Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2015


Hi All!!

Today I thought I would join in on Top 5 tag from Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow! She started this idea a couple years ago, and has invited people to join her in reflecting on their year! She does top 5 hits, misses, highlights, reflections and goals. But that is a lot for one post so todays post is going to be my top 5 hits and misses from this year!

Now I’m going to start by cheating right away, naturally, because I was looking through and there are really 5 bra hits and 5 swimwear hits that need to be mentioned- I really just can’t pick between my sewn babies!!

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So I’ll start off with my top 5 bra hits of the year, and I’m going to do these in chronological order from the year.  Which starts us off with:

1. The Winter Bralette from Week 3. I’m wearing this bralette as I type this post, and you might notice that this is the same bralette that I’ve been making in different fabrics and variations the whole year. This one is the peak of comfort, I love this bralette, even if it’s starting to get a little ratty from wear.

2. This Ivory bra from Week 7. I love it, this made it into my regular rotation. It fit so well then and it still fits well now, and is soft and comfortable and I always feels so fancy in it! I love the vertical seams and the lace, it’s a staple.

3. This Red bra from Week 27 is just the most simple, comfortable bra. It goes so well under everything and with the wicking fabric, it makes it that much better for everyday. This might be my most worn bra out of all the bras I’ve made.

4. My Black Beauty from Week 44. This is a more recent make, but it’s definitely making a case for my love of horizontal seams. This bra is SUPER comfy, fits me perfectly, and I feel so sexy in it 🙂 I just love this. If I were a bra, I would want to be this bra.

5. The Chevron from Week 47. This is another very recent make, but I’m just so in love with it. There’s something about the complexity of the fabric, with the more simple shape 🙂 And I think it just looks so trendy under more sheer tops 🙂 loving this one 🙂

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And now, I’ll tell you my top 5 swimsuits of the 2015, because you know how much I love my swimwear, and I look back and realize just how many I made!! 🙂 These aren’t in a specific order.

1. I’m tempted to say that this Gingham number from Week 23 of the challenge is my favourite but then I scroll down and just can’t decide. I feel like swimwear is much like bras- you can love them for all different reasons, more practical, more fun, more pretty. And this one is definitely my pretty suit. I just adore this suit, and I love how the complexity of the design came together to something that didn’t look overwhelming- just pretty! 🙂

2. This suit definitely needs to be mentioned next. My Atonement suit from Week 22 I feel so glamorous in this suit. The second I put it on, I feel like I should have a massively oversized sun hat, a glass of champagne and strawberries, and I should be bathing in a luxurious pool. It doesn’t happen, but I can dream 😉

3. The suit I made for my sister for her birthday, that I borrowed all the time from Week 25. This suit I like for all the reasons that I don’t get with the previous two suits. It’s not a directly practical suit, and it still looks cute because it has underwires and is flattering, but it’s just fun. Not glamarous, but just fun. Like I want to throw on a pair of jean shorts over top and run around the beach, or drink beer all day at a cottage in the sun (again next summer 😉 Claire?).  It just makes me feel happy 🙂 and comfortable.



4. Now this suit from Week 21 I love because of the practicality. It’s cute and fun, but really I made this suit because I was taking water aerobics with my mom and friend this summer, and I wanted something that I didn’t have to worry about, something where I would be completely held in. I loved how this one came out, it’s another one where I would throw on some shorts and wear it like a top!

 

5. This one was another practical one from Week 20. I have to admit- when I made this one it was late on a Saturday and I had a “Oh no- what am I going to make for the post tomorrow morning!” moment, and mom suggested this one- I wasn’t in love with the idea, but I have to say that this is probably my most worn suit. When you are as pale as I am, and you have 3 minutes to grab a bathing suit, and know you’re going to be in the sun all day- you will always grab the one that covers your shoulders!

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And now for the misses… some of these aren’t terrible by any means, but for me they were misses because I never wore them, or there was something about them that didn’t work out how I wanted it to.

 

1. This bra from week 2 of the challenge. I still quite like the strapping that I did on the back (although I wouldn’t recommend it for comfort). But this bra was made before I had the full grasp of the bra draft and it was made with a pattern, and I very much dislike the shape of this bra… I never took this one out of my drawer. It was just… no.

2. This bra from week 8. I never wore this bra. The lace on the outside ended up being a little bit thick and didn’t lay very smoothly, and the shape ended up being a little torpedo-boob, which I’m not a fan. So it never saw the light of day after the post.

3. This suit from Week 17. I will start off by saying that I LOVE the top of this bathing suit, and I wore the top with other bottoms (and will one day make new bottoms) But these bottoms that I made just didn’t work out. It took a lot of fiddling to get the to even look like this in the photo, and in real life they always felt too loose, would gape and were just not pretty- great idea, bad reality. it happens.

 

4. Now moving away from the bras and swimwear. This dress from Me-Made-May was a fail. And you may look at the picture and think- well that’s super pretty. Yes yes it is. Until you try it on and realize that the fabric must be made of the sharpest, scratchiest fibers on the planet. Seriously- I wore it for the photo and thought- well this isn’t super comfortable, that’s strange. By the end of the day I was like “GET IT OFF ME!!” it’s one of the fabrics that seems smooth enough flat- but any fold or crease (like around the waist with a belt) it becomes angry scratchy fabric. boo, no fun. I never wore it again.

5. This corset from week 4 of Corset October. This was only a miss because I didn’t make a mock-up like I was supposed to, and I made it too big. 🙁 You can’t tell too much from this photo, but I could take out a good 4 inches along the top. I attribute this to: trying a new pattern and not making a muslin, and being very unsure of my size. I’ve actually lost quite a lot of weight in the last year and a half, and that results in a lot of size confusion, and estimating up in patterns for me. It is still a beautiful corset though.

Well there you have it!! My 5 Top Hits *cough 10 cough* , and my 5 Top Misses from this year. I feel like I have been very fortunate to have SO many hits, and really very few misses this year. What were your favourites from the challenge this year?

In a few days I’m going to be doing my TOP 5 highlights, reflections, and goals. And in that post I’m going to tell you guys what’s coming up next year on the blog, and what’s happening with the Bra-A-Week Challenge in 2016 (it’s getting a make-over!)

As always I would LOVE to hear about your hits and misses of the year- if you made these posts too please let me know- I love to be nosy!- I’ll be looking through Gillian’s sharing post too- where everyone posts links to their TOP 5’s! or you can just tell me your favourites too! 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas/Holiday season 🙂 And yay for so much more sewing in the new year!

xo erin

Bra-A-Week [48]: Lingerie Sets!


Hi All,

This week I thought I would do something that I have been completely neglecting this year. I have not made any panties to go with my bras, let alone sets with garter belts! So I thought I would take two of the beauties that I’ve made this last month and turn them into sets, because they really deserve it!

I chose the Black Beauty bra, because I thought I could do something super sleek and cool to match with the look of this bra.

Then I chose The Parisian, so I could have a super pretty and girly set! All of the ruffles and bows!

The true inspiration behind these sets, and my motivation, are all the beautiful sets from Miss Maddy– if you haven’t seen them then make sure you check out her blog- some serious lingerie envy happening! And now I can say that I’ve joined the matching sets club! I even went out and bought some thigh-highs to go with these garter belts!

I’ll show off the Black Beauty set first, and I think it goes without saying that I will not be modelling anything for you this week, I’m not quite that bold, and there is no way that I’m getting out of my flannel pjs this morning to take pictures in sheer lingerie sets! lol!

For this set I drafted the garter belt to be a little bit lower than my natural waist, and to have a cross-over detail in the front, to match the overlapping powerbar in the bra. I used a single layer of bra tulle for the garter belt, with fold over elastic and a hook and eye closure. The front of the panty is also a single layer of bra tulle, with power net for the back of the panty. The panty are a very cheeky style, with a seam up the back and a fairly snug fit, but with the gentle fold over elastic on the leg they actually don’t cut in hardly at all, so I don’t think they would show through clothing too much. Although this will not be an everyday set lol!

I LOVE this set, to me it’s so sleek and cool. I can’t wait to wear it!

Then the next set I made was for The Parisian, and of course this one had to be more pretty and romantic and parisian! I wanted it to feel as delicate as possible to match with the bra!

This set was all about the pretty and the ruffles. This garterbelt sits at my natural waist, and is made with a single layer of bra tulle, fastening with a hook and eye in the back. I finished the edges with 3/8″ band elastic, and the garter straps are 1/2″ strap elastic. The panties are made with a single layer of tulle also but with TONS of extra width to gather into these ruffled panties, which I think are just the cutest things in the whole world. I made them so the elastic is sewn 1/2″ from the raw edge of the tulle, and the raw edge is left as a ruffle!

And of course bows, bows in the center front, bows on the garter strap attachment, all of the bows all of the places <3 <3

I was actually surprised at how long it took me to make these. They weren’t particularly challenging, but by the time I decided what I wanted to make (forever) then drafted the patterns and figured out how I was going to make them, I definitely could have made another bra! I need to make more panties!

I really don’t know which one of these sets I like more. I think I’m naturally inclined to say that the Black Beauty set is my favourite (because I’m not usually a frills kind of girl) but the frills are really growing on me. How about you? which set do you like more?

And now on to all of your lovely bra makes this week!!

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First we have this beautiful bra from Angela of My Little Sewing Dreams!

Angela made this bra using the Marlborough pattern from Orange Lingerie and cut and sew foam covered in microfiber and lace! Super pretty!

Angela even made two cut pair of panties to go with this bra! Make sure you head over to her blog and check out more about this gorgeous set! 

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Next we have a bra from Réka of Red Heels!

This is the second bra that she’s made using the Maya pattern. This time she made it in this gorgeous deep red silk satin- how luxurious!

I love the rich style of this bra! Make sure you head over to Réka’s post to read all about this bra and sewing with silks! I personally can’t wait for an atonement inspired green silk bra- I think I need one myself!!

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Next we have a lovely foam cup bra from Anne!

Anne made this foam cup bra to go under a holiday outfit this year. She needed a black bra, but wanted to spice it up a bit with this brown lace- it did the trick- how cute is this!

She also made some handy modifications, cutting the cup to bring the straps in closer to go under her dress, and finishing the edges with some fold over elastic! Very lovely!

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Next we have a beautiful swim set from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

Maddy made this set using some beautiful designer swimwear fabric she found at her fabric store, and the Boylston pattern from Orange lingerie and Grace Panties from Ohhh Lulu. How cute is this set!! I’m super jealous- not only of the suit, but of your Australian Christmas on the beach- how I long for the beach!

I just think this is the coolest swimsuit ever, I love the fabric and the styling! Make sure you head over to Maddy’s blog to read all about this beautiful bathers set!!

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And last but not least we have a pretty bra from Jennifer of Jensware!

Jennifer made this bra using a wicking fabric, duoplex and beige findings, using the Classic pattern from PUG patterns. Very simple pretty!

This is her friends favourite working bra, and I’m not surprised, it look so comfortable! Such a great friend! Make sure to head over and check out more about this bra over on Jennifer’s Blog!

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Wow!! Another week of such stunning submissions! I’m so excited to see so many beautiful inspiring bras and bathers! And so close to Christmas!

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 and don’t forget to send your bra for next week to bra.a.week@gmail.com by Friday for the next Sunday post!

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How is your week going? Are you all ready for Christmas?

lots of love <3

xo

erin

Bra-A-Week [47]: The Chevron


Hi All!
I have another beauty for you today 🙂 I decided after three weeks of bra tulle bras, that I would do a bralette! Because they are such a staple in my bra wardrobe! I used my black bra tulle and fold over findings for this one!

I was loving the ruching from last weeks bra and I was thinking about other fabric manipulations that I can do – *the love affair with the bra tulle continues*  – and I thought about sewing these pleats into the fabric, and sewing them down to make stripes with the effect of the layers of tulle.

So here I am sewing all the stripes 🙂 It actually took less time than I thought, and you only have to do small pieces for bras thankfully! They aren’t perfect, but I think it all adds to the effect of it being hand-made! 🙂

Then I was careful when I cut my pattern out that they would all line up perfectly, and give this chevron effect – I love it 🙂

This is the same basic draft as my winter bralette, and the plaid fall bralette that I made for Karin a few weeks ago. It’s amazing how it can completely transform with a new fabric. There is something about this bralette that is so solid but delicate, modern but vintage- I am obsessed!

And of course I did my usual favourite, fold-over elastic with the double strap in the front 🙂  And I don’t know what it is about stripes, but they’ve always made so much sense to me, and I LOVE matching up stripes to make chevrons and patterns.

Well I am SUPER happy with this one, all of my bra tulle bras are the pride and joy of my collection now 🙂 And I was thinking that instead of another bra next week, I might just make these all into sets? a treat to myself for Christmas 🙂

Again, before all the pleas in the comments, I do promise that I am working on this pattern to release in the New Year! and I won’t keep you waiting forever! Just a little bit longer 😉
And now on to all of your lovely makes- I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of beautiful submissions this week- you guys are awesome!! 🙂
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First we have two bras from Ashley of Craft Sanctuary!

Ashley made both of these bras using the Maya pattern from AFI. She first made herself the nude bra to test the fit, then made some tweaks and made the watermelon bra (I’m all about this colour combination- love!!)

Now unfortunately this turned out to be more of an experiment in fit testing than making two perfectly fitting bras- but there is so much you can learn with every bra! Ashely did a great post all about it over on her blog- make sure to check it out!!

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Next we have a beautiful bra from Scarlett of Corset Training .Net!

Scarlett is the maker of all those beautiful corset patterns I used this past Corset October, and she’s finally coming over into the bra world!! YAY!!

She started her bra journey using the Watson Pattern from Cloth Habit, and how pretty is this! Love that lace! I can’t wait until Scarlett’s making beautiful corset-bra sets!! So much amazing to come!!

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Next we have a bra from Réka of Red Heels!

Réka also made her lovely bra using the Maya pattern from AFI. She used foam and a pretty blue floral fabric on the outside!

She got a great fit on the first try- only needing a little dart at the side seam, which she also stabilized a bit with some boning. So pretty! Make sure to check out Réka’s post to see more about this beautiful bra!

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Next we have a very special bra from Karin of Mrs. Weaver’s Finest!

This beautiful ‘Black Dahlia’ is a gorgeous mastectomy bra that Karin made for one of her clients. How stunning is this!

Karin made this bra using a black embroidered tulle lace over black duoplex and a modified Classic pattern from PUG patterns. And she built two foam prosthetics to fit in perfectly- you would never know this is a mastectomy bra! Gorgeous!!! Make sure to check out Karin’s post and more about this beauty! 

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Next we have a really fun bra from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

Maddy made this bra using the Boylston bra pattern from Orange Lingerie, and the Watson Bikini bottom pattern from Cloth Habit. She made it with this super cute fabric and matching lace and elastics- I’m obsessed with this combination!!

Maddy made this using her usual pattern alterations- she’s getting to be quite the accomplished bra-maker- and I’m sure her underthings drawer is looking much healthier than before!! 🙂 Make sure you head over and check out Maddy’s post about this gorgeous set!

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Next we have a very pretty bra from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!

 

This is Sofia’s plunge bra! She mad this bra using her vertical seam pattern, and lowering the neckline to accommodate a plunge wire!  She use really pretty lace, elastic trims and an ivory bow in the middle- so pretty!

This is Sofia’s favourite bra- and I can see why, it’s so pretty! Make sure you head over to Sofia’s blog and read all about this bra 🙂

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And last but not least we have a little more colour from Jen of Jensware!

Jen made this beautiful bra using the Shelley pattern from PUG patterns, and a lilac duoplex kit with white lace. Such a beautiful job on the stitching and construction!!

Jen says it fits like a dream 🙂 and that is completely what a well-fitting bra is- a dream! 🙂 Another beautiful submission- I bet your bra drawer is a lot happier lately too!!! 🙂

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All I can say is WOW I’m so completely blown away by all these beautiful submissions this week, I’m so happy to be involved with such a talented and creative group of bra-makers 🙂 Go us!!

I’m also happy to see all this selfish sewing- I find that so many women who sew end up completely bogged down in sewing projects for other people and forget to do something for themselves. And especially at this time of year it is so important to be kind to yourself and do something nice for yourself. And I can’t think of anything more rewarding and kind to yourself than sewing yourself a bra 🙂

As always, don’t forget to check out the Pinterest board, and 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 and don’t forget to send your bra for next week to bra.a.week@gmail.com by Friday for the next Sunday post!

<3 <3 <3

All of the love 🙂

xo

erin

Bra-A-Week [46]: The Parisian


Hi All!

Another week of the bra-a-week challenge, and another week of my love affair with the bra tulle 🙂

 

This time I wanted to use the blush bra tulle, and I wanted something that was a little less modern and angular than the last couple bras that I’ve made, something that is super pretty, possibly a little Parisian in feel -or at least my romantic notion of Paris 😉 – and just very feminine!

I spent a Christmas in Paris a few years ago, and I always think about it at this time of year 🙂 But since I can’t have Paris, I thought I’d make a bra that reminds me of it- and call it The Parisian 🙂 One day I’ll wear this bra in Paris- I know it! (Anyone want to join me?!lol)

 

So with that inspiration I came up with this!

The materials for this bra are the Blush Tulle with Small Regular Elastics Findings Kit in black, and the Plunge Wires 🙂

I haven’t made a bra with the Plunge wires in quite a while, and I thought they would be the perfect fit for this style of bra!

 

So, down to the design details, this cup is a three piece cup, with a ruched upper cup piece. To make this upper cup piece, I doubled the length of the upper cup using the standard method of marking every inch of the pattern piece and adding an inch. To get the nice soft ruched effect I used two layers of tulle ruched, over the bottom layer that is the flat pattern piece without the extra added (which I always like to have to maintain the structure of the bra and a guide for basting the ruched pieces to!)  To finish the edge, I just used a strip of the tulle for binding- easy-peasy!

 

I love that even with the three layers of tulle, it’s still so sheer. There’s something so dainty and pretty about sheer lingerie!

 

I also love the mix with the black elastics, powernet, straps and bows, it just gives that perfect little contrast of dark to make it stand out.  I know it’s quite different from the last two that I made, but I just needed a little bit of a fresh design, something to keep challenging me, and I haven’t done any ruching since the bathing suit of Week 23!

 

I am so in love with this bra, I feel like I need to go off and make the full set- à la Maddy! Maybe a full set for the Black Beauty and Snow White as well!

What do you think of this style of bra? Is it more ‘you’ than my last two? I feel like I’m still working out my personal style, so I’m not sure what I like better yet, I just love them all! 🙂

And now on to all of the beauties that you made up this week 🙂

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First we have a beautiful lace bra from Karin of Mrs.Weaver’s Finest!

This is Karin’s La Parisienne bra! Paris must be in the air! (to be fair she did name her bra first- but we must have a psychic connection!)

Karin made this beautiful longline, using lace over bra tulle!

I asked Karin to test out the bra tulle on her more well-endowed figure, to see if she would get the support and fit that she needs, and I’m so happy to say that she loves it as much as I do!! YAY! Make sure to go over and read all about this beauty on Karin’s blog!

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Next we have this lovely bra from Sian of Rebel Angel!

Sian made this bra using the Maya pattern from AFI! She made it up in the beautiful maroon satin, with cut& sew foam and underwires- her first experience making an underwired bra! Fantastic!

Sian is now a self-confessed lingerie-making addict!! YAY! I can’t wait to see more makes! Sian did a great review of this pattern and her experience over on her blog!

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Next we have another bra from Jennifer of Jensware!!

This is Jennifer’s Fuchsia Surprise, because the lace included with her kit was a surprise! With this kit she made a beautiful Shelley bra from PUG patterns, with all the extra modifications that she likes.

Here in the back you can see how she likes to reinforce the bra with duoplex, fold her channelling at the top for a buffer against her chest wall, and add some pretty decorative lace to the back band! Great!

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And last but not least we have a beautiful submission from our favourite french man Joël!!

This week Joël has made his lovely wife a corset!  And a very shapely corset! I love the peak in the front at the top and the bottom- SO pretty! And the colour panels on the side really add to the shaping effect!

Up close you can see how pretty the fabric is, and it looks like lovely lining, and a great job with that binding- so even and done on the machine! Great Job! Love it!!!

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Thank you all for your gorgeous submission this week- you keep me so inspired 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the Pinterest board 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 and don’t forget to send your bra for next week to bra.a.week@gmail.com by Friday for the next Sunday post!

How is everyone doing gearing up for Christmas? Any last minute sewing plans?

xo

erin

Bra-A-Week [44]: Snow White


Hi All!
This week I have another bra for you! Another one that I love of course 🙂 And I decided to branch out again on this one and expand my skills! I called this one Snow White!

So here are the specs on this one:

This is a three piece cup, longline bra, with boning at the side seams, and three bones in the front.

It is made with Bra Tulle, Bliss Underwires, and my new picot fold-over elastic findings!

 

For this bra I wanted to experiment with a new cup seaming that I haven’t tried before, and I’ve seen lots of RTW bras with this cup seaming- and I love it- SO pretty!

The other element I wanted to work on was making a long-line bra! I love longlines, but I almost never make them outside of my swimwear. From experience I knew that the only way to make a long-line stay nice and flat long-term was to add boning. And because the bra tulle is so sheer I thought adding a couple extra bones would give a really cool look!

The only part that I wish I changed was having the boning overlap the elastic on the bottom band, and go all the way to the bottom edge of the bra. It’s not bad the way it is now, but it would lay that much smoother if it ran the whole length. I’ll probably change that in the future.

I’m absolutely loving the new picot fold over elastic, it’s a very gentle elastic and so soft! And I really love the delicate look it has! The elastics I used are from my large kit, that has 3/4″ straps and the 3X3 hook and eye, because I’m loving the very minimalist, and structured look of the larger findings 🙂

Overall I’m pretty smitten with this bra, and I can see lots more longlines in the future- there’s something that’s just so comfortable and supportive about a long-line bra, and something so pretty too! And I surprisingly like the white! I’m not usually a white lingerie kind of girl but this really works for me, possibly because it’s so sheer too! What do you think about white lingerie?

And now on to your beautiful makes this week!

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First we have this lovely bra from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!

Maddy made this bra using the Marlborough pattern from Orange Lingerie, and beautiful black and gold lace with black lining! Very very pretty!

Maddy’s post about this bra is actually a great tutorial on lining your cups! So make sure you head over and check out her post on that! Thanks Maddy!

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Next we have a bra from Jennifer of Jensware!

Jennifer made this bra using white duoplex and the Classic Pattern from Pin-Up Girls. Nice and simple!

She used light beige thread on this bra so she could see her stitches better, and to see the wonderful sewing from her new sewing machine! It’s always so exciting to get a new machine 🙂

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Thank you so much for the lovely submissions this week! I love seeing all the inspiration, progress and learning that is happening in this community 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the Pinterest board 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 and don’t forget to send your bra for next week to bra.a.week@gmail.com by Friday for the next Sunday post!

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend- and Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American people 🙂

What are your bra goals for the rest of 2015? Any Christmas bra sewing planned? Let me know!

xo

erin

 

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