Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween, everyone! This is one of the best days of the year.  An excuse to stuff yourself with candy and wear silly outfits. I hope we get a few trick-or-treaters tonight, or else I have a big bag of candy to eat...

A while back, I finished a large custom order for a lady who wanted a nice variety of vintage-inspired pieces.  It was a very fun order to sew - she gave me some indication as far as colours and styles as a starting point.  A few of the pieces she wanted were based of some of the my first pieces of lingerie, so it was fun to revive some older pieces.

I did a pair of mesh french knickers with a gathered satin waistband.  I really like this style band, it's so pretty and soft.  To do a waist like this, I tear a 4" wide strip of satin, the entire width of the fabric, fold in half with the right side out, and stitch my elastic casings (two of them, 1/2" wide each).  I then cut my elastic to the desired length (adding an inch for overlap), and insert the elastic.  Because the elastic is much smaller then the casing, it begins ruching the casing.  I then press it, so all of the gathers lay flat, and sew it on to the garment. 

She also wanted a set in coral silk - I did a thong and cheeky panty to match.

And, this set, which I absolutely love.  The fabric is so pretty - dusty purples and greys with a lovely rose print.

Dusk Lingerie Set 

Natural Look...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's been a busy couple of weeks.  Last week, I trained my replacement.  She's picking everything up quickly, my job really wasn't very difficult... This week I'm only working two days there; Today and  Thursday. However, today I woke up with a splitting headache so I'm laying down, trying to feel a little better before I head out... Getting migraines sucks (and I don't even get them that bad or that often), they can really interfere with your day to day life, because when you get one you really can't do anything but lay in a dark, silent room until it passes.  I am incredibly lucky that if I take a handful of pills, lay down in the dark and sleep for a couple of hours, I can usually go on with my day.  But even after that, there's the 'migraine hangover'... I am starting to feel a bit better now (my migraines usually strike in the very early morning or late afternoon), but my eyes feel weir and it's hard to concentrate...

Anyway, I should be counting my blessings, migraine and all, after seeing the pictures of the East Coast of the US... we are feeling just some of the effects far into Ontario, but nothing like what's been going on in New York and along the coast.  I hope if I have any readers in that area that they are safe and dry.

Between sewing orders, baby sitting, and spending some much needed time with my wonderful husband, I've been trying a few new things.  I've wanted to have a bra with cups in my collection for a while now.  A few months back, I picked up a 1960's "Natural Look" bra pattern that I based this off of.  The original pattern was kind of funny - it was incredibly small and meant for stretch knits.  I think it was actually a "training bra", based on the size.  So, I sized it up, changed the band to accommodate woven, bias cut fabrics, made the cups slightly fuller... but kept that vintage look that the original pattern had.

I used my favourite pink satin, and paired it with a ruffle knit fabric.  I like this fabric, it's got little sequins sewn in rows on it.  The fabric is very, very delicate though and would need to be carefully hand washed and stored.... Speaking of which, I am hoping to have lingerie bags soon, which machine-wash lingerie can be washed in, and delicate lingerie can be stored in.  This fabric, for instance  would easily pull of caught on a hook or a zipper, so storing it in a bag would keep it perfect, longer.

The back of the bra is like one of the first bras I offered - strappy open elastic... This was a common style back in the 50's and 60's, I think because it offered a lot of stretch, when using non-stretch fabric on the band...

She's aliiiiive...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This last week has been so busy! We hired a new person to replace me at my day job and I started training her yesterday.  She's far more qualified than I am for the position, so I have no double she'll be running the show in now time. 

I've been busy sewing, sewing, sewing...! And, making new gift certificates just in time for the Holidays!



I wanted to make something beautiful and tangible that one could proudly gift on Christmas Day or Valentines Day or any other special occasion.  I know I always try to avoid giving generic gift cards (as useful as they are, and as much as I love to get them!), because they just aren't very exciting to open... so, I designed these cards, with images from my collection on the front, and the pertinent information inside.  This is something I'd like to open on Christmas Day!

I also wanted to make something that wasn't too terribly time consuming to make.  I hope these go over well for the Holidays.  I know I get lots of emails form husbands, boyfriends, wives, girlfriends, wanting to buy lingerie for their partner, but not having any idea what size to buy... so this should be perfect!


And the Winner is...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Congratulations to Amber, you've won a free pair of Ohhh Lulu french knickers!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Just two more days...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Just a reminder that my 15% off all Made to Order Lingerie Sale ends on Sunday! So, if you're planning to order, now's the time.  This is a great time to get your holiday orders in!  Coupon Code is Spooktacular2012.

Shop Here
I will also be drawing a winner for the French Knicker Giveaway on Sunday! so get your entries in while you still can. 

Lastly, I did an interview with Anna on A Few Threads Loose yesterday.  Anna had some great questions, I'd love it of you hopped over and had a read!

Read my interview Here


I made these Velvet High Waist undies, and sent the sample off for a photo shoot.  I had originally planned on using white lace appliques, but I think the black is a little more elegant.  One of the things on my "to do" list, is to work with more photographers and stylists to get editorial shots of my lingerie.  I've been lucky to have been contacted by a couple amazing photographers and stylists lately, and I can't wait to have the time to work with them!  I would really love to be able to work one on one with a local photographer and stylist (Toronto?) sometime soon!

Today, Dan and I are making the trek to Ikea. I am in need of some more adequate sewing supply organization.  You might remember I had previously gotten cheap rolling bins to store my fabric supply, elastics, laces, threads, etc... Well those are overflowing.  And I kind of knew when I got them that it would be a temporary situation.  Because my "studio" is in my open-concept living room/dining room, and I like to keep a relatively clutter-free living area, I've decided white bookshelves, with white bins will be the most unobtrusive way to store my fabric, thread and notions.  Plus, I can use the higher shelves to display my various antique treasures and books.  We recently bought a brand new coffee table and end tables for our living room, and now our living room looks awesome, but my studio area now looks even worse in comparison!  I've realized that when you really are running a business, you collect a lot of things... receipts, invoices, orders, tracking numbers, inventory, samples, business cards, patters...  I don't know about you guys, but I have a very hard time working in unorganized spaces.  So... I can't wait to have them and put them together and get my stuff arranged.


We are also taking our car in for an oil change today... which makes me laugh because my husband is a mechanic and quite capable of doing oil changes.  I guess it's like how I never have hemmed pants...

And then, I need to swing by the fabric store to stock up on a few things... So it's going to be a busy day!

Of course, I also have a kajillion other things I need to do... like finish up a very exciting custom order I've been looking forward to, get a few more orders done, and I'd like to work on some fancy paper gift certificates...  I love doing paper crafts.


It's almost here!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween is my favourite holiday.  It's been a while since I've dressed up and actually done anything, but I just love all the creepy decorations, the scary movies, the treats, and that spooky eerie feeling.  I'm really excited about Halloween this year because we should actually get Trick or Treaters to our house! Since I've lived on my own, I have always lived in apartment buildings with few/no kids, so I've never had the fun of dressing up and handing out candy.

In August, Dan and I started Brainstorming ideas for costumes.  I love period costumes, so we had this great idea to make Late Victorian / Early Edwardian era costumes entirely out of ghostly muslin and cheesecloth, powder up our hair and faces and go as old-timey ghosts.  Halloween seems to be approaching a little too fast this year to pull that off... but maybe next year.  Any excuse to make a corset and a bustle!

I have to admit, I've spent a lot of my spare time lately browsing Etsy and Pinterest for Halloween goodies. I've got a good little wishlist going on...  
Sweet Petula La Nuit Soap
I think Sweet Petula has the most beautiful packaging.  I love the simplicity of it.  And, they have Earl Grey Tea Soap.  My favourite Tea in a soap! I normally am a Lush junkie, but I think the next time I stock up on soap, it's going to be from here.

Ginger Melon Halloween Plushies PDF Pattern
 I am obsessed with Ginger Melon's patterns.  I haven't tried one yet, but they look so incredibly cute.  I don't think I'll have time this year to sew any, but she has some Christmas-y ones that would make great gifts!

My favourite Pumpkins, via Martha Stewart
I've bought 3 pumpkins already, but have not carved a pumpkin in years! I can't wait... roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin soup.... I've seen so many adorable pumpkin carving ideas lately (like the mini-pumpkins with the vampire teeth).

In time for Halloween, we seem to be having some 'ghostly' phenomenon going on at the house, with our kitchen light being 'mysteriously' on when we wake up.  Most likely, my dear husband is forgetting to turn the darn thing out before he goes up to bed... but I love nothing more than creeping myself out, so I've let my imagination run wild in the spirit of the season!  In truth, I am the biggest skeptic, but there is a part of me that wants to believe in aliens (yeah, the grey kind), bigfoot, and ghost stories.

And, with that, it's time for me to go! It's freezing outside and I'm trying to put off my walk to work... which I can't do much longer.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm finishing up a big custom order this weekend and I can't wait to show pictures.

Sponsor the Ohhh Lulu Blog

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A while back, I redesigned some of the pages on my blog.  I added a direct link to my Etsy shop, a page where you can purchase Patterns, a How to Section, and a Sponsorship section.

Somewhere around February of this year, my Blog really started to take off, thanks mostly to Anna from a Few Threads Loose and Mrs. Depew Vintage.  You might remember, we did the Pin Up Sew Along  around that time.  Since then, it's been on a steady trend, up and up which is awesome.  I remember when I started this blog two years ago and I'd be thrilled at getting 1 page view (that wasn't myself) a week!

I have found that advertising through blogs is first of all, cost effective as a small business owner, and secondly, can generate a lot of traffic if you choose the right one!

I have recently added a Sponsorship section where you can purchase sidebar ad space on my blog.  I do plan to carefully curate these, but if you have a DIY Blog, or unique Etsy shop and are looking for inexpensive advertising space... You might want to take a look!

Basic Black

Black Satin 'Raven' Bra & Panties Set

Does anyone else out there wear a ton of black? I know I do.  My day to day outfits usually consist of black leggings, black tank tops and some sort of drapey cardigan, paired with black boots of course (I'm a recovering goth, seriously).  So, I though it's about time I brought out some black basic pieces to mix and match with my collection, which is much darker in colour going into fall / winter.

Black Satin & Lack Panties

The bra and panties are shown here with a ribbon rosette - but it's completely customizable, I can do a black bow, a coloured bow, or no embellishment at all.

Black Satin 'Raven' Bra
 I'm excited to finish this week up at work... I'm really starting to count down the days.  While my day job is not really stressful by nature, the work environment can be very stressful, and I'm really looking forward to being out of there.  I still wake up, early in the morning, and think "Oh god, I hope this isn't a mistake." But for the most part, I'm staying very confident and can't wait to make the switch!


I've taken the plunge...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Well... after months of debating, I took the leap.  I gave my notice today at work.  We are actively searching for my replacement.  I'll stick around to train them, then stick around on an occasional basis for a month or so, then cut my ties.

The moment after I gave my notice, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, like a ton of bricks had been lifted off my shoulders... I had a little day dream of what it will be like the first day I wake up and don't have to go to a second job.  The freedom to grow my little business! To do all of those things I've wanted to do for so long... release another pattern, work on some ready-made items, approach stores about carrying my line, reach out to stylists and photographers, have a turn around time that's under 8 weeks... Oh, it's all so exciting!

And then the fear it.  When I was in college I was really broke... like really broke.  It was stressful and scary and horrible.  I had a momentary flashback to subsisting off of Dollar-Store pre-packaged noodles & sauce, of that scary little cockroach infested apartment I lived in, and I thought "I never want to be that broke again."  I had that ominous "oh god, what have I done" feeling, realizing that after six years of steady pay-checks, I'm really wadding into uncertain territory.  Now, I've got a second income to rely on (my Danny), savings, and my own business income, it's still pretty scary.

I'm not sure what it was that made me suddenly decide to take the leap.  I thought about it all weekend, ran it by family, talked it over with Dan... and I just couldn't decide.  I knew some things for certain though.  First, I am exhausted, stressed and grumpy and I dread going to work everyday because I just want to stay home and work.  Second, I've had some on-going frustrations with my day-job. Third, I knew if I didn't do it soon, it would just get harder.  And last, the straw that broke the camels back, Dan asked "What would your Grandma tell you to do?"  Oh Gram... my wise old Gram...how I miss her, her entrepreneurial spirit, her wit, her sense humour, her wildly independence spirit.  Here's what she'd say, "Even if it doesn't work out, at least you know you've tried." And then she'd give me a big, soft, grandma-hug.

I have to admit, I am considering applying at a local craft shop that is opening in my town soon, just for a few hours a week.  It's nice to have a reliable income and some extra money over the holidays. I'm going to be pinching my pennies over the next few weeks, and hoping & praying that all goes well with my new venture! Sincerely, Thank You so much to everyone who has offered me words of encouragement and advice. It has really meant a lot to me.

I'm excited about this new step.

And, if it doesn't work out, at least I know I've tried.

CLOSED French Knickers Give Away!

To help promote my 15% off Spooktacular Sale, I'm am hosting a  give away!

One lucky winner will win a pair of Heather Grey French Knickers, trimmed with white lace and a little ribbon rosette.  These panties are so, incredibly comfortable.

Sizes are as follows: Small - 32"-35" Hip.  Medium - 36"-39" Hip.  Large - 40"-42" Hip.

These panties are made just for you - so it will take about 6-8 weeks for them to arrive.

I will ship these anywhere in the world!

Here's how to enter:
Entry #1: Comment on this post with your favourite item from my shop & your email address.
Bonus Entry #1: Tweet about the Give Away, with the tag @OhhhLulu
Bonus Entry #2: Like Ohhh Lulu on Facebook
Bonus Entry #3: Pin an item from my shop onto Pinterest

Good Luck! I will draw a winner on Sunday, October 14th, which is also the end of my sale. 


Monday, October 8, 2012

Ahh... Another Thanksgiving come and gone.  I still feel stuffed after two Turkey Dinner's... Stuffed and tired!

On Saturday, Dan and I spent the afternoon and evening at my parents house with a bunch of my family.  I could go on all day about what an awesome family I have.  My cousins are like my sisters, so it's always just the best to be around them.  Aside from my kin, there were also our dogs, which are like our kin.  As a treat, I made little dog friendly pumpkin pies that got gobbled down in the blink of an eye!

"Did someone say pie?"
Pumpkin pies... for the dogs in my life.
On Sunday we drove to Toronto and spent the afternoon with Dan's family, which was also very fun.  I am also very lucky to have an awesome sister in law who I really get along with well.  In fact, Dan's whole family is just... they are just awesome.  Looks like I have a lot to be thankful for, huh?

Between baking pies for dogs, gingerbread & pumpkin loaf (for the humans), visiting, and stuffing  myself silly with turkey and yummy deserts, that pretty much gobbled up my weekend.  Today, Dan and I headed out for a walk in the woods.  It was pretty cold, I don't even thing it got to 10 degrees Celcius today! But, I am glad we had a chance to get out and see the colours.  To me, there is nothing more peaceful and beautiful than being out in the woods... and I am feeling very grateful to be living where I do.

I hope all of my fellow Canadians had a fun and delicious Thanksgiving!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Guess What? In order to gear up for the holiday season, I am having a sale! 15% of Made to Order Lingerie now, until October 14, 2012 with coupon code Spooktacular2012 .  Sale excludes gift certificates, custom orders, & sewing patterns.


A 2-piece Ginger

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I made this 2-piece version of the Ginger Swimsuit, which is headed off the Southern Hemisphere as we speak.  I have to admit... I had a hard time parting with this.  It just happened to be in my size and my colour of choice! Luckily, I have lots of satiny black spandex, and lots of time until I'll get a chance to wear a swimsuit again!

The bottoms on the Ginger pattern are a little different from the Betty bottoms.  First, the waist sits just below your belly button.  The Betty sits higher.  Secondly, the crotch seam (you know, I love talking about crotch seams), sits further between the legs. There are side seams on the Ginger, which there aren't on the Betty, annnd... the seam lines are a little more straight.

Anyway, point is, I totally love this, and I want one for myself! I might actually make a set out of black jersey just to wear as a sleep set.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Another weekend has come and gone.  I did not have a chance to sew my lovely red velvet or go for a hike in the woods, but I did get a new coffee table and two matching end tables - our first pieces of matching furniture.  We were able to get rid of the end table I pulled out of the garbage in college, and the coffee table Dan pulled out of the garbage in college, and now have something nice and new.  I will not miss that coffee table, it gave me slivers whenever I dusted it, and Oliver had eaten a good portion of the end table when he was a puppy...

I literally spent the rest of Saturday cutting out orders. Cutting is my least favorite part of sewing, so naturally it's the part that takes me the longest.  I got up early on Sunday and started sewing at 7... and didn't quit until 5. But! I am just about done all of my orders from August now... I am lucky to have very patient customers!

Today I am off to work, and not feeling so hot.  I woke up at 4am with a really bad migraine, and actually feeling like I had a bit of a fever.  I'm feeling a bit better now, but still feel like I could use an hour or two more in bed.  I am especially dreading work today because we have been having serious technical issues at work with the computers and I just am not in the mood to deal with it.... sigh.

On the bright side, as I mentioned earlier, I was able to get quite a bit of sewing done.  I finished up a custom order that I've been looking forward to for some time.  One of the things this woman wanted was a camisole and a pair of sleep shorts in a cotton floral.  As you may have noticed, I really like floral (haha), so whenever I see a floral cotton I like I pick up two or three yards and stash it away for special projects, like this one!

The camisole is a basic, triangle cup cami that I have cut on the bias and added elastic smocking to the back to give it a tighter fit on the bust. The shorts are a looser cut French Knicker, with a gathered satin waist band.   I reproduced the gathered satin effect around the neckline of the camisole by stitching  long casing of satin, threading a 1/2" elastic through the casing, stretching the elastic as I went to create the gathered effect. This does two things, first, it will hold the neckline snug because it is elasticized, secondly... it just looks pretty!

She also wanted a ivory bra and panties set.  This bra has removable straps, and light padding and is made to match my ivory satin cheeky panties. It was my first time doing removable straps. I was a little worried because I had a hard time finding the removable hooks that were small enough, but I think they actually camouflage in nicely.

I'm disappointed I did not get out to the forest this weekend.  The colours of the leaves are changing so fast. Next weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada, which means Saturday and Sunday will be spent between my and my husbands families.  But I do hope to fit a little walk in there somewhere!

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