Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bra-A-Week: Week 24 and a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

Hi All,

This week I don't have a bra or bathing suit for you. This week I have incredible news instead. 

You might have noticed me making little hints and comments about behind-the-scenes projects and things that I've been working on, and I'm so excited to finally announce everything.


I am so excited to announce that I am launching my own business and opening my own studio!!

The Emerald Studio 

*sobs with happy tears*

So how did all of this happen? 

This April I decided that I needed a change. I was living in Hamilton, far away from my family, barely paying my rent, juggling work, my blog, driving home to see my family and making lovely friends in Hamilton. And I had a long think about what I wanted to do with my life and my goals and dreams. And I realized that I love my blog, I love sewing, I love bra making and swimwear, I love pattern drafting and most importantly I love everyone in this amazing community. I have so much passion for this, and so many people tell me that my eyes light up when I start talking about it.  And I came to the definite conclusion that I wanted to be in this amazing creative sewing field the rest of my life- and that my best option was to start my own business. 

So, with much pacing, anxiety and biting of bullets, I quit my job, moved back home and went about starting a business. And I haven't looked back for a second. 

As soon as I got home I decided to start thinking about exactly what I wanted my business to be- An online store to sell my patterns and kits, a place to make and sell custom bras and swimwear, and somewhere that I could teach classes.  

Then my mom told me about youth business grants that are available in the area. So I called up the Small Business Centre, told them my idea, and they had me come in right away! After a frantic 3 weeks of business plan writing, survey making -remember my giveaway survey ;) - form filling and more decisions than I've ever had in my life, I applied for a small business grant and I got it!! Yay $5000 to help start my business! 

But then, just when I was leaving my grant application in the office, they stopped me and asked if I would want to enter their contest- Pitch this Place, for a chance to win 1 year of free rent in a shop in downtown Belleville (20 minutes from my hometown)!!! And long story short- after more gruelling business plans, and a pitch (when was the last time you had to make a speech to a panel of judges? *sweating*) But all that hard work paid off and on Friday June 26th they announced that I won!!! 

So I will be opening my studio, The Emerald Studio, in downtown Belleville. *Cries happy tears*

 (Photo courtesy of the Small Business Centre

A special thank you to the Small Business Centre, Trenval Business Development Corporation, the BDIA, the City of Belleville and my new landlord Mr. Paul Dinkel!! :) :) 

This is going to be a place for my classroom so I can share the art of swimwear, bra and corset making! It's going to be a fitting and consultation area for me to meet with you and plan out custom bra and swimwear orders, it's gong to be a sewing workshop for me to sew all my bras and draft all my patterns, and it's going to be a lovely little photography studio in the back to take my blog pictures!

(It's this little shop beside a bridal boutique! And they are taking down all the wood and having a solid window front!!) 

The shop used to be an old lane-way between buildings downtown, making it 10 feet wide by 80 feet long- crazy! and it's all exposed brick and hardwood floors- I'm completely smitten! 

I can't even begin to describe how overwhelmed I am with all the kindness, generosity and support that I've been given in the last three months. To think that I moved home mid-April, with no set plan, only the skills I've built and a readiness to take every opportunity that came my way and give it 110% effort. And now I have grant money to start a business, and I have a studio. It is dream come true, and I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me, and everyone who is continuing to support me on this journey. I am truly blessed. 

And I'm most excited to have you all come along with me on my journey of creating The Emerald Studio, to be part of the launch and to have you come to my studio when it opens!!

 I get the studio on July 1st (that's Wednesday!) and I'm hoping to open my doors on August 1st! So instead of the Bra-A-Week Challenge this summer I'm going to be posting constantly about putting my studio together, how my business is coming together, tutorials, DIYs and all these new challenges that are going to come with opening my business. I have never been so excited, scared and happy in my whole life!! So if you have any questions or comments about this exciting news then please ask and share!!

And now that you're all excited from the news- I present to you some gorgeous submissions to the challenge this week! 

First we have this very fun bra from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

This is Sofia's 'Catrina Soft Bra', a lovely simple soft bra with two darts, power mesh back, a little lace on the bottom and contrasting straps that go to a 'V' in the back. But the showstopper of this bra is definitely the print- oh the print!!

You know I love a good sugar skull! Sofia is planning on showing this off through sheer shirts or layered under v-neck t-shirts. Love it! Don't forget to check out Sofia's post over on her blog!

Next we have these two beautiful bras from Andie of Sew Pretty in Pink!

Andie made these two lovely bras using a clone of a RTW Elomi bra. She made this beautiful and delicate one to wear on her wedding day, and the black and fuchsia as a practice- Lovely job!

She made these bras using duoplex, powernet and lace, tweaking the fit until it was perfect! Fantastic- and may I say that you are going to be a beautiful bride in this bra! :) Don't forget to check out Andie's post over on her blog!

Next we have a very lovely set from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

Maddy made this set using the Merckwaerdigh MIX30, in pink lycra and white lace she got from one of their kits!

How pretty is this- I absolutely love the mix of this fabric and lace- it has a real vintage feel to me! And I love the lace placement on these panties. Major points for squeezing a pair of panties out of your kit too it's fantastic when you can do that!! Don't forget to check out Maddy's post about this lovely set over on her blog!

Next we have very pretty bikini top from David of Bonnet Bleu!

David made this bikini top using pretty sheer floral fabric and black lace. It is a nice halter style with a delicate back. David said it was inspired by Japanese lingerie and made for long walks on the beach :) sounds lovely to me!

David is a freelance lingerie designer, label: Bonnet Blue

Facebook Page 

dpolrolniczak (at) wp (dot) pl

And last but not least we have a beautiful bra from my good friend France!

France made this gorgeous bra for her mom :) using a self-drafted pattern. She made it using cut & sew foam covered with navy supplex, fold over elastic to finish the edges and some 15 denier to stabilize the bridge. And those buttons- how lovely is that?!

She also made the back a full back using supplex for extra comfort. Beautiful work! And she has plans to make lots more in the future in some beautiful bright colours- You're mom must be so happy! :)


Wow- really fantastic submissions today! You are all such talented bra makers, it's truly awe inspiring! :)

As always don't forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! Grab a challenge button and send your bra for next week to by Friday for the next Sunday post!!

And with that I will pass on the torch for the summer to the lovely Michelle, of Michelle's Creations!!

In case you missed my post update on June 11th- I'm going to be taking a summer break from hosting the Bra-A-Week Challenge and passing it over to the lovely Michelle- she is going to do a fantastic job! Please continue to send all submission to all the submissions will be forwarded to Michelle!

I'll have a small preview of the posts on my blog every Sunday to link to Michelle's post- and you can see the post over on her blog. Some weeks I might have a bra or swimsuit to contribute but I'm going to be quite busy preparing The Emerald Studio!! :) :)

So for the next two months you can look forward to lots and lots of posts about my business, getting The Emerald Studio together, launching my website and other social media (how do I not have instagram yet?!), along with some tutorials and fun things.

I am truly overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that I have received over the past three months. I cannot believe this is all happening, that I am launching my business and opening my studio. If you had of told me a year ago that I would be here today, I would not have believed it. This is a dream come true. And I'm so excited to be sharing this journey with you all :)

xo erin

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bra-A-Week: Week 23

Hi All,

Today I have possibly the cutest bathing suit ever! Sorry if this post is a little pic-heavy- but I just love this suit!

I attribute these last two suits as a repercussion of too many sporty suits in the weeks before. I just can't keep my girly side in for that long!

For this suit I wanted to bring it back to my bra-making roots and make a balconette style bra-top, with a long line frame and matching high-waisted bottoms! I am really loving the proportions on this too! longline with high waisted bottoms!

The back is pretty simple, just high-waisted bottoms with a centre back seam, and a row of three G hooks for fastening.

There are lots of little details in this suit!! And being a retro style suit there is a lot of ruching - on the upper piece of the cup, and the centre front panel of the bottoms, which I think worked out really well with the gingham!

And mom made me a flower headband to match!! But now let's get into the details of the suit!

The cup is a strapless-style cup that I drafted for myself. It is a three piece with two lower cup pieces and a horizontal seam with one upper cup piece. As usual with a strapless style it comes up quite high in the centre front and I needed extra long wires for this!  

The cup is lined with peach cut & sew foam, and the fabric on the outside was made as a cover that I basted to the edges of the foam cup. and I finished the top and bottom edges of this suit with a self-binding.

I lined the frame with swimwear lining all over, with a little bridge piece of 15 denier caught between the layers to make the bridge stable.

I used underwire channelling for the side seams, and the back seam where the back G-hook straps attach so I could add some boning to the side seam and the back to make it lay flat and not crush down- like it definitely would! And I think it makes the inside of this suit look so finished, no seams showing!  (oh and the back piece I lined with powernet!)

The back was a bit of a conundrum - as I always find with a long line- how are you supposed to finish it when G-hooks only come in 1", and I'm not a big fan of using hook and eye tape, especially in swimwear. So I figured I'd just do three straps with G-hooks. So I covered a nice 3/4" elastic in my swim fabric, and attached the G-hooks! I love how it turned out! But you definitely need the boning on this edge or else these will not lay nice and flat. I used a 1/4" plastic bone that I cut to the right length, and trust me- this is so comfortable! and definitely one of the sturdiest bathing suits I own, it's not going anywhere!

Oooh I love my suit! And I just had to do a super-styled pic! Here' me and Gibby off for a vintage-theme picnic at the beach!

I wish I was invited to a pool party! or a beach picnic!


First we have a beautiful pink set from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

This is Maddy's first underwire bra and wow didn't she do an amazing job! I love this! She made it using the Marlborough pattern, in pink milliskin and some light beige lace and elastics to coordinate!

And - as every beautiful bra deserves, she made a matching set of Rosy Ladyshorts to go with them! Wow this set is SO pretty! Don't forget to check out Maddy's post over on her blog! She goes over her bra with lots of details!

Next we have a fancy longline from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

This is Sofia's Marie Antoinette bra- and can't you see why? All the beautiful luxurious lace! She used some white stretch lace on the cups and for the front panels with some pink power mesh and black power mesh for the back, coordinating elastics and a bow- and wow! what a difference those little details make!

She made this bra using the pattern she drafted for her first bra, making a few adjustments for the wire. And don't you love this inside finish of those cups- just as luxurious on the inside as the outside! Don't forget to check out Sofia's post about her beautiful creation!

Next we have another lacy beauty from Monserratt Lopez of Mexican Pink!

Monserratt made this gorgeous bra using the Classic Pin-Up Girls pattern, with some sheer cup lining and black lace, lovely!! She definitely pulled out all the stops on this bra with an internal power bar and boning on the side seams- fantastic!

She said she feels so sexy in this bra and I can see why- absolutely gorgeous, it's so important to feel gorgeous- and bras can definitely do that! Don't forget to check out Monerratt's post over on her blog!


Once again I am completely blown away by the submissions this week! You are truly out-doing yourselves! Gorgeous! You ladies keep me so inspired!

Don't forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! To grab a challenge button and to send your bra for next week to by Friday for the next Sunday post!!

You can also check out Week 1Week 2 , Week 3 , Week 4 , Week 5 , Week 6 , Week 7,  Week 8 , Week 9 , Week 10Week 11 , Week 12 , Week 13 , Week 14Week 15 , Week 16Week 17 , Week 18,  Week 19 , Week 20,  Week 21 and Week 22 of this challenge for more amazing bras! (this list is really getting ridiculous- I need to find a better way!)

Hope you're all having a very lovely Sunday, and that you give your dad a big hug if it's father's day in your country!!

xo erin

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bra-A-Week: Week 22

Hi All!

Today I have a very pretty and classy suit! A nice change from all the sportier things I've been doing!

I definitely threw a million design elements in this one! It is a one-piece suit with a modesty panel ending right at the hips, ruched in the front with a simple triangle style top! Very classic, vintage and pretty.

But here is where it gets interesting! The back- oh the back! I had some fun with rings and cut-outs in the back and made this cool detail of cut-outs, and attaching the front straps. I also stitched down the non-ruched modesty panel in the back (because it just wouldn't stop riding up!)

I love it- I love it- I love it!!

Now I can't take all the credit for the design on this suit- because it was really a love-child between two gorgeous suits worn by my ultimate girl-crushes *swoon*!  

The front was inspired by this beautiful suit worn by Lana Del Rey in a photoshoot, and the back was inspired by this amazing suit Kiera Knightly wore in the movie Atonement.  (If only I could be so glamorous!) These both being on my swimwear pin-board!

I finished all the back cut-out sections with self-binding and I finished the triangle cups with self-binding too! For the cups, I lined only the cup- section, leaving an open gap at the top so I could insert molded triangle cups for extra oomph! but I wanted to make them removable for the wash, or in case I didn't feel like wearing them one time.

I also reinforced the underbust seam (where the cups attach to the body) with a strip of elastic enclosed in binding, so that the gap between the cups was stronger and wouldn't stretch out, and it had a little more support!

I feel like it's stiff competition between this suit and my black and floral bombshell suit from Week 18  as my most glamorous swimwear! I can't wait to get a huge floppy hat, big sunglasses and lounge in all my glamorous glory this summer- imagining that I'm Lana Del Rey or Kiera Knightly *sigh*

A girl can dream ;)  

But now all of your lovely submissions!

First we have a pretty purple bra from Monserratt Lopez of MexicanPink!

She made her bra using the Classic Pattern from Pin-Up Girls, and the help of the Craftsy bra-making classes! I love when people have success from the Craftsy classes :)

She used a lilac coloured kit from Bra-maker's Supply with the beautiful addition of some purple lace :) Gorgeous! Don't forget to check out Monserratt's post over on her blog!
Next we have a very chic bralette from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

Sofia made this bralette with some Pinterest inspiration! Seeing other bralettes with cut-out triangles on the bridge. I am such a sucker for cut-outs, so I'm all about this trend- absolutely love it!

Sofia made this using a lovely combination of red satin, pink power net and black elastics. Don't forget to check out Sofia's post over on her blog!

Next we have a bright foam cup bra from Anne!

Anne made this bra as a clone of a favourite RTW bra, and she used this bright and beautiful green spandex! She loves that you can make a bright bra using fabrics that you wouldn't use for clothing- and I agree! Beautiful work!

Last but not least we have this very sexy bra from Kristy!

Kristy made this bra using the Pin-Up Girls Classic bra pattern, and supplies from Bra-maker's Supply. I love this red-and-black combination- always sexy!

She used the lace to cover the front frame, the upper cup, and to cover the strap and used black elastics to coordinate! Love it!


As always- very beautiful work from everyone! You guys are crazy inspiration for me!

Don't forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! To grab a challenge button and to send your bra for next week to by Friday for the next Sunday post!!

You can also check out Week 1Week 2 , Week 3 , Week 4 , Week 5 , Week 6 , Week 7,  Week 8 , Week 9 , Week 10Week 11 , Week 12 , Week 13 , Week 14Week 15 , Week 16Week 17 , Week 18,  Week 19 , Week 20 and Week 21 of this challenge for more amazing bras!

Sofia talked about your source of inspiration on her bra-post this week- and mentioned that the feels very inspired by Pinterest, and asked where you get your inspiration.

I have to agree with Sofia- Pinterest is definitely my favourite source of inspiration (like it was for my swimsuit this week!) and all of the bras that you submit to me every week! But  I would say that second to that it's the fabric- I see a beautiful print or a colour and a drape and and idea comes straight into my head!

I want to continue Sofia's discussion- what about you? where do you find your bra/swimwear inspiration?

Hope you're all having an amazing Sunday!!

xo erin

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Special Summer for the Bra-A-Week Challenge!

Hi All!

I said earlier this week that I would announce the summer host for the Bra-A-Week Challenge- and here is the announcement!

I am delighted to announce that the Bra-A-Week Challenge will be hosted by the lovely....


Michelle is such a wonderful fellow bra-maker, and I'm sure you've all admired her work over the last 21 weeks like I have, and she most generously offered to host the challenge for the months of July and August for me!!

What does this mean? 

This means that the weekly post will be created by Michelle and posted on her blog Michelle's Creations. 

You will still submit your entries to the same email: but I will be forwarding the messages to Michelle for her to write the post!

This challenge has been so amazing and so inspiring for the last many many weeks- but I've got a lot of things coming up and I need a short break from it. This does not mean that I'll be gone off the blog or that I won't continue the challenge after the summer break- I'll just have some different content going up- and some exciting news for you all pretty soon!  

Yay! I'm so excited to be continuing this with Michelle! So the next three posts will be hosted here on Emerald Erin, but then all of July and August with Michelle! 

:) I hope we can keep this going for a very very long time! 

xo erin

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It's My Birthday!

Hi All!

It's my 24th birthday today! YAY I can't believe I'm already 24. This year has been the most amazing year I can remember. So many new opportunities, so much learning, and so so many new friends. I can hardly believe everything that this year has brought me. 

I remember the post I did last year on my birthday, about how far I'd come with the blog and how amazing it was that I was connecting with so many of you- and I can't believe how much further I've come this year. It's incredible.

 (My very appropriately shaped bathing suit cake!) 

(moms & dad's gift- a hand made thimble pin cushion charm <3)

(standard animal themed card made by my sister)

I think about the Bra-A-Week Challenge, and how far I've come with my skills, how many of you have contributed, and the community that has come together. It is truly amazing. I feel like the luckiest person to have all of you in my life. It's so unbelievable to me. 

So thank you so much for reading my blog, contributing, commenting, sending in your makes- it is really so wonderful to me <3 Thank you :)

Another birthday, another great year, I cannot wait to see what 24 has for me! And to share it all with you :) 


xo erin