Jamie Lau Designs x Madesmith Product Launch

Jamie Lau Designs Aubergine Floral Kimono Sleeve Top

Photo courtesy of Madesmith Photo by Garry Waller

We’re excited to announce the launch of our exclusive product collaboration with Madesmith, a site that highlights stories of makers and designers and also brings you limited edition products from its featured artisans. (Check out the Jamie Lau Designs interview here.)

Our Aubergine Floral Kimono Sleeve Top is sewn in a textured ivory cotton dobby fabric from Japan that I picked out in Tokyo. This printed top features a minimal aubergine floral print, relaxed short kimono sleeves, and a pleated neckline.

Jamie Lau Designs Aubergine Floral Kimono Sleeve Top

Photo courtesy of Madesmith Photo by Garry Waller

Jamie Lau Designs Aubergine Floral Kimono Sleeve Top

Photo courtesy of Madesmith Photo by Garry Waller

Photo by Jamie Lau

Behind the scenes with Madesmith

Get your hands on this effortless top while it lasts – so perfect for spring and summer! Check out my full interview feature here and get a sneak peek into my design studio. Happy Spring Equinox!

Check out my interview on Madesmith

Check out the full interview feature for a peek into my design studio Photo by Garry Waller

Fashion Travelogue: Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress

Jamie Lau Designs Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress 1

Ready for spring in a Japanese linen-cotton blend Photo by Liz Clayman

Things have been quite busy at the Jamie Lau Designs studio. We kicked off the new year with a photo shoot featuring our new textile designs inspired by the natural environment, travel, and art, with prints based on my photographs. We designed a few custom bridal dresses and also celebrated the opening of our month-long pop-up shop at Makeshift Society in San Francisco, open until the end of this month on March 31, 2014.

In keeping up with the momentum, I’ll be embarking on an exciting textile-filled journey to Japan later this spring and summer (more details coming soon!). In preparation for my two-month trip, I’m starting a new series entitled Fashion Travelogue, with the goal of designing and sewing the bulk of my wardrobe and accessories for my travel abroad (yes, even pajamas!). I’ll be sharing snapshots of my designs on the blog throughout the next few months, starting with this Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress. (For similar styles, check out my Yabane Gathered-Waist Dress, Electric Cranes Gathered-Waist Dressand other items in my web shop.)

Jamie Lau Designs Anatomy Of A Dress

Anatomy of a dress

As you may have gathered, I love dresses and design, sew, and wear, well, mostly dresses. For this classic Jamie Lau Designs fit and flare silhouette, I chose a Japanese linen-cotton blend featuring a gridded background with a pink, orange, and lush green floral print overlay. And of course, you definitely can’t forget the pockets!

Jamie Lau Designs Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress Styled

Styled with accessories from two of my favorite designers

This dress is perfect for impromptu picnics and I would totally style it with my Rachel Comey wood wedge sandals and A.P.C. tortoise shell chain shoulder strap purse. Stay tuned for more Fashion Travelogue and hop over to the Hart’s Fabric blog for my latest article on how to sew a blind hem stitch using this dress as an example in my tutorial.

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!