Most Beautiful Neutral: Antique Lace
It's hard to believe that over a year ago, as I was finalizing the design and preparing the materials to make our Antique Lace collection, when the world shut down. Our team had worked so hard on getting this ready so it was crushing to know that we could not share this yet with the world...but, we were super grateful to have health, and to be able to keep our business going despite everything going on around us. I'm usually not very good at keeping things under wraps - so waiting a whole year to launch something I am so excited about was a true test of self-control for me.
I believe I first laid eyes on this beautiful ecru lace fabric several years back, on one of my fabric sourcing trips -- it was just a small swatch of this embroidered cotton, but once I held it in my hands, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I knew that whatever design I came up with, it had to do this fabric justice. I would keep coming back to this fabric and doing sketches here and there to explore possibilities.
I really liked the girls' simple silhouette that I felt like was the best way to feature this unique fabric. I also paired it with a lace overlay in the bodice, as well as a stretchy crochet trim I had found to complete the design. The challenge was the mommy piece -- I had always favored flowy, floor length dresses for myself, with ruffles -- so that was my starting point. Also, I was pregnant with Caris at the time and felt like it would make the perfect maternity dress!
The first few sample women's dresses I tried on fit me like a glove, but as my pregnancy progressed, and as I did different fittings on my friends to get feedback, I quickly realized that the zipper was simply not going to work -- I needed a smocked panel in the bodice somewhere in order to have the stretch and give that many of us nursing/pregnant mommas need - or, likewise for larger chested or even smaller chested women, a smocked panel would provide better fit overall. The earliest design iteration of this dress actually included smocking, but, I quickly found out that the only pleating and smocking company based in San Francisco had closed down (this is, unfortunately, the sad truth of overseas manufacturing taking on the majority of clothing production in the world - American jobs are being eliminated and businesses cannot stay open). I could not find another San Francisco based company that could do this, so during a visit down to Los Angeles, my husband and I did some research and calling around, and after a couple of visits, we found one shop that could make beautiful smocking! It meant that I didn't have to nix this design or try to change it for the 4th or 5th time.
I also knew that as a woman and a momma myself, that pockets are very useful. My baby girl is always picking up little acorns and rocks, and even wild flowers, and saying "momma" for me to hold them for her. It's the cutest thing and I always am happy to oblige. Oh, and tissues too - my husband always jokes that I'm not a real mom if I don't have tissues in my pockets for emergencies, ha! Is this true? His mom apparently always had tissues when he was a kid. :)
So, our whole family went out last fall wearing Antique Lace for our family photos with the awesome @lyndsie.smith, and I can't help but notice those baby fat rolls on baby Caris' arms and ankles. She has since been walking those off, and my momma heart aches. Why do these babies not keep?
I truly cannot wait for you to see our Antique Lace collection, which just went LIVE! Thank you again for supporting EleStory and for letting us be a part of your family memories.