5/21 San Francisco Patternmaking Workshop at Britex Fabrics

Britex Fabrics Drafting Collars

Top: Our Linen Palazzo Pant Jumpsuit; Bottom: Our Linen Colorblock Lowered-Waist Shirt Dress

Join me in San Francisco on Thursday, May 20, 2015 for a 2-hour patternmaking workshop on drafting collars at Britex Fabrics. I will discuss different collar types and demonstrate basic patternmaking techniques including a live demo on how to draft styles including the Peter Pan collar, Mandarin collar, and more. I’ll share some expert tips on pattern plot and manipulation, drafting undercollars, and applying interfacing to collars. This workshop is open to students of all sewing levels and may be particularly helpful to students looking to update and personalize existing sewing patterns that you use regularly, or those looking to delve deeper into fashion design and patternmaking.

Drafting Collars
Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Britex Fabrics
146 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Register Now

9/27 San Francisco Sewing Workshop at Britex Fabrics

Sew A Swing Top With Jamie Lau

Featuring our exclusive Swing Top sewing pattern available only in this workshop

Join me in San Francisco on Saturday, September 27, 2014 for a 4-hour sewing workshop at Britex Fabrics. In this hands-on course, students will learn how to sew a relaxed Swing Top using one of my original pattern designs. I will discuss pattern and fabric layout and demonstrate various garment construction techniques including: sewing gathers, applying neckline and armhole bias binding, and hemming. This fun top features a front and back yoke and is a great canvas for color blocking or mixing solids with prints. This easy-to-wear style slips on effortlessly without the hassle of a zipper and is great for layering or wearing as-is. This sewing pattern will be made available only in this San Francisco sewing workshop, so sign up today!

Sew A Swing Top
Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10:30 am-2:30 pm
Britex Fabrics
146 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Register Now

Britex Fabrics is offering a 20% off discount on regularly priced fabrics to students purchasing supplies for this class. Sewing machines provided by Ray’s Sewing Machine Center.

Sew A Swing Top With Jamie Lau

The top features a front and back yoke and is a great canvas for color blocking or mixing solids with prints

New York and San Francisco Jamie Lau Designs Holiday Show Schedule 2013

Jamie Lau Designs Holiday Shows 2013

Photo credit: Liz Clayman

Get your shop on with Jamie Lau Designs this holiday season, starting with the 2nd Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market in Brooklyn this weekend on November 23+24, 2013. Join me and 200+ other vendors at the historic Skylight One Hanson, an Art Deco event space in a massive restored bank located at One Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY 11243. We’ll be setting up shop on the main floor at Booth #51 from 11-6 PM each day.

Get first dibs on our debut collection of dresses, separates, and tote bags sewn in our new vibrant textile designs printed on organic cotton sateen, textured cotton-linen canvas, and more! We’ll also have our usual colorful assortment of classic Jamie Lau Designs fit and flare dresses in Japanese prints and our layerable A-line shift dresses in stock.

2nd Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market

Jamie Lau Designs will be on the main floor at Booth 51

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, we’ll be vending at the First Annual Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar at 501 Union from 11-6 PM. This event is curated by our friends at Brooklyn Makers and features 30+ Brooklyn-based artisans. The venue is centrally located at the hub of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Gowanus, and Park Slope at 501 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. Warm up with a hand-crafted cocktail, check out the DIY workshop corner, and get your holiday shop on!

First Annual Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar

Join me and 30+ handpicked Brooklyn-based vendors at this holiday bazaar

Last but not least, we’ll be heading to the west coast for the holidays for the 5th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market in San Francisco on December 21+22, 2013. Get your last minute holiday shopping in at the Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th Street, San Francisco, 94103. Shop handmade for one of our tote bags or fabric-covered notebooks, or better yet treat yourself to a flirty dress for a holiday fête and ring in the new year!

5th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market

Join us for some last minute holiday shopping, or better yet, that special party dress!


Weekend Intensive: Skirt Pattern Making Class at Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz

Swingin' Circle Skirt Dress with princess seam bodice in Nani Iro fabric

Swingin’ Circle Skirt Dress with princess seam bodice in muted pastels and polka dots

Join me next month in Santa Cruz, California for a special pattern making workshop at Hart’s Fabric on Saturday, October 12, 2013. This hands-on weekend intensive will focus on drafting your own skirt patterns based on your measurements, starting with a basic skirt sloper, or final pattern. Students will also learn how to design an A-line skirt pattern variation, in addition to drafting a retro-style circle skirt.

Jamie Lau Designs Circle Skirt

Circle skirt cut on the bias with Japanese fabric by Nani Iro

Basic Pattern Making: Skirt Sloper, A-line Skirt, and Circle Skirt
Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm
Hart’s Fabric
1620 Seabright Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Buy Tickets
$85.00 class fee includes pattern paper
Supply list: French curve set, hip curve, 2″ x 18″ clear gridded ruler, soft tape measure, tracing wheel, tracing paper, mechanical pencil, eraser, red pencil, pins and/or pattern weights

Skirts are great foundation pieces for your wardrobe and can be sewn as separates, or incorporated into a dress by simply pairing with a complementary bodice pattern, such as in the examples below:

Jamie Lau Designs Striped Linen Sunset Dress

Striped Linen Sunset Dress featuring a basic bodice paired with a gathered-waist skirt with a coral, blue, black, and white gradient effect

Jamie Lau Designs Sweetheart Gingham Colorblock Dress

Gingham style colorblock dress in contrasting yarn dyed Japanese fabric featuring a sweetheart neckline and A-line skirt

Thanks for the awesome fabric, Hart’s! See you soon, Santa Cruz!

Jamie Lau Designs Hart's Fabric

Hart’s Fabric is an independently owned fabric store in California and has been open since 1969


Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Feature on Martha Stewart Weddings

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Bride and Groom

Posing in front of our 1950s moss green ride on a gorgeous summer day in the Pacific Northwest

Last month, we celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. It was literally the ultimate art project as I doubled as both bride and wedding designer/planner! Here are a few photo highlights from our Jamie Lau Designs handmade wedding, which was also featured in Martha Stewart Weddings this past spring with photos by my superstar photographer Kim Hayes.

The Dresses

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Dress

I designed my own wedding gown, which was sewn in ivory silk shantung and dotted flocked tulle

For my wedding gown design, I wanted something soft, light, and airy, but also an element of texture and dimension. I found a beautiful Italian ivory silk shantung that served as the dress base and dotted flocked tulle made in France for the skirt and draping. I designed a strapless corseted bodice with a soft sweetheart bustline. The skirt silhouette was a modified A-line with a subtle train and layers of crinoline and ruffles for more fullness. The silk shantung base was followed by two layers of tulle (the top layer was a dotted flocked tulle and the second layer was a neutral tulle to balance out the color variation to match the silk shantung).

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Dress Detail

A geometric waistband decorated with an asymmetrical bow detail

The flocked tulle looked like an illusion of pearls in the afternoon sunlight and the gown was cinched at the waist with a geometric waistband decorated with an asymmetrical bow.

Jamie Lau Designs Bridesmaids Dresses

Jamie Lau Designs bridesmaid dresses sewn in Japanese fabric. For Janet (left), I designed a dress with a round neckline, short set-in sleeves, and a two-tiered flounced skirt. For Christine (right), I made a halter dress with a sweetheart neckline and gathered-waist skirt.

I designed and sewed my bridesmaid dresses. Both ladies had very different body types and I wanted to give each of them something functional that they could wear again. I also love prints and wanted to stay true to my design aesthetic, so I chose a woven Japanese fabric that I wanted to make modern. The print consisted of arches of concentric circles forming a wave design (a seigaiha motif). In addition to the print, I was also drawn to the color, which resembled burgundy or red wine (but I like to think of it as red velvet), similar to the darkest gradient on my wedding cake.

Japanese fabric with a printed seigaiha motif.

Japanese fabric with a printed seigaiha motif

The Cake

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Cake Exterior

Our three-tiered wedding cake was minimally decorated on the outside with trios of Swiss dots and consisted of white chocolate cream cheese and buttercream frosting

I didn’t initially set out with a specific “wedding color” in mind until I landed on the wedding cake design – an ombré red velvet and white cake. I approached a local bakery to see if they could accommodate my custom design and they delightfully agreed. I wanted a three-tiered cake that was clean and minimally decorated with trios of Swiss dots on the exterior.

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Cake Interior

A surprise of four layered sheets ranging from soft cherry blossom pinks to red velvet gradients

Within each tier was a surprise of layered sheets ranging from soft cherry blossom pinks to red velvet gradients. Since my fashion designs are heavily influenced by Japanese aesthetics, and we were traveling to Japan for the cherry blossom viewing on our honeymoon, having some semblance of cherry blossoms – even if it were just in color – carried over into the overall mood and theme of the wedding.

The Invitations

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Invites

Invitations reminiscent of going to the paint store as a child

The wedding invitations followed this theme as well. I designed my invitations and collaborated with a graphic designer friend, Hikaru Furuhashi, to execute my creative vision. When I envisioned my cake, I was inspired by going to the paint store as a child and recalled how I always collected paint chips in my favorite hues, so I automatically thought of a paint chip design for the front of the invite that resembled the warm colors of the ombré red velvet and white cake. These colors, in turn, became my wedding color (palette!). I sealed off the envelopes using coordinating washi tape with a traditional Japanese print.

The Flowers

Jamie Lau Designs Bridal Bouquet

A bridal bouquet of full blooms – dahlias, roses, zinnias, scabiosa pods, and anemones

I wanted fuller flowers that were in season and reflective of the region, such as dahlias and zinnias. I worked with lovely floral designer Elizabeth Hikida of Elizabeth Designs to achieve a natural and earthy feel. She was extremely easy to work with and totally nailed my aesthetic. Since it was an outdoor wedding, we didn’t want to compete with nature too much. For my bridal bouquet, I wanted a pop of color to contrast with the minimalism of my dress. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were done in lighter colors to contrast with the darker hues of their dresses. It was quite the color coordinated affair as the flower petals that lined the ceremony aisle also stuck to the ombré theme!

Jamie Lau Designs Centerpieces

Unique floral centerpieces for each table alongside handmade sailboat origami as a nod to the nautical setting

We used Mason jars for our floral decorations, some of which were suspended along the aisle chairs during the ceremony and doubled again as centerpieces for the reception. The aisle jars and centerpieces included Queen Anne’s lace and featured mixed floral assortments as well as more monochromatic bunches. Each table was decorated with two to three unique Mason jars as centerpieces alongside the sailboat origami I crafted using chiyogami paper.

Other Details

Jamie Lau Designs Welcome Bags

Custom Jamie Lau Designs reversible totes for out of town guests

In addition to creating our handmade garland and guestbook, I also made special gifts for my bridesmaids and close female friends, all of whom traveled in to Seattle for the wedding. I designed a custom reversible tote bag for each of them with fabric and colors that suited their individual personalities (even adding longer straps for my tallest friend!). I started off my sewing career making reversible tote bags, so this was also a homage to all their support in my creative endeavors and career change throughout the last few years.

Jamie Lau Designs Pie Pops

Cherry almond pie pop wedding favors

I coupled the place cards and wedding favors into one. For wedding favors, I thought it would be fun to give out cherry almond pie lollipops from High 5 Pie to truly bring it all full circle since we first met at Pies ’n’ Thighs. (Yes, our reception menu included fried chicken and beef brisket entrées. Plus, Kyle and I are both huge Twin Peaks fans). I tied coral-colored yarn bows around the pie pops and clipped the place cards onto the stems with individual clothespins. I decorated the clothespins with washi tape, similar to what I used to seal off the invitation envelopes. When guests opened up their place cards, they were greeted with a fortune, which we selected for each guest using a random fortune cookie generator.

Jamie Lau Designs Reception Tent

Large paper lanterns in alternating shades of pink were suspended from the reception tent

I now have the pleasure of working with other brides to design and create their custom wedding dresses (and offer wedding planning tips along the way). Check out my Real Weddings Follow-Up interview for some practical wedding planning advice and visit Martha Stewart Weddings to view more photos from our special day!

My Color Blocking Workshop at Pop-up Britex

Beautiful textured fabric from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco

Beautiful textured fabric from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco

On a recent trip to San Francisco, I went to Britex Fabrics to pick out fabric for some dress samples in preparation for my upcoming Color Blocking Workshop in May with Pop-up Britex, a new monthly mobile sewing and textile class series. It’s so exciting to collaborate with one of my all-time favorite fabric stores and to have access to all four floors of colorful, high quality fabrics to sew my designs in. Some of my finds include luxurious Armani wool cotton blends and linens, bright floral textured Swiss cotton, contrasting large and small polka dots, and striped Guatamalan fabric.

I also had a chance to have my portrait taken at Photobooth, which is where the workshop will take place. The photographer was kind enough to give us a step-by-step, behind the scenes tour of creating an authentic wet-process tintype in their studio and darkroom. Registration is now open, and you can read more about the workshop description below:

Pop-up Britex: Color Blocking Workshop With Jamie Lau
Thursday, May 16, 2013 from 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Hosted by Photobooth
1193 Valencia Street @ 23rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Buy Tickets
$25 class fee includes all materials

Color blocking is a fashion trend that emerges time and time again on the runway and beyond. In this interactive and creative workshop, students will have access to an assortment of fabric swatches and use croquis templates to sketch out design ideas by combining two or more blocks of color in an ensemble. This can be for a top, bottom, or dress. Liven up an old sewing pattern or bring a simple silhouette to life through color blocking and explore the use of monotone, bright colors, muted colors, contrasting and complimentary colors, and more!

We’ll review examples as inspiration for creating your own designs, from Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic 1965 Mondrian dress to styles by modern-day designers. The instructor will also provide a live demo of altering two existing patterns to achieve a new color blocked look.

Pop-up Britex brings textile and design education to neighborhoods across San Francisco in collaboration with our favorite venues and artists. To help us sharpen our wits, Four Barrel Coffee provides drinks and bites for every pop-up. Special thanks to our sponsors Apparel Arts, BERNINA, and Photobooth.

Join Me at the Renegade Craft Fair SF Holiday Market

Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco Holiday MarketJoin me and 200+ other vendors at the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market in San Francisco this weekend! Looking for a last minute holiday outfit that you can definitely reuse again? Look no further! I’ll be selling a variety of new handmade Jamie Lau Designs dresses sewn in beautiful Marimekko prints, cotton ikats, Japanese fabric, and more! I’ll also be carrying a small selection of fabric covered notebooks that make excellent last minute gifts and stocking stuffers!

4th Annual Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco Holiday Market
December 15-16, 2012
Saturday & Sunday, 11-6pm
Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Booth #21
Free admission

My Podcast Interview on Thread Cult

Thread CultCheck out my interview on Thread Cult, a podcast for the sewing, fashion, and textile obsessed created by Christine Cyr Clisset of the blog Daughter Fish.

I was honored to be Christine’s first guest on the show. Tune in to the latest episode to hear us chat about how Jamie Lau Designs got its start, current textile inspirations, my new book BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern, and more!

Upcoming Book Launch Parties and More!

BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage ModernJoin me at these upcoming events to celebrate the launch of BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern in New York, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz this month!

To kick off the book tour, I’ll be doing a book signing on December 10, 2012 from 7-9pm at the Manhattan Textile Arts Center, where I’ve also been teaching sewing and draping classes for the last two years. Highlights include sweets from Momofuku Milk Bar (did someone say compost cookies? yum!) and a free gift from BurdaStyle with a book purchase.

Later on that week is my New York book launch party on December 13, 2012 from 7-9pm in Brooklyn at 3rd Ward, where I teach sewing classes as well. Not only will there be door prizes and an interactive photo booth with printable photos from Have Booth Will Travel, but confetti and a pinata (yes, a confetti pinata) will also be in order from CONFETTISYSTEM. That’s not all! There will also be yummy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts from Rucola, and DIY make-and-take sewing stations led by the BurdaStyle crew. Get your stitch on and make a tote bag or drawstring backpack using beautiful fabric from Spoonflower.

If I haven’t lost you yet in this wonderful sea of food speak, I’ll be off to the west coast for a book signing at a lovely fabric shop in Santa Cruz called Hart’s Fabric, which has been around since 1969. Join me for an afternoon of DIY making from 4-6pm on December 17, 2012 plus a free gift from BurdaStyle with a book purchase.

Last but not least is my San Francisco book launch party on December 18, 2012 from 7-9pm at Britex Fabrics. As an SF native, Britex holds a special place in my heart. It is one of the very first fabric stores I ever visited growing up in the city and has been a constant source of fashion and sewing inspiration. In addition to giveaways from Makeshift Society, MOO, and more, join me for drinks and sweets from Tartine Bakery and macarons from Miette Confiserie. Britex will also be hosting DIY make-and-take brooch/hair fastener and button making tutorials.

Preview the garments from the book, get a signed copy for yourself or as a gift, and meet other DIY makers at these upcoming events! I’m SO excited and look forward to a month of great fun!

BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern


My New Book Release: BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern

BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern

Paging all fashionistas, DIY sewers, handmade hobbyists, and vintage enthusiasts! My new book is coming out in exactly one week, entitled BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: Mastering Iconic Looks from the 1920s to 1980s. In fact, it’s already available for pre-order on sites including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

Working on creating the designs and projects featured in this book has truly been a labor of love. It’s so surreal to think that all those countless hours of hard (and oftentimes painstaking) work have finally resulted in a beautiful, tangible object to share with the fashion sewing community and beyond. Nothing about working on this project in the past year and a half has fallen short of the words “DIY.” I wore multiple hats throughout the entire process, including co-author, lead designer, technical writer, art director, photo shoot producer, and yes – even project manager!

BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern comes with five customizable sewing patterns that yield literally endless variations, such as transforming a 1920s drop-waist silhouette into a modern-day Jackie O.-inspired sheath dress. Starting with basic forms for dresses, pants, skirts, and shirts (and yes, there are even menswear projects!), you can transform from one look to the next with my easy-to-follow instructions and comprehensive visuals.

In addition to sewing and pattern making tips, you’ll also get a crash course in vintage fashion. Each chapter focuses on a different era including signature silhouettes, designers you should know, must-have accessories, and style icons.

The book comes out on December 11, 2012, but help start spreading the word today! BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern is the perfect holiday gift for every sewer, from beginners to experts, and offers enviable vintage looks with modern sensibilities.