Thursday, April 14, 2011

Make your own bra

Bra making lecturer Jenny chatted with us about how she started out in fashion and her love of making bras.

What do you do at TAFE?

At the City Campus I teach standard bra making and advanced bra making.

I love the enthusiasm of the classes, the creativity of the students and the absolute desire to know more and more. Each person starts with the same design, but by the end of the day the bras that are made are so different. The two day workshop is always so much fun, but we also spend time talking about running a small business, the positives and the negatives.

Describe your course in five words.
Style, skills, knowledge, fun, fashion

How did you start out in fashion?
I have sewn all of my life, my first memories are of standing (my legs were too short to sit at the machine) at my Grandmother’s treddle sewing machine making dolls clothes. I never stopped designing garments and sewing but only for myself.

11 years ago I did a bra making course, we didn’t even finish the bra, but I was hooked. Women started coming to me asking me to make bras for them. 7 years ago I started my business, with a main focus on women who have had breast cancer and those who have health issues.

I have designed a garment for women who have had breast surgery to assist with lymphatic drainage. I applied for a grant to fund a clinical trial, which I received and I funded a 2 year trial at Flinders Medical Centre, the results were positive and at the end of the 2 years the National Breast & Ovarian Cancer Council provided additional funding for the trial. The trial is ongoing, and still providing positive results. I have designed costumes for a movie “Birthday”.

Tell us about your favourite garment/piece/shoes that you have created from scratch.
When I first started making bras I went into stores and I noticed that you couldn’t find a colourful and sexy mastectomy bra and there was no such thing as a matching “G” so I set out to make them.

Because I work so much with women who have had cancer which has resulted in mastectomies, I have tons of special clients and garments. Some of my favourite garments are for a client who is an exotic dancer who has had breast cancer and I make her costumes.

Top fashion trends at the moment.
Beautiful lingerie never goes out of style, but we are currently seeing lots of florals and feminine colours and laces. Also with the styling of the 50s and 60s making a revival, I think we are going to see styling of a more defined bust line instead of rounded foam cups.

Which fashion or footwear course at TAFE SA would you like to do and why?
I would love to do the footwear class, I love shoes.

One piece in your wardrobe you can’t live without.
Not a thing! But the roll of aqua silk in my fabric stash does hold my heart.

Favourite shop.
Any fabric shop, I can walk around an my imagination goes wild.

Try your hand at bra making with our fashion short courses.
Find out more about Jenny's made to measure bras

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grad interview with GretaKate

We chatted with '09 fashion design graduate Greta on life after TAFE and her label GretaKate.

What do you do?
In October 2010 I launched my fashion label GretaKate. I'm currently working on my Winter collection. I also work full-time with Liza Emanuele as her personal assistant.

Your path in fashion was set when...
Since I was a young child who loved making and creating things. My grandma taught me the basic skills of sewing and I've never looked back.

Describe your label in five words.
Individual, fun, unique, detailed, unconventional

Tell us about your favourite garment that you have created from scratch.
One of my favourite creations was a short bridal dress made out of 8 pairs of bleached denim jeans!!! It was for a competition and it was lots of fun!

Top trends at the moment. What is inspiring you?
I like my clothes to last season after season so I try to avoid following trends. I am, however, in LOVE with the "moss green" colour this season. It reminds me of a cold Winter's morning.

One piece in your wardrobe you can’t live without.
I can't live without my charcoal wool coat. It's easy to put with anything, toastie warm for Winter and looks great with my new boots.

Favourite shop, label and blog.
I love One Rundle Trading Co, I love any Australian label and I love CAKEFACE

What did you love about studying at TAFE SA?

I loved the inspiring atmosphere, the people/ lecturers and the freedom of creativity.

Where can people find out more about your label?
Either at or or