Posted on April 20, 2017
I first met Dana through a benefit auction online. I offered up one of the dresses I used to design, and she was the second bidder–outbid by a dollar. And we bonded over how, in a benefit/charity situation, maybe our goal shouldn’t be winning the auction by the least amount possible, because maybe the goal isn’t winning the auction, but rather making an impact and the “winning” is icing on top. We became fast friends.
Posted on January 30, 2017
TODAY is the final day to register for the 2017 Sewing Buddy Project! After nearly a decade and over 1000 sewing friends matched, the Project is here to find you your perfect sewing pen pal! A one-time fee gets you hand-matched to another sewing enthusiast for a year of sewing prompts, chances to connect, and the kind support of someone who really GETS you.
Already registered? Don’t forget to log on to your account and visit the main group page to complete the Google doc with your information in order to be matched! Matches will be emailed directly to your inbox by Feb 2, 2017. I can’t wait to introduce you to your new sewing best friend!
Posted on December 8, 2016
At the beginning of 2010, I sent out a quick survey to see what it is that most of us see as the reason we aren’t able to successfully get our sewing goals met each year. Is it time? Or how much space we have to work in? Is it lack of accountability? Or something else? The answers were varied and came from all over the globe, and I was fascinated to see what everyone had to say–and even more fascinated to know how many of us are having the same experience, despite very different backgrounds!
The results of the survey said that all of us had some goals to meet–goals we’d been sadly ignoring in years past. Some of them were expected, and others were a surprise–not all of us felt the same way about every aspect of our goals and obstacles, but there was a lot of overlap in the answers. Want to see my super-scientific-I-have-a-social-sciences-degree analysis of the answers that were submitted? Here ya go!
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.”