Bra-Making with Madalynne

9 Feb

As you no doubt already know by now (mostly because I’ve talked about it to death by this point ahaha), I recently spent a long weekend in Philadelphia with Maddie, to help her set up for her bra making workshop – as well as attend the damn thing myself! I was obviously really excited for this adventure – for the hangs, to explore a new city (truth: the only time I’d been to Philly prior was for a one-way flight back to Nashville after helping my friend move to NYC when I was 22. A 14 year old boy hit on me while we were waiting for the plane to take off. I think he was the most traumatized between the two of us, though), and of course, because of boobs. And now you guys get to hear/see a recap! Yay!

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I won’t bore y’all with a full weekend recap – I flew in on Thursday afternoon, and spent nearly the entire time up until Saturday morning with Maddie to help her prepare for the workshop. We ran errands, we prepped handouts and the (adorable) little kits, and helped with getting the machines set up in the space the night before. I was able to sneak away for a few hours with Andrea, who took me to the MΓΌtter Museum (my request – and also this is your head’s up of knowing that Andrea is an amazing sport when it comes to visiting weird places with an almost total stranger haha) and her favorite yarn shop (where I bought sock yarn. It’s red. That’s about all that’s worth knowing :P).

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No, what we are here to discuss is a recap of the workshop! Actually, I don’t think this post warrants too much typing – you can get a good sense of how things went just based by the photos alone (and yes, those were professionally taken. OBVIOUSLY my hands didn’t go anywhere near the camera that weekend, ha!).

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Honestly, the entire day was more of an event and less of a workshop. I knew Maddie had something special planned when we were cahooting about this shit months ago (well, my side of the cahooting was just being a personal cheerleader. I love cheerleading my friends while they are doing amazing things πŸ™‚ ), but I was surprised when I started seeing things coming together. Of course, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised – anyone who’s lurked up Maddie’s blog knows that that woman is all about turning everything around her into beautiful art (y’all should see her condo. I couldn’t even DEAL) – but yeah, it was all lovely. The production for the workshop, as well as all the styling and catering, was handled by The New Old Fashioned, and the event took place in the Love Me Do Photography studio. There was beautiful vintage furniture everywhere, fresh flowers, a never-ending supply of coffee (and later, prosecco. Yay!), a catered lunch, a light breakfast, adorable cakes, a photo booth – even a freaking spot to get your make-up professionally touched up. I’m telling you, this shit was an EVENT. It was amazing and there was obviously a lot of love and attention that went into every detail. Definitely not the kind of half-assed workshop that I’d throw together – but that’s what you get when you are dealing with Maddie. You get something that’s just as beautiful as it is useful.

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To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to learn a whole lot at the workshop itself – I’ve already made a couple of bras at this point, and I have an ok handle on how they come together. I knew I’d be hitting Maddie up for fitting advice outside of the classroom, and I knew that the environment itself would be amazing and fun. I’m happy to report that I was wrong, at least in the subject of “learning new things.” I definitely learned a whole bunch of new tips and trips – a more effective way of cutting the fabric and lace, when to use certain zigzag stitches and widths, a way to beautifully finish the top of the bridge, amongst other things. And duh, of course the class was fun as HELL! I had such a great time meeting everyone, talking boobs, and making bras together. My kind of awesome day!

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(I am sharing this photo because I have no idea why I’m making that expression! At least my hair color doesn’t look like swamp sludge haha)

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Oh yeah – and the food was fucking fantastic!

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Here are some more photos so that you can be good & jealous of our fabulous day. Our take-home goodie bags included those beautiful cookies, a tiny bottle of prosecco (again – yay!) and a fresh bouquet with a handmade medal.

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We also had temporary sewing-themed tattoos – which, by the way, who else thinks Maddie should get a pair of shears tattooed on her neck? Amirite?!

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I was REALLY excited to see that Carolina and Jen were also part of the class! I met both of these ladies last time I was in NY – Jen was one of my students in the Pants Making Intensive at WORKROOM SOCIAL, and Carolina randomly asked me for coffee (which clearly ended up being a match made in heaven – I mean, we make a pretty adorable prom couple). It was great to be able to see both of them – in a completely different city than before, even.

I know that my friendship with Maddie does make me a bit biased, but this workshop was seriously fabulous. I’ve never felt so pampered while in a class – it’s kind of a nice feeling (I might be kind of spoiled now! Ha!)! And, hey, the bra didn’t turn out so bad, either πŸ™‚ Want to see?

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If you recognize the fabric, it’s because I used it before on a Bambi bra; it was originally given to me from Maddie. Let me just say – the kits that we got with this workshop were seriously nice. Everything was included – all the fabric, notions, hardware, even a tiny rotary cutter and a really nice marking pen – and it was all super high quality stuff. I think most of it came from Bra Maker’s Supply – which, if you’ve ever ordered from them before, you know how nice their products area. No cheap plastic sliders or questionable elastic here! I would have found this very helpful had I been making my first bra – it gives you a good idea of what the good-quality stuff feels like, so you know what to shop for (plus, it’s easier to sew!).

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We used the Marlborough pattern for our bras; I brought my own copy (everyone got a copy with their kits) since I already had some fitting tweaks done. The lace we used is really stretchy, so everything is backed with power mesh to make it more stable. It still has more stretch than the duoplex I get from Bra Maker’s Supply, but the resulting bra actually fits pretty nicely! I’ve spared y’all the floating ghost bra photos for this post (mostly because I’m feeling lazy haha sorry), but, just trust me.

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Our tableware at the workshop was tied with this cute twill tape that looks like a measuring tape – I saved a little piece to make a bow for my bra. Love it πŸ™‚ And check out that pretty gold hardware! Honestly, that’s my favorite part of the whole damn bra. Looks so luxe.

Let’s see, what else? Sunday, Carolina & I walked all over Philly (ok, seriously, maybe 5 miles, tops. haha) and it was cold but also really fun! I really enjoyed getting to spend some time with her and get some bonding done. We visited Andrea at Butcher’s Sewing Shop, where she was teaching a class. Actually, we crashed that shit and drank their mimosas, but everyone was really friendly and the shop is just adorable. No ragrets. Finally, I made it home just before the next snow storm – and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t hit on by a 14 year old this time. Also, the Philadelphia airport is WAY nicer than I remember.

I had an amazing time – the workshop obviously being the highlight of the trip, but it was so wonderful getting to hang with everyone and meet some great new people (and reunite with people I know I already love πŸ™‚ ). If you were interested in taking the workshop, but were put off by the price or didn’t know what to expect – hopefully this revs your engine a little πŸ™‚ It’s definitely an experience! For a more in-depth recap, with lots more photos (as well as a run down of all the vendors who contributed to all the pretty that you see), check out Maddie’s blog.

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I am just gonna leave this picture here, because I think it really illustrates the class well. There is alcohol and cookies on that table – and we can’t tear ourselves away from the machines. TYPICAL.

Disclaimer: I was given a free ticket to the Bra Making Workshop, in exchange helping with prep, set up, and trouble shooting – as well as keeping Maddie’s nerves calmed for her first class (I shit you not, she started VACUUMING her condo like 30 minutes before we had to leave that morning hahaha). I paid for all my travel and food expenses, but my workshop ticket was gratis! This review is just cos I think the class was awesome, and I wanted to talk about it.

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21 Responses to “Bra-Making with Madalynne”

  1. ekabby111 February 9, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    You had me at “mini prosecco.”

    • LLADYBIRD February 9, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

      “Mini prosecco” should be the tipping point for any difficult decision.

  2. mommylap February 9, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    What a seriously gorgeous event! I have to ask if you got a pretzel while you stomped all over Philadelphia because the street pretzel helped cement everything I loved about Philadelphia when I was there years and years ago.

    • LLADYBIRD February 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

      No pretzels here! I don’t really think about food when I’m traveling (I mean, beyond the whole ‘needing to eat to stay alive’ part hahaha), but now you’ve got me seriously questioning that whole stance! Or maybe I’m just starving right now because a pretzel sounds fucking delicious!

  3. Trice February 9, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    Oh I am glad to hear you had a good time. The class looks like it was an fun time with yummy food and good company. Your bra came out really nice too.

    One of my favorite things about Philly is how easy it was to just to roam around. I pretty much walked everywhere when I lived there. I hope you got to eat some yummy food while you were there.

    • LLADYBIRD February 9, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      It was a great time! I’m so happy to see Maddie start up with these and I’m really excited to see what the future holds for her workshops. They’re definitely pretty special!

      Man, I LOVED the walkability of Philly! Once Carolina & I figured out we could walk almost everywhere from Maddie’s place, we did just that. It’s such a great way to see a city from a perspective that you might not otherwise see if you’re in a car.

  4. Lori February 9, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    This sounds like such an amazing event and just love the look of it from the photos. Thanks for sharing.

    • LLADYBIRD February 9, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      It was a pretty fabulous event! I hope you get a chance to go to one in the future, I think you’d really love it πŸ™‚

  5. zilredloh February 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    Everything looked so pretty. Looks like she totally took sewing classes up a notch with all of the styling, treats, and such. πŸ˜€

    • LLADYBIRD February 9, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

      For real! It’s like getting a spa treatment – except, instead of getting your nails done, you learn a new skill and go home with a finished piece (I don’t know about you,but I find sewing MUCH more relaxing than getting my nails done! Ha!).

  6. Mary Danielson Perry February 9, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    This looks like such a fun weekend of sewing and that bra is absolutely gorgeous, but my academic side is about to burst with excitement, because…

    OH MY GOD, YOU WENT TO THE MUTTER MUSEUM!! Was it as wonderful and creepy, as one would imagine? Is their gift shop a treasure trove of faux old-timey medical implements? Seriously, I’m so envious over here.

    • LLADYBIRD February 10, 2015 at 7:12 am #

      Yessss!! It was awesomely creepy – I even got to see Einstein’s brain (making this trip a complete success, in my opinion). I actually didn’t have a chance to see the gift shop – we got there an hour before closing, and they had to shoo us out the door while we were still lurking the downstairs (seriously, they were turning off lights and barricading our way any further in haha). It’s a very small museum, so totally possible to see everything in an hour – but now I wish I’d had a chance to check out the gift shop!

  7. Evie February 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    That’s a really pretty bra! It looks like you had a blast. (Seriously gorgeous hair color, btw).

    • LLADYBIRD February 10, 2015 at 7:13 am #

      Thank you! It’s such a pretty color, but it doesn’t normally photograph very well (it’s very emerald and turquoise in real life, though). Oh well πŸ™‚

  8. Ayesha October 28, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    I’m curious to know if you teach sessions on how to make bras. This is something that I recently have gained an interest in and I am unsure where to start.

    • LLADYBIRD October 30, 2015 at 8:41 am #

      I don’t currently teach a bra-making class, but I offer private lessons in my home if you’re in the Nashville area. With private lessons, you can choose whatever you want to learn – which, yes, includes bra making πŸ™‚ Email me if you’d like more info on that!

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