Entries by Beverly Johnson

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, […]

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Binding Edges

The Yellow Polka Dot Bikini is almost done! In this post, join me as I add binding edges of both sides and bottom of the foam cup (the triangle cups from Bra-makers Supply to be exact) without using any special machines, just an ordinary ol’ straight stitch.    Binding edges with a regular machine is not difficult but it requires strips of spandex fabric […]

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Bottoms Up!

I finished sewing the Yellow Polka Dot Bikini bottoms this morning in class. All I had left to do after doing the stitch-and-flip lining ( you can see the post on that here) was to apply elastic to the waist and leg openings. As I mentioned in a previous post, Filpar swim elastic is my go-to […]

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Elasticated Straps

The thin straps you find on most bikinis from ready-to-wear have elastic inside. In fact, it is somehow stitched inside that fabric tube that makes the straps, but without the stitching showing on the outside of the tube. Some of you might think that you just make a fabric tube and thread the elastic through with […]

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Cup Covers

Now that the bikini bottoms are almost finished, it is time to start the cups and the cup covers. For this classic retro-styled Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, I am using the MT triangle cups from Bra-makers Supply. Even though foam cups would not have been used in the 1960s, today’s beach bunny wants form inside […]

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Stitch and Flip

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Stitch and Flip Today I started the Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. I used the Denise Swimsuit (view A – tank style) and cut the bottom off the tank suit for the bikini bottoms. The bottom of that suit is quite flattering and I thought it would lend itself well to a bikini bottom. I […]

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Polka Dot Fabric

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Polka Dot Fabric Do you remember the song from the 60’s “Itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini“? Well I do, and one thing has puzzled me for years. Was the “yellow polka dot bikini” in question made from fabric that had a yellow background with white or other colour of polka dot fabric? In […]

Magic from your Sewing Machine

Magic from your Sewing Machine I often issue a ‘ready-to-wear” challenge to the students in my professional bra-making classes. The assignment is to duplicate the look and styling of a ready-to-wear bra. Marsha Barr of Bra-voh Custom Bras was recently inspired by this RTW Freya Arabella Bra. I adore the look of this bra! Can you […]


Blog readers might want to know more about our famous Boob Camps. Yes, Boob Camp! Five days of sewing bras for yourself without the interruptions of your everyday life. No meals to prepare, no dogs/cats/kids/husbands wanting out/in/out/in etc. (cue the Angel choir here!) Just you and your sewing machine off to a mini getaway. You […]


Splitting the Lower Cup

Splitting the lower cup often allows better use of fabric when the quantity is tight. More importantly it allows you to change the DOGS for better support, especially on the heavier or larger breast. It is easy to split the lower cup and it does not matter if the original pattern is for a full […]

Canadian Band Stand

Canadian Band Stand The last time the big 4 (North American bra companies) sat down to “standardize” sizing (and I use that term very loosely) was in the 1970’s, when the “average” bra size was determined to be 34B. Now it’s up to 36C, and climbing. The outcome of the meeting was that there should […]

If I were stranded on a desert island

Years ago, I worked for a decorative embroidery thread company (Sulky) doing educational seminars all over Canada. I was, in Husqvarna VP of Education Sue Hausmann’s words, an “edu-tainer”. I used to use the phrase, “if I were stranded on a desert island….” and then I would go on to tell my audience about the […]

Fitting Room Confessions

Fitting Room Confessions I wish I could be a fly on the wall in a bra fitting room. I would love to hear what women really say (or think) when trying on bras in the dressing room. Given that 7 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra, I expect there might be fitting […]

The Beauty of Pantone

Ever wonder how manufacturers get all the colours in the materials they are buying, to match exactly?  They use a Pantone colour chart!  If you don’t know what a Pantone colour chart is, stick around while I show you the Beauty of Pantone! Pantone made a chart of over 1900 colours for fashion and home […]

Field trip to Ann’s

Swim Masters has started off well with a field trip to Ann’s Fabrics on the second day after all the swim theory on the first day. To say they were impressed with the selection and the prices is a BIT of an under statement! Here are the things they bought!

Better than B

Better than B I hear from lots of women with breasts better than B (let’s not call them “smaller”) who are totally frustrated when shopping for bras. If you a B-cup or larger, and reading this with a smirk, thinking – what do they have to worry about – let me enlighten you. A-cups and smaller […]

Underwire Size Chart

Underwire Size Chart On our website at www.bramakers.com, we have a complete underwire size chart, drawn out to their actual size, complete with measurements around the perimeter from tip to tip. If you print off these wire charts, you can match up a wire from your collection to see what size it is. If you […]