Contents in This Month's Issue
• A Letter to Our Friends
• Current Exhibit: Worn to Dance—1920s Fashion & Beading
• Featured Exhibits in our Museum Shop: The Crochet Art of Cathy Adair-Clark
• Upcoming Exhibits: The Bird in the Textile Arts
• Recently Sold in Our Etsy Shop: An Edwardian Gown & 1950s Bridal Gauntlets
• Historical Textile Trivia: La Révolte des Passemens
• New Products & Publications: The Univeral Hoop Holder
• Customer of the Month: Ramona Sidney Baker
• Classes at Lacis: Ribbonwork, Tatting & Bobbin Lace, and Tambour Embroidery
• Textile Arts Calendar: Upcoming Workshops, Lectures, and Interviews Online
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The past month has been full of such refreshing changes and exciting milestones!
For one thing, we've given our Museum website a long-awaited makeover. We hope you like it! Your feedback is most welcome. And for another, we've been planning for the July 30th celebratory reception event for our brand-new downstairs gallery exhibit, The Bird in the Textile Arts!
Not only that, but between giving tours of our fabulous gallery exhibit Worn to Dance: 1920s Fashion & Beading, signing folks up for our long-awaited in-person classes and workshops (including an exciting a 5-hour bobbin lace workshop!), and receiving generous textile donations from our supporters, we've been busy as bees!
Most thrilling, too, is the revelation that we've just hit the 1,000 follower mark on our Etsy page—hurrah! We owe a big thanks to all our friends, customers and supporters online and all over the world. Your five-star reviews and follow-up photos mean so much to us!
Keep reading to find out what else has been going on in our busy, busy beehive!
Lacis friend and Oakland-based milliner extraordinaire Cybele Baker of Cloche Call Designs visited us with a project in hand—look at that gorgeous gray fedora! The client who commissioned it came with her, and after a little deliberation, ultimately picked out a bloodred moiré trim for its band. Perfection. (Also, the incredible bright teal-blue felt came all the way from Greece.)
It seems as though many of you are making garments and toys for small children, too, and these projects are so cute, they just make us giddy with glee.
Lovely visitor Madeleine Leullier came in looking for baby-friendly closure solutions for this incredibly sweet bear suit she knitted for a much-anticipated new arrival to her family! If you want to make one of your own—and you can handle it being in French—here's the pattern she used. (It's made of a yarn called "Phil Douce", which produces a supersoft "peach skin" texture.) When you're ready to finish it up with some fast-action, sew-on brass snaps—or perhaps some interesting vintage buttons?—just swing by Lacis, because we've got you covered.
Another Lacis friend, Sonia, is crocheting these ingenious mandarin orange segments—they're part of a play set that includes a crocheted rind in which to contain them! Imagine the lucky recipient, amusing themselves with these, "peeling" the fruit and separating the segments. They'll be blissfully unaware that they're developing their fine motor skills, they'll be so busy having a good time. (And whetting their appetite for citrus fruit.)
The orange slice pattern is Svetlana Pelyushenko's, whose work is absolutely brilliant and gorgeous; the zippered peel, however, is Sonia's own innovation.
Excellent work, Sonia! We envy the child who gets to play with such a magnificent toy, made with such devotion and care.
And, just in case you were wondering, at the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles, masks are now optional for customers who are fully vaccinated (as defined by the CDC)! Now, while we love to see your faces, we know some of you may need to keep your masks on a little while longer, and that's okay, too. Furthermore, in the interest of providing all our Lacis visitors with as safe and welcoming an environment as possible, our entire staff is fully vaccinated—and, for the time being, remains masked for everyone's continued protection.
Lacis friends, as always, we appreciate your continued support and engagement. We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. Take care of yourselves, keep in touch, carry on making—and have a fantastic 4th of July!
Kind regards, and many thanks—
Your friends at Lacis
Now open for tours by appointment!
• Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals
• Tours are $3.00 per person and must be reserved in advance—calling us at (510) 843-7290 is best
• Tours can be scheduled for Monday, Tuesday or Saturday at 1:00PM & 3:00PM
• Tours have a two-person minimum
• For Museum Members and their guests (4 max), tours are free!
• Please note that the second floor gallery at this time is only accessible via stairs
A tale of three black dresses
Almost 100 years ago, with the dawn of the Jazz Age, life changed dramatically for women in America. Suddenly the 1920s woman could vote, drive, spend her own money, smoke and drink in public, cut off her long hair, expose her calves, forgo her corset and—perhaps most iconic of all—she could dance.
The most iconic pastime of the 1920s was dancing in nightclubs and speakeasies. Here women and men could freely socialize to the rhythm of Hot Jazz.
That rhythm is most clearly made visual in the image of the flapper, with her (relatively) short dress, which sparkled in the dim lights, given heft, form and movement by the innumerable beads sewed to its simple shift-shaped form.
These dresses, like the Jazz Age itself, were never destined to last. With the weight of the beads continually testing their union with the fragile silk, their eventual collapse was inevitable, as evidenced by the beads abandoned on the dance floor when the party was over.
This is why, though the dresses remained the quintessential symbol of the times, so few of them remain today. By attentive restoration, we have been able to present examples of these dresses as they appeared when they first shone, as well as fascinating examples of dresses in different stages of construction process.
From the collection of LMLT; conceived of and curated by the LMLT staff
Running from November 16, 2019—Extended end date TBD
This generous donation of decorative textile artworks from Cathy Adair-Clark is a tour de force of talent and devotion to the world of needlework, specifically her world of knitting and Shetland yarns: "I fell in love with Shetland sheep and their fleeces, and that has ruled my life since 2007."
The magnificent Shetland lace sampler she constructed in 2012 is 8 feet by 6½ feet, comprising 67 different fleeces of yarn, all hand-spun by Cathy herself. We also have her personally compiled tome of sketches available for your perusal, with each motif and its pattern, along with sources and progress reports, all passionately and fastidiously documented.
We can't wait to share this gorgeous exhibit with you all, starting July 31th!
For the time being, please enjoy this extract from the exhibit commentary.
The bird in literature and on canvas has long held its place through all civilizations and all times.
The bird captured in thread and textiles is more obscure and less defined. Depicted by a single thread, a bountiful palette of threads, a thread following a hook or threads in harmony through the bobbins of lace, the bird is captured by the hands of the creator.
This amazing presentation captures this spirit from Pre-Columbian Peru to the earliest of laces to a world of unbound wealth of thread, color and needle.
NOTE: This exhibit is debuting soon, on July 31th! Don't forget, Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles Members will be invited to the exclusive The Bird in the Textile Arts opening reception on July 30. Not a member yet? Don't miss out—join now!
This past month, Andrey, one of our many satisfied and returning Etsy customers, sent us photos of where our pieces ultimately ended up: in his wife's incredibly curated collection "Beauty and Fashion of the 20th Century," now on exhibition "in the old palace of the Paskevich princes" in the city of Gomel, in the Republic of Belarus. We were thrilled to see these beautiful vignettes she's assembled, and we were sure you would be, too!
Note that this ivory Edwardian beauty (on the far left in the group shot) was in very poor shape when we let go of it. We fondly referred to the piece as our Titanic dress, and the name was apt for so many reasons.
The neckline was unrecognizable, and the silk actively shattering, utterly losing its integrity. It was sold solely as a study piece, but once under Andrey's family's care, it was given some special attention. They transformed it into a very remarkable piece once again worthy of, and sturdy enough for, upright display. What an excellent example of restoration!
We are most gratified that our pieces are going to good homes, where they are so loved and appreciated, and given a second chance to enjoy the spotlight. We warmly thank Andrey, and all our Etsy friends and customers, for sharing their pictures of their new (old) textile acquisitions, and showing us what they've done with them. It's such a pleasure to connect with conservators, vintage enthusiasts, and brides who are as passionate about these things as we are!
Cristina wrote on May 18, 2021: Beautiful! Absolutely loved seeing the original wedding photos, thank you for including them. I wore them on my wedding day and they felt so special!
5 out of 5 stars
Cristina found these sweet 1950s white netted gauntlets with points, embroidered bows and flowers, and covered buttons.
In the case of these gorgeous gloves, we happened to have a photograph from the original bride's wedding! What a unique treasure for a new bride. Sometimes it's beautiful when history repeats itself!
Did you know?—The 1660 poem La Révolte des Passemens is an imaginative literary protest critical of the recent sumptuary law meant to control the costly consumption of imported lace from Italy. It's told from the point of view of different types of lace popular at that time: Pointes de Gènes, de Raguse, de Venise, d'Angleterre et de Flanders, and so forth. These laces don't like being denied their rightful place—adorning the elite in courtly settings! But what with the nobility buying so much finery and lace, bankrupting their people, one can understand why such a law might be put into place.
Don't forget, Lacis Museum Members receive 20% off of books purchased in our Museum shop!
This single clamp attachment with a thumbnut allows the use of any embroidery or quilting frame with the popular Lacis Embroidery Lap Frame (MO03).
Ever wondered how you could switch out the 10", 12", or 14" hoop that you've been using fastened to your trusty Lacis Lap Frame for something else entirely? Well, here's your answer! This method allows your hoop can be rotated 180°, and it works without modifying either the hoop or the frame. It's simple, effective, and opens up a new world of embroidery possibilities.
Here's Ramona in an amazing linen jacket she found at Lacis, gorgeously decorated with whitework embroidery in chinoiserie motifs. She paired it with a light wool Edwardian skirt—and accessories she made herself (that hat with the marvelous plume and jet bead necklace)!
Brilliant Ramona has long been one of our absolute favorite Lacis friends! We are always overjoyed when she walks through our doors, and we are elated to introduce you all to her now.
(Left to right) Ramona in work clothes, with an 1870s-80s dresser with Italian marble top, which she put a lot of elbow grease into making presentable! — Striking a pose a lá a mid-1890s art nouveau print — Ramona honors significant figures from early music recording history by wearing mourning garb on the date of their death. Here you see her remembering band leader and recording executive Fred W. Hager, who passed in 1958. She is even holding his own treasured scrapbook, which she had been hunting for for a very long time.
The first thing you must know about Ramona is, she has an unmistakable presence. We would know her in an instant, even in crowded room of strangers, because she always stands out from the crowd, what with her fierce intelligence, formidable historical expertise, boundless creativity... Not to mention sartorial distinction!
This is but a tiny sampling of Ramona's humorous and visionary caricature art, through which she explores a very fascinating, very focused set of social themes dear to her heart. She is prolific and, if you're at all intrigued, we urge you to investigate her portfolio further. It's a visually rich, witty, rewarding experience!
Accomplished ragtime pianist—immensely talented cartoonist—collector and scholar-researcher of the late 19th-early 20th century in recordings, music, clothing and antique furniture—Ramona is one of the most remarkable, memorable, and passionate young people you will ever meet. Her consummate devotion to the aesthetic of her era is astonishing and admirable.
At Lacis, we love to celebrate the unique individual who blazes their own path. Who practices—and lives—their craft with uncommon imagination. Intense commitment. And inimitable style.
Ramona, we salute you! You are a Lacis legend, and an inspiration to us all.
We're very excited to be able to offer in-person classes once more. The re-scheduled classes listed below are available to those who were originally registered for them before they were cancelled due to pandemic restrictions, but please feel free to email us and let us know what classes you'd be interested in taking in the future, and we'll contact you when registration opens up!
Want to take a class? You can drop off your completed registration form in person during business hours, email it to us, or simply give us a call to enroll!
Pleated Pansy: A Ribbon Flower Class
with Patrice Krems
Saturday, August 14, 2021 — 12:30 to 5:00 PM
$55 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)
In this class, you'll learn how to make both a pleated pansy and the traditional hand-gathered, vintage-style pansy. Made out of French wired ombré ribbon in delicate pastels or vibrant jewel tones, a cheerful pansy works well as a brooch or millinery appliqué, and a bouquet of them looks stunning in a crazy quilt setting, decorative floral headbands, etc.
Beginning Tatting • SOLD OUT
with Kevin Baum
Saturday, August 21, 2021 — 12:30 to 4:00 PM
This class concentrates on the double stitch, which all shuttle tatting is based on. Once this first step has been mastered, we will learn to make rings and picots, and then how to connect rings through picots. The goal of these classes is to create, with practice, a simple edging of connected rings and picots.
Kevin Baum is an accomplished tatter and teacher with many years of experience. He's taught classes at both Lacis and the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design.
Miss your chance to take this class? Don't despair—we'll offer it again later this fall! Just call (510) 843-7290 or email email@example.com to join the waitlist!
Beginning Bobbin Lace: A 5-Hour Workshop for Beginners
with Eva Gergely
Saturday, August 28, 2021 — 10:00 to 4:00 PM
$65 + $64 Bobbin Lace Kit (students get 20% off kit)
Bobbin lace is the classic lace of Western civilization, captivating virtually every culture since 1500 when it became a very necessary and expensive part of fashionable clothing.
Bobbin lacemaking is a multi-thread technique based on two basic motions working in a plaiting fashion using no more than four threads at a time. The threads, worked in the hands, require minimal eye acuteness, making it accessible to students of all ages.
This class will cover preparation of materials, the basic motions and the basic stitches and grounds based on these motions.
Eva Gergely now brings this technique to the 21st century, where she combines traditional motifs, symbols and techniques of Hungarian folk culture with modern elements. Visiting from Hungary, Eva is an artist, singer, designer and lace maker whose work has been shown at prestigious exhibitions.
Delightful Daffodils: A Ribbon Flower Class
with Patrice Krems
Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 — 12:30 to 5:00 PM
$55 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)
Learn how to construct delightful pleated daffodils out of French wired ribbon! Using these techniques, you can transform flat ribbons into an elaborate three dimensional ruffled confection.
Amongt the techniques you will learn will be ruching for the calyx, a 6-petal "U" gathered flower for the base, and how to gather and form the pleated ribbon into a cup. If time permits, Patrice will also demonstrate how to make a beaded tassel that cascades from the end of the calyx.
Tambour Embroidery • SOLD OUT
with Zoya Parkansky
Saturday, Sept. 18 & Oct. 2, 2021 — 10:00 to 5:00 PM
Learn the hook embroidery techniques employed by haute couture ateliers! Particularly well-suited for bead- and sequin-work, and once mastered, rapid to execute while encouraging freedom of design.
Did you miss your chance to take this class? Don't despair, we'll offer it again! Call (510) 843-7290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the waitlist!
3-Petal Flower with Vintage Ruffle Edge
with Patrice Krems
Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 — 12:30 to 5:00 PM
$55 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)
Learn how to make this exquisite vintage 1920s-inspired, hand-gathered ruffled edge three-petal flower with leaves and a bud using thread for the stamens. This dramatic floral adornment is perfect for milliners or anyone looking to elevate their accessory game to the next level.
Beginning Tatting (and Beyond)
with Kevin Baum
Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 — 12:30 to 4:00 PM
Did you miss out on a chance to take Beginning Tatting in August? Stay tuned—your next opportunity to learn tatting will come in October. More details to come!
with Patrice Krems
Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 — 12:30 to 6:00 PM
$55.00 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)
This versatile ornament is often seen on the clothes of the 1910s and 20s—learn to fashion wired ribbon into stunning cabochon roses and add an instant splash of vintage panache to an ensemble!
Are you promoting an educational textile event,
and you'd like to see it posted in a future Lacis Newsletter?
Contact us, and let's see if we're a good fit!
• Aug. 4: The Bargello Sisters discuss their book, Bargello Needlepoint
• Aug. 18: Duwenavue Santé Johnson's Industry Directions in Embroidery
• Sept. 22: Interview with Mary Corbet, founder of Needle 'n Thread
The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We are a unique legacy museum located in Berkeley, California. We host a wide range of hands-on workshops, several galleries of rotating exhibits, and our Museum Shop carries an extensive supply of vintage goods, craft- and costume-related books, and needlework supplies.
Our purpose is to:
• Preserve lace and textiles of all cultures from all periods
• Provide a resource center for research and documentation of these objects
• Educate and disseminate knowledge of lace and textiles
For just $25.00, you can become an official, card-carrying Lacis Museum Member for a year—and enjoy exclusive benefits! Get your membership via our Etsy shop, or alternatively, contact us in a number of other ways to join this vitally important circle of Lacis friends. We thank you for your support!
• 10% discount at our Etsy shop for purchases over $50
• 20% off books purchased at the Lacis Museum shop
• Free museum admission for you and up to (4) guests
• Special invitation to show openings
• Class discounts
The Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles
2982 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703