It’s always been cotton for us.

When our company was created in an Alabama Victorian home in the late 80’s, the Southern influence was literally “from the ground up” when the decision for 100% cotton garments was made. The fabric chosen for our heirloom dresses had to be soft against tender skin, breathable so little ones didn’t get too warm (code for crabby), have a beautiful drape as smocked panels fell into full gathers, give pleated skirts and gathered sleeves the right amount of pouf. (We prefer non-technical terms!) There would be no cotton blends, only pure cotton like they grow in the South.

While our designs may seem delicate due to their hand-crafted embroidery and smocking details, don’t be fooled by the soft fabric – cotton is incredibly strong and durable. It holds its own against most stains and is easier to clean by machine or hand, eliminating dry cleaning expenses. It’s also incredibly versatile as it can be knit (our sweaters) or woven (almost everything else) into a variety of different fabrics like corduroy, velour, even lace.

Most of us appreciate a bit of stretch in our clothing and it can be found in designs for all ages. Did you know that stretch isn’t always a good thing? When spandex is added to fabric, it increases the amount of bagging and stretching in the shape of your garment. Our garments wouldn’t become family heirlooms if they lost their darling shape or other details, so we continue to say no to stretch.

For some, the “cotton = wrinkles” equation is not appealing. But we appreciate the wrinkles that come with cotton as they’re the result of our natural process. The only step we add is to have our fabric washed and dried before our dresses are cut and completed – this way the natural shrinkage of cotton is taken care of before your design arrives to you. Some tips to help reduce wrinkling include taking the item out of the dryer promptly after the drying cycle or shortly before it ends to finish with air drying. When prepping a dress, I usually use both a steamer and an iron for the best results.

Last Spring I looked in awe at the crisp pleats of our Blair dress as it hung in our home, waiting for our daughter to wear it to her Holy First Communion. It was a magical day as she proudly stood in front of the congregation staying cool and comfortable and feeling like the princess she is!






April 16, 2020 — Diane Janowak

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