Yes! It’s finally here- the Black Beauty Bra pattern. Some of you might remember from way back in the day (the 2015 kinda ‘back in the day’) my Bra-A-Week challenge and all the bras I used to design. Well there was one in particular that I knew had to be my first underwired bra pattern, from week 44, and I called it the Black Beauty Bra. And I’m so happy to say that that idea has finally come to reality!
The final version of this bra pattern is very similar to the original. It’s a horizontal seam cup, with an external powerbar and a double front strap detail with fold over elastic finishing.
Because this style is so versatile, I wanted to include a second view option, (and I love to have options!). Also the second view option is for lace, and who doesn’t love some lace.
View B has the same seaming and external powerbar, but different finishes with the lace neckline edge, picot plush elastics and strap elastic front strap.
The instructions are completely illustrated and 38 pages long, which covers start-to-finish instructions for both pattern views, plus the bonus instructions to include a foam lining to your cup!
The other important thing to note about this pattern is that it’s split into two size ranges: 28-40 B-DD and 28-40 E-G. The B-DD range is designed with 1/2″ band and strap elastics and a 2X3 hook and eye, and the E-G range is designed with 3/4″ band and strap elastics, and a 3X3 hook and eye.
I went with UK sizing for this pattern because it’s my favourite system, and I find it to be more accurate and much easier to measure for 🙂 If you want to find your size you can read my sizing guide here.
After so long in the works, it’s hard to believe that this pattern is finally out! I think every pattern takes huge amounts of work, but this pattern has really pushed me to take my skills to the next level.
It’s been amazing working with all my fantastic testers, hearing the feedback, editing and improving. From first draft to final version, this pattern has had 6 versions, each change tweaking the fit, or the proportions to be exactly what I hoped : ) And as challenging as the whole process has been, it’s such an amazing feeling to know that I’ve put my all of my energy and creativity into a project that I am so passionate about, and that I can share with you! Releasing this pattern feels a bit like climbing to the top of a mountain and stopping to finally see the breathtaking view. It’s humbling, exciting, vulnerable – and probably a bit addictive since I’m already mentally planning out the next steps for a million future pattern ideas.
It wouldn’t really be an Emerald Erin blog post if I didn’t have a picture with Gibby, would it?
Well, I hope you like the Black Beauty Bra, and if you’re wondering why I named it that- I just really like a good alliteration if you couldn’t tell ; )
I would love to know what you think about the pattern, if you’re planning to make it, and if you’ve recently worked on a huge project that you’re really proud of!
It’s been quite a while since I blogged, and quite a while since I made a bra just for myself- not for a pattern sample or to test a pattern. Just for me 🙂
As you can see from the title of this post, I want to tell you all about my new set, but I also wanted to talk about a subject that I’m really passionate about – body image & body positivity.
So first, let’s launch into the details of this set!
I used the same self-drafted pattern as I did for the Latte at Midnight set. It’s a 5 piece cup: powerbar, upper cup and lower cup split into 3.
The very special thing about this set is that I made it using a small piece of embroidered tulle lace that I bought on my trip to Barcelona last year in a little shop that my friend Sofia Luzon brought me to called L’Arca. I’ve been holding on to it to make something special, and this was the perfect project!
For the other materials in this set, I used my bra tulle in warm white, which was a perfect match to the lace, and then I took my all my elastics, findings and powernet and dyed them to match with tea. Yes, you can dye your findings with tea (as long as they’re all nylon based). I just soaked everything in a little bit of Twinnings Early Grey, my morning staple, and then hung them to dry overnight. The secret to getting an even dye is to soak everything in water before you add the dye or tea, so that it absorbs evenly everywhere. I was so happy that it all turned out such a perfect colour match!
The day that I was taking these photos in this bra set, I was listening to the Love to Sew Podcast, their recent episode with Allie Olson and near the end they started talking about body image and body confidence, specifically in the sewing world where people are making their own clothes and taking pictures of themselves and posting them online for the community.
It got me thinking about my journey with body confidence and sewing. It’s not something I’ve talked about online before, but it’s something that has been a big part of my life. I’ve struggled a lot with self esteem, body confidence, dieting and disordered eating. It was something that dominated my teen years and early twenties, and something that took a sharp turn for the better when I got into the sewing world.
When I got into sewing, and involved in the sewing community, my view of myself and my relationship to clothing and size started to change. I learned quickly that every body is different. Everyone was making modifications to their patterns, grading between sizes for top and bottom. Alterations were the rule, not the exception, which immediately made it feel so normal to have a body that wasn’t ‘industry standard’.
Getting into bra making and swimwear was another leap. I learned a lot more about my body and fit, but the bigger leap was sharing the things I made and sharing them on my body to the online sewing community. I think it was my passion for bra & swim sewing that really pushed me at the beginning. I remember thinking ‘ugh, I hate this picture of me, but I REALLY want to share this bathing suit that I made… and everyone in the sewing community is always really nice, and my blog is so small, hardly anyone is going to see it anyways… so I’ll just do it” – then the moment of mini panic after you hit the publish button- eeeeekkk!
Over time it got easier and easier to take pictures, and share pictures. And, don’t get me wrong, I still have bad body days – where I really wrestle to like myself or to post any pictures of myself, or not be super critical and over-analyze every aspect of my body in a photo. But now, I’m a lot better at taking a step back and reminding myself that I’m in an unhealthy mindset and need to get a better perspective.
It’s also helped going into my mid/late 20’s and learning so much more about myself and what makes me happy and comfortable, so I don’t put myself in a place where I’m going to be in a negative mindset. One of those things for me, was learning that I feel best about my photos when I look happy, and my poses are about comfort, joy, or being a girl boss! (like posing with sunflowers, my puppy or power-poses in my studio) – not when I look ‘dramatic’ or ‘sexy’ – or really anything where I feel objectified. [not that there is anything wrong with taking pictures like that if you love it! I just learned that it’s not for me!]
But, coming back full circle, taking these photos of my new set, with a big bunch of sunflowers – listening to the podcast – I couldn’t help but think about how far I’ve come, and how much happier I am in my journey now. And that I should share that more 🙂
I would LOVE to hear any of your experiences with body image and if sewing has helped you, if you understand or can relate.
I feel like I could talk about this endlessly, and especially in relation to how women feel about their bodies in bras and underwear! That is a whole other area of this topic that I’m massively passionate about.
So a couple weeks ago the Sewcialist group from Toronto, decided to get together for a fancy sewing outing. It was a chance to see the Dior Exhibit happening at the ROM, have high tea, and of course, wear our fancy me-mades.
Now I have to say that I don’t really sew fancy clothes. Like most sewists, I made a nice party dress or two when I first started sewing- but that was in high school, and those dresses definitely wouldn’t fit me or suit me anymore. So I took this outing as a great opportunity to make something a little more challenging for myself (after weeks of sewing super quick and easy Jordy & Tuesday samples!)
These are the two patterns that I’ve worn the most out of anything I’ve ever made- I seriously live in these! The Jordy is a triangle style bralette, with a really wide soft and comfy band. The cups are non-stretch, so it gives that little bit of extra support and shaping, and I’ve made it with a few different view options- so you can go a little more simple in solid fabric, a little more classically beautiful with a lace overlay, or you can go super comfy/cute with a foam lining.
The Tuesday is your classic boyshort, and your classic with a twist. I love a nice boyshort, I find them so comfy, they move with you through the day, they have less panty line than a regular brief under so many things, and they’re just really cute and practical. But I know that a lot of people don’t like the seam along the centre front, so I made a second view with a solid front panel, but with the same seam up the back for a great fit!
Let me first say that there are SOOOOO many patterns that I want to make and plan to make, and I have lists of lists of things that I want to turn into beautiful PDF pattern goodness. But I chose to start here, with the Jordy & Tuesday.
Besides the fact that I’ve been wearing my Jordy’s and Tuesdays all-day-every-day for the past several months (I think they’ve become part of me..) I wanted to start my pattern line with something that was chic, wearable and also something that was simple. For both me, as a new pattern designer, but also for all of you- so if you are new to bra making, you can start with a more simple pattern, learn the techniques and skills, and work your way up to the more complicated patterns with me.
The other thing that I love about these patterns is that they’re both basics that are infinitely hackable. I’m already releasing them with different view options, but there are a never ending number of things you can do with these patterns to transform them into something really special!
How did you make the Jordy & Tuesday patterns?
You guys have been asking for years, and I can honestly say that I’ve been working on patterns for that long too. Patterns are hard and long work, and the idea for the Jordy and the Tuesday came about years ago. They started with the first versions that I made, then a few more modifications, then grading, then testing, then illustrating instructions, then formatting everything. Then if you’re crazy like me, you film a lookbook, make kits for everything and open an new online store while your’e at it *sweats nervously*.
I started working on the Jordy & Tuesday over a year ago, and I had to learn how to use all the computer programs to turn my hand drafted pattern into a digital one, and how to illustrate all the instructions. I had to figure out how to work with my lovely pattern testers (who are all the most patient people in the world *thank you thank you*). I worked with a very dear friend of mine to translate the patterns into french. I collaborated with the amazing Jordy Benattar (pattern namesake), who is the musical artist behind The People (my lookbook song)- She was one of my models in a university fashion show and when I heard her song I knew it had to be my lookbook music! And, of course, I work with my mom on everything along with all the background of running my shop, moving my shop & staying mostly sane…
At a point in November I realized that I would never get the pattern out if I kept trying to do everything- which is why I took a break from creating content on my blog and youtube, so for all the lovely people asking ‘are you okay??’ and ‘where did you go??’. The answer is ‘great but tired lol’ and ‘I’m here, and I’m back!’.
What’s coming up next?
Lots and lot of content for the Jordy & Tuesday. I’m going to post video tutorials on sewing both the patterns, and hack videos on cool ideas to transform them! More kits, more inspiration, more everything to do with Jordy & Tuesday! So make sure you follow the blog & my youtube channel!
After my obsession with the Jordy & Tuesday – more patterns. I LOVED the process of making this pattern happen, and now that I’ve made one, I’m addicted, and I would love to release lots more, and hopefully quicker the second time around!
I would LOVE to know what you guys think of my new patterns, hear any votes for patterns that you want me to bump up the list for the future, and if you have any questions I would love to answer them!!
I have a new set for you!! YAY! I feel like it’s been WAY too long since I made my last bra- and I really got the sewing bug in my new studio, so I thought it would be good to start off with something gorgeous!
I’m calling this set Latte at Midnight because it’s with my *NEW* Midnight Bra Tulle & Bamboo and my Latte findings! I’m OBSESSED with this new colour!
So, of course, before I get too far into this post- I have to tell you more about the GIVEAWAY!!
This giveaway is being hosted on Instagram for #BRAugust2017 ! I am this Tuesday’s sponsor- for Matching Set (of course!).
To enter: post a photo to instagram this Tuesday (Aug 22)