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{WHO I AM}

I am. I am Maddie Flanigan. I write simple words. My thoughts are not Einstein-esque. E=MC2. 2+2=4 is the most complex I will be. I promise. I am a lover of all things life. I surround myself with anything inspiring. Pattern making, sewing, cars, photography, food, paintings, fashion, architecture are the ins and outs of my life. My limit is limitless.

I am a technical designer, pattern maker, and seamstress. I am always constructing, drafting, and altering my next creation, which is usually a dress with lots of ruffles and lace. These are the stitches that thread my life. Without them, I would unravel.

I am a lady whose job from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., is to connect and spread word of whatever to others. For 2 and 1/2 years, I was a technical designer for this company but they took notice of my personal blog, this blog, and asked me to blog for their company. Neat, right? I wish I could say this job ends, but it bleeds into an all-consuming, at all-hours, every day job. I love it. I save the world, one garment and one blog post at a time. Right, Brain (from Pinky and the Brain)?

This is who I am but this is what Madalynne is…

Madalynne is an educational, informational, and inspirational blog. First and foremost, Madalynne provides lessons and tutorials on fashion pattern making, construction, and all things sewing in simple words and with visually pleasing images that are fun to look at and easy to remember. Madalynne also provides history lessons on everything and anything design related (photography, fashion, cars, paintings, music, movies, etc.) in laymen terms and with images that make the subject at hand sparkle and shine long after reading. Lastly, Madalynne documents glimpses of my life, Maddie Flanigan’s life, including my most recent projects, fashion wants, or fashion yearnings. Together, this is who we are, me and Madalynne.

i am 2 <I AM>

{MY STORY}

my story <I AM>

My name is Maddie Flanigan and am a 20-something girl who turned a dream of sewing and blogging – two professions which usually mean you don’t don’t have a profession – into a reality by working for a Fortune 500 company and owning and operating a for-profit pattern making and sewing blog/company.

I was born in the sunniest and warmest of all places, which is surprising considering my pallid skin color – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Growing up, I was not the artsiest of children. Although I stayed on top of fashion trends (sorry dad for the major credit card bills), I was a science nerd. I took Organic Chemistry and Calculus in high school and scored 100% in both classes. Seriously. One hundred percent was written on my report card.

At the age of twelve, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Seeking treatment, which included a mastectomy, a hysterectomy, and chemotherapy, she thought she beat cancer. That was until my junior year of high school when I came home one day and my parents were gone. Protecting us from a harsh reality, they had left to get the best cancer treatment available – at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Unfortunately, cancer won the battle. Two weeks before my senior prom, she died. The last time I saw her, she was singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (hence my fascination with The Wizard of Oz).

I don’t mean to cause tears or sniffles. I feel extremely lucky in that I was able to say goodbye to my mother (as opposed to her dying suddenly in a car crash). I share these two important aspects of my life – my geeky side and the death of my mother – because I believe they are the two things that have made me a good pattern maker and seamstress.

I started sewing and blogging my freshman year of college. Sewing came first – I was a student at The University of Miami, it was Christmas break, and I was looking for a hobby to occupy my time. On one of my first days home after school was dismissed, I found my mother’s old sewing machine in a linen closet. Not knowing a thing about sewing, I couldn’t even sew a button or thread a machine, I took it to the local tailor shop. Mishka was the name of the tailorand to be quite honest, she is the craziest, funniest, and most caring person I know. I still call her once a week to check up on her.

“You really want to learn how to sew?” she asked me when I brought my machine into her shop.

“Absolutely,” I said.

“Okay, let’s get started,” she responded, handing me a pair of pants to hem. She always got down to business.

As you can tell, my sewing career lasted more than Christmas break. Since home was so close to school, I began working at her shop and learned the ins and outs of tailoring clothes. After two or three months, I started contemplating a career in the field. How and what profession exactly was still up in the air. Wanting to get my feet wet in the professional side of the hobby, I enrolled at The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, which meant during my sophomore year of college I attended two schools and worked full-time. After a year of commuting, I decided fashion design was the career I wanted to pursue and I transferred to Savannah College of Art and Design.  A year after moving to Savannah, I was offered a full scholarship in Fashion Merchandising at Johnson And Wales in North Miami, Florida and transferred again.

Called an externship, one of the requirements for graduating Johnson and Wales is to spend an entire trimester interning for a business or a company. Thinking big, I applied for a position in Production/Technical Design at Urban Outfitters (Urban Outfitters is a part of the URBN brand which includes the brands Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, BHLDN). Somehow (I think my mom had something to do with it), I got the gig. During the summer of 2010, I moved to Philadelphia, where their home offices are located. My externship ended in August but I never left. Yes, that’s right, I never graduated college. For the next 2 and ½ years, I worked in technical design, learning everything about pattern making, fitting, wash care, label placement, packaging, etc.

During my stint in technical design, I maintained my blog and in the spring of 2012, Urban Outfitters took notice of it and asked if I wanted to switch departments and blog for the company on their Intranet site. I took a risk and said yes but I haven’t regretted it since.

i am 3 <I AM>