Category: Wardrobe

Building My Bra Wardrobe

You’re probably sick of me piping about Sarai’s the Wardrobe Architect. So let me pipe some more. Ready… okay! Cue cheerleader spirit fingers. I accomplished a lot from about April to the end of last year. I developed 5 core patterns that would be the base of my me-made wardrobe – a pant and a short (considered one because really, they’re the same pattern), two skirts (here and here), a top and a jacket. For the next couple years, or until my body/style changes, these will be my basic go-to’s. My core silhouettes as Sarai would say. As minimal as the patterns are, I’m very proud of my work and that I followed through. This year, I’m using the Wardrobe Architect again for a new task – building a solid bra wardrobe. I’ve written about this subject before, and unofficially, I’ve been on this journey for a while. But this year, I’m making it official, being more organized and editing down my rotation as well as tailoring it to my lifestyle better. I’m all about less is more. Below, you can see the current state of my bra wardrobe – in blue is what I’ve already made/mastered and in orange is what I am aiming to add/perfect. I’m not that far away from my goal, amirite? As a part of finishing this journey, I plan (we all know how plans go!) to compile my patterns, instructions and fabrics for each one, its stretch percentage and zigzag stitch length and width for elastic (with each bra, it’s a little different) into one binder/folder. Why? Because the reason for too many faulty bras last year was choosing the wrong fabric. I swear I sewed 3 times as many bras as you saw on this blog! to see examples of each // bra: one, two, three, four, five…

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tags: bra making, Wardrobe Comments: 8

Madalynne Year in Review

This has been an incredible year for sewing, not only because of all the new indie pattern companies, fabric shops and series launched, but because the online sewing community as a whole continues to shift, and keeping up with it has made for an exciting ride. I and I am sure others had hits and misses – me-mades that were slam dunks and me-mades that were a total disasters – but as we close this year, one thing is evident. Sewing is not dead. There are so many talented men and women around the world producing unforgettable pieces with their hands and machines. Instead of posting the traditional “best of” list, I’m recapping my growth as a seamstress this year and what I hope to accomplish next. After reading, I’d love to hear what you’re working on for 2015! Unknowingly, The Wardrobe Architect had a profound impact on my sewing in 2014. It received heat for not being a new concept, but it was new to me. While there are an infinite amount of other “find your style” guides, I never actively participated in one. Sarai released her series at the right time. It was when I first began taking a hard look at the clothes I wear and how they have an impact on the image I have of myself and the image it relays to others. On the surface, it helped my find my style as a RTW shopper. Yes, even though I’m on a quest to live a mostly handmade lifestyle, I will always be a shopper. I live in 2015, not 30 B.C. With each exercise, I inched closer to locking down my style. What I discovered was a stark dichotomy. I love intricate patterns and fabrics with a texture – the busier the better –…

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tags: holiday, How i Wore It, Wardrobe Comments: 24

Wardrobe: Charming Flaw + TNT’s

On the subject of wardrobes and style, there was an article that I really enjoyed in the New York Times that I thought I’d share and comment on. In a newly released book called “The Killer Detail, ” style icons are depicted with photographs by some of the best photographers. What’s unique about the images is that each sartorialist had a “charming flaw.” In one portrait, Marlene Dietrich is shown wearing a tailored pantsuit, ankle-length overcoat, shirt, tie, and sunglasses. Offbeat? Totally. But very MD. Then there’s Louise Bourgeois (love her), who, in a photograph taken by Robbert Mapplethorpe, carries a 24-inch model of phallus under her arm and wears a really ugly black fur coat. Ms. Quin, one of the authors of the book, said it best: “The elegance of each character springs not from haute couture, but from individuality: the wonderful flaw, the stylistic rebellion. It’s the unique touch, the dash of creativity that attracts our attention and defines a certain brand of chic, even if it sometimes verges on bad taste.” I’ve been having a lot of fun following Colette’s Wardrobe Architect. I think it’s a great concept that we build a wardrobe, which includes our sewing projects, around our lifestyles, body, and feelings. But as I think about the ways I can construct a better closet, throwing out some things and holding onto other, it’s important for me to hang onto the things that make me… me. My charming flaws. What are those? Well, for one, wearing bold patterns. I mix and match them to the point where I look like Picasso on top and Jackson Pollack on bottom. When the weather allows, I wear Converse’s with a dressy dress. Fashionable? Um, Chuck Taylor says so. One of my favorite outfits pairs a white, Free People lace…

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tags: Wardrobe Comments: 23

Make Your Own Pattern: Reese

Just before the weather turned, I was shopping for the warmer temperatures at a few local stores and in the distance in one store, a blue, floral printed top caught my eye. The colors were vibrant and that’s just what I needed after a winter that wouldn’t go away. I walked over to the table where the blouse was perfectly folded and when I held it up in front of me, I realized that it was just two rectangles that were shirred, sewn together, and had straps attached. My mind goes nuts when I discover things like this. Nuts! Madeleine Vionnet, a fashion designer during the early twentieth century, was known for transforming simple shapes like squares and rectangles into both chic and flattering garments. On body, these garments drape and highlight every type of figure. The goal of my blog is to take the fear out of pattern making and teach other enthusiasts the tricks of the trade. Unlike sewing, pattern making is a closely guarded skill. Unless you’ve had experience in the industry or you’ve had a great mentor, many of the fundamental pattern making skills, like armhole balance, are unknown and hard to learn. About an hour before my bus ride back to Philly on one of my trips to NYC, I met Lindsey, Editor at Kollabora, for coffee. It was the middle of winter so naturally we talked a lot about the summer. She wanted to make a simple top for a summer festival she was attending and asked me for direction. I gave her one suggestion of how she could create a pattern for a simple tank using the pattern making technique of slashing and opening but when I discovered this blouse, I thought it would be the perfect project for her. “Lindsey, I have an…

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tags: Pattern Making, Wardrobe Comments: 25

How i Wore It: Sequin Skirt

Selfies! Is anyone else as confused and embarrassed about this new phenomenon as I am? An interview that has remained vivid in my memory is one with J. Crew’s Creative Director, Jenna Lyons. The woman is the Einstein of the fashion world, she created the perfect equation for everyday attire, and it is when she described something as making her day “sparkle” in an interview I can’t seem to find now. I loved her use of the word sparkle. There are lots of things that can make a day sparkle – food, the sun, a  bike ride, and fashion. And wearing sequins, wherever – shoes, skirt, or pants, will absolutely make your day sparkle both literally and figuratively. This skirt comes from an online boutique that I just discovered – Dahlia. They’re a British fashion brand that has a playful personality. Their clothes have a quirky twist but are still traditional and affordable. And for the seamstress out there, the construction warrants the price. This skirt was fully lined, even the waistband was even clean finished! With spring just inches away, I’m already visualizing what I’ll be wearing this skirt with – a cotton blouses with lots of ruffles – and the selfies I’ll be taking (that was a joke).

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tags: How i Wore It, How i Wore it, Wardrobe Comments: 12