For this garment, my goal was to create a color block resort-inspired look. Linen seemed like the perfect choice for a relaxed fit, lowered-waist shirt dress. I chose a midweight blue linen for the primary body of the dress and combined it with a semi-sheer natural linen for the color block elements. I thought that the embroidered polka dots would work great for accent features on the collar, button placket, and skirt and sleeve hems. I most recently wore this dress to my art exhibition in Kyoto, which featured my hand dyed, handwoven, and handsewn kasuri (ikat) fashion designs. Click here to read more »
With winter approaching and temperatures dropping, I wanted to create a wool dress to keep warm for the season as an alternative to just wearing sweaters. For this project, I selected an aubergine wool blend with embroidered scallops. I cut the dress on the cross grain and found this fabric fairly easy to work with. The only challenge was lining up the scallops at the side seams, which took a bit of patience. The double rows of scallops were about an inch apart. Click here to read more »
In anticipation for fall, I designed a pleated dress with a little bit of sleeve coverage using a designer midweight wool in beautiful teal. I thought the subtle blue and green coloration would work great with the season change.
This fabric has a nice drape to it and was very easy to cut and sew. The generous width (59” wide) is perfect for a pleated skirt design – or even a circle skirt! Click here to read more »
I’ve been busy designing jumpsuits this month, including a style with a drawstring waist in embroidered Japanese cotton. For my latest edition of Fashion Travelogue, I selected two beautiful fabrics from the Britex linen category for a bolder jumpsuit look – a colorblock palazzo pant style with short kimono sleeves. For the yoke and necktie, I chose a lightweight linen that is a cross between hunter green and teal green. And for the volume-heavy part of the garment, I selected a midweight linen that is a lovely mix of warm copper and terracotta tones. The width on both of these fabrics is quite generous (58”-59” wide), perfect for wide leg pants. Click here to read more »
One of my favorite color combinations is a red with a little bit of orange in it mixed with a nice pop of blue (think Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise). When I was in San Francisco last month for the opening of my Hayes Valley pop-up shop at Makeshift Society, I picked out a Swiss Vermilion Orange Cotton Jacquard Shirting fabric. This fabric has a nice texture to it and I envisioned designing something with a dramatic sleeve given its body.
Photo credit: Liz Clayman
I’ve kicked off the new year with a pretty busy schedule here at the Jamie Lau Designs studio. I just wrapped a photo shoot of my new textile designs and also added my latest Britex project to the shot list. With this post, I wanted to branch out from dresses and into the world of separates. I designed a pair of pleated shorts in one of my prints a few months ago and wanted to make the same cut, but in a different fabric. For this project, I selected the cream Windowpane Check Black and Carmine Wool Crepe for my checked ensemble. This wool crepe does not wrinkle and has a nice pebbly texture and soft weight. For the overall look, I found the smaller scale of checks appealing and was partially inspired by the geometric designs of André Courrèges and the playful, mod aesthetic of Foale and Tuffin.
(Left) Dress by André Courrèges, 1968; (Right) Marion Foale at the sewing machine, 1963 Click here to read more »
With this project, I decided to venture into a different color palette and try out a fabric with some subtle jewel tones—brilliant blue, emerald green, and purple. I was mostly drawn to the metallic characteristics of this French floral novelty blend (I particularly love working with metallic brocades for my dress designs), but I knew this polyester, acetate, and metallic combo was going to be a challenge. I knew two things going into this. First, serging was a must. This fabric has an incredibly soft, wool-like hand to it—super luxurious feeling—but it also has a tendency to fray given its loose weave. Second, I would definitely need to line the dress for breathability, and also to keep the loose threads from snagging. Click here to read more »
When I saw the thick, bold charcoal and oatmeal colored stripes on this textured linen blend, I immediately thought of playing with contrasting stripes and creating a strong, structured silhouette for a high-fashion fall look. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through how to update an existing pattern and share some helpful design and patternmaking tips along the way.
I’m excited to join Britex Fabrics as a guest blogger starting this summer. As a San Francisco native, I’ve been shopping at Britex ever since middle school – even before I could sew – and I also had my West Coast book launch party there last December.
In addition to being a fashion designer, I also teach sewing, patternmaking, and draping classes in New York and beyond. I often run across students who are intimidated to sew with silk (and I don’t blame them!). In my inaugural post, I’m going to share some tips on working with silk as I walk you through the process of creating one of my dress designs – a lightweight draped cocoon dress that works great for hot New York summers, but that can also be paired with opaque tights when the temperature drops. Click here to read more »