And here we are– 9 months after Kickstarter and launching a second collection with Sotela. Launching a new collection is such a humbling and vulnerable experience. First you create designs that you deem are good enough to manufacture, and then you go through a continuous process of trial and error. First round, second round, and third round of samples are meticulously analyzed to ensure fit is perfect. Once patterns and samples are finalized, it’s time for each piece to be cut and sewn.
The design process for a new collection takes time and a whole lot of patience. There is a learning curve with each fabric because you never know how it behaves until after production. Even if you cut and sew a sample piece, it may behave differently when it’s laid out flat and cut in bulk.
With this second collection for Sotela, I decided to only have two “seasons” – the warm weather collection and cold weather collection. By only having two collections a year, I can focus on producing intentional designs instead of churning quick pieces that mildly resemble fast fashion. The incredible idea to produce fashion slowly came from Elizabeth Suzann.
Before choosing the 4 designs for the Warm Weather collection, I envisioned the women who would wear Sotela and the season of life they may be in. These women are focused on living slow and intentional lives with their families during spring and summer. They want to spend as much time as possible outdoors and not have to worry about getting ready. They want clothing that is easy- easy to wear, easy to care for, easy to dress up or down and easy to live in.
All four pieces are made with easy to wash and care for fabric, which has been important to me since day one. The Magnolia, Mara, and Lyla are made with a medium-weight linen that is light but not see through. It provides a clean and structured look while maintaining comfort. These three pieces are preshrunk and ironed before they are shipped to you. The Eve tunic is manufactured with a ribbed organic cotton that is also medium-weight and perfect to wear in the spring.
My inspiration for each piece came from the need to bring the ‘fun in the sun’ vacation life to my everyday life. The Magnolia dress was the first piece designed for the Warm Weather collection and is based on the best-selling shift dress. I knew that the square cut linen shift with front pockets would be a hit because of how easy it is to wear all day everyday. The pockets were a necessity because in the summer I find that less is more and I don’t want to hold a purse.
The Mara jumpsuit is one of my most daring pieces. It was a much harder piece to design because I wanted to satisfy the three sizes, but also make it look beautiful on every body type. The drawstring waist makes that possible because you can wear it cinched or loose depending on the fit you prefer. The bottoms are the perfect length because it can be worn cropped by taller women or to the ankle by ladies like me 😉 Without a doubt, this jumpsuit is my spring go-to outfit.
Oh how I wish I could wear the Lyla crop top with high waisted bottoms. I first designed the Lyla when I wasn’t pregnant and wanted an elegant and loose fitting crop top. There is something about crop tops made with linen that make it look so chic, right? The scoop back shows just enough skin, while still providing bra coverage. Even though I haven’t been able to wear the Lyla how I originally intended, I’ve been finding creative ways to wear a crop top with a growing belly.
The Eve tunic with its mock neck and side slit is perfectly minimal. It’s clean lines make it look sophisticated, but the stretchy ribbed cotton still make it casual and comfortable. This tunic is my weekend outfit that I wear with cropped pants to run errands or as a dress with clogs for date nights with my husband.
Thank you so much for your support since the Warm Weather collection launched last month! Please keep emailing me your questions and comments. I love reading/seeing how you wear your pieces! And don’t forget to use the tag #sotelaeverydaywoman on social media!