Most overdue post probably but ¯\_(?)_/¯. Kate & Roses probably articulated the experience better than I could ever, and also let us all know that making a bra can be a feminist act. I struggle with my feminism so there’s that.. struggle in the sense of details but not the overall sense of it. Going on a tangent here, this week we had a shit ton of snow, and lo and behold my landlord was in Cali, which meant I was stuck shoveling snow. The contractor working on the building next door offered to shovel my front stoop since I was struggling. I oscillated between “No, I can do this it’s ok” to “What a kind and generous offer, please help”. </rant>
I had bought demystifying bra fitting and construction way back when it was only offered as a PDF because I knew sooner or later I was going to dip my toes into making undergarments. The book was great, however I knew I would need a visual in construction steps. Obviously if I truly wanted to I wouldve been able to figure it out on my own (with a lot of cursing and tossing shit around of course). Going back and forth between emails with Maddie, she had mentioned way before announcing her workshop what she had in mind. It was Christmas, so I gave myself the workshop as a gift. The week right before the class we had a snow storm and I had to assure Lauren that I’d rent a snowmobile if need be. or ride my Tauntaun
I took the bus to Philly with Jen from @ohhellodollface whom I was dying to meet even though we live in the same city, ha! The taxi tried to play us taking the longest route ever until I got upset and told him to leave us 5 mins away and we’d walk.
Anecdotes aside, let’s discuss what you came to read. All my life I grew up wishing I had my mom’s touch to decorate things nicely. The lady goes all out taking christmas trees, ornaments, 2ft santa dolls, etc. I mean I can’t even be bothered to serve alcohol in anything other than red cups when I host parties. If my mom made me jealous, Maddie had my jaw drop. So imagine her blog aesthetics times 54542643863896360436. Everything was thought out and anticipated for in advance. There was a breakfast corner stocked with coffee, juice, the works. The studio had big windows so everything was lit nicely. I know some people would rather have a no frills lesson with none of the extras included, but I was really happy with everything. Plus have you seen me eat/drink? I’ll school you.
Once the class was over Maddie had expressed how nervous she was, but she did a good job at hiding it. The class was for construction and not fit, which again was fine by me since I just wanted to learn steps and pieces and constructions, and also hang out with other women who love to sew. Supplies were included: rotary cutter, fabrics, notions, pre-cut patterns, as well as printed copy of the pattern in cardstock paper. Maddie was thorough in explaining the different parts of a bra and construction. The class was setup in similar fashion to other classes I’ve taken at FIT where the teacher talks, demos and has us watch and then we go at our own pace.
Tricks like temporary fusing lining and fabric saved us time, as well as how wide our stitches should be, because that wouldve taken me personally a few tries to get. We took a few breaks to eat, which by the way was delicious. I was wearing one of those waist belts that I had to put away for a bit cause yeah. We all sat at the table eating and talking to each other which was awesomesauce, cause there was no sort of clique thing where people go on their own. I had to take advantage of the photo booth because I’m a clown and will jump on the chance of making a fool of myself. There was a taxidermied wolf that I really wanted to hardstyle with but nah. I groped the mannequin instead.
Back to bras.. I was so fucking esctatic to see my bra coming together as one of the pictures captured. You see.. everything for me is looked at in an analytical form. Sewing to me are like puzzle pieces that at first Im like how will this work and then it’s like OHHHHH SHIEETTTT. My advice however is to place all the cut fabric pieces on top of the pattern piece laid out as if it were constructed. It makes it easier to know which ends to sew and you don’t end up sewing something wrong with the lightening stitch, like I did. Much to my surprise we finished the bra in the time slot. At first some of the women were hesitant to try on the bra, but (and this is why I love her) Lauren had no fucks to give and changed in her bra and came outside for us to see. Other gals, tried it solely in the bathroom. I was looking forward to modeling my bra at the photobooth with a soft blur but sadly my bra was a size too small because that was the week when my ladies blow up. But it fits now and I wear my bra all the time. Maddie did offer fitting advice to those who ask, and gave them tidbits on how to pinch in some places or modify the cups to fit better.
The Malborough bra works for my breasts. My next one I’d probably raise the top cup a little more for coverage and slighlty widen the top part of the bridge.
After the class Maddie took Lauren and me out to eat and drink and meet Andrea. It’s always so meta like when you correspond with people so often online and then finally meet them in person. We were pooped, headed home and got ready for bed. Lauren and I had a slumber party, where we had pillow fights, braided each other’s hair, played girl talk and dream girl… just kidding. We did talk so much crap before falling asleep that help solidify just how much we have in common ha!
It was a weekend of firsts for me. Meeting Maddie finally, which I had been really looking forward to since we were already inducted in our sisterhood of traveling fabrics. Visiting Phila was also a first and making a bra. The next day Lauren and I mapped out our walk. 4 miles in total and then practically ran to make our train/bus.
Bullet points for the TL:DR version
If you’re an advance seamstress, you could figure it out on your own
If you’re like me and want a step by step visual, you can benefit for the class
It’s pricey but there’s so much included
A small class is great to get one on one advice without interrupting the class
You never know what other small tricks you can learn from the other women there
Madie does a really good job in explaining everything, and why certain things are done a certain way