to take apart any of the bras I had in my Don’t Really Fit pile. Included in that pile was a lovely Fantasie bra. However, being a RTW bra, the cradle matched the cup size, which meant it didn’t fit me properly. I took it apart.

Fantasie cups

Very pretty bra cups should be a smiley face, shouldn’t they? (smile) I can run a gathering stitch along the bottom of those cup and put them into a frame I make with a smaller cradle. They were just too pretty to throw away. I kept the bows and hardware from this bra too.

There was something very interesting that I found while I was taking apart this Fantasie bra. I kept a piece of the channeling to show some of my bra-making friends.

Inside of Channeling

The channeling is actually wrapped up! There’s a lovely fuzzy thicker material covering the whole of the channeling, which I’m sure makes it much more comfortable.

Here’s the outside:

Outside of Channeling

Seeing as channeling is applied to the bra frame in a two-step process, I think this would be applied so the raw edge ended up under the channeling in that second sewing pass when the channeling is sewn on the bottom. Isn’t that neat?

I almost had one other project to show you, but it really wasn’t working out. I tore out stitches so many times on it. At one point, when I was faced with tearing out the stitches yet again, I decided it was time to find another project.


This was going to be a lovely little clutch for a dear friend. It’s gone now. The photo is the last reminder of it, and it will soon be forgotten.


I can’t show you just yet the second project I made, which did work out – I have to give the gift first – but this is the material I used, and it turned out so nicely.

Happy creating!

And The Winner Is…


The really exciting news here is there wasn’t just one winner. There were five winners. Five!

We had fun with our Trivia Question. Did you catch that in our tour? The brand that used the advertising slogan, “Only in Canada, you say? Pity!” is Red Rose Tea.

Now for our winners:

  • The winner of Prize Pack A is Jayne B. from Canada, who correctly answered the trivia question.
  • The winner of Prize Pack B is Di S. from the UK, who correctly answered the trivia question
  • The winner of Prize Pack C is Karen P. from Canada, who correctly answered the trivia question
  • The winner of Prize Pack D is Beverley P. of Australia, who followed Janelle on Instagram
  • Craftsy Rowan 3/4 Tote Kit*: Winner will be chosen and notified by Craftsy directly.
Congratulations to all of our winners! I hope everyone enjoyed our tour and our reviews of the bag-making Craftsy classes, and took advantage of the sales on each of our blogs.
Happy creating!

The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour Give-Away


Please note, all contest links have been disabled as the contest is now over.

Hello again!

We’ve just barely made it home after our Craftsy escapade all across Canada. We’re unpacking our luggage and finding some great souvenirs from the trip, but it’s just too much to keep for ourselves. And because you’ve been such perfect road trip companions, we’d like to share them with you. Up for grabs are 4 coveted prize packs from our travels, as well as the special gift that Craftsy sent to us while we were gone gallivanting.

* This post contains affiliate links. If you visit one of those pages via my link, I may receive a small commission from the seller, at no additional cost to you.

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First up is the Craftsy gift:

* Please note: If you entered this giveaway before Friday, April 8, your entry may not have been recorded correctly by Craftsy. Please enter again. This colourful tote bag kit includes the Rowan Three-Quarter Patch Tote pattern, some stunning Kaffe Fassett fabric, plus all the Pellon Fusible Fleece stabilizer you will need for the project. The only things you would have to add to this are a coordinating button, some thread and your time. Voila! You have a gorgeous tote that will be the envy of tote-al strangers. It’s almost like instant Jello pudding, only better! Follow this link to enter before midnight April 11, 2016:


The Souvenir Prizes

Prize A (Canadian, US and International entries accepted)
  • 1 Craftsy Class: “Mix & Match: Clutch Bag Techniques” by Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags
Prize B (Open to Canadian residents only)
manhattan cover for web Manhattan mamma hardware kit in nickel finish
Prize C (Open to Canadian residents only)
TMT cover Totes Ma Tote Hardware Kit
Prize D (Canadian, US and International entries accepted)

(You choose the pattern!)

Giveaway Rules:

  • Prizes are awarded “as is”. No substitutions.
  • Deadline for entries is 10 AM PST on Monday, April 11.
  • Winner’s will be notified by email within 3 hours of the contest closing, and will then have 24 hours in which to respond to the organizers.
  • It is each participant’s responsibility to ensure they sign in to Rafflecopter with a valid email address, and also check their email accounts for notification.
  • Entries requiring a blog post comment, social media follow, or trivia answer will be verified using the name provided by the participant.
  • The giveaway is open to anyone worldwide. International or US residents who win a prize designated as for Canadian Residents Only may be required to pay for the additional shipping, or forfeit the prize. If said winner chooses to forfeit the prize, another winner will be chosen from the remaining eligible entries.

Many, many thanks to all the wonderful people who’ve followed us on The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour. We hope you learned a little about our very large, diverse and beautiful country while you got a peek into some of our favourite Craftsy classes.

And very special thanks to the amazing, supportive people who helped make the giveaway and our graphics just that much better: Celine from Blue Calla Patterns and Elle from Brand UR Shop Graphic Design. Take a bow ladies! Prize Sponsors


Happy travels until the next time we take you tripping and traipsing!

Marsha, Janelle, Deb, Fiona, Michelle, Reece, Shelaine & Ula

Please note, all contest links have been disabled as the contest is now over.

The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour


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Welcome to my stop on The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour! Our tour is made up of Canadian Bloggers, hence the name The Great Canadian… Only in Canada you say? Pity! Well, no, not really. We’re all in Canada, but you can join the tour from anywhere in the world! Sit back and enjoy – no tariffs, no shipping costs, no exchange rates. (Oh, Canadians know about exchange rates!)

Making handbags is something I’d wanted to do for a long time. After hearing of Craftsy, and signing up for my first class with them, I was hooked. I think my first class was Fab Felt Holiday Crafts with Betz White (you’ll see more of Betz on this tour), followed quickly by Design Your Own Handbag with Brett Bara. Brett’s class was the first of many handbag classes I’ve taken on Craftsy. With Craftsy, I’ve found a great learning platform, and I keep going back for more. I love that the classes I purchase are there for me anytime I want to access them, and never expire. If you haven’t heard of Craftsy before, here’s a great video to learn more about them.

This year I became an Affiliate with Craftsy. On the right side of my blog, you’ll see some links to a few of my favorite classes, including the class I’m reviewing here (which Craftsy very graciously gave me to review for this tour). This list is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a few favorites. I can recommend these classes with confidence as I’ve taken them.

For my part in The Great Canadian Blog Tour, I’m reviewing Janelle MacKay’s class Mix & Match Clutch Bag Techniques.


Janelle is a wonderful instructor. She’s very thorough, but without that rushed feeling we can get from having too much information thrown at us. She calmly takes us through each step, all the while giving us so many details of what we need to do, and options to change things up.

Janelle is composed in front of the camera. She definitely knows her material. Her knowledge and warmth come through on the question board too. She’s interacting with participants, telling them she loves the material they’ve chosen, encouraging when someone posts a question and figures out the answer on their own.

The class was a good pace for me. I’m not an overly experienced bag-maker, and I felt very comfortable with the pace of Janelle’s class.

Craftsy rates this class for an Intermediate skill level, and I would agree with that. There are some techniques that aren’t hard, but have a lot of steps that might be a challenge to a beginner sewist. I have read lots of comments on forums where people said how much they learned taking this class, and all the new tips they didn’t know before. There are tips in the class that can be used in any sewing. I loved how Janelle showed us how to deal with thread ends, and how she attached zippers. Both of these, and many more of the tips she shares can be transferred to non-bag-making sewing projects too.

The only difficulty I had with the class was having to draw out some of the pattern pieces. I need all the pattern pieces – even the ones that are simply a rectangle with the measurements given. I have some trouble with numbers. So for me, to have to draw out a rectangle piece… well, it’s a challenge. I have to look at the numbers, check them again, and then again to make sure I have them right in my head. Then a few more times because they can easily get mixed up in my head. It took me three tries to get those simple rectangles. I’m not talking just getting the numbers right, I’m talking drawing out those pieces. (Sigh) Now to be fair, I’ve read many comments on some of those same forums where others have said they hate to see something so simple included in patterns. For me, this is not so simple. I did get it done, and now going forward, I have all my pattern pieces cut out and labeled so I won’t have the same trouble.

Reece, of Happy Okapi, just reviewed the class Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers. One of the comments from Reece was there were no pattern pieces included with that class. Right away, I know it won’t be a class I want to take. Drawing out all the pieces would put me off before I started.

Back to things I love about this class. Here’s my clutch bag:

purse on cutting board

Oh, pretty, pretty. The inside of the bag is as beautiful as the outside. There’s a card slot that holds three cards, and a deeper pocket behind it. There’s a lipstick holder. There’s also a beautifully finished zippered pocket.

inside empty

Here’s the inside with a few basics in it. Sunglasses, keys, a few credit cards, lipstick. The red card is in sideways to show the deeper pocket behind the card slots. I didn’t even need to put anything in the zippered pocket. There’s lots of room in this little clutch! Look how pretty the zippered pocket is too. Janelle takes us through all the steps to make a beautiful, professional-looking finish on everything – inside and out. Here’s a confession: I thought the inside of the bag was so pretty, I took photos to send to a few friends before the bag was done. It looked so nice.

inside purse     pocket

Here’s the clutch on my dress form (Catherine) so you can see the size.

purse on Catherine

It’s a beautiful size and shape. For my first clutch, I chose a fairly basic design. If you look at the Craftsy image for Janelle’s class (above), you can see there are a few different options for the front of the bag, and for the flap. The variety offered is very nice.

One more comment on this clutch bag – I followed the Craftsy course alone to make this. I did use the pattern pieces that came with the instructions, but the class is so very thorough, a bag can be made following along with class instruction alone. It’s a really great class. I definitely recommend Mix & Match: Clutch Bag Techniques by Janelle MacKay, and I can’t wait to make another clutch bag.

Thanks for joining me on this stop of The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour. The next stop is: 20 Essential Techniques for Better Bags with Fiona of Tangled Blossoms Design. If you’ve missed any of the reviews or stops along the tour, here’s the full listing of them:

Tour Dates

Monday, April 4

Seam of my PantsBag-Making Basics: Reversible Tote & Zipper Pouch with Kristin Link and Learn to Sew: Simple Bags with Nicole Vasbinder

Tuesday, April 5

Sprouting JubeJubeSew Sturdy: Home Organizers with Annie Unrein

Lulu & CelesteSewing With Oilcloth: Bags & Baskets with Kathy McGee

Wednesday, April 6

Happy OkapiSew Sturdy Travel Organizers with Annie Unrein

Thursday, April 7

Michelle’s CreationsMix & Match: Clutch Bag Techniques with Janelle MacKay

Friday, April 8

Shelaine’s DesignsSew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffel with Betz White

Tangled Blossom Designs20 Essential Techniques for Better Bags with Lisa Lam

Saturday, April 9

Emmaline Bags — Recap/Roundup

Sunday, April 10

Sur “prizes

Our tour has some amazing sponsors! Craftsy. Emmaline Bags. (Emmaline Bags donated the hardware for my gorgeous clutch) Tangled Blossoms Design. Blue Calla. Sprouting Jube Jube. Lulu & Celeste. Happy Okapi. Seam of my Pants. Thanks to all of our sponsors for generously providing prizes for the tour. You’ll have to wait until Sunday, April 10th to find out more about those. So make sure you come back on Sunday to find out what they are and how you can enter for your chance to win!

As much fun as prizes at the end of a tour are fun, Craftsy is having a give-away during the tour too: The Rowan Three-Quarter Patch Tote kit, featuring Kaffe Fassett Fabric, plus fusible fleece to make the bag with! Click here to see the gorgeous bag you can make and to enter.

Craftsylogo    Prize Sponsors

Just for reading along, there’s one more little something for you. If you love the clutch I made, and think this class sounds great, you can get the Mix & Match: Clutch Bag Techniques class on sale! Just click on the class image below to get your class for half price. (Only good through April 13, 2016)


Happy creating!

Please note, all contest links have been disabled as the contest is now over.

Announcing The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour


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The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour starts today! Just what is the GCCBT? To sum it up, we’re all Canadian bloggers, we all sew, we all love Craftsy, we all reviewed some of the bag-making classes on Craftsy, and we put it all together for you to read over the next week.

The whole time the tour was being put together, I keep remembering an old television ad for Red Rose Tea: “Only in Canada you say? Pity.” Well, the bloggers all may be in Canada, but you can read along from anywhere in the world with no duties, tariffs, or shipping costs.

Head over to Emmaline Bags to start the tour today. And join us every day for the next week on our tour. It’s going to be fun, informative, there are prizes, and discounts too!

Happy creating!

Just One More Stop at the Fabric Store


You all must really be wondering if I’m sewing at all anymore. I am, but I can’t show you… yet. All I can do is give you a tease of what’s to come.

photo teaser

Isn’t that beautiful fabric? I’m going to make you wait to find out what I do with it, but I won’t make you wait very long. Just wait until Monday, April 4th and I’ll tell you more.

So, I have one more adventure to share with you from my recent trip to Ontario. I stopped at Fabricland. In fact, I stopped at Fabricland… a few times. I told my hubby I had to go. I kept remembering all the sewists on a forum I follow who had found wonderful printed Cotton Spandex at their Fabricland stores in Ontario. There was none at my store, so I had check while I was there. I found a store close to my sister’s home. Let’s call this Store One. You’ll understand why shortly.

I scored some wonderful Cotton Spandex at Store One, which I showed you in my last post. Then I saw another store as we drove to my Mum’s. We’ll call this Store Two. I did go in, but there was nothing new there. In fact their sales were different. In Store One, the Cotton Spandex was 50% off, in Store Two it was only 25% off.  Store Two was a different division, I was told. However, there was a new sale starting in a few days, so a few days later I went back to Store Two.

My hubby dropped me off and in I went. Right away I could see the Cotton Spandex was not on sale. I had a few minutes before my hubby came in so decided to look around. Just look what I found:

black lace with gold flowers

black lace with red flowers

black lace 1

I couldn’t believe my find! I also couldn’t believe the price. It was $4.95/meter. Well, forget Cotton Spandex. I was buying lace!

I had just had a big shop at Bra Makers Supply, so I knew I had to be a little more careful with my spending – my Christmas money wasn’t going to last forever. I only planned to buy those three laces. I was really pleased to find them and with their price. Just imagine my delight when I got to the cashier and found out they were on sale by half again! I only paid $2.50/meter for the laces!

My hubby had come into the store by then, and was still helping me keep to our schedule. I really wasn’t in Ontario to shop. Once we were in the car though, I told him I needed to go back to Store One and see if they had laces too. His reaction was typical of a non-obsessed, non-stash-building, non-bra-maker. ‘What? You were just there!’

Then I explained the savings we’d have. This lace is what I need for bra-making. It’s a great saving. It’s only on sale for a limited time. I persuaded him it was a good thing for me to go back to Store One again.

Store One had only one little bolt of lace, but I bought a meter of it.

brown lace

Now my truely obsessive bra-making nature came out. I had to go back to Store Two and had to buy more of the laces. My hubby was done. He was not going back to Store Two for a third time. So this time, after a family visit, my niece and I went back while the sale was on. All these laces were $2.50/meter. Talk about a score.

black lace 2

black lace 3

black lace clovers

purple lace with pink

purple lace with silver

white lace with peach shimmer full

white lace

Once I was back home, a friend wanted to make some panties. Off to the fabric store we went and what do you think I saw? Thankfully, it wasn’t lace! There were bolts of Cotton Spandex though. I’m still very happy with all those trips to Fabricland One and Two.

Happy creating!