No Possibility of Wet Cuffs


Today was the first day of this project that really wanted to wear pants.

It was kind of like a craving for pants.

Maybe it’s because it’s a little bit rainy, or because I’m going to be spending most of today writing, but for whatever reason I wants jeans.

Needless to say, I have not made a pair of jeans yet. I’m holding off until I have a couple more pieces finished, that way I can concentrate on making jeans without (at the same time) worrying about what to wear.

But then I remembered that I hate wearing jeans in the rain, because wet cuffs are just awful, so (what’s quickly becoming) my favorite skirt will work fantastically for today.

No possibility of wet cuffs.

What’s the difference between knitted fabric and woven fabric?

knitted fabric

woven fabric

What’s the difference?

Knitted fabrics (knits) are made by being knit.

Woven fabrics (wovens) are made by being woven.

(I’ve always assumed that’s where the names all came from, but I’m not sure which came first.)

Both are creating using yarn (fluffy, soft string) or thread (thinner/finer than yarn). In fact most fabrics are created using either yarn or thread.

Knitting is where you take a single length of yarn, and use it to create a row of loops, and then another row of loops on top of that, etc.
The loops are called stitches (not to be confused with a stitch in sewing), and you knit using needles. The needles are used to hold and manipulate the stitches (loops). How you manipulate those stitches determines what pattern your finished fabric has.

Weaving is done using a loom and multiple pieces of yarn or thread. You have parallel lines of yarn going vertically along your fabric, this is called your warp. Then you have yarn that moves horizontally across your fabric (right to left) over and under the warp (the threads moving vertically along your fabric). This yarn moving horizontally over and under your warp, is called your weft, and it “weaves” in and out of your warp. How the weft weaves over and under the warp determines the pattern of the finished fabric.


What does that mean about the finished fabric?

A couple things.

Knits are generally stretchier than wovens. Since knitted fabric is comprised of loops stacked on top of loops, this loops can expand, and then contract again. Woven fabric is based on a grid (remember that it has threads that go up and down as well as left and right.) That makes wovens much more “stable” and less stretchy, than knits.

Because knits are stretchy, they also knits move with your body more than wovens do. This is why knits are used in athletic wear, and most casual clothing.

But because knits are used in athletic wear and because they drape more and move more, knits are more casual than wovens. So, most put-together/office/”grown up” clothing is usually made of woven fabric (of course sweaters are the exception, as well as some women’s blouses.)

The stability of wovens also means you’re able to tailor them, which makes them better than knits for sharper, more tailored garments (think suits & jackets.)

So to recap…

Knits: made of loops of yarn/thread
Wovens: are made of a grid of yarn/thread

Knits: have stitches
Wovens: have a warp & a weft

Knits: less stable
Wovens: more stable

Knits: more stretchy
Wovens: less stretchy

Knits: more casual
Wovens: more formal

That’s the very basics of knitted fabric and woven fabric.
Of course, you can go deeper there are exceptions & caveats & more layers to explore, but these are the basics.

Which is your favorite? Knits or Wovens?

A Day in Wonderland


I haven’t worn this skirt yet, but it was one of the self-made pieces I started this project with.

It’s got different portraits of Alice from Alice in Wonderland all over it, along with tea pots & tea cups.

I don’t wear it often because it takes a certain mood to pull off, but when I do it always makes me smile.

Since today is an editing & writing kind of day, I figured it was a perfect day for a little bit of whimsy.

The First Little Black Dress


It’s the first of what I’m sure will be many little black dresses.

This is the dress I was talking about yesterday, a simple, racer back, A-line, cotton, black dress. I actually took my tank pattern, and elongated it into a dress.

This probably not a dress I would have picked up in a store, but kind of love it…

How do you define personal style?

personal style

I’m working away on the next chapter of the book, and I’m mulling around the question of “personal style.”

What does it mean?
How do you find it?
Once you find it, how do you define it?
Do you even need to know what your personal style is anyway?

So I thought I’d ask you:

How do you define “personal style?”

Either, how do you define the term “personal style,” or how do you define your own personal style, or any other way you can read that question.

Hit reply, shoot me an email, or send me a thought on twitter or instagram.

Day 16


Day 16 of this project, and it’s a black and white kind of a day today.

Still adoring this skirt, and must make another one like it sometime soon. And I’ll remember to take photos this time.

I’m hoping to finish up a dress tonight, so if all goes well tonight you’ll be seeing it tomorrow…

(Fingers crossed.)

The Birds & Wheels Flare Skirt


Sewing and cleaning and watching the World Cup, on the agenda for today, so I need something simple. Something I can change easily.

Besides who doesn’t love birds on their skirt?

And yes, you have seen this before…

PS. there’s the pink skull Dana.

A cascade of flowers


Still adoring my unfinished flower skirt. And am still on the quest for the perfect racer back tank top. (I figure once I get the tank, I can work on a cami pattern.)

The skirt has certainly grown significantly just in the couple times I’ve worn it, so I’m glad I didn’t hem it yet. Though I think there’s something charming about the raw selvage hem.


Also, I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through the first month of the project…

Trying something a little bit different


Trying something a little bit different today. Thoughts about the collage? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent?

I was planning on wearing a new black maxi skirt, but it didn’t turn our quite like planned. (It ended up huge! Which is what I get for cutting things right before bed.) So I need to futz with it, probably take it in a whole bunch, which is better than the alternative I guess…

Anyway. Happy Friday the 13th!
Tell me what you think of the collage.

Where do you spend your time? And how does it affect what you wear?

Since it’s a working from home in pajama pants kind of day here, I thought you might like an excerpt from this month’s chapter of the book.

This month I asked & answered 5 questions to get clarity around exactly what I want from my wardrobe, came up with a whole bunch of clarity, and a “shopping” list.

One of the questions I asked was “where do you want to wear you wardrobe” and “where do you need to wear your wardrobe.”

And since I’m writing this in my pajamas from my couch I thought these two pages were quite appropriate for today.

It’s a bit on long side so grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and without further ado, pages 14-15 (of 41), from Chapter 1 of The Self-Made Wardrobe Book:


Where do you want to wear your wardrobe?
Where do you actually need to wear your wardrobe?
Where do you spend your time? And how does it affect what you wear?

Do you spend most of your day in an office? Or at home? Who do you primarily interact with? Co-workers? Family? Your cat? Other freelancers at the coffee shop? What are the standards (spoken or unspoken) of the places you spend your time in?

There may be some overlap between this answer and the answer to “what do you need from your wardrobe,” and that’s ok. It just means that the aspects that overlap are important parts of your wardrobe.

Where do you need to go (and presumably wear clothes to)?
What do you need to wear to work?
Do you have any hobbies that kind of require a certain type of garment? Working out? Hiking?

Ballroom dancing? Aerial gymnastics? Do you do a lot of stuff around the house or apartment? Do you need clothes you could rip up flooring in? Or garden in?

Do you need clothes that could get splattered in mud or paint?

Do you have kids? I don’t know much about kids, but I know they’re messy. Or pets? Having a black cat and a white wardrobe, or a white dog and a black wardrobe takes some pretty fancy lint- brush work.

None of the questions I’m asking are meant to exclude nice things from your wardrobe, but rather, to encourage you to plan ahead, so you’re less likely to ruin your favorite dress.

Where do you want to be going?

If you had an entire day, no commitments, no scheduled events, nothing you had to do, but you could do anything. Where would you end up going? Coffee shop? Bar? Library? Restaurant? Park? Shopping? Wandering? Exploring? Hanging out with friends? At home in your pjs? The city? The country? The ocean? A lake? What would you want to wear that day, to each of those places?

My answer for these questions has a lot of overlap with my answers for “what do I need to wear” and will overlap again with my answers for “what do I want to wear,” but maybe yours don’t. There’s a reason it’s called personal style.

I need a wardrobe that can easily transition between all sorts of places.

A wardrobe that can stand up to hours of walking, and hours of sitting, and hours of standing, all of which take different tolls on your body, and all of which are uncomfortable after a certain point. I need my wardrobe to go from downtown to midtown to uptown, from film sets and theaters to shops, offices, workshops, studios, and everywhere in between.

I live in New York City, which means I need my wardrobe to pass the NYC once over without looking like a tourist or a total slob, but living in NYC also means that I would have to wear something pretty crazy before people really started staring.

All this combines to mean I need a versatile wardrobe that can get dressed up or down. A wardrobe that always looks artsy but not crazy, put-together but not boring. I guess that’s one of the tricky things about my chosen life: I need a wardrobe that can do everything, and do it all well.

It’s totally ok if your wardrobe wants and needs are different from mine. I don’t think my wardrobe wants and needs are all that typical.

When you think about where you need and want to wear your wardrobe, also think about your community. I have a whole chapter planned about fitting in, identity, community and how those aspects of our lives influence what we wear. But the short version…

You don’t need to feel the desire to “keep up with the Joneses” to feel the desire to fit into your social group. Connecting to people you feel connected to is not a bad thing, and clothing is one way we connect to other people, it’s one of the ways we say “these are our people.”

It’s true that we shouldn’t judge people by what they’re wearing, we should give people the benefit of the doubt, and surrounding ourselves with a wide range of people and opinions probably makes us better individuals. But it’s also true that we judge people by what they wear. There’s a reason the fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.

What we wear matters because we judge other people by what they wear, and we judge ourselves by what we wear. Clothing is one of the ways we fit in with the people around us, and we wear similar clothing the people we feel connected to.

You could be the most open-minded-ass liberal, and you could think you’re way above all this shit, but you still judge people by what they wear. If a chick in a pastel sweater set and no tattoos walked into your Williamsburg or Lower East Side coffee shop or bar you would judge her in an instant. So don’t even try to get up on your high horse.

Fitting in is a very basic desire, and fitting in with people you feel connected to is nothing to be ashamed of. We’re social creatures so fitting in isn’t a bad thing.

Just as long as you don’t loose yourself trying to fit in somewhere that doesn’t work for you.

Where do you spend your time?
And how does it affect what you wear?

Want to read the rest of the chapter? Buy chapter one of the book.