Top Row: Sue (Bra Builders), Alison (Sew Wardrobe), Lily (LilypaDesigns), Nikki (Sewing My Style), Helen (Nellie Joans)
Second Row: Hannah (Evie La Luve), Jennifer (Porcelynne), Liz (Liz Sews), Pamela (Pamela’s Patterns), Monica (Bravo Bella), Linda (Uplift Custom Bras)
Third Row: Margarita (Sew Intimates), Emma (Bra Builders), Maddie (Madalynne Intimates), Evyone (Sew Intimates), Masha (TITOV label), Carla (La Bella Coppia), Naomi (@naomipjohnson)
Bottom Row: Bodil (B. Wear), DeWahn (@sewdd1104), Jeanette (Sew Uplifting Custom Bras), Jennie (Annie and Myras)
I spend every day chirping with joy like a little cricket as I find beautiful fabrics, laces, elastics and tools for you. I am eager to give every budding bra builder the tools, materials and advice that I needed as I began my bra-making journey, and to support every bra builder as they create. I’m enough of an engineer to care very much that what you get works really well. I’m enough of an artist to care very much that it is beautiful. I’ve been working with fabrics and sewing for a very long time, so I choose the best that I can find.
Hi! My name is Maddie and I have a serious love affair with lace and lingerie. I am a 32 year old lingerie designer and sewing teacher who turned her dream of sewing and blogging into a passionate career. On most days, you’ll find me in my studio, located in Philadelphia, designing my next collection or teaching women how to make a perfectly fitted bra. My overarching vision is to provide women with feminine lingerie that is equally beautiful as it is functional, whether that be through sewing their own or buying from the market.
As an 8-year-old child at my grandmother’s knee, I begged her to teach me to sew on her broken machine. My grandmother’s spirit of determination was not going to stop her from teaching me this valuable craft. One hot summer day, she gathered me and some fabric and taught me how to make my first garment…by hand. Without the use of a machine, I cut and created about 10 halter tops and was the most fashionable little girl on the block. After my halter top creation, I spent years dismantling and upcyling my old clothes, creating styles that caught everyone’s eye. I got my first sewing machine at 12 years old and I’ve been sewing ever since.
I followed my dreams and spent 30 years in the fashion industry in retail, merchandising and sales. I have been taught by some of the top designers in the industry and I want to share what I have learned over the decades with you. Consider this your invitation into the community that I have built!
Learn to sew your own style, including Sewing Lessons LIVE! In the Zoom Sewing Room with me: Nikki G of Sewing My Style!
Carla Musarra-Leonard dreamed of designing garments when she was a little girl. Life took her in another direction, but after her nest emptied she decided it was time. In 2010, she taught herself how to sew. Lingerie education was hard to come by, so she mostly learned by taking apart bras and studying their construction and grading. When she finally started to draft her own bras, she struggled but persevered and finally, on her 33rd attempt, she got a good fit.
Now she makes large cup bras under her own label, La Bella Coppia. She recently published her Josey Plus bra pattern as a follow up to the Josey pattern along with her online course Making the Josey and Josey Plus bras. She recently teamed up with Evyone Credle and Margarita Sheflyand to form Sew Intimates, LLC, and will be producing more patterns available in the near future. This is Carla’s first time at the Bee, and she couldn’t be happier to participate.
Alison Smith, the UK’s premier teacher of dressmaking, tailoring and corsetry and couture techniques, isn’t only an online sewing teacher, she is also a best-selling author having sold over half a million copies of her book “The Sewing Book”. When she isn’t writing books or running her fabulous retail fabric shop, Sew (your own) Wardrobe, Alison participates in many sewing shows around the UK and writes regularly in sewing magazines. Alison has always been passionate about sewing and loves to teach people how to create beautiful clothes that fit perfectly!
I absolutely love sewing and I love sewing lingerie in particular, so when Lynda of ‘Elle-Joans’ asked me if I’d like to take over her online lingerie supplies business then it was a no brainer.
It was perfect timing. I had recently decided to wrap up my 15 year long career in landscape design but quickly found myself getting restless being at home with nothing to do but housework. My skills definitely lie in sewing and not sweeping! I was needing a new way to engage my brain and creative flair.I remember when I first became interested in sewing my own lingerie and how bewildering it all seemed to be. I sketched up a large image of a bra and with every blog or book I read I added more and more notes and question marks to it….powernet / powermesh??? Frame / cradle??? Tricot??? What was all this new terminology and fabric?
Pamela Leggett, national sewing/fitting instructor and pattern designer/owner for Pamela’s Patterns, started sewing lingerie in the 70’s for small boutiques in the Chicago area that catered to the disco and punk party scene. Lingerie was just starting to be worn as street wear, and Pamela refurbished vintage slips that she bought in thrift stores into unique one-of-a-kind camisoles. A few years later, she started teaching lingerie classes using Kwik Sew and Stretch & Sew patterns to her customers at the sewing store she managed in Connecticut. Teaching and developing skills for making lingerie has become a part of Pamela’s teaching schedule ever since. When she started her pattern company, she knew lingerie and shapewear patterns would have a place in her pattern line-up. What does Pamela love most about sewing her own lingerie? How easy it is to fit and sew, and how little fabric is required – truly economical!
AnnieandMyras was named as a tribute to my two grandmothers who taught me to sew. Having made my first dress with Myra at age eight, I have since created many things with various different styles of needle and thread.
I enjoy an advanced level of construction detail, and creating garments with unusual and sometimes whimsical/quirky fabrics, but still retaining a level of elegance and style.
Over the years I have enjoyed many modalities….weddings, men’s tailoring ( I learnt men’s patternmaking during a private order dressmaking certificate at TAFE in the early 1990s), millinery, but most recently I have re-ignited my passion for lingerie. I am also starting to learn shoemaking.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to sew – as a child I remember playing dress up with my dolls creating many outfits for them.
In the 24 years that followed my sewing pursuits have included many aspects of garment making but my primary focus and passion is lingerie, jeans, jumpsuits, bags, and jackets/coat making. My bra making journey began 10+ years ago when I took a class sponsored by the Baltimore chapter of the ASG. After a day and a half of class instruction, I completed my very own bra. It fit and an entire new world began!!! I really enjoy making custom bra and panty sets, the options are endless.
I am a member of Black Women Stitch and am passionate about educating women about how to make their own bras. I recently spoke on the “Yes YOU Can Make a Bra” episode of the Stitch Please Podcast
Monica is a self-proclaimed geek, teacher, a mother to two wonderful boys (Ben Michael & Sam). She has a B.A., a B.S., and is credentialed to teach physics, chemistry, and math. Monica’s educational background and experience has allowed her to approach the pattern making and design process from a very scientific angle. To her, patterns are nothing more than complex mathematical nets and a bra is an engineered structure designed to support mass.
BravoBella combines Monica’s love of science, sewing, and teaching. She considers herself a teacher at the core of her being and hopes to empower her customers through her classes and instructional materials.
Outside of BravoBella and teaching, you can find Monica spending quality time with her family, training as a black belt martial artist, or hanging with her sewing group over a glass of wine.
I am a mother to a beautiful little stubborn redheaded child. She is the reason I do the things I do today. My daughter is my inspiration and I, hers. I started my business over 18 years ago and never envisioned it evolving the way it has. I was 26 when I started my path as a lingerie designer in San Francisco. I learned how to do things the hard way, or the wrong way. I struggled as a starving artist, worked 3 jobs while sewing all night and peddling my wares.
I have grown as a designer and small business owner over the years. I use my pattern releases as a way to design and have others wear my designs. I am actively creating sewing and drafting courses, books and videos to further the education of others.
Evyone Credle is an Intimates apparel design expert who began her training at the High School of Fashion Industries, where she graduated in 1971 with a focus on Women’s Tailoring & Special Machine Operations. There she fell in love with the intricacies of intimate apparel design. She moved directly into the industry working for major brands across all areas of the technical design development. Her first job in the industry was as a sample maker, and she loved it!
Now 50 years later, she’s still in love with the industry, and is still learning something new every day. She started her own company in 1993. Evyone’s Design Services catered to busty, well-endowedwomen, DD cups and up, in a wide range of bands.
In 2018, she partnered with her great friend and co-worker, Margarita Sheflyand to form Apparel Intimates, LLC. In 2020, she and Margarita partnered Carla Musarra-Leonard, of La Bella Coppia to form a new company: Sew Intimates, LLC, and will be producing home sewers patterns in the near future, starting with the Infinity wireless bra patterns.
My mother is what I would consider to be a serious sewer. Her flight of fancy is quilting. While I never quite took to quilting ( though I like designing the quilts) she dutifully taught me how to sew on her 1970 Singer Creative Tough 1030. I remember my first project was this pink and blue pillow case. I remember thinking it took forever. Maybe I only worked on it for one weekend, who knows, but I never really got into it, or understood how my mom could spend so many hours hand quilting in the corner of our living room.
Fast forward 15 years. I was watching the Great British Sewing Bee and suddenly got the urge to sew again. I dusted off my sewing machine ( the same 1979 Singer) and suddenly it clicked. I understood the urge for the project itself and the work it entailed not just the finished product. This is where my blog story begins.
Naomi’s godmother, a multimedia artist, taught her to sew handmade dolls as a young girl at summer camp. Her godmother gifted a sewing machine for her 30th birthday. For a couple of years, it sat unopened until one day when she stumbled across sewing tutorials on YouTube.
Naomi is a mom always and a teacher by day. She has an after-school sewing club at the elementary school where she works. She teaches garment making and leads A weekly “Sewcial Club” and summer camp at an independent fabric shop in the DC Metropolitan Area.
Cultivating the local sewing community is a passion. Together with two DC Area fabric stores, Naomi hosted the 1st wildly successful DC Frocktails party, celebrating DC Area makers and sewists.
Strict adherence to the DC Stay-at-Home order presented an opportunity for Naomi to try lingerie sewing under the guidance of fellow Black Women Stitch member and Great Sewing Bee panelist DeWahn Coburn. She made her first bra and was instantly hooked!
As a mutifarious mommy, I’ve had my hand in crafting, sewing, and drawing for as long as I can remember. It never occurred to me to sew bras until the need arose despite 20+ years of experience. One taste and I was hooked.
While the creative aspect of sewing and designing bras appealed to me, the psychological effects of a well fitting bra were astounding. It also sparked a need to share knowledge, create new pattern designs, and teach others. LilypaDesigns is the culmination of my experiences as a credentialed math teacher, cosplayer, crafter and entrepreneur.
I have always loved to sew, and I really love a challenge, so I was the first to sign up when I saw an ad for a bra-making course. To my unbelievable surprise, I was able to sew a really comfortable bra that also happened to look great. The best part was that it made the girls look absolutely fabulous.
So I took it to the harshest critics I could find: everyday people in everyday bras. I tested it out on a few friends and they unanimously agreed – it was the most comfortable bra they had ever worn. Silhouettes were sleeker, curves were curvier, and perkiness was off the charts. Friends told friends and a custom bra salon was born in what is now my sewing studio in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
25 years ago I found myself braless because I didn’t fit (still don’t) in any of the RTW bras in the store, so my husband made me try a bra pattern, Kwik Sew I believe it was and it turned out to be too big and my interest for bra making was born. When it comes to bra making I am from self-taught and one of the women who learned by doing over and over again :). Soon I found myself sewing bras for my friends, friends friends and soon to people I didn’t know either. 🙂
Nearly ten years ago I started European Bra Summit, a week full of guest teachers here in Stockholm, teaching their specialties or only me. Today I am mostly teaching and taking care of my online store and this year I also get a helping hand from our daughter Angelica, between her day job and her family. When I opened B,Wear 11 years ago I wanted to share with others the items from my sources I thought had the best quality and I only sell fabrics, laces and notions I use myself and customer bra makings.
Evie La Lùve is an online retailer of lingerie sewing patterns, kits and supplies, based in the UK and shipping worldwide. We strive to make sewing lingerie accessible to anyone who wishes to learn, through online video tutorials and patterns with lots of variations, from simple styles to more advanced. We also stock co-ordinating lingerie specific fabrics, elastic, findings etc. as well as kits, to make shopping for supplies as simple as possible.
I studied to be an architect/engineer for many years in Russia not knowing when I moved to the United States, I would take my previous studies and transform that knowledge to designing intimate apparel and swimwear for women and men.
I worked more than 25 years in NYC for big apparel intimates companies creating and developing many iconic underwear garments such as “Cross Your Heart” Playtex, “Tisha Bra” Le Mysterie, “Fabulous Fit” by MaidenForm etc., and becoming an expert at designing, patternmaking, fitting and grading. I love working on pieces that have special projects like plus sizes, augmented breasts, mastectomy and maternity.
A few years ago, we decided to open up Apparel Intimates, LLC. to share our knowledge and help entrepreneurs kickstart their dreams; mentoring and working with women who need consulting on ongoing projects, patent procedures, sourcing help and advising on manufacturing — because you never know when your home sewing project will become the next “Lift your cup” or “Shapewear impossible.”
Recently, we have teamed up to form Sew Intimates, LLC., working together to produce the first at home professional sewing kit and patterns for plus sizes.
I have been sewing and crafting most of my life. A number of years ago I decided to start knitting lessons in High Level, Alberta with alterations and hemming on the side. The sewing took over and I enjoy nothing more than helping a client achieve the perfect fit.
When a client asked me about fitting a bra, I didn’t realize the road I was on. It started with me learning to sew my own bra and then took me to Hamilton where I achieved my Professional Bra Maker certificate along with learning industry secrets to intimate apparel.
Making great fitting bras for others allows me to share the fit, comfort and style one gets with a great fitting bra.
Teaching others to sew their own great fitting bras and swimwear is very gratifying. I teach with Beverly Johnson at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference and assisted her in Sweden at the European Bra summit.
I grew up sewing with my mom since I was about six years old. By the time I was nine I loved sewing so much that I had a sewing themed birthday party. I remember my cake had a spool of magenta thread on it and I thought it was incredible.
I have had the pleasure of taking this bra sewing conference from a dream to a reality for my summer internship. From coordinating with our incredible teachers to building this website I have enjoyed watching it all come together. I hope you enjoy the Sewing Bee!
Masha Titova is a fashion designer who was born in Boston, raised in Moscow and consulted in Los Angeles. After working for Kanye West and BCBGMaxazria she took the leap and moved back to Boston where she officially launched TITOV in 2019. Pulling from inspiration from living around the world, she’s able to cater to a unique customer with one of a kind designs. She’s motivated by wanting every woman feeling like what they are wearing is made for them. She is a member of Rebecca Minkoff’s Female Founders Collective, and has been featured in The Boston Globe & NBC10.