Sassy, Classy, Sophisticated


Updating the public on the goings on of MiikelleDeFo and keeping you in step with fashion trends.

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Winters Over!!!!

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on February 20, 2014 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

So it has been a few weeks since we had class and I have been busy still. The snow storm last week was the reason class was cancelled. So what did I do? I sent an email homework assignment to my students. No snow can interpret my development of new talent. I did a quick video tutorial on making a pillow so they could practice some basic skills. This is in order for us to hit the ground running next week with their official project. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SoatJcPn9M" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pillow Tutorial



As for my personal projects, I have been arm knitting scarves like crazy. Here are some of them. Feel free to order one or 3. We filled our first orders and shipped it today. So exciting! Sourcing did present a challenge. Still waiting on yarn to come in but we found so many yarn shops in Charlotte. It’s to the point that we are thinking of hanging out there on Saturdays. My dear husband is so into this too. Even baby girl is busy arm knitting and trying to sell her items. Don't worry we aren't running a sweat shop, but if you know Kindal you know it's impossible to stop her. She was even teaching her "Grammie" this weekend




Well I am finishing up my spring dress. Here is a picture of the original pattern that I completely reworked to my liking. If I wasn't reworking it I would use the fitting guidelines to make it perfect as is, but I can't just leave it alone. The line on the B one is similar to how my dress will be,


I added a custom yolk and a zipper so I can dress up and still give Malachi what he's after. I refuse to comprise fashionableness for functionality. I can have it all. Here's what it looks like so far. Being trapped home for.3 days seemed like I would have completed it but with 3 kids and a husband who work 12 hr. shifts all those days, it wasn't happening. Hopeful tonight I can complete this one and have an update by the weekend so I can start on the next one.


Sew Excited

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on February 4, 2014 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)
So last week class was.interesting. we decided to grow this into more of an advance class when the basics are done. We covered the amazing world of seams. Yes the thing that holds it all together. I better you never knew there were at least 4 different types of seams and don't even get me started on the additional seam finishing techniques! We didn't get to the actual sewing assignment as we needed to understand why and how each technique is used. I know they think I'm a little crazy cause I get so excited about this stuff. My husband says I tend to ramble, well maybe but its just how my brain works. I am so siked to get started this week because they get to do a real project. I mean nothing fancy but it will put to use some of the things we have discussed and they get to use the machines. They are making a pillow and a tote bag, simple seams and closures. I was so excited that I had an hour to kill Saturday before I left for Columbia that I made a pattern fir a new "nursing friendly" dress that you can't even tell. I figured if I'm going to spend time making for the spring it had to be something awesome and functional for my lil Mac Man. I'll post a picture in next weeks post. That will actually push me to finish it, lol. In other new! Miikelledefo will be now offering signature scarves for summer, winter, spring and fall. This is a new fun way to express your style everyday. Pictures coming soon of some of the ones we've made for ourselves. Its so much fu . Get school colors, team colors, or just every color. Feel free to email color combos and I'll send you a price quote.

A Stitch in Time

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

So class 2 just ended and it was even better. We had to change the schedule but we are making it work. I realized today that sometimes things don’t always go according to schedule. I mean overall we covered everything on the agenda but I wasn’t able to really get to the grit of some parts. Oh well that’s what homework is for. Yes I dish out homework!


Also don’t under value the benefits of working and learning with your own machine. Besides learning just how to sew, you learn how your machine works and it is the best time to ask questions about the machine. That being said I have had to download the manual for one of my student’s fancy computerized machine so I can better help her understand how it works. Yeah we learned some interesting things while sewing, motor control – emotion control. Sometimes control the motor is easier than your emotions. Also spend isn’t everything especially when sewing a spiral.


I learned a lot too. That by the end of the day my brain is just plain tired. I am trying something amazing, using an agenda! I usual improvise, and I do it very well but when teaching a real class a lesson plan is a must. I also learned that sometimes time can get away from you. They seem to respond well to the agenda as it makes me look like I know what I am doing! We looked at control today which is something I am working on in life.


On that note let me show you what I have been working on this week myself. The plan was to do a simple skirt and have it done in one night. Well when they left I was all geared up to complete it and by the time I got it cut out and all it was after midnight so I had to call it quits, since I do have a day job too. Here is a picture of it while I was working on it. I will post the complete picture as I should have it finish to wear on Sunday. In lieu of being a new mom again I have to dress in 2 piece clothing, though I am not a huge fan of making skirts. Why? I have no idea as they take little to no time to do, just don’t have that many tops to go with them I guess.


Sewing Adventures

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 11, 2014 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


So I have decided to share my "expertise" with the world. I am now teaching sewing classes. I have also decided to use my blog to talk about my classes and some other interesting things. I am hoping that I can figure out this time lapsed photography thing and put together a few videos of me making some of my upcoming Spring wardrobe.


Well the first class was today, the rain didn't stop them. I got everything set up in the living room of my house, since there is no furniture it works great with the 6 foot table I have. I was so anxious, as teaching is not one of my best things. But I guess when you are talking about something you are passionate about it is easier. Anyway it went swimmingly well. What made it better was their interest in the program


I was also elated that one of them brought their own machine and the other one is purchasing one from me, since I have 3. I think I will limit my classes to 2 or 3 max; that way I can give them personal attention and answer their questions one-on-one. Also it makes them less intimidated about asking questions.


In the class, that last 4 weeks, we will go over the basics of sewing, patterns and fabric selection. This week we covered the basic tools of the trade and look at how the machines work. We will build on that and do a few projects, some field trips to the fabric store and cover more of how to make clothes that fit.


Of course teaching this course at home is a little of a challenge, with 3 kids, but it worked out fine. Even Kindal is a "student"/assistant in the class. I had her going to get things for me; it's her way of paying for the class as she has no actual money.


Well over the course of the next few weeks we will be doing projects. The first is a pillow or tote bag just to get them familiar with the pattern cutting process as well as the sewing process. From there we will get into more detailed projects. We have a men's vest, women's skirt and eventually a dress that we are going to do. I man even do some simple pants as one of the students in a man.


So I will use this blog to keep you all posted on what is going on in class as well as let you know if I figure out the video thing so you can see me in action.


Happy Cutting!



What a February

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on February 22, 2012 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

SO the drama has finally died down. I can exhale. It was a great trip all the way around. Where do I begin?

NEW YORK – Plitzs New York Fashion Week was AMAZING. I think it was a smashing success. I met a lot of great contacts and fantastic designers while I was there. I again had some great models. The team there put on a great show and as always there were some comical moments that added to the event. For instance, I don’t know what it is about me, I always lose a model on the day of the show. And true to form I had a model show up on Friday for her fitting, which I was coming in fresh off the road to. Well come Saturday at 5pm she was not there. I was informed by another model that she wasn’t coming. NICE. Thanks to a fast acting backstage manager I had a new model in hair & makeup in less than 5mins. The advantage of being in a room packed with models. Another great save was when one of my models thought combat boots were going to work with my collection. I’m so glad I didn’t have to jump in and say anything. He stepped up and told her she had lost her mind, asked her shoe size and in 5 minutes returned with borrowed heels.

From what I hear the runway show went off without a hitch. I was forced to walk the runway but it wasn’t so bad. The press junket was nice and gave me a moment to introduce myself and my collection. Hopefully something great will come of it. If anything I can say I got to show at a show in NYC during Fashion Week. Here are some of the runway shots by Revenge Fashion Magazine.

CHARLOTTE, NC - Night in the Garden was another hit. We pulled off a great night of fundraising. We raised $1000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My team was the only reason we were able to pull of this success. Shout out to Limitless Possibilities PR’s Lauren Price who was like me right hand, no who am I kidding, she was my right, left hand and foot and sometimes by brain. Our photographer/promoter Sue Sidzina & Cris Anler, and website guru Larosa Johnson. We had some wonderful sponsors, Clutch Auto Magazine who brought the Gucci Fiat (Stateline Fiat) and 2 more cars to shuttle our guest to and from their cars. And don’t forget the always accommodating Vanlandingham Estate who rolled up the red carpet, no literally.

And yet again I lost a model, at least this time she called the night before. Thanks to a fast acting model I had a replacement in hair and makeup before I got there. Oh and let’s not forget the great team of hair and makeup artist at Paul Mitchell the School who took great care of us. And the ladies looked great form head to toe thanks to Heels.com for sponsoring the shoes.

The reception of the line was amazing. Everyone loved the collection. I even had a model wanting to buy the dress she was wearing. Creative Loafing was there to report on the event, oh how I hate interviews, but she was great, thanks Lauren. I also did an interview with Clutch. We also had artist Steffan Duncan who contributed a piece for the silent auction and did a live painting.

As a special thank you to all who attended I offered them 20% off any item from the collection until April 1st. I would love to thank everyone who helped and showed support by attending. I had a blast and it was far less stressful than last year. I can’t wait until next year. Check out the photos in the Photo Gallery.


Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 30, 2012 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A fine wine just gets better with time. A well-aged Scotch gets smoother. The jury is in and it wants to be an expensive alcoholic beverage. But in the world of human beings, getting older means a lot more than the general wisdom over pricey booze. Being wiser, having priorities in life settled, a certain calm comes over you. Now here’s the bad news: We all know as women we all know what getting older means, worrying about our looks more.


So since I will be turning 34 this summer, (feel free to gasp because I can't believe it), I wanted to talk about how to look great at any age and what you can do to continue to age beautifully.


After reading article after article I have found a few tips that I plan to put to the test. They seem simpler than Botox or a facelift.


SKIN: First the face since this is the first thing people see it is important to put our best face forward. Most importantly you have to clean your face daily, really twice daily. This will help to keep a clean pallet to start from and will keep blemishes down. There are a few makeup tricks that can help us look young, and some foods that can help too. Great article “Top 5 Foods for Beautiful Skin” from Discovery Fit & Health is a great place to start your studies.

LIP GLOSS. I know it seems like a kid thing, especially since my daughter can’t live without it. But it will make your lips look more luscious and full. A pink coral or blue-based pink will work on most skin tones and will also make your teeth look white. I love multitasking. I am a fan of not spending too much on things. Here’s one of my favorites. In this case a little color goes a long way.

Rimmel London Stay Glossy – Stay My Rose (2176) or Fuchsia Fever (2318)

EYEBROWS, they frame your face and help give you a fresh wide awake look. It is important to groom and have them look full, not crazy. All you need is an eyebrow pencil to fill in the gaps that time has caused. The color needs to be slightly lighter or darker than your hair color to help them pop. Remember I said slightly. Don’t forget to set them with a clear brow gel.


Want that fresh youthful glow you once had? You can get it back with a little dusting. Bronzing power is an item you don’t want to leave home without applying. Find a hue that mimics the shade your skin turns with a light tan, and apply with a blush brush instead of a larger powder brush.


HAIR, aargh! What’s the big deal with a little gray hair? I got mine and I earned them. A few were gifts from the husband and kids. As with everything it’s about the confidence you wear your “do” with that will make the difference. I have seen some beautiful silver haired ladies in my own family and it wasn’t due to age but how they worked it.


FASHION, my favorite! Next it’s all about how you dress. Instead of holding onto an image that is associated to a former time in your life, learn to let go and move on. A large part of looking attractive at various stages of life is knowing what works for you and doesn't. Show your confidence by wearing what you know makes you feel and look good. Let go of what doesn't. The key is taking ownership of your self-image, but being flexible as it changes. Select fashions that highlight your best features and learn how to de-emphasize others. If you have great legs, show them off. They are often the last feature on women to show age. It may mean replacing your mini skirt with a mid-calf one and choosing low heels over three-inch, pointy ones. But, when you take strong, confident steps in comfortable stylish shoes, wearing outfits you feel great in, you will look attractive at any age. Try experimenting with new colors and interesting fabrics that show off the changes you see in your face and body. Instead of shopping at your old haunts that worked when you were in your 20s and 30s, find stores and designers that make you feel great about yourself. You are always changing, so allow your sense of style to change as well.


Accessorize boldly. Try sporting something you haven't ever worn before -- a red handbag, a bright scarf or bold jewelry. Experiment with flamboyant, bright colors. It's an option men don't have, so take pleasure in it! Some women, who never enjoyed short skirts or high heels, are more comfortable taking risks as they age by accessorizing their outfits. Bigger, brighter and bolder accessories when matched with sophisticated age-appropriate clothes keep you looking current and show a sense of style that is ageless.


So yes you are getting older but aren’t we all. Do it gracefully and beautifully. Look to women you respect or ladies in your family for inspiration. Hey my mom was hot even in her 50s so I can only hope to follow the legacy of her timeless beauty.

Super Weekend

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Most people, students and employers and employees, look forward to Friday all week long. Some Fridays exhibit more of a clarity than others and you know exactly what you’re looking forward too. The children were off with grandparents. I had fittings everyday and a lot of work to do. I anticipated the fun of attempting to tame the coming storm of chaos without any worries about my creatively energetic children. And yes, it took me a long time to come up with a nice way to say it. And no, I really don’t have all that much going on this weekend, but it sounded much less pathetic than simply saying, “The kids are gone, I win.”

The best mom can use a weekend here and there.

It all began with a trip to Northlake Mall. I was meeting one of my models for the upcoming show, “Night in the Garden.” I was early so I went to window shop. Yes, a designer who actually shops. I don’t do it often but I needed some pants. Man the mall was crazy with sales. I went to one of my favorite stores, New York & Co. Their clothes fit my style so well. They have these pants that are so comfortable to wear and look really great. I quickly found three pairs at the 70% off rack. What makes it better is that they are a size smaller than I thought I wore! I’m not sure how I stopped myself from doing a touchdown celebration. I got three pairs of pants for $35 that’s what one pair cost at regular price. The fitting went great, a few tweaks and we could all pretend that perfection is real.

So back at home I made a wonderful shrimp and crab pasta in white wine vodka sauce, very, very delicious. I worked and watched a movie. Little did I know that things would really pick up on Saturday. After realizing how seriously cold it was. I mean it was 25 degrees, I wasn’t going out there. By ten, I finally left the house, just to hurry back to meet with my other two models. I’m glad I had them come at the same time because we played musical dresses (like musical chairs but with clothes). Snap, crackle, pop, we were done. The girls would be gorgeous on the runway. Another touchdown. Another missed chance at a celebration dance. I’m actually glad I saved it.

After a long night of TV and sewing I went to bed. You look forward to the quiet time, but you only end up thinking about your kids. Early to rise, not really, Sunday morning at 8am. I was getting ready for my ride, exercise is important, when I decided to check my email. SO SO SO glad I did. There was an email from a fashion marketing group to participate in a show during Fashion Week in NYC. I took my time and thought about it for about a fifth of a second. Then I jumped up, woke my husband and had a quick moment to reflect. I ran back got the number made the call. Within five minutes I had the CEO on the phone telling me that he loved my website and that I was preapproved. After a vigorous hour on the bike I paid for my spot and was on cloud nine. I’m sorry if you’ve never had a weekend where you scored 18 points. You should go for it. My TD celebration is pretty good, I won’t describe it, but it’s pretty good.

2012 looks to be a great year. I have big plans and this is going to be just the beginning. Now I have to really get cracking since the NYC show is a week before the Night in the Garden show. What an opportunity. See you in the Big Apple. Do that dance.

Work That Body

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

As a personal designer and custom clothing maker for clients I am often confronted with the same problem: When it comes to fashion, women are not always fond of reality. As is, every trend is not for you. We want one thing and sometimes that one thing is not made for our body type and won’t look as good as we are so sure it will. A big challenge to my job is to offer these trends and make them look good on as many “types” as I can. In most cases people will judge the designer not the wearer when an outfit or dress is custom made. Therefore, I decided to discuss body types and the styles that accent the positive and mask some of the flaws of each type.

In essence there are many types but for the purpose we will discuss the main four: Hourglass, Rectangle, Pear and Inverted Triangle.


Curves for days? You got everything in good proportions. It is important to keep hips and shoulders balances to show off that shape. Belts are always worn at the waist. Avoid boxy cuts that don’t show you r shape. You don’t have to wear tight clothes but don’t go to the other extreme. Suggestions:

• criss-cross under bust to emphasize shape.

• horizontal patterns

• pencil skirts or high waist skirts

• tailored jackets and pants


In this case you carry the bulk of your weight in the middle. Your hips and shoulders are about the same measurement with your waist measurement being very close to the same. This is the case for a lot of women I know. So what do you do to create a waistline and curves? You want to avoid drawing attention to your waistline, or lack thereof. Don’t wear boxy clothing or pants/skirts with too much detail at your middle. Show off your legs with some fancy footwear. Some suggestions:

• empire cut dresses

• swirly prints to add softness to your silhouette

• flare leg pants

• create shape with tailored jackets with a nip and flare at the waist to fake the curves.


Baby Got Back! Your hips are the largest measurement with narrow shoulders. Also, have a defined waistline. You want to direct attention upward away from the hips. Wear full collars, scarves that drape you horizontally. You want to avoid anything with details that cross the hipline like low slug belts and tops that have wide bottoms. Some suggestions:

• jackets with large lapels and strong shoulders

• dark bottoms with graphic tops

• boot cut or flare legged pants and jeans

• a-line skirts

Inverted Triangle

Is your bust your biggest measurement? Then you are an Inverted Triangle. What you want to do is distract from your shoulders to your slender hips. Wearing low slug belts will draw attention down from your bust. Avoid large lapels and shoulder pads and tight tops that button up. Suggestions:

• jackets that cinch in at the waist and flare at hips to create illusion of hip volume

• slim skirts to make hips look wider

• stripes or details on bottom to draw attention to hips and legs

Keep these tips in mind when shopping and when getting dressed. Have fun with it. Work what you got in confidence, it’s the best accessory.

Welcome Back

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome back. After a short, much needed vacation witness my triumphant return to blog writing. Are you there? Is this thing on? The vacation was only from writing since I have been in a mad dash to complete all the looks from the Fall 2012 line to show in February. Most people would think that five weeks is more than enough time to finish four looks. It would be if I could focus and stop changing what I am doing.

So my weekend went like this: late night Friday babysitting for a friend, which means five kids under eight with just me to watch them. I can proudly say that no one was hurt and all left happy, well, at least they all left. I also had a model fitting with a new model. She is a character and the dress looked good on her. Saturday morning was a little trying. After devoting some time to my spiritual life I was home and determined to make some head way. I had finished creating the new pattern pieces on my lunch hour at work, multitasking, so all I had to do was cut out the muslin pieces for use. I had all of them cut by five pm. That is for all five looks. I’m using the word “five” a lot today, aren’t I?

Then my nerves started acting crazy. Because I was tired and didn’t want to screw it up, I was scared to cut into the real fabric. Therefore, I pushed pause on that job until Sunday. Come Sunday night after watching the gut-wrenching upset of the Steelers final post season game I laid out the fabric and started on the origami dress. I decided to mix up the colors for the bodice, per a friendly suggestion. I cut out the fabric, marked, folded and pressed it. By eight o’clock I was at my sewing machine praying not to screw it up. And to my surprise it came together with no problems. So, excited and inspired to continue, I did just that. By bed time I had the bodice complete. I went to bed happier than my hometown Steerlers fan husband. This evening I will get the other parts done and by days’ end I should have a complete look. Here is a sneak peak at one half of the top portion:

In the next blog I will discuss some of the other ills of a fashion show. I am working on selecting hair and makeup for both the runway show and the installation models during the VIP hour. There are still tickets available at www.NightintheGardenNC.com so you can see how it all comes together.

New Year: New You

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 31, 2011 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Well it’s that time again. Time to start making plans for the New Year and all that we plan to accomplish. I figured since this was my last trend article of 2011 I would focus on what the New Year should bring. I know we all make these resolutions to do better, eat better, save better, just be better than we were in the year prior. Well I think it is a good time to plan to look better. I’m not saying that you don’t have style but we could all use a makeover every now and again, why not make a plan to overhaul or tweak your style. So in this week’s addition of the Trend Notes I will be giving you some tips on how to up your style game for the New Year. We will look at hot hair and make-up trends for 2012 that will take your style to the next level.

Let us start from the top - hair. What is the hot, must-have hairstyle to set off your style? As with everything, retro is seen here too. I tweeted about this article last week from Fashioning.com (www.fashionising.com/trends/b--2012-hairstyles-2012-haircuts-2012-hair-trends-4338.html) I think runway is great but not always what you want to wear everyday to work and play. So here are some of the trends that came down the runway that can be versatile for everyday.

For ladies with long locks who don’t want to cut. These styles are easy to manage since most of the look is just curling the back but they look luxurious and will fit into your lifestyle. And with these styles you can jazz it up with different hair accessories to complement your outfit or agenda.


For ladies with less to work with or who want to cut up a little there are these cute styles. Again we are looking at ease of the look while giving it lift and personality. With this first look you can add as much curl or as little as you like. It is sleek and fun at the same time.

And for the daring ladies that want to go for the big chop, here are the cuts I love. Chops and cuts are not just for the steakhouse anymore. Who knows? Come spring I might be wearing one of these myself. Star style doesn’t mean you have to be in the movies to rock it. Be the star of your life with this look. It’s carefree and easy to maintain plus can go from day to evening and can be switched up depending on your mood. And if you really wanna cut it all off and save time with styling there’s the ever enduring Pixie Crop from the 70’s. I wear it off and on and it never goes out of style.


Getty Images

Now that we have our hair did let’s move to make up. This is simpler and trends can change on a whim. I like to adjust my personal style based on how feisty I am feeling. Harpers Bazaar had a wonderful slide show of the hottest makeup trends for 2012 from the runway. I think these will fit every lady depending on what you have to do and your own personal style. Mix it up and have fun. Spring is around the corner and color is still great for the Winter. Here are my favorite looks:

Reds: Do a pop on the lip and keep it the rest neutral for drama or darken the eyes for more drama. And really any shade will work. Just find the right one for your skin tone and work it.


Brows are back. I am so glad for this. Although it works for some, I hated the super thin style, but now a return to bold brows means that I can once again walk and drive with my eyes open.


And neutral is always glamorous especially if you hit the cheeks with a little color. This is a great daytime work look, clean and simple but cute.

Kristina WilsonImaxtree.com

So ladies now is the time to upgrade your style and if you’re looking for new clothes to match the new you check out my web store to see how you can get a custom style assessment for the new you.