Archive for the ‘class workshop’ category

Sew Your Own Bras!

June 12, 2015

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”!


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.


-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!


Classes at Yarnosphere! October 12-13th, 2013

October 2, 2013


Join me at Yarnosphere!

Join me at Yarnosphere!

Join me, Joan McGowan Michael, at Yarnoshpere! Yarn show October 12-13, 2013.

I’ll be teaching my very popular Whip Your Knits into Shape workshops and my fun Bead Embroidery for Knits class!

-With Whip Your Knits  Part 1, students will work in teams to take complete measurements of your own bodies and I will show you how to apply that knowledge to getting the best fit possible in your knitted garments. Alterations, the application of short row shaping, ease, and marrying different sizes are all discussed in this class. We keep this class small enough for me to give everyone the personal attention they need, so sign up early to assure a spot.

-In Whip Your Knits Part 2, students will use the measurements taken in Part 1 and transfer them to brown paper to make a basic hard pattern of their body, then using this new pattern to easily design a custom sweater on graph paper. Again, small class size assures personal attention, so reserve early!

Bead Embroidery for Knits is where I get to pull out my small but fantastic collection of 50’s beaded sweaters and we re-create one of the beaded motifs on a swatch which we later turn into a fancy eyeglass case! This technique is great for more than just knits; decorate a tee shirt or jean jacket or even Christmas ornaments

It’s going to be a great knitter’s weekend in Orange County and I can’t wait to see you all there!

Coming Soon : My Craftsy Classes!

April 10, 2013

I’m so pleased to announce that  I will soon be giving classes through!

Even better, one of the classes entitled “Feminine Fit” will be based on the Knit to Fit series I’ve been running right here on my blog!

  I’ve hugely expanded the information for this class wherein I demonstrate how to acheive the fit you’ve always wanted in your sweaters but didn’t know how to get. I’ll show how to do this easily and without using a lot of intimidating math equations.

I’ll also be teaching a class on Continental Knitting, so if you’ve been wanting to learn this enormously useful technique,  join me on for this excellent free class.

I’ll post links, a special discount offer and more information as soon as I have it.

Here I am on the Craftsy set:


Joan on the Craftsy set

Joan on the Craftsy set



Vogue Knitting Live!

December 13, 2012

I will be heading to NYC to teach at Vogue Knitting live Jan 18th thru 20th, 2013!
My “Whip Your Knits into Shape” class is a must if you’re having trouble with the fit of your sweaters and would like to learn how to shape garments to fit your individual form. There will be two sessions (same class), Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

See this and the rest of my class descriptions for VKLive here


“My Grandmother’s Knitting” Giveaway!

March 5, 2012

The book signing and shrug fitting event at Knitique last weekend was such a success, to further celebrate the wonderful book by Larissa Brown, “My Grandmother’s Knitting”, I’ll be giving a copy away to a lucky winner who signs up for my newsletter between now and March 15th.

The book contains family stories and patterns from seventeen designers such as Jared Flood, Meg Swansen, Ysolda Teague and myself.

Here is Knitique’s photo of my Angelina Shrug named for my mother which is included in the book.
Angelina Shrug

Sign up for our White Lies Designs newsletter here for your chance to win a copy of this beautiful hardback book!

Many thanks to Lisette Davis for such a lovely photo.

Angelina Shrug Workshop

February 9, 2012

In case you’ve not seen the new book “My Grandmother’s Knitting” (STC 2011), I’ve got a design included in it named for my mom, the Angelina Shrug.

Knitique of Elk Grove California will be hosting a series of workshops with me in March, 2012 to get just the perfect fit for this pretty, versatile garment. Wear it over a sleeveless dress, jeans and a tee or whenever the air conditioning gets a bit raucous in the office.

Did you ever wish you had the designer of your knitting project standing over your shoulder to help? With these workshops, that’s exactly what you’ll get! I’ll guide you along every step of the way from choosing the right yarn and color to showing you any tweaking tips needed for a custom fit.

Whipping Your Knits in Sacramento!

February 23, 2011

I am delighted to announce that due to popular demand, I will be giving classes and workshops in the Sacramento, California area beginning in March!

 Check out the Arcade Creek Parks and Recreation Department’s webpage for all the details on the upcoming offerings, beginning with my very popular “Whip Your Knits into Shape”  workshop on March 19th,2011.

Students will come away from this workshop with a basic paper pattern made from their very own measurements and the skills needed to customize existing patterns to fit their specific shape or to design their own garments from scratch. Registration begins immediately for this excellent 6-hour class. Lunch will be served and enrollment is limited to 14, so hurry and land your spot!

Portland Workshop and Knit and Crochet Show!

April 30, 2009

Hi Portland, OR  Knitters!

If you’re wondering what it takes to fine tune your fit from frumpy to fabulous , wonder no more!

I’ll be teaching my “Whip Your Knits into Shape” class at Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks the evening of May 13th, 2009.

If you’re a difficult fit, this class is for you. Adding designer shaping touches to your knitted garments is easy once you know a few simple rules and how to apply them. Flatter your figure by shaping any garment as you knit it. Darts, ease, and short row shaping are all important elements for a custom fit. Learn which ones to use to play up your specific body type to it’s best advantage.
The class will run from 6 to 9 pm.
Call (503) 258-9276 to make your reservation.


We’ll also be  at the Knit and Crochet Show the 15th through the 17th  at the Doubletree Hotel, booth #28.

Here’s a discount coupon to help get you in. Right click on it to print.


I’d love to see you all there!

Toot Toot! All aboard!!!!

April 13, 2009


Join Bobbin’s Nest Studio , Bonita Knitting Store AND Joan McGowan-Michael for a fabulous Couture & Color Retreat spent with fellow knitters in beautiful Santa Barbara.

I’ll be the Designer in Residence for this wonderful trip, Oct 16th through the 18th! 

 Catch the train in either San Jose, CA  or San Diego, CA and take a relaxing ride with us to Santa Barbara where we will spend a delightful weekend knitting, taking classes, shopping and of course, eating! Did I mention knitting?

My Whip Your Knits into Shape class will help you hone your fit and teach you the little techniques that turn your knitting from frumpy to fabulous!

There will also be a wine and cheese reception, color class, trunk shows (including one from White Lies Designs),  and a knitting clinic  among other fun activites.

More information can be found at :

Edit:  Early bird discount!  Save $150 by booking this trip before May 1st!!!

Whip Those Knits in the Pacific Northwest!

October 6, 2008

Are you  tired of the garments you knit not fitting the way they should?

Middleford Yarns in Medford, Oregon will be hosting me for a “Whip Your Knits into Shape” workshop on November 7th and 8th.  This event will be in conjunction with the annual Ample Knitters Retreat

 Petite or plus-sized, if you’re a difficult fit in “off the rack” clothing, commercial patterns as written probably aren’t much better for you.  If you’re interested in customizing your knitting to really fit your body properly, this workshop will be just the thing. 

We’ll discuss short rows and interior dart shaping, and various ways to apply them to your knits for a perfectly fitting garment.

Participants will come also away from the workshop with a complete set of current measurements and a handy a “body sloper” which is a flat pattern on paper drawn to the dimensions of their body. This can then be used either to customize commercial pattern sizes according to the given schematics or to easily design garments from scratch.

Contact Middleford Yarns to reserve your spot for this useful workshop.
(541) 941-3332
P.S I’ll also be bringing along a White Lies Designs trunk show for your viewing pleasure!