59 In Creative Life/ Sewing

Canada Cups Cross Your Heart Blog Tour 2016 – Tales from Newbie Bra Maker…

Canada Cups Blog Tour

Thanks for stopping by this leg of the Canada Cups Cross Your Heart Relay 2016. I’m so excited to be part of this tour and among some extraordinarily talented sewists.  I’m coming to you from the beautiful West Coast of British Columbia – a stone’s throw from Vancouver and one of the most gorgeous places in the world.   We are blessed to have both the mountains and the ocean right at our fingertips.

Although I’ve been sewing for more than 30 years, I am one of the most inexperienced bra sewers in the group (and by inexperienced I mean NO experience).  I’m a brassiere virgin…a booby newbie…well, you get the picture.  In fact, I haven’t done much selfish sewing at all in the past 20 years (unless you count handbags…I have lots and lot of handbags).

When I came across the opportunity to join the Canada Cups tour and learn how to actually make MY OWN BRAS I was thrilled. One of things I really love about Craftsy is that they have courses for so many different skills and learning levels.

bra_02

Craftsy challenges you to get outside your comfort zone and try something new – whether it’s a new type of project in a craft you already do or a new skill altogether.  As a lifelong-learner and a crafter I really think Craftsy has a course for everyone.  I believe that every person deserves a little creativity in their life and it’s one of the reasons I became a Craftsy affiliate.

Plus, I love that they have an app that I can use on my phone or tablet.  Sometimes when Mini Mi is watching TV, I’ll sit beside her and take in a Craftsy class (because there’s only so much iCarly I can take).

Because of my boobie newbie status…it seemed the best place for me to start was at the beginning and so I’m reviewing Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit with instructor Beverly Johnson…aka “The Fairy Bra Mother”.

It’s clear right from the beginning of this class that Beverly has been teaching for a while.  She has an easy going, relaxed style that makes you feel almost instantly comfortable – even when tackling a brand new skill.  Beverly is well known (like FAMOUS) in the bra-making world, but she is so warm and friendly that she was not intimidating at all.

bra_03

When I’m learning something new, I tend to play the lesson, then go and do that step, and then go back to the lesson.  This course is set up so well to work step-by-step through your first bra.  Beverly provides tips and tricks of the trade throughout the class including loads of information on bra-making materials, tips for good results and industry secrets to make your bra look professional.  She also encourages you to “not do your best work” on your first bra as it’s intended to be a fitting bra (or a muslin).

I love that Beverly provides very specific information like stitch length and width throughout the course.  Even though machines will vary, I find this kind of information very helpful when working through a brand new skill.  Bras have very tiny (1/4″) seams and precision is important. She lets you know where all the potential pitfalls may be and provides you information on how to avoid them. Even though they’re not fancy – my bras look pretty good huh – for a newbie?  The lessons you’ll learn in this class will really help you make something that has the look of a store-bought bra.  Beverly’s tips help you make a bra that looks great from the inside as well as the outside.

This is a beginner bra-making class but I think some experience in sewing – particularly sewing with knits – would be extremely helpful.  I’m not sure I would have been comfortable taking this class as brand-new sewist.  I have a lot of experience with knits and 1/4″ seams from doll clothes sewing, and both those skills came in handy when working through the project.  You’ll learn a lot about working with elastics, stretch knits and unusual fabrics as you work through your first bra.

One thing I can’t emphasize enough…pay attention to Beverly!  She is a guru when it comes to bra-making.  I would highly recommend watching through the entire course once before attempting your first bra. I learned some lessons the hard way about paying attention, especially when it comes to measuring.  In fact, this post could appropriately be titled “The Tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bras”.

bra_06

You will learn some excellent techniques for measuring yourself for your bra.  I had some learning curves (and apparently some listening issues) that led me to create a beautiful, but far too small bra on my first attempt.  My original measurements were so bad that I had to replace my pattern with the next size up.  My first bras use the Pin-Up Girls Classic Bra – a great entry pattern and you can see the difference in my photos between the two sizes I made. My second bra was too big in the cup, but much closer and I’m working on my third which I’m confident will be spot on.

My absolute favourite part of this course was all the amazing information Beverly provides on how to customize the pattern to suit your particular bosoms.  I think every woman that has bought a commercial bra knows that we are not all built the same way and the ability to custom fit your bra to your own specifications is such an amazing gift.  She has incredibly detailed information on every aspect of custom fitting your bra.  I am so excited by this concept of a bra made just for me that I already signed up for the next class in the series – Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques.

bra_04

You will see some amazing, beautiful, fancy underthings on this tour, and my bras are not one of them. My fabrics are simple and I haven’t even put the little bow on the front of mine because that step is reserved until you’ve got your perfect fitting bra – and I’m not there yet.  However, I don’t think I’ve been this proud of something that has come off my sewing machine in a very long time.  Come back next year and I’ll promise you something extra frilly!

If you’ve every wondered whether it was possible to make a bra that was comfortable, beautiful and something you’d be proud to wear – I promise you that with Beverly’s help you can. Invite her into your sewing room and let her walk you through everything you need to know, step-by-step.

Thank you to Craftsy for providing us with the classes to review.

Giveaways

Click the image below now for a chance to win a bundle of 3 Craftsy classes (your choice):

craftsy_final_circle_logo

 

Stay with us through to the end of the tour for a chance to win additional prizes:

  • complete kits to make your own bra,
  • bra- and swimsuit-making classes,
  • fabric, and more …

Tour Itinerary

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

Canada Cups Logo Draft

♥ Sunday, September 11

♥ Monday, September 12

♥ Tuesday, September 13

Wednesday, September 14

♥ COMING UP (not available until dates posted)

♥ Thursday, September 15

♥ Friday, September 16

♥ Saturday, September 17

♥ Sunday, September 18

Whoohoo! It’s giveaway day today!

♥ Monday, September 19

Have you entered the giveaways yet? Today’s your last chance.

♥ Tuesday, September 20

Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:

Life of a Fairy Bra Mother, Little Heart Threads, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle’s Creations, Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables, Braphoria, Gracious Threads, Élégantine!, Shelaine’s Designs, That’s so Venice, Sprouting Jubejube, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, The Wild Stitch, Farthingales Corset Blog

♥ After September 20

  • Come back to visit all the blogs for followup posts. It’s always fun!
  • Craftsy class discounts expire at midnight Sept. 30


Our Bloggers:

leaderboardbloggersv3

Our Sponsors:leaderboardsponsors

You Might Also Like

59 Comments

  • Reply
    valerie
    September 13, 2016 at 7:46 am

    You did great! I have to admit of also being guilty of sewing the wrong size the first time. Well, It’s still good practice isn’t it?

  • Reply
    Michelle
    September 13, 2016 at 8:27 am

    What a wonderful review! Isn’t if fun how when you make a bra, it looks like a bra? I know the fit is the hard part. I feel the exact same way you do – a bra has to be bow-worthy before I’ll sew a bow on it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachelle
    September 13, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    I sewed the wrong size too and had to get a new pattern as well ahahahha. Your bra is lovely, and the top stitching is impeccable.!!! I can’t wait to see your lacy ones.

  • Reply
    Deb Zaleski
    September 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    From one bra sewing newbie to another…you’re ahead of me, remember I’m on the undies portion of this tour 😉

    • Reply
      Marsha Law
      September 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Are you trying to say you’re down under?

  • Reply
    Marsha Law
    September 13, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing your ug… um, un-pretty bras with us, Lisa. 😀

  • Reply
    Karin
    September 13, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Great post! Can’t wait to see what you have in mind next!

  • Reply
    Alison
    September 13, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Oh wow- they are perfect! Fantastic job!!

  • Reply
    Christina
    September 18, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I’m going to be making my first bra soon with the same craftsy class. This tour came at the perfect time.

  • Reply
    Karen Ruchti
    September 18, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Your bras look great. Does the pattern run small?

  • Reply
    Toni
    September 18, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Lovely job! ! I am making my first cut and sew foam bra (Beverly’s class) .

  • Reply
    Anne
    September 18, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Beautiful ! I am getting to learn Beverly’s classes by heart and am onto my second bra. I still have lots to learn but so far I think it has boosted my sewing skills quite a lot.

  • Reply
    Ginny
    September 18, 2016 at 10:40 am

    You did a wonderful job on your first bras! I think everyone struggles a bit at first with the fitting, so that shouldn’t worry you. I’m looking forward to seeing your future bra makes — and since it’s so addictive, I’m sure they’ll be lots of bras to come :D!

  • Reply
    Angela Smith
    September 18, 2016 at 10:45 am

    It’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You’ve shown it is possible and I am excited to see the pretty bras you will make.

  • Reply
    Terri
    September 18, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Thanks for the great review.

  • Reply
    Debrah
    September 18, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I’m a boobie noobie, too!

  • Reply
    Rochelle
    September 18, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Looking forward to become a newbee myself!

  • Reply
    Debbra Owen
    September 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Lisa, your pin-up girls bras are better than rtw. Your stitching is so neatly done. Great job!

  • Reply
    Di Temperton
    September 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

    What a great review you made a lovely job of your bras

  • Reply
    Theresa P
    September 18, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Your bras are fabulous!! My first was laughable…. I think I made something like 7 bras before I really cracked it and now I’m hooked. I just bought the pantie class because of this tour. I may never buy unmentionables again! Now I just need to figure out how to hide my growing lace obsession…..

  • Reply
    Nancy McKenzie
    September 18, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    You’ll have a bevy of bras in no time!

  • Reply
    Diana
    September 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Excellent review! This blog tour was so much fun:)

  • Reply
    Jodi
    September 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Great review. Fitting is definitely the hardest part of bra sewing but once you get it, it’s so addicting!

  • Reply
    Jstar
    September 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Hoping to take the plunge on making my first bra soon. Still a lil daunting!

  • Reply
    Brooke
    September 18, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Looks great! Bra sewing is addictive!

  • Reply
    Heather Dawson
    September 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I loved the Craftsy class too!

  • Reply
    Carla
    September 18, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    One bra at a time is all i will say. I am told the more we sew them the better we get.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Pickin
    September 18, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I have sewn much over 50 years, Am I that old??? But newby to bra sewing! Very exciting to see photos of other’s work!

  • Reply
    Angie
    September 18, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Congrats on joining the addictive hobby that is bra-making!

  • Reply
    Anne Johnson
    September 18, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Beautiful first bras. Now you can modify the style to suit your taste!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    September 18, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Your bras look very well sewn, and I think you can be justifiably proud of your first efforts.

  • Reply
    Susan
    September 18, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I have purchased this class, now to review it and start to sew

  • Reply
    Becky Cordell
    September 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I’ve made three bras, none have quite fit the intended body, but I’m getting close!

  • Reply
    Maddy
    September 18, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Great bras! Nothing like some great basics for the lingerie draw 😀

  • Reply
    Pica
    September 19, 2016 at 2:35 am

    A new bra, freshly sewn really puts a special glow in the day.
    It does look fine.

  • Reply
    Michele
    September 19, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Great tour and great bras!

  • Reply
    Donna Whitaker
    September 19, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Very pretty! What kind of fabric did you use or did you use one of Beverly’s kits?

    • Reply
      Lisa
      September 19, 2016 at 11:51 am

      Thank you! I used fabrics from Beverly’s shop – Douplex and Power Mesh.

  • Reply
    Donna DeCourcy
    September 19, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Well done on the first bra! Fitting is an art, and often takes only small tweaks, but I, too had to go up a pattern to get the proper fit. Then I bought a few of the other sized patterns, because I know my friends want bras once I improve on fitting.

  • Reply
    celine
    September 19, 2016 at 7:25 am

    great job, i m jealous!

  • Reply
    Beth
    September 19, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Your first efforts look great. I have a small collection of beige duoplex wearable muslins that were dry runs of various styles before I busted out more expensive (and fussy) fabrics.

  • Reply
    Gaëlle S.
    September 19, 2016 at 8:28 am

    they look great, this is the kind of things I need to make for myself!

  • Reply
    Patricia Maynard
    September 19, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I’ve never made a bra, but it’s on my asap list.

  • Reply
    Roberta
    September 19, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Just gearing up to take the class myself – so glad to have found this post! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kristi R
    September 19, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I can’t wait to try my hand at this! Thank you for sharing your failures and successes!

  • Reply
    Terri Swift
    September 19, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Hello from Maple Ridge, BC. Wonderful review, thank you!

  • Reply
    Julie Breton
    September 19, 2016 at 10:16 am

    You did great! I would do the same!

  • Reply
    Terry
    September 19, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Warning. Bra making is addictive. My husband asked me how many do you need. I just replied more than I have made.

  • Reply
    Corinne A
    September 19, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Great job! Fitting is definitely the most difficult part. I had to make several to find what works.

  • Reply
    Gert Leslie
    September 19, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    But once you get that perfect fit. . . . there will be no stopping!

  • Reply
    Patti Marrin
    September 19, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! Lovely!

  • Reply
    Veronica
    September 19, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Well done! Be warned: bra-making is absolutely addictive! Then you’ll want to make undies to go with them!

  • Reply
    Heather
    September 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    These are fabulous. There is nothing better than a great-fitting handmade bra (except maybe matching bottoms to go with it!)

  • Reply
    Anemone
    September 19, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Beautiful job on your first bra. Can’t wait to see your next one!

  • Reply
    Denise
    September 19, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I haven’t gotten my perfect fitting bra yet either, but I’m getting closer!

  • Reply
    Marie-Claude Belanger
    September 19, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Interesting! I should do my own bras too!

  • Reply
    Ann
    September 19, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience!!!

  • Reply
    Sofía
    September 19, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Amazing bras and a great review, Lisa! They’re so well sewn! You should have seen my very first underwired bra… Oh, the horror! 😉

  • Reply
    Reece
    September 20, 2016 at 7:32 am

    They’re so pretty! I’m sure third time will be a charm for you

  • Leave a Reply