December 20, 2014

Christmas Greetings!

By now, I'm sure you've shopped for everyone else. Are you worn out yet? How about taking some time for yourself over this holiday season? Why not go into your sewing room and do what you love to do? Seriously folks! You certainly deserve something special for spreading all that joy (and I'm not just talking about a nap!). We all need a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas and I can't think of a better way to relax than putzing away in my sewing room! We'll be back in the New Year with more fashion shows, bra-making tutorials, new patterns and some exciting news about another Craftsy class (oops...that last part was supposed to be a secret!)

From all of us at Bra-makers Supply, we sincerely thank you for making us the top-selling class on Craftsy and the very BEST source for bra-making supplies around the world. We wish you and your loved ones the very best of the holiday season and the New Year. 


Merry Christmas Everyone! 
Beverly and the staff at Bra-makers Supply






December 06, 2014

Digital Fashion Show - December 2014

Another Boob Camp finished yesterday! This was the last Boob Camp of 2014 and was a full house. Usually on the first two days we start off with the basic bra, then by Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, they are ready to move on to the more advanced techniques!

Often the students opt for making a Shelley bra. Not only does it cement their bra-making skills, it gives them a chance to choose and work with lace! Here is Lena's gorgeous combination of lilac duoplex with turquoise and purple lace. We've seen that lace before and we love it!



Karin made her Shelley from blue duoplex with black rigid lace over top. And what an incredible fit! Right back to the wall - first time ever for Karin to experience that!



Some of the students opted for foam cups after the Shelley bra was complete. Karin covered the MA style foam cups with that new bamboo dot fabric. So cooperative! (the fabric, I mean, but Karin was, too!) She trimmed out the strap and the neckline edge with a narrow black trim.

Bonnie used foam too and covered it with our turquoise lace fabric. She used all elastic straps as she wanted to do something different in the back.



Here is the back, converted to a Y-back but still with the hook and eye closing. The edges are covered with fold over binding as the elastic would have made it too bulky, especially in the small curved area between the straps.



Here's Lena's beautiful foam cup bra using lilac stretch mesh over a black foam cup and the same rigid black lace that Karin used (above).  It's not quite finished but I wanted you to see how lovely this combination is! Lena also learned how to make a lace bottom edge!

Bonnie, I think was hooked on foam cups! Here is another she did using fuchsia and black lace and the lace on the bottom edge. There are some tricks to using the lace as the bottom edge but it looks like these students mastered it!



Not everyone wants the pre-formed foam cups, and some students from a couple of weeks ago wanted to use the cut-and-sew foam (now that we have it in a dozen colours!) Here is Anna's ivory bra. Isn't it gorgeous? Look at the satin trim and the bow! This is French detailing at its best!



And sometimes we have students who choose some very unusual fabrics to work with!  Here is Miriam's leather and snakeskin bra. Yes, that is snakeskin on the front and leather on the sides. The cups are made from lace edging with boning inside the back casings.



Bra-lets seem to be seen everywhere these days and our class was no exception. Here is a long line bra-let that Erin made for her roommate a couple of weeks ago using coral lace fabric and peach-coloured 15-denier sheer, all finished edges are covered with peach fold-over binding. Even the straps are the fold-over binding (folded and sewn together)



And here is the back of the same bra-let, all using the fold-over binding in creative ways. Great job, Erin!



November 28, 2014

Craftsy Black Friday Sale!

I am so excited to share the news that my Sewing Bras: Construction & Fit is the TOP-SELLING sewing Class at Craftsy! yes, we have broken all sales records and it's only been two months since the class launched! Thanks to all of you who have purchased the class! If you haven't seen that class - the BEST time to buy it is NOW!

Let me share the news about Craftsy's biggest event of the year! I know that this is the season to shower your loved ones with gifts, but why not invest in yourself, too? 

Craftsy is making that just a little easier by marking down ALL online Sewing classes to $19.99 or less, including mine, today through to Monday December 1. Give the gift of learning here!

Trust me, if you've had your eye on a class, now is absolutely the  time to act (you could save more than $30!). Been dreaming about more than one class? Stock up on classes you will enjoy throughout the year, because with Craftsy's unlimited anytime, anywhere access, you can watch your lessons when it's convenient for you - maybe after the holiday rush

Plus, Craftsy is so sure you’ll love your classes, they’ll refund the full value if you are not totally happy with your purchase. There is really no reason not to buy a class for yourself, and maybe even for a lucky loved one (what about your sewing sisters?). Just remember, move fast because this amazing sale ends on Monday and I’m told you won’t see these prices again anytime soon!

Thanks for spending a little of your time with me this year and with my wonderful Craftsy family. I hope you’ll take a moment and do something special for yourself this season. Purchase a Craftsy sewing class today for 19.99 or less during their Black Friday Sale and invest in time well spent this year. Be sure to hurry because the sale ends Monday December 1, 2014 at 11:59 pm Mountain Time.

With Warm Holiday Wishes


Beverly

November 23, 2014

At the Enchanted Castle - construction ahead

There is a beehive of activity at the store this weekend. We are getting a whole new office and shipping area!

With the release of the Craftsy bra-making class, we do not have enough room for 3 at the computers and the shipping desk. It is, to say the least, a little crowded.

Less than two years ago, we bought the current office set-up and thought we had LOTS of room. I believe I even said at the time "now we have LOTS of room. We should never need more room than this". Never say never.

Lucky for us (or is that foresight and planning?) the desk we bought can be used in the new set-up, and extra bits and bobs added to it, to increase the space. Where the original office space was in the centre of the store, now we are moving to to the front window area, and by putting it there, we can increase the area by over double. 

Here is our old notions wall...yep, that's moved too. Moving to the east side (always wanted to say that!) This area will be part of our new order desk. That ugly cabinet underneath has been transplanted to the fitting room. The thread cabinet? <sigh> I don't know  where that will go yet! Ditto for the paper and book cabinet. I am sure I will be inspired after everything is moved <she says hopefully>

When it is done, I will post a picture, but for now it will have to remain a surprise. If you call in on Monday, please be aware that our phones will be off for an hour or so as they do the switch over, but we will be back to work as soon as we can!


November 16, 2014

Once upon a time - Waist Management

Today Judy, Rochelle and I went on a road trip to see the exhibit called Waist Management - a history of unmentionables showing at the Peel Region Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA) in Brampton. 

Our day started off at Papa Leo's for breakfast. Papa Leo's is housed in a building across from the Henderson hospital on Concession Street in Hamilton . Papa Leo's was highly rated fro brunch on Yelp, so we thought we would give it a try. We were not disappointed! Papa's Eggs were poached  and rested atop avocado (yes!)  with cilantro and roasted red peppers and spiced hash browns. What a scrumptious combination! I would definitely visit Papa Leo again! (why oh why did I not take a picture of this?)

Anyway, on to Brampton. We parked in the back of the PAMA and walked all the way around the building, through the basement and through a tunnel, up the stairs and down a hallway, only to discover that there was a door to the exhibit within 30' of where our car was parked! We paid the admission fee of $3.50 (I am a senior now I guess!) and moved into the exhibit rooms.


The exhibit itself was housed in two rooms and a hallway, but despite its small size, was very impressive from a quality point of view. Most of the things were Canadian and almost all of the garments, I wrote about in the Bra-makers Manual in the History of the Bra chapter. It was extremely self-satisfying to see the things I wrote about in the flesh, so to speak.

This ballet pink below-the-waist corset, unusual for its colour (girdles were take-it-or-leave-it-white!) but also the design is clearly the ancestor of the girdle we came to know and love in later years. There is a centre front busk and two adjustable lacing panels with a godet underneath, but notice the garter attachments - each is attached on either side of the laced godet, and the garter clip suspends on the elastic. The elastic was obviously industrial strength, as it measured over 1" wide!


Here is a close up of the stitching of another corset. Rows and rows of machine stitching with tiny cords inside to add stiffness. Also two hip panels, the back one has lacing which allows you to widen this area if necessary. Notice the laces are tied to the inside so they won't show under clothing.  The second one at the side seam has a contrasting fabric set in. Notice also the tiny decorative stitching on the forward hip!






Here are some bust pads from the 1890s. They were stuffed with horsehair! Can you imagine how itchy that would have been, or what it would smell like if it (God forbid!) got wet? There are also falsies from the 1960s, which I remember well  from my days of custom sewing for others.


Here is a "health" corset which made an appearance in the early part of the 20th century. Lots of bones, and straps that fasten with safety pins (now rusted!)


I also mention  "roll-ups" in my book. These all rubber girdles were impossible to get on except by rolling them up and over your hips. The first versions rolled off the assembly line not long after Dupont developed a way to combine latex (the sap from the rubber tree) with stabilizing chemicals to produce an elastic ("lastex") fabric. This new Lastex changed the intimate apparel industry forever.

Notice this roll-up has little holes. This was to allow the girdle to be more breathable. Apparently, you would have little rivers of sweat without the holes. However, the holes left marks on your body that looked suspiciously like measles spots, although in perfectly even rows!


Here is the famous "Merry Widow" popular in the 1950s. It is hard to see but it has proper bra cups, underwires and garters.


Here is a bra from the 1950s. Bras by this time had a bridge separate from the cups. The bridge was actually made from solid elastic, not stable like we use today. No self-respecting woman would ever leave the house without a girdle on!


The last item in my picture book is the original WonderBra bra, invented in 1961 by Louise Poirier of Montreal who was WonderBra's Canadian designer at the time. This was a push-up bra in an age before pre-formed molded cups. This bra depended on the design of the cups, the cut of the cloth to do the job!


If you have a chance to visit the Waist Management exhibit, it is on until February 16,2015 at the Peel Art gallery, Museum and Archives, 9 Wellington Street in Brampton, Ontario

The website for the PAMA is www.pama.peelregion.ca

September 28, 2014

My 3 Sisters

It's been a hectic 2 months here at the Enchanted Castle, with the recent launch of my Craftsy class plus a sweet teaching assignment in the Caribbean just before Christmas. What do they want down south, you may ask? Swimwear lessons! I will be teaching swimwear in Barbados. Now that is good timing! I used to get calls to go teach in Edmonton in February and Hawaii in July.

Not that I am complaining about Hawaii (Never!) but the two venues should have been switched around - Edmonton in July and Hawaii in February. But I digress....

I teach several different types of swimwear but I have had a special request to do bikinis. Erin and I have been working very hard to test these suits to make them fit and flatter. So without further ado, here is the latest Pin-up Girls pattern - the 3 sisters Bikinis. Drum roll, please! 


There are 3 underwired bra tops  with a unique criss-cross back that allows the bikini top to fit multiple bra cup sizes. The inside layer is made of swim cup foam and the outer cover can be whatever swimwear fabric your heart desires! The straps have the elastic sewn inside directly to the seam for the best straps you've ever experienced (yes, the instructions are included!) The bikini bra tops all use our SHORT wires, and the pattern fits breasts measuring from 6.5" - 9.5" (16.5 - 24 cm) directly across the fullest part (called the Cross Cup measurement)

There are also three centre back seam bottoms with a beautiful fit over the bum. All views have a waist high cut with doubled fabric waistband ( no elastic so no muffin top!) plus a centre back seam for shapely results. The bottoms fit hip sizes 35-47" (89 - 119.5 cm) All sizes and complete instructions are included in the pattern envelope.

VIOLET- vertical seamed bra top and bottoms with button trim at the waist 
REBECCA - uses a tie to gather the front of the top, bottoms have a ruched front panel 
MARSHA - with a twisted knot effect and bottoms with mini twists at the side front

Yes, there really are three sisters in our bra-making family and we named these bikinis after them! The product code is PB-3009. The bi-lingual patterns (French and English) patterns are available now at Bra-makers Supply at www.bramakers.com and in Europe through Bodil's Wear at www.bwear.se. If you are in the United States, they will soon be available at Sweet Cups Bra Supply at www.sweetcupsbrasupply.com

Aren't confident of your sewing abilities when it comes to swimwear? Why not take a swimwear class and learn to make swimwear the right way, with the right fit, the first time?

September 25, 2014

Nifty Notions - the Sewing Edge

Today I am borrowing a nifty notion from our quilting sisters - a great little gadget called the Sewing Edge. it is used by quilters to keep that 1/4" seam allowance. Well, guess what? Bra-makers can use it too!


The Sewing Edge is a simple piece of PVC (or some such plastic-y substance) that sticks to your sewing machine bed and keeps your seam allowances exact. Here we have it a lovely Bernina 830, but it works on new machines too! Place it along where the edge of the fabric will run and it will stick until you remove it. It's that simple!
 When you lay the fabric up to it, the thickness of the Sewing Edge keeps the fabric running smoothly but it is not so thick that it gets in the way or your hands or any snips that might be around.
One thing I thought of is to use it at the cover stitch machine to keep the hem edges where they need to be so you can stitch along the edge. If you use a cover hem, you know this isn't as easy as it may seem. You have to sew from the right side of the work, so you can't see where you need to stitch. The two needles need to straddle the raw edge of the fabric. By stitcking the Sewing Edge to the left of the needle the distance of the width of the hem, you will be able to glide the fabric along and it will keep them hem where it needs to be. Voila! A perfect cover stitched hem!

The Sewing Edge comes in a package of 5 so you can have one at each machine, or you can share them with your sewing buddies.

We sell them at Bra-makers Supply (of course we do - I love Nifty Notions!) Product Code NT-003...price is 10.00 for the set of 5.

September 23, 2014

Craftsy Class Launch

Exciting news! My Craftsy class on Sewing Bras - Construction & Fit has just launched today!
What an exciting time I had in Denver, Colorado for the filming. Craftsy set me up with the best crew ever - they are so professional! They made me look good (even though I have a face for radio, as I was once told!)
In the Craftsy class, I will teach you how to measure yourself for a bra using my high bust/full bust system. I'll tell you why measuring the rib cage is not recommended!


I'll show and explain all the different materials we use in bra-making
 How to sew it up, step-by-step with all the tips and tricks to make your bra  look professional quality
And, of course, I'll share the fitting tips and how to alter the pattern. I show my easy-to-understand pattern alterations. And as a bonus, there's a lesson on using and applying lace!
If you would like to enroll in my Craftsy class: Sewing Bras - Construction & Fit, here's a link to a 25% saving. Remember, at Craftsy, the classes never expire, so you can buy them on sale and watch them anytime! Craftsy class 25% off
Not sure what to buy to get started in the bra class? Bra-makers Supply is offering a Craftsy kit consisting of the Classic bra pattern (choose among 4 size ranges) and a bra kit with a choice of many colours, all with elastics to match. If your order the Craftsy kit from our website at www.bramakers.com and comment  with your size of wires, that pair is included FREE. Just comment with your size when you order a Craftsy kit. (Free wire offer ends December 31, 2014)

I am proud to say...

September 18, 2014

Craftsy Class Giveaway

Great news everyone! My Craftsy class " Sewing Bras - Construction & Fit" is scheduled to launch on Tuesday September 23rd! As a special promotion, we are giving away a class for FREE! Just click on the link below and you will automatically be entered in the contest.

A lucky winner will be chosen at random by Craftsy on Monday night. The lucky winner will be the first one to take the class!

If you aren't the winner - you can still sign up for the class. Remember - all Craftsy classes are yours forever - they never expire. You can watch the class on your home computer or on your tablet or device right at the sewing machine! Plus, all Craftsy classes come with a money back guarantee.

Class Giveaway Contest Entry


September 03, 2014

A New Pin-up Girl

Brand new in the Pin-up Girls line of patterns! The #2509 Ova-Bra Slimmer that you can wear over (ova) your own great fitting bra to smooth away those lumps and bumps and make your clothes fit and look fabulous.

Check out the options! Two body views - one hip length so you can tuck it in ...or the full body version that has a hook and eye closure at the front of the gusset area. Easy to get at bathroom needs!

Then you can choose either the lace cami version or the plain fabric version. With all the laces we have, that might be a tough decision in itself! The plain fabric version would be ideal under a wrap dress, so that when (and they always do) fall open, you won't be exposing yourself to the world. The solid fabric cami will hide your assets very nicely.



Lastly, but not leastly (is that even a word?) you have three different back options to choose from. The Y-back style on the left above is handy for those racer back tank tops or halter neck dresses (that still have a back). The scoop back in the centre is designed to come up higher on the back to control and hide that nasty back fat (which no one knew we had until Oprah pointed it out!). lastly on the right is a straight across back which is most like a bra back. 

All of the back options can be used on any of the front views or versions. Your choice!

We recommend using the Regular Power Net FP-1 for this shaper. It has the compression power you want for such as garment. Not to mention that it is available in 12 colours! We tested this our on many students and we have discovered that if you use the Satin Power Net FP-5 you will have to use one, sometimes 2 sizes smaller than your measurements indicate. That's because the Satin Power Net is not as firm and stretches more than the Regular Powe Net.

Sizing for this bodyshaper? Sizes A-J with hip size 35"-51" (89-130 cm) Available now at www.bramakers.com or in Europe from Bodil Friman at B'wear at www.bwear.se.

 In the United States, please see www.sweetcupsbrasupply.com (but please give her time to get them in - this was only released September 1!)



Crystal - like catnip (sort of)

The new crystal collection has just arrived! Stunning pieces of Austrian cut crystal in really good designs, suitable for beachwear, clubwear, formal and cocktail dresses and bodybuilding competition wear. Does that last one surprise you? It shouldn't. Bodybuilding is big business and those ladies need to show some sparkle too!

Here's the newest crystal line-up. Solid Six Connector CJ-379 This is a solid piece that could easily be used on a piece of strap elastic . In fact, it was suggested that you could put 3 or 5 of these on a piece of strap elastic as hip trim, and the elastic would be able to stretch across the hip without hurting either the crystals or the elastic.
This is the 40 Crystal Collector CJ-400 - so named because there are 40 Austrian cut crystals on the front of this piece. Just slide the fabric tie or the strap through the slot on the back and you're done. Easy-peasey crystal trim.
Next is the Interlocking Diamonds CJ-440. Too many crystals here to count. There are 4 button shanks on the back for easy sewing wherever you need it. Can you see this on the front of a cocktail dress right at the bridge area? it is about 3" (75 mm) tall
Here's something in two sizes - the large CJ-550 for the sides of a bikini and the small CJ-545 for the front. The small one is 1" x 1.25" (25 mm x 32 mm)
 The larger one is 1.25" x 1.5" (32 x 37 mm)
You know I have to buy anything with Celtic Knotwork, don't you? Here it is - the Celtic Crystal CJ-609, just about 3" (75 mm) tall
Here is a crystal circle CJ-637. This would be very easy to use in a tie front dress. Each side would wrap over the plain area of the circle and stitch back to itself, leaving the crystal area to sparkle above and below the gather fabric.
Check out this bling for fitness competitions! Bodybuilding competitions have very strict rules about what can and can't be used on the outfits the ladies wear. This three-row hip bling CJ-654 is regulation length (6" or 15 cm) and has 54 crystals that would look amazing to connect the fronts and the backs of a suit together.
Finally, here's another hip trim but with more than 60 crystals in a swoop-dee-doo formation. (That's a work I just thought of!). When tension is on the first top row, the second and third row still swoop very nicely. It is CJ-660
All of these crystals and more are available at www.bramakers.com! Visit us today!

The Costco Connection

It's official! The article in the Costco Connection magazine about the Fairy Bra Mother is out. You can read all about it here or in the magazine which is sent to all Costco members. On page 64 (way at the back..lol) But still...Costco Connections! 

Digital Fashion Show - Boob Camp August 2014

Another Boob Camp is over! But this one was unusual not because we had "only" two students, and not because they were from opposite ends of the country but because of the sheer VOLUME of work they turned out! In five days, they each produced a LOT of bras.

You've heard about "putting your nose to the grindstone" (wherever did that expression come from anyway?). These ladies really did exactly that.

Here is Julia's second bra (the first one is always a plain ol' white bra) She combined navy with burgundy lace in the Butterfly bra for this combo.

 And the back as pretty as the front
She cut the fabric from under the lace for a super-sexy look















Angela was no slouch either. Here is her first Shelley. Note the padded straps!
 And her second Shelley! I guess she liked the padded straps!
 Here's the back. That bit of lace really adds a nice touch!
Julia's next bra was all lace. It is a Shelley - hard to see the seaming detail but it is there.

The back is made from navy power net, which looks surprisingly good with the teal lace.

By now, Angela wanted to make a longline bra so that's what we did! She used cut and sew foam sheeting to make the cups and covered them with this animal print fabric. it is not quite finished yet but some of the bones are already in.
Julia wanted to work with cut and sew foam too. She made a foam bra and covered it with a wide lace. The lace decoration was only on the top and the wide plain section was wide enough for her to make the lower cup.
Even our teacher, Denise, got into the bra-making frame of mind. She covered a set of MH foam cups with Venice fabric and added this lace. Sort of an exterior power bar! She also made the front frame and the straps from the lace edging
All in all, I was very impressed with how much these two students got done. They just kept on sewing and sewing and sewing! Well done!