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a learning experience for both you and I. I was surprised the amount of positive feedback I received on Monday’s post about tips for sewing bloggers. Just like my tutorials on how to draft a sloper, I almost didn’t publish it. Every blogger writes a tips for blogging post and I didn’t want come across as cliché. But I thought that my tips were different and from comments I read, so did you.

On Wednesday night, I finished sewing a bra that I was sure would fit. I spent a month fine tuning and cross checking the pattern, thinking through each alteration. It didn’t fit and I was bummed. I tried it on, took it off, tried it on, and took it off. I tried it on one more time. The underarm was pulling in all sorts of directions, kind of like Joan Rivers face except not as tight (okay, Maddie, that was rude…). I took off the bra one last time.

“How is it that Amy hosted an entire sew-a-long and I still don’t have one bra that is worthy enough for brag about?”

“Wait a second. Wait. A. Second. Wasn’t it you who just posted to stitch at your own pace? Yep. That was you. Hypocrite.”

After my harsh internal dialogue, I stepped away from the project as every seamstress should do when they find themselves in a bind (I give myself at least one night to think before cutting, pinning, or any other form of correcting).  I started to remember the summer I drafted my sloper. Alla, the technical designer I worked under, and I fit and altered the pattern four times over the course of four months before we finished. And there were two of us! But we eventually achieved a perfect pattern and I will do the same with my bra. “Stitch at your own pace” – that lesson I preached to you earlier this week came back to teach me – the teacher. So what if Amy completed an entire sew-a-long? This isn’t school and this isn’t work, there is no deadline. Mrs. Borowski can’t give me a detention for turning in an assignment late (Mrs. Borowski… you know… my sophomore English teacher). So why feel pressured or bummed? Not me, not I, no I won’t feel pressured is the attitude I woke up with the next morning. I will move on,  pushing myself to make a beautifully fitted and construction bra. I’ll get there, I know it, but until then, I’m going to keep moving… forward. It doesn’t matter when I finish my goal, what matters is that I have a goal that I’m working towards.

more snapshots

weekend 2


  1. Reply


    Aw, well just to encourage you a little more – I can tell you something I don’t like about every bra I’ve made. My dh keeps telling me I’m just a perfectionist, and that may be so… but I can still really find fault with every bra. So this week I went back the the drawing board and re-drafted my basic full-band pattern. I made it up, and it wasn’t ‘exactly’ what I wanted. Dh groaned, but I was determined. So I did what I have been avoiding doing – I slashed the cups open – just as described in the Bra Makers Manual. And now I’m almost done a second bra with the adjustments to that re-drafted pattern. I want that perfect fit, and I’m going to keep going until I have it. Until then, I’ll have to wear some less-than-perfect ones.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Good for you for not giving up and continuing forward. As you make another bra (hopefully one that fits), know that I will be doing the same. We’re not perfectionist! We just like to do a good job and we’re not there yet.

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    Oh yep. I know that feeling though with sewing generally rather than bras (which I haven’t even got the courage to try yet). There’s nothing worse than our internal quip is there?

    Glad you had some time out from the project though. ‘Tis a very good important step which sometimes takes me days to get through lol.

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    Carrie Elias

    Hope your weekend is rad…..you are an inspiring woman Maddie.

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    I feel ya! It’s so frustrating after spending so much time on something… It’s weird, maybe it’s just because I experienced a similar frustration last week that I’m more aware of it, but I feel like I’ve read so many blogposts about feeling uninspired, or feeling that you failed at something, and even my real life friends are feeling this way at the moment! I’m hoping it has something to do with the season, or everyone coming down after the fresh start at the beginning of the new year (when people make these big goals and then beat themselves up for not achieving them…). Hopefully spring comes soon with some fresh inspiration!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Hmmm… that’s a good observation. Maybe we all are coming down from the high of New Years.

  5. Reply

    Maggie Smith

    Just like you said, we should stitch at our own pace. We know you will get there! 🙂

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    Is that Reading Terminal Market?! Love that place…
    Anyway, stitching at your own pace is a good thing to remember. It can get all too easy to compare ourselves with others in the blogging world, but that’s simply not productive! I’m currently working on “not feeling pressured” about other things in my life (besides sewing) so, while about a completely different topic, your words were timely for me. In fact they even made me take a couple deep breaths while reading it… always helpful!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Yes, that’s Reading Terminal Market. The Flower Show is this week and I spent more time next door (at the market), then at the show!

      Not feeling pressured can apply to any area of life and not just sewing. I’m glad to hear that my words came just in time for you.

      BTW – are you still coming to Philly?

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    Just keep going, that is the important thing! I have to remind myself of the same thing, especially when wedding planning has taken over my sewing time on the weekends.

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    Your patience is inspiring 🙂 You’re so right though, we all just need to sew at our own paces, including dealing with fitting setbacks and general life craziness.

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    Great attitude! I’m sure you will get there in the end. Good reminder not to compare ourselves to others 🙂

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    I’m sorry to hear. I always got the feeling that everything you did worked out beautifully, which I think must have a lot to do with your hard work, diligence, and talent. So, I have no fear that we’ll be hearing about that perfect bra sometime in the future. Until then, take your time and enjoy the process.

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    Aww, I understand that stuff, blood-sucking comparison stuff. You got the wings, girl. And your own flight patterns. 🙂 It’ll happen. But I understand your determination, too. I get tunnel vision when I’m trying to figure something out.

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    We are so hard on ourselves sometimes. Sometimes I wish I could just tell my inner critic to shut it.

    Hope you had a great weekend.

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