why I wrote a book {and what I'm doing next}

I wrote and published
the {classic wrap skirt} book
because I had something
that people wanted and needed.

I designed the skirt years ago.
I needed a simple, practical, comfortable skirt,
so I designed and sewed one for myself.
And other people like it.

Other people wanted to make their own, so I helped them.

I scribbled down some instructions,
outlining how to use their own measurements to draw the pattern,
but forgetting to explain the best way to create the piece of art
that this wrap skirt is meant to be.

Soon I began to see versions of my skirt all around me.
People had passed along the pattern
to friends and friends of friends.
Eventually, I met strangers wearing my design.

This was exciting and encouraging — or it would have been,
except that the skirts were often mediocre,
and a few were even poorly made.
I knew I had fallen short.

I couldn’t expect everyone who wanted a classic wrap skirt
to have the skills to actually execute the process well.
There was a reason they came to me for the design, after all,
and I hadn’t given them my best.

So beginning in January of 2016,
my focus became to produce a book that would explain
the process of creating a classic, artisanal skirt
in a way that was clear and engaging to read.

I succeeded, and published the book in July of the same year.

My goal in creating the {classic wrap skirt} book
was to take something I have that people need,
give it to them in the sort of package they want,
and in so doing, better their lives.

I accomplished my goal.
People are writing to me, saying things like,
“Thank you for caring about this so much that you would write this”
and “...it's a very encouraging and thought provoking book!”

The positive feedback tells me
that I really am
enriching peoples’ lives
through the things I’ve published.

There’s something about this whole thing that’s funny, though.

I thought I would be helping people
by teaching them to sew better,
but they’re telling me that I’m helping them more
through the way I write and tell stories.

The whole {classic wrap skirt} book
is a poem, I suppose.
I wrote it in the same poetic “voice”
as most of my blog posts.

More than the practical sewing instructions,
this is what people love about my book:
the engaging poetic story
that I tell in the process.

I don’t want to create things
that I think people need
unless they really do need
these things I create.

The feedback I receive affects the future form of my creations.

Knowing that my readers
want to read more from me
— more poems and stories, specifically —
means that I will be giving them more of what they want.

I will be producing more of what you want, because I am listening.

Join the conversation!
Subscribing to the newsletter list
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What do you want to hear from me?

apparently you don't have to sew to enjoy the book I wrote

Jeremiah (aka "newmarkstudios" on Snapchat)
bought the {classic wrap skirt} book for his wife and daughters.
He decided to take a look inside before sharing it with them,
and ended up losing track of time while reading it.

He isn't the only one who has told me
that although they don't have plans to sew a skirt
they have found value in this sewing book I've written
because of the story it contains.

This really is my passion -
using poetic imagery
to express and share
a beautiful story.

I'm glad to hear from my readers
that I am doing just that with my book.
That I'm not simply teaching people to make a skirt,
but spreading beauty into their lives.

I want to write things that will bring beauty into your life.
I want to write what you want to read.
If I were to write on any topic, just for you,
what would you have me write?

taking a month off of work

July 2016

On the first of the month, I published the {classic wrap skirt} book,
and then the sabbatical began.
A whole month set aside to step away from the work of establishing the jordan elisheva brand.

There are multiple reasons for this choice,
and the most important reason is also probably the strangest-sounding:
my God asked me to do it.

And so, I have set aside this seventh month of 2016
to step away from brand-building
in order to focus on building relationships.

It has been a beautiful month of unexpected opportunities.
The freedom I have allowed myself has inpired interactions with people I would have never met,
as well as the deepening of relationships already established

I have done just enough for the jordan elisheva brand to keep it running,
including these weekly blog posts,
but have chosen not to stress over any of it (so my schedule has been less rigid).

On top of this,
I am using this time of stepping away to give me room to reflect
and determine the future direction of j.e.

More writing, more sewing, something new entirely...
I am exploring many possibilities
and am excited to share them in the coming months!

the {classic wrap skirt} ebook is now available!

In this book I have included the instructions to make a skirt, yes.
But more than that, these instructions will teach you
how to use this skirt to make yourself an artisan!

How to get the most out of this book:

Read part one {overview}

to understand the “big picture”
of how you will make your skirt.

Read part two {detailed instructions}

to learn everything you need to know in order to
actually create a hand-crafted skirt that you will love.

Read part three {case studies}

to see the process I used as I made
five classic wrap skirts with different details.

Read part four {simple sewing skills}

to learn the basics if you have never sewn before
or if you simply need to review the fundamentals of hand-stitching.

what is the value of a hand-crafted classic wrap skirt?

the skirt itself

This hand-crafted skirt
does not compare
with something mass-produced.

It has been made-to-measure
and stitched with your own two hands
from start to finish.

It is the only one of its kind,
a piece of art that carries
the essence of its creator.

You have carefully selected the fabric,
using the type, color, and quality
that is perfect for this design.

Beyond that, every step of the way,
you have made careful decisions,
from cutting to stitching to pressing.

Every detail
has been considered
and carefully executed.

the creation process

You have invested hours into this skirt.
Invested, not spent, and certainly not wasted!
Think on this time carefully…

If you have chosen to enjoy the time,
using it as an opportunity to slow down
and consider the process of creation,

then this time cannot be considered wasted,
nor even compared to time spent working.
This is time you have spent in enjoyment.

How much money
are you willing to spend doing something fun?
Watching a movie, eating dinner out, drinking specialty coffee…

These are consumption, and rather passive, at that,
yet you’re willing to spend money, because they bring you enjoyment.
These are not comparable to the process of making a skirt.

The making of your skirt was an investment into yourself.
You did not only spend time doing something that brought you enjoyment,
you were also learning and growing.

the educational aspect

How much money
are you willing to invest in educational endeavors,
whether formal, like university classes, or informal , like community center workshops?

The making of this skirt is like a class or a workshop.
As you read the book and stitch the skirt,
you will learn valuable skills.

More than that, you will have the book to refer to again
should you want to review or even expand your skills.
You will not absorb everything in one go.

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The educational aspect
doesn’t stop once you’ve learned
the skills outlined in this book.

Maybe after making yourself a skirt,
you can teach your daughter or a young friend
how to sew a skirt for herself.

You can use the book
as a resource to teach others,
whether they be friends or family.

the communal element

What do you and your girl friends
like to do when you spend time together?
Do you go on coffee dates, perhaps?

What if instead of chatting over coffee and muffins,
you converse over fabric and needles?
What if you get together to sew?

If you do,
you have the opportunity
to encourage each other in the creation process.

Any one of you
who has unique skills
may share them with the others.

You can learn
both from the book
and from each other.

And at the same time,
you are investing
in your friendship.

wearing your skirt

Then there is the value you receive
every time you put on
this beautiful skirt.

It goes beyond the simple fact
that it has been made specifically for you
according to your preferences and measurements.

Because you created it yourself
and because you found so much joy in creating it,
this skirt carries positive associations.

Every time you wear it,
you can feel a healthy sense of pride
knowing that you created something beautiful and useful.

You will think of the moments you spent carefully placing each stitch
as you listened to music, a podcast or audiobook,
or the simple sound of making.

The feeling you have wearing your own creation
is different from the experience of putting on
anything else you’ve ever worn before.

a simplified wardrobe

Because of the classic nature of this skirt,
it has the potential to help you
simplify your wardrobe.

The skirt makes getting dressed easy;
all you have to do is grab a favorite top
in order to have a neat and tidy outfit.

Even a simple T-shirt
appears less casual when paired with such a classy skirt.
Add an accessory like a scarf or necklace for something extra special!

The versatility of the skirt
makes it wearable for a variety of events,
so you will have no trouble getting plenty of use out of it!

If you already have a minimalistic wardrobe,
this skirt fits in nicely with your other
classic investment pieces.

And if you regularly waste precious time
staring into your closet wondering what to wear,
this skirt will start you on a journey toward simplicity.

so what is the value of your hand-crafted skirt?

The value is the sum of all of these:
the hand-crafted artisanal skirt itself,
the time spent enjoying the creation process,
the time invested in the educational process,
the time invested in community,
the time you will spend enjoying the skirt as you wear it,
and the time saved with a well-rounded, minimalist wardrobe!