Official Newsletter   •   June 1, 2023

Contents in This Month's Issue

Greetings, Lacis friends


Shown left is the feathered floral hair wreath you can make with Lynn McMasters in her workshop on Sat., June 10; shown right is what you can do once you "McMaster" her techniques.

We have big plans to kick off this summer, folks!
    We're looking forward to an especially vibrant schedule of needle arts classes. They include workshops for lacemaking (beginning tatting, to be precise), floral embroidery (take it stitch by stitch with Laura Tandeske!), resplendent ribbonwork (daffodil flowers, pleated fuchsias, sunburst cockades, oh my!), recreating period garments (perfect for your Regency-era costume), and even historical feather hair accessories (with millinery maven Lynn McMasters)...

ABOVE: Learn how to make fantastical daffodils from ribbon with Patrice Krems! This is an adorable pincushion you could make for yourself, after she teaches you her ribbon-working secrets on Sat., July 15!

LEFT: This one is for all you Jane Austen fans. Those empire dresses can be very revealing. You may wish for a modest little chemisette for the next public ball! Make one with us on Sat., June 17! RIGHT: Learn the stitching techniques useful for embellishing one's garments and accessories in Laura Tandeske's freestyle florals embroidery workshop on Sat., August 26! After one round of freestyle florals, you'll be ready to tackle your own jackets and tote bags.

An alternative use for Lynn McMaster's feather florals is in this setting, as a bustle-era hair ornament. You can actually opt to make this style in her Sat., June 10 hair wreath class, if preferred!

Make gorgeous, festive ribbonwork cockades with Patrice Krems on Sat., June 24! It would be perfect to make up in extra large red, white, and blue ribbon for your July 4th celebrations!

We are eagerly filling our appointment book with tour reservations to see Day's End: Personal Glamour Exposed. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and support! Each tour is a unique experience and they have proved so much fun with you all.
    What we wear at home through the ages is indeed a fascinating topic. It becomes a question of the body in a socially conceived space, a private space: in an informal, familiar, domestic setting; yet one's nightwear can send a clear statement not just about the priority of personal comfort, but about leisure, hospitality, class, and worldliness.
    Our visitors' reactions of wonder and awe, as they journey with us through the collection, is our own reward.
    You, Lacis Museum patrons — textile lovers, lovers of history — impress us with your intelligence, artistic sensibility, and genuine curiosity, and we're proud to contribute something meaningful to this community, and facilitate educational and entertaining experiences.

Our special tours are $3.00 per person, non-LMLT Member price (current LMLT Members and four of their guests can come free!). Contact us in advance; tours run approximately 40 minutes long; have at least 2+ persons in your group. We would love to take you back in time and through Day's End: Personal Glamour Exposed!

LEFT TO RIGHT: A turn-of-the-century Princess Lace boudoir cap and light cotton batiste nightgown with an asymmetrical neckline; a 19th-century silk charmeuse negligee with room for a bustle; and an early 1920s peach silk velvet robe and nightgown set with the classic dropped-waist shape of the time, but extravagant bell sleeves.

Immediate plans aside, reflecting on all that's transpired for us this past month, we think this newsletter's theme could well be "making time for mending."
    We want to extend our gracious thanks to the wonderful group that participated in our very first mending workshop! You were our eager guinea pigs and we are grateful for your intelligent, thoughtful feedback. Thanks to your support and due to popular demand, we'll definitely be offering you a series of specialized mending workshops in the future.
    For those of you who wish to join in on the fun straightaway, though, we're very excited to announce that we're now carrying our own 14-Hook Darning Loom. This is a marvelous method for mending! We've had visits from folks who had mended the very jeans they were wearing, and in the most beautiful and creative ways, creating frankly gorgeous darns with their color palettes and textures of yarn. We're here to tell ya, it looked great, and we can't wait to play around with the darning loom ourselves.
    And we've just begun to unveil and explore a new display of antique darning eggs and mending tools in the Museum Shop for everyone to enjoy. The innocuous wooden darning egg is, to us, a potent symbol. We respect the act of mending: its purpose is humble, but noble. We put it right by the front entrance, so you can't miss it. Stay tuned this summer to follow more in this special series.

Mending and conserving means a lot to us at the LMLT. As a nonprofit, we want to keep the traditions of the textile arts and crafts alive and thriving in our community. As a museum, we consider ourselves the stewards of precious items from the past, ensuring they'll exist for the appreciation and study of future generations, and not fade from memory.
    But ultimately, everyday mending occurs on the smallest scale. As individuals, we are making the time and mental space to show appreciation to our personal possessions. It's careful work, with needle and thread, stitch by stitch. It is moving, how so many people come to Lacis for the sole purpose of obtaining mending supplies: they want to preserve their favorite, long-beloved things. They do not want to replace them. We understand that, on a deep, personal level. It is a profoundly human impulse.

Mark your calendars!

What is Armenian needle lace? Is it an ornament? An amulet? A meditation? A portal? Come join us on Saturday, July 15 from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM and enjoy an in-person demonstration of this ancient and living art.

Those of you who have been reading the newsletter for a long time may remember Elise Youssoufian — scholar, poet, singer, metal and textile artist, weaver and devotee of needle lace — from back when we featured as our Customer of the Month from summer of last year. We're elated to report that she's since returned from Armenia to the Bay Area — has been laboring on the final stretch of her PhD studies — and she's joined our staff! We are so grateful to have her on the team! She'll be giving you a special look into Armenian needle lace techniques, so come by if you want to learn more!

Who knows the place where we've landed,
For how many days are we stranded?
When our hearts are empty, when love is gone,
'Tis in a fire we've landed.

Hovhannes Tumanyan

Congratulations to our friends at The Lace Museum on accomplishing a milestone move to their new location in Fremont! They've now re-opened for visitors, so if you can make it to the South Bay to see their new digs, we think you should! They're open on the 2nd and 4th Saturday afternoons of each month, and they're conveniently less than a mile from the Warm Springs BART station.

Customer Projects

We love it when our talented Lacis visitors are working on a project and show us a photo, or even bring in the project itself! Inspiration abounds in this place, and that's in no small part thanks to you. Read our Customer of the Month section for even more amazing work done by our Lacis friends.


Look at these beautiful hand warmers Anais made! We absolutely love the stitched X motifs, it couldn't be cuter. Anais came and visited Lacis with her sister, who originally taught her how to crochet. And they have yet ANOTHER sister who crochets — she crochets these incredible banana slug bucket hats! (There's also a smiling frog design, which is hilarious and charming at the same time.)
    How lucky to have sisters who are all into the textile arts! Thank you, Anais, for letting us admire your handiwork. And sisters three, we applaud your camraderie and creativity!

Current Exhibit

Day's End: Personal Glamour Exposed

Tours are by appointment only

Our newest exhibit, Day's End: Personal Glamour Exposed, allows us to peek into the closets of history to reveal our most intimate items of clothing: the things never worn around strangers or out of the house. It is a joyful exploration of the gorgeous, often sensuous attire worn in private, like nightgowns, robes, and pajamas from the 1860s to the 1930s.
    Such garments represented the shedding of one's public life to transition into a personal world of comfort and glamour. These historical clothes were worn for the wearer's pleasure and sometimes included intricate details that only one's closest loved ones ever saw. An elegant nightgown, an essential part of a bride's trousseau, would have only been seen by her new husband.
    Nighttime apparel often featured inserts of the finest machine lace, hand embroidery, ribbons, shirring, pin tucks, ruffles—and sometimes the ultimate stamp of luxury, a custom monogram. And although these garments were available through catalogs and stores, many pieces were lovingly handmade at home, further confirming their cherished nature.
    Stroll through this dreamscape of our past... before sweatpants, yoga pants, and workplace pajamas... and into a world of sumptuous personal glamour—exposed.

Currently in the Museum Shop

A Time to Mend: Darning Tools of Old

Explore darning and mending items from the LMLT Collection.

You'll find these treasures arrayed in a glass display case on your left, almost the first thing you see when you come into the shop. Each month this summer, we'll introduce you to a new family of darning and mending tools. We hope it will inspire you to explore salvaging your own damaged items!

Mending and conservation of textiles is a sacred act dear to our hearts, so we sincerely hope you enjoy this variety of darning tools from our collection. We consider objects of this nature most aesthetically pleasing, each one potent with life, history, and generations of use. As William Morris, outspoken advocate for the revival of the traditional British textile arts, once said: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." All these, from the humblest to the most novel and extravagant, are definitively both.

Currently in the Museum Shop

Aubusson Tapestry: "The Stag at Bay"

This Robert Four tapestry reproduces a segment of "The Stag at Bay" from the Netherlands.
The original dates back to the late 15th century, and it now resides at the Met Museum.
This copy, however, you can see at Lacis Museum, hanging above our shop floor!

The Aubusson tapestry-weaving tradition has continued almost unbroken since the 1300s, when its small weaving industry was first established. There was a hiatus in the 1700 and 1800s, but its 20th-century revival peaked in about 1911.
    The piece you'll see here at Lacis Museum dates from after the 1950s, but the methods used in its manufacture are extremely close to those of the artisans centuries ago. In fact, in 2019, Aubusson tapestries were declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Read more about the tapestries.

Recently Sold in Our Etsy Shop

Let's find out where our vintage treasures ended up!

Out of a need to create a unique gift or souvenir that represented Singapore, a young local scientist discovered a way to encapsulate natural orchids in gold. Working with craftsmen to perfect the technique using several plating processes, the delicate golden flowers created a new company called RISIS in 1976.
     These beautiful brooches were once worn by the staff of Singapore Airlines, to complement their incredible sarong uniforms — which are actually haute couture fashion, designed by Pierre Balmain in 1972. Each one is tailor-made.

This is from the era of the first motor cars and traveling clothes were designed to keep the dust out, hence the name "duster". This is the real deal. This coat is 110 years old and is fancy enough to be worn by the likes of Lady Mary in Downton Abbey. It's been at Lacis for a long time, and we were so glad to finally send it off to a good home!

Historical Textile Trivia

T is for Tablecloth:
Tales from
Larousse Gastronomique

Have you ever contemplated the rôle of the tablecloth in medieval France? No?! Well, maybe you should!
    Ever-inquisitive Lacis Museum staff member Peggy unexpectedly discovered an entry on that ubiquitous linen — the unassuming household tablecloth, that is — in a tome entitled Larousse Gastronomique, a French encyclopedia of culinary (and social) history. The first edition came out in 1938, and it's been reprinted many times since, becoming a staple of the curious cook's library. What you see here is from the sixth printing, which came out in 1965.
    We had no idea the timeless tablecloth had such a storied past! The great essayist Montaigne even touched on the topic. You'll discover where the aphorism "to make ends meet" comes from... when the practice of folding napkins into elaborate shapes originated...

Read more!

New Favorite Products & Publications at Lacis

Our staff picks their favorite fresh titles & tools

Don't forget, Lacis Museum Members receive 20% off of books purchased in our Museum shop

GH62      $25

These mending looms will elevate your sock-darning game to the next level. We've had so much fun fixing up our moth-eaten sweaters! Embrace the imperfection, and play around with colors! A labor of love becomes a work of art.

Fair Isle Knitting: 22 Traditional Patterns from Where the Atlantic Meets the North Sea

TU52      $32

Carina Olsson's new book unites "the stunning complexity of traditional Shetland patterning and the raw natural beauty of Nordic landscapes.
    "The centuries-old art of Fair Isle knitting evolved on the Shetland Islands, inspired by colors and forms found in nature, for a distinctive look that's instantly recognizable. Now, Carina Olsson, one of Sweden's leading experts in Fair Isle knitting, is here to guide you through this technique's fundamental principles: how to choose and combine colors in vivid, organic palettes, with over 20 sample patterns for sweaters, mittens, hats, and gloves, ready to adapt to your favorite motifs — plus inspiration and instructions for designing a Fair Isle sweater of your own."

HK26      $4.50

At last...!! June is a our joyful, long-awaited month for getting outside and celebrating. We've weathered storms and darkness, and now, under blue skies and radiant sunshine, we fully encourage you to rejoice in full-blown Technicolor. Coordinate with the current superblooms of wildflowers going on! We have only a few of these outrageously fabulous, Carnivale-style lace pollinator masks an in anodized rainbow color scheme, so snag 'em while they're hot and wear them with pride!

Customer of the Month

Eleni Johnson

Eleni Johnson is a Lacis regular and avid knitter/crocheter. She cheers us up instantly when she visits, showing us what she's been working on, and is so much fun to chat with while she browses. Hanging out here, she's been witness to many a surprising and memorable Lacis Museum moment!
      Knitting has been bothering her wrists, so she's switched over to crochet, and has been working patterns from very old needle lace magazines. Her crochet doilies are mind-blowingly beautiful, and as you know, we definitely feel the power of the doily here at the LMLT! She recently made the one you see here as a gift for her mother, for Mother's Day. (Try looking at it with 3D glasses on!)
    Artistically, Eleni is a brilliant inventor, her palettes vivid and daring. And the patterns she's been unearthing from these archives are unlike any we've seen before — she makes it look easy, but 100-year old crochet patterns are not written for the novice. Imagine how much simpler modern crochet patterns are to follow!
    But this scalloped and deeply crenellated edge, the bold use of negative space... Sheer genius. We're so glad Eleni took the initiative and time to puzzle them out!

Eleni is also the creator of these incredible "Inner Demons" you see below. They're inspired by 1920s boudoir dolls, but darker, with a Tim Burton-esque, voodoo doll-style twist. We love all the detailed embroidery and beading and could stare at these for days! It's clear the maker poured her love into every stitch: in fact, Eleni made a number of these as special gifts for her friends, each one customized to speak to that specific person.
    They're embellished in a dazzling mixed-media combination of embroidery, sequins and beads, and that's part of the magic. What Eleni loves most of all about making them is "their spontenaity, the raw edges, their wild experimental nature." She uses DMC floss, vintage imitation silk, and silver for embellishing them. If her work inspires you, follow her artistic adventures on Instagram, like we do: she's @MrsNoraCharles.
    Thank you so much for sharing your unique pieces with us over the years, Eleni. Your special blend of creativity, craftsmanship, and heart never fails to bring us joy!


Classes at Lacis

There are so many things to learn at Lacis!

Interested in taking 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!

Call for Instructors!

Do you have a passion for...

Preserving your cultural textile arts heritage?
For cultivating and educating the textile arts community?
For spreading the love of needle, bobbin and thread?

Do you happen to teach lacemaking (bobbin lace, needle tatting, crochet or knitted lace, etc.) or historical costuming and hatmaking skills? Perhaps you've already led similar workshops, or have designed an interesting textile arts workshop that would complement these fields.
    If this sounds like you, we'd love to hear about it. Fill out an Prospective Instructor form and email it back to us at!

Upcoming Classes

An Accessory Class: 1860 Floral Flower Hair Wreath
with Lynn McMasters

Saturday, August 26, 2023 — 12:30 to 4 PM
$50 + $10 kit fee (payable to instructor)

"A lady can never be said to be well dressed unless her hair be tastefully arranged, and in a style perfectly in keeping with the other portions of her costume."

- Lady's Home Magazine, 1858

Learn how to create an elegant Victorian Feather Floral Hair wreath, fit to complement a "tastefully arranged" Victorian evening coiffure. Students will prep a frame; make feather flowers, feather leaves, and buds to add to the frame. Then they will sew the flowers and the jewelry elements onto the frame.

The Regency Chemise: From Garment to Pattern to Garment
with Catherine Scholar

Saturday, June 17 — 12:30 to 5 PM

Chemisettes were worn beneath gowns from the 1790s through most of the 19th century. Their purpose was modesty (to fill in an open neckline), warmth, or simply to change up the fashion of a dress. In the mid-to-late 20th century, similar garments were called dickies.
     Using a gridded pattern of an extant chemisette from the first quarter of the 19th century, we will expand the miniature pattern to full size and make simple fitting adjustments for a personalized garment. After lunch, we will cover basic hand-sewing techniques as we construct our chemisettes.

A Ribbon Class: The Sunburst Cockade
with Patrice Krems

Saturday, June 24 — 12:30 to 5 PM
$55 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)

You will be most familiar with the Sunburst Rosette Cockades on military tricorne hats in the Revolutionary War and cloche hats and dresses in the 1920s. The Sunburst Rosette Cockade is a vintage-style favorite that can be modified in countless different ways and give you every opportunity to display or wear your ingenuity.
    Among the techniques you will learn is how to make beaded stamens. This vintage style cockade can be also be transformed into delightful dangling flowers twirling like whimsical ballerinas from the ends of the gimp stems.
    The cockade flowers look best made out of French wired ombré ribbon, while the Sunburst Rosette Cockade is traditionally made out of grosgrain ribbon. The sample in the picture is also made from French wired ombré ribbon.

A Ribbon Class: Delightful Daffodils
with Patrice Krems

Saturday, July 15, 2023 — 12:30 to 5 PM
$55 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)

Spring will be in the air as you make a delightful pleated daffodil out of French wired ribbon!
    You will learn how to transform flat ribbons into a three-dimensional ruffled confection. If there is time, you will learn how to make a beaded tassel cascading from the end of the calyx.
    Depending on whether you decide to make the Small or Large Daffodil, this versatile flower pattern can be finished to turn your daffodil into a brooch, pin cushion, a hat decoration or even a drip catcher sitting jauntily on the spout of a teapot!

A Ribbonwork Class: Pleated Fuchsias
with Patrice Krems

Saturday, August 12, 2023 — 12:30 to 5 PM

You will be delighted with the Pleated Fuchsia, a fanciful ruffled confection made of French-wired ombre ribbon. See the ribbon jump to life as you ruffle together the pleated ribbon and insert tiny balls of cotton and stamens to be nestled within each bloom. These saucy blossoms will bounce and twirl like whimsical ballerinas from the ends of the gimp stem.
    Individually, these dainty delights are the perfect size to be used as a fob on the end of embroidery scissors or as a zipper pull. Create a cluster and wear them as a brooch. Shorten the gimp and they can be turned into delightful dangling earrings. You can even create a one-of-a-kind fringe. There are endless ideas and uses for these fanciful fuschia flowers! Popular in the 1920s, the Pleated Fuchsia is a versatile ornament for hats or garments.

Beginning Tatting
with Kevin Baum

Saturday, August 19, 2023 — 12:30 to 4 PM

Have you admired tatting and wondered if you could be able to tat? Tatting is surprisingly easy to do, despite its seeming intricacy. Only a few stitches need to be mastered in order to create beautiful tatted works of art. These beginner classes will get you on track for shuttle tatting by teaching you the tools and techniques.
    You will concentrate on learning the double stitch, which all shuttle tatting is based on. Once the double stitch has been mastered, you 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.

Freestyle Flowers: A Surface Embroidery Class
with Laura Tandeske

Saturday, August 26, 2023 — 12:30 to 4 PM
$45 + an optional $5 kit fee (payable to instructor)

This will be a fun and interactive surface embroidery course that is perfect for both the first-time embroiderer and the experienced embroiderer looking for a refresher.
    You will learn how to stitch flowers and stems and how to stitch on clothes or bags in particular. If you have a project that you would like to work on, you're welcome to bring it. Please bring some practice fabric to work on before stitching on your final piece. You'll pick up techniques and tips that you just can't get from books!

Last Month's Classes

A Flower Mandala: A Surface Embroidery Class
with Laura Tandeske


A Millinery Class: The Gilded Age Tall Straw Hat
with Lynn McMasters & Laura Dippold



         A Sampler Class: Mindful Mending
         with Julie Ann Brown



Textile Arts Calendar

What to Watch, See, & Do


Saturday, May 6    The Daily Planet Swing Ball
Join us at the Daily Planet at a reception and dance party celebrating Miss Lois Lane's first Pulitzer Prize.
     Vintage or modern evening dress is admired, not required (white or black tie optional) and superheroes or heroines or supervillains from any comics universe are welcome.
     Sara and Swingtime — Metropolis' most fashionable band — plays an evening of elegant vintage ballroom dance music (waltzes, tangos, fox trots, Blues, Latin, etc.) and hot Swing of the 1930's and 40's in keeping with the old-fashioned ambiance of the city!


Saturday, June 24    Top of the Mountains: The Land of the Gods
Join us for a picnic worthy of ancient Gods and Goddesses! Bring your own food for this outdoor picnic among the beautiful lush grounds of Sanborn County Park. Drink refreshments and light snacks (grapes) will be provided by the Guild. Irish dancers from Jackie Flynn Irish Dance Academy & Studio will perform intermittently throughout the event.

Textile Arts Council


Saturday, June 17    Fashioning an Exhibition: How Textile Conservators Prepare Christian Dior's "Junon" for Display
The Textile Conservators for the Fine Arts Museums are responsible for the care of over 22,000 textiles which includes costumes, flat weaves, contemporary fiber art, pile carpets and tapestries. From the moment a textile enters the collection, conservators research and document major events in its life to create a narrative that informs the object's treatment and preservation.
    Using Christian Dior's evening gown Junon as a case study, this presentation will reveal what conservators do on a daily basis to preserve such treasures in the collection.

Join Our Museum

About Us

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

We appreciate your patronage!

     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

A Message from Our Director

We, as an entity in a timeless world of creativity, fiber and cultures, cannot ignore the present as we focus on the past. We are at a turning point in this world and cannot simply accept the chaos we are in the midst of as simply normal, much like extremes of weather. While we focus on taming the weather, it is the taming of this chaos that is far more needed. Chaos on our streets, in our cities, and in the world cannot be ignored as we find solace in our threadwork. We are now at the beginning of a critical political season where all contenders resolve to accept this task and restore the old normal where racism was a term which referred to the past where we all sought a better life through acknowledgment of self and pursuit of purpose rather than pursuit of entitlements.

     —Jules Kliot, Director

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Newsletter written and edited by Christine Krause.
Any inaccuracies or errors are her own. Please email any comments or corrections you may have to:

The Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles
2982 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703