I’m excited show you photos and share details from last week’s Bra Making with Madalynne, but before I get to that, let me share a pre-event, not so glamorous, funny only after the fact story. For this workshop, I had a 3’x6’ foot cutting table built. It was based on Heather Lou’s DIY method, and a friend helped me purchase materials and then build it. Okay, more like I purchased the materials and he built the whole thing. Don’t judge! I stick to what I’m good at – sewing! He worked on it at his studio the Monday and the Tuesday before and we scheduled to bring it to my studio that Thursday. I’m on the 4th floor, meaning we’d bring it up the frieight elevator. Not biggie, especially since the table is on wheels.
We arrived and first carried the table up to the loading dock, then to the elevator. It was out. Greeeaat! I called Pat, the landlord who lives on-site. No answer. Someone leaving the building said that it had been out for days and would most likely be out for a couple more days. The elevator is old, so ordering new parts isn’t like Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping – it takes time. Okay, change of plans. Todd and I would bring it through the regular elevator on the other side of the building. As the heavens rained down on us, we rolled the cutting table around the corner. Free shower! We lifted the table up the stairs – it didn’t fit through the door. Wooonnnderful! Dripping wet, we thought, what next? The fire escape. So, in the pouring rain and with the help of two of Todd’s friend, the cutting table was brought up 4 flights of stairs. It would have make for a good reality TV segment – The Real World of Bra Making.
The day of the workshop could not have been more perfect. This summer has been especially hot and humid, and I was worried that multiple air conditioning units would be needed to keep the space cool. I lucked out in that it was an overcast day and unusually cold – in the 60s! There was a portable AC, but I turned it off halfway through the day.
As I have found to always be the case with the sewing community, the students quickly warmed up to each other, and even before the class started, they were sharing personal stories. Lunch was catered by New Old Fashioned and The Parlour came in during that hour to give a mini herbal workshop. It’s was a great way to offer a \ break as well as avoid any awkward silences during lunch. Ying from Tailor Made Shop traveled from New York to help and I was thrilled to finally meet her in person. We met online and she visited Philadelphia in the spring, but we couldn’t connect. After lunch, the class went along smoothly to the end. I demoed each step and then let the students do it on their own. Of course, I helped them individually if needed. By 6:00 PM, there were many beautiful bras to show off. Lisa, pictured below, modeled hers hanging.
Between planning, organizing and hosting the workshop – I was more than exhausted afterwards. “Perplumped” is what my mom would have said. She probably had a few cocktails when she said it too. Despite how tired I was and still am, after I dropped Ying at 30th Street Station, I thought about how happy I am with the way things are right now. Too often, I think about the next step… the future… what’s next. But what about now? Right now, I have an awesome studio where I get to do what I love most – photograph, teach and sew. I have an equally awesome day job, a family who gets on my nerves in all the right ways, two cats that are the cutest rascals alive (they currently love ripping the garbage bag to shreds), my health and a drawer full of me-made lingerie.
There are two more sessions on August 22 and November 7. For both, I have good news, then bad news, then good news. First, the good news is that both are sold out! Woot woot! So second, bad news is that if you were interested in attending one of the two, you can’t. Last, good news is that if there is enough interest, I’ll offer another session this fall. September? October? Email me and tell me when!
A huge thank you goes out to all my sponsors, who made the workshop possible:
Catering: New Old Fashioned
Photography: Jessica Maida Photography
Florals: Bekuh Browning
Chocolates (for swag bag): John and Kira’s Chocolates
Bra notions: Bra Making Supplies by Arte Crafts
Bra Fabric: Tailor Made Shop
Signage: Meredith Langer
Mini Herbal Workshop: The Parlour
Lingerie Discount (for swag bag): Dear Kate.
You can check out more fun we had on Instagram: #bramakingwithmadalynne
So, what did the students think of the class? Let them tell you in their testimonial below:
“I learned about Bramaking with Madalynne just after the first workshop was offered and I quickly inquired as to how I could attend the next one. The June workshop was wonderful! In my day job as a school administrator, I regularly evaluate presentations made by teachers and in my opinion, Maddie gets an A for preparation and presentation.
I am a longtime sewer who loves to study and replicate couture garments. I tackled making a bra for the first time and with Maddie’s help and encouragement, I left with a finished product.
Before the class, Maddie had us take meticulous measurements, which really form the foundation for fit. During the class, she demonstrated each step and cheered us on so that we would not get bogged down in trying to achieve perfection on our first try.
I plan to take some individual classes with Maddie to refine the fit of the bra I made; I will definitely continue to make others. I am used to buying expensive bras and I must say that the one we completed in class has similar details to the ones I usually buy and is actually more comfortable. I encourage women of all bra sizes to take the class. Maddie generously shares her knowledge and the class is great for all age groups and figure types.
An added bonus to Bra making with Madalynne was the setting in Maddie’s chic studio and the catering by Anna DeMarco. Anna ‘s presentation, like Maddie’s, was impeccable; she made sure that the food was beautiful to look at as well as delicious! Prior to the workshop, we were thoughtfully asked about any potential allergies and/or dislikes. As a result, there was something for everyone! The “piece de resistance,” and recipe that I must have, was dessert: strawberry shortcake served in small mason jars- it was perfection!
I especially appreciated Anna’s warm personality and environmental consciousness. She incorporated sustainable, recyclables into her serving pieces.
I will be sure to recommend Anna to friends who ask about catering both at home and in the Hamptons now that I know that it is one of her favorite places to visit!” -Mary
“I wanted to shout out that I had a wonderful time and learned what I needed. Your attentiveness and willingness to jump in to help was most appreciated, especially coming from a guy who has never used a sewing machine. Therefore, I want to say that I am proud of you and keep up the good work. One more thing… let me thank the other ladies for making a gentlemen’s journey a wonderful experience. All the best.” – Trappier
“Yesterday I attended ‘Bra making with Madalynne’. I am a newbie in the under garment business and I do not sew, so I probably looked silly being there. However, I was warmly welcomed by Maddie and all of the other ladies. The entire event was incredible. From the tutorial of bra making, to a beautifully, catered lunch, replete with customized holistic/ayuvedic body mists. If sewing is a hobby or a profession, you would truly be missing out if you didn’t take Maddie’s seminar. I highly recommend ‘Bra making with Madalynne’ to everyone!” -Jessy