I love working with stripes just as much as I love textured ikat fabric. When I saw this striped Italian ikat blend with copper accents, I knew it would make for a great party dress. The metallic threads add a luxury feel and I thought it would be fun to play with the direction of the stripes. You may recall a similar silhouette from one of my previous posts, which goes in depth about the patternmaking steps for creating the bodice design.
Much of the inspiration for my designs comes from my environment and looking beyond literal fashion references. Here are some artworks I was drawn to, mainly because of the intersection of stripes.
Teresita Fernández’s Stacked Waters (2009), a site-specific installation created for the entrance space of the Blanton Museum of Art from 2015
Monir Farmanfarmaian’s Hexagon (2010), shown by the Haines Gallery at The Armory Show in 2013
There were definitely a lot of stripes to meticulously line up while cutting and sewing, especially with the motif “blurriness” which is a distinct characteristic of ikat weaving. My one pro tip when working with this fabric is to create notches on the skirt side seams and center back of the dress. I would suggest marking on the red horizontal stripes since they are more distinguishable. Matching stripes up can be particularly challenging when a zipper is in play, so I recommend hand basting first.
I hope this project has inspired you, readers! Visit my blog to view more photos from the shoot. If you are interested in placing an order for this dress in this fabric or another cotton option, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those of you in San Francisco who would like to shop in person, I will be vending at the Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason the weekend of April 1-2, 2017. The event is free and open to the public.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that we’ve added a new follow-up class to my popular Fashion Design Workshop. For those of you who want to take it to the next level, check out our new Fashion Design: Designing for Others Workshop. This workshop is intended to help students further develop existing projects (including home sewing and custom client work), build a collection, and focus on personal vision and cohesion. Students are encouraged to come prepared with research, magazine clippings, inspirational images, rough sketches, fabric swatches and trim, works in progress, garment samples, etc. It's a great opportunity to get immediate feedback from your peers as well. The next class will be held on March 18, 2017. We hope you can join us!
Jamie Lau is a designer, sewing instructor, fashion writer, and native San Franciscan. A self-taught seamstress consistently inspired by her love of dresses, Jamie infuses a playful nostalgia into her work by transforming simple silhouettes into fashion forward frocks sewn from traditional Japanese prints, luxurious brocades, handwoven ikats, and her own textile designs. In addition to designing her clothing line Jamie Lau Designs, she guest blogs and teaches workshops for Britex Fabrics. Jamie is also the author of BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern and worked as a sewing instructor at New York's Textile Arts Center. After ten plus years of living in New York, Jamie relocated her design studio to San Francisco.