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#Bramakingwithmadalynne: My Intimate Story

urban outfitters intimates

The thing about lingerie is that it kidnaps you. I began with the intention to sew one, just one pair of underwear. Panties as some of you hate to say. I do too. “I’m just going to try out this whole lingerie thing,” I thought to myself. One panty turned into one bra, then two bras, then poof, my underwear drawer was chockablock of pretty little, me-made somethings. How did that happen? Whodunit? My friends started asking for a set, even my (female) boss and stepmom wanted one. Unable to keep up, I produced a small collection, which was a huge learning experience. Then, my dream came true. Prince Charming didn’t swoop me off my feet, but one of the biggest retailers in fashion, Urban Outfitters, released an exclusive Madalynne collection. Great Scotts! So far, the collection has been doing very well. Ahem, have you bought one yet? I want to keep going with this lingerie thing. Produce a second collection, get it into stores, and so on. The truth is though, I don’t know what I’m doing have the time. Very much so, I’m figuring it out as I go. What I DO know, however, is that I’m passionate, like really fucking passionate, and that has always moved me to the next step.

Every month, I’m going to (try) to share my life as a small business owner. Try is the keyword! The ups, the downs, the crazy, the chaotic and definitely the stupid. You know, just general things that go on as I move my business forward. I ain’t going to sugar coat it. This is hard, and I still go back and forth about whether I’m a crazy twenty something with an equally crazy dream posing half naked in her panties half the time. I’m not asking for much here, just to take over the world with my lingerie. Muahaha….

urban outfitters intimates

Stupidity for this month? There was a lot, but one involved 400 meters of black and white lace and mesh. I ordered it from China. It’s for my next production run and my thinking was that one, it would be a good idea to order in bulk, and two, it would be good to create a relationship if I’m going to grow. What I didn’t think about was how I was going to clear it through customs. Did I need a broker? Who was the forwarder? How was I going to get it from the airport, to my studio and then to the factory? My poor MINI Cooper. I stuffed that thing, like literally driving down I-95 with rolls of fabric sticking out of every window and even the top (I have a convertible). Say it with me – stupid.

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It’s an incredible feeling to see my product in stores. To be able to have an impact on what people wear, how they feel, for other people to want to wear your designs and to be able to reach a wide audience is fulfilling. This opportunity only came because of the support of Urban Outfitters. They took note of my small, indie brand and gave me a ladder so that I could reach for the stars. Generally speaking, we sewists get into the hobby to take a step away from the ready-to-world, mass manufactured industry. The juggernauts of retail. I get it; I was once there. However, not all big box retailers are bad guys. One big reason I haven’t left URBN (yet) to pursue Madalynne full-time is because I love working for the company. The culture, the people, the creative environment – I like everything about my “day job.” I am not the first independent designer that URBN has teamed up with. There’s a whole roster of them.

Also, I started sewing to get out of the RTW world, but here I am, 10 years later, diving right back into it. This whole thing could end up being a total fail. Who knows? Thoughts that have been going through my mind – what will my readers think? Will this blog transition from a sewing blog to a fashion blog? Can I still post about my sewing? I’m still figuring that out, and just like life, I’m sure whatever this blog will become will be a natural evolution. I just need to sit back, follow my passion and let life work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.

My aunt always says, “The story is not over.” Not it’s not. Stayed tuned folks.

Follow along with my bra making adventures on Instagram with the hashtag #bramakingwithmadalynne and on Snapchat mmadalynne

photos by Love Me Do Photography

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  1. Reply

    Kocham Szycie

    It’s so great! I’m so happy for you. <3 Love you and your lingerie

  2. Reply


    Congratulations on achieving this first step!

    I highly recommend that you purchase and read Kathleen Fasanella’s book “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing”. (http://fashion-incubator.com/) And I doubly highly recommend that you then join the private forum. A wealth of information is there, including the things that are tripping you up right now. Why get tripped up unnecessarily? There will always be things you’re not sure of, but there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.

    • Reply


      I have that book and have read it already 🙂

  3. Reply

    Janet Allen Vandermeulen

    That^^^what LisaB said, she beat me to it! If you have the chance, Kathleen still has spots open for her September bootcamp. She can teach you so much about small-lot manufacturing. I’m excited for you!

    • Reply


      Janet, Great minds think alike and all that!

      Actually, the last I knew, Kathleen still had a couple of spots open for her Memorial Day weekend bootcamp. (September hasn’t been planned yet.)

      For anyone who is interested in the bootcamp, see here: http://abqfashionincubator.com/wp/coat-project/

  4. Reply

    Kimberly Hamm

    That’s A LOT of square footage! Congrats! And your fabric debacle has pretty much happened to every Philly-dwelling home owner whilst returning from home depot. Of course we can make it from 24th and Oregon back to the West Philly with sheets of plywood in our Golf/Prius/other tiny easy to park car…Time to find a friend with a station wagon! 🙂

    • Reply


      When you find someone with a station wagon, send him my way!

      • Reply

        Natasha Estrada

        Relay rides. OR IDK if you know this but you can rent the pickup truck at Home Depot for $19 for 90mins without having to plan ahead.

  5. Reply


    Congratulations Madalynne! Your products look very beautiful. Lingerie is having a real moment right now – lots of exciting designs around. All the best for your collection!

    • Reply


      Thank you!

  6. Reply


    Congratulations Madalynne! Your collection looks fabulous and the display looks delish. I’m so excited for you!!

  7. Reply


    Your lingerie is beautiful. Love it!

    • Reply


      Thank you, thank you!

  8. Reply

    Sasti Puntodewo

    Hi Maddie, you’re my inspiration. Love hearing your success story. I’m starting my lingerie line while still working 9-5. Sewing it all by myself. Tell me about it! :)) But i’m enjoying every single step of it.

    • Reply


      Cheers to us both taking over the world, one bra at a time 🙂

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