Meet The Team
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.
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
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!
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
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.
Hi! My name is Maddie and I have a serious love affair with lace and lingerie. I am a 33 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.
School of Sewing, UK
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, 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!
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
Lily Fong, M.Ed. is the owner and lead designer of LilypaDesigns. She helps people achieve their dreams – of a well fitting bra – through her PDF Sewing Patterns, Blog, Sewing Community, Online Courses and Sewing Supplies. Her pattern pieces are designed to mix and match different sizes to better match individual body shapes while the instructions read like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book.
Lily has studied multiple drafting methods and strives to help as many people as
possible into comfortable bras. Her love of teaching and penchant for data led to a different method of selecting bra sizes – one that depends on breast measurement instead of chest circumference.
When not pattern making or interacting with clients, she can be found on various crafting adventures with her 3 boys – babywearing the youngest with coffee in hand.
Apparel Intimates, USA
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
My name is Karu and I’m a sewing instructor, pattern designer, and shop owner. My background is in the textile industry and patternmaking, and Studio Costura started out as a sewing blog to promote my in person classes. Shortly after starting the blog I fell in love with sewing lingerie and opened an online shop selling lingerie making supplies. Fast forward to the present, I now also design PDF sewing patterns and teach in person lingerie and swimwear, doing workshops in different cities. I’m really happy that I get to combine my online work with teaching classes locally, as I love connecting with people who sew!
Hello! My name is Asmaa and I’m very excited to be part of this fabulous community. My sewing journey started when I was 8 years old. I drove my mother and grandmother insane constantly hovering, getting under their feet and generally making a complete nuisance of myself so I could get my hands on any stray bits of fabric. Those bits were then carefully cut, and hand sewn into costumes for my beloved Cindy doll (sadly abandoned and left behind when I emigrated to the UK at the age of 14).
My early years of training to be a surgeon and bringing up a young family (I have a 19 year old daughter and 7 year old son), meant that my sewing machine only came out when an outfit was needed for a special occasion. It was only 5 years ago, when I became a fully-fledged breast surgeon, that I transformed a corner of the dining room into my little sewing haven.
In September 2020 when life seemed to become more and more complicated, I discovered the world of bra making and became utterly obsessed. I haven’t had any professional training, but my garment sewing skills come in handy when making lingerie. My makes are always inspired by this wonderful community of sewists and hope that you enjoy my small contribution to the Bee this year.
Trudy Gardner Design, Canada
Hi, I’m Trudy! I’m a freelance intimate apparel designer, creator of the Underdressed podcast, founder of Wayfinder Lingerie Online Academy and retired military pilot. When I first discovered Clo3D, a software specifically made for patternmaking and 3D design development, I was blown away! I was able to create professional patterns and test them as 3D prototypes based on custom avatar sizes. The amount of resources I could save including paper, fabric and time, was well worth the hours and hours and hours I spent learning the software. As a person with diverse interests, a spirit for adventure and always motivated by curiosity and creativity, I enjoy trailblazing and continuously pushing the limits of what is possible!
Apparel Intimates, USA
I studied to be an architect/engineer for many years in Russia not knowing that 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” by Playtex, “Tisha Bra” by Le Mysterie, “Fabulous Fit” by MaidenForm, 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.”
I am Valeria, a textile and surface pattern designer based in Mexico City. I am passionate about all things DIY, which is the reason why I sew my own clothing & lingerie. My favorite thing about creating as much as I can is definitely the “share the process & knowledge” part, which is why I want to share with you the pure joy of creating and sewing your own wardrobe, especially your own lingerie.
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.
Hi everyone, I’m Ruhee! Founder of Rubies Bras and The Saharaa Wirefree Bra Pattern. Born and raised in Edmonton, Canada, I graduated with a Marketing Degree from the University of Alberta, and have been a Marketing Professional for about 18 years. So besides making bras, I also dabble in a little marketing consulting on the side for small business owners.
Ages ago, I decided I hated my bra so much that I joined a class to make one. I remember thinking I was crazy, but when you’re desperate and determined (and frustrated with retail options), strange things happen. It took me six months of private lessons to make a proper bra and I was so excited, I told (and showed) all my friends, and decided to make bras on the side for my friends and family.
Fast forward eight years later (with proper bramaking and designing designations), I run Rubies Custom Bras (a friend named it after combining Ruhee + boobies over a night involving too many drinks) in my private studio, along with my marketing coaching practice. I also released a new wirefree bra pattern last year called The Sahaara, designed for those looking for a relaxed and minimal look without compromising comfort and support.
I call Toronto and Edmonton home as I bounce back and forth between the two cities. I love yoga, photography, and am a plantbased foodie. I come with one husband and one shihtsu named Emma. Looking forward to meeting you!
Angel Sews, UK
The middle of three girls, with very practical parents, I was equally at home with a needle as I was with a power tool. From making doll clothes to my school uniform (fortunately there are no pictures), to respraying cars and laying drives, I tackled everything. All went quiet when I went to university and studied to be a Chartered Accountant and had two children. Everything changed when my own children went to university.
Meeting Lorna of the Lorna Knight Sewing Academy reignited the spark for dressmaking, where at her sewing studio I did courses in jeans making, bra and lingerie and dress fitting. She recommended Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy Classes, and off I went into another journey of bra making and pattern drafting.
Over the past few years, I have reduced my work commitments and increasingly focus on my other interests. I am fortunate to pattern test for some fabulous designers ranging from early concept through to final testing. In addition, I enjoy adapting patterns to achieve the look of inspirational rtw and generally sharing my passion for lingerie sewing through social media and my blog Angel Sews.
Hi! It’s Clio here from Belgium. I’m a 38 year old mother of one. My main profession is Osteopath, but I would love to spend all of my time sewing lingerie and swimwear. The sewing virus caught me at a very young age and about 6 years ago that turned into a lingerie sewing addiction.
I followed 2 years of professional lingerie sewing evening school to learn all the tricks of the trade. Last year I decided to take the leap and build 2 online courses. This year I’m also hosting a sewing weekend and workshops in real life.
Comfortable lingerie and swimwear that looks impeccably made is what I strive for. Sewing with love and craftsmanship is what I want to pass on to others. I’m looking forward to teaching about sewing swimwear and lingerie on the 3rd edition of the International Bra Sewing Bee!
Janna-Marie is a Hamilton based designer and has been sewing for over 10 years working alongside artists and other designers to bring their ideas to life. Janna-Marie excels in designing and producing custom women’s intimates. She has designed commercial patterns for manufacturing and instructs sewing and design at all levels. Her favourite thing in the world continues to be seeing people happy whether it be through the confidence in having a garment or bra that fits them or learning the skill set to continue crafting on their own.
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 in order to make shopping for supplies as simple as possible.
I have always been ‘crafty’ and loved making things with my hands, but after a few sewing lessons and a poorly chosen pattern experience as a child, coupled with regular fights with my mother’s cheap Sear’s sewing machine, I put away sewing until my mid-20’s, when I got motivated to sew in order to have clothes that actually fitted me. My body can span 3 sizes between my hip to waist to bustline ratio, so I love the flexibility of sewing for myself in that I can create beautiful garments that fit me well. It was only a few years ago, however, that I got interested in sewing lingerie. Living in Asia, I cannot find bras made locally that fit my cup size and grew tired of paying importation tax costs coupled with the environmental impact. I also hated the fact that up until fairly recently, my bras looked like they came from the hardware store with the unattractive and limited options on the market. Making my own felt like the next logical step in building a handmade wardrobe.
More recently, I’ve been very interested in sports bras as a I felt underwhelmed with the patterns available. None of the patterns I saw offered the encapsulation style sports bra and I got tired of paying 60 £ or more for my favourite high impact sports bra. “I bet I can make something similar to this, and for far cheaper as well!” And thus my journey began.
When I’m not sewing into the wee hours of the night or wrangling my 3 daughters, I work for a non-profit organization supporting the Northern Thai, and specializing in Child Safety.
Twenty-five years ago, I found myself braless as I didn’t (and still don’t) fit in any RTW bras in the store. My husband challenged me to try a bra pattern from Kwik Sew, and imagine my surprise when it came out too big! Right then and there, my journey of bra making started. There were countless attempts and much trial and error as I taught myself to make bras. I even ended up taking one or two classes in the end to see I was climbing in the right tree. I don’t believe there is a strict “right or wrong” way of making a bra, as long as you feel like it fits and is comfortable throughout the day. I’ve always believed
Soon, I found myself making bras, not only for myself, but for my friends and their friends. I started B,Wear 12 years ago, first as a hobby, but I realized nearly 7 years ago that my hobby was more a passion and full-time job. I quit my job as an accountant to pursue my dream of sharing quality supplies for bra and lingerie making with others and helping them create their very own dream lingerie wardrobe! Since the pandemic started, we realised the company needed to go out of our house, and we had to relocate AND hire someone. Thankfully, my daughter Angelica chose to join me at B,Wear, truly making this what it’s been all along – a family business.
During her 35 years as owner of Needle Nook Fabrics in Wichita, KS, Anne St Clair has had the opportunity to help thousands find comfort and success in garment and lingerie sewing, Specializing in knits, lingerie and stretch wovens, Anne has developed and taught a variety of construction techniques. Anne developed her own pattern line and has traveled the country leading lectures and workshops on bras, camisoles, lingerie, knit tops and slacks including fit and design changes.
Since I was 5 years old, I have loved sewing. My mother started me out on her old Bernina Record sewing machine, hemming tea towels. I was immediately hooked. Not only was sewing fun and relaxing, it was productive! I sewed most of my clothes in high school and even started a small sewing business sewing for my friends. Like many teens, I dreamed of being a famous fashion designer. I would alter my dad’s old blazers and turn them into something fashionable. My handmade clothing never fit in with the crowd, but I persisted in my fashion journey. I eventually went to college and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. Back in 2012, I taught myself pattern drafting and how to create PDF patterns for the market. Most of my designs are active wear or athletic leisurewear. I think the blend of engineering and pattern drafting skills has really helped me improve my craft. I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to pursue my dream of designing and creating sewing patterns for everyone!