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My Bra Challenge

bramaking (2 of 3)bramaking (3 of 3)

The word proactive is fairly commonplace, but really, its core definition is obscure. Proactive means more than just taking initiative. At its roots, it means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. A proactive person’s behavior is not a result of their environment, but a conscious decision based off their values. Regardless of their external stimuli (weather, social environment), they feel a responsibility to make a change about an unquestioning, unstinting and wholehearted belief. My belief is the handmade.

Being proactive can dump us into our most difficult situations, but these experiences are what become the crucibles that forge our character and our skills to tassel out and blossom. It also helps us handle similar situations in the future more effectively and inspires others to take on a challenge as well.

In my opinion, Project Sewn is more than a competition, it’s an example of being proactive. Marce was a competitor in a previous season, and in each installment, she accented the ranks of seamstress. At the end, she had graduated from home sewer to couturier (she deserves a crown, emirate?). Asked to make a garment based off a pair of shoes, she hand pieced a guipure lace bolero to fit her shape. Damn, that was good…

I’m going to be proactive and take on a self-imposed challenge. My bra making skills have developed slowly but surely. I’m at a place now where I confidently show off and intelligently speak about what I make. But I can be better; I know it. What I need to do is dare myself into “can’t” land. I think I can’t sew 3 sets of lingerie in one weekend, but that’s only because I don’t think I can. So, on top of all my other projects, even if it means staying up late, throwing my scissors at my wall or almost hanging myself from a spool of thread, I’m going to take on this challenge. Why? Because my belief is the handmade.

Wish me luck! I’ll be back soon with a full report.


  1. Reply


    Good luck! What led you to come up with this challenge?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Nothing in particular. Just a challenge to get better.

  2. Reply

    The Tiny Tailoress

    Very very exciting ! I truely cannot wait to see the result of this
    challenge you’re setting up for yourself. What I love the most about
    your sewing is that balance between style and technique, keeping both up at really high level, especially when you speak of bramaking, which seems to require very specific skills… Anyway I’m loving it ! Go girl !

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Thank you!

  3. Reply


    Three sets in one weekend is totally doable! To get it done I recommend fully defining the style or styles in advance including trims, linings, straps, etc. If you have everything well defined and have all the materials ready to go you will have no problem at all. If you allow yourself to cut and mark everything ahead of time it will make it even easier 🙂

    • Reply


      Yep! I got the pattern, supplies and fabric ready to go. Now, it’s time to sew, sew and see!

  4. Reply


    as always you say the most thoughtful things…thanks maddie. i really do feel that project sewn boosted my sewing skills. it’s good to challenge yourself, especially in a church as rewarding & fun as sewing!

  5. Reply


    Yay!! Good luck Maddie! Can’t wait to hear how this challenge turns out. I agree, sometimes in life the only way we push forward is through challenge – and if the opportunity for outside challenge (like from a job or something like Project Sewn) doesn’t present itself, than self-imposed challenges are the way to go. I learned to do this while I was an art student, because after a certain point I wasn’t receiving ‘assignments’ anymore – I was just making my own work. So the only way to continue to grow was by setting up challenges and obstacles for myself. I think it keeps your mind sharp, too!

    • Reply


      I agree. Although to like staying inside my box, it’s important to force myself to go outside and be uncomfortable, even if it’s only for a little bit.

  6. Reply


    I love making personal challenges and you can totally do this! I also agree with Norma in that it’s easier when I cut everything at once. I put the whole sets with their elastics and required notions in little individual baggies and stack them up next to each other so that when it gets to sewing it’s just sewing. I also kept little post-its on my machine with all the stitch lengths for each part so no running back and forth to previous bras to remember what I liked ;).

    • Reply


      I live by post its, and I don’t think I could function without them. So, I’m will be using that tip of recording stitch lengths!

  7. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    You can do this. I KNOW you can.

  8. Reply

    Measure Twice Cut Once

    You are going to nail this! Not only can you do it, am sure they are going to be stunning as well!

  9. Reply

    Latrice Smith

    Good Luck Maddie

  10. Reply


    You can do it!

  11. Reply


    Good luck Maddie! I’m sure you can do this and can’t wait to see the results

  12. Reply


    Hey there love your work!

    Just curios where can you buy that dress form for good prices?

    • Reply


      I bought the form in New York City at a place called Superior Model Form and I highly suggest them.

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