Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Purple Lingerie

Yesterday, I went on a road trip to with a new friend who moved to the area this past summer and hasn't had time to explore yet. Always fun. We drove for an hour and a half to a nearby town, had a pub lunch, visited the local Fabricland, looked at all the details in my favourite clothing store, searched through two second hand stores and a decor store, had coffee, and walked around enjoying the sights. We have a lot in common. She sews and is making the switch from textile art to creative everyday clothing. YES!

The bargain center at Fabricland was neat and clean - which I always love - and virtually empty - which was not such a thrill. There was nothing tempting although I did come home with half a meter, on sale, of a very soft stretch lace for some purple lingerie.

About five years ago, I took a bra making workshop and discovered it's really REALLY simple. Like every other garment, fit is the issue but the how to is basic sewing. My favourite bra pattern so far is Kwik Sew 3300 and I use...

... an adapted pantie pattern from their book Beautiful Lingerie by Kerstin Martensson. Me made lingerie has become my favourite. Like my other sewn garments, it fits WAY better.

Another useful book is Sewing Lingerie That Fits by Karen Morris who is possibly still - but definitely at one time was - an editor for Threads Magazine. The review on Amazon makes me giggle. It says Morris clearly gets a kick out of sewing as if that is beyond the scope of the reviewers imagination.  I know that even some long time sewists have looked at me strange when I talk about sewing bras. Lingerie is only a different form of the addiction.

The Bra-makers Manual has some serious editing issues that may absolutely drive you crazy but the information is pure gold. The author - Beverly Johnson - clearly knows her topic and the book covers the subject extensively. There's even a follow-up book if you want more info. The workshop I took was with one of her trained instructors and not with Beverly herself. I'd love to study with her since she's the expert. The list of workshops is extensive and quite a few of them entice... if only they weren't so far away. I live on the other side of the country and travel across Canada is expensive. It's cheaper to leave the country which boggles my mind but that's the reality.

Today, back to the secret gift, phase two. Progress is being made. While stitching, I can think about my 2013 sew list. What new sewing adventure would I - would you - like to take?

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a fun day


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (sorry, I had to delete my previous comment since I hit the publish button before checking my spelling!)

    What fun it must be to have a new sewing-interested friend. Your day out sounds like a great time, and your new lace is a lovely color. I have been so impressed with your bra making prowess that I hope to try sewing some more structured bras for myself in 2013; the idea of having "pretty" bras is very appealing.

    My first step being to go to Nordstroms,the big department store here in Portland and be professionally fitted, since I have no idea what size I actually wear. I have been making my own "sports bra" style bras for the last fifteen years, since I was never able to find bras that fit me well.

    The sewing adventure I would dearly love to have would be to go to one of the Design Outside the Lines retreats. I have wanted that for years, but it is so far beyond my resources it will likely remain a dream. The idea of spending time just focused of creativity and garment-making IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS who are also interested in that sounds like a true delight. I really enjoyed both your posts about your experiences there, and those of the other bloggers, like Shams, who also shared bits of their workshop times...

    1. A visit to Nordstrum will get you in the right ballpark but so will measuring as per the instructions. From there, like any garment, it's a journey of fitting. There's the fabric factor too so my advice is to get lots of the same fabric so that your muslin evolution is consistent. The pattern I use is for knits but I use a woven and it gives lovely support. All my favourite bras have been woven with multiple seams for good shaping.

      Make DOL a wish. You never know what will happen. It's certainly an experience worth having and one that was so valuable to me last year that I've been saving to go back.

  3. I took a bra making class years ago and wasn't all that thrilled, but now I am getting back into it. I started with panties and have made several pairs that fit wonderful and feel great (I use ALL cotton) so now making bras are next. I have been reading up on bra making on several blogs and have several texts I need to review and then I think (I hope!) I will be ready to hit the ground running :-)

    1. I added a note to Alison's comment about the fabric factor and keeping it consistent while you're working things out. Otherwise, it's a matter of sewing and perfecting just as we do with other garments. SO worth the journey to have those pretty pieces. I had a very old piece of cotton lace that I overdyed and used in a purse. Is it still possible to buy cotton lace? That would add pretty touches.

  4. Hi Myrna - your day out with your friend sounds so fun. That is often not the case with the crazyness of the holiday season upon us.
    I purchased KS 3300 in the summer....and then with the school year beginning got stuck (home ec teacher). I'm hoping with my two weeks off to work up the pattern and do the fitting necessary to make it work. I've made bras before, but got stuck with fit AND wanted to try a different pattern company (I was using an ELAN pattern). I bought some kits from bramakers' supply so I've got all the "stuff". I make most of my own underwear and love it/them. I to would love to take some courses with Beverly Johnson and you are right about travel costs in Canada. Have you considered airmiles? I have to fly out to visit family in January (ill parent) and am using airmiles to do it. When you have some flexibility about time and it's not a "busy" season, it's not too bad/difficult. Especially since I'm buying a single ticket - I imagine coordinating an entire family would be difficult.
    Love your purple lace!

    1. Here's wishing you time to sew and perfect fit. What a lovely gift that would be. Let us know how the bra works out.

      Airmiles are an idea... or a version of them. Our grocery store has points and I can use those towards travelling to San Francisco, New York, or Toronto all of which I'd love to visit. We also collect traditional airmiles and plans for those.

  5. Here's another person who can only dream of the DOL experience! But... have you thought about doing your own DOL-type retreat? I go on a couple of annual retreats with sewing buddies - one is primarily quilter friends... and they are very, very creative. So I'm thinking that I could amp up the focus of the garment (ASG) group.... Hm-mmm... I just LOVE the ideas that I get from being here ;-)

    JoyceP in WI

  6. I love how you are using colour in your projects.
    BTW You are one of my inspiring sewing bloggers.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.