December 2022 News Update

It has been quite a long time since I have sent a newsletter. I think the last one I sent was about 4 years ago. A lot has changed in 4 years. We just relaunched our website and have made a lot of changes. But the first major one is that we are verifying email addresses. This has a lot to do with keeping scammers off our website and its also in place to prevent people from trying stolen credit cards on our website. Yes, that happens. It happened a few times in the past few years, but luckily we spotting it and refunded the transactions as soon as we noticed them.

We have a new website

My wonderful hubby got so tired of updating our old website built with Zencart, that he decided it was better to build me a website from scratch. This process started as a pet project about a year ago, but then became his full time job for me earlier this year.

His pet project became my “honey do” Wishlist. I wanted the site to be easier to navigate and something we could build upon over time. As you will be able to see, its more mobile friendly and product listings are combined so its easier to scroll through what I have. I have about 4000 SKUs and counting, so it can be difficult to find things.

I combined rings, slides and hooks so they are in one listing based on size. No more searching for all the hardware that is 1/2” anymore. Its in one listing. I did the same for the elastics and several other items on the website. I have plans to tackle a few more sections, but the important ones are done. We also took all new photos. That was a huge task, but worth it. I think it looks so much nicer.

With the new website we also combined our wholesale site with our retail site. We made it so if you have a wholesale account, you can purchased some wholesale and some retail in the same order. It is also much easier to apply for a wholesale account. In your account, you can apply and include the required info for wholesale purchases. This is available for resellers, small businesses and teachers. If you think you qualify, apply and we will review your application.

You can also apply to receive affiliate commissions for links you share of our products. That’s a pretty easy application process as well. Once you are approved, you can click the share link from any product and the coded is automatically added to the link. You can request store credit for your commissions or request payments with PayPal.

You can also apply to be a tester for my patterns. I currently organize my testers with a Facebook group, but a lot of the process is now in my website and hopefully soon, the whole process. After the Facebook fiasco, I lost access to a lot of my organized groups, so we are quickly working on a solution.

I am also now offering a discount for all my patrons from Patreon, so if you shop often, you might want to check it out and offer monthly support for my work, plus get a discount on some of your purchase. Check out Patreon for more details

We have Grown

In the past few years, we have grown in more ways than one. Some of you may have seen updates in my social media, but here is the story.  While the pandemic devastated so many businesses, we were some of the luck ones. The lack of masks in the beginning meant a huge demand for elastic. I quickly blew through my large back stock of elastics. My connection with factories was greatly beneficial in that I was able to keep the elastic flowing when a lot of big businesses couldn’t.

This provided us with a little extra cushioning for our business and made another opportunity available to us. About 5 months into the pandemic, I was connected with an individual who had acquired the entire contents of a factory storage unit. The contents included all the materials from a Fredericks of Hollywood production run that didn’t happen probably somewhere in the mid to late 90s when they sent all their manufacturing overseas. Luckily this unit was climate controlled, so everything remained intact over the 25 years living in storage.

Then came the opportunity. I purchased a large trailer’s worth of the fabrics and supplies and on our way home, I decided to offer her a lump sum for the remainder of it. After a little negotiation, I secured the remainder of it. I arranged for 3 U-Haul Uboxes to be dropped off to my new friend and she proceeded to pack it all up and send it on its way to me. The boxes arrived in Florida a few weeks later, but I had no space to put it. While they sat in storage, I searched for a light industrial warehouse that I could move it into. Mind you, that I was shipping everything for my business from a 10×5 foot closet at this point.

I found a 1200 square foot warehouse and the move in proceeded. I hired a team of 5 out of work ladies in my community and they helped me tackle all of it. It took us 2 months to sort through and inventory. Plus another 3 months to photograph and get everything listed online. That was exhausting. Once that task was completed, I worked out of that warehouse every day. I had an employee here and there to help out for the following year then I found Bhakta. Bhakta is amazing and joined my staff back in March of this year. He has become a fixture at Porcelynne and I really could not do any of this without him.

He started as part time, but has pretty much been full time ever since. I brought on a few other helpers as well, a graphic designer, an editor, a stock room employee and another pattern maker. It has been a busy couple years but it doesn’t seem to be letting up yet.

New Patterns

I have been actively working on growing my pattern business. A year ago I released the Jackie Sports Bra and added a flat cup option as well as a youth version. I then worked on reworking my Emily Tank and Brief to refine the fit and added a 3rd pattern to the collection in the way of the Emily Pant. These are great basics and also helped me refine my grading for these types of garments. Shortly after the release I began reworking my Rachel Tank and Panty set. I just re-released these patterns last week and I’m really happy with how they turned out. All these patterns go up to a 63” hip and 61” bust. Both tanks have 6 cup options including a flat cup, A/B, C/D, E/F, G/H and I/J cup. I updated all the youth patterns as well as my daughter loves to have everything I have. Although she won’t be wearing youth patterns for too much longer.

New products

I have so many new products it’s a little hard to keep track of, but some of the biggies are my kits. Bra kits, panty kits, tank kits and sports bra kits. Not to mention all the new fabrics and laces. Its been a busy year. I’m most proud of the bra making kits. Our website makes the compilation of a bra making kit really custom. I have separate component kits for bra making, including strap kits, elastic/casing kits and fabric kits. Purchasing a kit has 4 components to it, including the fabric kit, strap kit, elastic kit and hook and eye, all which you can pick the width and size of each to really customize your own kit.

Take a look around our website to see all the new stuff including all the new markdowns in Clearance.

The Future

If you haven’t noticed yet, we are growing on all sides. The supply side and the pattern side are truly becoming their own beings. My warehouse employees keep the supply side in check as I have been working on growing the pattern side. I am presently working on a few bras and bralettes as I have declared 2023 to be the “Year of the Bra.” I am really excited to share these projects with you as I’m sure you will love them as much as me.

I have also been working on a new book on garment sloper creation and a course to go with it. I unfortunately don’t have enough hours to do all the things I want to do, so those will likely not be completed for another year, but who knows, my new helpers on the pattern side might help me get there faster.

We are also going to work on organizing some in-person classes for next year, but more on that later. My goal will be to send out a monthly newsletter instead of one every 4 years! We will see how that goes for me.

If you stuck through this with me, congrats, give yourself a cookie. You deserve it. I appreciate all of you and hope that you have a wonder remainder of 2022 and a fabulous new year. With that said, expect to get another newsletter at the end of the year or early next year on all we have in store for you.


My Facebook was Hacked

I feel like this was heading my way. I’ve been researching solutions so I can organize my testing groups outside of Facebook, but I just wasn’t fast enough. I somehow got hacked.

I was forced into 2-factor authentication about a month ago and it seems to have made things less secure. I was able to download my FB data this morning and my husband scrolled through the data and showed a log in from Miami, then Orlando then Connecticut using the same cookie. The kicker? It was never authenticated with 2-factor.

I’m not sure what they posted, but whatever they posted, they managed to set up an advertisement and advertise it, spending $250. I got a notice that I posted inappropriate content and that my account has been disabled then immediately got charged $250. I have contested my suspension and disputed the charges, but I’m at a loss. I read about this happening to small businesses everywhere and it never getting resolved.

I had all sorts of plans today – film a new Patreon video, film a new YouTube video sharing all my exciting news. Instead this happened. I absolutely hate that my business is so intertwined with Facebook that this is causing me real problems. There are a lot of people who depend on me in my Facebook groups and I’m locked out of all of it.

I have 3 Facebook groups that are actively testing patterns, books and courses and I can’t communicate with any of them right now. I have the contact info for some of the group members, but not all of them. I have had testers reviewing a course I did and I had been waiting until I had the time to start reviewing the posts, but now I can’t review any of it and all the post have been removed.

I’m going to turn off the computer for the day and hope that the web fairies fix this by the time I open it back up.

Playing Around With the Versatile Jackie Sports Bra

Guest Post by Ree of Fiery Darts

First things first—it’s the initial step that I sew, and the foremost thing that deserves a mention: the straps on the Jackie sports bra are amazing. These are definitely straps that I am going to hack into any other pattern that I can. They incorporate two different fabrics as well as strap elastic, so they are visually striking and give you a chance to continue design choices in an area of the make that is sometimes taken for granted. They are adjustable, and they are padded. A layer of foam padding is suggested, and if you have findings large enough to accommodate the foam, I highly recommend it! But even if your straps are thinner and only stabilized with non-stretch fabric (I used quilting cotton on one of mine), the cushion of fabric layers on the shoulders, and for me, my bony clavicle, is worth the extra effort.

Now more broadly, a sewing pattern is an investment: time, energy, materials, and purchase cost. It’s great when that investment pays off. Some patterns are quick and simple, and so a little victory makes a small investment worthwhile. The Jackie Sports Bra is a larger time investment than some other patterns, and requires a few more materials than other patterns might, but the investment pays big dividends because this sports bra has so many options and extra features. If some of the techniques involved are new to you, then your payoff is doubled: you’ve developed new skills and created a versatile, functional, and comfortable sports bra!

The options with the Jackie are many, and the fact that Porcelynne’s sports bra collection is interchangeable really expands those possibilities. I had the opportunity to test this pattern, and I made four different versions of the Jackie, and I still have more combinations that I want to try. For me, it worked well to “level up” gradually. My first make was an over-the-head version where I omitted the central zipper and treated the cut line in the middle piece as a fold line. I followed Jennifer’s blog post where she outlines this version, and I recommend doing so if you are in the mood for a pull-over Jackie, as some of the construction steps are different than in the main pattern. This is because in the main Jackie style, we use the opening between the main and lining layers at the zipper to turn the work inside out. I used a simple cotton jersey for my main fabric and my lining, and this worked well for me, since I don’t need a huge amount of support.

For my next make, I put in the zipper front, and this main feature of the Jackie will be a welcome option for many people who struggle to pull tight sports bras over their heads, or who just don’t like to do so. I used a scuba lined with stretch net, and I sewed the zipper shield option. This is the option I will return to next time I make a straight-forward Jackie. The zipper shield is an easy construction, gives a smooth inner layer of protection, and is flexible.

This was my first time shortening a zipper, and I was a bit nervous at the outset. I had watched all of Jennifer’s tutorial videos, which I highly recommend doing, so I knew what to expect. I was worried that I was going to break or ruin something, but once I dove in, the process went smoothly and snipping the zipper teeth was surprisingly therapeutic. For this step, you will need to make sure to have all the needed materials. I had some zipper stops to add to the zipper once I cut it down, some pliers and snippers, and something to carefully melt the nylon to keep it from fraying. Having the right kind of zipper is important here; the instructions call for molded plastic or resin teeth. A metal or coil zipper would have been difficult to deal with.

Once I had completed a successful zipper front, I was ready to try the hook-and-eye tape option. I also upgraded my fabric on this one, using some of the nylon spandex athletic fabric available in the Porcelynne shop (this fabric was provided for me). The hook-and-eye tape option will be really useful for many people, as it allows the bra to hold in position while the zipper is secured. It turns out for me, though, and likely for some others in my (smaller) size range, the zipper tape isn’t necessary. I barely had room for two hooks, and the construction is more difficult in my opinion than the shield. Here is another point where knowing what works best for you will guide which option you select. The Jackie sports bra is thoughtfully constructed so that there are plenty of possibilities to customize according to your needs, and for many people, the added security and stability of the hook and eye will be worth the extra effort.

I had to be meticulous working with this fabric, but I definitely felt that effort was worthwhile. It is lightweight, but strong and supportive and feels great.

After having worked through the standard construction options, and three different fabric combinations, I felt ready to play with the pattern. The Porcelynne sports bra patterns are drafted to all be compatible with each other, which means you can take one front style, another band style or strap or back style, and mix them up. There is also a tankini add-on which works with all the sports bras in place of the band. For my mash up, I used the Jackie front with the zipper, and of course the Jackie straps, but then I used the back from the Laurel pattern, and added the tankini. I used some nylon spandex (holographic silver!) and some swim fabric and lined the top with an athletic mesh (bright orange!).

I decided to hack the tankini to take my zipper all the way down, and then decided that the zipper shield going the full length of my torso was more bulky than I wanted, so I ended up taking out the shield. The zipper on it’s own is totally fine for me, but I do think that next time I will try adding a little tab and snap at the top.

There are a few reasons why there are more tankini hacks in my future: first, the style lines of the Jackie are interesting enough that I don’t necessarily want them covered up, but I’m not one for an exposed stomach. Also, this tankini add-on has pockets! They are inconspicuous, covered and deep enough that I could slide in a driver’s licence, a key, or a credit card and go for a jog or out to a waterpark. It would be easy to add an interior snap or some sort of further security if I planned to swim, since the tankini portion is a somewhat loose fit on me. Knowing that there are still more styles to try, more fabrics to use, and more details to perfect makes my time investment in the Jackie sports bra certainly worthwhile.

Fiery Darts is a special needs parent who finds respite and therapy in sewing and collecting vintage sewing machines. She has been sewing for over twenty-five years and loves that there is still so much more to learn and explore.

What is Wire Spring?

It has been a long 8 months since my last post. I can’t even begin to explain why I haven’t written more often, it has been a busy year. More on that on another day….

What is wire spring and why does the mention of it start a war between pattern makers, experts and sewers?

Wire spring refers to an underwire changing from its manufactured shape into an expanded, stretched shape. The natural wear of a bra springs a wire no matter how the bra was designed, this spring is caused by the pulling of the back band to make the bra fit snugly. The amount of pulling on the wire can vary vastly based on the bra itself.

Where opinions vary is whether wire spring should be built into bras or should bras be designed for the natural shape of the wire. To address both opinions, let’s start with wire spring being built into a bra pattern.

In ready to wear bras, spring is built in, but the entire band and frame are generally made in stretch fabrics. The stretch of the wire and the stretch of the band allow the cups to fit more people. (You may even find that the cups have stretch too, opening up the fitting to even more people.) Bra fitters are trained to fit you into a bra, not make a bra fit you.

Some pattern makers take this same philosophy in designing their own patterns. The more spring you have, the more likely you will be able to fit multiple people.

Now the case for no wire spring. If you are making a custom bra or having one made for you, the bra is being designed for you, not you and the next 20 people. Because you are having something custom, you can match the wire to the shape of your breast root, making for a perfect molded shape of your body.

The breast root is the mammary fold between breast tissue and the body. For some people this is more defined than others. Those people with younger, perkier breasts can find this definition fairly easily, but for those with more fleshy pancakes (like yours truly), it is a little harder.

For those of us who have very deflated breasts, whether its from breast feeding, age or weight, raising your arm will help you find a line for your wire on the side of your breast. The wire helps define the shape and places an edge to your breast.

The difference between underarm fat and breast tissue is not a lot different. Because of that, you will hear people argue that the fat under your arm and on your back is breast tissue. It is only tissue. The breast has a mammary gland with padding of tissue over it. Whether it all fits in the cup or into the band is really up to the end user’s definition of comfort and fit. If someone is insistant on training their back fat to fit in their bra cup, then the definition of where that wire sits will not be the same as someone who accepts that the fat should stay where it currently resides.

If someone wants to train their fat, let them, it doesn’t hurt you and the stupid arguments people have because of it is just unheathly to your own mental health. The idea of bra training is no different than waist training for a corset. They are forcing the skin, organs and fat to relocate to other desirable locations. For someone like myself, I accept where the fat lives, but I make a supportive bra band that holds it in place rather than pushing it out. Sometimes that means that the band needs to be taller and wider to achieve this.

Now back to the discussion of wire spring. There is a balancing act that happens in a bra, the breast fills the cup and where the wire sits is up to the bra, whether the placement is right next to the breast without spring, or sprung to fit on the side of the breast.

The arguments seem to touch on completely different subjects. One being custom fit and one being for the masses. There are different reasons to do different pattern drafting. An individual will determine their own comfort level in wearing bras. If wires slowly move down the body, it can poke and prod bones and nerves. This is the reason a lot of pattern makers will also include how to customize the pattern to fit the individual. This is where the concept of getting a wire to fit your root comes into play. That wire, as long as it fits your shape unsprung, is fine to use unsprung. But a wire that needs to spring to fit the root, will need that spring built into the pattern to teach the wire where to sit.

The most important thing with wire placement is that the wire does not sit on the mammary gland at all, no matter what, no exceptions! This can cause mastitis and can be very painful and dangerous expecially for pregnant women.

Ok, so you are now asking, do I add spring or not? The answer is to make a fitting band and make sure the wire is sitting where you want it to sit. Its too hard to determine that if you are also sewing the cups in on the first fitting. If the wire must spring open by a large amount, it can put strain on the wire causing the stress point to get annealed (soft) and eventually snap. If this is the case, try locating a different wire that has the end shape you need.

Here is a little tip as well, you can reshape a wire to a different shape about once in its lifetime. This means that you can make your wire wider permanently, as long as you do not spring that wire more than basic wear and tear of a bra. Changing the shape once isn’t enough to destroy the metal, but repeated stress on the wire will.

While I am covering all these controversial subjects, let’s touch on the argument that the wire is the cantilever of the bra. To be clear, the entire bra is a cantilever. The bra needs all parts to function equally to support the breast up in the air and balanced on the body. The cantilever is the full contraption. Just as a bridge can be a cantilever, it contains more than one metal post to hold it up, there are trusses and girters that all contribute to the function of a cantilever bridge.

The comparision of a well fitted bra versus a poorly fitting bra, is similar to a bridge that isn’t designed for its function. A rope bridge won’t hold a car and a giant steel struction is overkill for a footbridge. A bralette would not be considered a cantilever since the support of the bra is held between the band, cups and the straps. A well fitting bra acts as a cantilever, only needing the body to support it, meaning the straps are only there for a little reinforcement and do not function to hold the bra up.

A well built bra doesn’t even need a wire or could do without one. Just remember that underwires weren’t regularly used in daily wear bras until the 1960s and bras have been around since ancient Greek and Roman times. Mind you that bras back in ancient times were not supportive, but just because someone convinced the entire industry to use wires does not mean they are 100% necessary, nor is the concept of using sprung underwires for every occasion.

How to Make a Plaster Cast of your Breast Root

Slight nudity warning!

Guest Blog Post By: Anne Bertha

I’ve been making bras now for two years. Very soon in that process, people told me that the first thing you should do is search for a wire that fits you. Well, that proved to be very difficult. By now I have a whole range of different sizes and styles of wires, but none of them really seem to fit me. After noticing a post on Facebook of someone who made a plaster cast of her ribcage and seeing the transformation in bra fit, I decided to make my own plaster cast. This is the tutorial.

You will need:

  • Plaster gauze. For a cast of one underbust, I used 2 rolls of 3 m by 7.5 cm (3.3 yds by 3 inches).
  • Scissors, to cut the plaster gauze in pieces.
  • Latex (or other) gloves. It gets real messy.
  • Petroleum jelly or olive oil. You want the cast to come off your body easily. For my first try, I used petroleum jelly and for the second one, I used olive oil. I must say I liked the olive oil better. It’s just easier to wash off afterwards.
  • A bucket (not the best one you have).
  • Towels (not the best ones you have) or a sheet of plastic to cover your working station.
  • Preferably a person to put the cast on you. It can be done by yourself, but that makes it much harder.

When doing my cast, I stood in the bathtub. There will be splashing of plaster drops, so make sure you think about that beforehand. A day after making the cast, I still find plaster spots everywhere in my bathroom.

How to do it:

1. Gather all of your materials, and put them near you. Make a working station, preferably at a convenient height. Especially when you do your cast yourself, you don’t want to move too much or else the cast in progress will also move.

2. Cut up the plaster gauze in pieces of different lengths. When doing a cast of your whole underbust, make sure you have two piles, one for each underbust. That way the cast will more likely be evenly thick around.

3. You want to wear as little clothes as possible. I advise a bikini bottom which will wash out easily. If the side of your breast crease is hard to identify like mine, mark it with a (non-permanent) marker.

4. Fill the bucket with water of the temperature indicated on the plaster gauze packaging.

5. Find a comfortable position. This can be seated or standing, try to sit or stand as naturally as possible.

6. Put on the gloves. Time to do this!

7. Apply vaseline or olive oil (I recommend olive oil after doing this a second time) to your underbust, it’s best to cover a slightly larger area to be sure it will all come off easily. It’s best to be thorough but don’t add a layer that’s too thick because otherwise the plaster won’t stick well and slide down.

8. Pick up a piece of the plaster gauze, put it in water and take it out. Run it through two fingers so the excess water comes off, and stick it to your body.

9. Repeat to cover the whole area you want a cast of. Work sequentially from one side to another, and work as fast as possible. How quickly the plaster dries depends on a lot of factors, but mine did that quite fast.

10. You’ll notice at some point that the cast will start feeling loose, that’s a sign it’s drying. I followed the instructions on the plaster gauze so I stood for about a quarter in the bathtub waiting for the cast to be dry enough to be taken off my body.

11. If you want some additional dryness, take out the hairdryer and apply some heat to both the outside and the inside (if you can reach it) of the cast.

12. Gently put the cast somewhere it can dry completely. Depending on thickness, this might take up to 48 hours. Make sure to flip it carefully once one side is dry.

13. Take a good look at your own plaster imprint! You can’t see my smile on the picture but it was quite large.

Notes: the type of plaster gauze varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. I first tried making a cast using rolls from the hobby shop for this tutorial, for my second one I used rolls from the pharmacy. Those were substantially softer before use and harder set after use.

Anne’s Alternative Tests on Getting the Right Wire Trace

Guest Author Post By: Anne Bertha

While some people find their wire shape and size easily, it can prove to be a real challenge for others. There are some other ways you can make this process easier. All the methods have one idea in common: to make a mould of your ribcage so you can decide which wires are the best fit. There’s always a compromise to be made between ease, cost and accuracy.

I will be discussing the pros and cons of three methods: using masking tape, tin foil and making a plaster cast. Finally, I’m showing you my root trace on paper.

First up: masking tape mould.

The idea behind this one is quite simple: by sticking layers of masking tape to your body and carefully peeling it off, you’re able to replicate your wire root shape on paper in 2D.

Notes: You want to make a construction in which your breasts are encased, with kind of like anchor points. Otherwise, when you peel your tape construction off, it will lose its shape.

Pros: Easy and cheap way to get a rough idea of your root shape.

Cons: Can be painful to peel off, depending on the masking tape itself. Because you mould it to your body (3D) and try sticking it to paper (2D) afterwards, it’s not that accurate. It can be quite tricky to figure out how to stick it to paper without distorting the shape.

Second: tin foil mould.

Tin foil has an interesting property: it’s malleable and will hold its shape quite well. I made this one by moulding pieces of tin foil to my body and sticking them together as well as to my body using masking tape.

Notes: Try and keep the mould quite flat. I folded some tin foil, shaped it, but in some places I got a little overexcited and the tin foil piled up. It won’t stick to the masking tape as well then.

Pros: Easy and cheap way. A bit more expensive than the tape mould, but also much more accurate.

Cons: There is a hint of a 3D shape there, but it’s still much more of a 2D shape. You don’t get a clear idea if your ribcage is particularly cylindrical and you might need to bend your wires or not.

Third: plaster cast

For a how-to, read the separate blog post. Because this shape is very 3D, it can be tricky to translate it to paper to get an idea of your wire size and shape. I suggest taking a flexible wire, moulding it to the cast and then scanning that wire.

Pros: Very accurate method to get a 3D mould of your ribcage.

Cons: You need specific materials and, preferably, a second person to make the mould on you. It takes a while to dry so for the impatient ones amongst you, you’ll have to wait at least a day to start working with it.

The result

As you can see above, I only made a plaster cast of half of my ribcage since I didn’t have enough plaster gauze. This root trace on paper is made using the tin foil mould, which was quite easy to translate to paper. Not only does this root trace allow for an accurate way to determine wire size and shape, it also makes it possible to make a custom bridge pattern.

Which method you choose is up to you, they all have their pros and cons and will all help you towards a better wire (and thus bra) fit. If you have additional ideas, suggestions, or want to share how yours turned out, feel free to do so in the comments!

Chlorine Test for Swimwear

I recently received a batch of new swim hardware and I wanted to test it’s durability before being able to properly sell it. Here is a link to my swim hardware.

I know that the gold and silver plated hardware I have been selling is appropriate for swim and was very durable for that purpose. The new swim hardware I received isn’t as shiny, so I began to question its durability.

I do believe that the new hardware was not tumbled prior to plating, which is why the surface is not as shiny as my other hardware. I did have to get this from another factory that I had not purchased hardware from in the past, mainly because finding swim hardware is very hard to do.

I worked out the math with my husband, as as you will see from the video, I’m not 100% sure of what he did, but the gist is we converted teaspoons to gallons, since we know we have a 5 gallon bucket and we also knew that the smallest unit of measure we can gauge is about 1/8 of a teaspoon.

I just had him re-explain it to me, so he is walking me through this math in case you want to do this yourself.

The highest strength a pool should be is 3 parts per million of pool chlorine, which is 10x the concentration of household bleach.

There are 768 teaspoons in as gallon, so to convert the 3ppm, you divide 3 by (1 million teaspoons/768 teaspoons per gallon), which gives you 3 by 1302.08 gallons. We then divide that by 8 because the smallest measure is 1/8″ we can positively do. That gives us 3/8 divided by 162.76 gallons. We then divide by 3 so we have 1/8 tsp on the top, so 1/8 teaspoon per 54.25 gallons and at the 10 times concentration of household bleach, we divide the 54.25 by 10, giving us about 5 gallons.

Don’t ask me to do that again. We did a control of straight tap water, then 1/8 teaspoon diluted in the 5 gallon bucket, but then decided to double that to 1/4 teaspoon for our 3ppm, which really is closer to 5ppm and took a sample. Then we doubled that again and took another sample for our 6ppm (or really 10ppm).

In the end, my hardware was still completely fine after 9 days in the strongest strength of chlorine water. The only item that seemed to break down was the cotton elastic. I don’t know how general wear and tear will affect these items with this extended amount of chlorine exposure, but in chlorine that appear to be fine with minimal, if any, degredation of the material, for a total of 216 hours of chlorine exposure.

Digital Download Annual Sale

Enjoy a 25% discount on our digital downloads on our website at Porcelynne.

I am presently sitting at my in-laws guest house drinking coffee and watching my daughter play a game of solitaire on her 7th birthday. Seven years. I still can’t believe it. We arrived in here last night after a total of an 18 hour commute from our home in Florida. It certainly was a long day.

I have been working tirelessly on getting my Eve for Vertical Wires completed prior to leaving for this little trip so I could offer it as a soft release. I like to do soft releases so I can hash out all the bugs and glitches before I really start promoting it. I plan to do that once we get back from California.

Whenever we make this long trip to California, I like to offer a little promotion in my shop for digital downloads, to help us pay for this expensive little trip. This time is no different. I made announcements on Tuesday to my testing group and the support group for my book, but ran completely out of time to announce it officially.

So, here it is, I am officially announcing my digital download sale. All digital downloads (excluding the bundled size packages) are 25% off until we return on Tuesday the 10th. The soft launch of the Eve for Vertical is at 50% off for those of you who want to try it out at this discount (videos will come out next week after the sale).

This sale includes: Bare Essentials: Bras & Underwear, Pattern Design: Fundamentals, Fashion Unraveled and Adventures in Wholesale on the book end of things. On the pattern side, this sale includes the Christina & Laurel Sports Bras, Rachel Brief and Tank, the Tankini, Eve for Regular Wires and the kid’s Rachel patterns.

Bra Drafting Course and Third Edition Update

I have been super busy these days, between back to school, teaching workshops, making patterns and video editing my online courses, I have barely had time to share what I’ve been up to.

I started teaching 3-day workshops at my studio in Florida. They have been wonderful, but so information packed, that it is exhausting. I have two more workshops planned for the remainder of this year and I am thinking that might be all I do. While it has been fun to get back into teaching, I think I would rather utilize my energy to make content that everyone can enjoy, not just the few that can train with me on an individual basis. Next year I may offer one on one training by the day for those who want to pick my brain, but not sure if there will be any takers. Only time will tell. If you are interested in any of the spaces left for this year, my workshops are listed under the books & classes section of my website.

My online course is now live. It covers the basic draft for the band and cup, plus how to create the sloper and manipulate it. I have broken the videos into steps, so some videos are only 30 second long and some are a few minutes. I did it this way so you don’t skip a step. Watch the video, do the step, rinse and repeat. Here is the link to the online course.

I finally did a video announcing the third edition, only 2 months late.

Update on the rest of my life

Summer was a challenge this year. We did not do any camps for Emily, so she was needing our attention nearly full time. Although even when she had camps, I still felt like we were giving her our attention 24/7.

Emily started school a month ago and the direction her class was taking was not agreeable to us, so after about 2 weeks, we pulled her from school and enrolled her in a charter school. I am so glad we did. I have been feeling completely exhausted for months, possibly up to a year and I can now attribute it to Emily’s school. She was clearly unhappy and acted out at home, making us completely drained of all our energy. In the 2 weeks since she has been in this new school, everything has changed. I am no longer exhausted and feel like I can join the productivity train again. I even made it to the gym that I’ve been supporting forever but never go to.

Needless to say, my exhaustion was linked to Emily. Damn me and my empathy. I am back on the band wagon again. I finished my bra drafting online course and made it live a few days ago, but haven’t officially announced it until now.

The Spanish edition of Bare Essentials is almost done. Its just back with the translator to make sure everything looks good. My new pattern set is rounding up testing which I hope to release in about a month. I think that’s all?? But probably not.

My next big projects are to get back to my other unfinished books – one is a sloper drafting book for the Pattern Design series and one is the athletic wear book for the Bare Essentials series. Both books are already partially written, but far from finished. I’ll probably toss a coin to choose which is next, but likely it will be the Pattern Design book since that is fresher in my memory.

Now that a big portion of my projects are completed, I expect to start posting a little more regularly. I also think I have a few guest posts coming up soon. Stay tuned.

How It All Started

I consider myself a pattern maker first and a designer second. I have always been fascinated with how things work. As a teenager I started making clothes by how I thought they were made. I would lay my clothes on top of fabric and cut around the outside edges and sew them together.

I never fully understood how or why garments were put together. After several failed attempts at various garments, I decided to save up all my money and buy myself a dressform. We had a Cloth World and I would go in once a week and look at the dress form I wanted. Over the course of probably a year, I was finally able to save all my money for my first big purchase. For a teenager in the early 90s, $100 was a lot of money.

The first thing I made for myself was a dress for my friend’s birthday celebration. The dress was so tight I could not sit down at her party, but I really don’t think anyone noticed. That was the first time I ever started to understand fit. It was another 6 years before I’d take my first pattern making class. During that time, I resorted to working with knits so the fit wasn’t as important.

The first day of pattern making was the best day of my life (at that period of my life). I finally understood how all the parts went together and why. I thrived in my draping classes because I learned how to make physical changes to a pattern with visual observations.

My school only scratched the surface of the knowledge I desired. School gave me a head start, but it was my drive to understand fit that I supplemented my education with experimentation. I started collecting all the books I could on pattern making and design. I loved it all, but I really struggled to understand the industry taught directions.

I questioned the why of things, but I never received answers except the parental “because I said so.” Most of what we learn as students is just accepted as fact, but I always struggled with that. I needed to understand why something was 1/4″ or 3/4″. What was the reasoning behind these “facts.”

As someone who never fit the mold of ready to wear, drafting for myself using these industry standard methods never worked either. Why didn’t they? And why do all the books teach the same thing? Why don’t any of them answer why?

When I started teaching, I enjoyed the challenge of my students coming up with an impossible design and helping them make it a possible design. I asked colleagues why we did something a certain way and the response was usually something around the fact “because the book teaches it that way.”

This was when I made it my personal goal to help not only me, but others understand why we do things. There are reasons for everything and just trusting what was done for 100 years does not mean it is correct.

I wrote my first book on running a small design business. It was a great project as it helped me unearth the problems those other books did not teach.

I had kind of forgotten that I loved writing as much as I loved designing. Visiting teachers years later, they were all surprised I didn’t become a writer and went the route of design.

The second book I wrote was on drafting undies. I worked on this book for months, experimented with everything. There were a handful of books already out on the subject, but most taught drafting for the industry standard model. I struggled to make it relate to myself. I pulled inspiration from everything, but I wrote everything based on my own experimentation.

A year or two later I began my journey on writing about bra drafting. This was even more elusive than panty drafting. There was some information out there, but none of it relevant to my body shape or size. Everything was shrouded in secrecy. I hated that. I concluded that drafting info was only provided to show the industry standard base size. But what about those of us who aren’t millionaires and want to design for ourselves.

I looked at bra design as a pattern maker. I needed to understand every aspect of it. I developed my own methods and within a year, my methods were being copied and published as other’s work. I get it, I do. Once the information is out there, its up for interpretation. I did a second edition that included a more unique grading method, but I still felt that the book was missing most shape specific drafting data.

I decided to make it my mission to find a better and more accurate way to get drafting measurements. I wanted to create a calculator to help. I introduced drafting with this calculator in the third edition as well as a new way to manipulate the drafts more like a traditional sloper for ready-to-wear.

In the months since the book release, I have encountered “silent” issues related to fit that I was previously unaware of. While I do not plan on writing another edition, I do plan to cover the issues on my blog. I have a few pending items to take care of, but I will be covering that secondary.

There will always an exceptions to the norm, what I hope you get out of my books and articles is the understanding to know how do make things for your own unique self. Just remember that because I don’t cover it, it does not mean the issue does not exist.

Until then, enjoy drafting.