Posted on December 5, 2016
Years ago, before I started Whipstitch, I was a schoolteacher. Schoolteachers are not, as a cultural group, widely known for their fashion sense. For the most part, I suspect I dressed like a sad librarian. I know this because the most common days on which I received compliments from my students for looking “nice” were the days when I DIDN’T get dressed by choosing the top thing from the unfolded pile of clothing and instead ironed something that had been in the closet. Short version: I didn’t dress like I cared all that much about how I dressed.
But that wasn’t a wholly accurate reflection of how I felt on the inside. In point of fact, I cared a great deal about how my clothing fit and looked. I was (and remain) particularly focused on silhouette, and in how garments work together to create a pleasing whole when layered and combined. Most of my inspiration came from magazines and window shopping–this was before the internet, so I couldn’t Pin my ideas or create a virtual inspiration board. Instead, I tore sheets from fashion magazines and made literal, actual, old-school bulletin boards of looks and colors that I loved, that I felt reflected on the outside how I saw myself on the inside.
A teacher’s salary, though, wasn’t really up to the price tag of my taste level. Most of the clothes that I admired were far beyond my reach financially.
Posted on November 25, 2016
This past year has been one of the happiest, most rewarding years I have ever spent sewing, and that is down to a single factor: the people I spent it with. I made the decision almost exactly one year ago that I was going to focus on two groups in 2016: The Murder Mystery Quilt and The League of Adventurous Dressmakers. The first has been a pet dream of mine for ages, because who doesn’t love a mystery?? The second was a passion project, born directly out of my desire to sew better clothing with people who love to learn.
Posted on September 20, 2016
I wore my Driftless Cardigan–photograph below from Instagram, and yet another garment I have yet to blog about because I’m too busy wearing it–this morning, and a friend asked if I had made it. And what I told her is this weird revelation that I’ve been having over and over, and that feels so obvious that I keep doing a double-take, because how have I failed to see the truth of this so many times? It is this: I wear the clothes most that I like most.
Posted on September 7, 2016
It is finished! My amazing yellow yellow merino-and-silk sweater is all done.
Well, finished depending on whom you ask. Seems like nearly all the knitting sites I’ve seen say it isn’t really finished until I block it. Which appears to involve soaking it and laying it out to dry, and if I understand it right, will make the fibers fluff up and then hold the shape better?
Posted on August 16, 2016
I did a personality profile recently. Not like an online quiz kind of thing, but like a detailed personality assessment with a 39-page analysis and a person-to-person de-brief with the consultant.
It was so, so fun.
I mean that completely un-ironically. I LOVE test-taking. LOVE IT. Always have. I would get all a-twitter on days when we had standardized testing, I thought it was like a treat, like Christmas coming early and ALL FOR ME. I thought the PSAT was a PARTY. (Side note: I am not normal. I embrace and delight in this. My personality profile told me so.)
Posted on June 29, 2016
I have never made a bag I liked nearly as much as this bag. It is possible I have never OWNED a bag I like nearly as much as this bag–and I am deeply emotionally attached to my yellow full-grain pebbled leather Ralph Lauren satchel with brass hardware, so that’s saying something. This is the Supertote pattern from Anna of Noodlehead, which I originally bought thinking it would be a great shape for a ballet bag for my girls (spoiler: it will be), but then realized would also make a great backpack for me for our upcoming family travels. BOOM.
Posted on June 16, 2016
One of the most revolutionary “Hollywood secrets of the stars” I’ve ever read (well, maybe the ONLY one) was the interview where Jennifer Aniston was asked where she gets such flattering tee shirts. Instead of directing people to a $300 tee (like Gwyneth, bless her heart), probably made by an 8yo in China who wasn’t getting an education, Aniston admitted, “The trick to t-shirts is I that I usually tailor them. Which is silly, but it works.”
Posted on June 2, 2016
Posted on May 18, 2016
Posted on May 9, 2016
And then one day you catch yourself thinking, “Well, sure. Of course I’m going to make my own underwear. I mean, why didn’t I think of that sooner??”
But let’s back up a bit.
I came to sewing as someone who makes clothing. I didn’t start out making quilts or bags or even really home decor. I thought sewing WAS making clothing, for a big chunk of my life. All the other stuff came later. But even as someone who came into sewing making clothing, it never occurred to me to make…ALL my clothing. ALL of it? Like, ALL all??