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Welcome! I am Valerie from Quebec and I am representing the right cup/right wing today! It’s my turn on the Canada Cups – Cross your heart relay tour hosted by Marsha from Flying by the Seam of my Pants and Michelle of Michelle’s Creations. The tour is sponsored by Craftsy and we are very lucky to have a celebrity with us! Yes, you heard me, Beverly Johnson, also known as the Fairy Bra Mother is on board (visit Beverly’introduction post HERE)!  I am so excited to be part of this tour with my new booby friends from all around Canada and Craftsy! I have been wanting to start on lingerie making for a while now and I suppose all it took was some sewing pals embarking on the journey with me and of course a Craftsy class. I promise you a nice trip all across Canada to discover canadian designers, makers and supply sources. And in case you didn’t know, canada is awesome for lingerie sewing.

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So today, Michelle from Little Heart Threads (remember Michelle?) and I will review for you the class Sewing Lingerie, Essential Techniques with Alison Smith (affiliate link) that I got for free from Craftsy for the purpose of this tour. Let me assure you that all opinions in this post are genuine. By the way, thank you Craftsy! All classes reviewed in the tour are Canadian except ours. We were too many bloggers that wanted in the tour so an exception was made for us.  At least my supplies are 100% Canadian. Before I go on, don’t forget to read my buddy Michelle’s review about the same class. We both have two very different styles of sewing and I am sure her review will bring a lot more to the table!

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If you don’t already know Craftsy go check it out! It’s a website offering online classes on everything DIY as well as lots of supplies. My favorites are of course sewing and photography classes but there is something for everyone and every level. Seriously,discovering Craftsy, for someone like me who is addicted to learning, was life changing.

I am so glad I was assigned to review this class. It comes with the pattern Vogue 8888 which I bought almost 2 years ago. It was in fact one of the first pattern that I bought for myself. First I didn’t do it because I was scared. Silly, I know! Especially since I always tell everyone never to be scared to try something new.  The fear went away but then I was distracted with growing a second baby while taking care of another one and I guess I just forgot myself a little. But today, no more! Lets all be selfish, forget about the kids for a while (like my friend Michelle says: leave the kids at grandma’s!) and lust over making lingerie.

I have to tell you first, the lingerie projects you will see on my blog this month (because there will be a few) are my very firsts! So of course they are not perfect but I know that every skill has it’s learning curve and I, for sure, won’t stop here. I am confident that I’ll improve with every new project.

Here’s my tips for learning a new skill: learn the theory behind the techniques (yay, Craftsy classes!), never be scared of trying something new, never beeing scared of making mistakes or starting over and last but not least, practice, practice, practice.

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Sewing Lingerie, Essential Techniques with Alison Smith

Sewing Lingerie with Alison Smith is a 2h30 minutes (approx) class divided into 7 lessons. It touches everything you need to know to start on sewing beautiful lingerie. You can use these skills on every lingerie or delicate fabrics project but the class comes with Vogue 8888 for you to practice all the techniques of the class. I love that she took a pattern and show us all the ways to work with and transform it, making it very versatile. I first watched the class while cooking diner from start to finish just to get a sense of it. And then, I went back to watch some segments (some a few times!) depending on the needs of my project. When watching a class, you can fastforward if need be, skip to another segment or go back and listen again so you can go at your own pace.

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I first started with the tap pants pattern using Alison’s elastic casing techniques, french seams and straight-edge lace and it turned out great. V8888 refers to it as panties but I think they are much more than that so I will use Alison’s word: tap pants or french knickers. For this first project I started with an easy fabric (polyester crepe) and lace from my stash. It.s a little christmas looking but I couldn’t go to the fabric shop that day and I still wanted to sew. So let’s consider this as just practice (or christmas tap pants!).

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For my second project I made the camisole from V8888 using a silk charmeuse I had in my stash for quite a long time. I found it in Montreal in the garment district and I was saving it for exactly that: lingerie! The gorgeous light coral lace is from Blackbird Fabrics who has a nice selection of lingerie supplies but more about that later this week! I bought it over a year ago and I am glad I saved it for this because it’s just perfect. It’s what I would describe as a stable lace, it does have some stretch and it’s nice and soft to the touch.

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So, the camisole is supposed to be a close fitting bias cut but it ended up a little big on me. I don’t think I took my measurments wrong because the side seams are exactly where they should be and the cups fit nice. The elastic technique from the pattern is probably guilty here and didn’t work well. The pattern has you stitching through the elastic twice and I am afraid my knit elastic stretched out a lot.  I went back and unstitched the back elastic and cut it 3 inches shorter and sewed it back in. Nex time I will modify the back a bit addidng a casing allowance and use Alison’s technique to insert the elastic nicely. I do prefer the little frills of the casing more than an elastic stitched to the wrong side turned under and stitched again. I am afraid my my fabric didn’t like the unstitching and stitching back much but it still looks decent enough. About the straps, I modified the width of the finished strap using a bigger seam allowance because once it was turned to the right side it looked weird. I really prefer rouleau straps to be as thin as possible and a slippery fabric is so easy to turn to the right side. I don’t know, it’s just nicer. Finally, the straps were long enough so I could cross them and I am very happy about that, first because it’s super flattering and second because it’s so frustrating when my straps are falling down my shoulders and these are slippery straps. I made them very simple because there was still a lot going on with the lace on the front and I didn’t want to over do it.

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Following Alison Smith’s Craftsy class helped me a lot in gaining confidence to sew lingerie but also delicate fabrics and I got to learn many tricks that one can only learn from experience. The instructor is very knowledgeble, she wrote a few sewing books (one of which I use regularly and never realised she was the author), teaches a few classes on Craftsy and runs the School of Sewing in Ashby de la Zouch, UK. One of the features that I like the most about Craftsy, other than the classes themselves, is that you can ask questions to the teacher and she will answer but you also have access to everyone’s questions. So, because there are always new questions, you will never stop learning from this class! And trust me, you can learn so much from the Q&A. I know I did. Alison’s answers are always very helpfull and filled with suggestions to solve the problems when there is one.

Craftsy rates this classse as Intermediate and I couldn’t agree more. The techniques are not really hard and they are so well demonstrated, but you need to know your way around a sewing machine, be confortable handling delicate fabrics, setting tension, being precise etc. A little experience would be preferable but a beguinner could built up her skills using the techniques learnt from this class on an easier fabric like a nice and soft cotton lawn first and then move on to silky delicate fabrics when he grows her skills. For me the hardest part was the baby hem on the camisole. My fabric wasn’t fed properly under the needle and it was moving so much! Seriously, it started well for the first row of stitching the the second one is just bad. I ended up sewing over tissue paper and it was much better but there is still room to improvement here. I will need to practice. There is so much to learn from this class, and even though I consider myself as an advance sewer I am glad to say that I learned a lot from my class.  I loved it, I only wish it was longer and I love that I can reuse what I learned on other lingerie and even other garment projects. I am even more inspired to sew lingerie, lets sew all the lingerie! By the way, I will share my very first bra soon!! So stay tuned and follow me on Instagram to see sneek peak in the next week or so!
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By the way,  I love the choices of the fabrics used in the class, they were easy to see what was going on and very stylish and inspiring at the same time. I even tried to find similar lace trim and found one at Bra maker Supply and I will soon order it!

Because I love you, I have something awesome for you! Crafsty is offering YOU a special discount. They are giving you dear readers 50% off the Lingerie Sewing, Essential Techniques class when you use my affiliate link (no code necessary. I really enjoyed the class and I hope you will too! Thank’s again Craftsy for the free class!

Now, what’s next on the agenda? Come back on the 13 and I will show you some more casual lingerie using knits from Miss Maika Fabrics and on the 16, I will bring you an interview with Caroline of  Blackbird Fabrics. Also, very humbly, alongside her beautiful creations, I will show you my very first bra!! So excited!
Thank you to all our sponsors! A surprise will follow shortly!
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Giveaways

Click the image below now for a chance to win a bundle of 3 Craftsy classes (your choice):

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Stay with us through to the end of the tour for a chance to win additional prizes:

  • complete kits to make your own bra,
  • bra- and swimsuit-making classes,
  • fabric, and more …

Tour Schedule Itinerary

Follow the magical tour to see what we all have under our clothes

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Sunday, September 11

Monday, September 12

Tuesday, September 13

Wednesday, September 14

Thursday, September 15

Friday, September 16

Saturday, September 17

Sunday, September 18

Whoohoo! It’s giveaway day today!

Monday, September 19

Have you entered the giveaways yet? Today’s your last chance.

Tuesday, September 20

Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:

Life of a Fairy Bra Mother, Little Heart Threads, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle’s Creations, Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables, Braphoria, Gracious Threads, Élégantine!, Shelaine’s Designs, That’s so Venice, Sprouting Jubejube, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, The Wild Stitch, Farthingales Corset Blog

After September 20

  • Come back to visit all the blogs for followup posts. It’s always fun!
  • Craftsy class discounts expire at midnight Sept. 30