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FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO SEW

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The best new summer patterns Three ways to sew a classic shirt dress Tips for pattern layout and resizing JULY 2004 NUMBER 113 $6.99 $8.99 TH READS MAGAZ E.COM 07 CAN

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june/july

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3


BEST SUMMER FASHIONS TO SEW

JUNE / JULY

2004

N UMBER

42

113

features 6 8 14

up front Contributors

20

34 COVER

These dressy Asian fabrics offer a lot of everyday western style

Questions discontinued patterns,

Tips

gown storage

shaped godets, proper

design, keep scissors handy, take a toddler's

24

measurements, fix a warped cutting mat, folding design board

30

by Sarah Veblen

Cotton velvet, finding

Letters Mini patterns visualize

Exploring Chinese Silk-Faced Brocades

39 8

Reasons to Remove Your Pattern

Seam Allowances Sewing is simpler when your patterns end at the seamlines

Basics Stay tape adds strength

Online Extra: For more on using slopers to alter patterns,

and stability to seams

see the author's article from

Threads 79 No.

by Karen Howland

Fitting To alter for a diminutive bust, you must change

42

more than the darts

Summer Fashion Report: The Best Styles to Sew Dresses hold court along with pretty colors, girlish fabrics, and whimsical embellishments

THREADS

by Anna Mazur

DESIGN

CHALLENGE VIII

72

48

Add Style with Graphic Fabric Insertions Master Class: This decorative couture piecing technique keeps your fabric lightweight and fluid

by Pamela Ptak RESIZING A MULTISIZE PATTERN

56


The InspiratTaunton ion for hands-onPress living'" www.threadsmagazine.com 52

Fabrications: Variations on a Classic Shirt Dress Always appropriate, yet sometimes dull, this summertime staple offers more than the expected safari and beach looks

by the

56

Threads

editors

It's Easy to Make a Multisize Pattern Larger or Smaller than Its Printed Range Need a pattern a size bigger or smaller than you can buy? Let the multisize outlines on the tissue guide you to the size you need.

by Kathryn Brenne

61

Creating a Designer Knockoff You don't need t o b e a trained patternmaker t o duplicate a garment you've seen. Start with the closest pattern you can find and adapt it.

by Anna Mazur

66

in the back Machine Embroidery

78

Hand embroidery

72

Custom fitting system,

by machine

Exploring Design

Threads

VIII:

Design

Challenge

Sophisticated

sportswear with an ethnic accent Online Extra: Learn and see more about this Challenge

Tools of the Trade silk dyes, lighting, pro-

88 90 92

style pressing system

Advertiser Index/Web Directory Closures A skill to be proud of and pass along

Back Cover Hand-embroidered handkerchief

GRAPHIC INSERTIONS

48


C o ntributo r s TH READS

Kathryn Brenne ("It's Easy to Make a Multisize Pattern Larger or Smaller than Its Printed Range") was inspired by her h i g h school sewing teacher t o make a career i n fashion sewing. Kathryn was the first female student in her school to sign u p for a work-study course, which exposed her to the daily workings of a custom tailor, an upholsterer, a shirt factory, and a furrier, all

Editor

Carol Spier

Senior Editor

while operating a successful "test" business as a custom clothier for her fellow students. She attended Ryerson University i n her native Canada, then plunged into custom-clothing and teaching-

David Page Coffin

Associate Editors Carol J. Fresia, Jennifer Sauer

sewing enterprises, wh ich culminated in the creation of her Academy of Fine Sewing and Design (www.finesewing.com) in North Bay, Ontario, where she offers a series of hands-on sewing and design workshops to an avid audience of American and Canadian sewers.

Assistant Editor Judith Neukam

Copy/Production Editor Jennifer M. Themel

("Add Style with G raphic Fabric Insertions") is the owner of Ptak Couture, a custom design atelier near Philadelphia. She studied at the Pratt Pamela Ptak

Institute and FIT, and learned haute couture techniques at Maison Sapho School of Dressmaking and Design. Pamela is the author of

ation& ios 101,' Present Fashiqueson Portfor fInoldependent ners g Desi Techni Dressmakers

(Glass Lane Press, 2003). She teaches couture sewing at Drexel University and does freelance hand-sewing for the haute couture fashion design firm Chado Ralph Rucci in New York City. Sarah Veblen

("Exploring Chi nese Sil k-Faced Brocades") is a custom fashion designer who runs her business from home. She began sewing her own clothes in ju nior high to accommodate her long legs and arms, and developed her first line of ch ildren's clothing on a machine she received as a college graduation gift. Her design philosophy is that "every garment needs to stand on its own and make a statement:' To that end, she incorporates some kind of "soph isticated, yet subtle" detail in everything she creates, and says her design process involves a g reat deal of experimenting. 6

T H R EA D S

Associate Art Director

Richards Jarden

Linda Boston

("Hand Embroidery by Machine") is an artist whose career has moved from sculpture to mural painting and architectural restoration, to the more minute but no less detailed world of monogram design and digitizing. As president of www.embroideryarts.com. Richards seeks out, researches, and designs alphabets for monograms, then digitizes them for home embroiderers. For reference and inspiration, he collects vintage and antique embroidered handkerchiefs; a sample from his collection appears on this issue's back cover.

Editorial Secretary April Mohr

Contributing Editors Susan B. Allen, Barbara Emodi, Linda Lee, Mary Ray

Publisher Elizabeth Conklin

Marketing Managers Nancy Clark, Karen Lutjen

Single Copy Sales Manager Mark Stiekman

Advertising Director Jeff Dwight

Advertising Sales Manager Angelyn Termini

Account Managers

Anna Mazur

Lori J. Galanis, Tracey Lenahan

("Creating a Designer Knockoff" and "Summer Fashion Report: The Best Styles to Sew") is approaching her new role as author of the twice-yearly pattern review with the same enthusiasm she applies to all her work. Tracking fashion trends has always been a part of Anna's sewing process, and the fine embellishment on the runways this season inspired her to start a wish list of spring projects. Anna admits that the steady stream of review patterns arriving in her mailbox has forced her to organize her own large pattern collection-a bit of spring cleaning is in order before she tackles her wish list.

Senior Sales Support Associate Marjorie Brown

Sales Support Assistant Cindy Nesline

0882-7370) 06470426-8171. 5506. 203-06470 #123210981. tion9Rat5 es: $78.95 $32.95 Subscrip$54. $66.95 $96.95$6.$38.9995 $8.99 Threads, Postmaster: 63 5506, 06470-5506. Printed in the USA Threads: (iSSN:

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Le t t e r s FROM T HE EDITOR

break the topstitching at the stand-I really

Many of us sew in order to have unique gar­ ments, yet sometimes we forget to enjoy or trust our creative instincts. In our last issue,

like the way it looks. That's what makes sewing so much fun: I can make my own de­ sign choices and I never feel I have to copy ready-to-wear.

the editors introduced a new feature, "Fabrications: one pattern/

Inspired by Fa brications

three looks;' to encourage you to view a purchased pattern as a

I loved the "Fabrications: one pattern/three

foundation that can support a host of fashion whims. You'll find another example of "Fabrications" on pp.

52-55

of this issue. If these articles inspire

you to make your own pattern interpretations, please post photos of your work on our forum, Gatherings, at www.threadsmagazine.com. We'd love to see them. And while you're on the Web site, be sure to print out the schematic diagrams for the bags on the cover of this issue.

looks" feature. Please do more of these. It's a great way to get the creative juices flOwing and some outside-the-box thinking started. Loved it, loved it! Kathy Wetherell, via email

Additional tips for pants-fitting

Carol Spier, Editor

Sandra Betzina's article, "Everyone Can Have Jeans That Fit" (issue No. 1 1 1 , February/ March) is a real winner. So much valuable in­ formation packed into just a few pages.

Level, sq uare, and the right length

little gems like these that make your maga­

I agree with shortening the back crotch ex­

Ill,

zine so outstanding. I can't wait to see what

tension for a flat seat, but I would like to

and I really enjoyed it. I just laughed and

other treasures I will find tucked into the rest

comment on the instructions for altering

laughed. I was imagining every word that I

of the issue.

for a "very flat seat" described on p. 36.

I was reading "Closures" in Threads No.

was reading. I'm so happy that I subscribe

Eileen Clark, via email

to Threads magazine; it is one of the best. Thanks for making me smile. Damaris Trujillo, Puerto Rico

When a seat is very flat, the crux of the fit­ ting problem often lies not just in a dearth

A topstitch i ng debate

of derriere, but in a backward pelvic tilt.

I have read Threads for years and absolutely

Shortening the back inseam as suggested

love it! However, I have a problem with the

not only causes easing problems when

Gems of i nformation

cover of issue No. 1 12 . The article dealing

sewing it to the front inseam, it does not ad­

I had only gotten to p. 26 of the April/May

with the cover photo is on topstitching, which

dress the possible root of the fitting problem.

(No. 1 12) issue when I found an amazing bit

I specialized in while working 1 5 years in

When the pelvic cradle tilts back, less fabric

of information from Karen Howland. Her

garment factories. Never in those years was

length is required in the back (and at times

method of determining the proper length of

a garment topstitched that had a break in

more in the front).

a zipper is something I had neither heard of

the front edge/ collar line. The stand on the

The solution? Shorten the center back pat­

nor read about in the many books I own. It's

collar of your garment wasn't topstitched to

tern by folding out the excess back crotch

On the road Threads

,vill

have a booth at the show

listed here. Please stop by to say hello. American Sewing Guild (ASG) Adam's Mark Hotel Dallas, TX

www. asg.org August 4-9

match the front or the collar. I don't know if

length horizontally between the waist and

this was a design choice or simply wasn't

back crotch curve, tapering to nothing at the

noticed, but it gives the garment a home­

side seams. The back crotch curve may then

made look, rather than a handmade look. Kay H utchison, via email Author Pamela Howard replies: It's great to be

able to do something that provokes com­ ments, be they good or bad. I have always wanted the clothing I make to be interesting, very well made, but a bit different in the way it's finished. I made an artistic choice to

8

TH R EADS

need to be lowered. (On ready-to-wear, the back crotch length can be shortened from the

key Threads Towesave space, CB cent e r back centeralfrloontwance sometateimes 5.CFa. seam abbrevi thesetferrms. equently WS RS riwrong ght sidsiede used abbreviations


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Letters (continued) waist, although the alteration may be limit­

ric. Since I developed this method through ex­

ed by pocket placement or yoke length.)

perimenting with many embrOidery deSigns,

The photo on p. 52 of your article, "Pants

it is in a sense based on how the "average"

for Every Body" (issue No. 54, August/Sep­

motif is shaped and how its stitches are dig­

tember), shows a model with a backward

itized. There are undoubtedly motifs for

pelvic tilt. The "Pants that fit well" (lower

which this calculation will result in a mis­

right photo) still sag at the back, perhaps not

leading score, but I hope the embroiderer

only because her heels accentuate the tilt, but

knows to make a test stitchout before em­

because the slacks were altered for crotch

barking on his or her project.

width but not for pelvic tilt. Fitting slacks is complex, but analyzing bone structure often

Sewing for fun a nd profit

gives clues to solving fitting problems.

Looking forward to receiving each new issue

An excellent book on this subj ect is,

&

of Threads, I await learning much new and

Pattern Alteration, A Multi-Method

useful information. Although I don't do any

Approach, by Liechty, Pottberg, and Rasband.

sophisticated sewing yet, (I will) your

It's a hard read, but the diagrams are fantastic.

magazine has inspired me to start sewing

Thanks again to Sandra for a terrific article.

again. I am now making beautiful silk dec­

Fitting

S andy Ragets, B rooklyn, N.Y.

orative pillows that are embellished with hand-dyed silk ribbons, and in some cases

Comments on embroidery density

with glass beads. They are very architectur­

I would like to comment on Susan Fears'

al. My question is, how do I get started in the

article on Machine Embroidery in issue

business of selling retail to interior deSign­

No. 1 12. A problem with her method of com­

ers, and how do I go about pricing my prod­

puting stitch denSity jumped out at me

ucts? Do interior deSigners showcase up­

immediately when I read her article. Her for­

and-coming artists?

mula for computing the area of an embroi­

Thanks for the info. I've got many pillows

dery motif (height x width) is wrong except

made and enjoy sewing them. I'm sure I

in a couple of simple cases, namely a rec­

can find a market for my product, but am so

tangle and a parallelogram. For any other

new to this world of fashion. This project is

shape, her formula is incorrect, and could be

motivating me to learn about bobbin-work,

wrong by a large factor. Hence, her compu­

in addition to trying all sorts of fabric col­

tation of the stitch denSity is also incorrect

laging. I'm having too much fun.

and the number she derives is meaningless.

Bon n ie Blanchard, via email

Eve Kovacs, via email The editors reply: Home accessory prices Author Susan Fears replies: It's true that the for­

VISit your Semina Deafer or www bernlnausa com for a mall-In certificate and complete rules Good only on purchase of a new from an authorized Bermna Deafer, made between artlsta Completed mall-Jn certifIcate and receIpt must and Only at participating dealers be postmarked no later than

11/04 200E5/31104

6130/04

vary widely by location and market condi­

mula given for calculating the area of an em­

tions. Why not explore your local market to

broidery motif (height x width) doesn't yield

get a feel for where your pillows fit? Ask at

the area of the motif and only the motif. In­

a nearby decorator fabric store for refer­

stead, it incorporates some surrounding fab­

ences to interior deSigners you could show

ric, more or less depending on the shape of

your work to-or ask if you can post pic­

the motif. However, my experience (I've

tures or leave a sample. Visit a local spe­

scored and sewn out hundreds of deSigns

Cialty furnishings store to see how they price

to test this method) has shown me that the

comparable work-and ask if they would

density score formula works nonetheless,

consider carrying yours. Be sure to decide

and does provide-in the vast majority of cas­

up front if you are interested in doing cus­

es-a useful guideline for determining the

tom work (always in demand) or want to

compatibility of a motif and a particular fab-

stick exclUSively with your own line.


o 0

artista BERN INA

"

.

200


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READER SERVICE NO. 75


FROM READERS TO READERS

Mini patterns help visualize design I was having trouble followin g the directions on a new desig ner pattern u ntil I photocopied the pattern layouts from the instruction sheets and en larged the pattern pieces to about Barbie-size. Then I cut the main pattern pieces out of lig htweig ht fabric and sewed the miniature pieces together, which enabled me to learn how the design should be sewn. Obviously, it's not incredibly accurate, but it's enough for me to get the picture. I was then able to successfu lly cut and sew the pattern from expensive fabric and save myself m u ch agony,

J

doubt, and possibly money. -Maureen Tayse Miller, New Carlisle, Ohio

Make mini mock-ups to learn

how tricky patterns go together.

Sew the two seams with the fabric right sides together and then turn right side out before topstitching.

TClc: Q)0

I-

5% yd. cut to

201

i n . before sewing

,\-in. seam a l l owance

_I

.�Q)VI <CJc:� Q) ..2 ....;;Q) Cij

�3i

E

.0 <CJQ) VI �en v �

c: c:

.L 2-

by 4-ft. foam core

M a ke a q u i ck-a nd-easy fold ing design board

it expands into a 4- by 8-foot

I made a 4-foot-high folding

surface for display that can trav-

closet, and fit it into a car, but

screen and use it often as a de-

el with examples pinned to it.

sign/ display board for sewing

The screen will zigzag open for

projects. It was easy to make-I

double-sided displays or a pri-

just sewed it together. I slid four

vacy screen, it can be arranged

24- by 48-inch panels of �-inch

as a column, or used to keep

foam core into a large fabric

the dog or toddlers out of your

envelope divided into four pock-

sewing room.

ets, as shown at left. (The pocket

-Judith Neu kam,

stitching forms the hinges and

Threads

allows the panels to swing in Stop topstitching

1

in. from raw edge.

Tuck in raw edges and whip stitch closed.

the bottom closed and the fold-

Fix your warped cutting mat

ing screen was ready to use.

I hated the idea of throwing

both directions.) I hand-stitched

I use my screen as

away my warped rotary cutting

a n 8-foot-Iong de-

mat, even though I'd been told

Foam core panels and a large

Sign/bulletin board.

repairing it was hopeless. But af-

fabric envelope make a versatile

I can nail it right to

ter a few attempts I successfully

folding screen.

the wall or stand it

found a way to flatten it. I laid

on my cutting table.

the mat on my carpet and cov-

14

T H R EA D S

I can fold it up and

ered it with a thin terry-cloth

slide it under the

towel. With my iron set to the

bed, store it in a

hottest steam setting I pressed

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1 5


Make a quick scissors holster from

a pot holder-pin it to your iron ing board to keep scissors handy.

over the towel until my mat be­

lightweight, soft

Then I open this part

came warm and flexible. Then

backing for heir­

of the elastic to make

sewing.

Have a tip?

I flipped the mat over and

loom

pressed the same section. Next,

When the flannel

leaving the towel in place, I

interfa cings

or

the loop to form a

Share your tips,

stacked three of my thickest

underlinings are

knot. I tug on the long

tricks, and

phone books and catalogs on

pressed to the fash­

end of the elastic to se­

sewing/embell­

top of the softened area ; I put

ion fabric they hold

cure the knot. Next, I

a small loop and pull the other end through

ishing resources.

the books in a bag so they didn't

together long enough

slide the free end of the

Send us details,

get damaged. (I left it until the

to be sewn in place.

elastic through the handle

sketches, photos,

mat had cooled completely, and

As a n underlining, the

of my sewing machine and

or samples. We'll

then progressed around the

flannel lends a soft, sup­

tie it in the same manner as

pay for each

mat, ironing one section at a

ple drape to the garment.

the scissors. Now the scissors

item we publish.

time.) It took some patience, and

Of course any printed de­

stay with my machine even when it travels-and they never

Please send

I did have to iron a few spots

sign on the sheet will show

them to:

twice, but it worked and I saved

through a lightweight fab­

Threads Tips,

my mat.

ric, so be sure to test your fabrics.

I also made a scissors holster

-S heri Rand, Eugene, Ore.

for my ironing board using a

5506, 06470-5506. PO Box

Newtown, CT

-Lynette Damian, Milford, Mich.

get left behind.

kitchen pot holder folded into a

Two tips for keeping

cone. I stitched (or you can hot­

Add support to fabrics

scissors handy

glue) the cone together with the

with old flannel sheets

Here's a way keep my scissors

U sed flannel sheets provide just

from wandering away from my

ned the loop to the ironing board.

the right backing for many of

sewing machine. I cut a length

Now it's handy when I'm press­

my sewing projects. One sheet

of 'A-inch elastic, 24 to 48 inches

ing and need to cut something.

can supply various weights from

long, and tie the ends together. I

-Rachel Pfaffendorf,

the worn center section to the

fold the elastic in half, and place

Clear Lake, S.D.

thicker edges. I use them for

about 3 inches of one end

underlining, interfacing, a nd

through the scissors handle.

I

hanging loop up, and then pin­

Prevent piping puckers on sli pcovers I found the key to preventing piping in a seam from puckering

Taking a toddler's measurements Last sum mer I needed to make a d ress for my two-year-ol d to wear in a wed d i n g, but she couldn't stay stil l long enough for me to take her measurements. I was fi nally able to take accu rate chest and waist measurements while she was asleep, but getting her length m easu rements

I purchased a rol l of butcher paper and asked her to l ie down on it. After I traced her she decorated her sil houette, which I used

was sti l l troublesome.

to measu re. And I have a n ice memento of her at two years of age. -Jennifer Larson, Frederick, Md.

or bunching up and changing the shape or size of a slipcover: Don't sew the piping into the slipcover a s its own step. All those extra rows of stitching can cause problems. To install the piping I cut my seam allowances to an exact � inch, draw a line on the slip­ cover where my piping belongs, and pin it loosely to one layer. I cover it with the second layer, align the edges, and sew the three layers together in one step. It takes some practice to hold the three layers and sew at the

16

TH R EA D S


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iune/iuly

2004

17


T i p S (ooolio",d) same time; I use my fingers be­

hear or feel a thread break. If

tape sticky side out. When sew­

tween the layers to hold the

both the top and bobbin threads

ing, I put the taped rectangle to

cording in place as I stitch. Even

break in exactly the same place,

the right of my machine on the

though it seems awkward at

the tension is perfect. If only one

floor and either drop the clipped

first, it's really worth the effort.

thread breaks (usually in two

threads or clip the ends just

- Patricia Ferrito, Angola, N.Y.

places) that thread's tension is

above it. The rectangle is big

too tight, indicating that I should

enough to catch what falls. When

Perfect th read tension

either loosen the tension for that

both sides are full I cut off the tape and rewrap the cardboard.

every time

thread or tighten the opposite

I perfect my tension setting for

tension; most of the time a very

When machine-embroidering,

the fabric in my project by cut­

small adjustment does the trick.

I put the taped rectangle to the

ting a 6- to 8-inch square from

-April M o h r, Threads

left of the machine on my cabi­ net. If I'm going to save the

the fabric, setting my machine

with the thread and settings I

Make a th read catcher

plan to use, and stitching a

I found an easy way to catch

the tape tackiness by first press­

straight line diagonally from cor­

threads. I buy the least-expen­

ing the rectangle against fabric; it

ner to corner across the square.

sive wide packing tape I can find.

catches the threads, but you can

Then, with a stitched corner in

I cut a corrugated cardboard rec­

easily remove them from the tape.

each hand, I stretch the square

tangle about 8 by 1 2 inches and

-Mary A l lenspach,

along the stitching line until I

wrap it, mummy-style, with the

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T H R EA D S

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Q u esti o n s

�-----------------------------------------A N SWERS TO Y O U R S EW I N G , Q U I LT I N G , A N D EM B E L L I S H I N G Q U ERIES

Q

Cotton ve lve t, explaine d

percent cotton. Velvet and vel­

plusher pile, also has a heavier

veteen, however, actually refer

backing, so it's durable enough

In a catalog , I saw a d uvet cover made of cotton

to the weave, and not the fiber

for home-decorating proj ects,

content. Velvet is woven using a

and even upholstery. Cotton vel­

velvet. I'm o n ly fam i l iar with silk or rayon velvet. How

double-cloth method, by which

vet and velveteen actually look

does cotton velvet com pare, and where can I fin d it?

two fabrics are woven face-to­

and feel better after washing, and

-Georgina Elgin Strandberg, Kenmore, Wash.

should always be washed before cutting because they shrink.

the backings, and a third warp

They're both very easy to sew,

yarn looping between them; the

especially when compared to

Velvet is made from many

third warp is cut to form the

slippery silk or rayon velvets.

different fibers these days:

pile and separate the two fab­

Craft stores and chain fabric

cotton, rayon (also known

rics. Velveteen is woven using a

shops sell cotton velveteen, but

as viscose), silk, silk/rayon

single-cloth method: extra weft

rarely stock cotton velvet. Cotton velvet is more likely to be found

A

blends, and even linen. Cotton

yarns are looped over the warp

velvet (in photo) is the strongest.

yarns in a single fabric layer and

in independent clothing and

Such a variety of velvets wasn't

then the loops are sheared to

home-decorating fabric stores.

always available. In fact, cotton

Q

face from five yarns: two pairs of warp and weft yarns forming

create the pile.

velvet is often confused with its

Velveteen's shorter, denser pile

close cousin, cotton velveteen,

makes it a great choice for cloth­

ville DeSigner Fabrics (www.banks

because velvet was originally

ing with gathers or fullness, such

villedesignerfabrics.com) in Norwalk,

made from only silk fibers, and

as an elastic-waist skirt. Cotton

Conn., which has over

velveteen was traditionally 100-

velvet, besides having a thicker,

vets in stock.

Vogue

Tips for tracking do wn discontinued patte rns

cotton vel­

www.butter

ick.com), McCall's (www. mc call.com), and Kwik Sew (www

Can you help m e fin d a source for d iscontin ued patterns?

A

.kwiksew.com), carry a surplus inventory of discontinued pat­ terns for a few years, or until their stock runs out.

Every season, a number

fabric store or on the pattern

Discontinued patterns from in­

of patterns are discontin­

company's Web site is unfortu­

ternational companies, such as

ued to accommodate pat­

nate, but not hopeless. The first

Marfy (www. marfy.it). Burda

tern companies' new offerings

step is to call the pattern com­

(www.burdamode.com). and

( for a larger company, that can

pany directly. You may find that

Neue Mode (

be up to 90 new patterns), and

the pattern was simply reas­

stil.de), are harder to find. Your

the first patterns to fall out of the

signed a different name or num­

best bet is to check with local

catalogs are usually the seasonal

ber. But if the pattern is truly

distributors: SimpliCity (

or trendy ones; classic styles

discontinued, the good news is

. simplicity. com) for Burda pat­

have a longer shelf life. To discover that a pattern can no longer be found in your local T H R EA D S

100

(www.voguepatterns

. com), Butterick (

-Maggie Davidson, Inkster, Mich.

20

Lori Hill is the manager of Banks­

www. neuemode www

that the bigger U.S. pattern com­

terns, Sullivans Inc. (www.sulli

panies, like Simplicity/New

vans. net) for Neue Mode, and

Look

www. fashionsewing.com

(www. simplicity. com).

for


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june/ july

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21


Q u e s t i o n s (continued) Where to sea rch for patterns on l i n e Post your pattern request on discussion boards such as the Gatherings and Creative Machine forums on www.threadsmagazine.com. or in the classified section of www.PatternReview.com. Also try: www.eBay.com

• • • • • • •

www.oldpatterns.com www.rustyzipper.com

Marfy catalogs. Smaller, or bou­

nity available within an arm's

tique, pattern companies, like

reach, so all you need to do is

The Sewing Workshop Collec­

log on to a site listed at left.

(www.sewingworkshop

If your online efforts fail to

.com), Loes Hinse Design (www

turn up the exact pattern you're

.loeshinsedesign.com), and Sil­

seeking, just look for a similar

tion

houette Patterns by Peggy Sagers

style. With creative modifica­

www. silhouettepatterns.com).

tions, you might end up with a

(

www.sewingpatterns.com www.debsrecycledsewingpatterns.com

o ffer just a few new patterns

pattern that's even better than

www.angelfire.com/trek/mypatternbox

each season and rarely discon­

the original.

www.thesewingplace.com

tinue any of their offerings.

Q In

If contacting the pattern com­

Deepika Prakash is the founder of

pany leads to a dead end, turn to

www. PatternReview. com. which fea­

your sewing peers. The Internet

tures reader reviews, and offers online

has made the sewing commu-

sewing classes.

S lash and spre ad for an unusual gode t

Threads

No.

1 1 1 , you had a great article on drafting and

sewi ng triang u lar godets ("Skirt Godets Make Sleek Hemli nes Swing"). Is it possible to create other shapes? -Anne

Edgar, Baltimore

pattern work and sewing

couldn't be simpler. Just draft the desired style line on your skirt

pattern, mark the center point, and then cut out the marked shape. Draw slash lines on the cutout, as shown at left, then cut along the lines and spread

evenly to the desired width. Draw

Round-top godet

the grainline (and foldline for a circular ruffle) as shown.

.

To sew in an unusual-shaped godet, first staystitch the skirt piece along the shaped edge

1 Desired width1 Square-top godet

E.

A

A godet can take on all kinds of shapes, and the

where the pattern was cut to make the godet; clip to the stitching along curves or at cor­ ners. Pin and sew the godet into the skirt piece, aligning the cen­ -

Desired width

,

ter marks. Note that a circular­ ruffle godet can be inserted in a seam or slit as well as in a tri­ angular opening as shown.

Circular­ ruffle godet

Sandy Scrivano designs and sews in Sacramento, Calif.

Desired width

22

THREADS


Q

P ro pe r go w n stor age

soda, can cause permanent

What is the best way to store a bridal gown and

that once-a-year holiday dress? -Carrie Demirgian, Broad Brook, Conn.

Once your gown is cleaned,

finish with the bodice on top.

proper long-term storage is vital

Store accessories such as gloves,

to its preservation. Choose a

a train, and veil in a separate

cool, dry, and preferably sun­

acid-free box.

light-free environment, such as a

A

box, and fold it to fit-layer paper between each fold, and

stains if they're not pretreated.

If you prefer a less permanent

well-ventilated closet or under

storage arrangement, you can

a bed (never in a damp base­

hang your dress on a padded

cherished

any trim; if it will be damaged

ment or hot attic). Buy an acid­

white silk hanger, fill the sleeves

gowns require special care

during cleaning or is susceptible

free box and line it with acid­

and bodice with acid-free paper

Distinctive,

and storage. First and fore­

to drying out in storage (i.e.

free white paper (both can b e

as described, then cover your

most, remove metal fasteners or

pearl and feather trim), care­

found at www. containerstore

gown with a clean white sheet

hooks, as well as covered but­

fully remove it.

.com). Fill the bodice and sleeves

or muslin.

with more paper (the paper will

tons, because these items can

Next, have your gown cleaned

corrode and leave permanent

by a reputable dry cleaner, and

settle, so overstuff rather than

Diana

stains. Detach foam padding,

be sure to point out any spills

under-stuff) to maintain the

beauty editor, and wardrobe stylist.

which dries out and disinte­

or dirt. Even colorless beverages,

shape and prevent creases. Place

Her assignments require careJul stor­

grates over time, and examine

such as white wine and clear

the bottom of the dress into the

ing and care oj garments.

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june/j u ly

2004

I I I I I I

.J 23


Basics S tay tape adds strength and stab ility to seam s

f stay tape isn't already your se足

for details), so there's a version

cret weapon when it comes to

that's right for any fabric.

garment sewing, it should be. invaluable addition wherever

Use tape for stronger, beUer-looking seams

you need to control, stabilize,

Stay tape should be used wher足

This skinny strip o f fabric i s an

by Paddye Mann

Necklines, shoul d ers, armhol e s, and pocket openings benefit from tape reinforcement

or reinforce your fabric. The

ever and whenever you need a

term "stay tape" doesn't refer

bit of staying power, excuse the

to any particular product-nar足

pun. Tape is most often used

row tapes come

in

several widths

along garment seams and edges

and weights, and with varying

(see below for some common

degrees of stability-and you can

applications). It makes the con足

even make your own (see p. 28

struction process easier because

Common uses for stay tape

it

There are really only two hard-and-fast rules for positioning stay tape : 1 ) always add to the wrong side of your garment, and 2) to minimize b ulk, cut and butt the tape-never overlap-at seam intersections. Here are a few places where stay tape comes in handy:

On trousers Tape areas of stress to ensure a long-lasting, good fit.

Pleated waistl i n e Pocket

Press pleats i n place, then center and apply tape on the seamline.

Pocket o p e n i n g s

,I II

11,n1 7

:,: I

Back

I '\' 1 ,, I,

Center and apply tape on the seamline for the length of the pocket opening.

Crotch seam A fter you sew the inseams, center and apply tape on the crotch seamline of one leg, starting

,

at the center back waistline and continuing

"

onto the front about

3

inches or up to the zipper.

On a n eckli n e Use bias stay tape to reinforce the shape of necklines-especially

if

they are scooped or low-cut.

Tape the front a n d back separately

Front

Apply tape to the neck seam allowances before sewing the shoulder seams (the tape should butt against, Back

but not cover, the seamline. If necessary, clip the tape so it lies flat in corners (such as in a

V

or square neckline) and around curves once the

seam allowance is turned and pressed against the garment body.

.\


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NO. 1

07

Plaff

june/july

n

and

2004

25


B a s i ( S (oocli""od) such as polyester or other syn­

Decide when to apply

slipping or stretching out of

thetics. Stay tape prevents un­

the tape

shape as you sew or serge. I t

wanted stretch in knit and

Generally, I prefer to apply stay

also helps you t o mold fabric

bias-cut garments, especially

tape right after I cut out my fab­

(for example into a soft curve

along the shoulder seams; it

ric (and have interfaced it as

along a lapel roll line) and can

keeps loosely woven and/ or del­

necessary) because it's easier to

even help you create a sharp

icate fabric from fraying at the

apply tape to a flat fabric piece.

crease or edge (along the fold

seams; and relieves wearing

The only exceptions are when

of a vent, for instance) in fabric

stress, thus preventing seams

I want to anchor the tape over

that doesn't hold a crease well,

from popping.

an intersecting seam, such as

i t prevents your fabric from

Tailored jackets have specific tape requirements Stay tape enables you to control the contours of a jacket. Slipstitch all edges of the tape in place by hand.

Lapel roll l i n e

Ti ps for flat, b u l k-free s u p port

Measure and mark two-thirds o f the roll line length from the shoulder seamline, then cut stay tape to this length minus

%

inch.

Front a rmhole Center and apply stay tape on the

Align the tape along the roll line, as shown.

seamline for just

Distribute the extra garment fullness in the

the top half of

bust area, then sew the tape edges in place.

the armhole.

Back neckline Apply stay tape t o the garment (the tape should butt against, but not cover, the seamline).

The lighter the fabric, the lighter the tape: choose a

Back s h o u lder

tape that's as lightweight

Cut stay tape the

and narrow as possible, but

length of the front

firm enough to provide the

shoulder, then

stability you need.

center and apply the tape to the

Preshrink now to avoid

back shoulder

puckers later: dip the tape

seamline. The

(whether purchased or a

back shoulder is

strip you cut from fabric) in

usually

warm water and let it dry

longer than the

completely before you

front shoulder,

inch

so you 'll need to

apply it.

ease the fabric onto the tape.

Back a rm hole Center and apply stay tape on the seamline.

Front edge Starting at the shoulder, apply stay tape to the garment along the front neckline edge, pulling the tape taut along the top and vertical edge of the lapel, in the button area, and along the bottom hem curve (the tape should butt against, but not cover, the seamline).

26

T H R EA D S


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june/july

2004

27


B a s i ( S ("cticeod) D i ffe re n t t y p e s o f s t a y t a p e

across the inseam on a crotch

There are four categories of stay tape. You r choice for which to use depends on your fabric and the

instance along a pleated waist足

seam, or to control fullness, for

amount of support you desire. Keep a variety of tapes on hand and test them to find the one that is best

line seam ( shown on p. 24).

for the job. Secure the tape i n place by basting (or fusing, in the case of fusible tape); this ensures that it

When in doubt, refer to your pattern instructions-they'll let

won't sh ift when you sew your garment seams.

you know when tape is required, and when to apply it. It's only

\

M a nufactured sew - i n tape

For mediu m-weight and heavyweight woven fabrics, use manufactured, plai n-weave cotton or linen tape (sometim es called tailor's tape). It's available straig ht足

(Y., and

g rain or bias (wh ich has slight g ive for c u rved areas) and in two widths

% inch). To apply, pin i n place, then hand足

necessary to tape one of the fabric layers in any given seam, and it takes only a few minutes; you'll find that the resulting strong, beautiful garment is def足 initely worth the time. Paddye Mann (www.paddyemann . com) is a designer and master tailor in Pakenham,

ON,

Canada.

o r machine-baste to secure.

M a ke-your-own fabric strips

For fine or l ig htweight fabrics, cut bias or straight-grain strips of thin cotton, organza, or lining fabric; the selvage, i n particular, makes g reat stay tape. To apply, pin in place, then hand- o r machine-baste to secure.

For kn its, or even woven garm ents where you desire flexible, yet stable, straight o r curved edges and seams, choose thin,

C l a rify i n g ta pe

stretchy elastic (available i n a variety of widths).

term i nology

Cut the e lastic the same length as your edge or seamline, pin it i n p lace, then stretch it slig htly

Narrow, plain-weave tape is sold by some notions vendors as tailor's tape, but other vendors call it twill tape. True twill tape, which has a herringbone weave, is

28

as you machine-baste o r serge it i n place. s u p port, pu rchase straig ht-grain or bias fusible tape (usual ly %-inch wide), or cut narrow strips from scraps

too heavy for most seam

of fusible interfacing. To apply, s i m ply fuse in

taping applications.

place with your i ron.

TH READS


F i tti n g To alte r for a dim inutive bust, you m ust change m ore than the darts Most patterns seem to come presized for a 8-cup bust ; can you help me convert them to fit an A-cu p figure? -Eliza Gring, Orlean, Va.

t's important to reduce both

measurement 2 inches greater

are from bust point to bust

the length and width of the

than their high-bust measure­

point, from shoulder to bust

pattern front, not just the

ment, while an A-cup represents

starting at the shoulder line mid­

dart size, when reshaping

a I-inch difference. To check

point, and from shoulder line

a pattern for a smaller cup,

your own measurements, posi­

midpoint to the waist over the

says fitting expert Karen

tion the tape as if you were tak­

bust, as shown in the below

Howland. Also, smaller busts

ing a full-bust measurement,

right drawing.

may require a change in the

then shift it up in front only,

bust-point position, compared

across the chest (about where

to B-cup figures. But assuming

the top edge of a strapless dress

Each dart style req uires a un ique adj ustment

that the pattern fits in all other

would fall), to find your high­

The step-by-step drawings on

respects, neither the back pat­

bust measurement, as shown

p. 3 2 show how to reduce the

tern nor the width of the front

in the below left drawing. Add

fronts on three bodice styles, in­

pattern between the armhole

2 inches to this measurement

cluding correcting the front

notches will be affected by the

and use the resulting number

length and repositioning the

alteration for a smaller cup size.

as your bust measurement when

side seam to reduce the front

A B-cup pattern is specifically

purchasing the pattern. Addi­

bust circumference. The exam­

sized for figures with a full-bust

tional measurements you'll need

ples all start with a bust point

Measurements needed for an A-cup alterati o n Ta ke your h i g h - bust m easurement Position the tape for the full-bust measurement, then shift the tape

\",�---

Shoulder to bust (take both sides)

,--+-+--+-

Bust point to bust point

up in the front only, as shown, for the high-bust measurement.

30

T H R EA D S

I-....---l'-

Shoulder to waist over bust (take both sides)


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READER SERVICE NO. 55

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READER SERVICE NO. 32

june/july

2004

31


F itti n g (continued) shift, which might not be nec­

Altering a side-seam dart to fit an A-cup Step

1. 3. 2.

essary on your figure. If your pattern has vertical darts, pin-fit them after making the adjust­

Reposition the bust point

if necessary, and move the dart

Step Step

Fold a horizontal tuck

across the pattern, through the dart, making the shoulder-to-waist

CF

CF

so it points to the new bust point. Don 't redraw the side seam until

ments shown here. Dartless

New

styles can also b e reduced, if necessary, simply by locating

New

bust point

bust point

the likely positions or the un­ stitched darts in the pattern and

Tuck

following the same steps as

measurement match yours and

those shown for the darted style

reducing the side dart opening. Step

3.

level

level

redraw the side seam, removing

with a similar shape.

Waist

Waist

Fold the dart closed and

Fitting expert Karen Howland writes

inch at the bust level and

tapering to no change at the

in Chillicothe,

top and bottom.

IlL

Altering an armhole dart to fi t an A-cup Step

1. 2. 3.

Reposition the bust point

if

necessary,

and move the dart so it points to the new

Step

CF

CF

bust point. Slash through the dart to the bust point

and then down to the garment hipline or hem. Step

Tuck

Fold a horizontal tuck across the center

front piece at bust level, making the shoulder-to­ waist measurement match yours. Step

4.

Pivot the side front from the hip-level

by

Wa ist

Waist

level

level

slash line over the center front piece at the bust inch. Tape to secure. Redraw the dart legs

from the compressed dart opening to the point.

Pivot.

Altering a princess seam to fi t an A-cup Step Step

1. 2. 3.

Reposition the bust point if necessary.

.u

Fold a horizontal tuck across the center

front piece at bust level, making the shoulder­

CF

CF

to-waist measurement match yours. Step

Keeping the waist and hip levels

aligned, overlap the entire side front on the center front piece by

....... Tuck

inch at bust level.

Tape to secure. Step

4.

II II I II I II I

Draw new princess stitching lines that

pass over and drop vertically from the bust point. Make the seamline on the side piece the same length as the seamline on the front piece

Waist

level

by shortening the side-piece seamline at the underarm as needed. Overlap.

32

TH READS

"§ 0:

c3e� ."0�m �15

Waist

level

"C en. "0 '"ci c0 0>C

-g

."0�a.


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Exp l o ri n g Ch i n ese

These d ressy Asian fab ri cs offe r

first started experimenting with silk­

teristics of the fabric itself, and explore some

have since been used, but regardless o f

faced brocades from mainland China

appropriate patterns, details, and techniques

the content, brocades are inherently sub­

about 10 years ago, and as I've contin­

for using this exotic material that deserves to

stantial fabrics because of the sheer number

ued to work with them, I'm more and

be more familiar to all sewers.

of threads required to produce the intri­ cate patterns and motifs. The high thread

more impressed. This elegant, luminous,

An a n cient, royal fa bric

denSity gives the fabric an almost-padded

wonderful qualities, and few poor ones,

Brocade fabrics were first made in the

look. Contemporary brocades are neither heavy nor bulky, but look deep and solid,

and seductively supple fabric has many and it's in no way limited to Asian-inspired

Far East, and they've been an imported lux­

garments, as you can see in the examples

ury for Europeans since the 1 3th century.

and have structure without being stiff or

shown above. In fact, I feel the sky is the

Their signature floating satin threads

hard. Since they're pliable, and because

limit; silk-faced brocade can add a fascinat­

allow the weaving of complex patterns,

they press beautifully, they can easily be

ing touch to dressy day- and eveningwear,

figures, and motifs, and Simultaneously

shaped and molded.

casual clothing, and even business attire;

produce the beautiful luster of the cloth.

Current brocades from China are called

I've listed my favorite garment choices for

Originally woven exclusively for royal

silk-faced because silk is used for the face of

brocade in "Fitted garments are the best

courts, with raised patterns in gold or silver

the fabric and rayon for the back, lowering

choice" on p. 38. Let's examine the charac-

threads on a silk ground, all fiber types

the cost with no sacrifice in suppleness.

34

THREADS


Chinese brocades offer a glowing, decorative alternative for

almost any slim silhouette... and there's a built·in companion fabric on the "wrong" side.

.......

S i l k- Faced B ro cad es a lot of eve ryday western sty l e

by S arah Veblen

there's a much expanded range of patterns:

or muted look to them, as shown in the

ester-are also becoming available. I prefer

many types of flowers, decorative motifs,

swatches above.

Brocades in other fibers-primarily poly­

'"�ci oc

the silk-faced fabrics for their greater com­

butterflies, etc. Most patterns come in several

Polyester brocades are usually 45 inches

fort, but I've tried the polyester and poly­

colors, and many more colors are available

wide, but the silk-faced brocades from

0-

blend brocades, and I've been happy with

than previously, still delightfully seductive,

China are only 30 inches wide, so you'll

the results.

with all of Chinese brocade's characteristic

need to think through your fabric require­

�oE �

clarity and glow.

Brocade's colors and motifs h ave

ments. I often wind up with large scraps

Always check the wrong side of any bro­

with these narrower fabrics, but at least

been updated

cade you see. If several colors appear in

they're big enough so that I've always found

When silk-faced brocades first appeared in

the motifs on the face, these will often recur

a use for them eventually: for patch pockets

fabric stores, the selection was interesting

in beautiful alternating bands of color

on another garment, accents in a pieced

but somewhat limited. There were only a

on the back, as you can see in the right

garment, or as small handbags (see photo

few typical motifs: dragons, cherry blos­

swatch on p. 34. Even if there are no bands,

on p. 37). In New York City's garment dis­ trict, you can sometimes find Chinese bro­

soms, chrysanthemums, and medallions.

the color or colors that appear in the motif

You could count on finding only black,

on the face of the fabric will predominate on

cades for $9 or $ 10 per yard. A more typical

red, beige, yellow, and greenish-bronze. Now,

the back, and they tend to have a silvered

price is $20 to $30 per yard.

june/july

2004

35


1I

/

Brocade motifs are still typically Asian in flavor, but more variety

appears with each new season.

Brocade's easy to sew with足

shoe on my gravity-feed iron, which lets me

line over the bust) before pressing. Brocade's

but it ravels

use high heat without a problem. Other足

smooth, glossy surface shows needle marks,

In a nutshell, brocade is a pleasure to sew

wise, stick to a silk setting.

with, but because it frays, be cautious when

Actually, brocade doesn't just fray .. .it frays

so think twice, and stitch once. I don't like the way it topstitches because of the satin

trimming seam allowances. It takes both

like crazy. I serge-finish the edges to keep the

the needle and thread beautifully. It presses

fraying in check, or use a lining that closes

I often use a silk dupioni or taffeta for my

and shapes like a dream, but if you acci足

off the inside of the garment. Carefully trim

facings in order to reduce bulk, but self足

dentally press a crease in the fabric, it's very

seam allowances and clip curves of facings

fabric facings can work in many instances.

hard to get the crease line out. I use a Teflon

and other shaped seams (like a front princess

I prefer to interface facings with something

36

T H R EADS

weave, so I skip all topstitching.


Co m p l e m e n t b roca d e w i t h d e l i cate d eta i ls

Silk-faced brocades lend themselves to a l l kinds of high-visibility, contrasting­ texture detail treatments, l i ke the large gripper snaps and contrast piping on the author's jean jacket, shown i n detail at left below, and the bound-edge closure, shown at right above. The author recommends iridescent silk dupioni as

a piping material; it has one color in the warp and another in the weft, which gives it the ability to combine or bridge contrasting colors and fabrics. Consider pocket flaps of silk organza (at left above), which can add a light and semitransparent

and fem i n i ne touch; combination buttons (above middle) where a specific motif or color of the brocade is used in conjunction with another fabric (which acts as a bridge fabric); self-fabric covered ball buttons made from a specific color or motif in the fabric with loops (above rig ht) made out of organza ribbon, rattail, mouse tail, velvet, or suede, and other types of narrow braid (above).

Try i t o u t ! Threads editors had fun making these bags. The drawstring bag features a turned-down cuff and is just a tube gathered onto a circular base. Each of the others has boxed bottom corners; the little bags are pleated at the top; all have added flaps. Find schematic diagrams for making them at

www.threadsmagazine.com.


pliable that gives a bit of soft structure;

of its body, becoming even softer and more

Sofknit from HTC is my favorite choice.

pliable, and it needs to be ironed. I always

Although I usually have brocade dry­ cleaned, it does wash successfully; use a

dry-clean lined garments, but laundering would be an option for an unlined top.

mild soap, cool water, and a gentle cycle, or wash it by hand. There is very little shrink­

Brocade's not j ust for b a l l rooms

age when laundered, but it does lose some

This fabric is a natural for eveningwear, but I've had a lot of success-and fun-using it in casual, office, and knockabout clothing. I'll choose a casual style that's normally

Fitted ga rments a re the best choice

made in a nondressy fabric and start imag­ ining it in a brocade. My j ean jacket (right

Because of the inherent body of Chinese brocades, they're

inset photo on p. 35) is a perfect example.

inappropriate for a loose, flowing garment. Consider them for

Despite the glossy, rich fabric, it reads as

garments that need to hold their shape, and sit fairly close to

a j ean j acket, with all its characteristic

the body. The author prefers brocade tops to have some bust

detailing. The fabric gives the j acket char­

shaping; usually a side dart, French dart,

acter, but it's still just a j ean jacket, albeit a

or princess line. Any of the following

special one.

types of garments would work well:

Brocade can shine as an accent garment in your wardrobe , such as a close-fitting

Coats and jackets (as long as they aren't too full)

vest. Worn under a business suit, a slice of the brocade will show dramatically under the jacket. A vest serves double-duty in the

Capris of all lengths

wardrobe, because it can be worn under Cheongsam-styled tops or dresses

the suit j acket and as a top with slacks for a totally different dressy or casual look.

Fitted or semifitted tops

Brocades combine wonderfully with other

Fitted or semifitted vests

fabrics, whether they predominate or play

Straight skirts of any length

duroy, and even denim would be high on my

second fiddle. Velvet or velveteen, wool, cor­ list to use as companion fabrics. Sheath dresses

Naturally, brocade is perfect for closely cut

Trim pants (with a straight leg or narrow ankle)

Asian and Asian-inspired garments such as a cheongsam, cut either as a top or dress. Anything with a mandarin collar is a natur­ al, and there are many ways to cut a man­ darin collar. It can meet at the center front or be shortened to create a gap; you can square or round the corners, or add points to make a wing collar; it can be any height. I some­

O rder brocade Contact these vendors

gle eastern element, using, say, a frog clo­

for swatches and prices

sure on a top that is not ASian-looking at all.

Anjoorian Silks www.anjooriansilks.com

B

&J

Oriental Silk Co. www.orientalsilk.com Royal Fabrics 2 1 2-398-0 2 1 5

THREADS

The key is to define the direction in which you want to go, and then choose one or two design elements that will help you get there,

Fabrics

2 1 2-354-8 1 5 0

38

times allude to the fabric's heritage with a sin­

such as the detail options in the photos on p. 37. Brocade is such a rich, evocative ma­ terial-let yourself get swept away by it.

Sarah Veblen writes in Sp arks, Md. You can contact her at www.sarahveblen.com.


Reasons to Remove Your Pattern Seam Al owances

Sewi n g is s i m p l e r w h e n you r patterns e n d at t h e seam l i nes b y Karen Howland

first decided to remove all the seam allowances from my patterns when I was using a lot of Bur­ da patterns, in the days when that brand came without allowances. Since some of my proj ects had allowances and some didn't, I kept adding them when not needed and assuming they were there when they weren't. Removing every seam al­ lowance I encountered greatly reduced my errors. But it wasn't until I began to

When you cut fabric, choose the best seam allowance In all professional sewing, seam allowances

On some fabrics the seam allowances

be

are adjusted as needed to fit the fabric being

must

cut, the planned construction techniques,

open, and some seam-finish techniques require

and the need for any future alterations.

wider allowances. To adjust your seam

wider in order to lie flat when pressed

make my own patterns, and make fitting slopers for each of my dressmaking clients, that I really fell in love with the effi­ ciency and simplicity offered by

allowance to match the needs of the fabric and

patterns without allowances. On

The industry standard of 'A-inch seam

the seam, make a test seam, finishing and

the following pages, using a se­

allowances is typical for many reasons: The

pressing it as you intend for the garment.

ries of everyday sewing situa­ tions, I'll demonstrate how a

edge of the presser foot can often be used to guide the stitching; curves don't need as

Other commonly used industrial seam

pattern free of seam allowances

much clipping or trimming to turn easily and,

allowance widths include:

greatly simplifies the task at

when you want to grade the seams (reduce bulk by trimming layered seam allowances to graduated widths), trimming a bit from one allowance is all that's needed.

11'h% 'h to

inch for seams that will be serged

inch for seams with a lapped zipper inches for fitting seams, to allow for

adjustments during construction

hand-from pattern redesign and fitting to cutting out and construction. I think you'll un­ derstand, as I did after working

june/july

2004

39


ALLOWANCES . .

WITH NO S EA

Des i g n ch a n ges a n d pattern a lterations a re fast a n d easy to see The following examples demonstrate the efficiency of having no seam allowances in the way when restyling a pattern or comparing it to a sloper or another pattern. Measuring pattern dimensions is also simplified when all seaml ines are clearly established as the pattern edge.

[j/: I II

To eliminate or shift a seam,

To change from a darted design to one with princess seams, draw the new

abut adjacent pieces and tape

seamline through the approximate bust

them together (shown here to

point and add construction notches by

delete a shoulder seam). If you want to shift the seam to a new

drawing hatch marks across the drawn line. Cut the pattern on the line and close the side dart,

location, draw in your preferred seamline, add a

trimming the dart ends to smooth the side seam.

hatch-mark notch (as shown to add a front yoke

Transfer the front grainline to the new side panel.

effect), and cut on your new line. A good use of this method is for converting a separate facing to a turn-back one. To merge pattern pieces that don't have a straight mutual seamline, fill in any gaps between the pieces with additional paper.

set the copies aside, then draw a facing/lining seamline on the originals (or vice versa), make hatch-mark notches, then cut on the new line. If your new line crosses a dart, fold and tape the dart legs closed before cutting the pattern; leave the facing pattern taped to cut the fabric.

To compare one pattern to another or to a sloper, align the patterns at the

centers

8

and at the

waistlines.

Pivot the

sloper's side seam so it's parallel to the pattern's, to compare the amount of dart control. Here you can see that the pattern is too short from neck to waist, too broad across the back and, depending on the effect

6

desired, might need a wider armscye dart.

.

><;��;�� 8G77 !.

II,1I,

II',I

patterns, see the author's article from

Threads 79. No.


this way, why seam allowances are not in­

they show you their seamlines rather than

cut fabric, choose the best seam allowance,"

cluded on most of the patterns used by

their cutting lines, either because the cutting

on p. 39, you'll find a list of appropriate

garment-industry professional s, in high­

lines obscure the pattern's real shape, get in

seam allowances to add when cutting a va­

volume factories all the way down to tiny

the way of needed changes or the most use­

riety of seam types. Having the freedom to

dressmaking or tailoring shops.

ful markings, or because they might vary

choose the seam allowance width you want

each time you use the pattern. Of course, in

at the cutting out stage is just one of the

The stitch i ng l i ne is more useful than the cutting line

almost every case, your fabrics must even­

many compelling reasons to remove preex­

tually be cut out with seam allowances if

isting seam allowances from your patterns in

In every case, the examples I've included

you plan to join them to other fabrics with

here demonstrate the fact that it's easier to

a seam, but

use, adapt, and interpret your patterns when

allowance width for the job. In "When you

WIT

NO S EAM

0"

% inch is almost never the best

the first place. Give it a try.

Karen Howland writes and sews in Chillicothe, Ill.

CEC

Cutting out the pattern is faster and easier to control Every aspect of cutting out and marking patterns is simplified and improved when seam allowances are gone. Leave room for your desired seam allowances when arranging the pieces on the fabric. Since all seamlines can be so easily and accurately marked during layout for clear alignment during sewing, you might

To mark stitching lines, simply trace

decide it's not critical to cut

around the pattern with chalk, with fabric

precise seam allowances,

right sides together. Cutting lines can be

and let your cutting be

marked at the same time if desired or

guided by eye i nstead.

needed. Mark the other side after you cut touching the paper pattern. You can

out the piece by removing the pattern, flipping

reuse a favorite pattern without fear

the fabric stack, repositioning the pattern, and

that its perimeter has been cut smaller

tracing it again; you'll find this faster than using

or subtly reshaped by previous use.

carbon and a tracing wheel.

S� \

..... ..../.. "I

To match plaids, mark

prominent horizontal and vertical plaid

lines on one pattern's seamline

o "0]

with a regular seam allowance. Here the leaf and

oc

then overlapped so that the thread tracing in the dart

E

'"'"@ ci

�.9

when cutting out lace following its motifs, instead of flower inside the dart will be carefully cut around and legs is aligned; then the dart will be sewn by hand.

and transfer the markings to the same point on an adjacent piece (side seams are shown here) to guide joining them accurately.

june/july

2004

41


S U M M E R FASH I O N R EPO RT:

The Best Styles to Sew

Dresses hold court

a l o n g with p retty c o l o rs , g i rl is h fabrics, a n d

w h i m s i cal e m b e l l ish m e nts by A n n a Mazur his spring! summer is the season to

If you love to make and wear dresses, as I

glory in femininity-and the sewing

do, you're in luck. Designers were inspired by

couldn't be more enjoyable. Choose

screen stars and style icons of the past, and all

all-out frills or opt for sweet and ro­

sorts of dresses that accentuate the waist and

mantic, rich and sophisticated, even

bustline, as well as corset details, are the re­

sporty, chic styles. And, by all means,

sult. Also watch for the tidal wave of pretty

have fun with fabrics, colors, and embellish­

and glamorous bikinis and maillots-and not

ments. You'll note that some trends from sea­

just at the beach: swimsuits are made to be

sons past-trenches, polka dots, pastel tweeds,

worn under striped or chambray button­

and bold florals, in particular-have found

down shirts for weekend wear. Layered tanks,

their place among the pretty confections.

cardigans, and oversized boyfriend sweaters

(See "Trends" on p. 43 for more details.)

Sweet sorbets, warm pales, and rainbow

tant than ever. Simple boxy, swinging

hues fill out the color palette, and yellow is

trapeze, and dramatic fitted garments

the front-runner this season. Tone-on-tone

were spotted on the runways, but

combos look fresh, as do unexpected pair­

the silhouette of choice is a fitted,

ings, such as lemon and bright blue. In terms

shrunken j acket or top, a defined

of fabrics, knits and sheers are perfect for

waist, and a fuller, relaxed bot­

lightweight, layered dressing; florals, stripes,

tom. Skirts are, in a word, volu­

and fanciful prints increase the fun factor;

minous: floaty, flounced, tiered,

Vog u e

2449 Kwik Sew

3 1 95

are noteworthy in the "Tops" category.

Mastering proportions is more impor­

and satins and silks dress it all up.

layered, ruffled, pleated, gored,

Last, but certainly not least, this season's

with handkerchief hems-you name it-as

fashions feature a sewer's grab bag of em­

long as the effect has feminine flare. Pants are

bellishment options. Try your hand at mini

straight and tailored, yet soft and slightly

ruffles, piping, lacing, beading, fTinging, ruch­

slouched-and the legs are cuffed, rolled up,

ing, fabric flowers, and creative seaming, to

or cropped for added style.

name a few. It's definitely good to be a girl.

Anna Mazur would like

to

thank the testers: Leslie Ashaaf� Tijeras, N.M.; janice Averill, West Haven, Conn.;

janith Bergeron, Barrington, N.H.; Marilou Bonnetti, Stow, Mass.; Betty Brown, Culver City, Calif.; Gretchen Clements, Lowell, Mass.;jenny Freedman, Aptos, Calif.; Elisabeth Gillem, Portland, Ore.; Linda Henry, Fair Oaks, Calif.; Marion Higa, Honolulu, Hawaii; Pam Howard, Newnan, Ga.; Barbara Kelly, Ann Nutting, Allison Page, San Francisco; Anne Kendall, Seekonk, Mass.; Eve Kovacs, Woodridge,

rH.;

Michele

Kwiatkowski, Danbury, Conn.; Gayle Moline, Manson, Ia.; johanna Mramor, Surrey, BC, Canada; Pat­ ty Robison, Bellingham, Wash.; Mary Ann Shannon, Columbiaville, Mich.; Gail Yellen, Glastonbury, Conn.

42

THREADS


TR E N D S Colors

• Pale blush, peach, rose • Canary yellow, lemon, butter, gold; grass green, celadon, sage

• Warm and cool pinks; lilac, lavender; raspberry, fuchsia

Blues: Mediterranean, royal, and powder; aquamarine

• Rainbow brights Fabrics

• Wispy chiffon, organza, voile • Textured tweed and boucle • Florals: mini to bold tropical • Conversation prints; stripes; polka dots; ombre; madras

• Jersey; sweater knits; crochet • Satin, silk; lace; metallics Key looks

• Feminine dresses: vintage, layered, body-skimming

• Ladylike, fitted suits • Trench coats, in unusual fabrics, with innovative details

• Preppy, boyfriend sweaters; cardigans

• Swimwear (maillots and bikinis) paired with street wear

• Skirts: full, 50s-style; unusual seaming; shredded hems

• Trousers; slouched and cropped pants; skinny pants

• Polo and

button-down shirts;

empire-waist tops

• Sport-inspired track suits Details

• Fabric flowers; monograms • Pleats, pintucks, smocking • Feather and lace trim; piping • Strategic and unusual seaming • Lingerie details; ruffles; layering

• Beaded embroidery; sequins • Bags: every shape imaginable • Belts: shaped, wide, and skinny

• Feminine, embellished sandals; pointed and round-toe pumps

• Gold accents; big, bright baubles; long, layered strands of pearls

june/july

2004

43


ENSEMBLES

offers this season's shaped, uneven hems. The loose-fitting boat-neck top (22 in. long/size 1 0) and bias­ cut tunic with peplum (4 1 % in . long) feature baby hems, which can be tricky in the tunic's deep V-neckline; a facing may be a better option. Follow the fabric recommendations, as even a poly sheer is too puffy for the peplum. Although our tester preferred to angle the skirt (34 in. long and 90 in. at hem) gores to align with the peplum, each gore forms a pleasing scallop. To make hemming easier, she suggests sewing the vertical seams only to the finished hemline. (Sized Misses/Misses Petite 8-24, for busts 3 1 '1,-46 in. and hips 33'1,-48 in.) Vogue 2778

Marly 9087 and 9088 (www . marfy.it) are not an ensemble package, but this fitted sailor blouse/jacket (22% in. long/ size 1 4) and long, straight, slightly flared pant (20'1.; in. at hem) are meant to be worn together. The blouse collar attractively frames the face, and the darts allow for easy fit adjustments; the sleeves ( 1 1 in. at hem) are slim in the bicep area. Construction is straightforward, but there are no instructions or seam allow­ ances. (Sized 1 2- 1 6, for busts 34-39 in. and hips 36-40 in.)

o (www.simpli city.com) is an easy-to-sew, athletic-inspired collection that includes a jacket ( 1 8 % in. long/size 7/8), full- or ankle­ length sweatpants (34 in. at hem), skirt ( 1 3% in. long and 40 in. at hem), and T-shirt ( 1 7 % in. long). This pattern is great for a beginner as well as for an advanced sewer who wants to use an unusual fabric, such as silk. Instructions are clear and concise. (Sized Junior/Misses 7/8 - 1 5/1 6 and 8 - 1 8, for busts 30'1,-40 in. and hips 33'1,-42 in.) Simplicity 5353

vog

"�"

e

patterns.com) is a formal ensemble of lightweight, flowing garments, perfect for summer weddings. Our tester enthused that this is "a great classy-looking design that drapes well, and is fun and easy to sew" (though the envelope categorizes it as difficult). She noted that the V-neck of the dress is fairly deep; she suggests raising it for more coverage. The sheer coat has well-placed darts and can be hemmed to below the knee (42 in. at hem/size 1 2) or left floor-length; the obi offers embellishment possibilities. The pattern is a g reat canvas for art-to-wear, but in a more casual fabric and minus the obi, it's a classy suit/coat. (Sized Misses/ Misses Petite 8-24, for busts 3 1 '1,-4 6 in.)

McCall's 4391 (www.mccall .com) is a simple "ladies who lunch" suit (22 in. long/size 1 0). The lined jacket's fit is good and it is easy to make. Our tester loved the fringe option and two-piece bell sleeve. The straight, slightly pegged skirt (22 in. long and 37:6 in. at hem) and straight pant (2 1 in. at hem) have a flat front and a contoured waistband that she found comfortable and flat­ tering. (Sized Misses/Misses Petite 6-20, for busts 30'1,42 in. and hips 32'1,-44 in.)


PANTS/SKI RTS

Islander Sewing Systems, Classic Sport S h i rt 201

&

Stretch Sew, French Trim Swimsuit 1 31 1

Silhouette Patterns by Peggy Sagers, Susie's

(www.silhouette patterns.com) features curvaceous feminine lines and can be made with or without 1 6 bias-cut mini godets. This skirt (2 1 � in. long and 50 in. at hem/size 2) is dart-free, but the five panels allow for easy adjustments. Our tester found sewing the godets easy because clipping wasn't necessary with the bias pieces, although she would have preferred wider seam allowances C-i.-in. seam allowances are included). Sagers' patterns are uniquely sized and include clear instructions. (Sized 1 -8 W, for finished hip measurements of 40-55 in.)

Skirt 2550

Design

&

Sew Patterns, My

(www .designandsew .com) has the slouchy, relaxed fit spotted on the runways. The full-length pant is a good basic pattern with many options: inter­ changeable pockets, a variety of hems, three different waist treatments, and two leg widths ( 1 7 or 20 in. at hem). Our tester found the crotch depth a little deep, but said the look was fine for this type of pant. Easy-to-follow instructions. (Sized XS-XXL, for hips 32-50 in.) Favorite Pants 341

Neue Mode J231 49 (www .sullivans.net) is a fun, quick-to­ sew pleated skirt. Short ( 1 5 in. long/size 1 4) is the latest style, but you can simply lengthen it to conceal more leg. The shaping is achieved in the side and yoke seams, which leaves the hemline on the crosswise grain (it's ideal for plaids). For a Chanel look-alike, fray the hem and along each pleat (after topstitching near the fold). Seam and hem allowances are not included. (Sized 8- 1 8, for hips 34%-42'h in.)

The Cutting Line Designs, One Seam Pants 3 1 37 1

...

.. The Cutting Line Designs, One Seam Pants 3 1 371

(www.burda mode.com) is stylish without being overly trendy, and includes wonderful fitting details. Back darts give the pant a smooth fit; our tester loved the gently curved waist­ band that sits slightly lower on the waistline-very slimming. One view has a deep cuff; the other, a seam down the CF of the pant leg (you can add a zipper if you like); both have a fairly wide leg (23% at hem/ size 1 0). If you're petite, the tester recommends reducing the leg width and cuff depth. Easy-to-follow instructions. (Sized 1 0-20, for hips 34'1,-44 in.) Burda 841 1

Kwik Sew 3 1 95 (www.kwik sew.com) offers pull-on skirts with slimming style. One version (26 or 34 in. long and 66% in. at hem/size L) has funky diagonal and vertical seams and side-seam godets-great for striped fabric. Follow the instructions carefully to match the puzzle­ like pieces. The 1 6-gore version (26 or 36 in. long and 1 1 5 in. at hem) offers many places to fine-tune the fit, and you can omit or add gores. The included Yo-in. seam allowance simplifies the sewing. (Sized XS-XL, for hips 32'1.-47 in.)

(www.fabriccollections.com) is the epitome of comfort. The loose, straight (20% in. at hem/ size XS) or tapered ( 1 5% in. at hem) pant, sans side seam, is a no-brainer in a soft, casual fabric, but for a dressy look, try silk. Our tester noted that the front crotch is % in. higher than the back, and the front and back inseams are at different angles, but found the pant to hang perfectly. With six pages of instruction, recommendations for personalizing the fit, and clearly marked hip, crotch, and knee lines, our tester found this pattern a breeze to fit and sew. (Sized XS-XL, for hips 37-50 in.)

/


TOPS!JACKETS Stretch

&

Sew, French Trim

(www.stretch -and-sew.com) has flattering princess seams, and can be fully or partially lined. Our tester self-lined her suit, eliminated the leg binding, and piped the princess seams for emphasis. Pattern directions are thorough and provide tips on adjusting the torso for a custom fit. (Sized 30-46, for busts 30-46 in.) Swimsuit 1 3 1 1

The Sewing Workshop Collection, Era Jacket (www

.sewingworkshop.com) wowed us. This stylish, loose-fitting, cropped jacket (23% in. long and 38� in. at hem/size M) has a high collar that looks wonderful turned down; the back collar shaping is achieved with a horizontal fish eye dart. All edges feature deep, turned-back mitered hems; directions for creating hem pressing templates are included. (Sized XS-XXL, for busts 3 1 -46 in.)

Silhouette Patterns by Peggy Sagers, Joan's Jacket

is a nicely proportioned notched collar, single-breasted jacket (27 in. long/size 1 ) with wonderful seaming. The seamlines really pop on smooth surface, single-color fabric. The pattern has unique sizing and includes a chart to help pick a length based on your height. Our tester marveled at the clear and concise instruction sheets and found the pattern a real pleasure to work with. For intermediate and advanced sewers, and art-to-wear enthusiasts. (Sized 1 -8V11, for finished bust measurements of 36-54 in.) 1 400

Butterick 41 9 1 (www.butter ick.com) is a fitted, empire­ waist blouse ( 2 1 in. long/ size 1 0) that's great worn alone or under a jacket. The bodice is lined; the bottom panel is cut on the bias for a slimming fit. Our tester recommends cutting the interfacing strip for the back buttons on the bias and adding a small square cut on g rain to support the button­ holes. The pattern markings made construction easier: bias g rainlines for the bottom panels meet at gO-degree angles along the CB; sleeve ease is appropriately distributed to allow more at the cap; and the grainline in the wrap bodice is parallel to the neckline opening-no need to stabilize. (Sized Misses/Misses Petite 6-22, for busts 30'/,-44 in.)

'Al

Islander Sewing Systems, Classic Sport Shirt 201

(www.islandersewing.com) is a basic camp-style (32 in. long/ size 1 2), oversized shirt (with short or long sleeves, and patch or in-seam pockets) that our tester plans to make many more times. Pattern directions outline industry serging techniques; for more in-depth information, the designer recommends her supplementary videos. (Sized 4-22, for busts 3 1 '/,-45 in.)

--�

- - .. ---_.' ....-- .-

Vogue 2449 is the season's top trend-a trench coat (38�54� in. long/size 1 0) with fitted lines and classic details, such as epaulettes, rain shield, back vent, belt, welt pockets, three-piece sleeves, and sleeve tabs; there's a single-breasted, hidden-button version too. This is a good pattern for an intermediate sewer, as some of the details could prove difficult for a beginner. Our tester encourages each sewer to add a unique touch, whether with topstitching, contrasting details, or unusual bound edges. (Sized 6-22, for busts 30'/,-44 in.)


DRESSES Petite Plus Patterns 303

is a bias-cut, pullover dress (46 in. long and 1 66 in. at hem/size 8) and slip combo with a vintage feel. The tester tells us the poufy sleeve can be easily replaced with a fitted sleeve-and the dress also looks g reat sleeveless. Godets add weight to the hem, so she cut the seam allowances at 1 'h in. as a counterbalance. Instructions don't cover sewing with bias in depth, so you might want to supplement with a book on this topic. (Sized Misses 6-22, for busts 30'/:,-44 in.)

(www.petitepluspatterns.com) flatters a petite, full-figured woman with narrow shoulders, a full bust, short waist length, and rounded tummy. The knee-length, close-fitting dress (47 in. at hem/size 1 6) has partial waist seams and princess panels, which offer strong vertical lines and ample opportunities for fitting. Specially designed for stretch­ woven fabrics (a spandex blend with 20- to 25percent stretch). (Sized 14-24, for busts 40-50 in.)

Vogue 2784

Neue Mode 5231 24 flatters the body's curves. The lined, just-below-the-knee (with optional ruffle) or ankle-length dress (8 1 in. or 1 24 in. at hem/size 1 0) has a high, but comfortable armhole. Our tester recommends stabilizing the front neckline to avoid stretching. Seam and hem allowances are not included. (Sized 8- 1 8, for busts 3 1 '/:,-39'/:, in.)

is an updated version of the laced-up corset style; choose a feminine cocktail length (85'h in. at hem/size 1 4) or lengthen as desired. The ruched bodice panels are cut on the bias to shape the body, and the back has a small panel on each side of the center V for a great fit. The dress calls for a lining but no pattern is given; our tester recommends cutting a front lining without ruching to eliminate bulk. Although this was an easy and fun dress for her to make, it required problem-solving skills due to the lack of seam allowances and instructions­ truly a sewing adventure for a more experienced sewer. (Sized 1 2- 1 6, for busts 34-39 in.)

Vogue

2784

Marty 9 1 50

is made for summer living. The casual dress (46 in. at hem/size 1 0) is offered knee- or calf-length, has sleeve and pocket options, and can be worn with a self belt. The dropped-waist style is very flattering and makes a short-waisted individual look taller and slimmer. The pattern is well-marked and the tester loved the fit in the shoulder and sleeve area. She noted that the bodice length was just right on her petite (5-ft.) body. (Sized Misses/Misses Petite 8-24, for busts 3 1 '/:,-46 in.)

Vogue 7873

june/july

2004

47


Add Style with

Graphic Fabric Insertions

Th is decorative cout u re p i e c i n g tech n i q u e keeps you r fabric l i g htwe i g ht a n d fl u id by Pamela Ptak

Dramatic insertions replace darts and, in some cases,

vertical seams in this all-bias, 4-ply silk dress (author's design).

48

TH READS


1

----------------

ILMASTER CLASS i ______________ _

I nsertions ca n su bstitute f,o r d a rt

hen I was study­

specific area on one fabric with

ing couture sew­

a second fabric that is cut on the

ing at Maison

same grain, so that the flow of

Sapho in New

the garment remains undis­

A couture insertion doesn't have to be

York City (see

turbed by the seemingly inci­

the exact shape of the flat background

"Couturiers are

dental seams used to attach the

fabric it replaces. In fact, you can opt

taught, not born" on p. 50), I

second, insertion fabric. I rec­

to incorporate dart or seam shaping

learned a wonderful technique

ognized this as the perfect way to

for adding decorative motifs to a

add visual excitement to simple

garment while maintaining the

garment styles, without adding

draping characteristics of the

any layers or bulk. This tech­

original fashion fabric. This

nique requires attention to fabric

line of the insertion comes within

method essentially replaces a

layout, marking, and cutting,

approximately

a n d sea m s h a p i n g

CF

Bust apex

into the insertion's seams. For instance, an insertion that covers the center front of a bodice can be used to replace vertical darts, as long as the outside

inch of the apex of the bust

, ,,:, , � _

_

Pivot

inward.

You'll need moderate pattern making experience to make these changes, since you'll be pivoting

P re p a r e f a b r i c a n d p a tt e r n s f o r p e rf e c t i n s e rt i o n p l a c e m e n t

u -"0-

Trapezoidal insertion on dress front

�I p ft t l

Trace the insertion pattern onto the dress front patt rn, aligning the

Begin with a garment pattern that features large, open areas. Draw

insertion upper edge with the bust apex. Pivot the I wer points of the

your insertion shape on pattern paper, and add match points around

vertical darts toward the center front, so that the da fold lines lie

its edge if needed (smaller insertions may not need match points).

.c:::����g. �1� ��_ it� �,:;�8�O <J)ci. � '"cDci�00 if]£0 =0E

and then deleting darts. Here's an example.

exactly on top of the sides of the trapezoid. The ou er dart legs represent the seamline for the garment piece; the i mer legs

�m

In these demonstration photos, the author uses a partial pattern for

represent the seamline for the insertion piece. You

easy visibility; when working with an actual garment, always use a

these lines to create a smoother transition; once s wn and on the

full pattern and a single-layer layout.

body, the insertion seams will give the illusion of being straight.

ay gently soften

Transfer motifs to the

Refine the pattern lines.

g a rment pattern.

Remove the i nsertion pattern, and

Lay out the background fabric, right side up, over a large sheet

Position the insertion pattern

refine the design l ines by tracing

of white dressmaker's carbon (available from www.greenberg­

Trace patterns and motifs onto the fabrics.

(here with a thick outline)

over them, using a French curve

h am mer.com). Secure the pattern to the fabric with pins or weights,

over the garment pattern,

as a g uide.

and trace the motif seamlines, match points, and cutting l ines with

hold or pin it in place, and

the tracing wheel. Repeat with the insertion fabric, aligning the

trace its seamline and match

pattern and fabric grainlines precisely as for the background.

points with a tracing wheel and dressmaker's carbon,

Thread-trace all of the markings .

marking the grainline if

Remove the paper patterns and turn the fabric wrong

necessary for reference.

side up. Cut out the garment pieces, but don't cut the insertion shapes out of the background pieces. Cut out

� '" c

the insertion pieces, leaving a wide margin outside the

C 0o

thread, thread-trace the motif stitching lines and m atch

seam allowances to prevent distortion. With fine silk points on both the garment panel and the insertions.


i-----------------,

��STE� �L��SJ

and some basic hand-sewing,

out as an overlay applied to the

mize bulk and retain the fabrics'

but it's otherwise almost suspi­

right side of the background

flexibility) complete the process,

ciously sensible. If you under­

and stitched temporarily in

and yield a supple insertion

stand applique, then you'll have

place by hand. Once the inser­

with smooth, flat seams.

no trouble understanding cou­

tion is anchored, you cut away

ture insertions.

the base fabric from behind it,

Match fabric characteristics

and sew the seam that j oins

for perfect results

Hand- and machi ne­

the insertion to the garment

A couture insertion can be cre­

sewing work together

by machine. Careful clipping,

ated in straight grain or in bias

Although a couture insertion

pressing, and finishing of the

clothes and can take on any

ends up replacing a portion of

seam allowances (use a hand­

shape you desire. It can be com­

the background fabric, it starts

worked overcast stitch to mini-

pletely surrounded by another

H a n d - t h e n m a ch i n e - sew fo r s m ooth i n s e rt i o n sea m s Sewi n g the i nsertion into the garment section i s a m ultistep process. Pin the i nsertions to the fabric.

Pin the insertion onto the right side of the garment section,

,,

\(

turning under the seam allowances as you go.

/,

Hand -stitch the

Slash and trim the garment fabric.

i nsertion i n place.

From the wrong side, slash the garment fabric

By hand, slip-baste the insertion onto the garment, using

behind the insertion. Tri m away the fabric to

very small stitches and a second color of silk thread. Take

leave a seam allowance of % to 1 inch, and

care not to shift the fabric as you sew. The stitches should

carefully snip i nto any corners to release the

be all but invisible when the insertion is fully attached in

folded insertion seam allowances.

this step. Press the insertion flat. Machi ne-sew the

Coutu riers a re taug ht, not born The author (front row, in teal) learned the couture insertion technique at Maison Sapho School of Dressmaking and

With the insertion against the feed dogs,

the right), the owner of and instructor at the school, taught

stitch the insertion to

sewing techniques, and insisted that having these in

the garment, sewing

sample books would almost guarantee her students jobs

exactly on the thread-tracing lines. At corners, unfold the

in designer workrooms. Techniques like couture insertions

turned-under seam allowances and pivot at the exact

aren't usually taught at fashion design schools because the added hand-sewing they require makes them impractical for the mass production of industry sewing. However, this insertion technique continues to be used in haute couture.

TH READS

the garment.

Design in New York City. Miss Alice (front row, second from a full array of specialized draping and couture hand­

50

i nsertion into

corner. On any long bias seams, stretch the fabric slightly to match the expected easing of the fabric after the bias hangs out. Pull the thread ends to one side and tie them off; remove all silk th read tracing and hand stitching.


fabric, like an island, or open

ing the patterns onto the fabric,

tion, you must be sure that the

aligned to that of the back­

to the edge of the pattern piece

or simply leave a margin (on in­

ground fabric.

on one or more sides, like a

sertions I prefer a width of

3,4 to

characteristics of the insertion fabric and background fabric

If you're interested in trying your hand at couture sewing,

peninsula. The most difficult

1

inch) around each insertion

match, even if they are not the

version of the insertion is a com­

section. Avoid placing insertions

exact same type of fabric. In par­

this is a wonderful technique to

plex shape with corners and

much closer together than

inch

ticular, they must have similar

experiment with. It offers end­

curves set into a bias garment.

or so; the background fabric­

easing behaviors, or the seams

less design options, and will

1

As you plan your design, take

especially if it's cut on the bias­

can pucker, either immediately

exercise your hand- and ma­

note of any seam allowances

can lose stability if the insertions

or eventually. Further, it's es­

chine-sewing skills.

you'll need to add, on both the

are spaced too tightly.

sential that, when you arrange

background and insertion fab­

When selecting fabric for a

the pieces, the straight grain

Pamela Ptak owns a custom design

rics. Either mark them when trac-

garment with a couture inser-

of the insertion be preCisely

atelier near Philadelphia.

res s for a b e a utifu l f i n i s h

eli

These final touches yield a s mooth, flat insertion.

�;;-'$:�'..c\ - � (.-.' - -. ..� .- . �. ., '

Press and trim the seam al lowances.

Hand-finish the seam al lowances.

On the wrong side of the garment, press the seam allowances open.

Finish all raw edges with tiny hand

If the motif i ncludes points or corners, clip-notch into the inner seam

overcasting. Where the seam allowances

allowance about

%

inch from the point; press the seam allowances as

have been pressed together at corners,

shown. This will ensure that the points and

overcast them together as well. Then press

corners lie flat. Trim the seam allowances to

the insertion from the garment's right side,

%

using a press cloth.

to % inch, and clip any curves.

Try i t o u t ! A few artf u l ly placed i nsertions tu rn a basic l i n e n ca miso l e i nto a couture top-without d isrupting the flow of the l i g htweight fabric.

june/july

2004

51


Variati o ns o n a C lassic

h i rt Dress

A lways appro priate, yet sometimes d u l l , t h i s s u m m e rt i m e staple offers m o re than the expected safari and beach looks by the Threads editors

II II II II II II II II II II II II II II I

Iml! lmll l1!

" OI1119iH2.'1 ORf.�, nvoo: . ...... ........ ABC: Semi-fitted, sernf-ajuSlt, sttmI-"IuSlado.

322* 2

\ ��----��--���

erennially as fresh and

fashion show, former art director

appealing as daylilies and

Karen Meyer has a passion for retro

hydrangeas, the shirt dress

fashion, and associate art director

is always in style. But it's

Linda Boston has a closet full of

such a classic it warrants a

artfully detailed outfits.

bit of jazzing up to avoid cliche status. Threads editors loved

Imagination spa rks

this Burda interpretation because

many ideas

the princess seams give a gentle

Each deSigner gave the editors

fit-and-flare silhouette and provide

a pile of sketches shOwing stylish

a good starting place for some

twists on this pattern. We selected

design innovation too.

one design from each, and then

Three deSigners, three styles

and online to find the perfect fabrics.

shopped locally, in New York City, We turned to our graphic design

Once again we turned to Profes­

team and one regular author for

sional Association of Custom Clothiers (PACC) mem-

ideas for this dress because each has an appropriately distinctive sense of style. Contributing editor Mary Ray is loved for the understated sophistication she often brings to our pages and to the Bernina

52

TH READS

FABRICATIONS: Change the fabric, change or add trim, lengthen, shorten, fold the edges, but don't change any fitting seams.

ber Norma Bucko for expert sewing and

professional

tips to gUide anyone who wishes to emulate our ideas. Of course, we encourage you to develop your own restyling preferences.

... .a::.,. f � NTHEEW....Q: ...SCMSUI.__ �uuru _ .. _ .-n ... ...

.

Ideas for B u rd a 3222 Style details

Fabrics

• Roll up the sleeves • Lower the waistline a n d

• Charmeuse for party chic • Sheer prints for retro

blouse with a belt

• O m it the collar • Change the neckline shape • Add trim to the princess seam s

• Use frog closures • Cinch the back waistli n e with a drawstring

• Reshape or reposition the pockets

• M a ke it sleeveless • Shorten to jacket length

sophi stication

• Ethnic prints for fun • Silk noil for soft tailori n g • Rayon broadcloth or crepe for cool comfort

• Stripes for a crisp effect


Mary Ray sees

:'�!�A L E L E GA N CE

Aqua s ilk d amas k, ver y Ii gh twe . lg ht. Co v b uttons . ered Fus ible kn ·t In . te rfacin g. Style ch anges : O mit th e c ol/a r; cut Om it the off th e la slee ves, pel. raise the arm h o/es Insert ruf in ch. fle s in th e front Pri.n cess sea m s.

I

1

Se/Habric ruffle an d cove re d button s ad d a d res sy to u ch

Sle e vel es s ' cO lIarl es s lin es s e t o ff th e ru ffle trim

Sewi ng t i ps • Create

a V-neck along the

lapel roll line, leaving %-inch seam allowance .

• Raise the armhole by 1 bias binding 1

%

inch. Cut

inches wide;

press it in half lengthwise. Sew the binding to the armhole using %-inch seam allowance; hand­ sew the folded edge to the dress.

• Serge the pieces individually to preclude raveling .

• Utilize the reverse of the damask fabric for the ruffle and buttons .

• Ruffle

is 1 -inch wide finished; cut

it 3'1. inches wide on the straight grain, twice the length of each princess seam. Fold it in half lengthwise and press, then sew one end right sides together and turn right side out for the bottom edge. Gather the ruffle; d istribute the fullness evenly along the princess seam between the hemline and the s h oulder.

• Press princess seam allowance toward the center front; do not press the ruffle o r it will be flattened.

-Norma B ucko, PACC member

june/july

2004

53


r1_ ONE FABRICATIONS PATTERNITHREE LOOKS -II ---- - - --- - -----

Sewi n g t i ps • Cut the sleeves with a 6-inch hem allowance. Press under 'h inch, stitch close to the fold. Turn under 3'h inches for the hem, stitch

on the previous stitching line. Then fold up 2 inches for the cuff and press. Tack at the underarm and the middle of the sleeve.

• Triple-stitch

the seam s for

d i screet stre n gth: first o n t h e seam line, then

l1.

inch

away, then zigzag less than

l1.

Kare n M eye r goes for a

S AS SY R ET R O E F F E CT Fabrication

e with a bri ght littl White g eorgette ced t, interfa tos sed flora l prin a n z a, fasten e d org ll she with e g g button s. Blu e with s m all b l a ck the slip . cha r m eus e for Cuff the sleeves Style changes:

i nch from the second

line of stitching. Trim the allowance close to the zigzag.

• Eliminate the back neck facing; turn the back neck seam a llowance into the collar.

u p. Belt a n d by rollin g the m t. Ad d a b l o u se t h e wais accent the col orfu l slip to it sho rter sheer fabr ic; cut dresS. d tha n the b l o use

Purcha sed belt cre ates blo use d bod ice

• Press u n d e r the h e m a llowance o n the h e m l i ne. Then turn u nder the cut edge

Yo

inch

and press; stitch the hem by machine.

-N. B. Blu e slip brin gs out colo r of print

54

TH R E A D S


Linda Boston uses color and pattern for

Sewi ng t i ps • Be

DRAMATIC FLAIR

sure to choose

fabrics of compatible weight and hand .

• Cut the fabric for the tabs 1 -inch wide on the straight grain; press in

Fabrication

Red silk noil; Japanese

half lengthwise; then

yukata print (www.kasuridye

fold each raw edge to

works.com); wooden toggle

the center and press.

buttons; fusible interfacing;

Topstitch the open

snaps at the center front.

edge closed.

Style changes: Cut the left

• Mark the button

front panel from a vibrant

placement along

print. Add asymmetrical tab

the princess seam.

and button closures.

Overlap the d ress fronts, aligning on the center front line; the length to cut each tab is twice the distance from the front seamline to the princess

Self-fabric tabs provide a visual bridge

seamline plus 1 Print panel creates sophisticated contrast

inches

for seam allowances.

• Cut each tab to its needed length; fold in half crosswise; slipstitch its long edges together, leaving an opening at the fold just large enough for the button. Insert the tabs in the front seam when attaching the facing .

• To prevent gaping, sew a snap at each tab end on the center front. Also sew a snap at the center front collar roll line.

• Topstitching

is nearly

invisible on silk noil; use it as you wish.

-N. B.

june/july

2004

55


It' s Easy to Make a

Mult isize Pattern Larger or Smal ler

th an Its Pri nted Ran g e

N eed a patte rn a s ize b i g g er o r

,.....

smal l e r than y o u can b uy ?

��� o n the tiss u e g u id e you � � � , "'�� to the size you n eed . I I"�"'-�'" ��":� �

Let the m u ltisize o ut l i nes

18

8 2 8 4 10 . 12 . 14. 16 . 18

,�':::

by Kath ryn B re n n e

Including multiple sizes on a single pattern sheet is becoming the norm,

and it makes grading up or down to a new size a

-

no-brain er.

-

--44--

v

56

T H R EADS


Deta i ls that g row

... a n d those t h a t d o n 't

Pattern details that usually change with grading:

he garment-industry term [or the process o[ converting one pattern size to another is "grad­

Collar length

ing," and it's traditionally been considered beyond the reach of untrained home sewers,

Facing length

requiring elaborate tools, extensive charts and tables, or expensive software. But with the proliferation of multisized patterns, it's become a breeze to accurately add more sizes to those that come in the package, so long as the pattern you want to resize in­ cludes multiple sizes on a single sheet, like the examples shown overlapped on p. 56. Resizing, or grading, isn't the same as pattern alteration-the process of cus­

Button spacing

You may need to lengthen a waist-zipper

rr-u-.r-I..:::::y::;.���,---Belt length

opening as the hips increase in size.

tomizing a pattern to your unique measurements-and doesn't eliminate the need for it. But it will give you a pattern in the best size for any further altering. The most obvious application for the resizing process I'll

Pattern details that typically don't change with grading:

demonstrate is to increase or decrease a multisize pat­ tern beyond the availabl e sizes, but the process can also be useful if you've bought a pattern in the wrong size,

Collar depth

or are one size on top and another on the bottom but can't find both sizes in a single multisized pattern.

Facing width

'*----"'4--

Graded patterns grow in fixed increments . . . A close look at most multisized patterns reveals that each

Button size

You may want to

included size gets larger by the same amount as it

rescale pockets

increases horizontally from an unchanging center front

and/or flaps if

or center back. If the pattern also increases vertically

grading beyond

(pants and skirts don't, as a rule), each vertical increase

the minimum or

Dart width

b.

.+++-lf---��-\---

Belt width

Pockets

maximum size.

J0.

Hem depth

1i�� •-- "Nu .�Q-o:::0 �", 0] Ul0;8 .�g>00 00'" -0.

�0� "�Qi �sE�gc -EtO��o.��. '"ci. I0 00 �"'o.ci -0.C­�m� oc i:0 150 0m �d"� �0�

is also a fixed, repeated amount, as you can see in the photo at left. In a nutshell, my method for grading up or down is simply to repeat the increment of change at each

1

seamline in the direction want to go, until I've shifted every seam line and all reference points (such as notch­

o.�

es and dots) that were shifted in the original pattern. (See "Details that grow. . . and those that don't" above for a list

0. 0 .�

of pattern elements that do and don't change when the pattern is graded.) As you'll see in the photos on pp. 58-59, any multisized pattern will show you exactly where to shift its outline, and by how much: You simply need to draw straight

<0 •

lines across its cutting lines and through each set of key reference points, measure the increment of change be­

�•

The difference between the sizes is consistent on each m u ltisized pattern

tween the corresponding lines or points on each drawn

piece, but can be different from one size range to another.

line, and then, moving out to increase the size or in to

june/july

2004

57


decrease it, mark that increment on your drawn line. You then connect the marks to draw a new cutting outline, and draw notches and dots as appropriate on your lines. If your pattern includes elements that are graded in­ to separate pattern pieces for each size, instead of being

Next, locate every graded set

marked on a single piece, like the buttonhole place­

of key reference points (cor­

want to grade by more than

ment guide in the inset photo below, locate and line up

ners, dart ends and points,

one s i ze.

d i rections, or further if you

a fixed reference point on the graded pieces (usually a

notches, and dots), and, using

center front, center back, or waistline), and draw parallel

a ruler as a guide, draw a l i ne

Also draw l i nes across every

through each set. You' l l f i n d

multiple out l i n e on each pat­

lines through the points of difference on all pieces, to re­ veal the increment between sizes. Use this amount to in­ crease or decrease the detail as needed, as shown.

. . . but not all fixed i n crements are the same

that you c a n draw a s i ngle

tern piece. Draw just o n ce

straight l i ne through the tips

or twice across straight and

1

of every set of poi nts, from the

paral lel out l i nes, but draw

smallest to the largest s ize

reference l i nes every

marked on the tissue pattern .

2

to

in ches across tapering l i nes

The horizontal fixed increases between graded sizes

I f you en counter any points i n

and curves such as those at

are based on the difference in the bust or hip measure­

a graded set that s l ightly m i s s

the crotch, armhole, neck l i ne,

ment from one pattern size to the next. If this difference

Cut o u t the pattern, a lways following the outermost u i d e l i n e

fal l i ng in l i ne with the others,

or sleeve cap, as shown here.

either because of printing er­

You can draw these l i nes at

rors or grade changes, ignore

any angle as long as they

the irregularity, draw your line

are s traight.

through the points that do line up, and remark the irregular

Cut out the entire pattern you

1

4XL

point on it. All your l i nes

want to resize, trimm i n g along

should extend about

the outermost lines, a n d mak-

beyond the marked

i n g sure you don't trim away

inch

details in both

any parts of the smaller sizes that extend beyond the largest

MD " -

size's perimeter. Press the pattern with a warm iron to smooth it out, then tape the pattern pieces to larger pieces of white paper.

-

l­I­ :Jm

Details such as buttonhole spaCing

are often provided on a separate guide for each

,

\ ,

,

\\ I \ \\ \\

size. To further grade these, align and draw a line through a constant reference point (such as the waistline) and then draw parallel lines across the graded reference points.

\

\

,

\\ \ \\ L.,

Measure the distance

---J

between the lines to find

'I\-\'T', \ \. \

the grade increment.

----

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is, say, 1 inch per size, the pattern i s said to have a l-inch grade. On many patterns, especially those from the

Measure the

larger companies, the grade itself can change, so that

raded i n crement o n e a ch d rawn l i n e

between sizes 6 through 10 it's 1 inch (which means a

Next, on each of your drawn

If there's a grade change mak­

lines, measure the distance be­

ing the increments unequal

'l\-inch increment at each of the four side seamlines), but

tween the outlines or reference

along the gui delines on your

between sizes 1 2 through 2 2 , it's 2 inches, or a �-inch

10

(

1 2), ()

points printed on the pattern.

pattern common between a

increment at each side seamline. These same patterns

To increase your pattern size,

size

make a mark on your drawn

the increment s closest to the

often also apply a unique 1 �-inch grade between sizes

line at that same distance be­

edge you're grading, so that if

(

)

and

measure only

yond the outermost point print­

you're going up, you'll use the

ed on the tissue see below ,

larger grade, and the smaller

or to decrease the size, that

grade if you're going down.

10 and 12 only. Not all pattern companies use the same grades, or change them within a Single pattern, but whatever grade is in use will be evident in the pattern's size chart, like the one shown in the top photo on p. 60,

distance from the innermost

as well as in the spaces between the lines on the pattern

printed point. Be as accurate as

sheets, like those shown in the middle photo on p. 60.

possible, and work one size at

If you want to grade down from the smallest available

a time if you need to go up

size or up from the largest, these grade inconsistencies

or down several sizes.

con nect a l l

r n ew m a rks

To create the outline of your new pattern,

-.- ---- - ....... . -- - ---------- -....-... - -"-....... ....... ....... ....... ....

60).

curve to connect your markings see "Here's all you'll need" on p.

Check that

notches and internal dots match correctly

.

-

(

use a straight ruler, h i p curve, and French

on corresponding pattern pieces to be sure the pieces will go together properly, then

I

�-I-�r

cut out the pattern, and make a muslin si(m to test it.

g.3::::­:1 I � :I / / " � Ie� :I !'1Ci�SI'.I I/ / I/ I.' I /! // "i I/ I I1 / 1 I I II II I I I

june/july

2004

59


6 30� 23 32� 78 58

, SIZE/TAILLE

Bustst Wai

T. T.

Hip

de poi trine de taille T. de ha

8 31� 24 33� 80 61,�

10 32� 25 34� 83 64 ""

12 3426� 36 87 67 ,..

14 36 28 38 92 71 97

16 38 30 40 97 76 102

18 40 32 42 102 81 107

20 42 34 44 107 87 1 12

22 4437 46 1 12 94 1 17

All pattern companies provide a

0 18

size table

-

(above photo) that

.... - -a18- - - -

between the sizes. At left you

l- " <" _ ��

between sizes 8-10, 1 0-12, 1 2-14,

-

reveals the grade increments

- -

Resizing a multisized pattern is a simple process; it doesn't matter if your pattern has seam allowances or not, there's no need to cut the pattern apart, and you don't need special tools or fancy grading rulers. Here's a list of the basic tools required: Large sheets of paper (try banquet table paper purchased from a party supply company) Transparent, write-on tape (for securing patterns to the paper) Pencils (have several different colors on hand)

can see the different increments

� ��

and 14-18.

Here's a l l you ' l l n eed

Straight ruler (preferably a 2- by 1 8-inch gridded transparent ruler) Pattern-drafting curves (a hip curve and a French curve)

-

'\�. , " \,:,'"

As you grade, you'll be measuring lots of small i ncrements

-E)u <�10 '..) ,

and then repeating these exactly. A small ruler with a sliding marker (such a s a seam gauge), or even a simple compass, can simplify this task. But even if all you have is a basic ruler, you'll find grading a multisized pattern to be an easy process.

,

Sir. � ';Y/iJ)g Jey ' •

, "'6' ,,��/

' }Ill/, I '!fJ) 2! Bj> '1<1141<�4�"o '10 'g. ""

'

-

won't matter; you'll simply buy the pattern that's closest to the size you need, and repeat whatever grade it uses when resizing it. But you'll get slightly different results

'

.

when grading down from a size 12 pattern with a 2-inch grade, compared to grading up from a size 10 with a I-inch grade" Is this a problem?

1

/

don't think so, since

the differences will be small in any case, and will pri­ marily be horizontal (to the circumference)-and be­ cause pattern size is just a starting point for fine-tuning the fit anyway So, I'd suggest simply ignoring these in­ consistencies, now that you know what they are" Resize using whatever measure the available pattern offers, then either alter the pattern to fit as usual, or make a muslin sample, cutting the side seam allowances wider, and pin or baste the pieces together to refine the fit.

Kathryn Brenne writes, teaches, and sews in North Bay, ON, Canada"

60

T H R EADS

;t,

�i/

.:;­,:;"


Creati ng a Desig ner Knockoff You d o n't n eed to be a t ra i n ed patter n make r to d u p l icate a g arment yo u 've seen . Start with t h e cl osest pattern yo u can fi nd a n d adapt it. b y A n n a Mazur

hat do you do if you see or dream up a garment that you want to add to your closet, but then dis­ cover that a commercial pattern doesn't exist for that particular style? You can draft the pattern from scratch, but if you're like me (I don't claim to be a professional patternmaker, or

I

any type of patternmaker, really), that isn't an option. So do the next best thing: get as close as possible to the desired silhouette with a commercial pattern that you can use as a base, supplement it with ele­ ments borrowed from a few other patterns (don't forget to raid your stash of discontinued patterns), and then make small ad­ justments until you're satisfied with the results. This was my course of action when I spotted an amazing

When fashion (top left) inspires a knockoff (above), choose

Prada jacket last fall. Follow along as I analyze the jacket style;

a base pattern that's close to the original and then borrow deta ils

choose a base and supplementary patterns; drape, draft, and test

from one or two others (from left to right: Vogue 2390; Vogue 2689,

to create the style; and then flesh out and fine-tune the details.

discontinued; Vogue 2 1 62, discontinued).

june/july

2004

61


Ana lyze the style When you set out to create a pattern, first sketch the style you're trying to reproduce (in this case, the Prada jacket), and list (from top to bottom) the i m portant components and details. You needn't note lengths or widths because you'll use those that are most flattering to you. And don't be concerned with fitting seams or darts at this poi nt, unless they're a conspicuous style detail.

'\;I

-V -V

'J

I

Double-breasted jacket Stand-Up funnel neck (sepa rate collar not needed) Yoke that extends to form sleeve cap Chest welt

-V 8 large buttons

'VI

-V -V

It

TIP Doc:ument every step of the way: Mazur suggests you create a paper

Oversized button tab on sleeves Self belt Two slanted welt pockets at hip level

Start with com mercial

your base pattern (see bottom photo on

patterns that fit you r

p. 63). To make this step easy on yourself,

sewing level a n d body

double-check the pattern measurements

You can use my pattern tech­

and ease amounts (usually found on the

nique for any type of garment:

pattern envelopes) to decide which size to

jacket, skirt, pants, even elaborate

begin with.

trail when adapting patterns. Record ing

gowns and costumes. Just make sure that

the step· by-step process in a notebook

you choose patterns you're comfortable us­

Th i n k creatively and don't be afraid

and/or with a camera g ives freedom to

ing-to adapt them successfully, you need to

to experi ment

experiment and allows you to easily

understand every marked line and symbol

Besides starting with patterns that are a

backtrack a step or two if the

and how all the pieces fit together.

experiment doesn't pan out.

62

Bracelet-length sleeves

TH READS

good fit for your sewing abilities and body

Before you turn to adjusting your pat­

shape, there really aren't any hard-and-fast

terns, I recommend perfecting the fit of

rules to my pattern process. Basically, it


S e l ect a n d stu d y pote n t i a l p atte r n s To begin, study existing patterns and choose one as a base pattern. Mazur

knew that the detail most difficult to duplicate would be the yoke that extends to form the sleeve cap, and looked for a base pattern that got closest to it and provided the desired overal l silhouette and fit. She chose Vogue 2390, which has the sem ifitted silhouette of the Prada jacket; its all·in·one bodice and sleeve will be easy to transform into the extended yoke. Not sure what shape or width the funnel neck should be, she set aside another pattern with a similar shape, along with patterns to provide im portant details, such as the slanted welt pockets.

Next, work out any fit issues in the base pattern. Mazur ironed

all the pattern pieces to remove wrinkles, traced off a working copy of the base pattern, and drew in the seamlines. She made a muslin to check and fine·tune the overal l fit (if you adjust the fit after you work out style adjustments, you risk distorting your new style l ines). Because she knew the entire shoulder area of the base pattern would be replaced, Mazur ignored the collar and extended the center front to the base of the neck. She pinned out portions of the muslin

TI P

Trace working

copies of all patterns to safeguard the original.

Mazur says this simple step ensures that there are always clean versions of the original patterns to refer back to. If you make a complete mess of a pattern, just trace another copy and start fresh.

until pleased with the fit, and then transferred the changes to the pattern.

Compare pattern measurements and shapes.

To educate herself about fu nnel neck and shoulder shapes,

boils down to creative problem-solving, care­

Mazur taped a cape pattern

ful attention to details, a willingness to

down on a grid cutting mat,

experiment, and patience-you're bound to

aligned the working base

make some mistakes along the way. Just

pattern over it (making sure the

keep in mind that the process begins with an

grai nli nes were parallel), and

idea and a couple of patterns, and ends with a three-dimensional garment. What

then compared and noted the shapes and measurements of key areas. She found that

you do to get there is really up to you. That's

the shoulders of her base and cape patterns are so

the beauty, and the fun, of it.

similar she had no need to incorporate any of the cape shaping in the base pattern.

Anna Mazur writes Threads ' biannual pattern

continued

review and manages her own large pattern col­ lection in Avon, Conn.

june/july

2004

63


D r a p e , d r a ft , t e s t Create a muslin and mark the yoke seam. Using the adjusted

base pattern, Mazur made a muslin, placed it on her dress form (hang it on a hanger if you don't have a form), and then draped a ribbon around the bodice and sleeve cap to determine the position of the yoke seamline.

Determine the width of the funnel neck. Following her notes, the

author saw that on her reference pattern (Vogue 2689), the break point where the funnel neck meets the shoulder seam was 4% inches from the center front. When she pinned this point on her muslin, she realized that she wanted her funnel neck to be slightly wider, so she moved the pin out along the shoulder seam to 6% inches from the center front. She marked this point on the muslin, then transferred it, as well as the yoke seamline, to her working pattern.

Establish the height and angle of the neck! yoke. Mazur traced a copy of the front and

back yoke areas (in blue), and added seam allowances. From her notes she saw that on Vog ue 2689, the fun nel neck was 1ďż˝ inches high at the break point, and sat at a 50-degree angle to the shoulder. She l i ked the a ngle, but wanted a slightly taller fun nel neck, so she m arked

2 inches up from the break point, and used a protractor to create the angle. Not sure how h i g h the funnel neck should be at the center front, she put the muslin back on the dress form and decided on a l %-inch height from the base of the neck. She ma rked that point on her pattern, used a French curve to connect the poi nts, then made corresponding adjustments to the back yoke pattern.

TI P

64

Add extra grainlines and match

points. On all paper pattern pieces she creates

Test a muslin of the neck/yoke and tweak as necessary.

or experiments with, Mazur m arks additional

To test the effect of the neck/yoke, Mazur created another

grainli nes (along both the lengthwise and cross­

muslin (using the fitted base pattern below the yoke

grains) and extra match pOints. This a llows her to

seamline, and the new pattern above the seamline). The

i m mediately see how all adjustments influence

height of the fu nnel neck was perfect. The line created from

other areas of the pattern. She also tra nsfers all

the break point to the top of the fu n nel neck, however, was

grainli nes and match points to her muslins

too curved for her l i king, so she ripped out the stitches and

before cutting so she'll be able to see that the

let out the seam. She transferred the changes to the pattern,

fabric is hanging correctly.

then made another muslin to double-ch eck the shape.

TH READS


Create t h e f i n a l d et a i l s Decide on the sleeve shape and length. The

base pattern has the same bracelet·length sleeve Mazur wanted, so she didn't make any length adjustments. However, she decided to butt the front and back sleeve patterns together to create a one· piece sleeve (which gave a smooth line from the yoke to the sleeve hem). She sacrificed the bias grain of the back sleeve to cut the new pattern on the straight grain.

Plan the double·breasted proportions, and pOSition the welts and tabs. To fig ure out

the overlap amount, Mazur

• •

pinned a recta ngle of fabric (just large enoug h to judge from) to the center front of the muslin, and adjusted it until pleased with the effect. She pin ned on some buttons to determine the best size, placement, and spacing, and played with other fabric pieces to figure out the size and placement of the chest welt and sleeve tabs. She marked match points di rectly on

the muslin and fabric pieces, transferred the markings and front overlap to her final pattern, and then created a pattern for each deta il. For the slanted welt pockets, she used the pocket pieces from Vogue 2 1 62.

TIP

If you can see it, you Compare the lengths and

definitely can sew it.

shapes of all adjoining seamlines.

Mazur is thrilled with her

Mazur always makes time for this

Prada look·alike jacket and

important final step, and makes adjustments as necessary; she says seamlines that are off even as l ittle as

%

inch can adversely effect the

coord inating skirt. To showcase the neckli n e and other design details, and to enliven the skirt, she wound skinny ribbon onto her machine's

garment's fit and will look sloppy, no

bobbin , and sewed a simple

matter how carefully you sew and press.

diagonal grid on the fabric.


Mach I ne E m b roidery •

H and e m b roide ry by m achine by Richards Jarden

Thoughtful digit izing captures the look of handwork

Speed up heirloom embroidery by digitizing

i t for your embroidery machine. The hand­

worked example, above at left, takes longer to do, but offers higher-loft satin stitch and, of course, an i n d ividuality that can't be captured by machine.

and embroidery has al­

used in these examples can be

ture the visual effect of hand­

ways been a revered form

respectably simulated with ma­

worked satin, chain, and seed

of embellishment for cloth-

chine embroidery, if you're will­

stitch-all important elements of

ing, accessories, and soft fur­

ing to become familiar with and

traditional hand embroidery-by

nishings. The intricate and or­

use your digitizing software.

machine. While I work almost exclusively with monograms, my

nate designs that are so beloved,

The fundamentally different

though, are time-consuming and

mechanics of hand and machine

techniques can be used for any

require considerable skill to cre­

embroidery can present a chal­

design in which you desire a del­ icate, hand-worked effect.

ate. In my business of designing

lenge to the digitizer who's aim­

and digitizing monograms, I've

ing for an heirloom look. I'll

examined hundreds of pieces of

explain these differences in de­

Ha nds and machines

vintage embroidery and have

tail, and then demonstrate how

sew d ifferently

learned that the look of many

I work around them to digitize

It's not just the addition of a

of the stitches and techniques

stitches that successfully cap-

motor that distinguishes the cre-

Ch a i n stitch By hand (top left): The chain stitch is

66

T H R EA D S

look, it can't be directly copied by

frequently used in hand embroidery

machine. To create a chain-stitch

to create both fills and linear designs.

illusion, you can digitize a series of

It's made up of a series of thread

small, slightly overlapping triangles,

loops laid on the surface of the

using stitches of 3mm or longer.

fabric, and tacked down with either

These will look more angular than

small stitches or subsequent links of

the hand-worked original, but

the embroidered "chain:'

making two or more passes over

By machine (bottom left): Because

each stitch (as indicated by the

the chain stitch relies on loose,

lettered sequence shown at right),

freely sized loops of threads for its

you'll be able to soften the shape.


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june/july

2004

67


M a c h i n e E m b ro i d ery (continued) Sati

n stitch

Running-stitch underlay

U nderlay and zigzag stitches

Edge-walk stitches

Satin-stitch underlay

Running-stitch rows: Manually

Underlay and zigzag stitches:

Edge-walk stitches: Set this

Final layer of satin stitches:

digitize several approximately

Over the running-stitch rows, add

option for a distance of 2mm in

Cover the previous layers of

parallel rows of running stitches

a 1 O-percent density underlay,

from the edge of the finished

underlay with a column of

(with a stitch length of 3mm or

then a low-density zigzag

satin-stitch column, and use a

medium satin stitches (I used

longer) along the center of each

(approximately 20 percent

stitch length of 2.Smm or longer.

52 percent here), shown here

letter section or column. You may

works in my software).

slightly wider than the zigzag

also begin with a single pass of

underlay added earlier.

standard running-stitch underlay. By hand (left): A staple of

filled embroidery-especially monograms-satin stitch creates a raised surface with a smooth texture formed by a series of long, parallel, adjacent stitches.

ation of machine embroidery

wrong side, and back again.

from handwork. The type of nee­

This makes it possible for the

dle, number of threads, the way

thread to travel from one motif

can be padded to achieve a

in which a stitch is formed, and

to the next on the wrong side of

very high, rounded profile.

the movement of the fabric it­

the fabric, with the connecting

In hand embroidery, satin stitch

self make for a completely dif­

stitches thus concealed entirely

ferent mechanical process­

from view. At the same time, be­

you'll need to take these factors

cause this length of thread can

perfect, parallel satin stitches,

into account when planning a

move flexibly on either side

so take advantage of this when

digitized "hand-embroidered"

of the fabric, the hand embroi­

By machine (bottom left):

Embroidery machines do a wonderful job of sewing

designing your motifs. Because the machine's

design. When you're done digi­

derer can create stitches in which

thread tension is tighter than in handwork, though,

tizing, be sure to sew out sam­

loops, coils, or knots of thread

the stitches tend to be quite flat. To add relief, you'll

ples to verify that the scale and

are laid on the fabric surface.

need to focus on what happens underneath the

style of stitches is appropriate

satin-stitch layer.

for your project.

Multiple layers of underlay increase loft

The automatic and manual underlay stitches shown above, used in combination, will add loft to satin­ stitched areas. Another option, one which may not appeal to purists but will create an interesting high-loft replica of hand-worked satin stitch, is to use Puffy Foam, made by Sulky, in combination with a minimal underlay beneath a satin-stitch surface.

68

T H R EA D S

Mach i ne embroidery pulls and locks the thread

Hand embroidery weaves a nd scu l pts the thread

Embroidering by machine in­ volves not one, but two threads:

In hand embroidery, a Single

the upper thread is punched

length of thread (consisting of

through the hooped fabric from

one or more strands) is woven

the right side by the needle,

through the fabric, with the nee­

where the bobbin thread loops

dle passing freely and com­

through it to create a lock stitch.

pletely from the right side to the

While this process is speedy and


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69


M a c h i n e E m b r o i d e r y (continued) A

Seed stitch

Basic seed stitch "knot" or asterisk

G

By hand (left): The seed stitch is an attractive, often very

delicate fill stitch. Sewn by hand, it's a cluster of small, regular stitches, scattered over an area. The density of the fill can easily be varied, and the connecting threads between the stitches remain on the wrong side of the fabric. By machine (below): The connecting threads that are

c

L

created by a machine version of the seed stitch can't easily be trimmed (and doing so would likely cause the stitches to unravel), so it's best to plan for these stitches to be part the basic small asterisk, which stitches out to look like a knot. Establish rows of these knots with the knot placement slightly offset to blend the connecting

p

threads into the fill pattern.

Seed stitch knot row; repeat and overlap as needed to fill space

extremely consistent, it's also

To execute all of these stitches

may be incorporated into the

somewhat limited: each stitch

in the proper location and ori­

stitch pattern as part of the over­

Different formats,

the machine sews is the same

entation, the machine's em­

all design.

parallel functions:

shape-short and straight. It's

broidery unit must move the

Hoops, thread or

up to the artful digitizer to

hooped fabric to and fro under

The mach i ne-embroidery

floss, and needles

arrange these many stitches in­

the needle, which itself moves

advantage

are the basic

to shapes that simulate those of

up and down in a Single spot.

Although your embroidery ma­

requirements for

hand embroidery.

Each sequence of stitches is the

chine can't literally duplicate

embroidery-whether

result of a series of machine­

the way embroidery stitches are

it's done by hand

generated tugs and pulls, with

made by hand, it does have

or machine.

upper and bobbin thread ten­

the ability to make multiple,

sion regulated by the machine

identical copies of the same

as well.

design. It can stitch them out

The machine will also always

rapidly, with fine detail. With

make a visible connecting, or

artful digitizing, the appearance

jump, stitch between motifs or

of heirloom-quality handwork

sections of motifs as the upper

is within your reach.

thread travels across the right side of the fabric to each new

70

T H R EA D S

Expert digitizer Richards Jarden,

Y,

stitch location. These j ump

of Nyack, N.

stitches must be trimmed away

www.embroideryarts. com. and a

after the embroidery is com­

connoisseur of historical and con­

plete, or, in some cases, they

temporary monograms.

is the founder of


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71


Exploring Desig Threads Design Challenge VI I I

Sophisticated sportswear with an ethnic accent by Caro l S p i e r

f you're tired of basic black,

sportswear/soft business attire.

your attire without spoiling the

you're ready for the Challenge

Your newest line proves that

lines of the garments.

Threads presented to design-

patterned ethnic textiles can

ers Sandy Scrivano, Pamela

be both professional and inter­

make clothing that can be man­

Ptak, and Peggy Sagers last sum­

esting. You'll have a booth at

ufactured effiCiently and eco­

mer. Each qUickly said she was

the Boutique Show in New York

nomically. You will be provided

thrilled to be asked and eager

City, and know the best way

fabric and an allowance of $35

to create clothes to fulfill the

to sell your line is to wear repre­

for trim or buttons. You must

scenario-only to be chastened

sentative pieces. In the evening,

not spend more than this on

when she saw and handled

there will be a reception where

any visible element of your gar­

the fabrics. But what's a chal­

you hope to meet potential back­

ment. You may provide linings,

lenge if it doesn't bring out your

ers for your line. You feel some

cleverest thinking? When the

change to your attire

designers presented their solu­

is

tions at the Original Sewing

&

Quilt Expo in Minneapolis last

warranted,

but

there will not be time to return to your

November,

hotel

Threads con­

won't be able to

and

you

tributing edi­

carry spare cloth­

Susan

ing during the

presentation,

Allen and I

day or in the

enthusiastic

were

evening. Know­

audience members

and the audi­

(above) press

ence

sat in

clients encounter

Pamela to elaborate

rapt attention,

this situation, you

on the couture

then burst in­

decide it will be

training so evident

to applause.

tor

awed,

ing many of your

a smart business move to design

from a close look at

And Sandy joins

Our ch al lenge

can somehow trans­ form itself-vowing

her work (at right).

an ensemble that

Threads author

to the

Nancy Shriber

designers

that anything added

(top) to chat with

"You are the

or removed to effect

show·goers and

designer

this

celebrate sewing.

sophisticated

72

T H R EADS

of

change

must

be incorporated into

Don't forget, the object is to


O N L I N E EXTRA

To learn and see more about this Challenge, visit www.threadsmagazine.com.

For creating clothes that would suit the day-into-evening Challenge,

each designer was given 3 yards of organza paisley jacquard, 4 yards of cotton ikat, less than 2 yards each of a blue and a brown handwoven dotted silk satin (only 22 inches wide), 3 yards each of teal and peach voile, and

interfacing,

sewing. When we met the night before the pre­

thread, etc., from your

Please keep a j ournal of your

stash-l will assume you'd be

creative process. Have fun, call

sentation in Minneapo­

buying these materials in bulk

us anytime, and good luck."

lis, we were amazed by what they had created.

Three months for creative

hand in your factory.

problem-solvi n9

]

oS!I"-

yards cut from a silk saree.

and a request and good wishes

so you would have them on

� (/)'0. ()]� 0 "-� � "15 �� Ic0 . u;<:;0

1%

At the presentation, each designer talked

plus some small print

Threads

gave the deSigners about

about her approach,

• You must use some of each

three months to complete the

and the audience was

patterned fabric; the proportions

Challenge. Each approached the

encouraged to ask ques­

are up to you. You may use both

scenario in her own way: Sandy

tions. Sandy explained

plain cottons, or only one.

felt it was very realistic and

how she profiled her "customer"

On the show

• You may wash the fabrics, in

aimed for an ensemble that

in order to develop her design.

floor in

fact, you are encouraged to do

would work for real women and

Pamela talked about research-

Minneapolis:

so. You may not dye them.

be manufacturable in the real

ing traditionalJapanese attire as

Armed with

• The garment transformation

world. Pamela saw it as an op­

well as her admiration for con-

coffee and

must take place on the stage in

portunity to mix eastern and

temporary Japanese designers.

wearing their

view of the audience.

western aesthetics, and gave con­

Peggy shared her philosophy:

"daytime"

• You may use/adapt commer­

siderable attention to develop­

"patience, and if you think there

attire, Sandy

cial patterns or create your own.

ing a silhouette that reflected the

might be a better way, there

Scrivano and

spirit of the fabrics. Peggy, who

probably is-go look for it." Su-

Pamela Ptak

owns the Silhouette Patterns

san always asks the audience

(above) hang

company, admitted to creative

what they learn from the Chal­

out i n the

jitters, which she calmed by as­

lenge. Answers this year includ­

Threads

ed, "if you don't like the fabric,

before the presentation of the

booth

Boldly patterned ethnic

signing the task a specific place

fabrics are ready to make the

in her busy schedule and view­

cover it with organza" (Sandy's

Design Challenge. In the adjacent

cocktail circuit after passing

ing it as business as usual: "a

remedy for too-bright color);

booth, Jo Lee Tarbell, proprietor

through the skillful hands of

combination of challenges that

"ask your friends [or help" (Peg­

of My Cozy Cottage (above at

must all be resolved."

gy's solution to deSigners' block);

right), sells Taunton Press books

and "bigger looks more impor­

along with Kaffe Fassett fabrics,

designers and frequent

Threads

contributors Peggy Sagers,

Susan and I touched base with

Sandy Scrivano, and Pamela

the deSigners from time to time

tant" (Pamela'S rationale for an

sewing kits, and fabric prepared

Ptak. Call 800-699-6309 or visit

to see if they had questions-and

eccentric silhouette).

for ink-jet printing (

www.sewingexpo.com for

to listen, unresponsively, to

For a closer look at the clothes,

laments about the fabrics-but

and more words of wisdom from

we had no idea what they were

the designers, turn the page.

Original Sewing

&

Quilt Expo

2004 dates and cities.

www. mycozy

cottage. com).

june/july

2004

73


E x p l o r i n 9 D e s i 9 n (,"o,;",d) Sandy Scrivano Sandy could see

herselffaced with these exact circumstances

H e r s t a rti n g p o i n t :

" I asked questions about the role I was playing: 'Who am I , who is my cus­ tomer, why would she invest in my line, what are the design and man­ ufacturing considerations!'" What were your design decisions based o n ?

"My client is a 50-plus woman, with a lived-in but healthy body, who wants interesting, comfortable, but not bizarre clothing. She likes a narrow, but not close, silhouette to conform to current styles. I'll use simple lines to reduce production costs."

and approached the Challenge realistically.

What d i d you think when you opened the b o x ?

"Ekk-to be polite. Where is the black? And that ikat is hard to see in a business situation." What was the b i gg est constra int?

"The fabric-its hand, the colors, and the specific yardages." How'd you get around your problem with the colors ?

"1

thought the solid cottons and the handwoven silks conf1icted with the

other fabrics, but I needed them for side panels and piping, so I overlaid them with navy silk organza-the effect is elegant and harmonious." What m a kes y o u r reversible jacket so su ccessful ?

" I underlined the sheer paisley with ecru to keep the ikat from showing through. The piping at the

The ikat was the only fabric with enough

edges and the ruffle inserted at the neckline

yardage to make a suit, so Sandy overca me her

look classy and block the view of the opposite

feeling that it didn't belong i n the office and turned

side. I used covered snaps for the closures so they don't show."

it into this stri king wrap jacket and skirt. She added navy organza to camouflage other fabrics whose colors fought the ensemble in her eyes-you

What was h a rdest?

"Keeping the journal was ten times more work than the design and sewing." How did you feel w h e n you finished?

"My horoscope that day was 'You're becoming more powerful by the moment. AIl that thinking you've been doing is paying off.' Whew!" Sandy Scrivano is a frequent contributor to Threads. Reversibility takes a self-contained ensemble from day to evening. This paisley

jacket emerges when the ikat top is turned inside out (Sandy underlined the sheer with cream d u pioni to mask the zigzag pattern). And this skirt, made from "every inch" of the blue saree fragment, is the reverse of the ikat skirt. A modest navy silk sheath worn under the suit kept Sandy looking ladylike as she removed and reversed first the j acket, and then the skirt.

74

T H R EA D S

see it covering the jacket side panels, the piping, wrist and neckl ine ruffles, and ruffled corsage.


Pamela Ptak Pamela loved the

multicultural idea and was inspired to combine Japanese and western silhouettes.

Her startin g point:

"As soon as I got the call, I started sketching. envisi.oned black garments

1

wi.th accents of ethnic fabric." W h at happened to that i d e a ?

" T h e fabric arrived, a n d there was

Pamela's choice for a long,

no black."

fit-and-flare jacket. Loving the

colors, she underlined the sheer

What did you t h i n k when you opened

with peach voile. Pam cut the

the package of fabric?

wi.1I

collar with long tapered points

be fun . I liked the fabric and

and turned them under, crossed

colors. I immediately draped it on my

them, and snapped them together

dress form and developed the silhouette

to create the beautiful double­

"This

right away."

trum pet effect. The trousers are the hand-loomed blue silk satin. The rust

And what s h a p e did you choose?

silk satin bag-cum-Iaptop case Pam

"I like the play of triangles and cones in

carries by day opens to reveal the

traditional and modern Japanese atti.re.

"good i mpression" saree l i n i ng .

I'm thin, but not straight-up-and-down,

Padding h e r computer a r e the sash

so fit-and-fiare shapes work well on me."

and skirts of the evening outfit.

What m a d e you select a d ra matic profi le for your eve n i n g garment?

"Well, I figured I needed to call attention

to

myself in order to attract backers.

If your clothes make you take up more space, you become more important." Oesk-to-date c h a l l e n g e a n d J a p anese s i l h o u ette?

"My deSigns were on my laptop, and I wanted the computer carrying case to be impressive, so I made it from two of the silks. I fold­ ed my evening skirts and sash

into

the case to pad the

computer. For the evening, I left the laptop in my show booth. I slipped the skirts on, and then discreetly pulled off the pants and folded them into the case, which I con­ verted into a triangular backpack. The bow of the sash enhanced the effect." Pamela Plak is a custom clothier sp ecializing in couture. Eagerly seeking backers for her line, Pamela

removed the skirt "padding" from her briefcase and slipped first the ikat cone and then the sheer paisley "like a n apron" over her pants. "Command attention by taking up more space:' says Pamela; her backpack (the empty, folded, and tied laptop case) and the sash (looped as a "bow to the Japanese") give dimension and ensure that her evening outfit grabs the eye.

june/july

2004

75


E x p l o r i n g D e S I g n (continued) •

Where did this outfit come from? The

audience gasped when Peggy opened the inseam and outseam ankle zippers on her ecru trousers, and l ifted a nd

Peg gy Sagers Peggy viewed the

Challenge as a "million­ dollar experience," and met it with cleverly transforming garments

tucked each leg section into the waistband. She then undid the side

Her starting point:

"For manufacturing efficiency, I'd start with patterns in

zippers on her ikat briefcase, unfolded and turned it inside out to become a

my line (Silhouette Patterns) that I know well."

neat little wrap skirt made from the blue saree fragment. She u nbuttoned the

What was most c h a l l e n g i n g ?

"The creativity. I d o not feel like that is my strength, s o T was

neckband of her h a lter top, pulled it from

very afraid of the ideas-of where they would come from and

under the jacket, and folded a nd zipped it into a little evening bag.

whether I could come up with something decent." How did you fit this into your s c h e d u l e ?

"My mind kept wandering onto what I would do and then I repeatedly said 'no, you have other things to be thinking about right now, so don't go there until you see the fabric.'"

and lots of zippers. What did you think when you opened the b o x ?

"I panicked. Where i s the drapey fabric? I'm a draper, I can't work with this. What were they thinking of, asking us to combine all these prints?" What d i d you do about that?

"I decided it must have been an oversight on

Threads'

part­

I supplemented the fabric asso rtmeI1l with an ecru soft twill , which I used under the paisley and for the pants." H ow did you develop y o u r garment transformations?

"I had decided to do the halter-to-purse but I wanted more drama. I brainstormed with a group of ASG (American Sewing Guild) members. They suggested I turn the pants in­ to a skirt-somehow. My sons thought my first purse shape was lame and suggested the much better one I used, and they also shamed me out of carrying my leather briefcase­ from that, I came up with the fabric briefcase that unzipped and reversed to be a skirt." Any words of wisdom?

"Problems are just a great way to learn. Be patient with them. Give yourself time, then follow up with deadlines to keep yourself on track." Peggy Sagers is the oWller of Silhouette Patterns. Cool, collected, and ready to write orders,

Peggy "toned down" the Challenge fabrics with an ecru twill. The sheer paisley and the ikat used for the halter top ("no one will

76

TH READS

8

ever see the halter details") and briefcase

(/)" o

were more busy than business to her eye.

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80

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june/july

2004

87


Advertiser Index/Web Directory

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Advertiser

I

Web Address

No.

Page

#

Reader Service

Advertiser

Page

Web Address

No.

www.afabricoasis.com

p. 85

Cutting Corners

58

www.fabriccollections.com

p. 85

A Stitch in Time · Embroidery 29

www.carol·price.bigstep.com

Cy Rudnick's Fine Fabrics

1 20

www.sewing,org/cyrudnicks/

Able Labels of Sarasota

www.ablelabels.com

PP

85 27

Darr, Inc.

www.darrsewnotions.com

Daylight Co,

www.daylightcompany.com

PP PP

A fabric Oasis

84

114

Academic School for Interior Design

1 30

www.academicschool

34

www.aofdesign.com

Delectable M o untain Cloth

forinteriordesign.com

Academy of fashion Design Academy o f fine Sewing

&

Design

-+ �

___ _

Acme Country fabrics Amazing Designs

&

I

1 43

Amazon Drygoods American

1 45

Efird

American Sewing Center

_____

w.finesewing.com

www.acmecountryfabrics.com www.amazingdesigns.com

1 41

www.amazondrygoods.com

32

www.amefird.com

1 60

www.american-sewing.com

American Sewing Expo

www.americansewingexpo.com

American Sewing Guild

1 68

www.asg.org

Antiquefabriccom

www.antiquefabric.com

Apple Annie fabrics

3

www.appleanniefabrics.com

ArtChix Studio

1 23

www.artchixstudio.com

I

61

www.aurorasilk.com

1 46

wwwbjsfabricsquilts.com

Baby Lock

75

www.babylock.com

Baer Fabrics

111

www.baerfabrics.com

B1's Fabrics

&

Quilts

Barudan America, Inc Beacon Fabric

&

Notions

93

wwwbarudan.com

1 47

www.beaconfabric.com

The Bee Lee Company

68

Bernina

1 40

www.berninausa.com

Best Sewing

1 54

www.bestsew.com

Bo-Nash

12

www.bonash.com

23

www.brother.com

Burda World of Fashion

48

www.glpnews.com/crafts.html

Bu t ton Box QUilt Shop

38

www.buttonboxquiltshop.com

Buttons Etc

1 09

CNT Pattern Co.

1 74

Candlelight Valley Fabrics

1 27

Chinese-Fashion.com

Design

88

& 6

TH READS

1 48

www.embroiderthis.com

p, 86

Embroidery Arts

36

www.embroideryarts.com

p. 84

Embroidery Library

81

P PP PP

The Embroidery Studio

1 52

Eva Dress

1 02

83

T's Embroidery Supply

85

5

82

Fabric by Design

85 79

I ; ::"

Fabric,com

80

I

p, 7

www.5ts.com

p. 79

www.fabricbydesign.com

PP

p. 86

www.faretahiti.com www.finefabricstores.com

p. I5

www.cadenaamerica.com

P

www.fitsewwell.com

p, 84

Fishman's Fabrics, Inc

1

FitsewwelLcom

10

p, 23

7

www.folkwear.com

p, 86

www.french-nc.com

p, 84

1 25

www.gayfeatherfabrics.com

30

www.generallabel.com

1 06

www.grainline-gear.com

� --r-=

p, 84

P -----JJ'-

81 82

51

w.grannd,com

64

www.greatcopy.com

p, 81

63

www.greatcopy.com

p, 8 7

The Green Pepper, Inc.

42

www.thegreenpepper.com

p. 27

Haberman Fabrics

11

www.habermanfabrics.com

p. 85

Hamilton Books

78

www.erhbooks.com/fsm

p, 23

Hand Made Furniture

1 78

www.handmadecountrypine

&

Sew

---

furniture,com

Havel's, Inc.

57

Homespun Wide Fabrics

www.havels.com www.homespunfabrics.com

Hugo's Amazing Tape

25

www.getcreativeshow.com/

http.//www creeksldedeslgns.com

Husqvarna/Viking

49

www.husqvarnaviking.com

Islander Sewing Systems

1 69

www.islandersewing.com

Jacquard Products

1 80

www.jacquardproducts.com

amazingtape.htm

67

_____

Fine Fabric Stores

p , 77

IP

83

p. 18

www.fabric,com

www csnf.com

www.k-Iace.com

84

Fare Tahiti Fabrics

Folkwear

p. 86

p, 85

www.expressionsintextiles.com

www.fabricsandtrims,com

Great Copy Stretch

,

p, 82

www.evadress.com

www.fabulousfit.com

French Connections

84

www.theembrOiderystudio.com

Fabricsandtrims.com

82

p, 82

17

p. 91

Fabulous Fit Dress Forms

PP

86

I

3

=ww.emblibrary,com

www.fabricdotcom.com

p. 33

p, 84

136

Fabricdotcom

7

www.createforless.com

I

Expressions in Textiles

:-

67 67

p. 2 7

www.elegancefabrics.com

84

Needlework

Criswell Embroidery

Elegance Fabrics Embroider Thisl

PP PP

www, su sankhalje.com +__ _ _ _ _ _

www.electricquilt.com

p, 3

Great Copy Patterns

-+___

14

85

p. 85

p. 9

Grannd Garb companie

www.cottonplus.com

82

The Electric Quilt Company

p, 83

90

Designs

P

p, 31

71 83

p. 77

www.edgecraft.com

www.candlelightvalleyfabrics.com

37

1 32

www.earthguild.com

Grainline Gear

Cotton Plus

Festival

60

p, 83

www.contemporarycloth.com

Creekside Embroidery

Earth Guild Edgecraft Corp,

31

www.cntpattern.com

www.thecottonboll.com

&

p, 21

P PP PP

incubator, org/board.htm

General Label M fg,

112

Creative Sew

www.equilter.com

Gayfeather Fabrics

56

Create for Less

31

81

Contemporary Cloth

S_ g_ o_ e_ r_ T c_ S_ o_ h_ u_ Co_ h e e_ tu _ 1 _ _ · n= _ _ _ Wl _ .

E-Quilter

19

21

www.babylock.com

http://www.pdxfashion

Dolly Mc Fadden

p, 85

The Cotton Boll

Cottons, Etc.

____

82

p 77

www.designtofit.com

89

� I

www.cjpatterns.com

8

n_ Digitape Desig_ s _"'

86

p. 12-13

www.chinese-fashion.com

Christine Jonson Patterns

44

www.digitapedesigns.com

p. 81

Brother

� 72

p. 84

www.altaslevy.com

Aurora Silk

Designer's Gallery

IP

Atlas Levy Sewing Machine, Co.

Design to Fit Patterns, nc.

p, 83

� P

I

1

p, 86

www.delectablemountain.com

#

p, 2 7

p. 83

P P PP

71

p, 82

83

p. 2 79 3


Advertiser Index/Web Directory

For more information from advertisers, use reader service card inside back cover. For quick access to their websites, go to the I ndex to Advertisers at www.threadsmagazine.com

�:���� No.

I 159

Advertiser

Judith M Design Kandi Corp. Karol's Closet Katie's Vintage Kimono Keepsake Quilting Supplies Ken's Sewing Center L.J Designs La Fred Leesburg Looms

&

Supply

Les Fabriques Lodi Down

&

Feather

Loes Hinse Design Lumenlighl.com Lycra House, Inc. Make It Yourself With Wool Contest Malden Mills Manhallan Fabrics Manhallan Wardrobe Supply Manelli Enterprises Martha's Sewing Market Mary's Productions Material Things MaterialPleasure.com Mill End Store Monterey Mills My Twin Dress Forms

---

Name Maker, Inc. Nancy's Notions, Ltd. Oriental Silk Company Ouobre Design PAC.C. Paron Fabrics Pattern Studio Petite Plus Pallerns Pfaff Pintucks

&

Pinafores

Rain City Publishing The Rainshed Reliable Steamer Company Retro Fit Pallerns Robison-Anton Textile Co. Royalwood, Ltd. Saddlewood Textiles, Inc. Sadia's Designs Sail rite Kits Sawyer Brook Fabrics Seattle Fabrics Sew Images Sew N Vac Superstore Sew Vac Direct

394574 97158 26167 126 104101 501 151 40173162 131166 5217070 5576 14227113 59137 4613172 107 942 43177 73129134 85181 8621117 133

I

Web Address

#

103157 I Reader Service

Advertiser

Sewing Machine Outlet

p 82

Sewinginusa.com

www.karolscloset.com

p. 86

Sewingmachines.com

www.katiesvintagekimono.com

p 83

SewingPatterns.com

www.keepsakequilting.com

p. 31

SewkeysE Retreat

www.kenssewingcenter.com

p 21

Sew-Quilt Embroidery

www.ljdesignsonline.com

p 21

www.lafred.com

p. 86

www.leelooms.com

8399 28108 9220179 22128 115 156562 336618 969 164 4154 Threads 9544194 79149 100 118 --t-122 & 116 6716319 4791

Page

www.sewingmachineoutlet.com

p 87

Festival

www.sewinginusa.com

p. 7 7

www,sewingmachines.com

p 85

www.sewingpatterns.com

p. 31

P

p 69

www.pcmexpo.com www.shapelysuz.com

p. 86

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Sievers School of Fiber Arts

www.sieversschool.com

p. 82

www.lesfabriques.com

p 86

The Silk Connection

www.silkconnection.com

p. 21

www.lodidownandfeather.com

p 85

Silk River Studios

www.loeshinsedesign.com

p. 2 7

Singer

www.singerco.com

p. 29

www.lumenlight.com

p. 85

Smith, Ltd.

www.lycrahouse.com

p. 85

Smocking Arts Guild of

www.sheepusa.org

p. 79

www.maldenmillsstore.com

p. 84

www.manhattanfabrics.com http://wardrobesupplies.com

1-'pp

-

84 83

www.martelli-enterprises.com

p. 87

www.marthapullen.com

p. 23

P

83

p. 83

www.smocking.org

p 17

www.e-sewing.com

p. 83

Spider's Web

www.spiderswebonline.com

p. 82

Sl. Theresa Textile Trove

www.sttheresatextile.com

p. 83

Sterling Name Tape Company

www.sterlingnametape.com

p 84

Stewart Fabrics

www.stewartfabrics.com

p 86

Sue's Sparklers

www.suessparklers.com

p 86

www.supersilk.com

Solo Slide Fasteners

p. 85

Super Silk

p. 82

Textile Fabric Store

www.materialpleasure.com

p. 21

Textile Studio Patterns

www.textilestudiopatterns.com

www.millendstore.com

p. 87

Textile Workshop

www.thetextileworkshop.com

p. 83

p. 31

Thai Silks

www.thaisilks.com

p. 9

p. 84

ThingsJapanese

www.silkthings.com

p. 71

p 21

Threadpro

www.threadpro.com

p 69

Threads at Gingerbread Hill

www.marymulari.com

www.mytwindressforms.com

--

--

www.namemaker.com www.nancysnotions.com www.orientalsilk.com

I

p. 2 7

Books

p. 82 p. 83 p. 84

p 82

P

83

www.taunton.com

p. 81 p 84

p 69

Tasca Company

www.toscacompany.com

p 82

Treadleart

www.treadleart.com

p 86

p. 82

Trimfabric.com

www.trimfabric.com

p 86

www.patternstudio.com

p 85

Ultra Style Designs

www.ultrastyledesigns.com

p. 82

www.petitepluspatterns.com

p. 84

Unilever/Bestfoods

www.ritdye.com

p 15

www.pfaffusa.com

p 25

Universal Presser Foot Lifter

www.presserfootlifter.com

p. 82

www.pintucksandpinafores.com

p. 87

Vestis Books

www.vestisbooks.com

p 27

www.raincitypublishing.com

p 3

Vintage Fashion

www.reliablesteamer.com

p 7

www.retrofitpattern.com

p. 9

Wild Ginger Software, Inc.

www.wildginger.com

p 15 p 85

www.ottobredesign.com www.paccprofessionals.org www.paronfabrics.com

p. 71

-

Textile

Show

www.vintagefashionand p. 86

textileshow.com

www.robison-anton.com

p 67

You Can Make It, lnc.

www.youcanmakeit.com

www.royalwoodltd.com

p. 85

Your Personal Fit

www.yourpersonalfit.com!

www.saddlewoodtextiles.com

p. 82

Zipper Source

www.zippersource.com

p. 85

Zundt Design

www.zundtdesign.com

p. 9

www.sadiasews.com

p 84

www.sailrite.com

p. 7

www.sawyerbrook.com

p. 31

www.seattlefabrics.com

p. 31

www.sewimages.com

p. 81

www.4sewnvac.com

p 17

www.sewvacdirect.com

p. 27

#

86

Shapely Suz

America

I

Web Address

No.

p. 84

www.judithm.com www.l-orna.com

I

Page

threads.htm

p. 87

june/july

2004

89


Closu res A

sk i ll to b e p ro u d of and p ass along

by A n a Marciel

And thus, I became an addict

TH READS

blouse and tried it on, I couldn't

sewing snob-Vogue patterns

wait to put the original back

were the only ones worthy of

together. We went out a couple

came

my time. And then there was

of weeks later, and my husband

from Spain, where it was

the Lana Lobell catalog. To

was very happy I was wearing

the norm for girls to learn

order and wear one o f those

the blouse he gave me, while I was content that such an ex­

y

grandmothers

to sew as they learned their

dresses became the utmost in

ABCs. When they moved to

fashion snobbery. I zealously

pensive blouse could be copied

Puerto Rico with their hus­

copied those creations. We got

in as many fabrics and colors

bands, they brought with them

the best remnants of chiffon,

as I dreamed of. It became my

the belief that well-to-do women

lace, and taffeta from a fabric

classic blouse pattern, and I

bought their clothes off the

store, so I never felt out of place

became addicted to buying

rack, while only the very poor

when I went to school dances.

something and copying it. And

made their own clothes.

But I never mentioned that I had

still no one outside our home knew I did my sewing.

My mother sent me to a pri­

sewn what I was wearing. My

vate school that had a strange

grandmother passed away when

Then one day I got involved

system-there was a paying sec­

I was 1 2 , taking the secret that

in a literacy group to teach

tion and a nonpaying section.

she did most of her sewing with

teenagers who had fallen through

Although poor, my mother de­

her to the grave.

the cracks of the school system­

cided I must go to the paying

The years passed. I went

and it dawned on me-I could

section, so she worked in a

through college, worked in sales

teach these mostly poor girls,

sweatshop factory sewing men's

for a medical supply company,

dressed in bad-fitting clothes,

work clothes. Needless to say,

met a wonderful American, and

how to sew-my way. I bought

while our home was in a

moved to the States with him.

each of them a second-hand out­

blue-collar neighbor­

Then he suddenly asked me to

fit, and then to their horror,

hood, most of the

marry him. There was no time

asked them to loosen the stitches.

school kids were

for a wedding gown, but since I

After making paper patterns we

from profession-

was working on a simple white

resewed the outfits, and I invited

al families and

silk dress at the time, all I had

them to the store to choose nice

lived in beauti­

to do was buy a yard of twice­

fabric for the copied patterns.

ful suburban

embroidered French Alen<;on

The project was a success, and

or manor-like

lace for the sleeves, and it be­

within a couple of months, sev­

homes.

came my wedding dress.

eral ladies bought them three ba­

One

90

After I finished my copied

to Vogue patterns. I became a

day

For one birthday, my husband

sic sewing machines. The girls

bluntly told my

gave me a beautiful blouse from

in turn taught their sisters and

mother that it was

a top boutique. When I passed

mothers how to sew.

sheer lunacy to

the store and saw the man­

From time to time I think

send me to a school

nequin wearing an exact replica,

about my grandmothers who

where I had nothing in

and its $400 price tag, I almost

are now gone. They never en­

common with the other girls,

got sick. I rushed home to copy

j oyed wearing things they had

but she silenced me with her

the blouse before I wore it. I let

made with open pride or took

tears, begging me to rise to

all the stitching loose on the

pleasure in teaching others their

the occasion, and take the chal­

sides and separated the sleeves,

skill. I definitely feel happy I

lenge. The curriculum was no

but left the front closure with

came out of the closet with my

problem for me, but the social

the buttons and buttonholes

sewing ability.

activities were-mainly because

intact; I made a perfect pattern

of the clothing.

from brown wrapping paper.

Ana Marcie/ lives in Ga.


�r$J

Rose knows value. That's why Sh

shops at the Embroidery Library.

15,000 designs priced from S 1 to S 7.99, exciting sales, value packs,

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THOUSANDS Of OUT-Of·THE·ORDINARY STOCK EMBROIDERY DESIGNS READER SERVICE NO. 81


satin stitch, ra ised satin-stitch floral .and fol iage motifs, a n� '" • '!!teed-stitch fill. To teatn how to repl i,oate this refi ned .and , (fetai led effe� with mach i ne

Threads magazine 113 july 2004  
Threads magazine 113 july 2004  
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