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5 Sewing Questions with Sue and Emma Folts of Bra Builders

A mother-daughter team shares some of their sewing favorites

Video: Threads magazine

Sue and Emma Folts, the mother-daughter team behind the Bra Builders website and the Great Bra Sewing Bee, answer five get-to-know-you questions in a recent podcast with the editors of Threads.

You can listen to the full podcast, in which Sue and Emma talk about bra fitting, fabrics, and more.

What is Bra Builders?

Bra Builders is an online source of bra-sewing notions, fabrics, patterns, tutorials, and inspiration. Sue and Emma created the annual virtual event, the Great Bra Sewing Bee (GBSB) to help women sew beautiful bras that fit well. Sue has been sewing since she was 10 years old and founded Bra Builders once Emma left home to attend college. Emma joined the team in 2020 as the GBSB project manager. You can catch Sue and Emma working together on a GBSB class about how to hand-dye lingerie fabrics. And today we’re going to find out more from about them about Bra Builders and the Great Bra Sewing Bee, coming up in August 2021.

Five questions for Bra Builders

Sue and Emma take turns answering the questions.

How did you learn to sew?

Emma: “I grew up with (my Mom) sewing. I always thought it was the coolest thing. So as soon as I could learn to sew . . . I had a Hello Kitty sewing machine, I was jumping the gun to learn.”

What are you currently sewing?

Sue: “About two years ago, I took a class with Susan Khalje and so I am still actually working on that dress. I’m very excited about it, but I’ve been a little bit distracted and so I haven’t been able to work on it full time.

“And then I’m also getting ready to sew some panties for myself.”

Which fabric do you enjoy sewing the most?

Emma: “I enjoy quilting cotton because it’s just really easy. I definitely love the softness of a lot of the bra fabrics my Mom sews. But quilting cotton is what I learned on and still remains my favorite just because it’s such a friendly fabric.”

What sewing term or word is your favorite?

Sue: “My favorite sewing term or word is actually ‘sloper.’ When I first heard it, I didn’t know anything at all about what it was. Then I discovered what it was, I said, ‘Oh my goodness. It’s technical. It’s helpful and useful. I love it.’ ”

What do you love most about sewing?

Emma: “I love it because I have grown up with two parents who are into engineering, and so I’ve always had a heart for problem-solving. I think sewing really allows you to be supercreative and solve problems.

“I remember when we went to Europe, Mom and I, and we really wanted to have packable skirts that had big pockets that we could wear all day comfortably. We had such a good time finding the perfect sewing patterns and fabrics to make those.”

Sue: “For me, I actually like envisioning something and then turning it into something real. I have always enjoyed that. I love fabric, I love color, I love texture. And I like putting it altogether into something that’s just really beautiful.”



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