THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

September 28, 2009

More Jeweled Inspiration

Filed under: Designer Inspirations,Embellishment,Georgene — georgene @ 7:57 pm

Continuing my current obsession with sewn jewelry, I thought I would share some of the latest entrants to the field.


lanvin bracelet 5This Lanvin bracelet, while it does have some hardware, is a nice combo of pearls, ribbon, and some rhinestone brooches.



I have my needlenose pliers, and it’s not hard to find jumprings and clasps at the local bead store.



I think deconstructing thrift store costume jewelry could yield some useful elements.


Lanvin crystal ribbon necklaceThe scale of this Lanvin piece is quite wonderful.

Lanvin crystal ribbon necklace 3

lanvin dbl pearl necklace 1I love the double row of pearls on a  mesh covered double-face silk satin ribbon here – Notice the crystal bead sewn in every now and then. It’s very subtle with the two different sizes of pearls.


marni plastron 1


Here’s another of the felt  plastron styles from Marni. While the elements used here are more ‘real jewelry’, I can see doing something in this vein with beads, sew thru stones, crystals, or buttons.


marni plastron 3










Again, the scale of this is interesting.

Not for the shy or faint of heart!





marni stone felt necklace 1




This one from Marni is a more eclectic mix of elements. Here you can see that the black ribbon ties are inserted into big grommet holes, and then just knotted.





Again, the big statement. These felt plastron style necklaces may keep your chest warm under your coat this winter, nestled in at the neck to protect you from the wind blowing in off the lake. Or the Hudson if you are in NYC. I was never so cold as waiting for the bus on 42nd St. with the wind whipping across town.


marni stone felt necklace 2

One final piece, from Phillip Lim, rather interesting in that the fabric is pleated.philip lim pleated necklace 1

I can’t really say what is going on, but it looks like the pleats are stitched to the chain. The chiffon bow is a nice touch.




philip lim pleated necklace 2









I just uncovered a trove of my old costume jewelry (gulp! it’s vintage now) that I can use to cannibalize for chains, pendants, and clasps. Good for Christmas (coming all too soon). I may never have to buy a thing for the ladies on my list.

September 6, 2009


Filed under: Accessories,Designer Inspirations,Embellishment,Georgene — georgene @ 9:55 pm

Ribbon, crystal, and tulle, oh my!

 design elements

Leaping in

 This weekend I put together my own piece of sewn jewelry, since I had the good fortune to find ropes of pearl beads at Addison Endpapers quirky warehouse sale last week. I went thru the trim boxes in the new studio and found some elements to make a tulle covered necklace with a ribbon bow closure, a la Lanvin. The pink/ peach/ nude story jumped out easily. I’ll do a black lace version later on.

trim boxesboxes

 Is it over before it’s begun?

 My fashionista friend who avidly follows anything to do with handbags, shoes, and jewelry claims this trendlet is over because “it’s at Forever 21”. Well, everything ends up at Forever 21 the next day! So what? That never stopped Dolce and Gabbana from doing, say, leopard print. Some things become instant classics, and I think that the ‘statement’ necklace is here to stay for awhile.


(This image thanks to Good Bones Great Pieces)

 The ladies over at Good Bones Great Pieces have also picked up on this trend. Love this great photo montage that shows how the influence has percolated thru the market.

 Not so fast

 Meanwhile,’s Spring 2010 Trend Forecast includes this tidbit about designer/wunderkind Jason Wu:

Wu will be unveiling his line of jewelry for Atelier Swarovski. Expect the baubles as well as the clothes to be sculptural, as their starting point was the work of artist Tara Donovan. “I like her concept of sculpting with everyday objects,” Wu said, “so I’m using fabric and crystals and making sculptures in that spirit.”

 Jason Wu sketch

The sketch that is shown along with the note gives an impression of an explosion of color droplets.

Since Tara Donovan’s sculpture was noted in some of the design services’ forecasts for Spring 2010 that I saw 6 months ago, it will be interesting to see what Jason Wu has done with her influence.

 As seen in Vogue

 September Vogue had this great photo that caught my eye.


There’s a lot going on in this photo. Since there are 2 necklaces in the credits, not sure where one starts and the other leaves off.  No matter, it is a great look for this fall.

200903_marni2The blurb gives credit to Marni for the jewel encrusted plastron, so I went hunting to see if I could find a reference to the specific piece without all the foufou fanfreluche of the Vogue photo obscuring the necklace. I don’t think  this is it.


The whole category of ‘felt plastron’ or ‘bib necklace’ is worth considering for more fun with sewn jewelry.



 MARNI_FW09_jpg  from Marni Fall 2009 collection

 More Statement Necklaces

 Lanvin glass pearl heart 1Love the scale of the latest Lanvin necklace to sell out on Net-a-Porter! Somewhere I have a rhinestone bow pin, I must make my own version of this.

marni_necklaceAlso love the fabric flowers on this Marni necklace – hard to see what is actually going on in this photo reference, but it looks soft knotted cord to form flowers. Could this be some form of Chinese Knotting?

Here’s my finished piece:

 finished necklace

First I tied off the string of pearls with a slip knot, leaving plenty of room on the string to move the beads along.

tie off end

Then I took my 1 1/2″ strip of tulle and passementerie trim and started to wrap the beads. After wrapping the entire length I went back and hand sewed around each bead, securing the tulle around the bead and the trim around that.

wrapping the beads

Once that was done, I lashed the beaded trim to the bottom edge of the tulle

lashing on the trim

I have added some vintage Swarovski teardrops and a pink organza flower…not sure about those elements. I may add more teardrops, and put the flower on a pinback so it can be taken on and off according to need.

The ribbons are stitched to the end and then wrapped with a circlet of the same ribbon to hide the stitching.

It took all day, but now that I know more about how it works, I can see that it could go faster. Worth the $1250+ for the Lanvin version? What do you have in your stash that could be used for something fun?

September 2, 2009

Valentino Movie DVD release

Filed under: Couture Techniques,Designer,Georgene,Inspirations,Videos — georgene @ 9:23 pm

VALENTINO websized

I guess someone over at the Valentino movie PR firm read my review of The Last Emperor. We received a note about the DVD’s release, so my wish to own it is about to come true.

The description of the little mini movies included with the DVD look interesting; I know I am looking forward to seeing the extra glimpse into the atelier. Regardless of what you think of Valentino the man, or his style, the movie is a wonderful poem about the creation of beuatiful clothes. I can’t wait to hit the slow-motion, and the pause button, to study up a bit on some couture techniques.

For those who might be driven to own a real Valentino dress, you can enter a contest to win a vintage Valentino gown from Decades in Los Angeles – all you have to do is send an email to enter. Who knows where that info may end up? I can imagine that your in-box might be filled with fashion and cinema related emails for the foreseeable future. Still, the gown is valued at $3200, and you get the DVD along with it. However, the drawing isn’t until January – I am not going to wait that long.

Create a free website or blog at