Behind The Scene: Fitting Our New Designs with The Five-Feet-Three Emily Leahy of @ReturnToSacred


Our long-time 5-feet petite fit model, Stacie Chan, has recently made a big leap and moved to Singapore (even before "Crazy Rich Asian" makes moving to Singapore tempting). Her departure kick started our search for a new fit model a couple months ago. 


After screening candidate after candidate, we almost gave up because most petites who reached out were XS (we make our prototypes in size S) or out of town. Then, we got a DM from Emily Leahy on Instagram one day.


Like an angel, Emily Leahy — also known to her Instagram followers as @returntosacred — answered our prayers after she saw our "calling for petite fit model" post reposted by some beautiful human being out there. Thank you, beautiful human being!


Recently, our founder and designer, Stephanie Yeung, had the pleasure to meet this wonderful San Francisco-based 5 feet 3-ish petite entrepreneur and healer in her home to try on our new design prototypes.


It's a 2-piece set inspired by Stephanie's hometown nostalgia, and long-term obsession with kimono and these two bunny-filled Kozyndan versions of the iconic Japanese prints: Hokusai's "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" and cherry blossom in "Bunny Blossom".  Who doesn't love bunnies!?


Here, we share pictures from the fitting and a sneak preview of our new wrap top and mid-waist pants.








While this wrap top may look simple, we tested 5 sleeve styles, from puffy 3-tier wrist length to super simple three-quarter finish. 


At the end, we fell in love with this 7/8-length balloon (or lantern) sleeves with elastic cuffs for this prints and silhouette.


Emily also likes it that she can play with the sleeve shape by rolling it up for a more "get-the-work-done" look, and down for a "together" feel.


We can't agree more!


Knots and Bunny



One flexibility we really wanted to incorporate for this wrap top is extra ways to adjust the waist and the bust to accommodate the different petites body shapes. So we designed two places to make this happen —


One is on the side where you tie a knot or bow at the waist. The other one is an extension piece with buttonholes hidden inside so you can button tighter or looser.


The two together help make the blouse contour around your waist and neckline better, and avoid the "peek-a-boo" problem.


It really is all in the details!


Not to mention the cute bunny-ear knot detail on the back. 


While Emily likes the crop-top length of this prototype, we decided to make it a few inches longer for those fuller-belly days without scarifying its fit and shape. Thanks to our miracle pattern maker!




This simple taper pants is based on our bestseller Madeline jumpsuit. Our happy customers love the shape and comfort this jumpsuit offers. We want to re-introduce it, but with curved front pockets so it's not bulky at the hips with this fabric. 


Emily likes the comfort from the elastic waist band. For the final version, we decided to have elastic only on the back to give a flatter, more tailored fit through the belly.


Like all our designs, we make this pants at a shorter length (26" inseam to be exact) to fit our petites. To complement the wrap top, in the final version, we added a "bunny ear" right above a split hem detail to the back.  


We can't wait to show you how they look when we get them from our factory! Stay tuned.



Wanna be the first to know when this two new designs are in stock? Sign up below and we will email you as soon as they are off our factory floor! You  will also get perks that only our email subscribers get.





“This is so comfy! It's elegant but the bright color also makes me want to be playful like a little kid."


As a healer, Emily is an attuned listener. She turned the table and asked Stephanie about the story of this fabrics.


Prints can teleport you to a happy, nostalgic place. Growing up in Macau, a former Portuguese colony next to Hong Kong, Stephanie was surrounded by the unique colonial buildings with lots of Japanese cultural influence there.


They combine Portuguese architecture with Chinese decorative motifs. A lot of them are covered in this vibrant yellow or mint color paint next to trees and plants unique to that geographical region.


"A plant that gives me more nostalgia than others is cheery blossom. I looked through prints over prints, fabrics over fabrics, to find just the right yellow fabric that can capture my vision of a Portuguese-meets-Macau sensibility," says Stephanie.


The "bunny ear" knots at the back of this wrap top and the bottom of the pants are results of Stephanie's obsession for the 2 Kozyndan's "The Seasons of the Bunny" prints.


So what was supposed to be a 30-minute fitting session turned into almost a two-hour conversation! Emily's space exude a sense of serenity. When you walk inside, it's like walking into a spa! And when you talk to her, you feel at ease instantly. 


We chat about so many things — fashion, life (she recently moved to SF), woman entrepreneurship, stress management, and career change.


Stephanie has a former career in biotech and marketing prior to starting Madeira Brand. Emily is a former teacher for young children turned healer through energy work. We can tell that she generously and genuinely wants to help others to be the best for themselves through her healing and energy work. If you are interested, definitely check her out.


We are planning more collaborations with Emily so you will hear more about her from us.  

Posted on 01 November 2018


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