Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fabrics for October 2008

68% Cotton 32% Silk
Designer-Nanette Lepore
From Nanette Lepore, this is a beautiful black and white ikat print. A lawn or batiste weight this has a 4 inch repeat and is luxurious to the touch. One of the trends for fall, this would be great for garments with soft gathers or tucks.

Sewl Mates
100% Wool (black/white check)

Construction in Progress
Sewing Sheer Interfacing, Buttons-Silver/Black center 11/16" $2.00, Black Knot 11/16" $1.50, Pearl 1/2" $.50

Sweet Inspiration

BWOF 8/2008 #103

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 4816, 5284, McCalls 5664, 5755, Simplicity 2756, 4487, Vogue 1046, 8392

Sewing Tip: When starting a seam, hold both top and bobbin thread. This way your fabric won't collapse into your throat plate.

60% Acetate 40% Polyester
Designer-Jones New York
(lightened to show texture)
This is a wonderful black pique suiting from Jones New York. It has a beautiful drape (like men's suiting) not at all stiff. Perfect for a LBD (little black dress) or suit for the office.

Sewl Mates
Ikat print (see above)

100% 4 ply silk (ivory)

Construction in Progress
Black Rayon Lining, Black Armo Weft, Invisible Zipper #580, Buttons-Black/Gold 4-hole 1" $5.00, Black/Gold/Pearl 7/8" $6.00, Black Matte Center/Black Jet Outer 1" $3.00

Sweet Inspiration

BWOF 9/2008 #134

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5257, 5277, McCalls 5753, 5759, Simplicity 2764, 4014, Vogue 1041, 8408

Sewing Tip: Stabilize areas of stress like shoulders, underarms or necklines with Staytape.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pattern Review BWOF 4/2008 #107

Eileen has finished her 1st BWOF pattern and she loves it. Here is her review. Click here to view pattern.

Fabric: 50"
97%cotton 3% Lycra
(cotton sateen)
12.00 (sold out)

Prewash: Wash in hot water; dry on perma press cycle

Notions: Thread, size 90 universal needle, Fusi-Knit interfacing, 13 buttons, straight stitch foot, tailor board

Alterations: This pattern is a petite size. I used a size 21 which is the same as 42 in women's sizes. The petite size worked out great for me because I'm short waisted. I added 1/2" to the side seams but next time I will add to the center front where I need it. I also took in through the princess seam for the upper chest and lowered the shoulder slope 1/4".

Constructions Details: I used a printed fabric for the under collar
front shield and the binding under the arm. The tailor board was great for pressing all corners and curves. I tried using Armo Weft interfacing but it would not adhere to the fabric. The Fusi-Knit worked like a charm. I put the iron on a medium setting to fuse in place.

Two details I want to mention are the bellow pockets

and the pleated sleeve trim.
For the pleated sleeve trim I made a template using a manila folder, and pressed and stitched the trim in place.

The bellow pockets are extra thick at the top.

I used a buttonhole stitch and a jean-a-ma-jig (plastic insert for stitching over heavy seams).

The Readers Digest Sewing Book helped with the construction especially for the buttonholes.

I didn't make the belt because I'm short waisted and it interfered with the pockets.

Additional Details:


Conclusion: Besides wearing this with black pants, I have enough of this fabric to make shorts. I would also wear this with a skirt or with a black turtle neck for winter.

Thanks Eileen! Great job!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Markdowns for October 2008

75% Cotton 25% Polyester (White Eyelet Pique)
Was 20.00 Now 10.00
Designer Anna Sui

Make a fabulous tunic top or a lace-inspired jacket for the spring.

100% Italian Wool
Was 30.00 Now 15.00
Designer Sara Campbell

This would make a lovely pencil skirt cut on the bais. Or how about a Burberry style coat?


100% Microfiber Faille (periwinkle)
Was 10.00
Now 7/8 yd 4.38

60% Rayon 40% Wool
Was 15.00
Now 2 yds 15.00

100% Wool (Dark brown/lt blue check)
Was 17.00
Now 1 3/4 yd 14.88

100% Rayon Matte Jersey (Citron green)
Was 21.00
Now 1 yd 10.50

100% Rayon Matte Jersey (Red/Brown/Taupe/Cream Mosaic)
Was 21.00
Now 1 yd 10.50

55% Silk 45% Cotton (Camel/Cream Stripe)
Was 18.00
Now 1 3/4 yds 15.75

45% Polyester 35% Acrylic 15% Rayon 5% Wool (Cream/Camel/Maize Check)
Was 15.00
Now 2 yds 15.00

To purchase email us at Houstonsmf@aol.com.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fashion Info You Need To Know No. 3

Remember Beverly? Remember I told you I had more to tell you later?
Well she is now a published author!!!

She granted SMF Designs an interview about herself, the book and her experience as a first time author.

SMF: First, tell us about your educational background and how you started sewing.
BEVERLY: I have a B. S. in Home Economics-UT Austin, 1973 (the Earth was still cooling) and a MBA-UH-Victoria, 1999. I'm currently working on my PhD at Virginia Tech. I've been sewing since I was 12 years old, started off making Barbie doll clothing and progressed to my clothes as well as shirts for my father, clothing for my mother and grandmother (they taught me how to sew). I won the district sewing contest in 1968 in the Make-It-With-Wool Competition sponsored by the National Wool Council and went on to compete at the state level. I love sewing challenges with difficult fabrics and techniques. Sewing is one of my passions!

SMF: Tell us what the book is about.
BEVERLY: The book is about the apparel industry. The title is Apparel: Concepts and Practical Applications. It is a college textbook designed for students wanting to enter the fashion industry as buyers, managers, or even owners. It covers broad areas such as history of costume, a sampling of great designers, consumer behavior, textiles, industry standards, selecting clothing, shoes and handbags.

SMF: How did you meet your co-author?
BEVERLY: Barbara and I met at UH while I was teaching classes there. She became my mentor and one day I approached her and said, we needed to write a book for the course that I was teaching-Apparel Evaluation. She suggested that I go and research the feasibility of it. I don't think she really thought I was serious.

SMF: What made you write a text book and why a text book?
BEVERLY: There was a big gap in available and timely textbooks for the Apparel Evaluation course which is taught in almost every university that has a consumer science or fashion department. I wanted to fill that gap.

SMF: How much of the book did you write and how long did it take?
BEVERLY: There are 13 chapters and I wrote 7 chapters and Barbara wrote 6. We divided it up based on our areas of expertise. From start to finish, it took from March 2005 to now, so about 3 1/2 years.

SMF: What was the hardest and easiest part of writing this book?
BEVERLY: Believe me, there was no easiest part to writing this book. Every single step was intense and sometimes the communication between us and the publishers was not always ideal.

SMF: What is your best advice to someone who wants to write a text book?
BEVERLY: Be prepared to spend lots of time working on it. And write everyday, even if you don't feel like it. Deadlines creep up on you. Read as much as possible of other sources.

SMF: How does it feel to be a published author?
BEVERLY: It's almost surreal. Hasn't sunk in yet. When I received the first copy "hot off the press", I wasn't expecting it. When I held it in my hands, I literally cried. This was always a life
long dream of mine. God put everything in me to accomplish this goal. I made a lot of friends along the way, and perhaps some enemies (hopefully not too many).

SMF: Will you write another book?
BEVERLY: Fairchild has already started discussing the second edition. But I'm not sure if I'm ready to say that I'll write another entire book. That's up to God.

Thank you Beverly for this great interview! We are so proud of your great accomplishment and look forward to all of the wonderful doors this will open for you. Congratulations!

Monday, October 13, 2008

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Knit top for day or night

Great sheath dress

Yoke details

Collar details

Active wear

Nice pea coat and slacks for men

Plus size trench coat

Love the wide band on the skirt

To order please email us at houstonsmf@aol.com