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User Archives: Jamie Lau Designs

The Britex Blog

  • Polka Dot Shirt Dress With Button Placket Tutorial

    March 21, 2016 by Jamie Lau Designs

    JLDBritexFabricsCotton03152016_Main My favorite part of the design process is fabric selection. For this new spring shirt dress design, I elected to work with a crisp, luxury cotton shirting fabric by Burberry. To add interest to the overall design, I chose a contrasting hand-dyed blue cotton for the outer cuff layer and glazed marine blue buttons to highlight the polka dot print. Oftentimes, I find button cuffs to be a little restrictive, especially when I want to roll up my sleeves. Thus, I decided to draft a three-quarter sleeve with a full slit cuff for more freedom and less fuss. (Plus, you can still see a peek of the polka dot fabric sewn as the inner cuff layer.) JLDBritexFabricsCotton03152016_1 JLDBritexFabricsCotton03152016_2 In this tutorial, I will discuss how to draft a standard button placket with a straight fold-back facing using a basic shirt sloper (base pattern used as a template to develop patterns). In womenswear, buttonholes are placed on the right-hand side of a garment that closes at the front. Since I am sewing a shirt dress similar to a classic button-up shirt, I will be providing instructions for marking vertical buttonholes - the measurements for horizontal buttonholes are slightly different. In this design, the buttonholes run vertically down the placket, with the buttonhole on the collar stand sewn horizontally.

  • Indigo Basketweave Raw Silk Cap Sleeve Pleated Dress

    August 31, 2015 by Jamie Lau Designs

    Blog2 Earlier this summer, I relocated my design studio from New York to San Francisco, which meant closer proximity to Britex and more fabric shopping. This past weekend, I taught a fashion design workshop at the Britex Salon. In addition to fashion illustration and creating mood boards, we also touched upon the importance of fabric awareness in fashion design.  

  • Tutorial -- Silk Linen Curved Seam Midi Dress

    April 28, 2015 by Jamie Lau Designs

    Silk Linen Curved Seam Midi Dress + Tutorial by Jamie Lau Designs JLDBritexFabricsSilk04272015_Main In my latest design, I chose to work with a slubby textured silk linen blend. One of my top-selling dresses is a relaxed fit ikat midi dress with short kimono sleeves. I wanted to create a new midi style with three-quarter sleeves in a slightly heavier weight fabric.  

  • Tutorial: How to Sew a One-Piece Flat Collar

    January 21, 2015 by Jamie Lau Designs

    JLDBritexFabricsLinen01192015_Main 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.

  • Cyber Monday Scalloped Wool A-line Dress

    November 24, 2014 by Jamie Lau Designs



    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.

  • Perfectly Fall Pleated Dress + Tips for Ironing Wool

    September 10, 2014 by Jamie Lau Designs


    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!

  • Linen Palazzo Pant Jumpsuit by Jamie Lau Designs

    April 22, 2014 by Jamie Lau Designs



    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.

  • Tutorial: How to Sew a Set-In Sleeve - Vermilion Gathered Top

    March 26, 2014 by Jamie Lau Designs



    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.

  • Tips on Sewing Shorts - Windowpane Pleated Duo by Jamie

    February 5, 2014 by Jamie Lau Designs

    Britex020314_640x427_MainPhoto 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.


    Britex020314_640x427_1(Left) Dress by André Courrèges, 1968; (Right) Marion Foale at the sewing machine, 1963

  • Tutorial: How to Sew a Dress with Attached Lining

    October 8, 2013 by Jamie Lau Designs

    Britex100713_640x427_Main 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.

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