THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

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?

August 7, 2009

Sewn Jewelry

Filed under: Accessories,Designer Inspirations,Embellishment,Georgene — georgene @ 1:35 am

L pearl grosgrain tassle necklace

l necklace detail Several high profile designers have some interesting jewelry in their collections right now. Both Albert Elbaz at Lanvin, and Oscar de la Renta have some statement pieces that rely on needle and thread as much as chains, pearls, and beads.

bead and tulle necklace
Here are some of my favorite pieces in this category of sewn jewelry.

O pearl chain necklace copy

I have recently discovered The Ribbonerie in San Francisco’s Laurel Heights. Oh my, there are ribbons and laces, antique and modern, beyond description. So no excuses! since there is no problem getting access to beads and different chains…

Let us know if you have seen any other examples of sewn jewelry online. It’s a fascinating category.

tulle pearl necklace

March 15, 2009

A New Old Idea

Filed under: Accessories,Fabric,Phyllis — phyllisc @ 4:13 pm

em-modelingnew-dressAbout two week ago I bought this dress; I really loved it and it looked great on me even though it had a makeup stain on the shoulder.  The store gave me an additional 10% off and a little Shout took care of the makeup stain.  One thing I noticed after I wore it to work is that I put a fresh makeup stain on it, and I think it’s because this dress has a side zipper.  Then I remembered that dress shops used to have on hand dress hoods, which allow you to put a dress over your head and keep makeup off the fabric.   My dress form doesn’t have a head so you see my daughter Emma being a good sport and modeling it for us.  This is just a bag with a drawstring, I used some scraps of china silk and silk organza but really you make these out of all kinds of remnants – I think lace or tulle would be pretty too.

October 13, 2008

Killer Boots: Arturo Chiang “Edward”

Filed under: Accessories,Fashion — phyllisc @ 10:44 am
Arturo Chiang "Edward"

Arturo Chiang

Yes – I’ll wear this with that Ralph Rucci dress.  
I’ve had these since last winter; they’re comfortable, gorgeous and you can’t beat the price.  The elastic gore in the back is the best feature.  $99.99 at Smart Bargains.

June 13, 2008

Distinctive Prints: Final

Filed under: Accessories,Fabric,Gigi,Patterns,sewing,Uncategorized — Gigi @ 2:44 pm

I finally finished my dress today! This fabric was so much fun to work with and I’m so happy with the way it turned out. Luck was on my side as the ties turned out to be long enough to wrap around the back and to the front. They aren’t long enough to tie in a bow but I think they look good just like this.


I can also tie them to the back for a different look


Here are the miters at the hemline. I doubt anyone will notice them because the skirt is a-line but it needed to be done!



I’ve decided to wear the dress with these gold Via Spiga platform sandals (I also have some gold flats that would dress it down a bit)


and my black Mulberry bag. I LOVE the casual chic of Mulberry bags! They look like some vintage leather bag you’ve been carrying forever – a true rich hippie look.


Jewelry: yellow and white gold dangly earrings, an armful of yellow and white gold bangles (these will join the silver and gold Cape Cod bracelet that I never take off) and a beautiful amber and silver ring I bought in Alaska.


Last but not least: I meant to mention this in one of my previous posts but completely forgot about it. This is the complete idiot’s guide to cutting perfectly mirror-imaged sleeves! Cut your first sleeve then use it as a pattern for the second sleeve by laying it face down on your fabric, matching the pattern exactly. Foolproof! Notice that I centered the motif with the shoulder notch on the sleeve.


In case you missed my previous posts, here are the links:

Distinctive Prints: Part 1

Distinctive Prints: Part 2

Distinctive Prints: Part 3

Distinctive Prints: Part 4

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