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Matchy Matchy Project Complete

Well, this is it. Matchy-matchy, what I’m calling this project, is complete.

I began this project in April, a week after I debuted my me-made dress at my friend’s wedding. It was intended to be a fashion forward type of project but a simple and versatile one. You see, most of my previous projects were occasion-oriented. I made it for a specific occasion but wore it only once. After it made it’s debut, it sat in my closet, never to be worn again and only gazed upon. Fond memories were attached to it but I wanted my me-made garments to have longer lives. It was a shame for them to be unworn because the construction and fabric were always killer and on point. Because of this, I changed my focus for this project. I wanted to wear it more than once, with many things, to many occasions, and dress-up and dressed-down.

The inspiration for this project was varied and scattered. Collaging sketches I had drawn and compiling pages I had torn from magazines, I noticed that a lot of my inspiration was from nighttime and pajama dressing with a 1950s vibe. When I began this project, I worked in technical design for sweaters, knits, and intimates (I’m now a blogger for the company) and many of the garments I handled could be worn during the day despite the fact that it was considered lounge, nighttime, or evening wear. And why not? The fabrics were mostly made with buttery fabrics that were tactile orgasms of the hand. They should be worn during the day not not reserved for nighttime only. Shortly after collaging, I read this article about a fashion trend on the horizon – matching tops and bottoms. It was a new look to my eye and it was a refreshing one. Also, we’ve been on a kick about polished dresses and skirt suits a la Mad Men for many seasons and I think thought this was a nice evolution of that trend. All of these influences – nighttime dressing, 50s aesthetic, matching tops and bottoms, and Mad Men – came together to create this project.

Simple? This project was not that. I was a very bad seamstress and researched the fabric after I had purchased it. As stated two paragraphs above, the silhouette of each piece is simple because one, I wanted the garment to be versatile and two, because I wanted the garment to be all about the fabric. I had tweed in mind when I began this project but when I saw 4 yards of vintage yellow tweed fabric on Etsy, I pressed ‘add to cart’ and ‘checkout’ without a thought in between. When the research portion of the project came around, I quickly learned that tweed needs lots and lots of TLC. According to many blogs and books, including Claire Schaeffer’s, tweed needs to be reinforced with interfacing, quilting, and other kinds of reinforcement becuase it is woven loosely and therefore, will sag and fall out of shape over time if this step is skipped. I really didn’t want to put in this extra work – my last project was rather intense – but I wasn’t going to make a poor quality garment. That just ain’t me.

So I did it all and I did it all to the tee. Perfectly too. I interfaced, I hand quilted, and then I machine quilted. I pressed at every step and I used silk organza, not muslin, as a press cloth. I was on such a high with the way the project was turning out that I added some fun and glamorous details. The back neck and sides of shorts have slit opening that have this sparkly ribbon as closures. I also beaded the front neck. Yeh, that’s right, I beaded. Every single bead.

The project may not have been simple, and that’s okay because I overcame it, but the project was certainly versatile. While in Florida, I wore the blouse with a pair of hot pink capri pants and kitten heels and I wore the shorts to dinner with a chambray top and again, with kitten heels.

A success? I think so! Onto my next project I go…


  1. Reply

    Erin Currie

    I love it! Any chance of getting close-up photos of your construction details??

    • Reply


      Yep! See my reply to Clare’s comment (above)

  2. Reply

    Elle C

    Cute outfit!

    Have you posted a link to your “professional” blog and if so I missed it. Could you post a link again (or for the first time).

  3. Reply

    Miss Crayola Creepy

    I LOVE THIS!!! The fabric and the beading together are so perfect.

  4. Reply


    Maddie this is gorgeous!!! Fantastic job!
    It’s great that you chose to make something that you’ll be wearing often because with all of that hard work and beautiful craftsmanship that you put into it, it’s a real pity to see something so stunning just live on a hanger for the rest of it’s life.

  5. Reply


    Cute!!!!! All your hard work and patience really paid off! Great job, girl!!

  6. Reply

    Rochelle New

    Love that fabric choice!! What great texture and color 🙂

  7. Reply

    Amanda Adams

    The tweed is super cute. I had no idea the steps required to see with tweed so thank you for the heads up! The feature necklace works a treat as well. Kudos!

  8. Reply

    Clare Mountain

    I second Erin’s comment – I’d love to see some construction detail close ups! Maddie, you have down an awesome job on this. They really are super wearable! And I adore the beaded necklace you featured as well. SO so good.

    • Reply


      I thought about this – detail shots – after I published the post. I get wrapped up in the overall look, the gestalt of things, that I forget about the details. I promise, pinky promise, that I’ll follow up this post with a post covering the details 🙂

  9. Reply

    Antoinette Perez

    Oh, it’s a gem! So glad it’s versatile, too. You’ll get a lot of wear from it! Which Claire Shaeffer books were most helpful?

  10. Reply

    Jackie Saffert

    You. Are. So. Talented! This outfit looks amazing, and I love that the pieces can be worn as an outfit or as separates. I also checked out your last project (the dress) and that was amazing, too! I can’t wait to see what the next piece will be!

  11. Reply

    Bekuh Browning

    You look amazing and I love your you little short and top set. I’m ultra impressed by your quilting and sewing skills. You are so talented!!

  12. Reply

    Heather Lou

    Maddie this looks rad but I want to see the GUTS & GLORY. Insides & Fanciness! The tweed looks so pretty and I’m really feeling on the beads. Is it heavy though? Does the shirt move okay with all the quilting and underling or is it more architectural?

  13. Reply


    Oh, Maddie! The hard work paid off: you look like a million dollars 😉 Hope you feel the same way too! As few others, looking forward for the close-ups.

  14. Reply

    Amanda Russell

    I’ve been DYING to see this, and it does not disappoint!! Absolutely amazing, Maddie – the yellow tweed takes this simple silhouette and transforms it into something so chic and glamorous – it suits you perfectly! I’m so impressed with all the work you did to make it come to life, including that hand beading!!! *golf claps* well done, well done indeed!! ^__^

    • Reply


      I was trying to say the exact same thing, but somehow I couldn’t… language difference… -.- But you are so right. :))


  15. Reply

    the Garment Farmer

    This looks lovely Maddie. The colors in the fabric look fantastic on you. It’s a darling outfit–definitely has lots of life in it 😉

  16. Reply


    WoooooOOOOWWWW!! Maddie this is beautiful!! Truly truly stunning. Lovely handling of the tweed – it must feel so good to know nothing was rushed and every step of the process was well executed. I love your hand beading – it just looks so full of love. And how nice that you are already seeing versatility with your garments – thats the best. I love when my handmade items are also hard working within my wardrobe. Congrats my dear!

    • Reply


      Oh and P.S. I am eagerly awaiting where your brain will take us next!

      • Reply


        this garment was full of lots of love. lots and lots of lovin’

        I too am glad that I took the time. It was well worth it as this project will stay in my closet forever. I might even hang it my bedroom wall for inspiration and reminiscing (as you can see, the “artwork” in my apartment are garments – think I like clothes enough?)

        My next project is big but I’m keeping it a secret 🙂

  17. Reply

    Meg the Grand

    Holy cannoli. That might just be the most gorgeous tweed in the history of tweed. I LOVE that it’s a matching set! They are stunning in their design and color, and I would definitely love to see a picture of the top paired with the hot pink capris – I’m sure it’s glorious to behold!

    • Reply


      hmmmm… I’m craving a cannoli now 🙂

  18. Reply


    Wow, Maddie! I love how you’ve combined this tweed with hand beading. Looking forward to your details post– I hope to try hand beading sometime and would be very interested in your technical tips 😉

    • Reply


      I forgot to mention in my other responses to comments… when I post detail shots, I will give some tips on how I beaded. Interesting it will be indeed.

  19. Reply

    Christina Crooks

    cool photo treatments! congrats on getting through a tough project. what’s next?

    • Reply


      what’s next is a secret but it’s BIG!

  20. Reply


    YAY there’s going to be a more details post! Your hand-beading! Your hand-beading!! So awesome 🙂

  21. Reply


    This is amazing! I love this idea of a simple, clean silhouette done in a rich fabric, and as separates. The possibilities for mixing and matching and always looking elegant…Wow, really inspiring. Looking forward to details.

  22. Reply


    love this creation story… detail shots! craving detail shots!

    your wallpaper gone crazy is so cool.

    • Reply


      details shots are to come. I never let Oona down when she demands photos!
      the wallpaper is faux – a la Photoshop

  23. Reply


    Flawless. Can’t wait to see the beading close-up!

  24. Reply

    Amy @ Sew Well

    The yellow color and bead work are just perfect. Glad you saw this project through.

  25. Reply


    Wow, that’s amazing. I love this outfit! I am looking forward to the inside secrets’ post…

  26. Reply

    Katie DiStefano

    stunning – as per usual!

  27. Reply


    WAAAAH. Since you wrote about this project, I’ve been SO exited to see the result. this one is WAY more awesome than I ever thought! It turned out so great! I love the collar and the shape and basically everything. Matching tops and bottoms is such an awesome trend. I definitely need at least two pieces. 🙂
    Also, it looks totally wonderful on you!
    Amazing work.



  28. Reply

    Daughter Fish

    Wow, Maddie! How did I miss this post! This combo is absolutely amazing. Pro style. I want to see it in person now!:)

    • Reply


      our next meet-up. I promise!

  29. Reply


    Maddie, somehow I missed this! I thought you were still working on it ;). It looks beautiful, and I love the wallpapery effect.

  30. Reply


    That is a wonderful project, and it turned out so beautifully! I was wondering about the quilting (because I am making a bouclé dress) – did you reinforce the fabric with squares, up and down the straight and cross grains? I’m afraid that if I did that the fabric wouldn’t move, and I’d be trapped in an iron-like garment. I was thinking of just running stitches up and down the straight of grain but not across. Do you think that would hold the fabric well?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Great question. Yes, I sewed in the direction of both the straight and cross grain. It was the perfect about of reinforcement – it wasn’t too much and the top is still hanging in my closet in great shape.

      Every garment is different so I hesitate to give you any tips without seeing what your making and the fabric. But I can suggest that after sewing down the straight grain, stitch a couple of rows across the cross grain and see how it looks. If you don’t like the way it feels/looks, take it out.

      Be sure to send me photos of what you’re working on when you finish!

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