I’ll be contributing a couple times a month and have so many ideas about topics I’d like to cover. If there is anything specific you would ever like me to cover, please let me know in the comments for via email! I can’t always reply to every message I get, but I do read every single one.
Nothing will change over here! I’ll still be bringing you new tutorials, hacks and inspiration through my own blog, but Craftsy will be a great sewers resource!
Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s one of my most favourite times of the year. I love the costumes, scary stories, horror movies, candy, crisp fall air, the crunch of leaves underfoot… It’s just the best!
Way back when, I wrote up a tutorial on padding the Jasmine Bra with balconette style pre-formed cups. Over the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with a new method, using cut and sew foam.
Cut and sew foam is available through most bra making suppliers. There are lots of options, but I recommend Bra Makers Supply in Canada or Arte Crafts in the US. Cut and sew foam is quite thin, maybe 1/8″ or so thick. It has some 2-way stretch. Adding foam to your soft bras will add a little bit of body and structure, as well as a little extra coverage if you are concerned about visible nipples. My personal preference is still for non-padded bras, but this is a nice option if the things above are of concern to you! Or, if you just want to try something new. I will say, I’ll be adding this to my bikini top sewing repertoire, but I’m still not sure padded bras are for me.
Aside from the foam, you won’t need any other special supplies – just what it outlines in the pattern for a lined bra.
The method for assembling the bra with foam padding is essentially the same as a lined Jasmine. The main difference comes with how we will finish the interior seams.
Begin by cutting out your pieces. Cut the bra exactly as you normally would, but also cut out the cup pieces in cut and sew foam.
Place the Centre Front Self/Exterior pieces right side together, aligning the CF seam. Place a piece of foam over top of that, then the lining pieces with the right sides facing each other. Finish with the final piece of foam. Stitch together down the centre front seam.
Trim back both pieces of foam as close to the stitching line as possible.
Open the Front up, separating one half of the foam. With your fingers, press the seam allowance towards the foam.
Using a zig-zag stitch, top stitch the seam allowance to the foam. When your needle “zigs” to the left, it should just catch that little bit of foam left in your seam allowance. The idea here is to flatten the seam, and in addition, the zig-zag stitching almost acts as an understitch, helping the lining and exterior fabrics fall into place.
Trim back the seam allowance as close to the stitching line as possible and open the Centre Front pieces.
To assemble the rest of the cup, place the Side Front Self/Exterior against the Centre Front curved cup seam so that the right sides are facing. Place the Side Front foam against the wrong side of the Side Front Self. Flip the garment over, and then place the lining down the curved seam, sandwiching the Centre Front between the Side Front Self/Foam and Lining. Stitch together.
Once again, trim back both pieces of foam seam allowance as close to the stitching line as possible.
Fold the seam allowance towards the Side Front Foam, pushing the Side Front self and lining towards the centre front.
Just like you did with the centre front seam. Zig zag stitch the seam allowance to the Side Front foam.
Trim back the remaining seam allowance as close to the stitching line as possible and flip the Side Front self and lining over the foam.
Attach your Back Band pieces as indicated in the pattern instructions and sew on the band elastic. It is very important that you trim any excess fabric beyond your band stitching line back to allow the bra to fold under properly.
Top stitch the band elastic in place. Be careful here, it gets quite thick. Go slowly and take your time! Finish the upper edge with Fold Over Elastic as outlined in the instructions, and complete the bra with a back closure and straps.
I would say this is more of an “advanced” tutorial. It can be quite tricky to get all of the layers to line up properly. That is definitely the most challenging part. Getting the fit just right is also a little more of a challenge because the foam will limit the vertical stretch of the bra, which tends to be more of an issue for the DD+ crowd.
If you prefer video format, I’ve uploaded a quick tutorial on how to add foam padding to the Romy Bra:
… And how to add padding the the Lace Jasmine Variation!
In my younger days, I wore thongs a lot more. It was the style of the times. As I’ve “matured” I’ve replaced most of my skimpy thongs for more comfortable (still pretty) styles. That’s not to say that thongs aren’t comfortable – they definitely can be! And they serve a practical purpose…
A High Waist Thong may not be super practical for every day wear, but hot damn… it looks great on. I was skeptical when I first started getting requests for a high waist thong, but I thought I’d try it out. I was very pleasantly surprised!
The Delphine Thong
As I was developing this pattern I wanted to come up with a way to use scalloped stretch lace on a high waist thong – that’s View C of the pattern. It’s a little bit Ultimate Lace Panties mixed with a little Ava Panties and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The style lines allow you to mix and match colours and fabrics, one of my favourite things to do with a design!
I made a few different sets as I was sewing up samples, pairing the basic high waist version with my Natalie Crop Top, then I made some bottoms for a Romy Bra and Jasmine Bra (from my Valentine’s Day Sew Along) from my own lingerie drawer.
Ugh… I’m sick! Isabel came down with a cold late last week and I seem to have gotten it. In a way, it’s good timing to be laid up with a sore throat and aches and pains since I have a lot of computer work to do on the couch…
I posted a new video on my YouTube Channel last week with some Ohhh Lulu related updates. I’ll be finishing up most of what I talked about here over the next couple of days…
Summertime tends to be a little quieter work wise, which is nice because life tends to be a little busier around that time of year. Dan had a couple of weeks vacation. We didn’t really do much, just a few day trips and did some work around the house.
When I first saw our house I fell in love right away… You know how when you first start dating someone, you see all of their wonderful aspects, but it’s not until you’ve been dating for a while that you start to see their flaws? That happened with this house (ha!). I saw all of the wonderful bones of the house and some how didn’t notice until I moved in that the exterior was only half painted. Every single wall was half painted. It was like someone started painting all of the easy bits, then when the job got too high to reach, they stopped.In my defence, I was juggling a 1 year old, a business, and a pending nervous breakdown (only semi-joking). The side entry and kitchen also had some water damage, which was repaired by the seller prior to closing. Big mistake. The person who did the repair did a really crappy job. We’ve stayed dry, but the drywall job in the side entry was terrible. There were huge gaps between the door frame, baseboards and milk door that no one bothered filling and the side entry was left three different colours. It took me a good portion of a morning to fill and patch that area and we ended getting the painters who did the exterior of our house to paint this area white. The ceiling in this area was super high and would have been difficult to do on my own.
So many things went wrong with the closing of this house that I’m still irritated about. Our lawyer totally screwed up our closing and was unhelpful, the house was filthy (like disgusting filthy… like a pile of rotting food in the backyard, a tampon under the stove filthy), there was junk left everywhere despite stipulations in our purchase agreement… We ended up renting a dumpster over the summer to get rid of all of the previous owners old junk which cost us almost $400. SO frustrating! I think what upsets me more than the additional expenses we incurred, was the TIME it took to address all of the things went wrong… I wish I had’ve been in a better mental state when we first moved in because I should have sued to cover the extra costs we encounter… However, I’m super happy with the house now. I just am having a hard time letting go.
We had the exterior of the house painted white (actually a very very pale grey), and used a darker grey on the shutters. The wood shutters were in pretty rough condition, but with a little TLC, a lot of caulking and fresh paint they have a little more life left in them! I also painted the front door bright blue for a pop of colour. I love how it looks, fresh and modern colours on a traditional storybook cottage base. We also put up a new, more modern light fixture. We’re supposed to be having new soffit and fascia installed as ours is in very rough shape but I haven’t heard boo from the company we hired for a little while… So hopefully that is still happening!
Our poor shutters pre-painting.
Painted and pretty!
Isabel started at a new daycare this month. I was so sad to hear that her previous daycare provider was going back to work for a local school board. We had such a great connection with her and the kids there! But we were lucky to find someone else who is close by, and happens to have some chickens, which (aside from horses and dogs) are Isabel’s favourite animal (a frequently heard phrase in our house is “Mom, let’s talk about chickens.”). Isabel is a pretty amazing kid. She is so easy going and flexible as far as changes go. She’s adapted so well to the new daycare. I, on the other hand, have a hard time adjusting to changes like these and find myself missing the old daycare! Mostly, my morning chats with her provider…
We’ve also started a few other things this month. Isabel went for her first swimming lesson two weeks ago, and is starting gymnastics at the end of the month. I’m loving this stage of parenthood. She is developing her own interests and her personality is really coming out. She is sweet and funny, loves horses and dancing, but also likes to fix things with her dad and get dirty in the garden. I’m amazed every day by how smart and well spoken she is for an almost-three-year-old. She just is the light of my life.
Practicing her dance moves.
This summer I’ve made time for some fun crafty things too. I made little owl “good bye” gifts for the daycare kids, as well as an owl costume for Isabel. I also made up a whole bunch of dress up items, like butterfly wings, unicorn and deer headbands and crowns for Isabel and a friend of hers. I love making these little things.
Lastly, I’ve got a new obsession… a dollhouse! This dollhouse was made by my uncle for my cousin Amanda years ago (like 20 years or so). After he passed away, it got stored at my parents house where it had a bit of an accident (got knocked over). I couldn’t bare to see it go to waste so I stored it in my attic for another 5 years. A few weeks ago I dragged it downstairs, got out some glue and started putting it back together. I took off the gingerbread trim, added a plain fascia and fresh paint. I did a bit of “landscaping,” made the first floor open concept, and am waiting on new flooring to arrive. I look forward to working on this every day! It has been so much fun and a nice change of pace from lingerie.
So, it’s been a busy summer. I’m looking forward to cooler weather and longer nights.
Spoonflower graciously sent me fabric in exchange for this tutorial.
Combining prints and colours is one of my favourite design decisions to make. I love mixing prints and combining unexpected colours – that’s why I love the Clara Sleep Mask Pattern. Not only does it let you use up all the small scraps you’ve been holding onto all of these years (yes, I’m talking to you!), but it also lets you experiment with different colour and pattern mixes!
I was so excited when Spoonflower approached me about working on a “Very DIY Wedding” tutorial. I love Spoonflower because their choice of prints is endless. And you know me, I love a good print. I wanted to create something that a bride could gift to her bridal party, and customize to each persons specific personality. I thought back to my wedding and how each of my bridesmaids were so different and unique – I loved the idea of creating a “set” of something that is also personalized to each bridal party member. I’m not sure about you, but prints speak to me, and in each of these I thought, “Oh, this one is definitely an Abbey (or Amanda, or Pam).”
Just a quick note about printing, and this goes for all printable sewing patterns. Make sure you’ve selected “No Scaling” and “Auto Portrait/Landscape” To ensure your pattern prints right the first time.
For my project, I used Spoonflower’s Fill a Yard 2-yard cheater quilt in Cotton Sateen. Sateen is one of my favourite fabrics for sleep masks as it is easy to work with and has just a slight sheen. I paired each of the prints with scraps of silk charmeuse (backed with interfacing) from my own stash.
I wanted to select floral prints that incorporated some modern elements, and contained shades of blush, and grey-blue/green. I went through some of my favourite prints and created a collection, and from there filled up my cheater quilt with 8 different prints. You can see the prints I used here!
Even after making these with self lining (they are reversible!) I had a plenty of each print left over to make a little gift bag, and the rest is now at home in my quilt box.
The hardest part of running a small business, aside from feeling like you’re always at work, is having to do things that you have no idea how to do. For instance, I’ve had to fumble my way through figuring out how to file sales tax, how to set up import numbers, how to build a website (still figuring that one out!). Truth is, I just can’t afford to outsource all of these things, so I DIY it. I spend a lot of my day going, “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!!!”
Printed patterns was one of those projects where I had no idea where to start. Lucky for me, my best friend Abbey just happens to work in printing! She amazingly took on this project with me and helped me get professionally printed paper patterns and gorgeous glossy booklets!
When these first arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, my jaw dropped when I opened the box of booklets. I’ve looked at my PDF’s until my eyes were ready to shrivel up like raisins, but I had never seen them in full glossy professional print! They look so beautiful! I’ve always wanted to create products that are not only fun to use (or wear!) but also beautiful to display, and I have to say that these nail it!
And… I have to give a HUGE shout out to my dear Abbey for working on this for me. I could not have done it without her.
I’ve started out with my Jasmine & Ava patterns (but hope to release more if there is the demand) as they are two of my favourites.
With my printed patterns you will receive the pattern printed on a single sheet of paper, no taping required, and a pretty glossy booklet containing large, full-colour photographs, all packaged in a re-sealable plastic pouch.
My birthday really snuck up on me this year. I guess that’s what happens when you get older. Sigh…
33 has been a pretty good year. Well actually, it was difficult. 33 was the year I got help for my anxiety ‘issue.’ It’s kind of funny, because I am ending out 33 doing not quite so well, but during this year I’ve learned so many things about how to maintain my sanity. Most importantly I learned that I don’t have to feel like something terrible is about to happen all of the time.
On the bright side, I sleep now! And I very rarely have nightmares. I did have a bout of sleep paralysis/wake-up screaming two nights ago, but as a whole, my sleep is much better. However, my bouts of nightmares really make me feel like a crazy person. There is no nice way to put it. They are terrifying and the feelings linger for days. Actually, when I think of it, a lot of my intrusive thoughts as well as my dreams leave me feeling like, “a good/normal person wouldn’t have these thoughts. There is something wrong with me.” It’s not a good feeling to have, on top of the effect of the imagery and content of my dreams and intrusive thoughts. I feel embarrassed sharing this, but I know there is probably at least one other person out there who feels the same way!
My physical health is much better. I’m running 10k on a regular basis and planning on training for 15! On the downside, I’m finding that my mental health maintenance is lacking… I’ve really let it slip and it’s showing. My body images has also been not so good – this is a thing I still don’t feel I have a good grasp on. But as a whole, I am doing much better.
Life is full of highs and lows and lots of stuff in between. It’s the “in between” times that I have a hard time with, and summer is always one of those times for me. Things drag along a little more slowly, which I should enjoy, but I thrive off of the adrenaline rush of being busy (or of crisis). I’m trying… really trying to be ok with life just chugging a long.
Anyway, enough about me…
I decided to celebrate, I’d have a sale, and it’s going to be my BIGGEST sale of the year. Take 20% off all lingerie & sewing patterns with the coupon code HappyBirthday 20. Offer expires Monday July 3 at midnight!
I thought this might be a good time for a sale since it’s a long weekend for many of us, with Canada Day and July 4th in the US. This is a great opportunity to pick up a couple sewing patterns and work through my new swimsuit tutorials *wink wink*
The tutorial includes instructions on how to sew a fully lined Anouk Swimsuit, with elastic stabilized bindings and straps.
This tutorial does not go over the ballet-wrap variation, but the technique is essentially the same – just instead of sewing a centre front seam, you finish the neckline edges with binding, then overlap down the centre front, just like directed in the Bodysuit Instructions.
There are also various ways you can tie the straps!
I really like the straps on this. I can’t wear halter straps – the weight of my boobs on my neck causes migraines. I know I’m not alone in this! This swimsuit eliminates that issue. You can criss-cross the straps in the back or front, or just do straight shoulder straps. They then connect at the centre back.
This swimsuit also has underbust elastic. I can’t wear a one piece without it, I just don’t find it comfortable. However, if you are more petite in the bust-area, you can omit that step!
This swimsuit utilizes similar techniques as my recent Cindy tutorial, so those videos make for a great reference, in addition to my tutorial.
The Ava Pattern is my favourite pattern to use for making bikini bottoms. I find the cut to be comfortable and flattering on my figure. Perfect for chasing toddlers around on the beach, or just a more retro vibe.
In this short video tutorial I’ll show you how to sew the Ava Pattern as a swimsuit bottom. It’s very simple, but I use some different techniques to finish the waist and legline so it looks less lingerie and more beach.
You’ll need a couple different supplies. First of all, you’ll need swim-appropriate fabric, so something like a nylon spandex/lycra blend is ideal. In my Cindy Bikini Post, I outline some places to buy swimsuit fabric. You’ll also need swimsuit lining, in the same yardage as your exterior fabric.
You’ll also need swim elastic, so something that is chlorine resistant, though really almost any plain elastic will do. Just looking for something 1/4″-3/8″ wide. The elastic is not visible on the finished garment, but I try to get something that coordinates with my exterior fabric – white for light coloured bathing suits and black for darker fabrics. I also use a twin needle. I’ve used the Ava Pattern for my swimsuit, but really any panty pattern you like should work!
Here’s the Tutorial! Subscribe to my channel to be the first to see new videos.
Share your makes with me on Instagram, use the hashtag #OLSBikini so I can see them!