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How to add Cut & Sew Foam Padding to the Jasmine Bra (and more!)

Sewing Patterns, Tutorial, Videos

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.

Feeling cozy!

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.

Instructions:

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!

Fall Update

Home, Personal, Sewing Patterns, updates, Videos

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.

 

Video Tutorial: Ava Swimsuit Bottoms

Sewing Patterns, swimwear, Tutorial, Videos

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!

Pattern Hack: Strappy Cindy Bikini Top with Underwire

Sewing Patterns, swimwear, Tutorial, Videos

Looking for a weekend summer sewing project? I’ve got just the thing for you!

I made one of these bikinis last summer and I wore it SO often to the beach with Isabel. We are lucky to have a nice sandy beach just down the road and we spend a lot of time down there (not so much this rainy summer though!).

I used my Cindy Pattern to make this bikini top. My Cindy Pattern is a fairly simple to sew underwire bra with full coverage through the cups and a long-line band. This bra is designed to be sewn with stretch fabric through the cups. It’s a personal preference of mine, I’m not a big fan of foam or rigid cups. I like a softer fit and look.

I altered the pattern just slightly by omitting the centre back pattern pieces and cutting off the “tabs” on the upper cups.

I love this pattern as a bikini top because it is supportive and offers coverage while still being stylish and a little sexy.

You’ll need the same basic materials as you would if you were sewing the top as a bra, but with a couple of substitutions. You’ll need swimsuit fabric – so a fabric that is normally a nylon / spandex / lycra blend. You’ll also need swimsuit lining – I use it to line the cups. The band is lined in power mesh.  Get a little bit of extra fabric to use as your binding and straps. I also use some rubber swim elastic, but pretty much any plain elastic will do! Look for something 3/8″ or narrower.

I’ve decided to offer this tutorial in a two part video series on my YouTube Channel. It’s quite long, with each part being about 30 minutes.

My local Fabricland sells an assortment of swimsuit fabric and some lining, but I find they tend to be pretty expensive. The Sport Lycra from Spoonflower (which I used here) is amazing and comes in endless prints. I’m pretty sure Fabric.com also has an assortment of swimwear fabrics. Spandex World is also a great resource, though if you’re in Canada, shipping can be expensive. I also always recommend supporting Etsy sellers!

Here is Part 1 of the tutorial:

And Part 2:

In this video series, I show you how to sew self-binding with encased elastic. I like this finish for swimwear as it provides some extra stability to your openings, and when top stitched with a twin needle, gives a professional finish. These finishes and techniques  can easily be applied to other sewing patterns too!

I was excited to take some of these pictures in my very lush back yard and newly decorated back porch.  The previous owner of our house did an amazing job landscaping. Other than maintenance, there’s not much to do with our yard. It’s a gardeners delight. Isabel loves to run around the paths and play explorer. Just last weekend Dan and I spent some time putting up some curtains, lights and other bits and bobs in the back porch. When I first saw this house it’s part of why I fell in love with it. It feels like my very own cottage.

Sewing Studio Tour (Confessions of a Fabric Hoarder)

Home, Personal, Videos

A few weeks ago I posted a short video about how my sewing table is set up. A few people mentioned wanting to see my entire space… I was a little reluctant because to be honest, it is a mess. Last weekend, Isabel came down to do a little work with me and exclaimed “Mommy! Why’d you make such a mess again!” So I tidied up a bit, and decided now was as good a time as ever to show you around.

My sewing space is not glamorous, but it is big, bright, and all mine. It’s a bit of a mess, and less organized than I would like, but I really have no right to complain. I’m fortunate to have such a space at my disposal! One of the benefits of living almost in the middle of nowhere is that we can actually afford a fairly big house on a lingerie-maker & mechanics two salaries.

I am super fortunate to actually have two spaces in my house that I use for work – my entire basement and a room at the corner of our house with lots of light, which is perfect for photography. In our old house everything was crammed into one bedroom. It feels really good to have the space to have a home for everything, and to be able to shut the door at the end of the week, and (try) not to worry about work for a bit.

The best part of this video is that Oliver made a cameo!

Two weeks ago he had surgery to remove some teeth as well as a lump on his head that turned out to be a mast cell tumor. It was scary waiting for the results after the lump was removed but I was relieved to find out that out of all the mast cell tumors he could have had, his was the “best” kind to have in that it was extremely slow growing and they were able to remove the entire mass. Oliver is 10, and his age is starting to show… But now that he has recovered he seems to have more energy again which is great!

A year in the making, the Kate Camisole Sewing Pattern is Here!

Design Diary, Lingerie, New Items, Sewing Patterns, Videos

I think it was a year ago or so that I first posted a photo on Instagram of this camisole… As I mentioned in my video post a couple of weeks ago, I went back and forth on a bunch of things (darts, fullness, etc.) and toyed with various ways to write up these rather complicated instructions. The pattern itself is very simple – just two pattern pieces! But there are just so many ways you can sew it – dressed up or dressed down!

Anyway… without further adieu, here is the Kate Camisole!

So far, of all of the variations I’ve sewn, I think this one in Cotton + Steel Rifle Paper Co. challis is my favourite. Even Isabel has asked for one in her size! I absolutely love this print and fabric.

The pattern comes with instructions on how to add a ruffle – I give suggestions as to how long to cut your ruffle, but you could even experiment with cutting an extra long ruffle band to turn the top into a flowy, bohemian summer dress.

I experimented sewing these tops out of linen, chiffon, double gauze, gauze, challis and silk charmeuse. I think my favourite fabric to work with for this style is rayon challis. It is just so light and drapey. Silk charmeuse is a close second.

The Kate pattern is an excellent pair for with any of my woven bottoms, like the Jane or Miyu panties. But remember, you can also use a woven fabric for the front of my Claudia Panties too! It works great in silk.

You can purchase the Kate Camisole pattern directly from my website HERE or on Etsy!

To view a video-tutorial outlining the basic construction methods, hop on over to my Youtube Channel!

 

New Pattern Preview! A Cami and a Bodysuit

Design Diary, Sewing Patterns, Videos

I’ve been working really hard on two new patterns… one of them (my camisole pattern) is a year in the making! I’m currently just finishing up writing the instructions and am still waffling back and forth on some aspects of the design and construction. I always like to design patterns that can be sewn in multiple ways – I find it to be a fun creative exercise seeing how much variety I can get out of a simple pattern. This can create some difficulty when putting a pattern together.  The patterns I sell are much different than the patterns I would make for my own use, or even for production. I put a lot of time and effort into explaining things so that a sewists of a variety of backgrounds and experience levels can sew my patterns. As with all of my patterns, I try to teach techniques instead of spoon-feeding how to recreate a garment. I love seeing the unique ways all of you interpret my designs!

I made a short video discussing my new patterns that are so close to being ready for release.

I’m super excited to start prepping for my swimsuit sew along! My fabric should be arriving this week, so once I clear a few projects off my table I’ll set a date.

Sewing Table Tour

Videos

I posted a little tour on YouTube of how I have my sewing table organized. I’ve worked out a pretty good set up over the years. Once I get tidied up a bit, I’ll show you the rest of my space! It’s not glamorous, but it works!

Not So Plain Jane

New Items, Sewing Patterns, updates, Videos

When I first started making lingerie about 8 or 9 years ago, nice knits were really hard to find. So I was determined to develop some patterns that would let me use all of those pretty, printed woven fabrics in lingerie.

The Jane Pattern was first released in 2013. It’s a simple bikini cut that never goes out of style. The best thing about this pattern is that it can be sewn in nearly any woven fabric… but my favourites are silk charmeuse and chiffon.

I’ve just updated the Jane Pattern to include additional sizes, more in depth instructions, and a few different ways to sew them!

The new instructions will walk you through how to add a ruffle ot the hip, how to add a keyhole cut out to the back with bias ties or a simple bound edge. With this pattern, my goal is to teach you techniques so you can apply these design ideas in different ways to this pattern, and other patterns you may already own!

I’ve felt super inspired by this pattern. It’s a great base for adding lace overlays, appliques, or any number of embellishments… or leave ’em plain and let the fabric do the talking.

I’ve added a few new videos to my YouTube Channel to walk you through some of the more complicated aspects of this pattern.

You can purchase the Jane Pattern HERE or through my Etsy shop.

As usual, if you have already purchased this pattern, please contact me with your order number and I’ll send you the updated files.

Lola Update!

New Items, Sewing Patterns, updates, Videos

I’ve been revisiting some of my very first patterns. It’s been a fun exercise! I’ve been flexing my creative muscles to come up with new ways to style some of these basics.

My latest update is to the Lola Panties Pattern.

The Lola fits like a cheeky boy short. It is designed to be sewn with a simple hemmed legline, but can also be trimmed in lace.

The newest variation will walk you through how to sew these with a cut out over the hip.

This pattern walks you through 4 basic variations, but you could combine techniques to truly customize your style! My goal with all of my patterns is to teach you the techniques so that you can create really unique styles. I know that’s what I want when I buy a pattern!

In addition to the updated instruction and style variations, I’ve also graded the pattern up to an XXL.

These look similar to the Claudia Panties, but the fit is quite different. First, it has a two piece back which is quite cheeky. The Claudia has front seams, whereas the Lola has back seams. Lastly, the Lola can be sewn with a simple turned hem, whereas the Claudia needs elastic around the leg.

You can purchase the Lola Pattern HERE or through my Etsy Shop. If you have previously purchased the pattern and would like the update, please contact me with your order number and I’ll provide you with the update!

Annnnd…. If you check out my YouTube Channel, I’ve just posted a pretty in-depth video all about how to sew these cheeky undies!