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If you want to know more about what I did before I started this venture, you can check out my other website:

It all started with a virus...

I'm like a lot of other people - when the Corona Virus came along, I didn't think it would last long. I felt lucky that I had enough savings to keep me going for few months, so I hunkered down, ate a lot of cake (my personal comfort food), watched a lot of TV, and waited until I could go back to acting, directing, and teaching, which was how I made a living. When it became clear the quarantine wasn't going to end for a while, I started to panic. I was recently divorced, now with no savings left, and no real family I could call on for help. In other words, I had nothing to fall back on.

But that wasn't true. I had a lot of creativity, time, energy, and a sewing machine. Inspired by Project Runway, I started making hats (something else I love to design). Unfortunately, hats - at least the kind I was making - require a fitting. So now what? Then a friend (thank you, Doug!) reminded me that 20 years ago I made Christmas stockings to give to my friends as holiday gifts. In fact, he sent me a picture to illustrate how well they held up. (See the picture below.) I was surprised - and a little honored - that his family had passed those down from generation to generation. 

Now that I know what my future will hold, at least to some degree, I'm off and running with this new venture.  I hope you like what you see, and I hope you chose to make Lily Mercer Designs part of your Christmas traditions. 

But whatever you do, stay well.

     My Sewing Corner

On most days you will see tons of fabric piled high behind my sewing machine. You'll see my ironing board off to the side of me, and a small table behind me with "work in progress."  There's another table close by with separate boxes full of trim and beads. In other words, I'm surrounded by the things I pull together for my designs. I'm working from home, and I often think I'd love to have my own studio - so that's another goal.  In time.

I call my stockings fabric art. Each one is hand made, over a period of hours, using the highest quality materials and trim. For example, some of the fabric I use is $50 per yard, and some of the trim - like Swarovski crystal - is $17 per yard. That often accounts for the difference in price, but in person, I think you'll really appreciate the quality and attention to detail.

"When you see a fashion show, 

you see those seven minutes of what was six months of tedious work, 

you know, going up an inch and down an inch, 

changing it from one shade of red to another shade of red. 

So it's the same as any creative process. The result is what we see, 

but the process is really labor intensive and work."

Marc Jacobs, fashion designer

"There are really three parts to the creative process. 

First there is inspiration, then there is the execution, 

and finally there is the release."

Eddie Van Halen, musician 

Like most artists, I have a process when creating something for the first time.  Of course, my favorite part is putting together the design elements - choosing the material, selecting trims, stringing the beads, even making the pattern. It's exciting - and fun!

Also, like most artists, there are parts of the work that aren't as much fun - whip stitching the edges, fusing the interfacing to give the stocking shape, etc.  But it's all necessary if the stocking is going to become an heirloom piece you can enjoy for generations.

Working with fur is especially challenging. Once I start cutting, the edges seem to disintegrate (some furs even feel like liquid) so I need to sew it all by hand. Then before I can move on to the next design, I have to clean everything up -  fur literally flies everywhere.  It's almost as bad as glitter.  Almost.

FYI, I finally found a way to attach name tags (because monogramming wasn't an option) and I include those as a courtesy to anyone who wants them. Then, the last thing I do, before I mail the stockings off, is attach the label and sign them. That way you can rest assured each one is handmade, in my own little corner of the world, with love.  

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