Entries by Beverly Johnson

Day 2 – Nina’s Arrival

Nina’s Arrival Back in the fall of 2013, I got a call from Margaret, of Bras Bold & Beautiful, asking if I still wanted a Bernina 930. Apparently she was teaching bra-making in Edmonton at Central Sewing Machines and one had just come in on trade. I said YES before I even asked what kind […]

Far, far away – Day 1 SSC

Today was the first day of the first bra class at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference (SSC). The class didn’t finish their bras but that’s not at all unusual. Tomorrow they will finish In the evenings, we always have some great group activities. Here is a view of Wendy’s portable store at SSC. She carries all […]

Saskatchewan Stitches!

If you have been reading this blog, you may remember that every year I go to the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference, which is held in a most unusual location – a monastery! Yes, a real monastery in downtown ( I am kidding!) Muenster, where the population doubles when the Conference is in town!I have been teaching […]

Re-purpose a Nifty Notion

Re-purpose a Nifty Notion If you own a cover stitch machine, you may be aware that it can do some amazing things. One of the things it can do is to make 3/4″ (18 mm) strapping for bathing suits, sundresses etc. A smaller version in a 3/8″ (9 mm) width is great for belt loops. To do […]

Lock Stitches, not Horns

Lock stitches, not horns In my cover stitch class, I often hear women say they have owned a machine for years, but it hasn’t been out of the box! Are we intimidated by this funny looking machine? Often, we don’t get lessons on the machine when we buy it. Or we get a quick lesson […]

Dyeing in the Kitchen

After the last post on dyeing, I thought I would share a list of the items that we have dyed successfully. Generally speaking, nylons and nylon/spandex blends dye very well, but so do some metals and plastics. Test to be sure. I have had some metal sliders and rings that would not dye, and others […]

Dyeing for Colour

Roses are redViolets are blueNo coloured elastics?Here’s what you do!Yes, you can create custom colours to match your fabrics so your elastics, findings and hardware will all be colour co-ordinated. Here’s a bra that started out as white fabric, white elastics and white lace. First let’s talk about the fabrics and findings that will dye […]

Countdown to Monastic Life

In 10 days, I will be leaving for my annual migration to the lovely rural hamlet of Muenster, Saskatchewan. There will be a surge in population that the town has come to expect at this time of year.  Like the annual migration of mallard ducks (oh yes, they arrive this time of year too!), hundreds […]

Solutions for Sloping Shoulders

When I look at all the cute bra fashions online and in magazines or catalogues, a lot of them have what is referred to as “wide set straps”. Look at the bra on the dress form below. This is a bra with wide set straps. The straps are set more toward the shoulders than it […]

Pirate’s Passion – the Sunburst Bra

Pirate’s Passion – the Sunburst Bra Pirating or knocking-off…those are both very strong words for the act of copying someone else’s lingerie designs. In fact, some would consider it stealing. Mostly, I agree with that, especially when it comes to patent infringement (well, some of you know why I feel that way!) But when I see […]


Do-it-yourself Breast Form

Do-it-yourself Breast Form After my rant yesterday, I thought I would share with you how to make a do-it-yourself breast form for yourself or someone you  care about. These breast forms are washable as well as being as light as you want them to be. You can swim in them or wear them in a […]

Rant of the week – Men Buy Better Breasts

Rant of the Week – Men Buy Better Breasts I am on a rant today. I have a student in my Boob Camp this week who has had a mastectomy, and she cannot afford to buy a prosthesis. What’s a prosthesis? Commonly known as a breast form, a breast prosthesis is generally worn by women who have had a […]

A Better, Wider Bra Back

I am sure everyone at some time has wished they could add a little more length to the back band of their bra. Especially if you have gained a little weight. And especially if you have gained a little weight, have vowed to get that weight back off, but in the meantime…refuse to buy a […]


Foam Cup Surgery

What can you do when the only foam cups in your size really aren’t the style you want? Today we had exactly that dilemma presented by a student in Boob Camp. The only cup that fit her was the balconette style in the size 52 (which means it is close to a 38G, or a […]

Stretch into Spring

The last few posts have been about tulles, those lovely embroidered meshy tulles that are so at home on an upper cup! But not everyone wants tulle all the time. Sometimes you just want a stretch lace. For panties to match your new bra, as just one example. Here are some stretch laces that are […]

Sew Hungry

Twice per year, in spring and fall, our street in the fabric district hosts Sew Hungry, a gathering of more than 30 food trucks from all over southern Ontario. (Personally, I think it should be called Sew Into Food, but I digress…) This week, we had students in for Design & Draft, and this was the […]

Taipei shopping experience

My last evening with the students ended on a high note, indeed. Vanessa very kindly offered to take me to the famous dumpling place in downtown Taipei for an authentic Taiwan upper class experience. Here is the Taiwan 101, which is the World. Trade. Centre, named in 2004 as the tallest building in the world. […]

Taipei’s Night Market

Last night, the teachers and students “conspired” to take me to the famous Night Market. This is a market that only starts up at 6 pm and carries on until midnight, each night. It is a very popular place for locals and tourists alike, and I can see why. With a carnival atmosphere, throngs of […]

Teaching in Taipei

I was invited to teach Bra Design & Draft at  Shih Chien University in Taipei and I have been here for a week. I had no idea of what to expect – I was only told they were fourth year students.  Also, two of the pattern drafting teachers were in on the class to evaluate […]

Move over Ottawa Street!

I have been very proud of the fact that Hamilton’s Ottawa Street was named Canada’s top shopping street, due partly to the abundance of fabric and antique shops within a few short city blocks. Yes, I counted 13 fabric shops between Barton and Cannon Street, so Ottawa Street definitely qualifies as the “fabric district”. However […]

To market, to market #1

Yesterday was a great day. Even though I am still screwed up over the time difference, I wanted to post the pictures I took . First after breakfast, I took some pictures of our very quiet street in front of the hotel. I expected the noise of traffic and throngs of people, but that was […]

I have arrived!

When I say, I have arrived, I mean that in both the literal and the figurative senses of the word. After 3 flights ( Toronto to Detroit, Detroit to Tokyo and lastly Tokyo to Taiwan) almost 18 hours in the air…I have arrived. After picking up my bags at customs (believe me it was a […]

Last minute stitchin’

Just finished my last minute sewing before my trip to Taiwan. I hemmed my new pants and sewed the pockets shut ( I always do that). I also put a clip on my airplane pillow so I can keep it fastened around my tote bag or suitcase. Also around my neck when sleeping on the […]

Countdown to Taiwan

This is it…the final days in Canada before I leave for Taiwan! Why am I going, you may ask?  Is it a buying trip – no, although I won’t completely rule out the possibility of going to the lace and fabric markets over there! pleasure trip – no, although I am very happy to be going bucket list […]


Happily Ever After – Sharon’s Corset

Happily Ever After – Sharon’s Corset My Once Upon a Time posts are geared toward showing some incredible vintage apparel. Happily Ever After is about being inspired by a vintage photograph or garment, and re-creating it in today’s fabric. Today’s post is seen through the eyes of Sharon Butler, of Tailor Chick Productions, in New York City. Here is the story […]

Corsetiere’s Course – Off to a Great Start

The Corsetiere’s Course started today! Our students will spend the time learning as many aspects of corset building as I can fit into the schedule. Everyone has different reasons for taking a course such as this, and our class this year is no exception. Some want to take this course so they can make custom […]

Once Upon a Time – Overwire Basque

Once Upon a Time – Overwire Basque Here’s a great vintage find – an OVERwire garment (as opposed to an UNDERwire garment) that one of my students brought in to a class. The length goes past the waist to the hips, so is it corset, a basque, or just a long bra? It definitely has bra […]

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Grand Finale

Now that the binding is finished, the bottom band can be sewn on and we will have our Yellow Polka Dot Bikini ready for the Grand Finale! Cut a strip of fabric at least 10″ (25 cm) longer than the total width of the two cups. We are going to use elastic across the bottom, […]