Thursday, March 25, 2010

Some cool facts about Tencel...

A good alternative to silk is Tencel: it drapes beautifully, it is fluid and so soft. Moreover, I found some interesting facts about Tencel...
- It is made from the cellulose found in the pulp of wood; the production of it is ecofriendly and Tencel is biodegradable.
-It can have many types of "looks" (twill, plain weave, peach skin) .
-It absorbs more moisture than cotton; so, it has antibacterial properties (no water-moisture means no bacteria growth).
-It is chemical free; thus, it is irritation free. Excellent for sensitive skin people (that is me!!).
-Because its water absorption properties, it regulates body temperature: great for hot days!
-It is shrink- resistant and does not wrinkle easily.

I have sewn a pair of pants and a sleeveless top with Tencel, and it was so easy to handle. It is not as expensive as silk charmeuse...and I can wash it at home! I bought my Tencel fabric for $10.99 per yard in downtown Los Angeles (Michael Levine).

Check leader in manufacturing Tencel and other cellulose fibers. Great information about textile production.

The above photos are from You can see the difference between the fibers of (in order of apparence) Tencel, Wool and Cotton...Tencel is so smooth...

Friday, March 19, 2010


The film "Onegin" (1999) directed by Martha Fiennes (sister of Ralph Fiennes: he plays the main character Eugene Onegin), has amazing costume design! The film is based on the Russian writer Alexander Pushkin novel "Eugene Onegin"; the costumes are design by Clhoe Obolensky (Greek designer, studied in England and France, she has lots of work in theater and opera productions) and John Bright (who owns Cosprop. and worked in "The White Countess", "Sense and Sensibility" and "A room with a view" among others).

The movie is a bit slow, but the photography is incredible. It was filmed mostly in England and there are some beautiful shots of St. Petersburg (Russia), where part of the plot takes place. Towards the end, there is a scene where you can see Onegin dressing up, and you can see how he is wearing a male corset! The recreation and tailoring of the costumes are wonderful: layers and layers of clothing...the undergarments, the shirts, cravats, vests, undercoats, coats, jewelry, hats, shoes, the ladies day dresses, evening dresses and!

You can watch this movie in Netflix using "watch instantly"...I watched the last scene several times (and ends with great music as well: Beethoven's Fidelio voice quartet...): heartbreaking!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beads, beads, and more beads...what was I thinking??!!

Today I learned a lesson: beading is a wonderful technique, just make sure you have lots of time to give to it. On my Fashion 130 collection, I propose to bead the neckline of one of my designs...Well, I came to class at 9:00 am with my dress constructed and ready to be finished with the beads and details. By 10:00 am, I had accomplished only one 11:40 I had the second armhole ready...Then, I decided to take a lunch break for about 30 minutes...(I had to run to get a coffee, since I been taking medication for my sore throat and I needed a caffeine shot). At, 12:45 I decided to move on to the buttonholes (six handmade fan buttonholes)...that took my time until around 2:00 pm...I sew the handmade embroidered buttons I made a few weeks ago...and then more beads...about 3:20pm, finally, I finished the neckline...aaaahhhh...No wonder Haute Couture is so expensive...the amount of labor is immense and expensive!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cats and dressforms...not a good combination!

Back in December Santa Claus surprised me with a new dressform...yeaaahh! I named my dressform "Maggie". Maggie and my tortie cat "Peperonni" ("Pepe" for short) have had a tumultuos relationship lately...Pepe loves to climb Maggie; and, takes out the pins from the dressform! Poor Maggie, she is beginning to look like she had Chicken Pox (holes everywhere). So, Maggie cannot come out of the closet, when not in use...Peperonni is trying very hard to open the door by hanging herself from the door nob! It has been a difficult task to keep Pepe away from Maggie...I have to be like a vigilante :o.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Eco friendly is the way to go!!!

Jason Neve is the Graphic Designer for this company...he explains the process of producing custom eco apparel, great tour of the fabric and their processes...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Great sites to buy linen and silk...

I found a couple of very nice sites to buy linen and silk: - They provide free swatches and the service is great! On my first purchase they sent a 7% off coupon and a swatch card with over 30 different types of linen :) - Really good site for silks, handmade dupioni, silk velvets, chiffon. They have a great selection on dupioni (all the colors of the rainbow). Andrew Bloom, the owner, works with you personally; very reliable...check it out.