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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Click the image below now for a chance to win a bundle of 3 Craftsy classes (your choice):
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 …
Follow the magical tour to see what we all have under our clothes
♥ Sunday, September 11
♥ Monday, September 12
- Valérie, la Élégantine, gets us airborne with some lingerie of her own, même en français
Her Bosom Buddy Michelle S. from Little Heart Threads, balances with more sweet lingerie
- Lisa who drinks Glitter in my Coffee brings us an Uplifting post
- Rachel of The Wild Stitch manages a little tête-à-tête with Emerald Erin
♥ Tuesday, September 13
- Lisa fits right in as a new Pin Up Girl
Her Bosom Buddy, Shelaine, also makes her first bra
- Rachelle gets up close and personal with Carrie from With Love Lingerie
- Valérie returns with a whole new Bosom Buddy to tell us about Miss Maika Fabrics (This girl gets around!)
Wednesday, September 14
- Rachelle gets to the bottom of things with her review of a Craftsy class
Her surrogate Bosom Buddy Michelle N. from Michelle’s Creations dishes on the same Craftsy class
- Jess from the west designs her own assets
- Deb of Sprouting Jubejube chats with Emilie from Jalie
♥ COMING UP (not available until dates posted)
♥ Thursday, September 15
- Karin gets chaotic (twice!) with corsets at Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables
Her BB Marsha flies by the seams of her pants into the corsetry web
- Shelaine is up to something and we have no idea what
- Michelle gets Mrs. Weaver to talk about her Finest Unmentionables
♥ Friday, September 16
- Wild Stitch Rachel tries her hands at designing her own assets
- Jessica from Gracious Threads gets the skinny on our Fairy Bra Mother
- Valérie est du rétour avec une entrevue de Blackbird
- Michelle N. takes us to a secret spot in the centre of things
♥ Saturday, September 17
- Michelle S. returns to talk to Wendy about her bespoke bras. Be what??
- Marsha gets a taste of what’s behind Farthingales’ corsets
- Meanwhile BBs Deb and Michelle N. go bottoms up in panties
♥ 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