Page 1

FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO SEW

Kick PI

12 finishing tips from the pros armholes: getting the right fit waistbands that work 2005 NUMBER $8.99

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VIKING Touch the Interactive Designer Screen on the new Husqvarna Viking Designer SE and forever change your perception of sewing and embroidery. With higher resolution, the user-friendly Interactive Designer Screen with 3D view is big and colorful, featuring over

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YSM Sewing Inc. Husqvarna and Viking are registered trademarks. All rights reserved.

READER SERVICE

NO. 1 45


lelHusqvarna

VIKING


te)Husqvarna

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READER SERVICE NO. 1 45

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HOOKS AND EYES

F E B R U A RY / M A RCH 2 0 0 5

u p front 8 Contributors 10 Letters 16 Tips Color combinations, sew beaded fringe, noslide shoulder straps, permanent pattern copies, shopping tips, track fitting order, make your own string

28

NUM B E R 1 1 7

22 Exploring Design

32

For Waistbands, It's What's Inside That Counts With the right stabilizer, you can make a pant or skirt waist

Inspired by Threads-

stand at attention or softly hug the body

A Design Challenge

by Joyce Murphy

Online Extra: See all the finalist garments

28 Basics Hooks and eyeseasy techniques for using these

38

versatile closures

cover

These Pleats Are Made for Walking For ease of movement and design flair, add one or

more kick pleats to your skirt

by Paddye Mann

FITTING

44

Use a muslin to adjust bust, back, and shoulder-and your armhole almost takes care of itself

A RMHOLES

44

To Get the Right Armhole, Fit the Bodice by Sarah Veblen

50

Sewing Without Instructions The construction process for any garment boils down to three basic steps

by Jan Bones

Skirt cover photo: Sloan Howard; model cover photos: Jack Deutsch; hair and makeup: Sylvia Pichler

I

l 'I

INSPI RED BY

THREADS

22


COV E R ED BUTTONS

55

www.threadsmagazine.com

SS

Covered Buttons, Mild to Wild Make them from a variety of unusual materials, or order them in your choice of fabric

by Judith Neukam

The Professional Association of Custom Clothiers shares strategies for finishing your garment edges

Simple, Sophisticated, and Designed by You Learn to draft modular garments that are elegant, efficient, and easy to sew

by Kay/a Kennington

in the back 70 Questions Silk vs. synthetic organza, handbag hardware sources, ironing, button care

74 Tools of

the Trade Free-motion sewing,

88 Advertiser

Index/Web Directory

90 Closures Dreams of summer

92 Back Cover Art-to-wear ensemble

zippers, scissors

78 Fitting How you lengthen a skirt pattern depends on the style

G A R M ENTS­ S I M PLE AND

Learn to make knotted fabric buttons

S9 12 Terrific Finishing Tips from the Pros 62

MODULAR

rn

The Taunton Press

Inspiration for hands-on living'"

SOPHISTICATED

62


Contribu tor s Joyce Murphy ("For Waistbands, It's What's Inside That Counts") knows pants. T hrough her business, JSM Patterns, Joyce creates custom pants and patterns, trains and supports a network of pants designers in her specific fit and style system, and sells her favorite pants-making tools and products on her

TH READS' Associate Publisher Angelyn Termini

Web site (www.jsmpatterns.com). Joyce can't remember a time when she didn't sew. She graduated college with a bachelor's in

Managing Editor

special education, and taught deaf children for quite a few years,

Jefferson Kolle

but when her eldest daughter was still young, she hung a "Dressmaking and Alterations" sign in

Art Director Robin L. Mazzola

front of her home, and started working toward a degree in apparel design. Soon after, she opened a shop on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and expanded her business to include men's made-to-measure suits. Joyce and her husband (who builds the pants pressing boards she sells

Associate Editors Carol J. Fresia, Judith Neukam, Jennifer Sauer

on her Web site) now live in Michigan, enjoy golf, and are proud new grandparents.

Copy/ProducLion Editor Jennifer

Jan Bones

lecturing, so when she does find her way home

("Sewing Without

to San Francisco, she loves nothing more than

Instructions") has

cooking alongside her husband, visiting her

taught pattern

four grown children, and sewing with friends.

design, garment

She loves "sew and chat" sessions so much

construction, and

that she hosts weeklong seminars (limited to

fitting in the

10 students) every year for women to do just

Clothing and

that; on the last day she takes the students

Textiles depart­

fabric shopping, then invites them to her house

ment at the

for a special home-cooked dinner.

anything, from delicate lingerie to elaborate gowns. She keeps a sewing machine at her

Contributing Editors Barbara Emodi, Linda Lee, Mary Ray

Markeling Manager Dominique Clancy Single Copy Sales Manager Mark Stiekman

family's lake cottage, and has even sewn a sail or two. Besides sewing, Jan loves to travel, and spends many weekends teaching at sewing shows across the U.S. and Canada.

Paddye Mann RCA ("These Pleats Are Made

Advertising Direclor Jeff Dwight

for Walking") is a clothing designer who was recently honored with admittance to the Royal

Nalional Account Manager

Canadian Academy of Arts (hence the "RCA" after her name). She designs, makes, and sells

Tracey Lenahan Advertising Sales Support Supervisor

custom garments in an 1830s cottage located behind her home in Pakenham, Ontario. Every garment produced by her talented team of

Sandra Betzina ("Dreams of Summer") is a

seamstresses is created from the finest fabric,

busy lady, but she always makes time to sew.

due in large part to Paddye's once-a-year

Sandra creates eight patterns a year for her

fabric pilgrimage to Europe. She also makes

"Today's Fit" line of Vogue Patterns, writes a

sure every garment is roomy enough to provide

weekly column for her Web site (www.sandra

a flattering fit, and includes fun, yet

betzina.com), and

comfortable details, such as the kick pleat,

recently completed

which allow her

a book, More Fabric

clients to excel in

Themel

April Mohr

University of Manitoba for more than 20 years. Jan is proud to say that she can and will sew

M.

Editorial SecreLary

Marjorie Brown Advertising Sales Support Associale Patricia Solomon Threads: (ISSN: 0882-7370) is published bimonthly

by The Taunton Press, Inc., Newtown, CT 064705506. Telephone 203-426-8171. Periodicals postage paid at Newtown, CT 06470 and at additional mailing offices. GST paid registration #123210981. Subscription Rates: U.S. and Canada: $32.95 for

one year, $54.95 for two years, $78.95 for three years (GST included, payable in U.S. funds); outside the U.S. and Canada: $38.95 for one year, $66.95 for two years, $96.95 for three years (payable in U.S. funds).

Savvy (The Taunton

their daily

Single copy, $6.99 in the U.S., and $8.99 in Canada.

Press, 2004), which

routines-whether

Postmaster: Send address changes to

further celebrates

running high­

The Taunton Press, Inc., 63 S. Main St., PO Box 5506,

her fondness of

power meetings,

cloth. Sandra also

running after

spends three

children, or

2744 Edna St., Windsor, ON N8Y 1V2

months a year

running errands.

Printed in the USA

8

TH REA D S

Threads,

Newtown, CT 06470-5506. Canada Post: Return undeliverable Canadian

addresses to

Threads, c/o Worldwide Mailers, Inc.,


Beautiful Fashions begin with Beautiful Fabrics HOW TO CONTACT US:

Threads

wools cashmere batiks silks cottons rayons & more from around the globe_..

bester reachmatchat:service expert staff For $5. 0 0 swatch of f POBoxCall Clinton us

The Taunton Press, 63 S. Main St., PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470-5506

203-426-8171

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01510 Us 800-290-2739

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Or

MA

sawyerl3roOk.Com READER SERVICE

Editorial:

NO. 88

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READER SERVICE

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To contribute an article, give a tip, or ask a question, contact

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Call:

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Email:

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For subscription inquiries, you can:

• • •

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Call our customer support center: To report an address change, inquire about an order, or solve a problem, call:

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,

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To subscribe, purchase back issues, books, or videos, or give a gift, call: 800-888-8286 Advertising:

To find out about advertising: Call:

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Email:

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To find out about ad production: Call:

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Retail:

If you'd like to carry

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Occasionally we make our subscribers' names and addresses available to responsible companies whose products or services we feel may be of some

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interest to you. Most of our subscribers find this to be a helpful way to learn about useful resources and services. If you don't want us to share your name with other companies, please contact our Customer Service Department at: 800-477-8727 The Taunton Guarantee:

If at any time you're not completely satisfied with

Th reads, you can cancel your subscription and receive a full and immediate refund of the entire subscription price. No questions asked. Copyright 2004 by The Taunton Press, Inc. No reproduction without permission of The Taunton Press, Inc.

READER SERVICE

NO. 83

READER SERVICE

NO. 1 73

february/march 2 0 0 5

9


Le tte r s

The Taunton Press

Inspiration for hands-on living®

On line fabrics

On the road

Threads will have a booth at the shows listed here. If you attend, please stop by

The only fabric store where I live sells low­ or batiste. In fact, there's not much of any­ thing but strange colors and wild prints. Yet

to say hello.

INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS SINCE TAUNTON, INC.

Founders, Paul and Jan Roman THE TAUNTON PRESS

in all the sewing magazines, the garments are

Sewing & Stitchery Expo

President

made from luscious lightweight gabardine,

Western Washington Fairgrounds

wool crepe, lightweight double knit, rayon,

Puyallup, WA

silkies, nice cotton plaids, and on and on. Please, please, please do one of your in­

March 3-6

www .sewexpo.com

depth articles about shopping for fabric

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo Harborview Center

Chief Financial Officer Chief of Operations

Timely velvet

Publisher, Book Croup James Childs

CrMtive Director

Technology Services Director

always, I'm smiling. How did you know that I have yards of velvet (purchased during my

Gwinnett Civic Center

millinery phase) hanging in my daughter's

Atlanta, GA

closet, and that I need an article on the finer

March 10- 1 2

points of sewing velvet? And how did you

Marketing Director, Magazines Promotion Director Fulfillment Director

Cleveland, O H

myself and would love some gUidance on what to sew?

We're looking ...

April 14-16

For an experienced journal ist and avid

www . sewingexpo.com

garment sewer to lead the

Threads

800-699-6309

magazine team as Chief Editor. The job

Fax: 440-899-6302

req uires proven managerial experience,

.. ;'1\-,', t

ldt-' ('H,

TAUNTON DIRECT

President, Sarah Roman TAUNTON NEW MEDIA

Publisher, Thomas Falconer

THE TAUNTON STAFF

Threads

and

Original Sew­ ing

&.

Quilt

EXpOTM have j oined forces

Benoit, Peter Chapman, Barbara Cole, Steve Culpepper, Robyn Doyon-Aitken, Maureen Graney, Julie Hamilton, Pamela Hoenig, Carolyn Mandarano, JenniferPeters,Amy Reilly, Erica Sanders-Foege. Kathleen Williams. Art: PaulaSchlosser, Nancy Boudreau, Sandra Mahlstedt. Wendi Mijal, Tinsley Morrison, Lynne Phillips, Carol Singer, Rosalind Wanke. Manufacturing: Thomas Greco. Laura BUfrone.

Business Office: Holly Smith, Gayle Hammond. Legal: Carolyn Kovaleski. Magazine Print Production: Philip Van Kirk, NicoleAnastas, Jennifer Kaczmarcyk.

knowledge of the sewing market.

Distribution: Paul Seipold, Frank Busino, David DeToto,

You'll work with a very talented team,

Monnes, ReinaJdo Moreno, Raymond Passaro, Chad Piche,

serve a h ig h ly appreciative aud ience

Leanne Furlong, Deborah Greene, Linnea Ingram, Frederick Thomas St. Cyr,Alice Saxton.

Finance/Accounting: Finance: Kathy Wonh, Susan ladarola,

of dedicated sewers, and work for the

Bret[ Manning, David Pond, Accounting:Patrick Lamomagne,

best how-to publisher i n the country. We

Yamin, Carol Diehm, Margarer Bafundo, Dorothy Blasko,

offer a competitive salary, an excellent

exciting handbag kit that's easy to person­

benefits package, and a pleasant work

11/2 hours from New York

alize and make your own ! Watch for demos

environment

and additional techniques for embellishing

City. Send letter, resume, and writing

your bag at each of their shows listed above.

samples to: H uman Resources, The

For more information visit www.threads

Susan Straub. Editorial: Maria Taylor, Helen Alberr, Kathryn

strong visual and editing skills, and

to produce an

magazine. com.

Tau nton Press, 63 S. Main St., PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470.

Dororhy Carbolle, Lydia Krikorian, Judith OToole, Elaine Susan Burke, James Post, Lorraine Parsons, Priscilla Wakeman.

Fulfillment: Diane Goulan, Client Services: Jodi Klein, Donna Capalbo, Nancy Knorr, Michele Ladyko. Customer Service: Ellen Grassi, Michelle Amoroso, Bonnie Beardsley, Deborah Ciccio, Katherine Clarke, Alfred Dreher, Monica Duhancik, Kimberly Eads, Margaret Hicock, Eileen McNulry, Patricia Parks, Deana Parker, Pacricia Pineau, Ellen Stacy, Betty Scepney. Data Entry: Melissa Dugan. Anne Champlin, MaryAnn Colbert, Barbara Lowe, Debra SennefeJder,Andrea Shorrock, Marylou Thompson, Barbara Williams, Brian Wilcox,

Human Resources: Linda Ballerini, Christine Lincoln, Dawn Ussery.

10

TH READS

Patricia Williamson

Books: Marketing: MelissaA. Possick,Audrey Locororondo,

Worcester, MA

k

Diana AIIwein Steven Turk

Treasurer, Timothy Rahr

M arie Tremble, via email

Worcester Centrum Center

Edward Kingston

TAUNTON TRADE COMPANY

older, I have a bit of time to sew clothes for

March 17-19

Susan Edelman Carol Marotti

Controller Wayne Reynolds

know that, now that my kids are getting

I."t(cf.:ld H JtllH4 �"�'4I

Rahr

Thomas Luxeder

Publisher, Magazine Croup Jon MiUer

Human Resources Director

I'm flipping through the latest issue and, as

�H

Sarah Roman Timothy

DIRECTORS

Clearwater, FL

�TART) h�IMPU

CEO John Lively

ChiefMarketing Officer

Jean R. Wagers, French Gulch, Calif.

February 24-26

I-X Center

&

Editor [n Chief Sue Roman

online and by mail order.

2 53-445-4575

1975

end, limited choices. There's no rayon, wool,


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Promotion: William Brady, Stace Caseria, Mary Beth Cleary, Michele Mayernik, Sandra Motyka. William Sims. Promotion Print Production: Diane Flanagan. Cathy Bloomberg, John Cavallaro. Dawn V iglione. Taunton Creative and Editorial: Crentive: Robert Goodfellow, W. Kathy Martin, Sarah Opdahl, Pamela Winn. Editorial.· Jefe f rson Kolle. Photography: Scott Phillips. Video: Gary Junken. Prepress: Deborah Cooper, Richard Booth, William Bivona. David Blasko, James Chappuis, Richard Correale. William Godfrey, Brian Leavitt. Chansam T hammavongsa. Advertising Production: Laura Bergeron, Lisa DeFeo, Tracy Goodpaster, Stevcn Molnar, Patricia Petro, Kaduyn Simonds, Martha Stammer. Taunton Direct: Nannette Dorsey, Nicole Carpemcr, Robert Hariow, Michelle Kuhr, Jorge Londono. Taunton New Media: Leslie Kern, Jodie Delohery. Matt Berger,Rafael Cardoso, Christopher Casey, Mark Coleman, Ruth Dobsevage, Joshua Katinger, Eric Passero, Mattio Valentino, Jennifer Wheeler.

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Taunton Trade Company: John Bacigalupi, Allison Hollett, Trina Bayles, Diana Mackey, Eve Pison, Elizabeth Quinriliano. Single Copy Sales: Mark Stiekman, Valerie Droukas.

TAUNTON MAGAZINES Fine Woodworking· Fine Homebuil.ding Threads

Fine Gardening

Fine Cooking

Inspired House

Our magazines are for people who are passionate about their pursuits. Written by practicing experts in the field, Taunton Press magazines provide authentic, reliable information supported by instructive and inspiring visuals.

TAUNTON BOOKS

Our books are filled with in-depth information and

The Ultimate Sewing Retreat! A WEEKEND WITH

SANDRA BETZINA March 12-13,2005 Back by Popular Demand!

creative ideas from rhe finest authors in their fields. Whether you're practicing a craft or engaged in the creation of your home, Taunton books will inspire you to discover new levels of accomplishment.

WWW.TAUNTON.COM

Our website is a place where you can discover more abour the interests you enjoy, converse with fellow enthusiasts, shop at OUf convenient on-line srore or contact customer service.

EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION www 5506, 06470. 63 CUSTOMER SERVICE 800-888-8286.

To inquire about career opportunities, please e-mail

us at tauntonjobs@taunton.com or visit our website .tauntoll.com. You may also write to T he TauntOn

Press, Human Resources,

S. Main St., Box

Newtown, CT

We are here to answer any questions you might have and ro help you order our magazines, books and videos.

Jusr call us toll-free at

The Taunton Press, inc., TauIHon Direcr, Inc., Taunton Trade Company, Inc.,

andlaunton New Media, Inc., are all subsidiaries ofTaunton. Inc.

andCallroregiwrstirtaetiBaer on infFabronnaticisofn.or a brochure 515 East Market St. Louisvil e. KY 40202 Calli. 800.769.7778 for information READER SERVICE NO.8

february/march 2 0 0 5

11


Letters

( c o n ti n u e d )

Tips contributor

for all sewers? I have cruised the Internet

I just sat down to open the mail and 1 was

looking at pictures of sewing rooms to find

puzzled at getting a big envelope from

ideas to these issues and also found a lot of

Announcing Inspired by Threads 2005

sewers who seem to share my problem.

It's time for the sixth annual

Threads,

as well as the new issue. When

Cara, via email

I opened the big envelope it was another issue, and with a note thanking me for my Tips contribution. I went right to the Tips

Editor's reply:

section, and there I am. I'm so excited!

what we have planned for our upcoming

M ich elle Newcome, via email

A fan's notes

Cara, how did you find out

issues? I hate to make you wait, but we

1

th rough 119 are due to

I was wondering if there were any plans for addressing storage, a common problem

.threadsmagazine.com or call 800-

CB center back To save space, CF center front we sometimes s.a. seam allowance abbreviate these frequently RS right side WS wrong side used terms.

Dress Forms

instructor & author who sews for NYC Fashion

Week

&

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Camp Couture"'- Draping,

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Threads

by August 1, 2005. Visit www Threads abbreviations key

Sewer's storage

photos or slides of garments

the year.

really love your magazine! I

Dianne, via email

Challenge. Entry forms with

inspired by issues No. 114

read it from cover to cover. Keep up the good work.

Threads Design

have a storage article planned for later in I love your Web site-especially the video clips. And

Inspired by

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Ti P s

FROM READERS TO READERS

S e e co l o r co mbi n a t i o n s i n a n ew l i g h t

on my fabric. I press the sequin lightly so a bit of the glue oozes

Com b i n i n g aesthetically pleasing fabric colors and prints for a q u ilt- or color­

up through the hole and "rivets"

blocked garment takes a special eye. I've d i scovered that a child's kalei doscope

it to the fabric. Then I pick up

i s a great tool to use for choosing harmonious colors and esta b l i s h i n g a pleasing palette. Here's how:

another sequin and repeat the process. I clean the glue off the pencil tip when needed, and let

Buy a kaleid oscope without any color chips-you'll want the fabrics to be the o n ly

the sequins dry before moving

images reflected and fragmented in the m i rrors. You can find a kaleid oscope in a

the fabric. (When you're first

toy store-they're often stocked in the chil dren's party favor's section.

learning this technique start by

I usually arrange three or four different fabrics so they touch or overlap. (More than four confuses my abil ity to really see the collection.)

applying six glue dots so the glue doesn't dry before you get all the sequins placed. ) I recommend

I view the fabrics through the kaleid oscope by moving it slowly across my

Sobo glue because other glues

selections until the mi rrors reflect all of the fabrics. Then I rotate the scope and

dry too fast or are brittle, and the

observe the color co mbi nations through the eyehole.

sequins pop off.

Through the kaleid oscope I d i scern the dominant color(s), evaluate the contrast, and choose the ratio of one color to another. By adding and subtracting fabrics, I u ltimately find a balance between contrast, tone, co lor, and pattern, and achieve a h a ndsome com b i nation that su its me.

For an extra-perfect close-up finish after my sequins are ap­ plied I put a tiny dot of Tulip craft paint (glitter or pearl vari­ eties work best) on each sequin

-Carolyn Rehbaum, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

to cover the hole. This makes it look beaded. -Bill Jones, San Francisco

Bui ld in no-slide shoulder straps

To keep shoulder straps-es­ peCially spaghetti straps-from falling off my shoulders, I insert elastic cording into the straps. I use a long, double-eyed needle, or a tapestry needle with a large eye and a blunt end, to thread the cording through the strap. Even on a chiffon dress, the smooth eye end of the needle Speedy sequin app l i cation

a paper plate to make it easy

I've used this trick to apply

to see the cupped side, which

cupped sequins for years-and

should always be up.

guarantee it works. First, I lay

16

TH READS

Then I apply small dots of So­

won't snag the fabric. I leave about 2 inches of the elastic extending beyond both ends of the strap. Sew one end

my fabric on a surface protected

bo glue to the fabric, in a dozen

of each strap to the dress per­

with a plastic dry-cleaning bag

places I want sequins. I apply a

manently, securing the elastic.

(any polyethylene plastiC bag or

small amount of glue to a pencil

Then, when fitting, I pull the

sheet works). If I'm doing yard­

tip, making it tacky, and then

loose ends of the elastic until

age, I pin the fabric to the bag.

touch it to a sequin, lifting it

they're comfortably snug, pin

Next, I scatter the sequins on

and carrying it to a dot of glue

them in place, and sew them


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TipS

( " ," o o od)

Have a tip?

M a ke p e r m a n e n t p atte r n co p i e s I use 6 - m i l poly sheeting p u rchased at a l u m ber su pply store to m a ke d u p l icate

Share your tips,

patterns. A permanent, felt-ti pped pen works well to trace and record all the

tricks, a nd sew­

markings. I store these finished patterns in a plastic bag, with the original

ing/embell ish­ ing resources.

pattern facing the outside of the bag, for easy identification. These new pattern

Send us details,

pieces will last forever.

sketches, photos,

-Ruth Frieser, Edmonton, AB, Canad a

or samples. We'l l p a y for each item we p u b l ish. Please send them to: Threads

to the garment. This method

I clip the thread at the spool

when I get to the fabric store.

Tips, PO Box

works equally well as an altera­

and pull the thread out of the

This saves me a great deal of

5506, Newtown,

tion for a ready-made dress or

machine through the needle.

time, and makes shopping very

CT 06470-5506.

as a fitting fix for one you're

Then I take that strand and

efficient.

making from scratch.

thread it through one of the

-Dana Z aruba,

-Fay M. Dorr,

hand needles in my pincushion.

Cobble Hill, BC, Canada

West Palm Beach, Fla.

Whenever I need to baste, make tailor's tacks, sew on a button,

Keep track of fitting order

A safe way to sew

snap, or hook and eye, I have an

When I'm adj usting and fit­

beaded fringe

assortment of threaded needles

ting patterns, I often make an

Beaded fringe can be tricky to

all ready to go.

adjustment, test it, and then

sew into a seam by machine

-Karen Wolff,

make a second, third, and

because if the f ringe moves

Laguna H ills, Calif.

maybe fourth adjustment. To keep track of which marking

it's easy to sew through a bead and break the needle. To keep

Two easy shopping tips

line is the most current one, I

the fringe in place, I use a glue

The beautiful fabrics I find

mark them in rainbow order

stick to secure the flange and

while shopping inspire me,

(red, orange, green, blue, indi­

painter's blue low-tack tape to

but I'm often uncertain of how

go, and violet). I use a red pen

secure the fringe out of the way.

many yards to buy for the pat­

the first time I mark an adjust­ ment. If I adjust the same line

This ensures that I don't have to

terns I have at home. I used to

wrestle with the fringe to keep

look through the pattern books

again, I mark the new line in

from breaking beads or needles

at the store to find the yardages,

orange. If I adjust it again, I use

when stitching blindly through

but that took too much time.

green.

two layers with the beads sand­

Now I keep a list of the fabric

hard to see.) So until I trace a fi­

wiched in between.

requirements for my favorite

nal copy of the finished pattern,

patterns in my daily planner,

I can tell by looking which ad­

Vero Beach, Fla.

which I carry everywhere I go.

justment line reflects the most

When I discover a wonderful

recent changes.

Save a thread­

fabric, I can easily locate how

thread a need le

much to buy. Another way I streamline my

Unfortunately, this system shows how far I am from my holy grail-that master set of pat­

of long strands of thread: I

shopping is to shop pattern

terns that no longer needs ad­

keep a pincushion of needles

catalogs online before I go to

justing. But until I get there, this

handy when I'm sewing. When

the store. I find all of the infor­

method keeps me on track.

I'm ready to remove a spool

mation I need online so I can go

-Barbara Snyder,

directly to the pattern drawers

Sebastopol, Calif.

of thread from my machine,

TH READS

skip yellow-it's too

-Jane Tutton,

Here's what I do to make use

18

(l


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Exploring D I n s p i re d b y

Threads-A

Fa s h i o n C h a l l e n g e by Carol Fresia

Threads Threads"

n the

offices, we

Each year the finalists are fea­

love it when the deadline

tured in a gala fashion show held

for the annual "Inspired by

at the American Sewing Expo, in

design challenge

Novi, Michigan (

www .american

draws near. This year, our

sewingexpo.com). This year's

mailboxes were brimming

show attracted an enthusiastic

with entries, and we were delight­

audience who enjoyed our read­

ed to see the dozens of ways our

ers' creativity as much as we di.d .

readers interpreted techniques

The high point of the show was

and ideas published over the last

when we announced the win­

six issues, No. 109 to 1 14.

ners, who are featured in the pag­

After carefully examining all

es that follow. To find out how

the entries and debating their

you can enter the next "Inspired

many merits, we selected f i­

by

nalists for the challenge. From

. threadsmagazine.com.

Threads"

challenge, visit

these, we narrowed our choices down to five winners.

22

TH READS

Carol Fresia is an associate editor.

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E x p l o r i n 9 0 es i 9 n

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E x p l o r i n 9 D es i 9 n

( c o oli, , , d )

F i n est C o n struct i o n J ea n - Pa u l Corb e i l , O a k b a n k , M a n i to b a , C a n a d a Although Jean-Paul qualified as a "young (under 25) sewer," his impeccable craftsmanship rivals that of much more seasoned sewers. For this challenge, he plumbed Threads articles in search of inspiration and how-to information. Most obviously, he adapted Pamela Ptak's couture insertion technique (No. 1 1 3, pp. 48-5 1 ) to create the bold graphics that define his beautifully tailored jacket. Issue No. 1 1 2 provided the guidelines for sewing a hidden-button placket (pp. 34-35) and for the perfect sashiko­ style topstitching (pp. 20-24) on his black jeans. Finally, Jean-Paul took a cue from Sarah Veblen's article on brocade (No. 1 1 3, pp. 34-38) and included a brocade inset in his coordinating necktie.

Thirteen-year-old Bethany put her well-honed sewing skills to good use i n this classic but youthful skirt ensemble i n black a n d lime. Inspired b y articles on topstitching (No. 1 1 2, pp. 20-26) , designing skirts (No. 1 1 0, pp. 60-63), and embellishing embroidery (No. 1 09, pp. 48-5 1 ) , she added a unique, personal touch to each piece. The skirt sports a n ifty buttoned-back vent, and the jacket i s embellished with rows of parallel topstitching. At the neckline of the black shell, Bethany machine-embroidered a floral motif derived from the pattern in her skirt's green embroidered dupioni. Not just a demonstration of Bethany'S talent with needle and thread, this outfit also reveals a mature design sensibility.


READER SERVICE NO. 86

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Basics S e w i n g h oo ks a n d eyes

Sizing u p your notions

by Carol Fresia and the Threads editors

The sizing convention for hooks

and eyes is entirely logical: the lower the n umber, the smaller

Position and sew them on correctly for a secure, invisible closure

1f4 00 0

the fastener. A eye is about

hook and

inch long when

fastened; a size 3 is just over

12

inch. Sizes

through 3 will

work for most garments, aside

U

from very delicate pieces or

nseen and unheralded,

bulky outerwear.

hooks and eyes are none­

The eyes have it

theless important staples

of the dressmaker's craft. Avail­

With standard d ress hooks

able in a wide range of sizes and Hook

styles, little bits of metal can fas­

to 3,

styles. The round style is often

cate heirloom garment to bulky hook-and-eye combination and

0

you'll have a choice of two eye

ten anything from the most deli­ fur coats. If you pick the right

and eyes, from sizes

simply called an eye. Somewhat Eye

confusing ly, the straight o r bar style is sometimes called a loop.

attach it properly, you can count

You may call them anything you

on this hardware to keep your

l i ke, but it's helpful to know this terminology if you're ordering

clothing closed while not de-

notions by mail.

U s e a b l a n ke t st i t c h fo r n e at n e s s a n d d u ra b i l i ty The interlocking loops provide attractive coverage a n d extra h o l d on hooks a n d eyes. To sew a basic blanket stitch, insert the needle into the fabric and bring the tip u p a short distance away so that it travels

A l ways st a rt w i t h t h e h o o k

Va

Positio n the hook i nch o r m ore from t h e edge for a l a p p e d edge; for a butted edges, set the hook j us t far e n o ugh from the edge to conceal the eye w h e n the closure i s fastened inch). Check the placement of the hook b y s l i d i ng the eye through it and gently p u lling; if you see t h e h ook, m ove it farther in from the edge.

<1116-118

Anchor the hook in position Holding the hook in place, take several stitches through the hook end. Tug the hook's eyelets gently to seat the hook securely in the stitches.

over the thread from the previ­

Attach the eyelets

o u s stitch.

Sew both eyelets in position

Gently p u l l the stitch tight.

28

TH READS

using a blanket stitch.


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READER SERVICE NO. 1 56

february/march 2 0 0 5

29


B as i ( S

(coo\ ; o ood)

tracting from its looks-in fact, hooks and eyes are often preferred to zippers in couture gar­

F o r ov e r l a p p i n g e d g e s , s e w o n a l o o p Arrange the garment overlap as desired. Insert a pin in

.. Sew the loop (bar) using a - ----

the wrong side of the underlap, and slide its point through

blan ket stitch. Most loops

buttons or like to invent creative

the hook and back

are slightly curved to receive

through to the un­

the hook more securely;

closures of your own, don't for­

derlap wrong side,

identify which way yours

to form a tem porary

curves, and position it so

ments. Even if you adore unique

get about the humble hook and eye. They work just as well in

"eye:' Unhook the

that the hook goes through

hook from the pin,

the inward-curving side.

combination with other fasten­

and use the "eye"

ers as they do alone, and can proVide added security to keep

as a marker for the placement of the loop (bar).

you from coming undone. Carol Fresi a is an associate editor at Threads.

Fo r a b u tt i n g e d g e s , s e w o n a n e y e To position the eye, align the garment edges evenly and pin­ mark where the center of the hook abuts the opposite edge (not shown). Sew the eye on so that it projects very slightly beyond the edge, using a blan ket stitch to attach the eye­ lets. Finally, anchor the sides of the eye, as shown, with a few stitches. Secure the thread and conceal its end.

OTTOBRE cQ] � � � � [fll ®

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30

TH R EA D S


1II ::lE ­

111 -6 '

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\

:For Waistb nds, It's What's 1.

Author tested, waistband approved. Pant expert Joyce Murphy collected a variety of sta b i l izers, tested their staying power, and figured out how to best apply them in straight and curved waists.

1.

Ultra Ban- Rol

2. Petersham

3. Rol-Control Waistband Stabilizer

4. Waistband curtain 5. Perfo-fuse Slotted Waistba nding/ Oritz Perfect Waist Maker

6. Skirt Beltin g - l nsertlSnugtex


Where to get it...

I nside That Counts

Atlanta-National Thread

&

Supply (ATS)

(Snugtex, waistband curtain)

800-847-1 001

www.atlantathread.com

Banasch's (Snugtex, Waist Grippers, stay tape; Ban­ Rol is sold under the name Armoflexxx)

800-543-0355

With the right stab i l izer, you can make a

www.banaschs.com

B. Black

pant o r s k i rt waist stand at attention o r

&

Sons

(Snugtex, Ban-Rol, waistband curtain, stay tape)

800-433-1 546

soft ly h u g the body

www.bblackandsons.com

Farthingales Fabrics by Mail (petersham, stay tape)

51 9-275-2374

b y Joyce M u rphy

www.farthingales.on.ca

Greenberg

&

Ham mer, Inc.

(Ban-Rol, waistband curtain, stay tape)

800-955-5135

hy are some pants and skirts

but aren't sure which product works best

so comfortable you forget

for a particular skirt or pair of pants, or

that you are actually wear­

how to apply it correctly, you're also in

ing them, and others so

for a treat. I've completed the necessary

utterly uncomfortable that

research, sorted through the terminology

21 2-268-4321

you can't wait to take them

(which can be confusing), tested each of

www.sewfastseweasy.com

off? Chances are, the answer is hidden in­

the products, and divided them into two

The Sewing Place

side the garment's waist. I've created many

easy-to-remember categories: those that sta­

(Ban-Rol, Oritz Perfect Waist Maker,

pairs of pants for women of all shapes and

bilize straight waistbands (see pp. 34-35),

petersham, fusible stay tape,

sizes, and I've found two things to be true

and those that provide support for curved

Armo Weft interfacing)

across the board: a properly constructed

waists (see pp. 36-37). To keep shirts tucked

800-587-3937

waistband or waist facing is the first step

in, you can also add a nifty rubberized

www.thesewingplace.com

toward lasting comfort, and what stabilizes

product to your finished waistband (see

Sew True

the band or supports the facing is the key to

p. 37). So the next time you create a skirt

(waistband curtain, Ban-Rol, Perfo-fuse

or pair of pants, simply open to these

Slotted Waistbanding, stay tape)

a firm, smooth, professional finish.

pages to determine the best waist-firming

www.greenberg-hammer.com

Sew Fast Sew Easy (precurved petersham)

800-739-8783

www.sewtrue.com

Know your support options,

product for the job. Once you experience a

inside and out

properly supported waistline, I guarantee

Unique Techniques

If, like many sewers, you choose your waist

that you'll never again rely on just any old

(Rol-Control, fusible stay tape)

support mostly by whatever interfacing

interfacing scraps.

scrap is long enough to fit your waistband or facing, you'll be pleasantly surprised

Joyce Murphy (www.j smpatterns.com) creates

by the quality and variety of the waist-spe-

custom pants in Alpena, Mich. , and teaches

cific support options on the market today.

workshops across the country.

And if you're already aware of the options,

800-557-5563

www.uniquetechniques.com

(continued 011 the next page) febr uary/march 2 0 0 5

33


"

--

Available only in white and a 23/4-inch width. Sold by the yard

-a� c

::;; :;; '" .0'"

0 �" '" ci c.

g, .."� "E�0� I � (/)

t\"2 15

34

THREADS


1 - . -. K E E P S A WA I S T B A N D F I R M , Y ET S O F T : Available only

Rol - Control Waistband S tabilizer

in white and a

This nylon/polyester product a l lows the wearer to bend and sit comfortably in casual, tailored, a n d

1 -inch width.

dressy pants.

H ow to use i t Apply RoJ-Control the same way as Ultra B a n - Ro l : F i n ish one l o n g edge of the waistband, then sew the u n f i n ished edge to the g a rment, right sides together. With the wrong side of the b a n d up a n d the seam allowance extending, place the stabilizer o n the seam allowa nce, against the stitch i n g line; sew together. Press the seam a llowance and band away from the garment. Fold the band to the inside of the garment, over the sta bil izer. Stitch-in-the-d itch along the waistband/garment seam.

r

r

P R O D U C E S A F I N I S H E D , TA l LO R E D B A N 0 : Waistband Curtain Traditiona l waistband curta i n is constructed from a stiff cotton or polyester/cotton fabric, with stabilizer (sometimes referred to as waistband canvas) already sewn in; it is used a lmost exclusively in

Available in white, cream, grey, tan, and black and a 21f2-inch width. Sold by the yard.

en's tai lored pants. Softer, l i g hter-weight curtain is also available in a wider

variety of colors, for use in casual pa nts.

H ow to use i t Waistband curta i n acts as both faci ng a n d sta b i l izer, s o you need to cut only the front of the waistband from your fashion fabric, adding

1f4

inch for turnover along the top edge, plus a seam

a l lowance that matches the seam a l lowance at the top of the curtain. I nterface the front band with a mediu m-weight fusible i nterfacing. Sew the bottom edge of the band to the garment, right sides together. Press the b a n d a n d seam a llowance away from the garment. Sew the curtain's unfinished edge to the band's top edge, right sides together; the sta bilizer shouJd not be caught in this stitching. With the stabilizer pushed aside, press the seam a llowance toward the curtain. Fold the curtain to the inside of the garment (the top of the sta bilizer will support the fold); press. To a n chor the bottom of the curta i n , fold the faCing portion of the curtain out of the way, then stitch - i n-the-ditch along the waistband/garment seam. Tack the facing portion of the curtain to the garment's vertical seam allowances.

february/march 2 0 0 5

35


M a ke sure you buy the rig ht petersham Petersham ribbon is a variety of grosgrain ribbon, but not all grosgrain is petersham. And to make it more confusing, not all products labeled petersham are the same. Here's what you need to know: True petersha m is also called grosgrain belting or millinery grosgrain ribbon, and is

distinguished by scalloped, unlocked selvages (see inset photo above). Grosgrain ribbon has tight, locked selvages, and should be used only as decorative trim

because it won't stretch. Polyester peters h a m is either white with b lue-gray stripes running along the edges, or

black with white stripes. It is very stiff and firm, and is used to support cartridge pleats or netting in ballerina costumes.

36

TH READS


C R E AT E S A S O F T LY TA I LO R E D FA C E D WA I S T : Armo Weft Interfa cing Although i nterfaci n g choice u l t i mately depends o n fabric weight a n d fi ber content, f o r a softly t a i l o red faced waist o r con to u r waistba n d , t h is m ed i u m -wei g h t fusible i nterfacing with a sta ble cross-g ra i n i s a n

white, black, or grey and a 24inch width. Sold by the yard.

excellent choice.

H ow to use i t It desired, center

Y4-

to 3Ja-inch-wide stay tape over the waist sea m l i n e

t o keep i t f r o m stretch i n g . Fuse the interfacing t o both the faci n g a n d g a rment, o r t o b o t h pa rts of the contour waistband. If desired, trim off

Y4

inch in the seam a l lowances to reduce bulk. Sew the band or facing to

the garment as described in your pattern instructions.

Fou r ways to fi n ish a wa istba nd's i nside edge

Serged edge

----------

The waistband's inside edge can be finished with any one of these techniques. Before you finish it, make sure the inside of the band is

Y4 112 to

inch deeper than

Insi e

pant

the outside so you can stitch-in-the-d itch along the waistband/garment seam.

2.1.

Serge the edge. Bind the edge with a bias strip of lining or thin cotton fabric.

3. Press the seam allowance under.

4. Cut the waistband with the inside edge on the fabric selvage.

II\

\

Outside of pant

,ďż˝


These P l e ats Are Fo r ease of m ovement and desi g n fl air, add one o r m o re kick p l eats to yo u r s ki rt

M a d e fo r straight, slim skirt is very attractive, I admit, but there

really is no need to be held hostage in it. A well-placed kick pleat, or two, allows for plenty of leg movement, yet doesn't compromise a slender silhouette. A kick or a walking pleat starts approximately mid-thigh and extends to the skirt hem. There are two styles-the familiar knife pleat (sometimes referred to as a straight pleat), and

by Pad d ye Mann

the inverted box pleat. Both are straightforward to construct and add to any basic straight skirt pattern (see drawings on p. 39). Not all fabrics wil l hold a pleat

Before going any further, test your fabric to make sure it will crease properly. Fold and press a small swatch, let it cool, then hang it. If

38

TH READS


Kick pleats ca n be added to a ny stra i g h t ski rt pattern There are two basic kick­ pleat styles: the knife pleat

Knife pleat

and the inverted box pleat (two facing knife pleats) .

Inverted box pleat

%-in. seam al lowance /

%-in. seam al lowance /

, - - - - - - ,�- - - , '�- 4- -

The knife pleat is easy to draft o n to a straight skirt

� - - - - - - " - - - ';'-4 _ _ _ ,, :

pattern ; the inverted box pleat draft is a bit more involved. But the process is the same for both : Add

1 - in. seam allowance

width at the center back, as shown, or in any other seam that extends to the hem; the

,

1 % to 2 in.

I• • �

pleat length is your choice. Simply trace off the pattern, mark the seamlin e (not the

II II �I

...

cutting line), and leave

aI c: "0

extra paper on the edge

2

to be pleated.

aI "0

�::J

0 I

....(UaI.

Q.'0 0,

'61 21

�Iall

or: c: aI ....I

.=1

III I

,

2-in. hem al lowance

... I,, - - - - _ II , ,, Shape t h e top of t h e pleat

If you are working with a heavy or thick fabric and wish to reduce bulk at the top of the pleat, square off the seam allowance. If you desire a bit more support at the top of the pleat (gener­ ally needed with fine, lightweight fabrics), gently curve the seam allowance.

of shape, save yourself inevitable sewing frustration by choosing a more appropriate fabric. Natural fabrics with strong warp threads are wonderful choices. Settle on pleat width and length

The next considerations are the width and length of the pleat. I prefer pleats that add 3 to 4 inches of ease, meaning each folded sec­

1 1(2 to 2 inches wide. Narrower pleats restrict leg movement

and don't provide enough design impact; wider pleats are often too heavy and awkward, and interfere with a skirt's drape. ment. For ultimate walking comfort, the top of the pleat should

Notch top and bottom of inside foldline.

2-in. hem allowance

the fabric is too soft or bouncy to hold the crease or stretches out

The pleat's length depends on the amount of desired leg move­

Place on fold, if possible.

' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... . . . ..... . . . .

______--------------�----

Wa l ki n g tion is

For a separate under , layer, cut the pattern , on the inside foldline, then add seam allow­ ances to the cut edg­ , es of both sections.

1_ .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ..... ... ... ... .. ... � february/march 2 0 0 5

39


fall at about mid-thigh, but feel free to experiment with length by making a muslin, then adjusting as needed. There is really only one pleat-length rule: never place the top at or right below the der­ riere-it's neither flattering nor comfortable. Ensure that each pleat is dead-on straight

Accurate measuring and marking during pattern drafting and con­ struction are key to a perfectly formed pleat. I can't stress enough how important it is

to

draft all sides of a pleat perpendicular to the skirt

hem, then perfectly align those lines on the fabric's straight grain. If you don't, the pleat will never crease properly or hang straight.

1 . To support the pleat crease, center a 2-i nch-wide strip of l ig htweight interfacing o n the outside fold line (as well as on the seam l i ne above it if the pleat is very long) of both skirt piecesj fuse. Pin the pieces together along the skirt and pleat seam l i n es, placing pins at the inside and outside corners, 1 inch below the top of the pleat.

2. Sew the skirt seam, pivot at the pin below the top of the pleat, sew across the top of the pleat, pivot again, and sew along the edge of the pleat to the hem.

3.

Place the skirt right-Side up on a flat

surface; align the foldline marks at the bottom, and fold the pleat to one side. Press the pleat crease.

40

TH R E A D S


Don't forget the l i ning

Finally, when it comes to lining a kick-pleat skirt, you have two op­ tions. For skirts with one or two kick pleats, simply create a full lining the same way you created the skirt, pleats and all. For three or more kick pleats, create a partial lining that ends at the top of the pleats. This reduces bulk and ensures that the lining won't be visible when the pleats move. Remember, a pleat is really just a folded piece of fabric that does its job best when it is unfettered and hangs free.

â&#x20AC;˘

Paddye Mann RCA (www. paddyemann . com) is a clothing designer i n

(continued on the next page)

Pahenham, ON, Canada.

4.

6.

Turn the skirt so

the wrong side is facing

UP.

guidelines at the top of the

keepi n g the

bottom m arks a l igned. Clip to the inside

pleat. Create a decorative shape, making sure the stitch i n g l ines come within

corner. Then press the skirt seam al lowance open, and press the

Mark topstitching

1/4

i n c h o f the

outside corner pin; use chalk and a ruler to mark. Starting at the seam, sew along the l i n es,

pleat crease again.

then brush off the chalk.

Serge the cut edge of the pleats, then press out any puckers.

5.

7.

At the pleat seamline, press the seam

Place a pin at the

last stitch of the

allowances to one side of the pleat. then press up

skirt seam and at the

the hem as shown.

outside corner of the pleat, pinning through all the layers.

8.

To flatten the

seam allowances on heavy fabric. topstitch along the pleat seamline through all the l ayers.

februa r y/marc h 2 0 0 5

41


1.

Place the skirt right-side up

on a flat surface; align the pleat foldline marks at the bottom, and fold the fabric to make a n i nverted box pleat, which is really just two facing knife pleats. Pin along the pleat creases.

2. Lift the garment and press the inside fold. Repeat on the other side of the pleat.

3.

To prevent a ridge from forming

on the right side of the garment, slip a piece of paper between the pleat u n der layers and the ga rment. Remove the pins and press the creases from the right side of the garment. Then flip the skirt so the

4.

Mark topstitching guidelines

at the top of the pleat, as described in steps

5

and

6 on

p. 4 1 . Starting at the seam, sew along the lines, then brush off the chalk.

wrong side is facing up and press the skirt seam allowa nce open.

5.

Press up the hem allowance,

then sew the hem.

42

TH READS


1.

Place the skirt wrong¡

side up on a flat surface; fold the fabric open along the outside foldlines a n d pin i n place. Press a l o n g t h e folds a n d t h e skirt seam a llowance open.

2. Place the separate under layer on top; pin along the seam lines. Sew, then turn the garment right¡side up and press through a l l the l ayers. Mark and topstitch at the top of the pleat, as described in steps

5

and 6

on p. 4 1 .

3.

Unfold the pleat

and press up the hem allowance.

4.

A t the pleat seamlines, press the

seam allowances to one side. Fold the pleat closed, press, then sew the hem. If needed, flatten the a llowances as described i n step

8

on p. 4 1 .

febr uary/march 2 0 0 5

43


/

To Get the Rig ht Arm hole , "'"

'V , \V \

U se a m u sl i n to adj ust b u st, back,

an d sho u ld e r-and yo u r arm h o l e al m ost takes care of itself by Sarah Veblen

here's more to fitting an armhole, also known as an arm­ scye, than you may think-it requires fitting the bust dart, shoulders, and side seams. And the only way I know to successfully fit an armhole is to use a muslin. A muslin is a test garment in inexpensive fabric, ini­ tially sewn without facings or edge finishes. You pin-fit the muslin right on the body. The object is to make the fabric skim the body with no signs of wrinkles or strain lines. Although becoming a fitting expert can take years of practice, I'm going to give you a straightforward method of how to fit an armhole and develop a well-fitting bodice muslin that accurately reflects the shape of the body. Follow this order when fitting: bust, back, underarm, shoulder seam placement and slope, shoulder point to underarm, and side seams. Then adjust the pattern tissue using the fitted muslin as your guide. Such a completed pattern can be used as a reference to position darts and establish the armhole shape in future pat-

44

THREADS


Same measurements, very different figures

People with identical bust and over-bust measurements often fit into the same size and style pattern differently. The shape of your body depends on where you carry your flesh and dictates the shape of an armhole. muslin is the testing ground-it's the perfect place to sort out fit issues.

A

Fit the Bod ice G l o s s a ry of t e r m s

Shoulder slope

Shoulder seam

Use this glossary to help navigate your pattern and understand the fitting process and the terms used in this article. Key landmarks are identified on these pattern pieces. The dotted lines indicate possible fitting sites.

Shoulder point

I(

Arm h o lel a r mscye Break

I I

Original +-

Crook

foldline

..

... ....ďż˝ ... ..., ,

....

Armscye dart

E&

Bust apex

Added seam

Dart legs

Bust dart! side dart

Lengthen/shorten lines used to draw horizontal balance line (H B L)

Back

Side seams ďż˝--

Front

february/m arc h 2 0 0 5

45


) \

terns. You'll end up with a perfect pattern for a closely-fitting bodice with or without set-in fitted sleeves. Just because fitting can be complicated, don't let it scare you away. You'll need a person, a pattern, and some woven fabric

Select a fitted blouse pattern intended for woven fabrics that in足 cludes bust darts in the side seam or armscye. Make sure the fin足 ished bust measurement printed on the pattern is between

1 1/2 and

2 1(2 inches greater than your actual full bust measurement to allow enough wearing ease (wearing ease is the difference between your body's measurements and the finished garment's measurements, which is necessary so you can move in the garment). Use a stable woven fabric without spandex, and follow the pattern to make your

T

too-small pattern.

sleeveless, collarless muslin. Sew your seams using a long machine

A strai n between

stitch, and use a thread color that contrasts with the muslin fabric

bust points means

so that you can easily see to clip and release seams during fitting.

you need a larger pattern.

You'll need an assistant for the fitting process. Consider hiring a dressmaker to help you. Plan on making several muslins to get the right fit; the results are well worth the effort. A musli n tells you more than you r measurements a l o n e do

The first muslin serves as the rough draft for blocking out the ma足 jor fitting changes. I always make at least one additional muslin to check my first fitting results. If you're a beginner, it's better to make more muslins with fewer changes to each than to try too many changes at once.

Use horizontal

Don't try fitting a muslin that's a size too small because the tightness distorts the overall fit. For example, if you get a strain line between the bust points (top left drawing), start over using

keep your

a larger size pattern.

pattern level.

It's important to make sure the bodice stays level around the body and doesn't dip in the front or back during the fitting. I draw a horizontal balance line (HBl), on the face of the muslin so I have a point of reference that I can easily see while fitting (middle left drawing). I often use the lengthen/shorten line (between the waist and underarm rather than at the hem) as my HBl. While fitting, periodically check the level on the front and back HBl. If the back HBl dips, pin a wedge out of the upper back to level the line. Stand back and read the m u s l i n to assess the fit

TI T I ",__", T

To get started, study the general fit of the muslin and make any obvi足 ous adjustments. If the side seam strains over the hip, open both side seams from the hem upwards until the muslin falls nicely (bottom left drawing). If the shoulder seam is too loose, pin out the excess

"""---

fabric. The muslin should fit without strain but not loose and baggy. Remember, to get a pattern that reflects the shape of the body, you'll stra i n , open

want to develop a fitting muslin that fits like a second skin-snug but

them over

not tight. Add design and additional wearing ease later.

the problem area.

Most often fit only one side of the muslin after making the HBl level. If the person is particularly asymmetrical, over-fitting can


actually accentuate an uneven body. In general, if one side of the bust is larger, fit the larger side; if one shoulder is higher, fit the higher side, and adjust the low shoulder with a pad.

T

Assess how the muslin fits at the bust

Darts contour the fabric to accommodate the swell of the bust while keeping the garment looking trim. Anyone with a full A-cup or larger benefits from properly placed bust darts, which make the center front of the garment fall straight to the waist and not swing away from the body. This results in a more flattering silhouette. The correct bust dart also keeps the armhole from gaping. Some women carry bust tissue under their arms, other women carry it in front. Experiment with positioning the angle of the dart until it's most flattering. The dart placement alone can visually slenderize the figure. I prefer to use side darts in a base pattern such as this, but pinch足 ing out a dart in the armscye to eliminate the gape and then moving

I

T

I T I

T

I TI

form

the dart to a better location later is a good approach (see "Fitting" in

Threads No. 116). Read the muslin and use your

fingers to ease up any dragline-in this case, a diagonal fold of fabric occurs between the bust apex and the side seam-into the side bust dart. Set the point of a dart closer to the apex for a smaller bust, farther away for a full bust. Don't be surprised if your dart seems larger than usual as long as you're getting a smooth fit. A very large dart may be needed to fit a very full bust. If this causes an unattractive bubble at the dart-pOint, two parallel darts will solve the problem. Pin in the required dart(s) that best fit the bust. Increasing the size of a side-seam dart low足 ers the front armhole. Fill the vacancy with a small piece of fabric to bring it up to the original

The way you drape a bust dart influences how it flatters the body. Use the d a rt as a design element that directs the eye to your advantage.

height and redraw the armhole seamline (top right drawing on p. 48). Stand back and evaluate whether the dart-pOint hits in a pleas足 ing place on the bust. If the dart's too low, it looks matronly, and if the dart's too high, it can look unflattering as well. The way you

If the back

drape the dart influences how it flatters the body. Decide whether

armhole gapes,

a slanting or straight dart fits you best.

reposition the side seam.

Dart corrections on the back shou ldn't end in the armhole

Now that you've adjusted the bodice front, check the back for excess fabric or undue strain at any point and assess the fit in the same way you did on the front. If the back armhole gapes, release the side seam and push the side back toward the front to diminish the gape and redraw the side seam. If there is considerable roundness in the back, adding darts at the shoulder seams or even adding a center足 back seam for extra curvature is a good solution. If an armscye dart is needed to fit a muscular back, incorporate the dart amount in a

47


Raise the depth of the armhole.

and a center back

princess line as shown at left above (back armscye darts are not

shoulder point falls on the shoulder seam at the exact place the

traditionally used). The object is always to reduce any excess fabric

arm and shoulder come together-at the dent that forms when you

in the circumference of the armscye.

lift your arm.

Most patterns a re cut too low u nder the arm

the "crook" of the arm (where the arm attaches to the body) and

On the muslin, draw a line that falls from the shoulder point to Now that you've draped darts to match your curves and removed

then runs under the arm at the "break of the arm" (where the curve

excess fabric from the back of your muslin, the shape of your arm­

begins to go under the arm). Draw the curvature of the armhole on

hole has probably changed. Decidi.ng where

the muslin to follow the body curvature from

the armhole hits under the arm is partially

the shoulder around the arm on both the front

personal preference. Remember that an arm­ hole cut high up under the arm is generally more comfortable because it allows a greater range of movement in a garment with sleeves; this is often counter-intuitive to a beginning fitter. A sleeveless garment is only

1/2

inch

higher under the arm than a fitted garment with a sleeve. If the armhole is cut too low under the

Next Issue: The author shows how to fit the right sleeve in the right armhole.

arm, add a piece of fabric and draw in a new

and the back (middle drawing on p. 49). Check that the side seam hangs straight. Make adjustments by releaSing and repinning the seam so that it's perpendicular to the floor. Assess if it divides the side of the body attractively. Transfer the m uslin a lterations to the pattern

Mark the seam and dart lines directly on the muslin, and follow any instructions noted on the muslin during the fitting. Use a permanent

depth; or make a note to raise the underarm a specified amount on your pattern tissue. If you hold a ruler under

marker and always mark and concentrate on the actual seamlines.

your arm as high as is comfortably possible, the underarm seamline

To reduce confusion, i.gnore seam allowances until later. The muslin

should fall barely below where the ruler is touching the flesh.

is now a road map of the changes needed on the pattern.

Check the shoulder point a n d side seam

M ake a working record of a l l you r adj ustments

Changing your shoulder seam is a j udgment call. The seam should

Go back to your original pattern and transfer the muslin correc­

1

lie along the top of the shoulder at a place that balances the body

tions to the tissue.

front to back and follows the natural slope of the shoulder. The

fabric molds to the wearer's body and stretches with cuts across

48

TH READS

don't use the muslin as a pattern because


grain lines. Plus, it's easier and more reliable to walk and true seamlines in paper because paper doesn't stretch or distort. Once the changes are made to your pattern, it may look substantially different from the original-especially in the front armhole. On a large bust, the armhole might now have an

'T'

shape. We're accustomed to seeing a long

Center the shoulder

gradual curve on commercial patterns, but that isn't the

seam and correct

shape many of us need.

the slope.

Concentrating on the stitching lines, add new tissue to your pattern where it's needed. Pin in the new darts and walk the corresponding seams as described below in "How to walk and true a seam." After the seamlines have been corrected and trued, draw and cut the new seam allowance while the darts are folded so the correct dart legs automati­ cally form. Now make your second muslin. This time staystitch the armhole seams. The armhole is much higher now and you'll probably need to clip the curves to the staystitching for a comfortable

fit­ I

ting (bottom right drawing). The new armhole curve should not be tight but should just skim the body.

fine-tuning the fit and the position of the seamlines.

-

� 'V

The second muslin will most likely require few dra­ matic changes. Follow the same steps as before, this time

",..

From the shoulder point follow the body cu rvature

Sarah Veblen teaches, designs, and sewsfrom her studio in Sparks, Md.

and d raw a new

\

How to walk and true a seam In the course of adding darts and making other fitting adjustments you have also made multiple changes to the seams. Now you have to determine that both sides of a seam are the same length-to do this we walk and true the seam. To walk the seams on your paper pattern, first pin in the darts and then compare the stitch lines of adjacent seams (side front to side back, or shoulder front to shoulder back) in 1 -inch increments from one end of the seam to the other. If the seams aren't the same length, use the H B L, notches, and key landmarks to determine where length should be added or su btracted. It is essential to compare actual seamlines excluding the seam allowance; the seamlines must match in length to enable precise construction. After walking the seam, true it by using a fashion rule or French curve to blend any jagged seamlines (that formed d u ring the alteration

\

Clip to the stay-

process) by drawing a new smooth line to bridge the gap. If you're

stitching around

unsure what the ideal blending line is, it's safe to split the d ifference

the armhole to

between two l ines-and remember, you're making another muslin and

enable armhole

have another opportunity to fine-tune the fit and seamlines again.

february/march 2 0 0 5

49


In9 IIHoul The c o n st r u ct i o n p rocess for any g arm e nt b o i l s d ow n to t h ree b as i c steps

Bu i ld you r g a rment section by section

by Jan Bones

n the course ofyour sewing career, you'll

You' l l sti l l need a p l a n

inevitably need to work without step-by­

Just because you're working without step-by­

This is as straightforward as it sounds-simply assemble each

step instructions (see "Why go it alone?"

step directions doesn't mean you shouldn't

on the facing page for examples). Lack

have a plan of attack. Refer to reference

of specific sewing instructions isn't a

books, videos, etc., and jot down relevant

cause for panic however-there are gen-

instructions or tips.

eral assembly guidelines that apply to any

Next, spend time creating a map similar to

garment, simple or complicated. All you

the sketched sequences on pp. 52-54, and if

need to do is focus on one garment piece,

you like, test the sequences in muslin. Col­

or section, at a time.

lect all necessary supplies and notions, pre­ wash your fabric, cut out your pieces, then

Sewi ng in sections is very logica l

identify the right side on each. A small safety

Although purchased patterns provide sew­

pin works well. Mark matching points, inter­

ing instructions, the logical sequence of

face as needed, and you're ready to sew.

assembly is often compromised in an effort

garment section (j.e. front, back, sleeve) before movi ng on to the next:

1

Get the small p i eces ready

Prepare or construct small garment pieces or detai ls (pockets, wa istbands, facing sections, collars, and cuffs), then set them aside.

2

Com p l ete each section in its entirety

to streamline the steps. For example, even

Fin a l ly, focus on fi nishing touches

if topstitching isn't a last step, it might be

Once all the sections are j oined and the

Next, choose a section, such as a pant

listed at the end to save space. Sewing sec­

garment has taken shape, just add the last

front. Start on the inside, move out

tion by section, in comparison, is always

lines of topstitching and hand-stitching as

to the edges, then layer small pieces

logical and easy to follow. It also ensures

needed, hem the garment, and add closures.

or details on top. For example, sew

minimal handling of the fabric, increases

Then step back, admire your work, and en­

sewing accuracy because most of the de­

joy the creative freedom working without

tail work is completed on flat fabric pieces,

instructions allows.

and helps with time management because you can check off your progress in small

Jan Bones teaches patternmaking and garment

increments.

design at the University of Manitoba in Canada.

interior darts, staystitch, then attach a patch pocket.

3

Join all the sections together

When all sections are completed, simply sew them together. On pp. 5254, I 've provided a basic sequence for

a skirt, blouse, and pants.

50

TH READS


Instru

Ion -

Why g o it a lone? There are many reasons why you might need to construct a garment without step-by-step directions. For example, you might...

• • •

choose a pattern that has l i m ited or confusing i n structions, o r doesn't i n cl u d e any at a ll. favor a d i fferent sewing tech n i q u e than the one outlined. m a ke a desig n o r style change, such as adding a yoke o r e l i m inating a waistband.

• •

use d ifferent sewing equipment-i.e. a serger i n stead of a sewing m achine, or vice versa. desire a bit of e m bellishment that isn't included in the pattern i n struction, such as embroidery, q u i lting, ruffles, etc.

• •

select a fabric that req u i res a different seam finish o r sta b i l i z i n g tech n i q u e. draft your own pattern.

n

u

(continued on the next page) februa ry/marc h 2 0 0 5

51


Se wing without instructions works for any

1

s ki rt

G et t h e s m a l l p i eces ready Interface.

Interface.

Interface.

� �� FACI NG

Back

2

C o m p l e t e e a c h m a i n s e c t i o n i n i t s e n t i rety

--:h-

I �\

c,",JI back

Center front

3

Side front

J o i n a l l t h e s e ct i o n s t o g e t h e r

-rl·

i i

' \

. " \ j � 1,\1�

[!ill L+:J t

FAC I N G

52

TH READS

\\ t _�

f) � ?,.

Back

� 2.

\

L

Sew the dart.

ttl '/'

Zipper

.

Press the edge up, and topstitch.


garment, whether it has 5 pieces or 500.

1

blouse . i ::-'::::! :;'

G et t h e s m a l l p i eces ready

Interface}

Cuff

.,.·-.

Un der collar

2

Co m p l et e e a c h s e ct i o n i n i t s e n t i rety

., ' j

� Easestitch. r }lj/ '\ , :

\

/

t

l

t ..._�

.

---7 \\ . ---==;; " t (C �� � Press the edge up.

:'��� I-.l-.... _\AJ t

Stays t t ,..

t

Front YOke

3

�� Band

Front body

\. J

;,J:il tl Ii

!

7

t j.,2

t m- ?

� Sew underarm � . seam. Sleeve

Cuff facing

Back body

J o i n a l l t h e sect i o n s toget h e r Make the buttonholes, and attach the buttons.

"'

g Ii:

coo ] "-

february/marc h 2 0 0 5

53


Se wing without instructions . . . continued.

p Cl. rl l s

1

1)';1

StaystitCh. - i/'

G et t h e s m a l l p i eces r e a d y

Interface,

( J

I

\.L-/

Pocket facing

i:::':�---;��

?

Press the edge up, and sew the ends.

Interface.

2

Pocket bag

Co m p l e t e e a c h s e c t i o n i n i t s e n t i ret��".,.,TI:-\ opstitch.

IO-';' I �\

\�-) f/\ �I r.�J

Staystitch. )

t

t

t

'-...-...

Pocket facing

/ : t-;' -:'l l 1 \" i I' ) ,'

?

Lv

t j BACK

Pocket bag

_______

Front

3

I

1-L-

Staystitch. . sew the dart. ' 0 :;;;-;s

j., 2.

J o i n a l l t h e sect i o n s t o g et h e r Stitch.

--�--�-�---·· k-- . ------� WAI STBAN D

Zipper

54

TH READS

Fly shield

Hem.


overed Buttons, M i l d to Wi ld

Make th e m fro m a vari ety of u n usual m aterials, o r o rd e r them in yo u r cho i ce of fabric by

J u d ith N e u kam e've all seen the wrong buttons

Today's notion counters only offer a small

The handmade buttons arrayed here are

ruin an otherwise beautiful

selection of covered button sizes, but rarely

for your inspiration. We describe the three

garment, and on rarer occa­

in shapes other than round. My fascina­

simple elements you need to know-fabric,

sions, we've seen perfectly cho­

tion with covered buttons got the best of

form, and back-to get you started making

sen buttons rally a costume's

me, so I ventured forth to find sources

your own covered buttons. And if you de­

design into a wonderfully ex­

for new, vintage-style ones. I recruited

cide you don't want to make your own, we

Threads

ecuted ensemble. This is particularly true of

the talents of designers and

vintage clothing. I've always admired the way

thors Lois Ericson and Anna Mazur to

the covered buttons punctuate garments from

show ways to reinvent this closure to sat­

past eras. Because complex covered buttons

isfy the leanings of more modern fashion

au­

are no longer readily available to the home

trends: retro, pop, punk, flower-power,

sewer, they are true treasures [TOm the past.

Asian, and deconstructionist.

found someone who'll make them for you using your choice of fabric.

,..

55


The basic components of any covered bu tton

Fab r i c + For m + B a ck

are the same. You'll need fabric, a form to suppo rt the fabric, and a back that finishes the button and provides a s h a n k to attach the button to the garment.

-

C o v e r e d b u tt o n Fa b r i c s e ts t h e m o o d Tra dition a l ly a covered button matches the ga rment fabric, but coordinating trim, braid, ribbon, soutache, silk flowers, leather, meta llic fabric, or harmonious com binations of any of these m a ke ha n d some buttons. U se coordinating fabrics a n d m a ke them two-tone, or feature a motif woven or pri nted in the fa bric by i ntention a l ly positioning the motif on your button form. When heavy or na p ped fa brics resist fitti n g i nto a purchased covered button form try one of the a lternative methods shown in this a rticle. If your fa bric i s too l ightweight or sheer to cover a button, support it with a fus i ble i nterfacing or underline it. ( Learn to m a ke knotted fa bric buttons at www.threadsmagazine.com.)

56

TH READS


F i n d t h e fo r m fabric by wra pping it around a large, flat bead and mounting it o n a button.

A l i ned fabric s q u a re h ides the washer s u pport i n g it-a s i m i l a rly shaped bone d i s k frames its fabric cover.

Home sewers trad itio n a l ly m a ke sta n d a rd, rou nd covered buttons by wra p p i n g a d isk of fabric snugly over a commercia l button form (such as the ones a b ove), tucking the fabric edges into the form, which often has little metal teeth, a n d attach ing the snap-on back t o a n c h o r the fabric and supply the s h a n k.

Ri bbon trim and several well­

For those who feel l i m ited by the covered button

p laced beads turn a Bakel ite

sha pes available at notion counters, there are

button into the perfect

inventive ways to create a form and su pport

accent for the

your fabric.

right g a rment.

You can see by these examples that there's no reason to limit your materials o r methods to preconceived choices. You are the desig ner-the fabric can stay soft over the form, the form can show or not, the fabric can a d here by clamping, twisting, stitch ing, g l u i ng, tying, or any method that produces a look you l i ke. You j ust u p holster the form of your choice using whatever tech nique that works. Once you start looking, the world i s j ust one big button form waiting to ha ppen.

Polymer clay, available at craft stores, holds any shape after 30 m i n utes in a 27S-degree oven.

A s p i ra l pa per cl i p sup ports a

The s m a l l button i s a s i m p l e cu rt a i n r i n g

s i l k tube.

wrapped, stuffed, a nd backed; the larger o n e u s e s a b i g g e r ring f o r su pport and a ribbon as a shank.

Almost any a p p ro p riately sized p la stiC s h a pe works as a button form

-

here it's

a flat, oval shape from a craft store.

fe bruary/march 2 0 0 5

57


B a cks a n d b u tto n h o l es m a ke i t a c l o s u re It is easy t o a d d a s h a n k by sewing a p u rchased

backs that cover unsightly metal or fabric shanks.

fitting like those shown a b ove (and available at

When you custom-order covered buttons (see below)

craft or bead i n g stores) to the back of the button, or

you can specify a back l i n ing. You r own creations can

by b u i l d i n g one into the original form. Lois Ericson

also have beautifully concealed backs.

often sews a large snap to her garments where each button goes and then uses E6000 g l u e to attach its mate to the back of the button. This enab les her to remove the buttons when she clea ns the garment and a l l ows her to change her choice of button styles as well. True vintage buttons, such as the cla ret-colored and the orange ones a b ove, often have elegant lined

Two tips for button h o l es : A cord loop offers a n easy and safe way t o secure an elaborate button without forcing it through a buttonhole. When you use oversized buttons on a jacket that will never be buttoned, sew the buttonholes a s usual, but to keep them looking good, don't cut them open.


II

The Profess i o n a l Associat i o n of Custom Clot h i e rs shares strateg ies fo r fi n is h i n g yo u r garment e d g es

1 . To keep a skirt with godets falling beautifully, add weight to the hem with a ball chain-the kind used as a pull cord on light fixtures. It's lighter and

2. For a long, uninterrupted l ine of hand stitches, such as hand

more fluid than drapery weights, and is available at hardware stores. Sew bias

topstitching or blanket stitching, cut a thread

binding inside the hem and thread the ball chain through it.

twice the usual length, and start it in the center of the stitching line. Then, work one thread end right to left, and the other end left to rig ht.

3.

Hand-stitched hems with

dimples that show on the right side of the satin can ruin a d ress. For an absolutely

satin hem,

invisible

underline the

garment with silk organza and then hand-sew the hem through the underlining on ly.

february/m arch 2 0 0 5

59


4. For an easy and accurate way to mark a pants hem,

measure 1 2 inches up from

the floor and make a horizontal mark on the crease line at the calf of each leg. Then pin u p t h e h e m on o n e leg only. Have the wearer remove the pants. Lay them out, folded along the center creases, one leg on top of the other, and align the calf marks. Use the pinned hem as a guide to mark the other leg. When the pants are worn, the bottom edges will be aligned even if the wearer's legs are different lengths.

5 . H a nd-basted mitered bi ndi ngs are definitely worth the time.

6. Keep a stash of bias strips handy. Cut 1 - to 1 %-inch-wide pieces

Make the miter i n the binding first and baste

of leftover silk chiffon, china silk, and silk

the binding in position. Then machine-stitch,

charmeuse, and store them in a plastic

starting at the miter, along one edge; return to

box. When you want to bind a hem or seam

the miter to stitch the other edge.

allowance, just select a strip in a coordinating color and sew it on.

7. Horsehair bra id keeps your hem from looking li mp. Here's what to do: Lay the horsehair braid on the right side of the skirt, aligning the raw edge of the skirt with the edge of the horsehair that doesn't have the pull string. With the horsehair on top, sew

Va

inch from the skirt edge.

Turn the horsehair to the wrong side of the skirt, folding the fabric so it wraps the edge of the horsehair. Topstitch from the right side, % inch from the turned edge. Draw up the pull string as needed so the horsehair hugs the inside of the skirt.

60

TH READS


8. Bindi ng a pOinted lapel takes a bit o f fussing, but if you shape the binding first it will be easier to sew. Cut a thin cardboard template the shape of your lapel (without seam allowances) and steam-press the binding over it to set the shape.

\0

-"" > ,ďż˝(/

9. Make the hems on knit garments deep o r they'll roll to the right side. Make the bottom hem at least 1 114 inches deep and sleeve hems 1 inch deep.

while you're wearing it,

1 0. If you have a garment that creeps up add weight to the hem with pen nies or di mes

1 1 . For a fast and attractive edge fi nish on sati n, make a very flat, very tiny,

stitched into little pockets of fabric you have

turned-and-topstitched hem-carefully sewn

sewn just for this purpose.

and not stretched.

1 2. Use strips of tissue pa per as a stabi l izer when sewing trim or lace to a bridal veil or net overskirt-you'li have no problem with distortion or ripples. Put a strip of tissue in your machine, position the netting, and then place the trim on top. Topstitch together, sliding another strip of tissue into position when you reach the end of the fi rst. Tea r off the tissue when you're through. If your net and trim are white, use colored tissue so you can see what you're doing.

PACC members who contributed to this article: Ruth Ciemnoczolowski, Barbara Callahan, Tina Cecil, Donna Lentz-Lickliter, Leslie L ittell, Mary McNulty, Pamela Ptak, Colleen Schoneveld, Pamela Stewart, Sue Tenney, Terri Tipps, Gina VanderWal, Virginia Wen tworth, Sharon Zydiak.

february/march 2 0 0 5

61


IMPLE, OPH ISTICATED, AN D ES I G N ED BY O U Learn to d raft mod u lar garments that are elegant, efficient, and easy to sew by KayJa Kenn i n gton

never really learned how to sew the traditional way, but I've al­

derive their shaping from the drape of the fabric, as well as from

ways known that I wal}ted my garments to be artistic, interesting,

devices such as ties and other closures. Their fit is intentionally

flattering, and finely made-inside and out. Because my sewing

easy and slightly oversized, but if you choose your fabric well, a

education was unconventional, to say the least, I had to invent

petite figure won't be overwhelmed by these clothes, and a full

ways to meet these goals.

figure won't be padded with unnecessary bulk.

As

a deSigner of one-of-a-kind wearable

art for the past 25 years, and today of garment patterns for the home sewer, I've developed an approach I call "modular design."

Ultra-efficient layouts

It combines streamlined clothing styles with novel assembly tech­

Like most sewers, I love and am inspired by beautiful fabric. For

niques. The results are garments that can range from casual, dress­

modular deSigns, I know that softly draping fabrics are most

down tops and pants-the kind I like to wear every day-to showpiec­

flattering (although you can get pleaSingly structured effects us­

es that I display at art-to-wear fashion events (see this issue's back

ing materials with a firmer hand), so for years I sewed only with

cover for an example). Each piece, no matter how casual or dressy,

hand-dyed silks, sand-washed rayons, and velvets-fabrics that

is fun to sew, beautifully finished, and comfortable to wear.

often intimidate sewers because they can be costly.

M od u lar desig n : a defin ition

patterns' geometric shapes-with very few curved cuts-make for

With modular sewing, cost is much less of an obstacle. The The phrase "modular design" is one I coined to describe how I con­

an extremely efficient layout, with very little fabric waste. It's also

ceive and create a garment: as a whole made up of several separate

ideal for piecing together several delicious, coordinating fabrics,

parts, many of which are interchangeable from design to design.

for spotlighting one or two smaller textile remnants, or for playing

Each section is finished individually, and the parts j oined (usually

with contrasting colors or textures.

with an interesting alternative to a conventional seam) to complete

In general, follow common sense when selecting fabric. Start by

the garment. After sewing thousands of modular ensembles, I can

confirming that all materials share the same care requirements,

vouch for the fact that this process not only follows a straightfor­

and preshrink as needed. You can add extra body to a very soft

ward logic, but also opens me up to a world of creativity.

fabric with a layer of fusible tricot. If you're combining heavier or

My deSigns are generally drafted from rectangles and trapeZOidal

stiffer fabrics with drapey ones, reserve the drapey fabric for the

shapes; there are few curves, except at necklines. The garments

side panels of the garment, and place the more structured pieces

62

TH READS


Take advantage of every square inch of luscious fabric, like these Vietnamese silks, by designing a modular garment. The recta ngular panel pieces leave n o scraps behind, so your fabric dollar goes much fu rther. (Kayla I n k, pattern # 1 226, Angel Top)


Do-it-yourself modular design Designing a modular garment is quite different from d rafting a conventional pattern, so don't worry if you have no background in patternmaking. What you'll need is a tape measure, a full-length mi rror, sketching materials to make the initial design sketch, and a ruler and pattern paper for the finished pattern.

First, sketch

To design your own modular garment, start by sketching out the garment type you plan to make in proportions you like (find a croquis to help you sketch at www.threadsmagazine.com). A basic T-shaped garment, such as a kimono­ style jacket or simple tunic, is an easy first project. Include any piecing seams or style lines in your sketch.

8 in.

Next, measure

In front of a mi rror, begin measuring as if you

were wearing the sketched garment: for example, measure from your shoulder to the desired finished length of the garment, and mark this on your sketch. Decide where you want the neckline to fall on the shoulder, and where the sleeve hem should land, and take this measurement. Continue this way until you've determined the d i mensions of each section of the garment, marking the measu rements on your sketch.

9

64

TH READS

in.


at the center of the body. Avoid suspending panels of heavy fabric from lightweight materials. Rol l-hem or line the pieces

For most garments, I finish all sides of each garment section (except the hem), using a three-thread serged rolled hem (this is great for dealing with velvet), or by

Last, d raw the pattern

lining each piece separately. I then join the finished sec­

You c a n n o w easily translate y o u r working design sketch into a pattern. I n

tions by butting the edges together and fastening them

this case, each garment panel is a rectangle, the finished dimensions of

with bar tacks, decorative stitching, or beads. This way,

which are indicated on the sketch. Simply draw the rectangles, add seam

there are no seam allowances to slide out of alignment

allowances as needed, and you've got a pattern. If you wish, you can draw

while I'm sewing, to fuss with during pressing, or to

your pattern on gridded pattern-tracing material (similar to nonwoven

contribute to a rippled seam.

interfacing), which you can sew together as a muslin for fitting purposes.

Along with seam allowances, I eliminate other con­ ventional elements of sewn garments, including facings and inter facings, darts, fasteners like zippers, and even

Top

buttonholes. Modular design and construction make

� S in. 1 5 i n.

all of these features unnecessary, so you can spend

S i n.

S i n.

1 1 in.

1 1 in.

S in.

individual and creative instead. 1 5 in.

S i n. 1 6 in.

S i n.

your sewing time focusing on making your garment

Fine-tu ne the fit before and during construction

Although my garments are designed with a fair amount

S in. Sleeve

Sleeve

of ease, I realize that good fit depends on the wearer's preferences, as well as on the characteristics of the

27 in.

fabric. Adjusting the fit of a modular garment is simple

24 in.

S in.

19

to do, either before you cut it out or even while you're constructing it.

in.

Since most garment panels are basic polygons, it's easy to fold width and length out of the pattern to match your preferred garment proportions; you can

Side front and back

CF and CB

even customize the shoulder slope by slanting those

Side front and back

edges up or down to reflect your own shape. Alternatively, you can try the garment on in stages

Skirt

as you assemble it, and trim away fabric as needed. If you're using a serged rolled hem to finish the sec­

44 in.

tions, making adjustments on the fly will be especially straightforward. You can even add, subtract, or modify sleeves at the last minute. If sewing unique clothing is your passion, I encourage you to add a modular gar­ ment or two to your project list. You'll have fun sewing

37 in.

in a new way, and dreSSing in your new clothes.

Kayla Kennington, of West Linn, Ore., is an award-winning art-to-wear deSigner who also deSigns a line of patterns for modular clothes; see them at www. kaylakennington.com.

9 ....".. --

1--

in.

(continued on the next page)

U nderlap

february/march 2 0 0 5

65


Two ways to construct you r garment D e p e n d i n g on how you

Line the panels, then sew them together

choose to treat the edges of the panels, you'll either l i n e all the panels i n d i v i d u ­

Make every effort while cutting and sewing the lined panels to main­

a l l y and then construct the

tain the exact measurements of each, so that all adjoining edges are the same length.

garme nt, o r you'll h e m the

Cut the garment panels out of fashion and lining fabric. With

e d g es d u ri n g the assembly

right sides together, sew each panel to its corresponding lin-

p rocess. Before you start

ing, leaving an opening through which to turn them . Tri m, clip,

sewi n g you r m o d u lar gar­

and press seam allowances as needed, and turn the panels right-side out. Press the edges, rolling the seamline slightly

m e nt, plan a log ical order

to the lining side. Sew the openings closed by hand.

of construction. The d ia­ g rams below and on p. 67

J oin horizontal seams first, verticals second

lead you through the sew­ ing seq u e n ce using each of the two processes.

Step

Ti p :

Step

For either method mark all

Step

garment pieces as you cut

1: 2: 3:

them out. To keep track of

Sew the horizontal seams.

Sew the vertical seams.

Attach the sleeves flat; sew the center neck seam and attach the lapel.

them as you sew, p i n them

Step 4: Sew the side and underarm

to a d ress form o r lay them

seams in one pass.

flat i n their finished con­ fig u ration.

Sleeve

li[, mh1i��

lWj�!22t I-{i

I I 1.- ,

I

1I1_�- 1iI III-·Ii, II:I ,J! II !! III_I, '

I t

-c;;,.,�,-_

I_ I :lj

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6 6 T H R EADS

seam

Lapel

'I,I I, ttI II i I I I

Front


Or, hem as you go Finish the panels with a rolled hem. I always use a serged rolled hem, as shown at right, but you can use a straight-stitched one if you prefer. Any small discrepancies i n the size of adjoining panels can be corrected by trimm i ng and hemming as you go. The built-in ease of the designs means that the garment will sti l l fit even if you lose a fraction of an inch here or there d u ring construction .

â&#x20AC;˘

. vertical edges

horizontal edges

. sleeve and lapel edges

. garment hems

Hem each edge right before seam ing it t o anothe r panel Step Step

Step

1 2: 3: :

First fi nish all the horizontal edges, except the sleeve and body hems, then join the horizontal seams. Finish all the vertical edges in the interior of the garment (if your joined panels were not q u ite the same width, trim off any excess fabric at the horizontal seam ends as you do this). Join the vertical seams. Finish all the edges of the sleeve panels and the side seams; sew the center neck seam and finish the raw edges of the lapel. Attach the sleeves to the garment, then attach the lapel.

Step 4: Sew the side and underarm seams in one pass. Step

5:

Hem the garment with a rolled hem, trimming off excess fabric where the vertical panels are u n even.


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A N SW E R S TO ALL OF YO U R S EWI N G A N D E M B ELLI S H I N G Q U E R I E S

01

A I I - i n - o n e o r two - p i ec e co l l a r ? have several blouse patterns with an all-in-one collar, but I prefer a separate collar and stand.

Can I redraw the pattern as two parts?

A AA

-Jan Everett, Hutton. Eng/a n d

two-piece collar looks,

AII-i n-one collar

one-piece shirt collar to a two­

behaves, and fits differently

piece pattern; you can sim­

than a one-piece/all-in-one

ply substitute the collar pat­

one-piece collar usually

tern pieces from any blouse

sits lower on the neck and is of­

with a two-piece collar for the

ten convertible, meaning that it

one-piece collar pattern you

collar.

A

lies flat when worn open and

don't like. Just compare the

two-piece col­

garment necklines on both

lar sits higher on the neck and

blouses to make sure they are

turned back.

won't lie flat when worn open.

the same shape and length. If

The stand portion of a two-piece

they aren't, trace the whole two­

collar extends to the garment's

piece neckline onto the one­

front edge; a one-piece collar

piece garment after aligning the

takes on many shapes and often

shoulder seamlines.

extends only to the garment's center front, not the front edge. Despite the differences, there really is no need to convert a

David Page Coffin is the author of Shirtmaking ( The Tau n ton Press, 1990).

H a n d b a g h a rd w a re s o u rc e s I'd

Tw o fa b r i cs, o n e n e e d l e

O

Whe n I sew two different fabrics

fabrics you plan to join are cre­

together, such as

ated from only natural fibers or

a knit and a woven , should I u s e a s h arp o r ballpoint needle?

A

tant factor to consider. I f the

A

rayon, which are easy to pierce, choose a standard sharp nee­ dle. If one (or both) of your fab­ rics contains synthetic fibers,

-Bess Drake,

a sharp needle can produce

Mooringsport, La.

skipped stitches as it tries, un­

combination of differ­

successfully, to pierce the fab­

ent fabrics in a garment

ric. Instead, use a fine ballpOint

makes for exciting fashion,

but you do need to choose your

needle, which will spread the fibers as it sews.

IUVL

J

r"dke my own handbag Nhere l,;C:1rl I find

cool handles and closures? - Mp W Sak M,,�hamcsburg.

A

Pg

The Internet is a great resource for handles, straps, hooks, buckles, feet, rings, magnetic snap closures, and zippers. Check out these sites:

www . craftking.com/crafthtml/handles.htm www.createforless.com

www . creations-online.com/neatstuff/ createpurses.htm www .lightnupcigars.com www . maggiescrochet.com www .mj trim.com www .sunbeltfastener.com www .umei.com

needle carefully. Fiber type, not

necessarily fabric type (i.e. knit

Barbara Emodi is a Threads con­

Deepika Prakash is the founder of www. PatternReview.com. and cre­

or woven) , is the most impor-

tributing editor.

ates stylish bags in Acton, Mass.

70

TH READS


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february/march 2 0 0 5

71


Q u es t i o n S

01

(cooli o o od )

I ro n l i ke a p ro

T h e A B C s o f b u tt o n ca re had two button m i shaps recently. Jacket buttons

melted at the dry cleaner, and buttons o n my favorite

s hirt faded after machine-washing. H ow can I

prevent another disaster? -Marilyn Penna, via email

A

The most common button

wash them before you even at­

material today is synthetiC:

tach them to a garment. Next, al­

polyester, nylon, or casein

ways avoid bleach (or detergent

(a milk-based plastic). Each can

that contains bleach), as it can

be hand- or machine-washed,

cause fading or discoloration.

but because they melt at high

Finally, be dry-cleaning savvy.

O A

I'd l i ke to give my jacket and pants a professlonal­ looking press. Is there a special i roning sequence I should follow? -Bnan Ponto/ilo, Northfield, Conn.

Ironing garment sections in

shoulder as described above,

sequence is important; also

then iron both sleeves (slip a

let each section you press

sleeve board inside to avoid

cool completely before you

creases); press the cuffs from

move on and press another. For

the inside, then outside.

a jacket, start with the collar:

For pants, press the inseams

temperatures, it's best to air- or

Chemicals and heat can dam­

press it from the inside, then

of both legs, then the side

machine-dry them using a low

age most buttons, so ask your

from the outside. Move to the

seams. Iron the waistband from

temperature. Delicate fabric and

local cleaner to slip a protective

leftjacket front: press the lining

the inside, then from the out­

corded buttons should be hand­

foil cover over each button be­

and facing from the inside, then

side. Finally, align the inseams

washed in cold water and air­

fore the garment is treated. Or,

press the front from the outside.

and side seams at the hems,

dried. Polymer clay buttons can

remove speCial buttons before

Arrange the left shoulder seam

and press neat creases up to the crotch level.

be hand- or machine-washed in

any treatment. It only takes a

on the tip of your ironing board

cold water, but should never see

little time to stitch them back

and press, then iron the jacket

the inside of a dryer.

in place.

There are a few general tips to keep in mind for all buttons.

Connie Long teaches a "Bu ttons

First, they may contain excess

and bu ttonholes " seminar a t G

dye, so it's a good idea to hand-

Street Fabrics in Rockville, Md.

back from the shoulder to the

Paddye Mann RCA is a master tai­

hem. Iron the right front and

lor from Pakenham, ON, Canada.

S i l k v s . s y n t h e t i c o rg a n z a

O A

In a recent Issue, you referred to using Silk organza as u nderlining or Interaclng.

Sou rces for

Unfortunately, i n my neck of the woods, the fabric is u nobtainable How does

silk organza

synthetic organza compare?

O'Leas Fabric and Button Studio

-Rita A terman via email

303-388-5 6 6 5

Fabric Gallery

Silk and synthetiC organza

next to the skin. Second, silk

ganza, my general philosophy

are both crisp, lightweight,

organza shrinks when washed;

is to match like with like: line

sheer fabrics that add body

synthetiC organza resists shrink­

or underline a natural garment

to a garment and help it stand

age. Finally, there are plenty of

fabric, such as wool, with natu­

away [rom your form without

mail-order sources for silk or­

ral silk organza, and pair syn­

adding bulk or extra weight.

ganza (see the list at right) but,

thetic organza with a synthetic

800-722-7455

garment fabric.

www.thaisil ks.com

There are only a few differences.

as you mentioned, synthetic

First, silk is a natural fiber, so it

organza can be found at local

breathes and is therefore com­

fabric stores.

fortable to wear; synthetiC fibers

When it comes to choosing

do not breathe and feel clammy

between silk and synthetic or-

72

TH READS

5 1 7-655-4573

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To o l s of th e Tra d e

S EW I N G , QU I LT I N G , A N D E M B E LLIS H I N G P R O DUCTS N O W O N T H E M A R KET

I5

Ease for free­ m ot i o n s ew i n g

tu I

In a high-tech world, L aPierre Studio offers a low-tech but ultraeffective tool for improving the quality of your free-motion quilting or embroidery. The Free-Motion Slider ($ 19.95; quiltpack@ao1.com; 239-732-1 104) is a sturdy sheet of Teflon that you affix to the bed of your sewing machine with ordinary tape; the small hole in the center of the sheet provides an opening for the needle. With feed dogs lowered-or not-you simply free­ motion quilt or embroider as usual. The Teflon sheet encourages your fabric to glide smoothly under the needle, greatly increasing your control and reducing hand and arm fatigue. -Carol Fresia

Z i p p e rs a s j ewe l ry It's rare to find a product of such remarkable quality that it alters our perception of the entire range of products. Discovering Riri zippers is such an event. From its two factories in Mendrisio, Switzerland, and Tirano, Italy, Riri produces plastic-tooth and nickel-free zippers made of precious metal alloys. The production process often involves more than 10 steps-each metal tooth is polished smooth, electroplat­ ed in one of 14 different finishes, and then completed with the finest available top stop, one-piece cast slider, and a variety of soft tapes. These zippers are expensive (start­ ing at $ 10 for a 7-inch closed-end model, with nylon teeth), but they are exquisite. There's even a 24-karat gold-plated model. They're new to the home sew­ ing market, so ask for them at your Bernina dealer

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74

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READER SERVICE NO. 2

february/march 2 0 0 5

75


SAN D RA B ETZI NA t:a11uv alwu& OTT-LITE® TRU ECOLOR" LIGHT I NG & S EWI N G

by Gwen Bentley

Can a tool help unlock the most creative regions ofyour imagination? Extend the amount of time you can spend on a project? Make your time spent sewing more pleasant and more comfortable?

Gwen: As a professional sewer and author, would you recommend OTT-LITE TrueColor lighting? Sandra : You sew with the best machine, why wouldn't you want to see with the best light - OTT-LITE TrueColor lighting.

OTT- LlTE® TrueColorTM lighting offers a line of natural lighting products

Gwen: What do you like best about OTT- LITE TrueColor lighting?

specifica lly designed OIT-UTE TrueColor Lexington Floor Lamp Model# 31 8Y62

for a rtists, crafters, and sewers to match colors accurately and see details clearly with reduced gla re and eyestrain.

Sandra: As my eyes have aged along with the rest of me, I need a lot more light and a lot better light to sew. Having an OTT- LITE TrueColor l a m p has made a l l the differe nce in the world.

This unique technology was created by Dr. John Ott, the pioneer of natura l light science who perfected time-la pse photography with Walt Disney. I n fact, OTT- LITE Technology worked with physicians at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the development of light

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o 0

BERNIartiNAsta

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200


F i tti n g H ow y o u l e n g t h e n a s k i rt p a tt e r n d e p e n d s o n t h e sty l e I've heard that most patterns are sized for a 5-foot, 6-inch-tal l body. I ' m taller. What's the best way to add l en gth to a ski rt pattern ? -I R. L a urie, Portland, Ore.

K

aren Howland responds:

when the seamlines were bro­

Adding length-both to pat­

ken between the pattern seg­

terns and to ready-to-wear­

ments. There may be other fit

is something 1 am quite familiar

considerations as well when

with (I am 6 feet 2 inches tall).

spreading pattern segments.

At first thought, the solution

Here are general guidelines for

appears to be as simple as add­

lengthening skirts.

ing extra length to the bottom. However, if a silhouette tapers

Karen Howland writes and fits i n

or flares, it's not that simple.

Chillicothe, Ill.

When you add significant length

to

a skirt by extending the

side seams, a flared skirt can end up with a hem that's wider than your fabric; and a tapered skirt can end up with a hem edge that is so narrow you can't walk. The style of your skirt deter­ mines whether it's best to add length at the lower edge or at the lengthen/ shorten lines printed (or added) on your pat­ tern. When you spread a skirt in the middle of its length, you will have to true the seams, which means straightening out the j agged seamline that formed

Le n g t h e n stra i g ht sty l e s a t t h e h e m On straight-cut skirt patterns, you can usually add the desired extra length successfully at the hem.

Extend the seams by continuing the line from the upper section, retaining the angle of the seams. If there is a slight flare, the lower edge will be fuller than the original.

Draw a new hemline and hem allowance equal distance from the original hemline to establish the new length. 78

THREADS


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f ebruary/march 2 0 0 5

79


F i tti n g

(contin ued)

F l a re d a n d t a p e re d g a r m e n ts req u i re cha n g i n g the s i d e sea ms

Don't just

add

length to the hem edge of flared or tapered skirts or you could end up with a hem that's wider than your fabric or one that's too tight to walk i n.

\\ L________----"",

I

I

;

1 1 1 1 1 1

' '

" ______ --,

seams.

Spread the pattern piece the amount of the added length.

Flared ski rt

To add length to a flared skirt pattern, produce a bet­ ter-fitting pattern, and retain the original dimension of the lower edge, add length at the lengthen/shorten lines printed on your pattern as shown above at right.

Adjusting the pattern piece on a ta­ pered skirt will change the dart and maintain the way the fabric drapes.

Tapered skirt

If you are using an unforgiving fabric, or adding significan t length to a tapered skirt, the fol/owing dart adjustment will improve your results:

1. 2.

Cut along the lengthen/shorten line and separate the pattern the amount of the additional length. Lay a straightedge {ruler} from the widest point on the upper pattern segment to the widest point on the lower segment to indicate the new side seamline. Be sure to keep the center front/back of both segments in alignment. Notice the dart shape between the side seam and the straightedge. Draw a line parallel to the center line from the waist dart-point down to the lower edge of the upper skirt pattern segment. Slash along this line to inch from the dart-point, and spread the slash until the side seam meets the straightedge between the hip and hem. The waist dart will close slightly. This ad­ justment isn't necessary on slightly tapered skirts. Fill the void, formed by cutting and spreading, with new tissue paper and tape it in place.

, , , Spread the pattern piece to fill the dart.

3.

1/2

4.

80

TH READS

True the seams.

Spread the pattern piece the amount of the added length.

,


Ma rketp l a ce

88-89

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Page p.15 p.14 p.11p.81p.86 p.84 p.84 P9 p.79 p.15 p.91p.79 p.8227 Pp.84 p.20 p.84 p.83 p.79 p.86 p.84 Pp.1p.12124 p.71 p.71p.83 p.81 p.83 p.82 p.87 p.81 p.83 p.85 p.71 p.83 p.81p.85 p.86 p.l3 p.82 p.2-5 p.20 p.17 p.82

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Advertiser

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Ultra Style Designs

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Universal Presser Foot Lifter

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Tosca Company Treadleart

Wild Ginger Software, Inc.

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You Can Make It, Inc.

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Your Personal Fit

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SerReadervice Web Address 4481 37184 52110176 75142 38180 88117 72 32136 5 98111 15321 12 160114 50107 172 31113 53182 82137 77 7030 16 147 105 No.

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Zipper Source

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89


Closures D rea m s of sum mer by Sandra Betzina

A

and went to plays and movies

ll year long I find myself dream­ ing of summer. Whenever I have

at night. Summers were differ­

a lot to do or things are more dif­

ent, but I still had fun. And then my children went

ficult than they should be I slip into

my summer fantasy. By the time I was

to college and moved into their

10 years old I decided that summer

own apartments, so now when

vacation was and would always be

I drive to the coast the car is no

a special time for me. I would start

longer loaded with toys for the

planning my next summer right after

children, but with toys for me:

Labor Day, on the first day of school;

bigger boxes of sewing projects and stacks of books. I have be­

somehow the promise of another wonderful summer made that first day bearable. I began making

gun to savor my time alone; on one trip, I didn't talk to anyone for

not only to-do lists, but summers-to-come lists. One list included a

eight days. It was wonderful!

week at Rehoboth Beach, in Delaware, with my favorite aunt who

My summers of present also include extended visits with friends.

was proned to spoiling me with long days at the beach and walks

My best friend, Helen Snell, loves to sew and read as much as I

on the boardwalk at night, and three days at my grandmother's

do-she's a perfect companion for extended stays on the coast. And

house making doll clothes from special fabric scraps she saved for

she loves to cook. Together we've planned many sewing projects,

me. As I got older this list included two weeks hand-beading on the

reading lists, and meals for our summer week. That first morning at

beach in Rio, and two months camping in Africa. After I married my

the house, while the coffee brews and croissants warm up, we begin

list expanded to a romantic weekend in the Napa Valley, without

setting up our sewing machines at opposite ends of the long kitchen

children, and mother-daughter shopping trips in New York City.

table. The iron is turned on, ready for action. Sewing begins right

Even though I operated my own sewing school in San Francisco,

after breakfast. Conversation with a good friend is easy over sew­

I never taught in the summer because my children were out of

ing machines; so many words have flown across that table over the

school, and summer was the time to break routine. As soon as

years: hopes for our children, personal philosophies, and politics,

school let out, I p acked the car with beach toys, food, and boxes of

all the while caressing and molding the cloth.

sewing projects; I picked up my four children and headed straight

Sewing has been a lifelong of joy for me: making doll clothes in

for our house in the country. This hideaway is four hours north

grammar school, prom dresses in high school, and career clothes

of San Francisco, in a little town right on the coast. The children

in my 20s; owning a sewing school in my 30s; being a syndicated

and I stayed there all summer. My husband drove up on Thursday

sewing columnist and spokesperson for the American Home Sewing

nights and stayed until Tuesday mornings when he drove back to

Association in my 40s; hosting my own show on HGTV in my early

the city to work. For 1 3 years these summers were everything one

50s; designing my own pattern line for Vogue in my late 50s; and

dreams of summer: warm weather, big breakfasts, sewing in the

now in my 60s, sewing is still my constant companion. I still love

morning, daily trips to the beach, cookouts, no TV, and plenty of

teaching, writing articles and books, and sewing for pleasure. All of it

time to read.

feeds my soul the way a good book feeds my mind, a good meal feeds

Then my children became teenagers and these trips were not

my body, and love for my friends and family feeds my heart. I have

nearly as exciting for them as summer jobs and seeing their friends

already begun my list of sewing projects for next summer. Dreams of

on the weekends-so my summers changed. I still drove to the coun­

summer give wings

to

the other nine months of the year.

try, but by myself, and stayed for only three or four days at a time. If

MoreThreads Fabric

I wanted to see my children, I had to rethink my summer dreams-l

Sandra Betzina is the author oj

Signed up for art classes in the mornings, sewed in the afternoons,

2004), and has been a contributor to

90

TH READS

Savvy (The Taun ton Press, Jor many years.


Com pa ny X

�ibra�

$1 0.00

*$1 .00*

· Th e L o w Pri ce Lea II} Em der brOide

ry Desi gns


IN DETAIL

Art-to-wear designer Kayla Ken­

nington has never been afraid to push the limits of design. Her ensemble called "Happy Flowers Regalia Girl" was inspired by Native American ceremonial regalia and early 20th century Russian ballet costumes. Equipped with up-to-the-minute sew­ ing and embroidery technology, Kayla combined myriad fab­ rics, embroideries, trims, and beads in a fashion that looks almost random, but is in fact carefully thought out. As in any true work of art, each square inch of this garment has been attended to, and is important to the whole. To learn how Kayla adapts her aesthetic to more subdued, wearable clothing, turn to p. 6 2 .

Garment courtesy of the 2004 Bernina Fashion Show, "Celebration" Photos: Sloan Howard

Threads magazine 117 march 2005  
Threads magazine 117 march 2005  
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