Thursday, May 21

Bra Summit Give-away!

As I prepare to go once again to beautiful Stockholm to the 3rd Annual European Bra Summit, I have some news about a Give-away!

If you book your classes before June 6, your name will automatically be entered in the Early Bird Give-away. Prizes are gift certificates worth 500 SEK each!

Here's what's going on in the Bra Summit:

2 days: June 27 & 28 from 9.30 - 4.30

Want to learn to make your own bra?

This is one of the best classes you will ever take. We say "if you can set in a sleeve, you can sew a bra". Our Classic Bra pattern is first fitted to your unique body - then we teach all the professional bra-making techniques. Pattern and kit are included in the class fee.

2.5 days: June 29 and 30 from 9.30 - 4.30 July 1 from 9.30-12.30 

Learn to make swimwear and have the pattern professionally fitted to your body. In this class you learn how to make a free floating bra inside with swim cup foam (you must bring your own fitted bra pattern). It is not difficult to make a swimsuit once you know the few tricks that we can teach you. The pattern and class notes are included in the price of the class. You will choose one suit from the following/a one-piece tank suite/a one-piece princess line suite or a princess line tankini. Bring your own swimsuit fabric and lining to this class. One pattern included.

1.5 days: July 1 from 1.30 - 4.30 and July 2 from 9.30-4.30

Everyone loves a cut-and-sew foam bra . They cushion the bustline and provide a nipple-free look under clothes. Using cut-and-sew foam allows you to use virtually any fabric, including stretchy fabrics you can’t use for a regular bra cup.  We have tricks that allow the home sewer to cover her own cups and sew beautiful bras that rival ready-to-wear. You will also learn to cover a cup with lace, and use lining if you want. This year you can choose from over a dozen different foam colours! This is 1,5 day are jam packed with foam, fun and friends! You must already know how to sew a bra - no beginner bra-makers!

STYLE CHANGES1 day: July 3 2015 from 9.30 - 4.30 

In this class, you will learn how to change your basic pattern into every style you want. Vertical seams, diagonal seams, multiple piece cups – what style lines do YOU want in your bra? After completion of the class, you should be able to look at a ready-to-wear bra and know exactly how to duplicate the style. In the morning you will learn to change the style, then in the afternoon, you will check the fit of the cup you designed in the morning. You must bring your bra pattern to the class.
1.5 days: July 4 from 9.30 - 4.30 and July 5 from 9.30 -12.30

Shelley is a designer original bra with built-in power bars and a split lower cup. You won’t believe what effect these small details have on support! We always say “if you like your Classic Bra – you will love Shelley!” We will draft the pattern in the morning and sew it up during the rest of the class. You must bring your bra pattern to class.
0.5 day: July 5 from 1.30 - 4.30

The fabric you choose for a bra, panties or body shapers can make or break the garment. Why waste money and time on a garment that won’t support or won’t flatter your figure? Learn what fabrics will make a great bra, or panties, and how to use your fingers to tell you if a fabric will be good to use. You will be given lots of fabric samples that you can take home and use as reference. You will also learn to modify your pattern to use with different fabrics.

For more information, please contact the organizer:
Bodil Friman
by phone +46727153061 or by email at

Saturday, May 9

Swim Week and Master Swim - Digital Fashion Show

We just finished up Swim Week and Master Swim here in Hamilton and what a great bunch of swimsuit makers we had this time!

In Swim Week, they started with the basics, a tank or princess seamed suit with a set of bra cups inside attached to the lining. This  one is a fun print with binding sewn to the upper edges.

Next we had some polka dots!

And yes, they learned to make adjustments for a full bust!

Some added ruching on the centre panels of the princess line suit

And what a fun print this one was!

Then some of the students made swim dresses!

And this one with binding made on an industrial cover stitch machine. There is also a metal V-separator in the front neckline of this suit. There are a few tricks to its insertion, but what a dramatic touch!

Now the fun really began when the students made their retro suits...bombshell style!

Here's the pattern piece for that ruched panel! Isn't it odd looking? But it worked!

And this one was too shy to pose for the camera! There still needs to be elastic on the top edge of the underarm here.

One student did some advanced colour blocking. I love this combination of fabric and piping!

Here's the back of the same suit!

A couple of the students were inspired to work on their own projects in their "spare time". Here is the corset dress finished up from Corsetiere's

And here is a dress made from a really drapey knit from the fabric store across the street. The ruched panel is a really nice touch - and since the industrial cover stitch and binder attachment was all set up at the school - why not use it for this dress too? Doesn't she look happy?

By the way, the lightweight stretchy knit was lined with swimwear lining instead of the usual woven dress lining. This makes perfect sense since the swim lining can move with the knit. No slip is required for this summer dress!

That's all for this past couple of classes. I hope you are inspired to make some swimwear!

Saturday, April 25

Digital Fashion Show - Corset Week

 Corset week ended yesterday and here is our line-up to show what the students achieved in their exciting week of sewing. We had an unusually small group, but such enthusiasm for corset making!

The started off the week by learning the theory of corset building - the sizing and what measurements to take to ensure the proper fit. They also learned how to alter the corset to reduce the waist dramatically - going from size Gorgeous, to size Va-va-voom!

After a trip to the fabric store two doors down from Bra-makers Supply, they started laying out their fabric. Ottawa Street is always a fun place to shop for corset fabrics - the choices are incredible!

The they started the construction phase - the first thing is always the busk. There are so many styles and metal finishes to choose from!

I think the scariest part of making a corset is the busk -  the toughest part is right at the beginning! Of course, they learned how easy it actually is! Shhh...don't tell anyone!

From the busk onward, it was smooth sailing. Even the binding was no big challenge to our seasoned sewists!

Eva was making corsets for her daughter but also makes costumes for a theater group - where corset makers are always in demand! She showed us a photo book of all the costumes she's made over the past 10 years, but until now she'd never made a corset. She used the antique bronze busk and grommets to accent this brick-red and deep jade corset.

Karin made this off-white corset with taupe-coloured ribbons over the bone lines. 

On to the underbust corset! Eva's second corset was an underbust version and this was the corset they could do some design work on. Eva chose some applique trim and applied crystals on hers.

Karin worked some colour blocking into her underbust corset. She also reduced the waist on this corset another 2" from the regular corset, bringing the total reduction of her waist down by 6" from its usual size.

Colour blocking makes a little of a precious fabric go a long way - that's important when you are in the business of making corsets for sale.

So that's our fashion show for this week! Stay tuned - as coming up next week is Swim Week and we have a full house, so there will be lots to show as the students "dive" into swimwear (bad pun...sorry, folks!)

Monday, March 9

Launched! Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques

Hello Everyone!

Great news! The second class in the Sewing Bras series on Craftsy has launched today! If you have wanted to know all about Designer Techniques for your bras, this is the class to watch! You'll be able to make dozens of designer bras from all the techniques (over 30 in all!) shown in this class.

The class starts off by showing you how to change your full band bra into a partial band bra. How to draft it, and how to sew it, with all the little tricks I've learned over the years. Then I move into how to change the is the tapered padded strap on a fuchsia partial band bra.

Here is a short tapered strap on the ivory and green bra. What's that fabric, you ask? It's ivory duoplex with a design on it that I made with fabric markers!

Next, we look at frame modifications such as the downward hike, and the thin band. We will also learn how to make a Gothic Arch such as shown here in the navy bra. Do you love those tiny straps on this bra? I show you how to do that!

What about front closing? Yes, two types of front closing are demonstrated!

Here's two different racer style Y-back options!

There's even a lesson on the keyhole bridge!

I also teach 3 different types of power bars - internal, seamed and ruched!

If you would like to take the class, but are waiting for a sale, wait no longer! Click on this link to get 50% off the price of the class!

How is a Bra like a Slipcover?

What do a bra and a slipcover have in common?

1. They are both expected to fit over a curved and shapely surface. The skill needed to cover a curved surface in fabric is needed to make both bras and slipcovers. This skill sets the women apart from the girls, so to speak. A skill you can learn very easily under the right instructor!

2. They are both made without specialized equipment. That's right - you don't need a factory full of industrial machines to make slipcovers, or bras. Just your home sewing machine, scissors, pins and thread. Who hasn't got that?

3. They are both a functional part of our lives. Slipcovers take the everyday wear and tear of daily life and extend the life of the chair underneath. Bras are worn under our clothes for modesty, but also to make the garment fit and look its best. 

4. Both can be made of beautiful fabrics. Who wants bold colours and dramatic prints? Or is delicate and pastel more your style? Are we talking about bras - or slipcovers?

4. Both have the ability to uplift. Want to give yourself a lift? Make a new bra for yourself, or make a new slipcover for your chair. Both will uplift your spirits in ways you can't imagine!

5. You can make both at Bra-makers Supply! Yes, in May, we are featuring a class on making your own slipcovers! Held by master upholsterer and video instructor, Ron Switchuk, in our very own ground floor classroom!

This is the first time we are offering such a class. With all the fabric stores on Ottawa Street offering great deals on fabrics suitable for slipcovers, this is a golden opportunity to learn from the best!