First, I'll share some back story about my own bra journey. I wear a weird size. I can't walk into Target, Wal-Mart, or Macy's and just buy a bra. I have a small ribcage and large... um... blessings. So, I order bras online and pay a ridiculous amount for them. They aren't made any better than what you can find at Target, etc. But, they carry more unique sizes, so I go with that route. I made my first bra last year and it was mind-blowing! It was also extremely easy, cost-efficient, and even fun (once I got the fit down).
Up-cycle Your Brand New Brassiere
So, a few weeks ago, I was walking through Dollar General and grabbed a large bra. I said to myself, I bet I could alter this band size to make it smaller. I held the foam cup up to me and it seemed to be the right cup size. I gave the cashier my $7.00 and drove home. When I got home, I tried it on and had my husband help mark where I would cut the band, to fit my back. I thought Eureka! This is the coolest bra hack ever and I need to share it!!
Side note: I don't think this will work as easily if you need to increase the bra size. This is more of a cut and slash downsizing bra project. I wear a small band, large cup. If you have a small cup, it may be more difficult to do this bra hack.
Do you have a fabric designer or pattern maker you simply adore? Maybe you have a few.
Gretchen Hirsch aka Gertie is one of my favorites.
There are quite a few fabric designers I'm obsessed with! Almost stalker-status. ;) I love almost every piece they design. And I must own it all. Insert fabric hoarding music. Haha!
As you might know, my favorite pattern designer is Gertie. She is a one-woman show and encouraged me (through her blog, tv, and books) to start sewing things for myself. GASP! Moms can sew for themselves? Yes, yes we can.
I was watching a PBS sewing show and she popped up. I can't remember what she shared on the show. But, I couldn't get past the fact that she didn't look like a typical sewing lady. She was young and had a fun style. I was instantly hooked! I found her blog, bought her books, and started a new sewing journey-sewing for myself. I still sew for my kids and shop, but I LOVE making my things more.
Gertie has her own pattern company, along with fabrics designed by her. She also has patterns with Butterick and Simplicity. Charms Patterns, Simplicity and, Butterick patterns. I love it all!
40's Style Blouse
The top I'm wearing above is from the book, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. It's the 40's-Style Blouse made using the Sleeveless Blouse variation, pg 134.
The fit is great in this top! Why haven't I made more? I don't know but, I need to.
It was an easy afternoon project. I made this top a few years ago during a friendly sewing day. This was my first top with center buttons and a placket. As you can see, they should have been placed 1/2" closer to the edge.
Oh well. I still wear it all the time.
It's an easy style to wear over pants or tucked in. The darts are placed perfectly and make for a very flattering fit.
The fabric is semi sheer in black with pink bows and was purchased from Joann fabrics. It is from Gertie's fabric line.
I increased the armscye area. I don't consider myself to have large arms, but her patterns are usually tight in my armpits, so I size up with sleeveless patterns.
I made this cute handbag as a fun little distraction during quarantine. I planned on using it sooner than later, but we all know how that turned out. Ha! Days turned into weeks and it's all a blur from there.
I had some marine vinyl leftover from another project and I came up with this little purse.
Want to make a cute little handbag for your next shopping trip?
Here's what you need:
How are you? Safe and sane, hopefully. Things are crazy around here, but we're getting used to our new "normal". Will life ever go back to the way it was? Who knows.
Let's talk about mask making for a second. Whew! What a whirlwind that is, amiright? I've never made hundreds of one item before, until I decided to sew face masks. They were needed everywhere overnight. I've donated them, sold them, made them for friends and family, etc., just like most of us in the sewing community.
Just like many of you, I got tired of sewing masks. Making the same thing over and over takes a toll on you. Mind, body, spirit, and soul.
At some point in the midst of mask making, a new sewing machine was ordered, by magical fairies who love me, presumably. I had my eyes set on this particular one for a couple of years. It wasn't an essential item, but with all the necessary sewing going on, I allowed it.
They sent me the wrong machine at first, and then finally, 2 weeks later the correct machine arrived. Wheeee!! I was so excited.
Although, hesitation and fear kept me from opening it right away. What if I didn't love it? Maybe it was too advanced for me. It is a straight stitch only machine, after all. It sat outside for 24 hours to decontaminate before opening up the box and bringing it inside. Crazy, I know.
Let me start off by saying, WOW! She's a heavy beast!
My new Brother PQ1500SL sewing machine was here and itching to be used. And, holy cow, she exceeded all my expectations and some.
The machine came with a plethora of accessories and I totally nerded out on all of these, of course!
The machine has a large extension table that is dreamy. It came with multiple feet including a whopper of a walking foot.
Threading is as easy as pie. Winding the bobbin is easy as well.
It doesn't have a drop-in bobbin, which I thought would be annoying. However, it's easy to change because there are 3 doors that open up, making it convenient to change during a project.
A fun surprise that was included was a loaded bobbin. I've bought a few new machines in my almost 20 years of sewing, and they've never come with a loaded bobbin! This was exciting for me. It really is the little things.
Or I lost my marbles after making hundreds of masks, and any small thing was pure joy at this point. Who knows!
Once I received my new Brother sewing machine, I got a second mask-making wind. I was so antsy to use it. Give a kid a new toy, of course they want to play with it right away!
Nevermind the stack of things that I started and couldn't finish before the pandemic. I couldn't sew something for myself during a crisis, that just felt wrong to me. So, I made more masks. So many more masks. But, they were made with a big smile because I had a shiny new toy.
I'm a sucker for accessories! Do you love gadgets and get excited to use them? Here's everything it came with.
Can you believe it? It's May, again, already. The months seem to fly by quicker as I age.
You know the drill, #MeMadeMay is all about wearing something you made every day in May. Read my post I wrote from last year if you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about. You pledge to yourself and others to wear your me mades (handmade items). I played along last year and found that I didn't like it. Gasp! I know!
I did not like how it made me feel about my handmade garments. And, not in the way, you might think.
I usually get excited when I wear anything I make. Hair flowers, a purse, dresses, jumpers, rompers or pants, even my bras! I love it when someone asks if I made it and I get to scream "YES!" with a huge smile. It's exciting for me to wear my stuff and show it off.
During 2019's #MeMadeMay, I didn't get excited while getting dressed. It was more of a "have to" feeling. Not gonna lie, I wear something I make almost every day. I always have a flower in my hair- that I've made. My purses are made by me too. Oh and the days I don't leave my house, do not count. LOL
I'm a rebel in a sense I don't like being told what to do. And, the May challenge wasn't fun for me, because I had to wear my garments. Make sense?
Now with everything that is happening, I've been living in cozy clothes almost every day. I like being comfortable when I'm slinging string a.k.a. sewing. I've been sewing every day, so cozy clothes it is!
I feel happier about the challenge this year though because we're all homebound. We don't leave our house unless it's a run to the post office or get groceries. In which, I put actual pants on. Haha
I plan on playing along this year and have a new perspective. I'll be more inclined to wear my fancy dresses just because I can. They might not be the best to sew masks in, but... I'll wear them. It's almost a challenge for me to get dressed in real clothes every day. Amiright? LOL
And heck, if I don't wear a garment I've made, there's always a Me Made mask.
So, will you be participating this year? What do you think about ME MADE MAY? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to follow me on social media as well.
Stay safe and sane,
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
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