I’m intrigued by individual style, how someone defines her style, how she finds that style. I’m particularly intrigued by how a sewer’s ability to create her own clothes influences that style. To explore this, I’m posting a series of guest posts from different bloggers who sew, each exploring their individual connection between sewing and style. Thanks to Maddie, one of the first gals I think of when I think style, for her part in this series.
Hi, my name is Maddie Flanigan and I am the blogger behind Madalynne, the cool sewing and pattern making blog. If Steve McQueen was the “King of Cool,” then Madalynne is the “Queen of Cool.” My blog covers everything from how to draft a sloper to interviews with independent pattern makers/designers and what projects I’m working on. For two and a half years, my day job was in the technical design department for a very large fashion company in Philadelphia. Last year, this company took note of my personal blog and asked me to start an Intranet blog that would create a cohesive voice for all their brands. I consider myself one lucky girl to be able to do what I love both day and night (blog and sew), not to mention I receive a stellar discount off some really fancy clothes.
Describe your style
My style is light, classic, feminine, and pretty. If my style were a set of colors, it would be light pink, cream, white, and black and if my style were a person, then it would be Grace Kelly. I don’t know if I accomplish dressing in this style every day but it’s what I strive for.
Describe what you sew
What I sew has shifted since I started sewing. I first picked up the hobby because I thought I would be able to whip up anything and everything. I had this vision the dresses and jackets could be put together in a day or two. My assumption was quickly turned upside down when I discovered muslins and fit samples. It was then I realized that if I wanted to make a garment that fit and felt good to wear, it would take more than a day or two.
Until about six months ago, what I made included blouses, dresses, skirts, pants, and jackets. Then lingerie came along. When I sewed my first bra and undie (I hate the word panty), I didn’t want to go back to sewing ‘regular’ clothing and I haven’t. My day job is very hectic yet despite my busy schedule, I can complete projects in a matter of weeks and not months. That brings me a big sense of accomplishment.
I look at every day as a chance to play dress-up. How do you play dress-up?
I don’t look at every day as a chance to play dress up but a chance to feel good about myself. I’m glad you asked this question because this was one of my secret New Year’s resolutions. Last year, I allowed myself to not look the best I can some days. I had a wake up call when I saw a photo of myself and thought, “that’s what I look like?” I want to look pretty every day because I am beautiful inside and out. On New Year’s Eve, I got my hair cut and bought a fresh set of make-up . Every day since, have taken an extra 20 or 30 minutes to get ready in the morning. It’s a commitment but committing 20 or 30 minutes to myself instead of blogging is a better allocation of my time.
How does your passion for sewing influence your style? Enable your style? Hinder your style?
My passion for sewing influences my style in two ways. First, it makes me focus on fit rather than aesthetic. I believe the oversized look became popular because as a society, we didn’t know what a good fit was. Things that fit make any body look beautiful. Second, because it takes more than a day or two to complete most projects, sewing makes me focus on styles that are timeless. I want to sew garments that I will be in style for years and not months.
Anything else you would like to say about sewing and style?
I thank the hobby of sewing for giving me an outlet to create a style that is completely my own. And when I use the word style, I don’t only mean fashion. No body has style like Maddie. Since I started sewing when I was eighteen, I have developed a unique personality, set of mannerism, demeanor, and aesthetic that I’m happy to call myself.