Sew Your Own Bras!

Posted June 12, 2015 by joanmm
Categories: class workshop, Fashion, lingerie, sexy

I know we’re all knitters here, but I also know that many of us are bi and tri-craftual and have other nifty crafting skills in our bag of tricks.

If you know how to sew on at least an advanced beginner level and wear a difficult-to-fit bra size, then this review is for you!

Personally, I fit this profile in that I’ve sewn my own clothes since I was  teenager and I wear an odd 34H bra size. Clearly I cannot walk into a Walmart and pick up a few bras.

So I bite the bullet, go to my local specialty lingerie shop and spend between $60 and $80 each for bras that will last at the very most, two years.

Imagine my euphoria when I saw this Craftsy class, “Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit”!

titleCardbra

Instuctor Beverly Johnson is a fount of information who has written three books on bra fitting and construction and a retailer who runs Bra Maker’s Supply in Hamilton, Ontario.

She also has a line of patterns, Pin-Up Girls, which she uses in the class. All materials needed are available from her store (they do sell online) and she also gives alternate resources.

Here is just a sampling of the subjects covered in the class:

-Measuring the body and choosing the correct pattern size.

-Choosing an underwire.

-Which fabrics will and will not work.

-Assembly

-Two info-packed lessons on fitting the bra

-Finally, the fun part, embellishing.

And here is another plus: you don’t need any fancy equipment, not even a serger! All that is needed is a basic sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch.

Take a look below at some of the lovely, well-fitting bras that students have made and go check out this class!

braclassart

Lingerie/Outerwear Merger!

Posted June 8, 2015 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, lingerie, lingerie knit, sexy, shaping knits

I’ve never kept my attraction to lingerie a secret. The soft colors, romantic shapes and lacy details have been a never ending source of fascination for me. Imagine my delight at finding Big Name Designers were of a like-mind for Summer 2015.

That said, you might be surprised to find that I believe a little goes a very long way with lingerie-inspired garments intended as street or office wear. There is a fine line between sexy-edgy-classy and inappropriate-desperate-slutty and this season some designers proved that they weren’t quite sure where that line lay.

Here are just two examples that illustrate the range:

In the first two photos below from designer Betsey Johnson, we see how not to work a lingerie-inspired outfit. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Betsey, it’s just that her taste level can get a bit questionable at times..)

Too much skin, too much sheer, too much cheap all in two little outfits. Nothing implied or left to be flirty. ‘Nuff said.

 

Lingerie Inspired do's and dont's

Lingerie Inspired dont’s and do’s

In the second two photos from designer Tracey Reese, we see lingerie-inspired done right. Note the restrained structure of the eyelet details balancing the soft shapes in the first outfit and the weight of the maxi skirt softened with sculpted lace in the second design.

They are pretty, soft, feminine and will not get you arrested in public or get too much of “that kind” of attention.

So when we want to add lingerie inspiration to our wardrobes we are really looking for a hint of a reference to undies rather than a literal interpretation.

Try these ideas for streetwear to imply lingerie style:

-Think of lace more as trim for a top or the hem of a skirt rather than an entire lace dress.

-Choose a color close to the pinky-peach shade of vintage nighties.

-Try a bias-cut maxi skirt similar to a 30’s nightgown and knit a bed jacket-style topper to wear with it.

-Knit a clingy sweater with style lines that suggest an old fashioned corset to wear over jeans or trousers.

It can be a lot of fun adding these touches to your closet, so enjoy looking cool, pretty, and feminine all summer long!

Looking to Knit some Lingerie Style?

klscollage

 

My book, Knitting Lingerie Style, contains projects for everything you’ll need to dress yourself from the skin outward.

From panties to garter belts/stockings to camisoles/sleepwear and even an underwire bra, we’ve got foundations covered.

Then check out patterns for the outer layer – from a party dress to a jacket and skirt as well as a selection of pretty tops.

There are so many lovely projects in this book (33 to be exact-that’s about $1 each!), it will keep any knitter busy for a good long while.

Buy Knitting Lingerie Style for $32.95 and get:

– a personalized, autographed, hardbound copy

-ANY single pattern of your choice from our website!

This offer is good until June 19th, 2015.

Remember to write which pattern you’d like in the message box upon checkout so we can include it in your order!

 

Craftsy: More than just Knitting

Posted December 29, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

 As a teacher for Craftsy.com, I enjoy the little perk of being able watch any of the classes offered, so in the coming weeks I’ll be doing reviews of classes that interest me.

Some of the classes that have caught my eye are of the cooking variety (did you know Craftsy offers cooking classes?!), and this is my first of several cooking reviews.

A Better Cook in Ten Dishes

I wish I’d had access to a class like this when I was just starting out cooking. Back in the days when one could dial 411 for information, I called in asking how to bake a potato.

I’m only a slightly better cook now and still need help from time to time which is why I loved reviewing this class.

 Martha Holmberg takes the student through ten dishes that not only render a lovely and tempting finished product, but she also points out techniques that normally would only be learned at the elbow of a seasoned cook. This is the kind of teaching in which following along and backtracking to watch over and over is so wonderful with the Craftsy platform.

Martha starts us off with a beautiful salad; how to choose the greens, what flavors to combine, and gives us a basic recipe for dressing that she riffs on to create all kinds of yummy flavors.

 For me, this segment is worth the price of admission to this class, as I have a refrigerator door full of commercial dressing bottles. What I would prefer instead is to have several bottles of basic ingredients and create any of the wonderful dressing suggestions Martha gives us.

  She then takes us through eight gorgeous entrees, including but not limited to, Salmon in a Packet, Garlic Crusted Pork Roast, Lasagna, Braised Chicken with Apples, and hi-lo versions of two cheese dishes made with her Basic Bechamel sauce.

 She brings it all home with a lovely Fruit Crisp and Ice Cream for dessert.

 There is nothing difficult about her recipes and Martha gives wonderful tips on choosing produce, fish, cuts of meat and other ingredients, which to me is as important as how to prepare them.

  All in all, this is a class I highly recommend for the advanced beginning to intermediate cook. Great information, excellent presentation!

 10dishes

Double Duty Gabrielle

Posted December 9, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, knit, sexy, Styling guide

Gabrielle is one of those styles that knits up so quickly and fits so well, that I enjoyed knitting it in both the sleeveless vest version and the jacket version.

The Gabrielle Jacket  was SO flattering when I tried it on, I just had to work out a new Styling Guide for it. So not only is it a flattering garment, it is a wildly versatile one as well.

See for yourself:

gabyjcktdblduty

This gorgeous jacket knits up so quickly in Cascade Pacific Chunky on size 10US needles, you’ll want to make both versions for yourself as well.

Double Duty Knits: Zelda

Posted November 25, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, retro, sexy, Styling guide, vintage

Tags: , , , , ,

For our next installment of Double Duty Knits here on the blog, I am happy to present the Zelda pullover!

The 40’s silhouette is shapely and girly; great to wear for casual or dressy occasions.

Zeldadoubleduty

Double Duty Knits

Posted November 19, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, knit, Styling guide

Even though my business is fashion, I can tend to get a little stuck when it comes to my own wardrobe.

I’ll buy or make something new, make an outfit with it that I love, then forget about all the other ways that piece could be worn.

So I’ve created a new feature for the White Lies Designs newsletter called “Double Duty Knits” in which I style the same sweater at least two ways for two entirely different occasions. It has not only proved popular with our readers, but it helps me personally to open my mind to the multiple possibilities a well-designed garment offers.

Below, one of our first Double Duty styling guides, Shelley’s Lace Cardigan. Click on the photo for a larger view.

shelleyslaceday2eve

Gabrielle Two Ways

Posted October 17, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

The thing I’ve always appreciated about sewing patterns is that they more often than not give several versions of the same garment; with long and short sleeves or none at all.

I like to follow this idea in my own knitting patterns so that I give my own customers the most value that I can. If I love the way a style looks on me, you can bet I’ll want to make it again in another color and/or configuration, which defrays the cost of the pattern.

Gabrielle is one such pattern that I think works very well.

Below, Gabrielle as a jacket and as a vest.

gaby1n2

Both ways Gabrielle is well fitting, flattering and office appropriate. Not only that, she knits up so fast on size 10US needles and Cascade Pacific Chunky.

Enjoy your knitting!

 


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