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portrait of a seamstress

Portrait: AnaOno Intimates, Lingerie for Breast Cancer Survivors

lingerie for breast cancer survivors

Change comes in many forms and at many times. It can be forceful or it can creep along incrementally. It can come as the result of a tragedy or as the result of an opportunity. It can also happen for no reason at all. Just a natural evolution. Whatever and whenever the change, you are one person before and another person after. For Dana, founder and owner of AnaOno, change came when she was diagnosed with Infiltrative Ductal Carcicoma (breast cancer) just shy of her 28th birthday and wedding. Following a bilateral mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy, she set out on a mission to help other women recovering from breast cancer surgery feel confident and sexy. She started an intimates line that offers bras and lingerie exclusively for survivors with each design taking into account anything and everything a patient is going through. Just one example, the Pocketed Plunge Wirefree Bra was created in collaboration with radiation oncologist Katie Deming, MD. Made of eco-friendly modal/spandex, all interior seams are enclosed, so no elastic touches the skin.

Portrait of a Seamstress: Paige

sewing lessons in philadelphia

Just outside Philadelphia, not too far north and west, is Bryn Mawr, Paoli, Narberth, Wynnewood, Haverford, Ardmore, Conshohocken and Merion. The entire area is known as The Main Line. It was the setting of the movie, The Philadelphia Story (gah! I love Katharine Hepburn!), and it has a much different vibe than Philly. To me, Philadelphia is like one borough of New York. It’s a little big city and reminds me of Brooklyn a little. The burbs, however, are picturesque. Very country club. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Since I moved here 6 years ago, I have seen a huge resurgence of sewing. Butcher’s Sew Shop and Made Studios are just two examples of sewing studios that continue to thrive. I haven’t seen that resurgence outside the city though. I might be wrong in that assumption. In any case, I believe there is both a need and a want for sewing in the suburbs. Indicative of this – open for just six weeks, Christine Shirley’s sewing classes are full. Booked solid. When Paige Sullivan first developed her business plan, she was very much at the center of it, but soon after opening, her plan shifted. Now, it’s less about reaping personal benefits, and more about providing a mentorship. A modern day girl’s club so to say. On the surface, she teaches sewing, but on another level, she is giving girls and women confidence and courage. Yeh girl!

Portrait of a Seamstress: Rebeca Imperiano


Simplicity is refreshing and if done right, hard to achieve. It’s easy to throw a bunch of elements next to elements, things next to things, baubles next to baubles, or whatever next to whatever and say that they “go together”. That’s called bohemian. Editing and refining on the other hand – not so easy. Narrowing down an idea, a design or whatever forces you to decipher the elements that work, and at the same time, define your point of view. As a fashion design student at Drexel University, Rebeca Imperiano spent 3 years doing just that – defining her POV. This is just my opinion, but how she defined her namesake line, was spot on.

Portrait of A Seamstress + Illustrator: Chelsey

I commend women who not just know exactly what they want to do, but are doing it. Living and breathing their vision, whatever it may be. Too many wander, wondering what the hell they’re going to do with their lives. Some are brave to seek their future while others think their future will capture them. Chelsey Totten is a dear friend of mine. We work together, and started our careers around the same time. I began just 6 months before her. When it comes to travel, she for sure is a wanderer. Flying out west to Cali or jetting off to Asia to visit factories for work, she’s all over the place. For as free spirited as she is, she has been on a straight, set path since she was very young. Using her own words, she has always known what she wanted to do and there is has never been anything else she’s wanted to be.

Portrait of a Seamstress: Jovan O’Connor

Sometimes, the reality of fashion doesn’t match up exactly with your dreams. I’ve been there – I’ve dreamt about what it would be like to show a collection – my collection – at fashion week. For one woman, Jovan O’Connor, that dream is becoming a reality. This week, she is showing at New York Fashion

Madalynne Update

Outside of sewing lingerie (did you see Nina Warner? Love!), I have been working on many exciting projects. There are new things coming soon, so to give you a sneak peek, I’m sharing a few below. Stay tuned! Bra Making with Madalynne: Mark your calendars! Summer 2015 will hopefully bring 2 more bra workshops! In