June 29, 2014

Far far away - Shelley fashion show

The Shelley class finished today here in Stockholm, with 14 students making this four-piece cup with a split lower cup and a built- in power bar. So without further delay, here is the digital fashion show....presenting SHELLEY!

First lets have a look at what three students finished yesterday! This is Jenny's bra with deep raspberry lace.
This is Cecelia's bra - classic white colour but with a hot pink bow!
Marine also finished yesterday. Each of these three students started another Shelley this morning, and they were still working on them when the class ended. I hope they are able to finish the bras in their room tonight!
Emelie used a lovely pink lace on the top of her Shelley...
As did Laila on hers. It always amazes me how different Shelley looks with different laces!
Lena has a solid white one...that does not make it any less beautiful. White is a classic bra colour!
Patricia opted for an all fabric version!
Agneta used a wedgewood blue lace for her bra.
Karin used a delicate pink and green lace on her bra.
Did I mention that the students like to sew in their hotel room in the evening? Here's what they have to show for their evening fun! Agneta sewed up not one, but two foam cup bras over the last evening or two. This light amethyst colour is very striking.
This one uses stretch lace over the foam cups. This is one of the laces I got in Taiwan when Agneta took me to the lace market! I am very happy to see it in this bra!
Lastly...here is the polka dot bra that I showed you the other day. I was hoping that Jenny would get it finished! She brought it in today and I have to share it with you. This is retro bra-styling all the way!
Right after class, we went to a birthday party for Bodil's daughter, Angelica, who turned 25 on Friday. I met a lot more Swedish men and women ( most of whom had names I still can't pronounce properly!) and we had a piece of traditional Swedish birthday cake.

Apparently, Swedes don't use candles and a cake topped with icing like we do...but instead they have a cake with strawberry jam between layers at the bottom, then a vanilla custard, then heaped with a 2" layer of fresh whipped cream...and topped with a layer of marzipan. What can I say but...HEAVEN!

And I will apologize...I didn't even think of taking a photo before the cake was gobbled up!

Tomorrow's class is called Style Changes, so we will be looking at and learning about all the different ways they can change the Classic bra into an almost endless library of beautiful bra styles. I love teaching this class...and there are a lot of Eureka moments that happen during the day!

June 27, 2014

Far, far away - surprise project

Yesterday afternoon we started a project you may not have seen before. That's because I have never posted pictures of any finished garments before today. EVER! But today, you will have the surprise I hinted about a few days ago.

The students in Stockholm made bra dresses and many of them finished the dress in class. Here are our students. Three from Sweden and one from Finnland.
So what's a bra dress.....you will soon see. But I will describe it as a dress with bra cups visible on the exterior of the dress. The cups are made of pre formed foam and the skirt flows out from under the cups. The straps go over the shoulder and fasten at the back, or can cross cross. 

The dress can be short like a top, full length or anywhere in between. It can be used as nightwear, club wear, evening wear, as a cocktail dress, or the perfect summer dress for a garden party. It can be worn with a bolero or shrug over top for dinner at the captain' table.

If made from other fabrics, it can also be worn as an undergarment under a slinky or bias cut dress. No lumps or bumps where your slip meets your tummy! Whatever you use this dress for, I think the students agree it is very versatile.

We drafted the pattern yesterday afternoon, and they cut out the fabric. 
Then they started covering foam cups
Then they sewed the cup cover fabric to the cups
Oh, I almost forgot...before sewing the cup cover to the cup...they had to turn the tube straps.
Some of the tubes turned out to be impossible to turn so we had to recruit Bodil. Still no luck, even with the metal latch hook and a Turn-it-all. Finally we sewed the tube shut by hand. Poor Bodil...I am sure all that hand sewing wasn't easy!
Anyone who takes these classes already has a great deal of sewing skill so it is never surprising when they don't do the "class" dress but have to kick it up a notch! Amber used lace in one continuous piece over the cup and up the strap.
PLUS....she decided the dress should have a godet...a godet with lace trim no less!
Here's a close up of the great mitering job Amber did! This will be in the back of the dress. The dress is full length so she will swoosh into the room, for sure! The lace is perfectly mirrored from one side to the other too!
The students also learned how to do a Dior rose. Here is Amber's cups and what the front should look like when finished
So here are three of the finished bra dresses! First here is Marine's dress. I love this fabric! We cross-crossed her straps in the back for extra oomph.
Next is Jenny's dress with the pink and white polka dots. That girl loves polka dots! ( a girl after my own heart!) she also did the white with black polka dot foam cup bra yesterday.
Finally, here is Karin's top. She decided to make a shorter version of the dress so it would be more versatile in her wardrobe. The richness of the colour isn't apparent here, but this is a really deep purple colour. The sewing is extremely well done too!
Amber is still working on her dress but if she gets it done in the evenings, I will post a picture of it.

I don't know if you noticed...and you can zoom in if you want to...but there is no stitching around the wire line to hold the channeling down around the cup. So how did they stitch the channel down without sewing through the fabric? That's a bit of bra magic I call "invisible topstitching". Looks like they all learned that lesson very well!

June 26, 2014

Far, far away - fun with foam

For the last day and a half, the ladies in Stockholm at the 2nd annual European Bra Summit have been making bras with the cups of pre-formed foam. Some call them contour cups, but we call them foam cups. We had five ladies from all over Sweden, Finland and. Taiwan in this class!
First we learned about all the shapes of the cups and why they were good or not so good for a bra. Some are better for swimwear than bras.
We also saw the alterations we might do to a foam cup to make it fit better. The cups are what they are, but you can tweak them a bit, as shown here in pink.
Here's the same alterations after the foam has been cut off. The change on the left will get rid of the neckline gap, and the change on the right will move the strap closer to the centre front.
Here are the fabrics they are using. It needs to be a stretchy fabric -the stretchier the better, in fact. This one has a chain print on it. You can see she is pinning around the cup.
The leopard is coming along nicely too. It's easy to cover the cups in your lap.
We also had a pink leopard fabric! Once the fabric has been cut to shape, it is time to sew it to the inside of the cup.
I love the colours in this blue fabric! This student has finished sewing the neckline and underarm edge and is re-pinning the wire line seam. Now's the time to get all those wrinkles out.
I started a sample bra too! While in Rome......
But I only got this far by the end of the day!
The ladies did a lot better than I did  - they all got their new foam cup bras done. Here's Marine's chain link bra
We had two pink leopard prints. Jenny used black cups and black trim with her bra.
While Agneta used white cups and white trim with hers. Don't they look like totally different fabrics?
Here's the blue print trimmed with white fabric and purple elastics, made by Josefin.
Last, but not least, is Lena's leopard. Ooh...that sounds nice...Lena's leopard!
Two students started a second bra after they finished the first. Look at this lovely stretch print Marine chose...a purely grey colour with navy flowers.
Jenny started a white polka dot like mine, but I like her trim idea better. The black fold- over binding really accents the fabric. I think she is going to use a red bow with this.
The class ended at noon, and we started another class this afternoon. What are we making in that class? That's the surprise I was telling you about a few days ago.

Stay tuned til tomorrow and find out!

June 24, 2014

Far, far away - First class beginners!

The first beginner bra class is over in Stockholm and what a first class group they were! As soon as they settled in yesterday morning, they were eager to sew.
The language barrier was not a problem, as their English was WAY better than my Swedish! But I drew on the board whenever it seemed necessary
This was one of the fastest group of bra-makers I have seen! They all finished early on the second day and so were able to start a second bra, using the butterfly lace technique. They all got the lace on the cups, and the cups into the frame. Some of them got some of the elastics on! 

Here are the results. The background is courtesy of the sofa in the Scandic Bromma hotel!
This gal finished two bras and was all done by 3:30. Well done! Is't the turquoise lovely?
Here's a black bra with grape coloured lace.
Check out this stunning black cherry with deep fuchsia lace and trim!
Next up - black background with red and black lace. I love this lace!
Two tones of purple grace this butterfly bra
Meanwhile, another student used the lilac duoplex with a multi-coloured lace, with tones of bright pink, lilac, turquoise and teal.
Finally, one student opted for a second white bra, styled after her favourite ready-to-wear brand, Prima Donna!
Here is our happy group of first class bra-makers at the end of the class. Students travelled from all over Sweden and one came all the way from Ireland!
Congratulations everyone! I hope to see you next year in other classes!