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Weekend: Bramaking Challenge


I said I would and now I will.

About a month ago, I committed to sewing 3 sets of lingerie in 1 weekend. Always a technical creature, I calculated exactly what this would entail – cutting and sewing  24 cups, 6 wings, 6 cradles (this includes self + lining), 5 yards of plush elastic, 3 yards of strap elastic, 3 hooks and eyes and 6 rings and sliders. Phew, that’s a mouthful.  For some sewers, this challenge would be a breeze. Lauren could whip up undies for a small nation on any given Saturday. But for me, a sewer who likes to take a pause in between operations so that I can think about the next step, 48 hours to to complete a task such as this makes my nerves throb. Will I complete all 6 pieces? What if I don’t make it. Focus, Maddie, focus…

Since I set my challenge, I haven’t had a full weekend to dedicate to sewing. Somehow, this weekend opened up, in which case I immediately allotted 48-hours of quality time between my sewing machine and I. So, wish me luck, and Norma, got any advice?


  1. Reply

    Ally Mariko

    Adequate snacks! Only drinks that are water or can be in a sealed container. Did I mention snacks? Good luck!!!

  2. Reply

    Ally Design Rewind Fashions

    Remember to move around from time to time. I always get so focused I forget and then wish I had. The snacks idea sounds great too 🙂

  3. Reply

    Pauline alice

    Good Luck! I love the colours you chose, fresh for summer…

  4. Reply

    Karin - the-f-girl.com

    Oh, how fun. Can’t wait to see the results! I’d go for lots of snacks too. And good music. That always helps to inspire me 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Snacks! Great idea!

  5. Reply


    Lovely colours!

  6. Reply


    First of all, this is totally doable! Start by having each bra and knicker entirely planned out, what trim goes where, how the straps will be attached to the bra, etc. and assemble everything you need. All of it.

    Take the time to cut and mark accurately, it will help speed up the construction. If you can get a head start today by doing all the cutting and marking, that is a bonus!

    If the same thread color is used for all sets you can make the pieces assembly style. Though I have to admit I only like that approach for underwear. I like to make bras one at a time.

    Have fun!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Thanks Norma! I’m taking all these with me over the next 48 hours. Right now, it’s midday Saturday and I feel like Chateau Madalynne has turned into Factory Madalynne. Wish me luck and thanks for your support.

  7. Reply

    Sofie M

    Oh yes snacks are a must… reminds me of big projects at uni… first thing we did was line up the snacks. Variety is the key… chocolate peanuts, fruit jellies, chips and popcorn… these are my favourites. Good luck.. can’t wait to see them.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Does wine count as a snack?

  8. Reply

    Gwen Gyldenege

    Oh my goodness! It is so nice to meet another sewer who likes to have long contemplative pauses in between some steps of a project. I too find it a challenge to push beyond those pauses when I’ve naturally injected them into my sewing because when I’ve jumped too quickly, I’ve made mistakes and felt like I wasted fabric or created something that I just won’t wear because it’s ill fitting, has a glaring mistake, etc.

    I recommend using the same bra and underwear pattern for all. That way, you can increase efficiency with each iteration and perfect the “garment” to your preferences. Structure creates freedom. Consider the same pattern your structure, and allow freedom on all other aspects. Doing this allows me to feel the fear (or nerves in your case) and do it anyway. It’s less of a risk for me.

    And all my deep dive sewing includes a healthy dose of a good audio book or TV show. It’s a must. I recommend Jim Dale reading anything (Harry Potter if you haven’t listened has over 100 unique character voices), or books by Deborah Harkness, Jonathan Stroud, MJ Rose, Christopher Moore’s You Suck is freakin hilarious. For shows, I highly recommend Doris Day in Glass Bottom Boat, Aussie drama Miss Fisher’s Murdery Mysteries or British Sitcom Coupling or British Gameshow QI. I’ve a slew more if you’re ever interested.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I’m a big fan of taking pauses in between steps. I evaluate what I’ve just done and plan for the next step. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve prevented a mistake or having to rip something out because I took time to think about my next move.

      I’m using the same pattern and fabric – that’s a definite. Because that portion has been thought about, I’ll be able to concentrate on strengthening my construction skills (perfect zigzag topstitching!).

      Confession: I could watch Harry Potter over and over and never get tired of it. I try to reserve multiple watches for Halloween time, but just like Christmas tunes and movies, binge watching somehow occurs mid year. This might be one of those cases. I usually listen to music, then switch to silence, but I’ll pop in Ron, Hermione and Harry and think of your positive vibes.

      Nerves! Wish me luck!

  9. Reply


    So excited to see what beauties you come up with!! I know I couldn’t do it!

  10. Reply

    Latrice Smith

    Good Luck Maddie,
    The only thing I have sewn this week are bra muslins.

    My advice, would be patience and great tunes.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Patience. I need that for sure.

  11. Reply


    Good luck! You’re amazingly talented and so inspiring no matter how many pieces you’ll make this weekend. I’m like you, I like to take a pause in between tasks, to plan my next step but also to enjoy the process and feel happy about every completed task. But sometimes I’m just in this flow and will stay up all night and design patterns and sew, and for those times I recommend snacks, lemon water and happy music. I wish you a lovely sewing-weekend

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Happy music is a must! Thanks for your positive vibes! You are an inspiration to me as well.

  12. Reply


    How fun, a whole weekend of sewing! I can’t wait to see the beauties you create. You should have some good entertainment like music or a favorite tv show and lots of food! Definitely all the contents of my dream weekend. haha

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Anto! I’ve been meaning to call / write you. I’m sure you hate my by now 🙂 I hope everything is well and I promise we will catch up soon.

      • Reply


        I miss our weekly emails for sure! but puh-lease girl, I could never hate you. I hope you are great! I’m really looking forward to catching up soon.

  13. Reply

    juliana calado

    better late than never, wishing you Luck!!! I am sure you made it brilliantly! 🙂

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