Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Girl Can't Live on Bras Alone- Summer Dress & Style Crisis

Hi All!

So this week- I was thinking- what bra/swimsuit should I make? What haven't I made yet? What would be the best thing to make? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really REALLY need some more me-made clothes, and spending another weekend making myself a swimsuit or bra, would be a little bit out of line from my actual sewing needs at the moment.

That is not to say that it won't return to your regular bra inspiration next week. This is just my little treat to myself for the summer since I am currently very clothing desperate!

And since I need some more summer clothes (especially before the summer's over!) I thought I would make myself a simple little summer dress!

Now the other thing to admit was that I had grand plans this Friday of going to my studio with my mom and whipping this up along with a few other wardrobe staples, and then that turned into a day of me not feeling very well and my mom saving me at the last minute and sewing this up for me. Thanks mom <3

Details on the dress: this is based on the Caroline Tank Dress pattern, I made this last year for MMMay15 out of a fabric that turned out to be the itchiest thing on the planet and completely unwearable. So this time around I picked a really slinky rayon, in this cool blue &white print.

I like this style because it's super simple and you can wear it all breezy like I have in the first two photos or you can polish it up a bit with a waist belt to give it more shape.

I have to admit that my style is something that I've really been struggling with for the last few months. Sian of Rebel Angel wrote a post on her changing style on her blog and I found myself nodding along while I was reading.

At the grand old age of 25 now, I've finally found a place where my body has started to settle. I went from being an average weight through highschool, to gaining weight through school, to graduating and eating my way through a life crisis to my highest weight, then finding my life direction and losing all the weight- back to my 'average' comfortable weight. I feel like now that I'm finally settling into my body, I'm having to accept it and figure out how to dress it- because my body shape is so different from what it use to be.

Most of my clothes are either from high-school, the odd me-made thing that I actually ended up working or active wear that I've bought along the way *thinking- well at least these leggings will still fit me no matter what*. Over the last couple of years I've been making huge purges of all my stuff that I don't use or need, and clothes have been no exception (I feel SO much lighter when I get rid of clutter!). But it's really highlighted the minimal clothes that I have left that fit and that I like enough. And you might be asking - why didn't you just buy more clothes?- the answer to that is mostly- 1. I really don't like shopping (unless it's fabric) 2. I don't like supporting unethical manufacturing that is used to make most of our clothing (so I try to buy thrifted clothes, or things made in Canada/US which are usually way out of my budget) and finally 3. I really have not figured out how to best dress myself yet- I'm very style confused!

Right now I'm trying to stick to basics- and build my wardrobe from the bottom up with basics that are quality and fit me well, so you might end up getting more- sorry it's not a bra- it's a basic white blouse! kinds of posts- because I'm not going to lie, I'm starting to get a little style desperate here- I've totally got the underwear and swimwear game down, I can be fabulous on any beach or boudoir- but the moment I have to put on actual clothes to go somewhere cool, I end up having a mini-meltdown in front of my closet.

How did you figure out your style? Any tips for someone who desperately needs some style help?

Well now that that long style tangent/desperate plea for your advice is over. I'll tell you more details about this dress! One of the first amazing details that mom added was this super cute placket down the front. It's kind of hard to see because of the print of this dress, but it's about 5" long, and just has some cute snaps on the inside, -just enough that I can leave the top one undone and it gives a more RTW look to the dress <3

The other alteration that mom made was to the back of the dress. I cut out a size large, because that's what I had made last year, but in this slinky rayon, it turned out a little bigger than we were expecting and it was drooping a little around the armholes and sagging a bit in the back. So mom made a big inverted pleat in the neckline at the center back- and nipped those in closer together- which completely tighened up the armhole nicely (and gave a great shape to the armhole in the back- it's a little more 'racer-backesque' now) And I think it gives a flattering look to the back, especially styled with a waist-belt.

And of course, Gibby couldn't be left out! Mom made him a bow-tie to match my dress- which I can't decide if this looks more "My dog is my furrbaby" or "I'm bringing my dog as a date!" Either way, it suits me.

Anyways, I hope you're not too disappointed by the lack of boob-centric sewing this week, I just really needed something that would cover my body when I go out in the real world, and to get my little style crisis out in the open.

And you know, I DID use this as a bathing suit cover up in these photos, which could loosely, possibly qualify in the slight realms of the challenge (although I still won't give it a BAW#).

After this photo I went swimming- which means I gently walked out to deeper water while holding Gibby, because he's more of a shallow wading- kind of dog, but doesn't like to be left behind, so I carry him - photo proof:

How has your week in sewing been? 

Have you figured out your style?

What are the basic staples in your wardrobe? 

Any suggestions to help a girl out with style?

Love you always! 



Sunday, August 14, 2016

[BAW33]: Top 5 Tips for Sewing Swimwear

Hi All!

This week I'm going to share some of my favourite Swimwear Sewing Tips! I sew A LOT of swimwear, and *whispers* it's my favourite thing to sew-- but bras are a close second! And to be fair to my bra sewing - most of my bathing suits have bras in them!

So this post is all about my 5 Top Tips for sewing swimwear, some of these are collected from my past posts, and some of them are just little tips that  haven't mentioned yet. Here we go!

1. Quality Thread

When I was a kid, my mom made all my bathing suits, and I remember pulling my bathing suit out of my drawer a couple months after summer, (usually right before I needed it to go somewhere) and hearing the little ping of sad and worn out thread snapping in a million little places as I tested the leg elastic. The thread was always the first to go- thread, elastic, and then the fabric.

One thing that I've discovered that has completely changed my sewing is high-quality thread. It works better in your machine, it looks better, and it lasts SO much longer. For swimwear I recommend polyester thread (since cotton will hold moisture), and specifically I use the Mara 120 thread from Gütermann, which is an industrial polyester thread. I also use it on all my bras too- once you get the luxury of nice thread, well you just can't go back!

I will be selling this thread very soon in my Etsy Shop!!

2. Binding Edge 

This is a real favourite of mine. I find so often swimwear is always the same type of edge sewn with elastic- which is great- but sometimes for a really neat finish- you can't beat binding. Binding is great if you want an edge that is not too tight- like if you're making a more cheeky style bottom (or even if you've tried on your suit and find that it's just a little too tight for you around the legs or waist like I did with this navy medium rise bottom!)

It's also great when you're working with foam to reduce bulk, and when you're working with a variable neckline (the top of a round cup- over channeling, around to the back)! Like in this bra bathing suit.

photo by my AMAZING friend - Veratography 

Apart from these reasons, it's also fantastic to add a little pop and coordinate your colours like I did on my most recent suit- that nice little black edge!

3. Put your Bra in your Bathing Suit 

This is an Emerald Erin classic. Nothing feels as good as a bra in your swimsuit- no worrying about your nipples showing, it's way more flattering, and feels so much more secure on.

There are so many ways that you can put a bra into a bathing suit:

like simply making your bra with foam and swimwear and wearing it as your bikini top (I have some tips on working with foam and bras here)

But you can also make a one-piece with cups which is oh-so-cute! Tutorial here!

Or you can turn your bra into a tankini using this tutorial here!

4. Use Elastic in your Swimwear Straps & Strings!

I've seen a lot of bikinis where the string is simply a tube of swimwear fabric. The problem I find with this is: it's not feel very secure on your body unless you pull them REALLY tight, and then if you do pull them REALLY tight- chances are you're going to snap some of the threads holding them together. I much prefer to use a 3/8" all-rubber swim elastic and wrap it in my swimwear. They feel SO secure, and with the strength of the elastic, you know you'll never just completely pull them out- they bounce back!

I know two good ways to sew your swimwear strings! And I did a tutorial on them here :)

5. Take Care of your Swimwear!

This seems obvious, but I'm still a victim. One story comes to mind- over a year ago now I was heading to California for a vacation to visit family. I had made a cute bathing suit- a bralette style top with a cool pattern with bright neon coral, and neon coral bottoms to match. I was in the hotel - flight leaving in the morning- and we were all 'let's jump in the hot tub'.... you can see where this is going. About 5 minutes into the hot tub time, I look down to see that all of the neon coral in my swim top is now purple, and I got out to realize that a similar effect happened to my bottoms. Only the bottoms were solid neon coral before, and now they were a faded neon coral anywhere they were tight and touching my skin, but anywhere there were they weren't (think a strip up the center back) was now a murky purple colour.

That concluded in a very disappointed me, doing a midnight run to the closest/cheapest spot I could find for a plain pair of black bottoms.

So what I have learned is: DO NOT wear your beautifully hand-crafted swimwear in a hot tub (especially not a hotel hot tub), rinse you're bathing suit immediately after being in chlorine to help save the elastic for longer, and don't throw your bathing suits in the washing machine- gentle soaps, and let it air dry!

So those are my Top 5 Tips!

What are your favourite tips for sewing swimwear?

Talk to me in the comments!



Sunday, August 7, 2016

[BAW32] : Slice of Paradise

Hi All!

I had to call this one my 'Slice of Paradise', partly because I took these photos in a gorgeous secluded beach in the south of Prince Edward County, that is a paradise, and because this bathing suit is everything I wanted and more!

When I first thought about the design of this suit, I was like 'MOM! How cool would this be??' (since my mom is my go-to person to get opinions) and her response was a little more along the.... 'That reminds me of the 80's, in a mens wrestling outfit kinda way'. Which was not quite the look I was going for. But at this point in my swimwear wardrobe, I can afford to take some risks ha ha

So I present to you my latest suit. It is a bottom with racer back, and suspender straps attaching to the front. (never have I been more confident that my bottoms will never come off, even if I dive in the water!). And a strapless bra bikini top to match!  

There is something so special about this suit, it makes me feel like an absolute beach babe :)

I think one of my favourite parts of this suit is the bra top. Normally I'm not much of a strapless girl, but I have to say, I wore this suit all day, climbing over rocks, swimming and jumping all over, and I didn't even think about adjusting the top once! I was pretty amazed.

I drafted the bottoms of this suit based off my favourite bikini bottoms, because I love the cut of the leg. The legs are finished with elastic, but the top edge and racer back are finished with a self-binding edge, which was a nice and tidy way to attach the little rings to connect the straps.

The bra pattern was based on my black beauty horizontal seam fav, and I used my Bliss underwires (which are a great option for strapless and keeping the girls together and up!). There are a couple little modifications to do for a strapless, like narrowing the bridge, making the band a hint tighter and taking a pinch out of the neckline of your cup(right about where your strap would have been).

For the back I decided to do my classic, three straps with G-hooks, and I used these gorgeous gold ones that I got in a trade from Tailor Made Shoppe <3

As for the rest of the suit, here are all the materials I used: 

As for this photoshoot location, well this is a gorgeous little rock beach in the south of Prince Edward County <3, and yes, this is an oak tree that's growing off the edge of a very high cliff, but this photo is a bit of an illusion, I'm not quite as 'perched on the edge' as I look.

But to counter-balance the heights, I made sure to have some time laying on the beach too :)

And of course, the mandatory Gibby photo, because even if he's soaking wet, I'm going to hug him :) He was SO happy that he got to come along for this photo shoot, he's quite an avid little swimmer!

Is this my favourite suit of the summer? I can say, absolutely yes! I'm in love!

What is your favourite style of swimsuit?

Talk to me in the comments!



Sunday, July 31, 2016

[BAW31]: JULY ROUND-UP! & Giveaway Winner!!

Hi All!

First order of business- the giveaway! I was SO overwhelmed by how many people entered and all of your ideas are SO amazing- it makes me want to break open my stash and start sewing! And I really hope that you all go ahead with some of these ideas after this giveaway! :)

and now for the winner.... drumroll please......

Lucky number 16! Congratulations Leora! 

Leora will win her choice of: 

and a meter of: 

SO GORGEOUS!! I'm so excited to see the stunning swimsuit this is going to be! Congrats Leora- a message should already be in your inbox!

And a HUGE thank you again to everyone who entered the contest! You're the best!

And now on the the Round-Up of your beautiful makes this month-- because you guys really are the best! :)

First we have this stunning longline from Réka of Red Heels!

This bra was the relief from Rékas short bra making hiatus, and what a lovely return! This gorgeous all-lace, longline bra with a horizontal seam! Stunning!

This bra has such a pretty and light quality! It almost looks like it could float off the hanger! Love it!!

Next we have a lovely set from Marian of Il Signo!

This is her Panther bra set and oh it's gorgeous! She used a sheer fabric with panther print for the cups, toped with some lovely lace trimmings! I love how she used the sheer and lace and panels to make the matching panties, great style!

To check out more photos of this gorgeous set (and to brush up on your dutch) make sure you go and see Marion's post over on her blog!

Next we have a gorgeous bra from Kat of her self-titled blog Kat

This is Kat's first bra! WOW! she did an amazing job! A lovely three piece cup with seamed powerbar and top lace cup! Fantastic!

After this Kat said that she is becoming a bra making addict- and I'm so happy to help with that addiction :)

Make sure to head over to Kat's blog to read all about the making of this bra!

Next we have two beauties from Anemone of Sew Anemone!

Anemone made two bras using the Boylson pattern from Orange Lingerie, with some fitting tweaks and adjustments along the way!

After she found her perfect fit in plain ivory, she decided to indulge in some lace, this gold lace that she got from my shop :)- and WOW it is SO pretty! I love how it turned out- still simple and easy to wear, but oh so delicate and lovely!

Make sure to head over to her blog to read the full post on the making of these beauties!

Last but not least we have some amazing sets from Ginny! 

First of all- Cat bra- OMG, I NEED this in my life- this bra is just the ultimate. So much inspiration right now- you already have me planning!

Ginny made this bra using this amazing cat print for the lower cup, and black bra tulle for the upper cup, with this lovely diagonal seam, partial band construction :)

The matching panties were made using the Budapest high-waisted panty pattern from our lovely first contributor Réka, with cat print front and sheer back. SO cute!

And to round the month out, Ginny made this gorgeous Sofie swimsuit! How stunning is this! With the gorgeous floral, and complimenting 'linen look' accents- wow!

Ginny makes all of these beauties for her very luck niece Emma, who says she feels like a movie star in this bathing suit! I can definitely see why- that is a suit worthy of the stars!


Well that was quite the beautiful line-up this month! You're all so inspiring :) :) You have me dreaming of lace and cats- so I guess nothing is new :)

As always, don't forget to check out the Pinterest boardand pin all of your lovelies over there! And if you're on Instagram and posting your lovely makes- don't forget to add in #braaweek!! You can go here to grab a challenge button!

 Don't forget to send your bra next month to with your photos, description and links for the next Round-Up post!

So - what's up for next month? Well I have to say that I'm still on summer mode right now- and just going with the flow - there may be a little swimwear, a little bra making, and for the theory- who knows, lol

Hope you're all having a gorgeous summer weekend (or winter weekend for all my lovelies who live in the southern hemisphere)



Sunday, July 24, 2016

[BAW 30] GIVEAWAY!! Win a Custom Swimwear Kit!!

Hi All!!

This week I'm mixing it up and having a GIVEAWAY!! YAY Don't you love that extra Sunday in July!

I love giveaways :) and sharing with all of you lovelies! I wanted to do a giveaway a few weeks back - but I was interrupted by the Canada Post possible lock out *sigh*

But it's all clear now!! And I'm soooo happy to announce that my Emerald Studio Etsy shop is OPEN during the 30-day Canada Post negotiations (let's hope they come to a good agreement after these 30 days!)

Now for the giveaway!!- I was thinking about which fabric and kit I should pick to give away and then I realized that I wanted to hear more about your dream swimsuit and swimwear kits! And I want you to be able to pick out the perfect kit for you!! 

So this is how it works: 

First you can pick one of my 'Basics Kits': which is the series I designed to make swimwear sewing easier- they include everything you need for different types of swimwear! All of your lining, elastic, G-hooks, and bra stuff for bra-swimsuits!

The Basics Options Are:

Then you pick the fabric that you want to go with your kit!

You can pick up to 1 meter of fabric, either 1 solid meter, or 1/2 a meter each of two coordinating fabrics! And I've just replenished my shop with some gorgeous options!

These are just some of your options! Make sure to head over to my Etsy Shop to see all your options!! 

As usual, you can be anyone from anywhere to enter the giveaway!

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment telling me: 

Which basics kit you would pick

 Which swimwear print is your favourite
What you would make with it

And of course, make sure I have your name and some way to contact you in case you win :P 

Also, you know it wouldn't hurt if you followed me on any of my social medias either.. you know... might be nice... ;)

Possibly my Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin', Pinterest, favourite my Etsy Shop or maybe even sign up for my newsletter- in the side bar... <3

You have until next Saturday at noon EST to enter, and I will be announcing the winner at the start of the Round-Up post next week! 

(so don't forget to submit all your lovely makes too!!) 

I can't wait to hear all your favourites and thoughts for swimwear- it's my fav! 

:) :) :) 



Sunday, July 17, 2016

[BAW29]: Grey Bamboo T-Shirt Bra

Hi All!! 

After my last make  was so  super lacy and pretty delicate, I felt like something a little more practical, a everyday. 

For my everyday I like a bra that's SUPER comfy, which for me means: some gorgeous foam lining, super soft bamboo, fold over elastic, bliss wires, 3/4" straps, and a 3X3 hook and eye in the back!

I LOVE this bra, and I was instantly inspired to make it after I made these boyshorts back in May! To me it's a very comfy and simple chic set!  I drew inspiration from brands like Calvin Klein who have a more 'athletic and boyish' chic :)

For extra comfort I  made sure to have my wide straps and 3X3 hook and eye, which I love, even if it's not the norm for my size. I think it looks cooler for this style!

To keep in a more RTW look and with the grey bamboo theme, I covered not only the front frame, but also the back band with the bamboo, so it was uninterrupted all the way around, which I LOVE.

I took this exact cup pattern from the Black Beauty bra (one of my all-time favs), omitted the powerbar, and redesigned the upper cup to have a strap attachment point.

I LOVE the horizontal seams on this bra, I think they give a really clean and simple look :)

And the inside is just as simple, with some soft microfiber laminated foam, 15 denier lining for the frame, and white powernet lining on the back.

I think there's something so fresh about this set. Don't get me wrong, I love a little delicate lacy set, but something about a more boyish plain set like this makes me super happy :)

And of course, this must round up with some Gibby snuggles :)

What do you think about this new set? Are you more simple sporty chic or a more delicate lace lover? I feel like I'm a style chameleon that way- I just love a bit of everything!

Hope you're all having an amazing weekend!