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


Textured Geometry Dress x Britex Fabrics Guest Blogging

Jamie Lau Designs Textured Geometry Dress

Textured Geometry Dress sewn in a striped cotton and linen blend styled with colorful oxfords

With New York Fashion Week just around the corner, I was inspired to create a high-fashion fall look using a heavier weight fabric for my latest Britex Fabrics guest blogger post. When I saw the thick, bold charcoal and oatmeal colored stripes on this textured cotton/linen/lycra blend, I immediately thought of playing with stripes and creating a strong, structured silhouette.

Jamie Lau Designs Textured Geometry Dress

Pattern play with stripes

I added asymmetrical style lines and cut the front bodice on the bias, keeping in mind the rule of thirds…

Jamie Lau Designs Textured Geometry Dress

The perfect prisoner’s (wardrobe) dilemma?

And paired it with an inverted box pleat skirt design for a fit and flare dress, with all the horizontal stripes lining up perfectly.

Dieppa Restrepo Cali Oxfords

Classic round toe oxfords by Dieppa Restrepo in red metallic leather

To complete the look, I’d add a pop of color with my red metallic Dieppa Restrepo leather oxfords for a more casual look. To dress it up, I could see this styled with some black and gold accents.

For a more “behind the seams” look at my pattern making process, check out my full article on Britex Fabrics. Love this dress? Email me at jamielaudesigns@gmail.com to place an order.

Jamie Lau Designs Textured Geometry Dress

Thanks again for the amazing fabric, Britex!

Draped Cocoon Silk Dress x Britex Fabrics Guest Blogging

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

Draped Cocoon Dress sewn in abstract and floral silk prints styled with my Rachel Comey wedges

It’s been a busy last few months here at Jamie Lau Designs! Among the many exciting developments is that I have recently joined Britex Fabrics as a guest blogger starting this summer. Throughout the next few months, I will be sharing my design inspirations in addition to sewing tutorials, tips, and techniques using various fabrics, starting with silks.

Britex Fabrics Guest Bloggers Page

Excited to be a part of another Britex Fabrics collaboration

For my first post, I designed and sewed this draped cocoon dress using a combination of an Italian abstract taupe, black, and white silk crêpe de Chine and a contrasting yoke in French featherweight, silhouetted winter white floral silk. I usually opt for more color, but something about these two prints together screamed “winning combination” to me.

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

A swingin’ silhouette

This dress is light as a feather, finished with French seams, and easy to slip on without the hassle of a zipper…

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

Front draped cocoon effect

Featuring a draped cocoon effect that gives the dress movement, creating an “out of focus” visual effect…

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

A simple, gathered back dress

Followed by a simple, gathered back that billows in the wind.

Rachel Comey Clogs

Wood wedge platforms by Rachel Comey

And just for kicks (no pun intended), I happen to own the perfect pair of shoes to complement this outfit – a pair of Rachel Comey wood wedge platforms I picked up this past February with trompe l’oeil printed leather upper.

Check out my full article on Britex Fabrics for tips on cutting silk and tutorials on how to sew a French seam, create your own bias tape, and more!

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

Thanks for the beautiful fabric, Britex!

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.

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.