How Ft. Lonesome Makes Chain-Stitching Magic Happen


We spent an afternoon with Kathie Sever, founder of chain-stitch collective Ft. Lonesome, in her Austin studio to learn about how she started her business—which has a cult following among those in the know—and why one-of-kind pieces are so, so special.

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Behind The Design: Our Signature Boots


We’ve all done the shoe shuffle in front of the mirror—slipping on ankle boots, then flat Chelsea boots, then heeled Chelseas, searching for the perfect way to finish off an outfit. Picking the right pair is the difference between a “…” and a confident “!” for your outfit.

And once you’re out the door, that may be the last you think about what’s on your feet, but our shoe designer Nilunda goes through a head-spinning process to perfect every single detail. When she set out to make this fall’s boots, we asked if we could look over her shoulder every step (lol) of the way. Here, she explains her process, how she keeps things as old-school as possible and why a leather sole actually matters.

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Behind the Design: Our Songbird Dress

Every season, there’s always that particular bag, skirt or pair of jeans that we at Madewell HQ collectively, seriously, very anxiously covet. You could say they’re wardrobe all-stars. And this time around, one of those obsession-worthy styles is the ridiculously lovely Songbird Dress. Naturally, we had to know what inspired it, so we caught up with dress designer Kara to get the full scoop. Check out what went into creating one of the most lovable styles of the season. (And keep your eyes peeled for a fluttery floral version coming in February.)

“The inspiration for the striped version began after I saw Jean-Luc Godard’s film Breathless (1960). This particular kind of stripe totally embodies the perfect mélange of timelessness, irreverence and cool. And who’s a better muse than Jean Seberg?”

“For this print, I was really inspired by eccentric home decor, vintage wallpaper and artist Carine Brancowitz’s drawings. The bold, graphic element of the ascending dots gives it a fresh twist on the traditional polka-dot dress.”