Stitching Students: Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews

Hello everyone; it's been a while! I have lots of shenanigans to tell you about, but those can come later. Today I have the third installment of Stitching Students to share: Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews! I can't remember how I found her, but it was probably through keywords like 'vintage sewing patterns' because a lot of her makes are vintage or vintage-inspired. Her makes are always so classy and elegant, like she belongs in a movie, not to mention how great her hair and make-up look! Without any other spoilers, here's Maddy!

Where are you from?
I hail from Australia.

At what level of schooling are you?
Currently in my second-to-last year of my university degree (so close to finishing now!)

What are you studying?
I’m studying Medicine.

Why did you choose this?
My dad’s a doctor, and pretty much ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to follow in his footsteps. The human body is endlessly fascinating to me, and being able to make a difference in people’s lives is very inspiring to me.

How do your studies affect your sewing, or vice versa? How do you balance and manage time effectively?
Haha, it’s fair to say that my studies certainly take up a good chunk of my time – I spend almost all day every day in hospitals, and then there’s plenty of assignments and study to do on top that! However I think it’s really important to find a balance between work, life and study no matter what field you’re pursuing, so I try and take some time out every week to enjoy some creativity :)

Moving on to general sewing…
When did you learn how to sew, and when did you really get into it?
I first expressed an interest in sewing things when I was about eight years old. Both my grandmothers are avid sewers and dressmakers, and after none of their daughters were interested in taking up the craft, they were delighted when a granddaughter did! Ever since, they have both always been very enthusiastic about teaching and guiding me as I’ve developed my skills, and they’ve both passed on some treasures to me in the form of vintage fabrics and patterns.

What is your favorite pattern company? Or several if you can’t choose.
I really enjoy sewing patterns from a pretty huge variety of pattern companies, especially indie companies – they often have some really cool and unique designs! One of my absolute favourites though is Butterick, especially their reproduction and retro lines (I adore all of the patterns Gertie has done with them!). When it comes to lingerie, my favourite pattern companies are Cloth Habit and Ohhh Lulu.

What are your favorite things to sew?
Easily, ball gowns and fancy lingerie! Even though I enjoy making more practical and basic outfits for day-to-day wear, the projects I love the most are always ones that demand lots of technical skill, couture techniques, high-end fabrics and attention to detail! It’s lucky I’m pretty good at waiting for special occasions to launch in to these makes, otherwise I’d spend all my time sewing and have a wardrobe absolutely full of gowns and an overflowing underwear draw :P

What technique do you dread the most?
I always try and avoid doing any fitting alterations requiring more effort than grading between sizes. I’ve never even attempted a proper full bust adjustment before! I’m lucky that I can get away with it as most patterns I’ve tried so far have fit me fairly well off the bat, but it’s definitely something I’d like to learn properly and master one day – I’m always keen to improve my skills!

Moving on to the intersection of style and sewing…

Where do you get most of your inspiration?
I get a lot of inspiration from old movies and period dramas, photos from different eras and vintage pattern and fashion illustrations. It always fascinates me to see all the unique design features in period outfits, and more importantly, how they were worn and styled. So many times, I’ve stumbled across an outfit online or in a movie and fallen so much in love with a combination or detail that I’ve had to try and recreate it!

What colors do you predominantly sew/wear? If there’s a difference, why? Does season make a difference? So interesting.
I’d say I predominantly wear bright colours – looking through my recent makes, there’s blues, greens, reds and of course, plenty of pink (my favourite colour!). I’d say if there’s any seasonal variation in my wardrobe colours, I probably go for lighter, brighter shades in warm weather and deeper, richer tones when it’s cold. I have to say though, I do still enjoy a classic little black dress from time to time!
A lovely dress in Maddy's favorite color

If you had to describe your style in one phrase or sentence, what would it be?
Though it took me quite a few years to pinpoint my personal style, I feel like I’ve really got it down now – elegant, retro and charming!

What is your favorite make currently? Why do you love it so much?
My favourite make is the dress I made for my university ball last year - based on Butterick 6094 and made up in silk dupion, I think it's the prettiest thing I've made so far - but this year's ball gown might just top it! ;)

The gorgeous silk ball gown

Is your sewing area tidy? (If it is, can I hire you??)
My sewing area is pretty tidy in between projects, as I try to pack up and keep the space clear when it’s not being used…when I’m in the middle of a make, however, it’s a different story!

The tidy sewing area!!

Outside of sewing…

If you’re not studying or sewing, what are you doing? (Hobbies or other important things you do. Watching TV totally counts.)
I’m a pretty avid reader – I love a good historical fiction or murder mystery novel! I also love watching period dramas – big Jane Austen fan here – only partly for the fab costumes ;) 

Finally, if you had to move to a different country, where would you go?
I’d love to live in the UK for a little – although Australia is definitely home for me, I spent a few years growing up in England and while I’ve visited a few times since, it’d be wonderful to spend a few more years there :)

And that's Maddy for you! I have to agree that movies can be a great source of inspiration, even though now they are often not totally accurate. And her ball gown is totally gorgeous! If only there were more formal occasions in life, to facilitate (cough enable cough) party sewing. I also love how diverse student stitchers are. Maddy is studying medicine, which is amazing!
Again, you can catch Maddy at her blog Miss Maddy Sews, and on Instagram as @missmaddysews . Thanks for reading and for all the great feedback on Stitching Students! Have a great week!