Memorial Flower Pins

Posted by saraMonica in Promotions | Leave a comment

We will be honored to make flower lapel pins from the clothing of your departed loved ones, so you can wear them close to your heart, or keep them on display on your shelf or desk. Please visit our Custom Flowers page to learn more.

Open, visit our Etsy shop to place an order.

Posted by saraMonica in Promotions | Leave a comment

We’re now opened for business, making fabric flowers once again. Please visit our Etsy shop to place an order, by clicking the Etsy link above which will take you directly to our Etsy shop.

Fabric Flowers to Facemasks

Posted by saraMonica in Promotions | Comments Off on Fabric Flowers to Facemasks

During the Covid19 lockdowns in 2020, in the state of NJ the death toll was rapidly rising towards 26,000 people. So I shut down the business, put the fabric flower making process on hold, and converted the studio to make non-surgical fabric face masks with my industrial equipment for Hospitals, First Responders, Essential Workers and the Navy’s hospital ship Mercy.

I was reaching out to groups of women through Facebook who were coordinating large teams of volunteers along the production line to make and donate the final face masks. I noticed that women where cutting curved facemask patterns by hand with scissors. And I realized my industrial die cutting machine that I use to cut flower petals out of stacks of fabric could help them tremendously by speeding up the process. So I contacted my custom die maker Frank Curatolo at National Steel Rule and Die (acquired by Millennium Die Group) so they could custom make the facemask dies for me. Frank knew I wasn’t getting paid for this work, my business was closed, so I wasn’t earning money, and the custom dies were very expensive. But he also knew the work urgently needed to be done, so he made and donated 4 custom dies for me. His generosity was so kind and touching, I cried when I received them; they are works of art that saved people’s lives. I’ll donate them to a museum in my will, and I will always be so grateful to Frank.

I was able to die cut hundreds of facemask patterns in the same amount of time it would take for a person to hand cut a couple facemask patterns with a pair of scissors. All the fabric was donated by people making purchases for us from our local fabric store Fabricland in Greenbrook NJ. The owner of Fabricland, Bruce Heyman was very generously working with me to coordinate phone orders for hundreds of yards of fabrics, and loading bolts of fabrics into the trunk of my car during contactless pickups. The front porch of my home based studio became a fabric, supply, patterns and die cut pick up and drop off location for several groups of volunteers from all over NJ. I also have many sewing machines and have been sewing since youth, so I was able to sew some facemasks myself, where I perfected the patterns, and then trained other women how to sew them too.

Since I have debilitating scoliosis, the work did a number on my right arm, neck and back, so I had to keep the business closed for additional time and reopen slowly and part time. But with physical therapy and regular doctors’ visits, it’s being managed.

But all in all, I’m very proud of all the work we did as a team and the large coordinated efforts of volunteers to save lives at such a critical time in American history. Let’s never forget the heroic efforts of the thousands of women and men who set aside their plans and their lives to cut fabrics and sew facemasks and hospital gowns. There were so many men and women and groups that are not listed here, but some of the work we did and their names was documented in my Facebook posts around that time. Even though we’re no longer making facemasks together, we’ve made so many new and good friends and we’ll forever have this special connection. We were so socially excited to work together in such isolated times, everyone loved everyone. Please visit my Facebook page to browse through some old posts to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/Sara-Monica-LLC-317907170840

After our services were no longer needed, I made some extra facemasks in the same style and sell them on my Etsy shop as a piece of American history. Now facemasks are a dime a dozen, but these facemask were worth their weight in gold.

Sara Monica Maher

Owner

History of Millinery Flowers

Posted by saraMonica in Promotions | Leave a comment

98% of our custom made flowers are made with vintage bronze flower molds (aka: veining tool, flower iron and/or flower die) which were handmade and cast around the late 1800’s early 1900’s by the flower millinery tool manufacturers of New York City. It’s always so much fun to press a petal from a mold for the first time to see the secrets of its beauty that was hidden for 100 years. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s there were many flower tool manufacturers in New York City’s Fashion District. The mold designs were all handmade, hand carved from plaster and hand cast typically in bronze and/or iron by an artisan specially trained in the trade of flower tools. They were popular in that era because the hat makers, also known as “Milliners”, used them to make flowers to decorate ladies hats. This is why the fabric fashion flower is known as a “Millinery Flower”.  In the 20’s and 30’s NYC was heavily factory based. Eventually hats fell out of daily fashion. After WWII, by the mid 50’s to 60’s the flower die factories moved out of NYC to cheaper areas such as Brooklyn and Long Island. And then, in time, closing down as the industry became outsourced to Western Block Countries (including Soviet Occupied Germany) and then to Japan, Korea and China. China is now the largest manufacturer of Millinery Flowers. And in America there are still small studios, such as Sara Monica LLC, that hand make them as well.  There is still one last large scale millinery flower manufacturer in NYC who I admire and refer many customers to.

Now Millinery flowers are more often worn in hair and clothing rather than hats, since not as many people wear high fashion hats. The difference between a Millinery Flower and a fabric flower that you would find in the home décor section of a craft stores on a plastic stick is that the plastic stick flowers are made specifically for home décor and the Millinery Flower is made to be worn. And the Millinery Flower is typically made out of higher quality dress fabrics.  Many Millinery flowers have been designed for home décor as well and many home décor flowers have had their plastic sticks removed by crafters to be worn. The home décor flower’s intention is to imitate nature exactly. But the Millinery Flower’s intentions are not to imitate nature exactly, but to be inspired by nature and interpreted into a creative design, an artistic expression. A Millinery Flower is a genuine handmade work of art.

Sara Monica Maher

View on Facebook

Sara Monica LLC