A Summer Full of Students

After School Matters, born through the passion and commitment of Maggie Daley, is a non-profit organization that offers Chicago High School teens innovative out of school activities that help them discover their potential and find their path to a meaningful life.

Supreme Novelty Fabrics had the opportunity and the honor to work with five of these amazing freshly graduated High School students this past summer.  As a small business, we frequently have more on our to-do list then we have time for in a given day.  The ASM students helped check off some of those to-do’s and as a result helped make Supreme a more customer friendly store!

The Students spent the summer labeling all of our fabrics, organizing them by color and type, and generally being a joy to have around!  We also loved the outfits they designed for our mannequins – there may be some future fashion designers coming out of here!

We are grateful not only for the work that they helped us with, but also the opportunity to get to know each and every one of these students personally!   Supreme Novelty Fabrics wishes you all the best in your freshmen year of college and your futures!

Thank you After School Matters for creating such an amazing program!

Supreme Summer Student Design Competition

A little over a week and a half ago, Supreme Novelty Fabrics hosted its FIRST student design competition and runway show!  We had been preparing for this event since June: spreading the word among student designers, finding the judges, and planning the actual show.  It has been a lot of work, but it was a blast and the results were more than we could have ever hoped for!

The competition showcased 18 students from 5 of the local fashion schools: Dominican University, Harper College, Columbia College Chicago, IADT, and College of Dupage.  The students were required to use 1 yard of an eggplant pleated chiffon fabric which was provided for them upon registration.  We were amazed at the creativity the students brought to the competition.  We had designs that were hand dyed, hand felted, or painted to create a unique one-of-a-kind pattern.

The show was held on our massive runway/cutting table before an audience of 135 people.  It was a great honor to have an amazing judges panel scoring the designs: Lara Miller, local eco-friendly knitwear designer;Barbara Glass, fashion editor and wardrobe consultant and newly appointed fashion reporter on “Good Day Chicago”; Nora Del Busto, local separates designer and Chicago Fashion Incubator alum; and Hector-Javier from Monarrez Collection, your one stop shop for all special occasion needs!

The winners received gift certificates for Supreme Novelty Fabrics, and the first place winner also received a photo shoot with Dean Paul who photographed the event. And now for the winners…..


3rd Place: Amela Bego of Harper College

Amela Bego is a Sophmore at Harper College.  Originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amela likes her designs to have a touch of home.  As a little girl, she was taught to crochet by her grandma and incorporates crochet into many of her garments.  It can be quite a challenge to incorporate crochet and fabric into the same garment, but Amela likes a good challenge.  She feels that crochet makes the garment more exquisite and eye-catching.  Amela strives to create unique pieces that stand out from the crowd.  As you can see above, she created quite a piece! The crochet detailing was just beautiful!

2nd Place: Samantha Goldberg of Harper College

Samantha studies fashion design at Harper College.  She is a California native but, aims to win the competition over with her romantic style and eye for detail. She bases her esthetics on standing out from the normal everyday look but keeping classy and emphasizing the female forms curves.  She is using all the fabric provided, highlighting the pleats, creating a sexy grunge dress design with a vest for the competition.  She is inspired by high fashion and ready-to-wear designers like Valentino and Marc Jacobs. She is excited to show her work to Chicago.

First Place: Sandra Yau of Columbia College Chicago

Sandra Yau is going into her Junior year at Columbia College.  For this competition, she created a flowy evening dress with a beautiful train.  She won the judges over with the grace of the dress, and the amazing drape!  We could not have a more gracious winner and we look forward to seeing more looks from her!

The competition was such a great success that we have decided to host a Fall competition as well! Please e-mail julia@supremefabrics.com if you are interested in details!

Here are some more of our favorites!

A Lesson in Laces

Since our inception in 1931, Supreme Novelty Fabrics has been buying and selling lace.  Because of this, we have acquired the largest selection of vintage and contemporary lace outside of a museum. These laces come from all over Europe and Asia in a variety styles and colors.  Did you ever wonder, how lace originated and what types of laces there are?  We looked at a few types of commonly known laces and provided some interesting information on them.

ImageLace-making is an ancient craft dating back to the 15th century.  It was first popularized in Italy and France by royalty.  Lace is characterized as an openwork fabric, patterned with open holes made either by hand or machine.  Holes are created via removal of threads or cloth from a previously woven fabric.  Usually, the spaces are created as part of the lace fabric.  Lace is created when a thread is looped, twisted, or braided to other threads independently from a backing fabric.  Expensive laces were made from silk, gold, and even silver threads.

Traditionally lace was used as tablecloths and doilies.  Later, lace was incorporated into clothing, including military uniforms.  Laces’ use is very popular in wedding dresses as well.

Chantilly Lace:

Chantilly lace, named after the city of Chantilly, France, has been in production since the 17th century.  It is a handmade bobbin lace, known for its outlined patterns and abundant detail. Bobbin lace is made with the use of bobbins to pull the threads tight and facilitate handline while threads are twisted and crossed to form a woven material.  Chantilly lace uses a half-and-whole stitch as a fill to achieve the effect of light and shadow in the floral pattern.  Strips were produced and then joined with a stitch that left no visible seam.

ImageThe best Chantilly laces were made of silk and were generally black which were usually used in mourning attire.  White Chantilly lace was also made both in linen and silk but not as popular as the black color.

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Venetian Lace:

Venetian Lace is a needlepoint lace originating in the 16th century.  Venetian lace started off with more acute-angled points and eventually evolved into more geometrical designs and then on to more curvilinear patterns.  Patterns were then raised by outlining the design with a cordonnet, a heavier thread, bundle of threads, or horsehair, worked over with buttonholing, so that the curls, scrolls, and conventionalized leaves stood out like relief carving.

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Alencon Lace:

Alencon is a needle type lace and is also known as “Queen of Lace.” It received this name because it was Imageat the time, the most elaborate needle-point lace which had every been produced in France. This type of Lace comes from Alencon, France.  From the time of its’ origin (16th century), King Louis XIV decided to expand production of this lace to decrease the dependency of foreign imports which included expensive fabrics and laces.  Alencon lace distinguished itself as a very fine lace and also very labor intensive.  It was derived from Venetian lace but was more refined.  Alencon lace was raised and had continuous outlines to the ornament.  Alencon lace used thick thread to give a stronger definition to some forms.  In return it was one of the most highly priced laces around.

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We carry lace yardage, lace trims, and lace appliques in all of the styles listed above and more.   Come check out the unique and beautiful selection Supreme Novelty has to offer!