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Floral and Lace

Design Diary, Lingerie, Uncategorized

I received this fabric from Spoonflower as part of a creative collaboration for Wedding Month. 

I’ve had my eye on this large scale peony print by Gabby Malpas for a while now. It’s so fresh and feels both classic and modern at the same time.

For this bridal-inspired lingerie set I used my Ava High Waist Panties  and Romy Bra  sewing patterns. For the bra, I added a high neckline detail using scalloped stretch lace that closes at the neckline with a small silver hook – a little detail that gives the neckline jewelry-esque look.

I wanted to give this set a really special feel, so I lined the cups in the same soft lace I used for the neckline. Now the inside looks just as beautiful as the outside.

This Romy-adaptation took me four attempts to get it just the way I wanted! I did lots of experimenting with the width of the neckline as well as the overall construction. In a little while, I’ll release this adaptation as an add-on to my Romy pattern.

To bring the top and bottom together, I added small pieces of lace along the curved cutout along the hips.

I took a lot of time plotting out my pattern placement. I used a full yard and carefully placed my pattern pieces so to achieve the effect of the flowers gracefully climbing up the sides of the garment.  Since the front and back of the Ava pattern are the largest pattern pieces in this set, I made sure to feature a large flower, asymmetrically placed, to really highlight the beauty of this print.

Spoonflower’s cotton lycra jersey has is a great weight for lingerie – it’s sturdy and has lots of give making this set as comfortable as it is pretty!

 

New Pattern! The Romy Bra

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The Jasmine Bra might have a run for it’s money for the position of “favourite bra pattern.”

The Romy Bra is a step up in complexity from the Jasmine bra. It has a three-piece, lined “cup” and shaped wing. I really love the scooped back.

The instructions walk you through how to line the bra, how to sew it with a scalloped lace neckline or a elastic-trimmed neckline. I’ve even included a bonus tutorial on how to add a strappy neckline! I kind of thought I was tired of the strappy-bra thing, but when I put this one on, I think I changed my mind.

I’m really happy with the finish on this bra. It’s still relatively simple as far as bras go, but I think it has even more versatility than the Jasmine. You know me, I love a pattern that can be sewn lots of ways.

If you’re looking to sew one of these for yourself, check out my step by step video on YouTube!

Sweet Dreams

Design Diary, Uncategorized

I think I’m addicted to sewing sleep masks. I make them for my shop, I make them for gifts, I make them for myself… They are so addicting to make.

Have you downloaded my FREE Kitty Sleep Mask Pattern yet?  You can also get my classic mask with several animal ear add ons, Here.

I’ve recently started sewing a few silk charmeuse masks. I love silk. There is really nothing else quite like it. My new Alchemy and Chalcedony sleep masks are feature 100% silk on the exterior and lining. I seriously can’t wait to go to sleep tonight so I can test this black one out. I hand stitched a small black applique to this one.

If you’re working with silk, I highly recommend fusing a lightweight interfacing on to the wrong side. I find no matter how many pins you use, it will tend to slide, especially since my masks are made of quite a few layers.

Anatomy of an Ohhh Lulu Sleep Mask

One of the things I love about making these sleep masks is it’s an excuse to buy fun printed cotton. Did you know I’m a certified fabric-aholic? I can’t stop buying fabric. I justify it by saying “I’ll make clothes for Isabel, I can’t feel bad if it’s for Isabel.” But half the fabric I buy never becomes clothes… I’m sure a few of you can relate.

I also love photographing these. I’ve been experimenting with different lights, textures, and glittery confetti. I love how these photos turned out.

Another Birthday Party for the Books

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I can’t even believe that Isabel is already two! I can barely remember life without her, at the same time, it feels like just yesterday she was this little, helpless baby.

We had a fun get together a few weeks ago with family and my closest friends (Hi, Abbey!). Now that we are settled in a much more spacious house, it is so nice to be able to get everyone together.

Lots of things surprised me about parenthood. First and foremost, I love it! Haha! It sounds terrible, but it is true. I was unsure of what parenthood would bring, but despite some frustration and smoothies thrown in anger (by Isabel, not me), parenthood is really fun and rewarding! And one of the fun things (for me anyway) has been organizing birthday parties.

We decided to put together a unicorn theme for Izzy’s 2nd birthday. I found some cute unicorn garlands on Amazon only to find out they didn’t ship to Canada (Boo!). So, I made my own with cardstock, ribbon, and glittery paper. I’ve kind of become obsessed with making garlands lately… I hung up some tissue paper pom poms (thank you Martha Stewart for the wonderful tutorial), and made a little “Decorate a Unicorn” table. Something I did for Izzy’s first birthday, was set up a photobooth so that I could get some fun photos of her with her cousins and aunts and uncles, etc. I loved the photos we took so much that I decided to do it again. This was an easy thing for me because I just happen to have a photo backdrop stand, but I think you could easily do this just by pinning some fabric to a wall or drapery rod, then adding your embellishments. I added swaths of tulle and some cut out glittery stars.  I also made a couple of unicorn headbands out of felt, inspired by some unicorn horns I saw on Etsy. I’m not going to lie, I sometimes just wear them around the house. We believe in playing dress-up in this household.

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One of the best parts of our day was when my cousins husband showed up in a unicorn costume! My jaw nearly hit the floor. It was hilarious and made the day extra memorable.

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I know I fawn over Isabel all of the time. I don’t want to make parenthood seem like a walk in the park. I’m tired and it’s a lot of work. But, it’s also way more enjoyable than I ever gave it credit for. It’s a-ok to complain when you are having a down-day (trust me, I complain), but I know that pre-children, it felt like all I ever heard was “wait until you have kids, then you’ll really know what busy means” or “think you’re tired now? You don’t have kids.” Ugh… First, I’ve never been as tired as I was when I was in fashion school full time and working 20+ hours a week at a fabric store – that even beat out the time I had mono.  Second, of course parenthood is hardwork! but it’s also super rewarding – way more so than I ever thought, and in ways I never imagined. It’s the look on her face when she realizes that she gets free candy on halloween, it’s the funny way she puts words together, it’s watching her figure out the world around her, it’s how she’s obsessed with hunting down and pointing out dog poo in the backyard (ha!). It’s just the best, and I’m really grateful I’ve gotten the opportunity to be a parent. Also, let’s not forget about all of the crafts we get to relive!

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(I love this picture – Dan looks so serious!)

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I wanted to touch a bit on the expectations we put on ourselves as parents. It’s something I struggle with a lot personally, and as a mom. I’m always striving to be the best that I can be, but sometimes at the expense of my mental health. It’s perfectly ok to have a low-key party. Not everything has to be pinterest-perfect. Do what makes you smile. At the end of the day, no one cares if you bought pre-shredded cheese or made cake from a mix or bought your decor from the dollar store (or had no decorations at all!). I don’t want to add to the “this is what parenting looks like” vibe you often see on blogs. I just do what I like… and I like crafts.

Anyway, sorry for all of the parent-hood posts. I’ll get back to the lingerie very soon!

Update Alert! My favourite pattern, the Jasmine Bra.

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You know those patterns that you go back to over and over again? For  me it’s the Jasmine Bra. The shape just works perfectly for me. I have a larger bust (though it’s smaller than it used to be!) and find that it provides just the right support while still being super comfortable and pretty.

Lined Jasmine Bra

I’ve learned a lot about making sewing patterns over the last few years. Creating a pattern for someone else to sew is a whole different beast than creating something for yourself. You have to look through the eyes of someone who has entirely different experience from you!

Jasmine Bra with Picot Trim

So, I decided I’d take a deeper look at my favourite pattern. I’ve added additional sizes (it now goes up to XXL) and completely re-written the instructions.

Lace Jasmine Bra with Racer Back Variation

The instructions now will walk you through how to sew a lined or unlined bra, how to use picot or fold over elastic, and also has an in-depth tutorial on how to sew it out of scalloped lace with racer back detail.

Jasmine Bra

This bra is a perfect start for someone who has some sewing experience, but has never sewn lingerie before. It is easy to fit and accommodates a number of cup sizes.

You can purchase the Jasmine Bra from Etsy, Kollabora, or right Here!

If you have already purchased a copy and would like me to send you the updated version, please send me a message with your full name and I will send you an updated copy.

And, a heads up! I am working on some printed patterns if that is more your style… so stay tuned over the coming months. If you are a retailer and are interested in selling printed Ohhh Lulu patterns, please let me know so I can have a better estimate of quantities to order!

 

 

 

This Silence Has Been Brought To You By Anxiety

Personal, Uncategorized

I’ve been distant. Quiet. I know.

The truth is I’ve been going through something. All my life I’ve been considered a “worrier.” If you were to ask any of my friends, they’d probably say I have a lot of stress, much of it self imposed, and kind of on the irrational (ok, crazy)  side. I’ve been finding over the last couple of years,  culminating in the last several months, that my anxiety levels have been getting to a point that is crippling.

All of my life I’ve believed that if I just powered through, kept moving, I could get past the uncomfortable feelings. I recently came to the quiet revelation that I’ve been doing mental health all wrong and that maybe my constant feeling of dread and worry wasn’t normal, especially when things are generally ok.

The turning point for me was releasing this last pattern collection. I’ve been so worried that things aren’t good enough, that people will be disappointed, that something is wrong, that I’ve been terrified to write about them. I need to work on a new collection for my lingerie shop, which is looking rather ragged, but I have the feeling that nothing will ever be good enough.  I open my email with dread and some days can’t even bring myself to check because I’m afraid that something is wrong. I have no reason to feel this way. I am a good designer. I’ve worked hard to build a fairly successful business.

Thinking about these feelings made me realize how afraid I was for Isabel, and my compulsive need to make sure she is ok. My irrational worries that she will get out of her crib, through her locked door, past the baby gate, down the stairs, out of our locked house, and come to some terrible end out in the world. It’s a terrible feeling to constantly have with you.

Since buying this new house, my anxiety has shot through the roof. I feel like there is a lot of “unknown” which is really terrifying for me. I have constant stress over finances when I really don’t need to. I have constant stress over the state of our house, when reality is I live in a beautiful old home that much of the major work has been completed. When I sit and think rationally about my anxieties, none of them make sense, but I just can’t stop. I almost constantly have that tight feeling in my chest, like the way you feel before writing a big test that you’re not quite prepared for. I wake up this way, and when I do fall asleep, I have stressful dreams.

Mix all this with an unhealthy dose of intrusive thoughts, and I decided that maybe something wasn’t firing quite right and that I needed some help. As someone who DIY’s everything, saying this was a big step is a bit of an understatement.

I always thought my Anxiety was a mixed blessing. Sure, it stopped me from sleeping or actually getting to know any of the many amazing people in my life, but it compelled me to work, work, work! In hindsight, none of my best work has been done in periods of high anxiety. It’s not a good motivator and it’s definitely not good for business. In fact, it’s been crippling my business over the last few months.

So, I’m trying something new. I’ve been doing self care things for months, like exercise, but it hasn’t been cutting it. I’ve been getting a lot of new insight into the way I think over the last week and it’s really been a revelation. I’ve started on some medication, picked up yoga again, started a “worry journal” (which sounds lame but feels helpful),  have enrolled in some support groups and hopefully will have some one-on-one care soon. Unfortunately, there is a wait list for mental health care in our area, so that has been frustrating for me, but it feels good to be getting help.

I wanted to write this to explain a little to you what’s been going on with me. I haven’t been myself for a while now. I’ve always wanted this blog to be a place where I can share real life: it’s good times and it’s not so good times…  I hate that persona that people put online where thing are 100% perfect 100% of the time #bestlife #blessed. Reaching out for help was extremely difficult for me, and I want anyone know is going through something similar to know it’s ok! We would never judge a friend who is going through these things, so I don’t know why we judge ourselves so harshly.

Thanks for listening, and mostly, thanks for caring about me. If anyone has any similar experiences, I’d love to hear.

Introducing… The Ultimate Sleep Mask Pattern

Sewing Patterns, Uncategorized

 

Sleep masks are something that I added to my Lingerie Shop a couple years ago. Over the years, I like to think I’ve perfected my technique and learned a thing or two about how to put a nice mask together. Sleep Masks are something that I have a lot of fun sewing. I like taking a basic pattern and figuring out small changes I can make to turn it into something really unique.
You might remember me talking (or ranting on twitter) about my battles with some pretty hardcore insomnia over the years. Whenever I feel a bout of sleeplessness coming on, I thrown on my favourite sleep mask. Something about the ritual of putting it on helps put me in the mindset for sleep. Well, that and Sleep With Me Podcast (a serious life saver). So, I can truly say that these are personally tried and tested (and loved).

 

I wanted to add a few patterns to my Pattern Shop that would be more suitable for people who are just learning how to sew. The Ultimate Sleep Mask Pattern does require you to have some basic sewing skills, like how to use a sewing pattern, how to cut fabric, and the basics of how to sew a seam, but other than that, it is a great starting point!

 

My Sleep Mask Pattern makes use of materials and supplies you can find at almost any sewing shop. You may even be able to get everything you need at your local craft store! It just takes a small amount of fabric, (a fat quarter will do!), some cotton for lining, cotton quilt batting, and a strip of any type of elastic (though I like to use Fold Over Elastic). One of my pattern testers even suggested using long ribbons for ties. I’ve done something similar on one of my Silk Sleep Masks.

 

The Ultimate Sleep Mask Pattern allows you to make a basic mask, with tips on using lightweight fabrics like satin, a mask with sleep-eye embroidery, or cute little animal masks in the shape of a kitty, bear, fox, and bunny. I already have plans on a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a Panda mask! I’ve even had the idea of cutting little eye holes to make fun costume masks for kids.

 

 

I’ve spent a lot of time and attention on providing some extra in-depth photos for this latest collection of patterns. I have tried to make my instruction manuals both useful and beautiful! I really hope you enjoy sewing this pattern. I think it’s something a little different (and also makes a great handmade gift! I’m currently in the process of making a batch out of some heirloom fabric for a friend).

 

 

Sweet Dreams!

It’s finally here… (almost)

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It’s here! It’s pretty much here! I’ve drafted, tested, graded, trued, sewed samples, tested, received feedback, edited and edited and edited, photographed, and edited some more… but it’s here (basically). I’ve listed all but one of my new patterns in my Etsy Shop.

I’ll be adding one final pattern next week. It just needs one little tweak. I just couldn’t wait any longer. I am impatient.

Last Tuesday I did a really fun photoshoot with my beautiful friend/cousin, who modelled for me, and my friend Susie.  It was my first time photographing a model, and to make my life extra challenging, I decided I wanted a diffuse back lighting.  I’m excited to show you my new things! I’ll be posting about them piece by piece, but in the mean time, feel free to shop the collection HERE.

Pattern Testers Needed

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Update: I’ve received so many offers to help test my patterns! Thank you all so much. I’ll be contacting testers over the following days. I apologize in advance if I don’t get back to you specifically. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response! Thank you!

I’m so close to being finished my 2016 Pattern Collection. Holy Smokes have I learned a lot over the last few years.

As you may know, I studied fashion design at school and I learned a lot. However, the two things I did not learn was lingerie-making and computerized drafting!!! The lingerie-making I was able to pick up on my own over years of trial and error. The computing side of thing… that has involved a huge learning curve for me. I am still learning every day. I guess the point of my rambling is that no matter how knowledgeable or skilled you are, it’s ok to not know everything! It’s ok to be a total newbie. We’re all newbie’s at something. My venture into Digital Pattern Making has been a huge learning experience for me. I still have a lot to learn!

With each pattern collection I feel like I improve so much. Now I want to go back and re-edit all of my old patterns. I really want to thank all of you for your input over the years. I seriously take it all in – the good and the bad – and try to be better with each pattern release. I was super excited to collaborate with another pattern maker on one of my more complex patterns (hint: it has an underwire). I’ve incorporated a lot of new things in these patterns and really tried to reach outside of my comfort zone!

Right now I’m looking for a few people to test out my new collection of patterns before they are released.


Here is what I’m looking for:
1. Intermediate sewing skill with experience sewing lingerie.
2. Easy access to lingerie sewing supplies – underwire, casings, elastics, etc.
3. Pretty photos of your finished garments that you don’t mind me sharing. These don’t have to be professional photoshoots, but well lit and tastefully styled.

And Here’s what I need know from you:
1. Were there any grammatical /typos/ spelling errors in the pattern instructions or on the pattern itself?
2. Did the patter print and assemble properly?
3. Were you able to follow the instructions to complete the garment?
4. Did you have any major assembly issues?

I’m also looking for a variety of sizes. For reference, you can check out my size chart below. I’ve added an extra size for my new collection of patterns.

Bust
Waist
Hips
Extra Small
34-35” (86-89cm)
24-25” (61-64cm)
33-34” (84-86cm)
Small
36-37” (91-94cm)
26-27” (66-69cm)
35-36” (89-91cm)
Medium
38-39” (96-99cm)
28-29” (71-74cm)
37-38” (94-97cm)
Large
40-41” (101-104cm)
30-31”(76-79cm)
39-40” (99-102cm)
X  Large
42-43” (106-109cm)
32-33” (81-84cm)
41-42” (107-107cm)
XX Large
44-45” (111-115cm)
34-35” (86-89cm)
43-44” (109-112cm)

If this sounds like a task you’re up to, please send me an email or comment here. I’ll be sending out patterns in the next few days/weeks. I have several patterns that need testing and will give you your choice of style.