I realized many things at my first bra making workshop last weekend, one being how willing women are to undress and show off their self-stitched bras in front of other women they just met. It happened! Maybe it was their excitement to have completed a bra or maybe it was being around other women who were as enthusiastic about sewing. Who knows? There were many other light bulb moments that day, but the most potent, inspirational, you could even say emotional takeaway was this – if you create an environment centered around giving back, which I think the sewing community does ver well, people will come out to support you tenfold. Throughout planning, Anna said there would be a few surprises. She wasn’t lying. When I arrived at the venue the night before, Anna told me that my favorite Philly vendors – a beauty salon, a calligraphy, two bakers and more – were supporting the workshop with their skills, services and products. It meant a lot that these people helped me make this giant leap. Another testament of the power of our community goes back to the first sentence. By the end of the workshop, the 9 ladies were chatting with each other as if they had been friends for ages.
The day started at 9:00 AM with light breakfast – cinnamon crumb bread, banana nut bread, strawberry and blueberry salad, yogurt parfait, orange juice and coffee. After a quick meet and greet and introduction, we started making bras by cutting out our pattern and assembling the cups. Lunch quickly crept up and before we knew it, it was time to eat. We sat together, chatting while enjoying a vegan super food salad (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale chicory, cranberries, pumpkin seeds), ham and gruyere squares, quiche, mushroom tarts, tabbouleh salad and kettle chips. During lunch, each lady had her make up touched up by local beauty salon, The Parlour. Oh, and there was a photobooth. Lauren and Carolina took a prom photo – does anyone else think they’d make a great king and queen? After lunch, we continued making our bras by assembling the band, sewing in the cups and attaching the elastic. At 3:30 PM, we took a short break to enjoy macaroons, sewing cookies, chocolate and vanilla buttercream cake and vegan cupcakes. By 5:30 PM, we finished our bras, tried them on and hung out before heading out with a goody bag that included a mini bottle of Prosecco and a prize metal for completing a bra.
In the almost 3 years since Madalynne made the switch from a fashion to a sewing blog, this workshop marked pinnacle. I met Carolina for the first time and she is just as awesome in real life as she is online. Lauren, who traveled from Nashville to attend, spent 3 days with me prepping, trouble shooting and calming me down (ask her how I started to vacuum my house 30 minutes before leaving to go to the workshop). I introduced Lauren and Carolina to Andrea, and we had a great time after the workshop unwinding. As Andrea so eloquently put it on Instagram, “Four sewing bloggers walk into a bar.”
Another highlight was watching Anna put on her best event yet. For Anna, The New Old Fashioned is what sewing is to me – a passion. I attended a calligraphy workshop she hosted late last year and while it was a hit, this one blew it out of the water. She was a great person to partner with and I’m excited to see how far her business will grow. She has a lot of exciting things in her future. Next up is a workshop at Sweet Paul’s The Makerie in April.
The last highlight was having one of my best friends in Philly, Bekuh Browning, by my side the entire day. I met her 2 and a half years ago online. Surprise, surprise, right? She later moved to Philadelphia and since the first week she became a Philly resident, we have met for coffee once a week to discuss life, blogging, work and more. Her blog is completely different than mine, yet she always provides a wonderful editing eye. Her blog has grown so much since we’ve become friends, recently focusing on florals and her paintings. Just like Anna, I’m so proud of what she’s accomplishing and how she’s growing. The florals she provided for the workshop were beautiful, unique and classic.
Anna and I plan to hosting more workshops throughout the year, with a tentative date of late spring / summer for the next one. If you’re interested in attending, let us know and you’ll receive first notification of when registration opens.
Above and below are just a few of the photos taken. Click here to see the rest or check out Instagram #bramakingwithmadalynne #madalynneNOFbramaking #madalynnesews
A huge thank you goes out to the following vendors for making the workshop a truly special:
Workshop Production, Styling and Catering by The New Old Fashioned @thenewoldfashioned www.newoldfshnd.com
Location Love Me Do Studio @lovemedophoto lovemedophotography.com
Vintage Rentals @maggpievintage maggpievintagerentals.com
Calligraphy and Signage by Mere Langer @merelymere merelymere.com
Samantha from The Parlour @parlour_
Cookies by Jack Udo of Doux + Sel @douxandsel Facebook.com/douxandsel
Cocktail Designer Anne Buckles @anniebeeinphi
Flowers by Bekuh Browning @bekuhb bekuhbrowning.com
Prize Medals by Mary Saring @buttonetta
Cakes by Doris Ruiz @ninathemidnightbaker
And thanks to all the ladies who attended: