Thursday, March 5

Stockholm in Summer, Anyone?

Stockholm in the summer is one of my favourite places to be and with good reason. Not only is the weather warm (but not sticky) and the people friendly (love that Swedish accent!) but Stockholm (the Venice of the North!) is home to the European Bra Summit, and I am teaching there for the third time!

Three years ago, Bodil Friman, of B'Wear ( decided that Europe should be able to have bra-sewing conferences  the way we have here in Canada. I am talking about  the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference that is held every end of May in the town of Muenster, Saskatchewan (out west in Canada!) The SSC is 11 days of sewing bras, swimwear, corsets and other lingerie. Women come from all over Canada and the USA to attend that conference.

So Bodil asked...why can't we do that in Sweden and invite all of Europe? Why not, indeed! And so she set up classes in a hotel. The first year was a success and Bodil knew she needed to do this every year! And so the European Bra Summit was born!

This year, we are moving to a new space but still close to public transportation and close to accommodations, but a little away from the city centre (so maybe not as much traffic) Bodil has worked very hard to make this event better than ever!

Of course, we will start off on June 27-28 (Saturday and Sunday) with the Beginner Bra Class. This is the class that is now world-famous! We want to make sure everyone gets a professionally fitted and well-sewn bra to start off the conference on a positive note! 

Then on the next two-and-a-half days, why not learn to make your own swimwear? Not only will you learn to make either a princess line suit or a maillot (tank suit) you will also learn to insert my own design for a free-floating bra. That will make your swimsuit as supportive as your bra!
You will also learn how to convert the swimusit into a tankini!

Have you wanted to learn to make a bra with foam? Here's your chance! I will be teaching all about cut-and-sew foam on July 1-2 . You will learn how to modify your pattern to use with foam and how to work with it for professional results.

Become a bra designer in this class on Style Changes July 3. This is where you will learn TWO different ways to change your bra pattern into the styles you see on the internet or in catalogs. Do you want vertical, or horizontal? How about long-line? You will see them all as each students decides what style she wants, drafts it up and sews up a cup to make sure it fits beautifully!

Everyone's favourite bra is the Shelley Bra. On July 4-5 for 1.5 days I will show you how to transform your basic bra pattern into the Shelley Bra. Shelley uses lace on the upper cup, and a split lower cup and a power bar on the side for maximum style and comfort.

Have you wondered about what fabrics to use in your bra-making? Are you puzzled by the vast array of fabrics but are afraid to try them in case they don't work? Well, this class on Fabrics for Bra-making held on Sunday morning July 5 is for you. it is only half a day but chock full of information and a full range of swatches of fabric for you to take home as a reference. Over 40 fabrics will be discussed and reviewed in this class!

Remember, these classes are open to anyone who sews and wants to learn bra-making! In the past, we have had students from Italy, England, Ireland, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany and of course from all over Sweden! We've even had students from Canada attend as well! Why not plan a longer trip to Sweden so you can have a holiday after the Summit?

For more information or to register for any of the classes (or all the classes) please email Bodil Friman at

I hope to see you in Stockholm this summer!

Tuesday, March 3

A little Sunshine through the Snow

We here in the North are knee-deep in our "favourite" winter pastime, which is of course shoveling snow. This winter, Mother nature seems to be particularly vexing, as she is dumping snow every second or third day. Enough, already!

There have been mixed reports on whether the groundhog saw his shadow on February 2. But I think the answer is clear one month later! Still two more weeks to go!

I have been keeping warm the last few weeks by drawing illustrations and taking photos for the new Swimwear book. Since Erin is away in sunny California for a couple of weeks, I was able to completely finish the book a few days before my self-imposed deadline. Imagine my surprise when I got  a message back - they were closed due to a winter holiday! Imagine that! So I have had to wait another week!

As of today, the third book in the Make & Fit Series is finally back from the printers. Make & Fit Swimwear is on the shelves! 

The book was written as a guide to the construction and fitting of any basic swimsuit pattern, either a plain tank (called a maillot, pronounce MY-O) or a princess line suit. Naturally, I would love it if you bought the Denise pattern from Pin-up Girls (insert infomercial however the fitting techniques, adjustments and construction instructions will work with any swimwear pattern.

Here's a sneak preview of what is covered in the book:
  • An inside look at 3 types of Bust support
  • Fabrics and materials - how to choose, how to use
  • All about Bra Cups - and how to insert them
  • Measuring the Body and Fitting Adjustments
  • Bust Cup Adjustments 
  • Drafting a Bra-back and Racer-back
  • Make and Insert a Free-floating Bra
  • Detailed Construction notes - from start to finish
  • Elastic Application
  • Re-shaping the legs and neckline
  • Making a Swimsuit Skirt
  • Making 2 different Tankinis from your basic suit pattern
  • Making a Swim Dress from your basic suit pattern

So if you are tired of winter (and who isn't?) hunker down in your sewing room, burrow through your stash of swimsuit fabrics and stay warm creating some wonderful swimwear. After all, who knows when spring might make an appearance?

Make & Fit Swimwear can be purchased through the following websites:
  1. Bra-makers Supply at
  2. In Europe at B'Wear
  3. In the USA at Sweet Cups 

Monday, February 2

Bra-makers Ahoy 2016!

Can you believe it is time again! Time once again for the THIRD  tri-annual Bra-makers Ahoy cruise. If you haven't cruised with us before, set your sights to March 6-16 as we go to....drum roll here.... the Canary Islands! Yes, we sail on the beautiful Norwegian Epic on a luxurious, informative and restorative ocean cruise!

We begin our incredible 10 day voyage in Barcelona, Spain. Why not take an extra day at the beginning or end of the journey and stay to see Flamenco dancing or the basilica at Montserrat and its spectacular mountain views? There just "happens" to be a quilt shop and a notions shop there too!

On to Tangier, Morocco..the perfect blend of Arab and European custom. A little treasure trove yours to discover. Berber market with silks and lots of leather. Did someone say spices?

How about a lace factory in Madeira? Real bobbin lace!!!! Madeira is also famous for its wines ...but no one in our group would want that...would they? lol. Madeira is home to beautiful beaches, stunning lava landscapes and lush, green forests with millions of flowers. Truly a florist's dream come true!

No trip to this area would be complete without visiting Granada, with its cave system boasting the largest largest stalagmite columns in the world.

Your days at sea won't be all spent in the casino or the spa on board, either. We are planning presentations of interest to any sewing and bra-making enthusiast! If your loved ones are coming with you, there's lots for them to do while you are busy in the boardroom!

So book now while there are extras being given away. I have already booked and can't wait!

10-Day Canary Islands & Morocco from Barcelona

Cruise Ports
Sun Mar. 6
7:00 pm
Mon Mar. 7
At Sea
Tue Mar. 8
7:00 am
5:00 pm
Wed Mar. 9
At Sea
Thu Mar. 10
8:00 am
6:00 pm
Fri Mar. 11
7:00 am
4:00 pm
Sat Mar. 12
8:00 am
4:00 pm
Sun Mar. 13
At Sea
Mon Mar. 14
8:00 am
6:00 pm
Tue Mar. 15
At Sea
Wed Mar. 16
Barcelona, Spain (DISEMBARK)
5:00 am
--- wanna know the prices for all of this and more? 
Balcony stateroom is  1491 Canadian dollars, all taxes and port fees are included
Inside stateroom is  1147 Canadian dollars, all taxes and port fees are included. You will need airfare to Barcelona...but that's what air miles are for!

Call our group travel agent, Cathy Roberts at 905-648-8881 to book. Deposit of only $500 needs to be paid before December 2015. if you book now, you can cancel and still get a full refund up until December. First come, first served and only 16 cabins!

What are you waiting for?


Bra-a-week challenge - week 3

Here's our lovely  and creative Erin with her post on her Bra-A-Week Challenge. I must say, I feel rather slow on the uptake. I haven't made one bra yet!


Hi All!

Week 3 already! This week I have a pretty cozy set to show you!

I'm calling it my Canadian Winter Bralette Set! Because it is warm, cozy and perfect for the cold Canadian winter that has been happening in Ontario!

I made it using this grey bamboo knit fabric. It's a double layered, quilted fabric, grey on one side, black on the other- a perfectly soft and cosy for a bralette!

I decided to make it a long-line, for extra coverage and warmth, and used a panel of powernet in the back to make it stretchy enough to pull over my head.

I drafted this pattern using my regular bra-pattern, making it a vertical seam and integrating the bridge and the side of the front frame into the cups. I cut the front cup piece on a fold, making it one piece between the two cups.  I finished all the edges with 3/8" fold over elastic, matte side out to give it a very sharp and polished finish.

For a little extra comfort and support I also used 3/4" strap elastic in the back- that I took all the way down to the bottom of the bra and anchored it in the fold over finish at the bottom- I think it really added to the clean-edges look that the fold over gives.

And of course I had to make the matching boy short! They are also from a self-draft, using the method in Make-and-Fit Panties. I used the same grey quilted bamboo for the front panels, but I made the side panels out of powernet to allow for sitting and stretching. I also used the same 3/8" fold over on the waist and legs.

I don't think I'll take this off until it is at least 10 degrees outside, for at least 10 days in a row :) This is definitely a new perk of winter!


Now all on to the super exciting part! all of your submissions! You have all completely out-done yourselves again! I am definitely suffering from some serious bra-envy this week!

First we have a gorgeous sun yellow set from Madalynne

Madalynne made this lovely Marlboroughbra with yellow and white stretch lace lined with stretch mesh. She dyed all the findings to match with RIT dye.

This is such a cute set- and she got a really great fit! For more info on this set you can check out her post about it on her blog.


Next is a pretty bra from Ilna

She made this with the Doline pattern fromMarinique Kollege and Langere in South Africa. She made it with a beautiful white lace and I love that little pink rose in the middle!



Next is more lovely black and fuchsia from Mary Gottelmann

She made this matching set from the Anne St. Claire bra Elite pattern, and a matching top from the Jalie blouse #2910 pattern.

What a nice set!



Next is another beautiful set from my favourite french man- Joël!

Joël made this for his lovely wife with the Shelley pattern from Pin-Up Girls and a modified Betty from Oh lu lu pattern for the underwear with brown satin and black lace.

I love this- it's hard to combine brown and black but this really works! Such an elegant set!



Next we have three bra-makes from the very ambitious Kerri of Lady K's Wardrobe Unlocked!

First is this compression top with visible built in bra cups, very practical! 

She also made this top with built in bra, a prototype for one that she is making herself soon! I'm loving the galaxy print on this!

Next she made this super trendy black faux-leather and lace bra. This bra is made in a 48 F/G, proving that large cups can be super cute!

Next we have a most gorgeous bra from Karin of Mrs.Weaver's Finest Unmentionables 

She made this bra with plum coloured cut&sew foam, covered with lace and green stretch satin and matching trims.

And of course you can't make a bra this pretty without making some matching panties!  What a gorgeous set! I love everything about this! Don't forget to check out her post about this set!

Next we have a very creative bra from David Pólrolniczak

He made this with demi-foam cups, black cherry lace and ecru ribbon. Such a creative detail with the ribbon laced through the rings! Love it!

David is a freelance lingerie designer, label: Bonnet Blue 

dpolrolniczak (at) wp (dot) pl
Next we have our second gorgeous Marlborough of the day from Ginny!

Ginny made this Marlborough bra with minty stretch lace lined with stretch mesh for the cups, duoplex for the frame and powernet for the back, all for her niece (what a nice aunt!)

She made the matching panties fromWatson Bikini pattern, raising the waist 1". How cute is this set?!- I could definitely see myself wearing this!

Last but not least we have this super chic LBB (little black bra) from Jodi of Threads by Jodi 

She made this bra from the Classic Pin-Up Girls pattern and modified it to have a spilt lower cup.

She made it using black duoplex for the cups and frame, powernet for the back and some black lace on the upper cup! Simple and pretty, definitely a wardrobe staple!

Wow- again, amazing submissions this week! I'm so happy that we can all be so motivated and inspired in bra-making!! 

Again don't forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! To grab a challenge button and to send your bra for next week to!!

Until next week!

xo erin

Remember to check out Erin's blog and the original post by visiting