January 31, 2016

On the (not so) Silver Screen

Now available on a monitor near you! Your Fairy Bra Mother has "officially" launched her very own You Tube Channel! Talk about someone who has come kicking and screaming into the world of Social Media...for those of you that know me...this is a HUGE step for me.

So far, I have 7 videos  - the first one I filmed in the store with my Ipad...I know, I know it is terrible! But it does show the Bias Tape Maker in action. It was my very first self-made video, so be gentle with your comments! You can tell it was awhile ago because of my hair colour!

Then I went to Craftsy a couple of times and filmed some bra-making classes. This is the trailer for the second class - Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques. It is obvious, they are a whole lot better at making videos than I am! This is my favourite trailer - so cute! Thanks to my producer, Karen who thought this up!  

I won't bore you with the others (you can see them all on YouTube, but I am so proud that I made them myself! They aren't as good as the official Craftsy videos but nice just the same. Please have a look if you are interested!

This Blog (do you need the link for this? lol)

Free Floating Bras

Two days of making swimwear started today at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference. The students were told that there were several ways of supporting the bust in a swimsuit:

1. The shelf bra, which is a piece of fabric in the front of the suit with a few gathers along the bottom edge. This type of shelf bra is not good at supportive a larger bust or one that is flaccid or heavy. I rarely recommend this type of support.

2. Using pre formed foam bra cups sewn into the suit lining. The cups aren't bad as long as you can get them in your size. However, you are limited to the shape of the cups that are available.

3. The free floating bra. This is the best solution, in my opinion. You can use your own bra pattern and make the cups for inside the suit.  The bra attaches at the side seam and the shoulder of the swimsuit, and is not visible from the outside of the suit.  There is no limit to the size, and the cups can be underwired or not. Best of all, it supports as well as a bra!

So today after the students were measured and assigned a swimsuit size, they got to work making their free floating bras.

Some got right to work!

Margaret was working on a client bra in the workroom, although I did get her to pose for a photo. And you can see the tennis balls on the chair legs to keep them from scratching the floors,
Here is the inside of the cup we are making. We use cut and sew foam to make the cup from the bra pattern, then cover the seams with seam tape. Don't have any seam tape? We used duoplex cut into strips, and that worked just as well!
Once the cups were sewn, they were inserted into the frame, and elastic put on the bottom edge, just like in a regular bra. You can see a bit of the blue frame in this photo.
We also made some straps to attach the cup to the swimsuit shoulders. You can use strap tape, or you can make tapered tubes from duplex. Either way, it works!
One student finished her cups and was ready to start the main part of her suit. She wanted ruching on the side panels of her princess line suit, so I showed her how to make the pattern piece for it. Here it is in the beginning.
Here is the ruched panel after gathering and pinning it all in place. Next she will sew it and steam it before it can be sewn into her suit.
Tomorrow we will finish the suits and insert the free floating bras. I have some tricks to make that part of the fitting go super smooth. Stay tuned to see the final results!

January 24, 2016

Lost and Found in Denver

Well, here I am in Denver! I just finished filming TWO new classes for Crfatsy, plus I stayed over the weekend for the first ever Instructor Summit.  There is so much going on here, but first ...the bad news....I lost my IPad!

Friday morning, I overslept and had to check out of the hotel in such a hurry that I somehow left my iPad behind. I didn't notice its absence until after 6 pm that evening when we wrapped up the filming of the second class of the week. I called the hotel but housekeeping had gone how for the night! Egads! Thank goodness I was going to still be in Denver for the weekend but at a different hotel, so at least I could check on the hunt on Saturday.

I always thought it would be a piece of cake to live without technology for a period of time, but now I am not so sure. I couldn't answer emails, I couldn't take photos of the summit, and worst of all, I had nothing to read in the evening before going to bed! Can you believe the hotel gift shop doesn't sell books or magazines? What's up with that?

Thankfully my wonderful producer Karen tracked down the iPad (Karen, did I mention you are wonderful?) and delivered it to my waiting arms this morning! So here are some photos form the summit. Do you know they set up a knitters lounge? What a great idea to be able to knit out yarns you may not be familiar with!
Next, they had vendors of yarn and fabric there too!
They gave us some great swag in the form of quilt fabric jelly rolls and swatch packs!
I may try my hand at socks again...maybe with a little help from the socks class from Craftsy!

Here's some of the great swag I scored! Not one but two tote bags, a lingerie bag, tape measure, battery pack,, pencil case...I will use it as a sewing tools case!, and some great post it notes! 

Here's my favourite thing....check out this zipper with its fancy edges! Can't wait to use this on a top! Courtesy of Coats and Clarks!
So the lost has been found. In addition, the Craftsy questions have been answered and I am up to date (I think) in my emails. Best of all, I am going to supper at the Spotted Dog with some other instructors. All is well!! Has Lady Luck been kind to you this week?

January 18, 2016

Guess who's coming to dinner?

I am in Denver this week filming two new Classes for Craftsy, and during a break, much to my surprise, someone recognized my name as having written articles for Threads magazine. Wow, what a memory! It should come as no surprise that this was none other than the editor of Threads Magazine, Sarah  McFarland!

Sarah is here in Denver visiting the offices of Craftsy, which is one of their marketing partners. When she suggested we have dinner together, I jumped at the chance! Off we went to a great restaurant called "Linger" here in Denver. 

The restaurant was dark, so I couldn't get a good shot of Sarah, or the food. This picture does not do the meal justice at all, but we shared these wonderful dishes like long lost dinner buddies. Roasted beet salad, BBQ duck buns ( I thought of you, Karin!) lettuce falafel wraps and medjool dates wrapped in bacon were all on the menu and we tried all of them! We shared 5 dishes, but I can't remember for the life of me, what the 5th dish was! Whatever it was, it was delicious!

Better than the food was the company, meaning Sarah, of course. We talked about Threads, we talked about My experiences with Craftsy and of course we talked about sewing! It's always fun to share sewing stories with a fellow enthusiast!

Now I am back in the hotel room, and done for the day, ready to tackle tomorrow's lessons. Sarah, I am so happy to have met you and you can bet that you will hear more from me in the near future!

January 16, 2016

How to remove a serged seam

Hello fellow bra-makers!

I have moved all my blog posts over to our new website and blogsite at


All of the blog posts are there, some with new pictures and with easier navigation. For those of you who follow me through Bloglovin',  we already changed our site address in Bloglovin', so you don't have to do anything!

For those of you who follow me here, please go to the new home of The Fairy Bra Mother!

Your Fairy Bra Mother

...and now, on to the post....

I've been sewing for over 50 years (gasp!) and I have ripped out more, I dare say, than my fair share of sewn seams. Particularly vexing to sewists of all ages is the thought of ripping out a seam made with a serger. One of the ways I have seen taught many times is to use the seam ripper to cut the threads along the edge of the seam and then pull the needle threads...however that leaves thousands of tiny threads to coax from the fabric and dispose of. There is a better way!

Here is the seam that needs to come out. You can see that there are two "straight stitch" lines toward the bottom of the seam and the looper threads wrapping over the edge

The trick is to start by pulling out the thread second from the bottom (let's call it the middle thread). Pick up that thread with your seam ripper or other small pointed thing that will sneak under that thread.

 Pull on the middle thread until that entire row is out. It will be easy to pull - that middle thread.

 Here's the middle thread out - you can see the needle holes still in the seam

Once that thread is pulled out, do the same with the first thread - that's the one on the bottom. If you try to do this bottom thread first, it will not go well for you.

Here's the bottom thread out

Now comes the fun part! You can grab anywhere along the looper thread edge and it comes out faster than a greased zipper!

Here's the seam all un-serged, with no damage to the cloth edge (in this case bamboo), no small thread bits to pick off your clothes, or out of the seam. Best of all, no angst for me!