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Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveaway

sewing scarf 1 Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveaway

The cold temperatures are coming back, it’s almost here, and that means you’re planning what toasty thingamabob or thingamajig you’ll be wearing around your neck until April. And no, don’t you even think about leaving the house looking like Ernest Shackleton. When you’ve got the right accouterments – not a piece that makes you look like you’ve fashioned a cat around your nape – dipping temperatures can be fun. A warm coat and good boots are essecntial warm gear, but where you can really play up your style is with a scarf. Whether thick or nubby, big and blankety, or thin and silky, a scarf is where you’re personality comes to life during the winter.

Since it’s especially hard to keep your sewing mojo up with it snows, freezes, sleets and rains, I’m offering a very special giveaway. Honestly, it’s one of my favorites to date because it is so specialized and one-of-a-kind. Klara, owner of the Etsy shop Klaradar, is offering one Madalynne reader a hand-painted, sewing inspired scarf. The fabric is pure silk, and she fixed the paint with steam under pressure, which makes the paint part of the fiber. Made in Bulgaria, it is a work of art on par with all of our me-mades. She even finished the edges with a hand rolled hem!

To enter, like Madalynne on Facebook and follow Madalynne on Bloglovin. If you’re already a follower on either platforms, that’s okay. Just tell me so below. In the comments section, be sure to leave your name and contact information. Contest opens immediately and closes Wednesday, Ocotber 8th, where a winner will be chosen, notified and featured on the blog. Last, contest is open internationally. Good luck!

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post footers kladara Hand Painted Silk Sewing Scarf Giveaway

What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynne

elme bra 2 of 5 What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynne

Alexander Wang, Prada and Tommy Hilfiger all sent athletic inspired looks down the runway last spring. The message, I’m sure, was that they were rooting for me, yes me, to show off my active underwear. Since I am such a good sport, I took note despite the fact that most runway rules are not the same IRL. Hey, if Sporty Spice could rock a crop top in 1994, why can’t I in 2014? I can certainly look just as posh, and better than Posh. My me-made intimates have hovered around the soft bra and the underwired variety, so I had to search to find a cool, must-show piece that could double as a pretty option peeking through a bohemian top or on full display during  yoga. I found the one on my favorite social platform – Instagram – when I searched the hashtag #bramaking. Seriously, where would I be without hashtags? I discovered Elma and her handmade lingerie line that is tailored to women with small chests. Hallellujah! Praise the Lord! A quick comment lead to a collaboration, where she sent me the pattern to one of her bras, which I sewed using my choice of fabric and trimming. I chose the Kitri Crop Bra Top and the result was a bra that was much more stylish than anything I ever wore in P.E.? Game on.

I changed the construction slightly, flavoring it to my own tastes. While Elma finishes the armhole and the neckline with a ¼” turnback, I applied ¼” elastic for more support. The only other change was using ½” elastic at the bottom band – Elma uses ¼” – and again, it was for support reasons.

Collaborating with Elma, my goal was to remove the mystic around bra making. In one of my first messages to her proposing the partnership, she responded, “I believe in radical transparency and the only way to grow is to learn from one another.” The world of lingerie making is heavily guarded – I vividly remember my days in technical design when vendors would not release any of their patterns – but Elma and I are one in the same, just two people on a mission to make beautiful, simple bras.

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post footers elma What i Made: Elma Shop + Madalynne

Weekend: Hello Fall!

weekend 09 261 Weekend: Hello Fall!

It’s that time of the year again when everyone from the barista to that rando in the elevator is talking about it – fall.

“Wow, can you believe it’s almost October?”

“Yes, can’t you see me shivering and clutching my coffee, sans ice, right now?”


A lot of women past their teenage years haven’t created a shopping list since paper scissors were on it, but that helpful guide is important, especially when battling borderline arctic temperatures. Aside: Please winter 2015, don’t do that to me like last year. It seems like ages ago since Sarai’s Wardrobe Architect, but really, it has only been one season. Just like last spring, I’m using her methodical method, not only because I now realize that how I craft my closet and the clothes in it simultaneously crafts the image I portray to others, but also because my unique collection of me-mades I set out to make will keep me focused and away from RTW racks. Double win.

But I’m not a prolific sewer like Lauren, so my plans have to be deliberate, thought-out and realistic. What do I have in mind? Well, for one, a coat that is more Pheobe Philo than Captain Gordon. After that, definitely a statement piece to ring in the season while looking seriously fresh. Maybe a floor length Alder dress with a mandarin collar? And you knew this was coming – lingerie. Oh yes, lots of lacey lingerie. Let the fall sewing commence!

What are you stitching up this season?

post footer weekend Weekend: Hello Fall!

To Set Undies Flat or In the Round?

undies 1 of 11 To Set Undies Flat or In the Round?

The same burning question that haunts sewers when attaching a sleeve to an armhole also bedogs makers of intimates. To set elastic flat or in the round? One way is easier than the other, but the other way is considered the correct method. Most of the big pattern companies inexplicably have sewers set sleeves in the round, so that’s the method they learn first. But once he or she tries the flat method, they usually never go back. Of course, the project at hand has some say in the matter (i.e. setting a sleeve in a t-shirt versus a tailored jacket). Same goes for attaching elastic. Newbies are first taught to set elastic in the round, but never go back after trying the flat method. For me, the correct method is the one that yields the higher quality finished product, which in the case of undies is setting the elastic flat on the leg opening and setting the elastic in the round at the waist. Here’s why. The leg opening is curved, so it is a lot easier to set it flat. However, the waist opening is straight (not curved), so it’s not a hassle setting the the round. The only difference to consider when choosing between the two is how the elastic will be finished. When setting in the round, you will most likely overlap the elastic 1/2″, which is flatter than when elastic is set in the round. In that case, the elastic will have to be finished separately and tacked either forwards or backwards.

What about you? What method do you use and why?
post footer bra making To Set Undies Flat or In the Round?

      Did you hear that I'm teaching an online bra making class? In 1 hour, I walk you through constructing a bra from start to finish, and I'll cover choosing a bra pattern, finding your size, tracing and cutting tips and construction. Click HERE to sign up now! If you can't attend the class, I will be teaching it in person this winter here in Philadelphia; EMAIL ME to be put on the waiting list.


      GRAINLINE STUDIOS just released its newest pattern, the Linden sweatshirt. A modern update to the classic sweatshirt, it features a relaxed fit, raglan sleeves and a scoop neckline. Ladies, this is the perfect winter staple!


      SALLIE is laid back cool in her me-made loungewear.


      Are you following LAUREN and the whole host of other sewers who are making V1419, a Ralph Rucci inspired coat? It’s going to be fantastic.


      She is and has always been an inspiration. AMY just made the most well-constructed strapless bra. A combination of lace, lycra and powernet, this beats any bra on the market.


      She is and has always been an inspiration. AMY just made the most well constructed strapless bra. A combination of lace, lycra and powernet, this beats any bra on the market.


      Why use PDF patterns? MELISSA from Fehr Trade discusses.


      With the temperatures cooling off in the northern hemisphere, RACHEL just finished a colorful clover dress. I hope she layers it with tights and a sweater/jacket because it is too good to sit in her closet until spring!


      JEN shares a great way to finish the neckline of a wrap dress.


      KAREN diverted a serious dungaree dress disaster and transformed Pauline Alice’s Turia pattern into a pinafore dress.