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Review: Collins All-Purpose Sewers Aid

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The most annoying thing in the world – skipped stitches. Also, thread that breaks mid sewing. Grrr! One of my students at the London workshop, Shiona, said she discovered a miracle in a (little) bottle – Collins All-Purpose Sewers Aid. A clear, non-staining lubricant, a drop on the needle, bobbin or thread eliminates skipped stitching. Used mostly for embroidery, it can also be used for garment and lingerie sewing.

I had to give it a try. I placed an order on Amazon (no affiliate links are used in this post) and have been using it for about a week. Not enough time to give a legit review, but I thought I would share and ask if you used it. If so, what did you think?

Giveaway: Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book

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I don’t think I have to tell you this – I don’t sew much clothing anymore. My sewing machine hasn’t seen the likes of a pant, a blouse or a dress in ages. I managed to sew a sequin skirt for the holidays, and then a coral pink skirt for my last bra workshop, but other than that, it’s been all lingerie, all the time. That doesn’t mean I don’t watch what’s going on in the “normal” clothing sewing sector.

One of the first sewing blogs I followed was Gertie’s. A newbie to sewing, I thought she was so cool with her tattoos and feminine, vintage garments. I still think she’s a pretty cool lady. So, even though we don’t sew the same type of garments, we’re both sewists, and I want to support a fellow seamstresses in any way I can. She just released a new book, Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Styles, and is a follow-up to her last two books – Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing and Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. The book contains 23 dress patterns and is full of a ton of techniques. It’s broken into two parts – the first half covers dressmaking skills such as basic dress construction, finishing details, fitting and working with special fabrics. The second half of the book covers actual projects. If you’re a fan of vintage styles from the 40s, 50s and 60s – this is right up your alley.

Bra Making With Madalynne: Recap

Yesterday’s Bra Making workshop was extra special. It was the one year anniversary of hosting my first one. On the same weekend last year, Bra Making with Madalynne became a thing. I had no idea if it would be a total flop or not, but here I am, in 2016, with many more planned for the year. A Philly bride-to-be just asked if I could host one for her bridal shower. What a neat idea, right?

Every class is different and the flow depends on the student’s personalities. I’ve had classes that were super chatty (we stayed until 7:00 PM because we couldn’t stop talking!), and I’ve had classes that were so focused (we finished at 4:30 PM and were leaving by 5). This class was a unique mix of folks. Some locals and some not. Amelia and Jody are related, and this was something fun the two could do together. Wish I could bring my brothers to a lingerie making class. Ying made a trip down from New York to help out and it was so great seeing her again. Also, having her there allowed everyone to get the attention they needed and deserved. Hands down, the highlight of the day was gifting a sewing machine to Jody. Spiegel’s was so kind to offer one machine to a student as a giveaway, and I can’t thank them enough for not only supplying machines for the class, but offering this awesome prize. Hint, hint – there might be more giveaways at future classes!

Madalynne Year In Review

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I am ending this year in a much different place than where I started. A year ago, I was uncertain. I was planning my first bra workshop, and to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure about it. I loved the idea, but I didn’t know if others would feel the same. Luckily, the classes have been a success, not to mention a ton of fun. There isn’t anything like it, at least I don’t think so, which is why you ALL should attend. Ahem…

In last year’s review, I wrote that I wanted to devote a lot of time to bra making and I think I did a damn good job at accomplishing that. What’s on the horizon for next year? From the way it looks now, 2016 is going to be great. Things could change, but that’s the current forecast. With that though, my life is going to get crazy and it will be important to stay focused. To keep my eye on the prize. When projects seem endless, when deadlines approach, and when I spend 4 times sewing the same hook + eye, here are the mottos I’m going to TRY to keep in mind…

Spiegel 60609 Sewing Machine Review

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Today, we live in a connected and an interactive world. More than ever, our phones, tablets and computers are by our sides constantly. Each is synced to one another, and we can access people, documents and photos in an instant. Personally, I don’t know what I would do without Dropbox; I have heart palpitations just thinking about it. The sewing industry has made strides to keep up with the pace of technology, Megan Nielsen’s app being just one example, and I believe we have made another giant step forward with the release of a new sewing machine – the Spiegel 60609. Made by Spiegel, a retailer with long history of innovation, the machine has WIFI technology and using their Spiegel Social Sewing App (available for both iPhone and Android) it can connect to your cell phone and tablets so that you can view and share what you’re sewing in real time on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope, etc. You know what that means? #sewingselfie

Review + Giveaway: Superior Threads

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When Superior Threads asked me if I was interested in testing their threads, I told them I most certainly was. I don’t put much thought into thread. I usually grab a spool of poly Coats and Clarks or something similar when buying fabric. Poly because I sew lingerie and the thread has a slight give. Woolly nylon was a new discovery – I wrote about it here – but I only use it for serging. So, yeh Superior Threads, why not expand my thread horizons?

My Favorite Etsy Lingerie Shops + Discounts

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Even though they’re our foundations, our bralettes, bandeaus, underwired bra, cheeky panty, or whatever lingerie you wear, are the unsung heroes of our closets. That shouldn’t be, because they’re our support systems. Literally.

As a follow up to my previous post about my favorite places to buy lingerie supplies on Etsy, below are my favorite up-and-coming lingerie shops. Unlike our underwear drawers, I giving them some lovin. And why not? They’re the ones that inspire me and keep my creative, bra making juices flowing.

How To Recycle Your Bras: The Bra Recyclers

Bras and underwear are simple wardrobe staples. There are a lot of percentages about how many women wear the wrong sized bra. My statistic is it’s A LOT. Here’s another accurate percentage – the number of women who have bras laying around in their drawers, unworn due to an ill-fit, is even higher. Elaine Birks-Mitchell founded The Bra