Meet The Team
Bra Builders is proud to present these talented women to help you hone your lingerie-making skills!
Live Class Teachers: Sue (Bra Builders), Maddie (Madalynne Intimates), Nikki (Sewing My Style), Naomi (@naomipjohnson),DeWahn (@sewdd1104), Masha (TITOV label), Helen (Nellie Joans), Pamela (Pamela's Patterns), Kat (Kat Makes), Jennie (Annie and Myras), Jennifer (Porcelynne), Monica (Bravo Bella), Kerry (Firebrand Bras), Liz (Liz Sews), Angela (Angel Sews), Lily (LiypaDesigns), Linda (UpLift Custom Bras)
Pre-Recorded Class Teachers: Valeria(@garalastudio), Bodil (Bodils Wear), Jennifer (J. Stern Designs), Clio (@cliosatelier), Hannah (Evie La Luve), Jeanette (SewUplifting Custom Bras), Kat (Kat Makes), Masha (TITOV label), Jennie (Annie and Myras), Kerry (Firebrand Bras), Liz (Liz Sews), Linda (UpLift Custom Bras)
Group Moderators: Emma (Bra Builders), Sue (Bra Builders), Jennie (Annie and Myras), Kat (Kat Makes), Liz (Liz Sews), Angela (Angel Sews)
Bra Builders, USA
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.
Madalynne Intimates, USA
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.
Sewing My Style, USA
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!
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!
TITOV Label, USA
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.
Nellie Joans, New Zeland
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's Patterns, USA
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!
Kat Makes, New Zeland
I've been sewing for 24 years and making all my clothes for about 6. I started sewing bras when moved from Illinois to New Zealand and couldn't find bras that fit in new-to-me stores with different sizing standards. I love drafting my own bras, finding or dyeing colourful fabric and lace combinations, and experimenting with techniques. I am currently living in Auckland, New Zealand, where I enjoy tailoring, tambour beading, shoemaking, knitting, and of course - bra making.
Annie and Myras, Australia
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.
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 wears.
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.
Monica O'Rourke Bravo
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 to 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.
Firebrand Bras, USA
FIREBRAND: a person who is passionate about a particular cause, typically inciting change and taking radical action
I feel like I have been moving towards this point in time my whole life. At 12, I took my first sewing class in middle school. At 17, I learned how to size and fit bras in the lingerie department at The Jones Store, a longtime mainstay of Kansas City department stores. In my 20’s, I made costumes for burlesque dancers. As a grown up I hunted high and low for a bra to fit my buxom figure with no success. Finally, I decided to make my own.
After six years of teaching myself how to draw flat bra patterns, I feel I have perfected my skillset enough to take it to other women in Kansas City and around the country. With my new sizing system that works off of three direct measurements and, unlike the traditional method for sizing bras, no math, finding the perfect fit is now possible for ALL women. It’s my gift to you.
Liz Sews, USA
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.
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 anything.
All went quiet when I went to University, then studied to be a Chartered Accountant and had 2 children. Everything changed when my children went to University.
For the following 2 years, I made so many quilts and bags that I didn't know what to do with them. Many went to a suitable home, others remain in "stock".
Meeting Lorna reignited the spark for dressmaking. At her sewing studio outside Leek I did courses in jeans making, bra and lingerie and dress fitting. She recommended Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy (now Bluprint) classes and off I went on another journey into bra making and pattern drafting.
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
UpLift Custom Bras, Canada
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.
Garala Studio, Mexico
Hi there! I am Valeria, a textile and Surface Pattern designer based in Mexico City. I am passionate about all things DIY, which is why I sew my own clothing & lingerie, design prints to decorate my home and even make my own mylk, (DIY-ing even in the kitchen!)
My favorite thing about creating as much as I can is defenitely the "share the process & knowledge - part", which is why I want to share with you in here 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 is 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
Bodils Wear, Sweden
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 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 from 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.
I'm a 36-year-old osteopath, mother, and maker from Belgium. I started sewing dolls clothes as a child, with the guidance from my mother. As a teenager, I sewed a lot of long skirts and crop tops (full 90's style). I got the techniques and patterns from Burda and Knipmode magazines. In the past 15 years, I have learned a lot through sewing blogs and youtube tutorials. These also inspired me to make my own lingerie (especially Madalynne, Evie la luve, Ohhhlulu). However, I wanted to really improve my knowledge and skills in lingerie sewing. That is why I followed 2 years of evening school 'Lingerie and corsetry'. I just finished my 'Chakra' lingerie and swimwear collection as a graduation project.
When sewing I really try to work with what I have first. Using old fabric from my mother's stash, using old clothes, cutting up old bra's to reuse underwires etc. I find it stimulates creativity and of course it's so much better for the environment. I love colors and prints, I'm not a minimalist!
Earlier this year I joined the Bernina Benelux bloggers. It's a wonderful opportunity to stimulate my creativity and meanwhile inspire other sewers. Every month I share some tips on sewing swimwear, make a garment with free patterns, make something for my partner or son,... I hope I can inspire you too here on the Great Bra Sewing Bee!
J. Stern Designs, USA
Jennifer Stern Hasemann is the owner and designer at J Stern Designs. She has a solid background in pattern design and drafting, fit, and construction. Her original line of fashion patterns features classic jeans, a cup-sized fitted shirt, and a unique tee. She loves to share a wide variety of sewing, serging, fitting, and construction techniques via her J Stern Designs YouTube Channel where she currently has over 100 video tutorials. Additionally, she teaches online at BluPrint.com and Patternreview.com and in-person around the country. She is partnering with Bra Builders to create a video about re-creating your favorite sports bra in the GBSBee.
Evie La Luve, UK
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 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.
Bra Builders, USA
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!