Tuesday, May 23, 2017

63: Fashions in the Thirties

The Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form

Running through July 9, 2017 at the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA, this show presents photographs and garments from the 1930s. 

This design seems ageless.
Nowhere have I seen a better example of clothing reflecting the age in which the clothing was worn. Although beautifully cut and sewn, this excellently presented clothing brings to mind the drabness and depression of the era.

Oh my! Something needs to go.
This is a black dress, lightened in PhotoShop
to show the detailed sewing.

High style in the 30s!


Phone: 215 884 7065
© Laurel Hoffmann, 2017. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

62: Pricing

How much should one charge? What is one's time worth?
How does one make sure one's business will make a profit? 

Here in this post is pricing information from Sewing Techniques from the Fashion Industry, now on sale for 20% off  its list price until Saturday, May 20, 2017. 

Use coupon code:  booksale

Sewing Techniques from the Fashion Industry is an upgrade of Design Room Techniques, the introductory sewing book for the Continuing Professional Education program offered previously at the two universities in Philadelphia that have fashion programs

While the book is on backorder, the other books on my website, The Basics for Drafting & Fitting Pants and Skirts and Six High-End Zipper Sets (which contains the zipper sets presented in Sewing Techniques from the Fashion Industry), are also on sale for 20% off their list price. 

Before determining the wholesale price one should charge for one's sewn product one should determine how much one needs to make an hour. Use this chart to do that.
Complete this chart to determine how much you need to make an hour.
If you are manufacturing, this is the amount you must add to the expenses
of running your operation in order to meet your personal expenses.

It is very important to remember to pay yourself. It has been estimated that one needs
at least $90,000 to start a clothing manufacturing business. Knowing just how much one
needs out of that money to meet personal expenses, then subtracting that amount from the
start-up funds may be one of the smartest things an entrepreneur can do when
thinking about starting a business.

Below are two charts that show how to determine both the cost of producing a garment, and a third chart that show how to determining the wholesale price of the garment.
Sewing procedures involved in making the garment need to be timed. This chart shows
how to determine the time needed to make a blouse.

(Chart 3-9, page 34, Sewing Techniques from the Fashion Industry)
The fabric and notions' cost needs to be determined. Years ago some companies tripled
the total cost of materials used in the making of a garment to give the wholesale price.
Now the price is often whatever the market will bear.

(Chart 3-10, page 35, Sewing Techniques from the Fashion Industry)
Use this chart to determine the wholesale price for the sewn product.

(Chart 3-12, page 37, Sewing Techniques from the Fashion Industry)

.40x = 28.50
x = 28.5/.4 = $71.20

In the chart above is an example of how to use a company’s percentage markup to determine a garment’s wholesale price. This company’s cost of materials is 40% of the wholesale price.

Determining wholesale prices:
If the company’s mark up (the reciprocal cost) is 60% of the wholesale price, then the cost of materials is 40% of the wholesale price.

For example: let’s say the cost of the materials needed to make a blouse is $28.50, 40 percent of the total wholesale cost. Divide $28.50 by .4 to give the wholesale price of the blouse, $71.20,

To determine the reciprocal price subtract $28.50 from $71.20 to give $42.70, the additional costs involved with manufacturing the blouse and running the business


Phone: 215 884 7065
© Laurel Hoffmann, 2017. All rights reserved.
All material on this blog is copyrighted by, and is the exclusive right of
Laurel Hoffmann.

Monday, February 20, 2017

61: Mummers' Costumes

Some had it especially good!
The Mummers’ Parade on New Year’s Day here in Philadelphia is a tradition. Much loved are the string bands who now parade in Manayunk a month or so later, to the great joy of Philadelphians. The Manayunk, located on the banks of the Schuylkill River, is a neighborhood in the northwestern section of the city of Philadelphia.

The weather was unseasonably warm, Saturday, February 20, 2017, and it was the beginning of Presidents’ Weekend, so everyone came out in a festive, holiday mood, many dressed for the occasion. Granted it was a bit early to celebrate madri gras, but nobody cared.

Sixteen string bands participated in the parade.

Pretzels, a Philadelphia tradition, are sold
as we wait for the parade to begin.
Dressed and waiting for the parade to begin.

Here they come!


The bands played old traditions:
Oh Them Golden Slippers, She'll be Coming Around the Mountain,
all to a four-beat march. 

The bands sold beads which help to defray the costs involved with the costumes.
The children loved the beads and all the fun.

Dress and ready!

 One of the banner holders told me that most bands have one person who makes all the band members' costumes. It takes her a full year to do this. Looks to me as though sewing all these costumes would take a year at the very least.
I found this theme unusual. 

This was a very warm day. But New Years was chiller.
What looks like flesh is actually fabric.

The themes are quite versified.


Many families involve younger members of their families,
passing down their participation in the string band of their choice.

Onlookers joined in, often dancing with the leaders of the bands.

Women were well represented
in the bands. Years ago no women
were allowed in the Mummers' parades.


This band has a Chinese dragon theme, 
probably a tribute to Philadelphia's Chinatown.

I thought the band with the best costumes is this one that had a colonial theme, well suited for Philadelphia. 

Rear view of the costumes.

After marching these two members of the
band posed for me. 
That's the end, folks!
Hope you enjoyed this parade as much as I did. 
Bye for now,
published books


Phone: 215 884 7065
© Laurel Hoffmann, 2016. All rights reserved.
All material on this blog is copyrighted by and is the exclusive right of Laurel Hoffmann.