Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Notion Spotlight-Invisible Zippers

The zipper was invented in 1851 by Elias Howe and was named the Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure. The name zipper was coined by B. F. Goodrich in 1923 after their "Zipper Boot". It wasn't until 1937 that the zipper became popular in woman's clothing. This was due in part to designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Today zippers come in many forms and colors. Our favorite zipper is the invisible zipper. We carry 100 colors and 4 lengths-9", 14", 18", 22".

Sample of our color range

White to Taupe

Cream to Dark Brown

Peach to Cranberry

Soft Pink to Deep Purple

Leaf Green to Bottle Green

Baby Blue to Midnight Navy

Pearl Grey to Black
To purchase, send us an email at houstonsmf@aol.com

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cynthia's Corner

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

The invisible zipper can add an elegant, subtle look to a garment. There is no topstitching on the garment so it gives the appearance of a seam. It is my favorite zipper to use.

I know some of you think invisible zippers are complicated but they are really very easy. Here is the technique I use to insert an invisible zipper.

Open the zipper and press the coils flat.

Before the coils are pressed...

...and after the coils are pressed.

Cut two 1 inch wide strips of interfacing the length of the zipper plus 2 inches. I like to use Fusi-knit. Cut the strips with the stretch going crosswise.

Press the interfacing strips to the wrong side of the fabric at the zipper opening. If you have a crosswise seam, press the seam open.

Once this is done, I then serge the interfaced edge.

Mark your seam allowance with a pencil or tailor's chalk.

One of the most confusing things about invisible zippers is remembering which way the zipper is inserted into the fabric. To solve this problem, finger press the seam allowance to the inside of the garment. Place the zipper between the two pattern pieces with the zipper pull facing you. Use four pins with colored heads and select two colors. Pick one color for the left and one for the right. Put one pin in the zipper tape and one in the fabric. This will remind you which side the zipper goes in.

Hand stitch the top of the zipper tape to the top of the seam allowance. This helps to prevent the presser foot from pushing the top of the zipper out of place.

At this point, I hand baste the zipper. Ugh! the dreaded hand basting.

This method works especially well if your garment has seams that will cross the zipper. It helps to keep the seams from shifting where they intersect.

Using our color coded method above, place the zipper face down with the coils facing away from the seam allowance. I use my standard zipper foot, and place the needle close to the coils
and stitch as far as I can.

Repeat the process for the other side of the zipper.

Now it's time to sew the seam below the zipper. If you are using an invisible zipper foot, switch to a standard zipper foot.

Start sewing about 1/4 inch above and over from the zipper seam. Rather than back stitching, I switch to small stitches and sew 1 inch below the zipper.
You can now switch to your straight stitch foot and finish your seam line.
Turn garment to the right side and press lightly.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Bollywood style

Great pants for summer

Beautiful jacket with pocket details

This would look wonderful in stretch cotton sateen.

Fun summer skirt

Wedding Bells

Trend for S/S 2009-jumpsuits

Plus size maxi dress..

...and lounge wear

Making this floral detail will kick your garment up a notch!

To purchase, email us at houstonsmf@aol.com.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Markdowns for March 2009

97% Cotton 3% Lycra
Was 10.00 Now 5.00
This is a beautiful yellow dress weight cotton sateen. Great for a sheath dress or 2 pc top and skirt.
McCalls 5847

60% Rayon 40% Linen
Was 10.00 Now 5.00
This lavender linen blend has a lovely sheen.
Butterick 5186
60% Cotton 40% Linen
Designer Anna Sui
Was 25.00 Now 12.50
Great for pants, suits or unlined jackets.
Vogue 1092

96% Cotton 4% Spandex
Was 13.00 Now 2-1/8 $13.81

100% Cotton Lawn
Was 15.00 Now 1-1/2 $11.25

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Fabrics for March 2009

66% Linen 33% Viscose 1% Elastine
When you see linen fabric you know spring is here! This dress weight stretch linen is in the #1 color for spring- yellow. Wear this with other brights like turquoise, orange and fuchsia or tone it down with brown, khaki, navy and grey.

Sewl Mates
100% Cotton (white)
Designer Anne Klein

96% Cotton 4% Lycra (print)
Was 12.00 Now 6.00

Construction in Progress
Rayon lining, Buttons-cream/yellow/orange/purple 7/8" $6.00, yellow glass 7/8" $3.00, Ykk invisible zipper #503, Gutermann thread #805, Rayon hem tape, Sheer fusible tricot interfacing

Sweet Inspiration

BWOF 5/2008 #108B (skirt)

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5277, 5317, McCalls 5052, 5817, Simplicity 2648, 2701, Vogue 1089, 1099

Sewing Tip: The addition of lycra helps to reduce the wrinkling of linen.

59% Cotton 27% Viscose 10% Nylon 4% Polyester
Designer-- Canvasback
This gorgeous boucle' fabric from Italy is soft and drapey to the touch. The colors range from soft lemon to sunshine yellow and peach to paprika with a touch of cream. This boucle' is perfect to use the Chanel jacket techniques from Threads magazine #121 Oct/Nov '05 and #128 Dec/Jan '07. Make a jacket out of this boucle' and a sheath dress with the yellow linen above for a dressed up look. Dress down the same jacket with a pair of jeans or khaki skirt.

Sewl Mates
(see linen above)

Construction in Progress
Rayon lining, Buttons-Gold 7/8" $4.00 Pearl/Gold 1" $4.30, Gutermann #460, Ykk invisible zipper #507, Armo weft interfacing

Sweet Inspiration

(BWOF 2/2008) #105

Pattern Suggestions: Butterick 5147, 5336, McCalls 5481, 5756, New Look 6852, Simplicity 5914, Vogue 1067, 7975

Sewing Tip: Unravel the yarns from this fabric and braid your own matching trim.