Thursday, September 17, 2009

MidSummer Night's Dream

When is MidSummer? According to Wikipedia it is June 24, or the date on the Julian calendar associated with the Summer Solstice celebrations. I always took the designation literally and counted the days between the Summer Solstice, June 21, 2009, and the Autumnal Equinox, September 21, 2009. This literal MidSummer is August 5, 2009.

On this date, I would do my best to gather together my son and some of his neighborhood friends for a night of literary adventure. We would make cookies, dress up, pick a character, and sitting around an antique card table, read from William Shakespeare's play for as long as we could keep still.

This year, I decided that in Santa Barbara MidSummer is September. That is when it is the warmest. In fact, its downright hot! So, let's put on our finery, dance in the garden like nymphs in a MidSummer play.

New dress made using Vogue Pattern 8417. A lesson in how to make something as difficult as it can be. Twisting panels, sewn on the bias using 3-layers of silk chiffon and intricately beaded French Lace supported by a silk organza underlining.

Worn over a silk 4-ply under dress.

Over 150 fashion colors of Silk Chiffon, Silk Organza and Silk 4-ply are available at

Monday, September 7, 2009

What Makes a Classic?

Throughout the month of August, Fine Fabrics hosts a collection of lace and silk on loan from the Paris Showroom of Solstiss. 100's of Santa Barbara Fashionistas oh and ah and sigh as they examined each piece. Diverse in style and creative in every aspect, it surprised me when a client pulled out this piece and draped it over a simple navy sheath she brought in with the mission of finding a very special piece of fabric with which to make a coordinating jacket therefor.

It is an absolutely perfect piece! Subtle, lightweight with fluid drape, with colors and design that are without boundary.

A jacket with only shoulder seams and scallops wrapping around the hem, could be made with no more than 1/2 yard more than your bust measurement. Sleeves can be cut as long as you wish with their hem touting the eyelashes of the opposite selvage. The only seams to be sewn are the shoulder and armhole. Finish the neckline and front as you choose, maybe just rolled with a selvage of chiffon sewn within for support. Leave open or close with a cluster of matching beads buttons and loops made using navy silk thread.

A simple jacket made using this lace could be worn to a casual luncheon, as easily as it could be worn to a black tie party. That is what makes for a classic!

It is being hand beaded in France for her now, and expected to arrive in Santa Barbara in October. In the meantime, has in stock its sister ground lace in black.

More ideas to come.....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rows Upon Rows of Ribbons

First shipment of custom fabric procured for clients attending Fine Fabrics 3rd Annual World's Finest Lace Show. This one is a soft cornflower silk, embellished with rows-upon-rows-upon rows of Silk Faille Ribbon sewn onto a soft piece of silk. Dominant color is deep royal. I think this one a must for holiday skirt.

Only limited quantities available.