THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

August 16, 2010

Paris by Design

Filed under: couture sewing,Draping,Georgene,Industry,Notions,Tools — georgene @ 6:48 pm

Patternmakers’ Supply House


No reason to keep it a secret. There is a specialists’ mercerie or notions store in the Sentier garment district in Paris.

Yes, in France there is a separate place to shop for needles, thread, buttons, zippers, and other trims, as well as needlepoint canvas, embroidery threads, etc. Often there are other things like yarn and knitting supplies, or stockings and hatpins there too. NO fabric, that is to be found in another, separate boutique.

Of course, just like independent fabric stores in the USA, these shops are on the endangered species list.

But I digress. I was staying near the Sentier last month, so it wasn’t far to go to find a specific color of thread I needed for an emergency button repair. I must have walked by the mercerie around the corner from the Rue Montorgueil a dozen times before stepping in to see what I could find.

Since I was there, I decided to buy a half a pound of my favorite Bohin Couturex straight pins, and to ask plaintively if they carried DMC Lacet Super-fin, otherwise known as bolduc band from my days in haute couture school in Paris. This is the flat, narrow cotton shoelace-weave tape used to mark the dressform. DMC stopped making it some time ago, and it has gotten scarce as hens’ teeth. The Chinese owners at this mercerie were stumped, they had no idea what I was talking about.

Another patron in the shop came to my rescue, and suggested 2 other merceries deeper in the garment district, saying that I would surely find my bolduc band there.

Bohin Couturex pins are my favorite for draping, as they are  long and fine, in hardened steel.

Bohin also packages my favorite Millener’s (Modiste) # 9 needles, long and fine for hand sewing muslins and other fine handwork.

That I how I found myself on the Rue Reaumur in front of the Papeterie du Textile, with the small hole in the wall notions shop next door exactly as described. Well, they were doing a land-office business! No danger of this place closing anytime soon. I found what I was looking for, and a few other things jumped in my bag as well: a new tracing wheel with different teeth from the 2 others I have, as well as a mechanical pencil for tailor’s chalk.

Tracing wheels top to bottom: new,  Dritz,  pinpoint

Draping at YSL with bolduc band: from Yves St. Laurent by David Teboul

The fellow at the cash register told me that they order their bolduc band special from a manufacturer down south, since it is no longer made commercially.

My informant also told me about Hamon, a draper-patternmaker’s specialist mercerie on the Rue de Clery. I made a foray up the hill of the Rue des Petits Carreaux past Rue Reaumur, to check it out. Located in an older building on a street of old buildings, the giant scissors above the front door told me I was at the right place. It was indeed a modeliste’s paradise, with scissors, paper, dressforms, irons, muslin, pins, bolduc, and books to teach all about draping and patternmaking (mostly in French, but some with English translation). Fortunately there is a website, so you may be able to acquire items difficult to find in your area.

Hamon

54, rue de Cléry
75 086 Paris cedex 02, France

http://www.hamon-paris.com/public.home.screen

Fil 2000

62 rue de Réaumur, 75002 Paris

métro Sentier sortie rue de Petits Carreaux.

http://fil2000.pagesperso-orange.fr/

Papeterie du Textile

61 Rue Réaumur, 75002 Paris

October 4, 2009

Gail Gondek at The Center for Pattern Design Conference

 San Francisco California Oct 2, 2009

evening ensembleSilk charmeuse lined suede shell with pick stitch detail around armholes and hem over sequined skirt. Worn with a silk/wool angled circle wrap and stone disk pendant on a black silk cord. – Gail Gondek patterns for Ralph Rucci

The Center for Pattern Design held its first annual conference on Saturday. Pattern designers and educators from near and far came to talk about their art, and listen to a great group of people involved in designing and making patterns at the all day conference.

Julian Roberts spoke about his methods of subtraction cutting, with great folded paper demos of how it’s done, along with some of dresses made by participants at the previous day’s hands-on workshop.

The keynote speaker was Gail Gondek, who has designed patterns for Ralph Rucci and Peter Som, after many years working with Geoffrey Beene. She talked about some of her experiences working with a designer to create their vision in cloth, about the process of taking a design from concept to the runway. Afterwards, we got to look at some of her pieces from Ralph Rucci, inside and out.

Wtih Gail’s permission, I took a few photos to share with you, knowing you would love to see some of these details as much as I did.

This silk dress had his signature back zipper set into the side panel instead of the center back seam.

dressdress back detaildress back

 

Here’s a detail of the front of this dress. A spaghetti cording is whipped to the body with silk embroidery thread, the same detail as seen on the center back.

dress top

I loved the easy ‘floating away from the body’ shape of this black sheath dress -

sheath sidesheath backsheath back detail

 

 

 

 

Check out its lovely little peek-a-boo detail at the lower center back – just a little surprise – in an area where most women still can show a flash of skin and get away with it, no matter what your age. The display mannequins are covered in black leather, so the contrast doesn’t show up so much as it would if skin was showing thru the cut out.

The fabric is a double face wool crepe – a truly wonderful soft but firm hand. That’s a fabric that I will have to look into. If you have seen any in your travels, let us know!

 

 

 

The peek-a-boo detail was used on this jacket as well, on both the front and back. The contrast satin insets at the waist seam are a nice touch too.

jacket frontjacket back

 

Sigh! Wouldn’t this jacket just be lovely over that sheath dress…??

Thanks to Gail for sharing some of her great work. I am looking forward to next year’s conference already.

May 15, 2009

Natural Fibers

Filed under: Els,Fabric,Industry,Natural Fibers — Els @ 7:39 pm
Tags:

2009  is the year of the Natural Fibers.

Visiting this website will inform you with text , videos and a catwalk show about all kinds of natural fibers like AbacaAlpacaAngoraCamel , Cashmere, Coir, Cotton, Flax, Hemp, Jute, Mohair, Ramie, Silk, Sisal and Wool.

I found it very interested to learn about these fibers, although not all are suitable for garment fabrics. 

October 11, 2008

In Amsterdam with Els

Not me, unfortnately, but Kathleen Fasanella, who met up with Els on her recent trip to Amsterdam.  She did a great post of her visit on Fashion-Incubator, and Els honey, you are rocking those eye glass frames!

August 16, 2008

Git Yer Free Chanel

Filed under: Designer,Industry,Uncategorized — phyllisc @ 7:28 am

The Boston Globe ran a story today in the Business section about a sucessful class action lawsuit against Federated Department Stores and high end brands such as Chanel, Dior, Calvin Klein, etc.  Evidently, Federated and major cosmetics companies violated anti-trust laws by colluding on promotions (among other things) and this amounted to price-fixing.

 

End result? Free cosmetics.  The value of the products to be given away is $175 million.  So – who can be a member of this class?  Well, anyone who bought high-end department store cosmetics bewteen the dates of May 29, 1994 through July 16, 2003 

 

You can register on the class action website for an email notification for the distribution date of the free makeup.  This is scheduled to happen in January 2009.  Darn right I signed up.

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