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Information and tutorials for folks interested in antique Italian lacework, nouveau fashion, sewing techniques and much much more!

Polka Dot Shirt Dress With Button Placket Tutorial

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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.)

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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.

Click here to read more »

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Indigo Basketweave Raw Silk Cap Sleeve Pleated Dress

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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.

 

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Posted: Britex Fabric Store, Fabrics, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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Tutorial — Silk Linen Curved Seam Midi Dress

Silk Linen Curved Seam Midi Dress + Tutorial by Jamie Lau Designs

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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.

 

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Posted: Fashion Tips, Guest Blogger, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Tutorial: How to Sew a One-Piece Flat Collar

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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 »

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Cyber Monday Scalloped Wool A-line Dress

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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 »

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Perfectly Fall Pleated Dress + Tips for Ironing Wool

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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 »

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Linen Palazzo Pant Jumpsuit by Jamie Lau Designs

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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 »

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

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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.

Click here to read more »

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Tips on Sewing Shorts – Windowpane Pleated Duo by Jamie

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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 Click here to read more »

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Tutorial: How to Sew a Dress with Attached Lining

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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 »

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