Weekend Reading: Inside a fashion studio, changing shapes, and doing more


Just a few links for you this week while we’re out of town! Above is a photo I took on the plane over San Francisco on our way out to lovely PS. California has been treating us very well, but we’re headed home later today.

  • Go inside the studios of Nanette Lepore, a designer who is really committed to producing clothing in New York. Elizabeth Cline writes, “The theme of Lepore’s latest collection is ‘handcrafted,’ an appropriate homage to the ecosystem of highly skilled professionals responsible for engineering her designs.”
  • How our silhouettes have changed over time, and what that means. “Notably, the head – where our biggest asset, the brain, sits – has been the most overlooked part of the female form when it comes to the sexual male gaze.”
  • Keep your doing and your deciding away from each other. I keep thinking about this article this week. I actually feel like there are lessons in this for becoming a more productive sewist.

Have a great weekend, folks. I’ll see you next week when we’re back in the studio!

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The Wardrobe Architect Week 6: Organizing your palette


Last week, we discussed the idea of creating a palette that represents your own unique tastes and preferences.

So the question now is, how do you go from a list of colors to a wearable palette? How do you decide which colors you need more of, and which you need fewer of?

To help us along, we’re going to organize our favorite colors this week.

I’ve divided my palette up into 3 parts: neutrals, near neutrals, and statement colors. I’ve also added one more category, metallics. I’ll go through each one in turn, showing you my own choices.

Once you have your palette categorized like this, it will be easier later to create smaller palettes for seasonal wardrobes. We’ll cover that process in the coming weeks.


Neutral colors are basics that go with just about anything. Think browns, grays, black, white, beige, etc.

Generally, neutrals convey an air of sophistication and elegance, though they can become boring if used exclusively or untempered by other kinds of visual interest, like texture, silhouette, or detail.

I find that the more neutrals you incorporate, the easier it is to build outfits from just a few pieces. If you’re not into neutrals, that’s absolutely fine, but I do think that without neutrals you may need to own more clothing to create the same variety of looks. It really depends on your personal preferences.

Just keep in mind that a healthy serving of neutrals (or nearly neutrals, our next category) helps to keep things simple. I pulled out the neutrals from my palette:


Nearly Neutrals

I call these colors “nearly neutrals” because they act like neutrals but have a little more visual impact.

Your own definition of nearly neutrals can vary. Think of colors that seem to go well with everything, like burgundy, navy, wine red, very pale blush pink, olive green, gold, etc.

Nearly neutrals are anything you personally wear like a neutral. You feel confident combining them easily with other colors.


Statement Colors

These are the colors that don’t necessarily go with everything, but have a lot of visual impact. For me, these colors elicit some of the strongest feelings. They have a lot more visual weight, and they tend to make clothing more recognizable.

Statement colors can be used in large or small doses. You can have many of them, or just a few.



Metallics will probably be most present in the jewelry you wear, but might show up in other places too (shoes, buttons, bag hardware, etc).

I love metallics because they act like neutrals but have a bit more spark to them.

I find that people are usually drawn to either cool metallics (silver, white gold, pewter, platinum) or warm metallics (gold, bronze, copper, rose gold). I am definitely of the warm persuasion.



Organize your palette. Take your collection of colors from last week and try dividing it into the categories above: neutrals, nearly neutrals, statement colors, and metallics. If you feel like adding more colors to your palette at this point, go ahead! I added metallics to mine.


Do you feel like your color choices are balanced, or do you lean more toward neutrals or statement colors?

PS: Guess what, you guys? This is the 1,000th post on this blog! Thank you guys for being with me through the years, I’m so thrilled to have made it this far. I’d like to be more reflective, but I’m still on work-cation right now (writing this poolside with a G&T, in fact), so for now I’ll just say a sincere thanks.


Zinnia Sewalong & Contest at The Stitchery!


I wanted to drop a quick note and let you know about this fabulous sewalong and contest starting from our friends at The Stitchery in Glasgow.

To celebrate the start of series 2 of The Great British Sewing Bee, Cassandra is hosting a sewalong for the Zinnia skirt pattern, and an accompanying contest with a grand prize of a Janome sewing machine!

To get all the details, visit the post on The Stitchery’s blog!


We’re headed to Palm Springs!


Today, the whole team of us is headed down to Palm Springs!

We’re taking a mini company vacation while we shoot an upcoming project. I’m excited that I’ll be able to share what it is when we get back. It’s been a huge undertaking for all of us, and this trip is the perfect way to cap it off.

I’ll still be blogging all week, and hopefully I’ll be unveiling my new swimsuit for you all when we get back! I am so excited about how it turned out.

If you’d like to follow along on our desert field trip, you can follow my photos on Instagram. Hopefully the next post you read will be coming at you from the poolside.


Friday Chatter: How important is comfort to you?


If you haven’t yet read Cathy Horyn’s op-ed in the New York Times about the changing role of comfort in fashion, it is highly recommended.

In it, she talks about the increasing shift towards comfort in the way women dress, and the reactions from the world of fashion. Do we prize comfort now more than ever?

As I get older, comfort has become more and more important to me.

One mistake that people seem to often make is associating comfort in clothing with “giving up.” The dichotomy between being comfortable and looking good is a false one, especially in today’s world of knit fabrics and other advances. If comfort is important to you (and I don’t think it is for everyone, or needs to be), you can still look beautiful.

It seems to be a balancing act, and each person sets the point at which she feels best. It’s interesting that, as a culture, we seem to be shifting more in that direction. Take a look at the offerings at high end boutiques like Totokaelo, Frances May, and La Garconne, for example.

How important is comfort in your clothing? And what defines comfort for you?

[image above: Isabel Marant FW2013]

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