Opening boxes: a 2 hour event

by Deborah from Rhode Island

Another in a series of notes to designer Cynthia Ivey Abitz  after receiving an Ivey Abitz order.


Good evening Cynthia,

I apologize for not writing sooner to thank you for all the exquisite work that went into my most recent orders. I have been inundated by work for my job and finishing up a degree, and as a result, have had to put some things on hold for a bit. When I received my boxes from Ivey Abitz today I knew that I had to get away from all the work and write a note.

The sample velvet Solomon Skirt and the velvet Baedeker Scarf are so very beautiful – the silk velvet is the softest I have ever felt. I am trying to find an excuse to wear them now 🙂

My wonderful made-to-order outfit and made-to-order Celia Skirt arrived together in separate boxes. I had taken the day off from work to finish a paper for school – of course, I knew that my clothing was on the way and I would be home when they arrived. I procrastinate a lot when it involves writing papers so I set the boxes aside and decided to use this opportunity to reward myself if I got some work done. My reward was to open both boxes and spend time admiring my new clothes – it worked. It took me approximately two hours to open both boxes, admire the clothing, and hang them all up.

The Sophia Frock is perfect – and the length is perfect. My Willow Frock and Sash – I love the Striped Silk Cotton Voile fabric and I am so glad that I ordered these before the fabric sold out. I have not yet worn my Lydia Layering Shirt yet but it is so so pretty. The weather is supposed to be warmer today so this might be a good day to wear my outfit.

My new Celia Skirt – what can I say? It is stunning, fits perfectly, and goes with so many things that I own. The details on the Celia Skirt are amazing – and I love the brooches. Thank you for helping me decide on the fabrics for them. Your grandmother Celia would be so delighted to know that you named this skirt for her.

I am now off to class –

Best,

Deborah

Something so extraordinary about wearing custom made garments

by Deborah from Rhode Island

To Cynthia and everyone at Ivey Abitz –

I’m so in awe of the work you do – from Cynthia’s timeless designs to the black satin ribbon that is tied around that perfect white box. When the scarf that you so carefully made for me arrived on Saturday, I was not at all surprised at the glorious fabric or the perfect stitching and the lovely way that the scarf was folded inside its box. I’ve come to expect that everything I order from IA will be cause for excitement. I ran out to greet the postman as he was stepping out of his truck to deliver my package – he could tell that the box was for me. There was a tornado watch in my area that afternoon and I doubted that my scarf would arrive. So, I was all the more excited when it did! I felt like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus to arrive (and the postman probably thought I was a little kid). I truly savored every minute of opening that box, pulling back the tissue paper, and holding the scarf in my hands. The lovely color, the texture of the silk and linen fabric. I’m so pleased with it, as I am with all my Ivey Abitz. There is just something so extraordinary about wearing custom made garments. This scarf will look beautiful and feel soft worn around my neck, and will keep me warm and feeling lovely. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity, talents, and skills – I feel fortunate that I have experienced all of these. I’m already day dreaming about what could be in the next box I receive from Ivey Abitz.

Best to all,

Deborah

Southern Sartorial Elegance

by Anita in the South

I am Southern, born and bred. Growing up, my grandmothers made many of my outfits and by age ten, I was sewing in 4-H. I know the hours of work that go into the touches, the details, that make an ensemble not only look perfect but FEEL perfect. I have spent many an evening as a teen, taking out stitching that wasn’t just so and pinning for top stiching, lapping seams, laying a pattern so that the designs in the fabric would flow, and basting for hours.

My mother had a seamstress, Miss Barton, that made many of her outfits, bound button holes, detailing, even her own labels, and I would ride with her for her fittings. (Any of you recall Leiter fabrics??) My mother would never have been caught wearing the same dress as someone else. Growing up Southern in the late 50’s and 60’s, the fashion rules that had been laid down for generations still held and will be with me always. We NEVER wore white after Labor Day or straw before Easter. Ladies did not wear jeans. I was 21 before I even tried on a pair! (Apologies to those of you who look great in jeans…most of us DO NOT.) Fashion was an experience to be enjoyed.

I was shopping Ivey Abitz before Cynthia started her own designs, so I was one of the first in line. Like my mother, I don’t want to meet myself coming and going in mass produced clothing.

Most of my wardrobe is now Ivey Abitz. I spend hours and multiple emails with Cynthia planning and seeking her advice on what ensembles to add (she keeps up so well with what you already have!). She is endlessly patient and helps me make the perfect choices for each season. She knows my likes and dislikes and her attention to her patrons is reflected in her incredibly comfortable designs. I never feel that my clothes are wearing me. (Think serious fashion mistakes you made in college.)

Somewhere along the way, feminine became the F word. The rags that pass for fashion make me dread long airline flights or trips to the market. I wear my IA ensembles everywhere, traveling costumes, at home, parties, and I look feminine and feel feminine. Cynthia has embraced a feeling of a more refined and dignified Time in her collections. I have found a sartorial home at IA and I never have to leave my home to browse and plan. I love opening the packages–a presentation in themselves.

Thank you, Cynthia.

-Anita in the South

P.S. Invest in the fabric swatches. There is no substitute for holding the fabric and looking at it in natural light and thinking carefully about your selections.