In-Studio Stories: Tea Dyeing

At the Atelier we all love our afternoon tea. It is one of our favorite daily rituals. In the Atelier, we use tea for more than just tea-time. We use it as a way to dye garments in order to reach a desired shade of a color or to match other garments.

Recently, we were working on a wedding gown that needed extensive repair and restyling. The gown was originally a sample gown. It had been severely damaged from being tried on so many times, but the bride loved it and wanted it brought back to life.


The sheer tulle on the back of the dress had been completely shredded.  Fortunately the tulle sleeves were in good condition. We were able to remove the sleeves and carefully take appliques off of the sleeves.  We used the sleeve fabric to remake the back of the dress. Then we needed to find more appliques for the bodice. We found new appliques that matched the ones on the gown, but the only problem was that they were too white. So with one of our favorite tricks, we tea dyed 35 white appliques to reach the perfect shade of color to match the dress. We also used the appliques to make a stunning custom veil for the dress!

Below is a video of Jennifer tea dyeing the appliques with some earl gray tea.



Tea dyeing is a nice solution for matching different shades of white or off–white fabrics together, as well as, naturally dyeing a garment to a more off-white color.  It also works well when we are restyling a vintage gown that has a unique coloration to it. 

Brides-to-be if you come across a sample wedding gown you love that needs some repairs and restyling, don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions. Some people find a gown and think it will be impossible to fix, but you would be surprised at how much can be mended, restyled, and repaired with our highly skilled team of specialists. For all wedding gown related inquiries please contact us at

In-Studio Stories: Fancy Dress Day!

We have too much fun in the Atelier! We had to share one of our fancy dress days with you. Occasionally we choose a day in the week to get dressed up in our favorite outfits. It is so fun to dress your best on what could be just another day. 


Here is Jennifer, Lynne, Sophia, Micah, Patty, and Elaine dressed for fancy dress day.

Jennifer is wearing her own design made with chiffon fabric from Mood in LA. Lynne is wearing a plum sequin gown for dancing when she goes on cruises.  Sophia is wearing a Marilyn Monroe inspired gown that she purchased from Makawao Union Church’s thrift store for $8.  Micah is wearing his favorite mango colored jacket with one of Elaine’s hand-dyed scarves. Patty is wearing a ruched stretch black gown that is perfect for attending formal weddings.  Elaine is wearing her own design made with her hand-dyed silk, and a stunning beaded necklace.

Our team is so creative and unique. We love the different styles, creations, and aesthetics everyone shares in the studio! We are all about finding and experimenting with your personal style.

Check out some more photos from our fancy dress day below…

In-Studio Stories: Designer Dresses

The Atelier is full of wedding gowns!  We love to occasionally share windows of what we are working on in the studio. Here is a look at a particular client’s wedding gown we are currently working on.

It is a beautiful Oscar de la Renta wedding gown. We are working on some alterations for the bride. Some studios may be hesitant on working on such an expensive gown, but at JOA we are very comfortable working on designer wedding gowns with a higher price label. Our experienced and highly skilled team can handle these gorgeous wedding gowns with ease.

Sewing Assistant Patty working on the Oscar de la Renta wedding gown. She is sewing on 33 sets of hooks and eyes to create a ballroom bustle for this gown.

Brides know they can trust us with the best designer dresses.  They have brought us their gowns designed by Galia Lahav, Claire Pettibone, Jenny Peckham, Liancarlo, Matthew Christopher, Naeem Khan, Robert Bullock, Anne Barge, Carolina Herrera, Lela Rose, and more.

JOA owned and directed by Jennifer Oberg is a one-of-a-kind Atelier here on Maui. Jenn’s decades of experience in dressmaking and design have helped her cultivate an Atelier with a promising team of skilled sewists. Jenn is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and the London College of Fashion in the UK. After years of apprenticing with many masters in national theaters, operas, and union film costume shops, she worked her way up to the top positions in Motion Picture Costumers Local 705 custom made division. 

For all wedding-related alteration and design needs, please get in touch with us. We are happy to work with your fine designer wedding gowns. Email us at to schedule your fitting. 

In-Studio Stories!

The last few weeks at the Atelier have been filled with prom dresses, glitter, sequins, and endless smiles. It has been such a joy getting to see the excitement of the Maui teens as they get ready for their proms this year. After a two year pause, these teens were ready to experience prom!

Here are some photos we wanted to share with you from the teens and the JOA staff during these last few weeks. A peek into the prom busyness at the atelier…

Sewing Assistant Micah working on alterations for this sparkly glitter prom dress in a pale lavender. Every night after working we went home with glitter all over us! And if you know glitter, it is not easy to get off. We had so much fun during these weeks filled with lots of glitter and glam!

Here is Master Dressmaker Jennifer holding up a hot pink sequins prom dress we were working on. It is very Jessica Rabbit! We loved seeing all of the different tastes and styles of prom dresses the teens brought into the atelier. 

The Maui teens at their prom! We made some alterations for the lavender prom gown.

Here is Sewing Assistant Micah with his sister Sara at prom. Micah graduated last year during covid, so he didn’t get to experience a prom. But luckily, his sweet sister Sara invited him to hers. Such nice siblings! We created Sara’s silk brocade vest for prom. 

It has been a jam-packed month of prom alterations and wedding clients. We anticipate the busyness to continue with wedding clients as many brides and grooms move forward with wedding plans this year. Brides, please get in touch as soon as possible if you are in need of our services. Appointments are filling up quickly for the summer. The sooner you can book an appointment the better. Email to schedule your first fitting appointment.

The Dream Team & Unexpected Surgery

Today, we wanted to send thanks and gratitude to our JOA team and our very understanding clients. Jennifer discovered a large mass in her neck at the end of January. After trying and trying to schedule appointments to have the mass removed, she was finally able to get a surgery scheduled in California. 

Jennifer had to step out of the studio for 2 weeks in March – a very busy time for the Atelier – to have surgery done on the mainland at Stanford Hospital. Thankfully, when the large mass was removed it was benign. We were all very relieved when we found out.

Jennifer in California during her recuperation after her surgery.

In the meantime, her wonderful crew at the Atelier held down the fort while she was away. She is incredibly appreciative of her amazing team, their dedication, and their ability to handle the unexpected with such ease and grace. We are very lucky to have so many talented people working at the Atelier! A big thank you to Elaine Gima – Head Seamstress, Lynne Donaldson – Alteration Specialist, Sophia Gallegos – First Hand, Micah Oberg – Sewing Assistant, and Yasmine Lindskog – Office Coordinator! Endless gratitude for being there for the unexpected and keeping JOA running smoothly.   

Our team handled nearly 40 fittings while Jennifer was gone. From prom dresses to custom wedding gowns to general alterations. The Atelier was busier than ever with client appointments and busy sewists working on all the garments. Jennifer called in many times via video and everything worked well.  The JOA team managed this unprecedented time with grace, grit, intelligence, quick-thinking, and determination. 

In addition, during prom season, our staff stayed the course and helped dozens of girls get their dresses done. We are all so happy about this! It has been two years since the teens were able to have their prom, so we were very passionate about ensuring they felt confident in their gowns at prom this year. Bravo JOA team!! And we are very happy Jennifer is back in the studio, healthy and well! When she got back she treated her staff to a special lunch at Hali’imaile General Store. 

Thank you to my incredible staff for their herculean efforts during my hospital stay and recovery in California.  They kept the studio running, did amazing work, and most importantly – took care of so many girls with their prom dresses. The thought of being gone from the studio during prom season was overwhelming to me, but the team took the bull by the horns and gracefully muscled their way through!  They are the best!” – Jennifer

In-Studio Projects

Often we are sharing all of the beautiful wedding gowns we are working on in the Atelier. Today we wanted to share with you a unique project we have been working on. We were recently commissioned to create custom pajamas and bathrobe for a special staff member at Seabury Hall in Makawao.

We were asked to incorporate the school colors of red and blue, but we also wanted to create a restful design. So we focused on the blues and whites and used accents of reds for the details.  We started with a beautiful luxury bathrobe that we restyled into something new. The fabric of the robe is very thick and cozy to the touch. We added a new collar and cuffs made of a royal blue minky fabric. At the edge of the collar and cuffs we added red piping.  The pajamas are made of soft rayon viscose, very silky and comfortable. We lined the bathrobe with the same fabric of the pajamas so the whole set was coordinated. In theory, the bathrobe could be reversible, too!  Having the right fabric makes all the difference, especially for something like pajamas and bathrobes. You want to be sure to have the coziest fabrics available.

Then, to really personalize this bathrobe and pajama set, we added custom embroidery on the pocket. Our Atelier team member, Lynne, has an amazing embroidery machine and she graciously brought it into the studio for this project. We did several samples to test out different fonts and designs until we finally came up with a design we loved.  It was an embroidered heart on white satin, with the words “Wrapped in Seabury Love” in red to match the red piping.

Here are some photos of the embroidery tests and the final designs of the robe and pajama set…

If you are interested in embroidery, please get in touch with us. We have the equipment for this and are happy to help out with any embroidery needs. Send an email to for any embroidery inquiries.

In-Studio Stories

Here is our new blog series where we will share some mini in-studio stories from our clients and happenings at the Atelier. We want to give you a window into the current projects and stories popping up!

To start the series is a client we worked together with from California. Bride Jen came to us with a last minute emergency hem on her beautiful beaded wedding gown. We were so thrilled to be able to help her for her special day. Sewing Assistant Lynne did a wonderful job with all of the intricate beadwork. 

Jen and her fiancée got married at the Sacred Garden in Haiku with the precious Eve Hogan officiating. Mahalo to our friend Terry at Elly’s Bridal in Kihei for referring Jen to us!