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quick to make



perfectly fit pants spring/summer pattern review invisible zippers •

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featu res

up front

6 8 12

Contributors Letters Tips

16 22

Basics Patch pockets

Machine Embroidery

Turning through the


seam, tracing patterns,

quantities like a pro

casing, stitch-per-inch conversions, printing patterns with software,

34 To Fit Pants, Start at the Waist

Although the waistband is the last piece you sew, it should be the first area you fit

by Joyce Murphy

40 Our Tips Will Streamline Your Sewing Space Smart ideas to manage clutter and improve workflow in dedicated

sewing elastic and

preventing calluses





workrooms, shared spaces, or in portable set-ups by the Threads staff

Quick to Make

3-hour ripply scarves

46 The Amazing Disappearing Zipper A smooth, garment-industry technique that gets rid of lumps and bumps by Helen Metrakos

50 Pattern Review: The Best New Styles to Sew Break the rules: Pair unusual silhouettes and fabrics with plenty of exotic details by A nna Mazur

Cover photo: Jack Deutsch; hair and makeup: Sylvia Pichler





The Taunton Press

Inspiration for hands-on livingÂŽ

56 Edgy Jackets Try these updated, designer techniques for lining and finishing­ no tailoring experience necessary by L inda Lee

61 Hairline Seams Give a Delicate Couture Finish Use your sewing machine to make tiny, perfectly finished seams that bend smoothly around curves by A n na Mazur

64 One Pattern...Three V-necks Flat, frilly, or convertible-all these collars start from the same neckline by Kathleen Cheetham

in the back


Questions Belt services, horsehair sources, faux leather, puckered hems, capris vs. cropped pants


Tools of the Trade Silk thread, Elizabethan patterns, buttonhole kit


Fitting Convert a favorite blouse or jacket pattern into a coat pattern


Exploring Design


Advertiser Index/Web Directory


The magical machine


Satin wedding gown

Closures Back Cover



C o n t r ib u t o r s

TH READS· Associate Publisher Managing Editor Art Director Associate Editors Copy/Production Editor Art Assistant Editorial Secretary Contributing Editors Angelyn Termini

Jefferson Kolle

Robin L. Mazzola

("The Amazing Disappear i n g Zipper") teaches haute couture and fas h i o n sewing at h e r sewing academy in M ontreal. She also produces and stars i n a cable TV series devoted to fashion sewing, which airs in Ouebec. To share her expertise i n fitt i n g and fine sewing, she offers workshops and seminars throughout the U.S. and Canada (in English and i n French), and h a s recently self­ publ ished a book, Professional Sewing Made Easy. Her biling ual Web site,, i ntroduces visitors to her methods and publ ications.

Kathleen Cheeth a m ("One Pattern .. .Three V-necks") is passio nate about beautif u l ly fit g arments that move with comfort. To enrich s i l houettes and celebrate the female form, Kathleen looks for fashion i n s p i ration from the late 1 9th and early

20th centuries. She recently created a m i n i ward robe of half-scale garments using the fall colors of an E. Lawrence pai nting. Kathleen designs her own line of patterns for short, fu ll-fig u red


women (Petite



Gigi Louis

("Embroidering M u ltiples Like a Pro") began her fascination with needle and th read at age seven. In h i g h school, she moved on to fashion sewing, and became obsessed with designer patterns and luscious fabrics. Today she spends as much time as possible creating g reat-looking p ieces for her own wardrobe. Gigi embroiders for local ath letic teams and small bus i nesses; she's also a reg ular contributor to Pattern, sharing her tech n ical expertise and revealing her i nfal l i b l e eye for the perfect pattern for any garment you want to sew. Visit her studio at

Jack Deutsch

(photographer, front cover), long­ time Threads photographer, was born in Israel, and spent much of his early life i n C hicago. Jack moved to New York after college to "find h i mself" before attending medical school. Fortunately, for Threads, Jack switched gears and became a professional photog rapher. For more than 20 years he has worked on numerous projects and books for Geoffrey Beene. Jack and his wife have two children, and live i n N e w Y o r k City. I n his free time, Jack enjoys trave l l i ng and scuba d iving. Visit JackDeutsch .com for more of his work.

Carol J. Fresia, Judith Neukam, Jennifer Sauer

Jennifer M. Themel

Lisa Summerell

April Mohr

Barbara Emodi, Linda Lee, Mary Ray

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Le t t e r s Fantastic photos

I've noticed some changes in the last few issues of


Mai nly, there's a new look

to the photography, which I think is terrific.


What have you been sew足 ing? In late winter, several members of Threads staff

Don't get me wrong-the photos have always


been great, but now, they're somehow bet足


ter. I don't quite know what's different, but whatever it is, keep doing it. The clothes look awesome! Ivory Zuckerman, Terre Haute, Ind.

Editor replies:

We're glad you noticed. In a

large part, the new look is the work of our


and I travelled to the

The Taunton Press

Inspiration for hands-on living速



Founders, Paul and Jan Roman THE TAUNTON PRESS

Stitchery Expo in Puyallup,


Washington. As always, I was pleased to



Chief Financial Officer

by our booth. It was particularly exciting

Chiefof Operations

wearing garments they created-some


Creative Director

Threads. In our last issue I asked you to

Human Resources Director

who has been a part of the team for almost

send photos of your work, and many of

Technology Services Director Controller

you have, but I'd like to see lots more. In fact, we may include your photos In an

lots of new departments and features.

upcoming issue of the magazine.

Marketing Director, Magazines Fulfillment Director

The May 2005 issue featured a folding cutting table in Tools of the Trade. I have this table, but I modified it. I affixed a ro足 tary cutting board to one drop leaf using rubber cement. I also made a custom-fit ironing cover for the center and remaining

Angie Termini Associate Publisher,


p h otograph your garments, visit Threads

THE TAUNTON STAFF Books: Marketing: Melissa A. Possick, Audrey Locorotondo, Susan Straub. Publicity: Nicole Radder, Janel Noblin. Editorial: Maria Taylor, Helen Alben, Kathryn Benoit, Peter Chapman,

My husband quilts, and he also finds this

Recent Work PO Box


Mandarano, Jennifer Peters, Amy Reilly, Erica Sanders-Foege, Kathleen Williams. Art: Nancy Boudreau, Sandra Mahlstedr, Wendi Mijal, Tinsley Morrison, Lynne Phillips, Carol Singer.

Manufacturing: Thomas Greco, Laura Burrone.


BusinessOffice: Holly Smirh, Gayle Hammond. Legal: Carolyn Kovaleski. Magazine Print Production: Philip Van IGrk, Nicole Anastas, Jennifer Kaczmarcyk. Distribution: Paul Seipold, Frank Busino, David DeToro,

the roa d

Leanne Furlong, Deborah Greene, Linnca Ingram, Frank Melbourne, Frederick Monnes, Reinaldo Moreno, Raymond

will have a booth at the show

Passaro, Chad Piche, Thomas St. Cyr, Alice Saxton.

listed here. If you attend, please stop by

Detergent for washing you r stash

to say hello.

The first article I read in your last issue was Judy Neukam's on washing your fabric stash. I want to tell her about using sodium lauryl

Gaylord Opryland Nashville

sulfate as a detergent for washing fabric. It's

Nashville, TN

sometimes sold as Orvus Paste, and it's free

of all detergent additives. This product has

71 3-729-3000

the advantage of being widely available in

Fax: 71 3-72 1-92 30

rural areas, where there are no art-supply

July 26-31

stores, since it's used for washing horses and other livestock for exhibition.


Barbara Cole. Sreve Culpepper, Robyn Doyon-Aitken, Maureen Graney, Julie Hamilton, Pamela Hoenig, Carolyn

Threads magazine

Newtown, CT


Publisher, Thomas Falconer

P.S. For some simple tips on how to

Send p h otos or p hoto CDs to:

American Sewing Guild (ASG)

Patricia Williamson


to my cutting, sewing, and ironing areas.

On Threads

Diana Allwein

President, Sarah Roman


for projects that I regularly need to move

Faith Njaa, via email

Edward Kingston Wayne Reynolds

nusurer, Timothy Rahr

drop leaf. Now it's more accommodating

arrangement quite convenient.

Susan Edelman Carol Marotti


T h anks.

Customized cutting table

Thomas Luxeder

Publisher, Book Group James Childs

relatively new art director, Robin Mazzola, a year now. And get ready for more changes;

Timothy Rahr

Publisher, Magazine Group Jon Miller

told me they used helpful advice from

in the next few issues we'll be introducing

John Lively

Editor In Chief Sue Roman

talk with lots of you when you stopped for me to see so many show attendees


Finance!Accounting: Finance: Kathy Worth,Susan Iadarola, Brert Manning, David Pond. Accounting: Patrick Lamomagne, Dorothy Carbone, Lydia Krikorian, Judith O'Toole, Elaine


Yamin, Carol Diehm. Margaret Bafundo, Dorothy Blasko, Susan Burke, Lorraine Parsons, Larry

Priscilla Wakeman.

Fulfillment: Diane Goulart. Fulfillment Systems: Jodi Klein, Lisa Chartrand. Nancy Knorr. Customer Service: Ellen Grassi, Michelle Amoroso, Bonnie Beardsley, Deborah Ciccio, Katherine Clarke, Alfred Dreher, Monica Duhancik, Kimberly Eads, Margaret Hicock, Eileen McNulty, Patricia Parks, Deana Parker, Patricia Pineau, Berry Stepney. Data Entry: Melissa Dugan, Anne Champlin, Mary Ann Colbcrt, Barbara Lowe, Maureen Pekar, Debra Sennefelder, Andrea Shorrock, Marylou Thompson, Barbara Williams, Brian Wilcox. Human Resources: LindaBallerini, Christine Lincoln, Dawn Ussery.

Fabulous Fit® Dress Forms Sewing Machines online Super Sale!

Heidi Waldkirch, Carole Ando, Frank Miller, Robert Nielsen, Linda Reddington, Lawrence Sullivan, John Vaccino, Daniel

Best Savings ...AN

Woodhouse. Desktop and Network Support: Kenneth Jones, Michael Colonari, Gabriel Dunn, Michael Lewis, Jay Ligouri,



Joseph Manganello. Marketing: Dominique Clancy, Wendy Hensel, Ellen


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Reidtions: Tonya Polydoroff. Operations: Joseph Morits, Roberta Calabrese, Kevin


DeGroate, John Gedney, Marc Irnbirnbo, Sally Kirwan,

Scheurer. Norma-Jean Taylor. Maintenance: Alvin Jack. Lincoln Peters. Mayernik, Sandra Motyka, WilliamSims. Promotion Print

Production: Diane Flanagan, John Cavallaro, Dawn Viglione. Taunton Creative and Editorial: Creative: Robert Goodfellow, W. Kathy Martin, Sarah Opdahl, Pamela Winn. Editorial: Jefferson Kolle. Photography:Scoer Phillips. Video: Gary Junken.

Prepress: Deborah Cooper, Richard Booth, William Bivona,

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Le t t e rs (conti n ued) I appreciate Judy's point that this wash­ ing is not meant as preshrinking for future laundering, which averts some disappoint­ ing outcomes. Additionally, her response to fabric in the Contributors section is like

Announcing Inspired by Threads 2005 It 's time for the si xth annu al I n sp ired

a short description of synesthesia. It's no

by Threads De sig n Ch all enge.

wonder she loves to sew!

Entry form s with photo s or sli de s

Pamela Joh nston, Portland, Ore. Yardage cha rt

Thanks for the fabric yardage conversion chart on page 66 in your last issue. I cut out the chart and took it to my local office-sup­ ply store, where they laminated it in plastic for just $ 1 .50. The chart now resides in my wallet right next to my credit card, so when I go to the fabric store, I use one and then the other. Shelia Stockschlager, St. Louis, Mo.

of g arment s in spired by i ssue s No. 114 through 11

9 are due to Threads by Augu st 1, 2005. Vi sit Thre ad sMag or c all 800309-9262 for an entry form and the Ch al le nge rule s. You c an see

l ast ye ar 's winner s and fin ali st s at Thre ad sMag azin

Scissors quest

My favorite Valentine is looking for a good

All I seem to get are sites where I can sub­

pair of sewing scissors. Until recently, she

scribe to the magazine, but I already have

had a pair of Henckels scissors that her

a subscription. Any help you can offer will

mother had purchased in Germany, about

be appreciated. Laura Page, DuPont, Wash.

35 years ago. Since I am far out of the loop when it comes to good scissors (ask me about stringed musical instruments), I am writ­

Editor replies:

All the Taunton Press maga­

zine Web sites have gone through some

ing for your recommendations and advice.

recent changes. Log on to ThreadsMagazine

I would welcome any suggestions you might

.com, and look for "About the Magazine"

care to 0 ffer.

in the left column of the home page.

Thank you for your kind attention and

C lick on "Magazine Index," and search

reply. I look forward to hearing from you at

any topic of interest to sewers. The search

your earliest convenience (Valentine's Day

engine will let you know which

is approaching rapidly).

issue and page number contains the in­


Stuart Horsman, via email

formation on your chosen topic. It's a

Sorry we didn't get your letter

and it also provides a link to order back

great way to search your saved issues,

Editor replies:

in time for Valentine's Day, but we're plan­

issues if your collection is incomplete.

ning an article all about different sewing scissors in an upcoming issue. When's her birthday? O n l i n e i ndex

Having pulled up your online index in the past, today I became very frustrated in not READER SERVICE NO. 143



being able to locate it. Please clue me in.

Threads a bbreviations key

To save space, we sometimes abbreviate these frequently used terms.

CB CF s.a. RS WS

center back center front seam allowance right side wrong side

• •


Easy turning through the seam When


leave an opening in a seam to stuff or turn the lining through,

my stitch length where




want one end of the opening positioned, pivot, and

sew perpendicular to the sea mline a n d off the raw edge. Then


repeat the

same p rocess from the other end of the opening. This stitch ing in the seam allowance makes the opening fold neatly inside, and is particularly useful when stuffing because the edges hold without popping stitches, even if you stuff firmly. -Shirley Scho e n , San Francisco

per for simple or preliminary

widest part of the pattern piece.


alterations, and artist's tissue

Highlight that line, and use it to


paper for detailed and final al­

align your grainline.

Emergency b u rn


irons cause burns . Take the

With this trick, you establish

terations. When altered, pattern pieces

smoothing a thin layer of tooth­

need to be permanently taped

inate unnecessary measuring,

paste on it. Gel types won't

together. This time I use a good­

pinning, and unpinning.

work, only paste. - Ruth Ciemnoczolowski, Omaha, Neb.

quality clear cellophane or gift­

- Phyllis Rettke,

wrap tape. Do not use a low­

Bellevue, Wash.

tack tape-it's not permanent. -Carolyn Rehbaum,

Trace patterns vertica l ly

Altamonte Springs, Fla.


Sew the elastic a nd casing i n one step

Make an easy job of sewing a

I like to use my sliding glass


a grainline to refer to, and elim­

sting out of a minor burn by

casing for elastic by inserting

doors as an easel-the daylight

Get odd-shaped patterns

shines through creating a light

on gra i n

the elastic and sewing the cas­

table-and I can then alter and

I found a simple trick for plac­

ing at the same time. To do this,

trace original pattern pieces

ing pattern pieces (even irregu­

press the casing in place, mark


lar ones, like pants or facings)

any matching points on the

I fasten my original pattern

on grain. I use a piece of lined

elastic and the casing, and then

to the glass with low-tack tape,

notebook paper, two pins, and

fold the casing around the elas­

which is secure, yet removes

a straightedge.

tic before sewing. Anchor the

later without tearing the tissue

Position one of the lines on the

elastic at the starting point of

pattern. With my pattern at eye

paper over the grainline on the

the casing by stitching through

level, I can stand back to think

pattern piece. Then, find one of

the elastic and fabric.

before I alter it. I then trace off

the outer lines on the notebook

If desired, pin the elastic to

a pattern using brown kraft pa-

paper that is at or outside the

the casing at the marked points.

Have a tip?

Stretch the elastic as you sew,

the safety pins. Simply insert

up or down according to the

and keep it within the casing

the safety pin, bring the point

copier), arrange my pattern

space, but clear of the stitch­

up through the top of the quilt,

piece s on the copy bed, and

Share your ti ps,

ing line. Use this technique for

and u se the threaded shaft of

close the cover. After printing,

tricks, and sew­

sewing casings in the round or

the screw to lift the pin point.

I j u st peel off the PelIon copy

i ng/embellish­

those that are constructed flat

Then, grasp the locking end

from the paper backing and

i n g resources.

and later sewn into a seam (i.e.,

of the pin and bend it down to

have a lovely fabric-like pattern

Send us details,

doll waists or cuffs). This meth­

lock over the pin tip. The screw

piece that is easy to modify and

sketches, photos,

od also works well for casings

saves a lot of wear and tear on

easy to fit to body curves.

or samples. We'll

with drawstrings.

your fingers, e specially when

-Linda Vielhaber,

-Patricia Voorman, Richland, Wash.

you're basting a large quilt.

Sterling Heights, Mich.

- De b ra Arch, Kewanee, III.

Printing patterns with

To reduce the po ssibility

of j amming paper in the copy

Tips, PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470-5506.


for patterns

tray rather than the standard

I sometimes photocopy a small

paper tray. Generally, paper

printer simplifies printing be­

pattern piece so I can modify it

passing from the manual feed

cause I only have to tape two

without destroying the original.

doesn't bend a s the copy i s

sides of the paper together.

But I find the copy paper far too

made. The path is straight and

However, when the dot matrix

stiff for me. Instead, I lightly

therefore less likely to cause

printer died recently, I realized

spray a piece of copy paper with


I could u se the continuou s pa­

a temporary adhesive such as

per for my patterns. All I do i s

Sulky KK2000. Then, I place a

-April M o h r,

Threads' editorial secretary

tear off the sides of the paper,

piece of lightweight PelIon onto

configure my ink-jet printer for

the adhesive side of the paper,

No knot prewashing

banner paper, and print away­

and trim the edges if necessary.

I washed an 81f2-yard piece of

it works beautifully!

I insert the prepared paper into

fabric at home. When I took

the copy machine (PelIon side

this large twisted snake of fab-

-Liz Barefoot, Albany, Ga. Dust·free thread storage


purchased a sturdy plastic

pie keeper at a rummage sale, not knOwing just how I might

Stitches per inch m etric conversions 20 spi = 1 .3mm

soon discovered that

This list makes it easy to translate

it could store forty 300-yard

between metric stitch lengths and

thread spools. The pie keeper

stitches per inch (spi) designations

u se it.


is 2 inches high, 10 inches in diameter, and stays flat on the

them to: Threads

machine, u se the manual feed

Lightweight photocopies

love my pattern-making soft­

item we publish. Please send


you r software

ware, and my old dot matrix

pay for each

we see on older sew i n g machines:

1 5 spi = 1 .7mm 1 2 spi


2.1 mm

1 0 spi = 2.5mm 8 spi = 3.1 mm

dresser next to my sewing ma­

6 spi =4.2mm

chine. It's perfect for dust-free

5 spi = 5.1 m m

thread storage. -Cheryl Hilbrands,

4 spi = 6.3mm

George,la. Prevent safety·pin cal l uses

When pin-basting a quilt, u se a 2-inch screw to easily close

-Kay Lancaster, via Creative Machine Newsletter


2 0 05


Use hom e-perm anent papers as stabilizers Some people use scraps of fabric or stabil izer to start sew i n g fabric that tends to catch i n the throat plate at the beg i n n ing and end of seams. But for me, this practice means ted iously cutting lots of little squares of fabric or sta bil izer. Instead, I buy the j u mbo end wraps typically used for wet-setting hair from any beauty-supply store. J u mbo end wraps are precut i nto 21f2- inch by 4-i nch rectangles, and are packaged in a n easy-to-use d i s penser. When I want to use them to s u p port the whole seam, I j ust butt the wraps together. End wraps are desig ned to be used wet, so they are strong, but they tear away without distorting the fabric or stitches. -Candice E. Will iams, Rocky Mount, N.C.

ric out of the washing machine,

cylinder, I tried sliding it over

fabric and buttons so easy. I

I opened it, shook it out, and

a mini paint roller handle-it

keep my album updated, and it

folded it-fan-pleated style.

worked great. The handle

never gets far from my purse足

is sturdy, it rolls ea sily over

and it' s equally handy to u se

fabric for a few minutes, I de足

garments, and I don't have to

while shopping for accessories

cided to try pinning it every 4 to

worry about breaking it.

once the outfits are finished.

After looking at the folded

6 inches, along the selvages on

-Claudia Jenkins,

-Susan Smith,

both sides, before I put it in the

Ithaca, N.Y.

Delphi, Ind.

dryer. When the fabric came out of the dryer it had no wrinkles,

Sewing a l b u m keeps track

Fitti ng f u l l , h igh h i ps

was slightly damp on the sel足

of pattern i nfo

I used to follow the method of

vages under the pins, but wasn't

To keep track of my patterns, I

blending to a smaller size at

twisted out of shape-and it only

make and trim reduced copies

the waist from the full hip on

needed a touch-up with the iron.

of my pattern envelopes, and

multisized patterns, but never

I now do this with all my large

insert them into a 4-inch by 6-

got a good fitting result. The

pieces of fabric.

inch, purse-size photo album.

side seam always had a funny

- G race Maloney,

This album contains yardage

angle to it. I have found that I

Oakville, O N, Canada

and notions information, and

get a much smoother and bet足

the front and back sketches of

ter-fitting garment by cutting

Pai nt roller for l i nt

the pattern is at my fingertips.

the pattern the same size from

I accidentally broke off the


u se extra photo sleeves in the

hip to waist at the side seam,

handle o f my 4-inch-long lint

back of the album for fabric

and then adding a second dart

roller while cleaning a pair of

swatches and also a yardage

at the waist.

black wool pants. Since I could

converter. This album makes

-Susan Hutchins,

shopping at sewing shows for

Sagamore Beach, Mass.

no longer roll the adhesive tape



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Bas i cs Patch pockets

by Patricia Moyes

Steam a pocket into shape around a template, then sew it on flat and even


Patch pocket is just that-a

patch of fabric, usually a variation on a square, that

is sewn to a garment on three sides; the unattached top edge simple to construct, but there

Mark the garment piece and pocket

becomes the pocket opening. It's are definite steps you need to

It's best to m a rk the pocket placement on a flat, unsewn g a rment piece. Because a patch

practice to ensure a completely

pocket is stitched on the right side of a ga rment, its placement must also be m arked on the

professional-and not at all

right side.

homemade-finish. Mark the fabric piece with Always m a ke a match

tailor's tacks, which won't

All professional-looking patch

leave marks on the fabric,

pockets share a common trait­

will remove easily, a nd can be

they are perfectly symmetrical.

seen from both sides. Simply

If you thought that getting the

thread a hand needle with a

corners and sides to match is

double-strand of thread (you

a tricky business that depends

will have four ends). With

more on luck than skill, let me

your pattern laid on top of

tell you about an easy, foolproof

your fabric, take a tiny stitch

trick for getting a match every

at each top corner of the

time-all you need is a manila

pocket, through all the layers.

template, tissue paper, and an

Carefully pull off the tissue,

iron (see the steps on p. 18 for

separate the layers, then cut the

details) .

threads between the layers.

If your garment requires two patch pockets-one for each side of a shirt, for example-you also

Mark the fold-back line on the

need to make sure they match

pocket. Snip

each other in size and relative

fabric at both ends of the l i ne.

location. I like to construct both pockets at the same time, then stack and compare them



1fs 1f4 to

inch into the



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B a s i ( S (coolloo,d) Construct the pocket The following steps are demo nstrated on a pocket with a curved-bottom edge. They are the same for one with a stra i g ht-bottom edge.


Finish the top edge. Press

1f4 1f4

inch to the wrong side, then

turn another

inch; press. Stitch

along the folded edge. If your fabric is bulky, finish the raw edge with a n overlock or zigzag stitch.


line. With the


pocket right-side up,

(without seam allowances or fold-back area)

press the top down

onto a manila file folder, then cut it out. Fold

along the fold-back

the template in half to make sure the edges and

l ine, using the snips

corners are even; trim as necessary. Place a large

Press along the fold-back

Insert a manila template, wrap in tissue, and steam. Trace the finished pocket pattern

as your guide. With

piece of white tissue paper on your ironing board,

a ruler, check to

then place the sewn pocket right-side down on

ensure you pressed

top. Slip the template under the fold-back area,

an even amount a l l

and tightly pull the edges of the tissue paper

t h e way across, then

toward the template's center, which will draw the

pin i n place.

seam a llowa nces tight around the template. Press along a l l the edges to set the shape. Let cool, then remove the tissue and template.


Stitch the sides at the top edges. Using a 2.Smm to 1.7Smm stitch length, sew both edges i n the fold-back area. Trim the seam

allowances to eliminate bulk. Turn the pocket right-side out, and gently push out the corners with a point turner; press. If desired, topstitch along the bottom of the fold-back area to a nchor the fabric.

(continued on theJollowil1g page)





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Attach the pocket To ensure that your pocket is straight a n d lays flat, work on a hard, flat surface . . .

FIRST, place the pocket on the garment. With the garment facing right-side up, align the upper corners of the pocket with the tailor's tacks. Pin it in place.

SECOND, baste in place, then topstitch. Thread a hand needle with a single thread and q uickly but evenly stitch along the pocket's side across the bottom a nd up the other side with !f2-inch-long stitches. With the garment right-side up, machine足 stitch


inch from the edge, starting at the top right

a nd continuing a round the pocket to the top left edge.

THIRD, anchor the corners. Because the top

before attaching. I f they don't

corners take the most stress, rei nforce them with a

match up, it's easier to make

rule to follow with any patch

small triangle of stitches.

changes before they're stitched

pocket. If you do,



in place. Once I pin them on

a quickly sewn and beautifully

FINALLY, trim the seam allowances. To reduce

the garment, I also like to lay

shaped pocket.

bulk and release tension around the curved bottom

the two garment pieces right


sides together, then use my fin足

Patricia Moyes teaches basic sew足

from the seam allowance. Be careful not to catch the

gers to trace all the edges and

ing in San Francisco, and is the au足

garment fabric with your scissors.

check the alignment. If they are

thor of Just Pockets (The Taunton

slightly off, I can just unpin and


edges, turn the pocket inside out, then trim


reposition them. "Check once,


check again" is always a good








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Mac h I n e E m b r o i d e r y •

Embroid ering m ulti p l es like a pro

by Gigi Louis

Efficiency tricks for embro ider i ng lots of items with the same design

9,000 stitches



' 7..."'.'.

. , ." 0-':"


'�. \ .

6,300 stitches

5,700 stitches


Fewer stitches in a design means greater efficiency.


f you have an embroidery

that commercial embroiderers

machine, chances are you've

consider when calculating em­

been asked at some point to

broidery costs, because they can

embroider palos for the fam­

significantly increase the time it

ily reunion or T-shirts for your

takes to stitch out each sample.

child's soccer team. It sounds

If your machine runs at 800

simple enough, but embroider­

stitches per minute (spm), you

ing many items with the same

can reduce your stitching time

design can be time-consuming

by 40 percent simply by sub­

and tedious. As an embroidery

stituting a 6,000-stitch design

professional, I do these kinds

for a lO,OOO-stitch design. Each

When you're embroidering several of the same design,

of jobs every day, and have

trim or color change can cost

you can save time by choosing a similar motif with a

learned that the right materials

you minutes; if there are a lot

lower stitch count (top row), or by editing a dense design

and methods speed up the work

of color changes in your chosen

to reduce the stitch count (bottom row).

and yield attractive, long-lasting

design, the minutes can really


add up. It's worth your time to find a similar-looking but more


For m u ltiples, stitch

Copyri g ht-or wro n g ?

efficient design if you've got a

count matters

lot of samples to embroider.

Before you embark on a big batch of e mbroidery,

When you're embroidering just T h reads a nd sta b i l izers:

double-check the licensing information for your

one or two items it's easy to ig-

chosen design. While many designs can be used on

nore things like stitch count,

keep it simple

items for sale, others have strict limitations. For more

number of thread trims, and

The number of threads and sta­

information, visit

number of color changes. Yet

bilizers on the market is mind­

these are precisely the factors

boggling. Before I turned pro, I


III canlt imagi ne quilti ng Icreativelyl without pfaffls excl usive I OT ! 11 Karen Good


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M a c h i n e E m b r o i d e r y (continued) happily kept a supply of every available stabilizer. As a com­ mercial embroiderer, I stock only a select few. A good heavy­

No need to jump

weight, cut-away stabilizer is a necessity for nearly every type of garment. Even when you're embroidering on wovens, cut­

broiderer's Buddy, left; Monogram Manager, top; Embroiderer's Friend, bottom), the hooping process is quick and

aways permanently stabilize the embroidery for the life of the garment. Some other items that are useful to have on hand are a firm, crisp, tear-away stabilizer, water-soluble topping, and em­ broidery spray adhesive. Polyesters are my thread of choice, for their bleach- and sun-resistance and overall du­ rability. I feel they're the best option when I know I'll have no control over how items will be cared for: they guarantee that the embroidery will remain col­ orfast and won't fray over time.

Get that logo i n j ust

Hoopi ng and pl acement:

the rig ht spot with a

the right tools m a ke the

hoop i n g a i d

job easier

One of the best methods for saving time when embroider­ ing lots of pieces is also one of the easiest: Keep duplicates of your most frequently used embroidery hoops, and hoop

It's helpful to mark your hooping aid for various garment sizes. If you don't use a hooping frame, consider trying the Embroiderer's Buddy, an L-shaped placement guide (above, at left). For adult sizes, follow these conventions to get perfectly placed logos on the left chest:

one garment while embroider­ ing another. You'll be surprised by how many minutes you can shave off the total time of your multipiece project this way, and the investment in equipment is small. One of the trickier aspects of embroidering multiples is uni­ form placement of the embroi­

XS and S: center the design 4 inches to the left of center front, 6 inches below the shoulder seam M, L, and XL: center the design 4112 inches to the left of center front, 7 inches below the shoulder seam 2XL and 3XL: center the design 5 inches to the left of center front, 7 inches below the shoulder seam

H o o p i n g a ids

Embroiderer's Buddy (placement guide) Embroiderer's Friend (hooping frame) ABC Embroidery Systems 800-748-9433

AII-In-One Hooper Tex, Inc. 866-466-7377

Monogram Manager (placement guide) 888-238- 1 372

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M a c h i n e E m b r o i d e r y (continued) need to mark placement lines on

hoops are available for most

impossible to hoop, such as

each garment. While not inex­

domestic embroidery machines,

athletic bags, briefcases, and

pensive, these aids quickly pay

while the newer semi-industri­

computer cases.

for themselves with increased

al machines come with round

productivity and accuracy. For a

hoops for the most flexibility.

As you can see, for most proj­ ects it takes know-how rather

No prewash i n g, p l ease

list of hooping tools, and place­

For projects that are too small

than lots of fancy equipment

ment guidelines for garments,

to hoop ( for example, shirt

to maximize your productivity

see "Hooping aids" on p. 24.

cuffs and collars), hoop the sta­

when you've got a lot of pieces

bilizer, spray it with temporary

to embroider-whether you're a

What to do when the item

adhesive, and adhere the area

paid professional or a generous

won't fit in the hoop

to be embroidered to the sticky


Items that aren't flat or that can't


Gigi Louis operates a professional

be hooped in the conventional

For semi-industrial machines,

way call for special equipment.

you can purchase a clamping

embroidery business and teaches

A cap hoop is a valuable addi­

system that makes it possible

sewing in Plantation, Fla.

tion to your toolbox; flat cap

to embroider objects that are

D o n 't d raw a b l a n k when l o o k i n g for b l a n ks Blanks (purchased items such as T-shirts, polo shirts, tote bags, and caps that are unembellished) are not always readily available in retail stores in the sizes and colors you want. However, there are many sources for blanks online; some require a minimum order, others will offer a home-embroiderer discount. All About B l a n ks

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One of the first dilemmas most home embroiderers face is whether to prewash an item before embroidery. Laundering a garment before embroidering does reduce some of the distortion that may occur in purchased garments once they're washed. However, prewashing destroys the crisp, new look of the item. Since the commercial embroiderer's goal is to deliver like-new garments, she never prewashes them, no matter how small the order. Proper stabilization with a cut-away product will prevent most puckering and distortion after washing.

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Silk Noil 35"/36" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 6.95 yd.

Jacquard Charmeuse 45" . . . . . . . . . . $1 8.95 yd.

Spun 35"/36" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1 0.95 yd.

Silk/Rayon Velvet 45" . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1 9.95 yd.

Taffeta . . . . . . . . . . 48" $1 9.95 yd/36" $1 6.95 yd.

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Silk Satin 45" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1 3.95 yd.

1 00% Wool Crepe 58" . . . . . . . . . . . . $1 9.95 yd.

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1 00% Linen 32"/36" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1 0.95 yd.

D u p ionni 48"(Hand Woven/Dyed) . . . $1 8.95 yd.

Silk Peau de Soie . . . 30" $1 5.95 yd'/45"$22.95 yd.

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2 0 05



ak e M a ke a S p l ash with a

R i p p ly Scarf by Judith Neukam and Carol Fresia

C u t s o m e b i as st r i p s . . . T h i s basic scarf i s m a d e u p of 3 - to 6 - i nch-wide strips, cut on the true bias of the fabric-45 d e g rees to the stra i g ht g ra i n -from selvage to sel­ vage. To cut the stri p s q u i ckly a n d accu rately, follow the d iagrams below.

Esta blish the bias by folding


one corner of the fabric to the 45


opposite selvage, aligning the cut edge to the selvage, and forming a 45-degree angle. Cut along the fold, and set the triangle-shaped



remnant aside.

s it a diaphanous cousin to the jellyfish, or an alien aquatic plant form, a festive kite from an exotic culture, or a modern­

Selvage Fold the fabric as shown at left

ist mobile?

so the fold is perpendicular to the

Actually it's a scarf, made entirely of bias

bias-cut edge. Continue fan-fold­

strips of silk organza. Feather-light, yet sup­

ing the remaining length of the

ported by a flexible skeleton of stitches,

fabric, keeping all the folds paral­


it twists, ripples, bounces, and undulates


lel to each other. Pin along the

/ /

playfully, and is most likely different from anything else you've ever worn. It's also a


folds as needed to keep the fabric from slipping.

breeze to make on your serger or sewing machine. You can make them wide or nar­ row, flat, tubular, or in a spiral; or any of the countless possible permutations you'll

Keep fa n-fold i n g fabric,

discover once you get started stitching up


these irresistible confections.

aligning the folds.

/ / /

Judith Neu kam and Carol Fresia are associ­ a te editors for Threads, and l i ke things that are twisted.

Third fold

In less than

3 hours, start to

finish, you can make this


/ Cut strips across and perpen­ dicular to the folds. All the strips will be of equal length and on the bias.

fabulous scarf

(continued 011 thefollowing page) june/july

2 00 5


Q u i c k t o M a k e (continued) . . . a n d j o i n t h e m by m ach i n e To construct the scarf, cut twelve 3 - i nch-wide strips, and attach the strips together along their long edges, kee p i n g wrong sides together. Sew the sea m s using a serg e r or sewing machine, offsetting the ends so the finished piece forms a large parallelogra m . Thread y o u r m a c h i n e with e m broidery thread to g i v e the sea m s a decorative sheen. Finish the outer, long edges. Leave

With a serger: S e t y o u r serger t o stitch a rolled hem using a very short stitch length and a d ifferential feed setting of 0 . 7. Serge close to the raw edges, trimming just a sliver of fabric. As you serge, keep the edges aligned and pull slig htly on the strips to stretch the edges and encour' age the seam to ripple. Stop stitch ing periodically to real ign your strips and make sure the ends stay even.

the e n d s, w h ich are on the fabric's selvage, u nfinished.

With a sewing machine: If you're using a sewing machine, select a short, narrow zigzag stitch, and sew very close to the raw edges. Pull the fabric tautly from the front and back as it feeds under the needle to promote the rippled effect. Should you fail to catch both layers of the seam in isolated spots, simply go back and stitch over that area. Let the feed dogs move the fabric so you don't break a needle.


'50: ;tg. i ".

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o .. L 00 A. '"

(continued on thefollowing page)




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Q u i c k t o M a k e ("elie"d) R i p p l y s p i ra l For a twisted tube scarf, like the blue and green one at left, cut four 6-i nch-wide strips and one 1 1h-inch-wide strip. Sew them together using a zigzag stitch to form a parallelog ram as described on p. 30, and roll it into a long spiral tube as shown below. Sew the two abutted edges together in the same manner as the other edges. Flatten the tube, sew across the ends to even them, and close the tube. Trim off any excess fabric, and add beads at the corners to weigh down the scarf.

Experiment with this process. It's way too much fun to save for scarves alone. Here, we spiraled strips into a sleeve.

These sca rves look great in m u lticolored schemes. You could purchase fabric i n several colors and cut it into strips, but we bought wh ite org a nza, and dyed our strips after cutting them, using Colorhue Fabric Dyes (avail able from SilkTh i We like these dyes because it just takes d i pping a strip i n a cup of water a n d a few d rops of dye for i nstant a n d perma nent color, without a ny setting process. Dyes mix for color va riety, a n d you ca n also over-dye for m ultihued effects.



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fessionworksho& fit) &






Although the waistband is the last piece you sew, it should be the first area you fit

To Fit Pants , Start at



the Waist

Fitting pants from the waist down ensures a flawless fit on any body type. Horizontal reference l ines in the "before" muslin indicate areas where fitting will take place. The fin ished, "after" pants fall smoothly from the waistband a nd all the way to the hem, with nary a wrinkle or pucker.

by Joyce Murphy

ver the years, I've fitted pants

ting in fully sewn pants. I call these "test

based on that measurement, even if your

on thousands of bodies, and

pants" because I construct them in muslin

waist and abdomen are larger than your

although I can easily and hap­

or other inexpensive fabric-including the

hip. I know this seems counterintuitive,

pily fit pants now, I found this

all-imp ortant waistband-and measure the

but it really does work, as you'll see in the

task frustrating and time-con­

pants only after any fitting changes have

step-by-step fitting process on the follow­

suming when I first started

been made.

ing pages. Sew the test pants true to the

my custom tailoring shop. Back then, I followed the traditional fitting method: I

Choose a pattern that fits you r h i p

pin-fitted a muslin version minus the waist­


pattern before fitting

band, then attached the band once the fit

The best pattern to use for your test pants is

Next, sew up your test pants. I prefer to

was perfected. Unfortunately, adding the

a basic pants pattern that features one dart

create mine from a medium-colored cotton­

waistband usually sabotaged all of my hard

on the front, one or two darts on the back,

blend muslin or other inexpensive fabric.

work, and I would have to go back and refit

and a straight, noncontoured waistband. I

I've found that clients and students are bet­

the muslin all over again.

prefer to start with a slightly tapered leg,

ter able to visualize the final fit in darker

as it's easier to evaluate how it fits than a

test pants. They also feel more comfortable

waistband, I experienced an "a-ha ! " mo­

fuller leg. If you desire a straight, boot-cut,

and covered in a darker fabric, and when

ment: Everything hangs from the band,

or full leg, it's easy to make those style ad­

they stand and move comfortably during

so it should be the first thing I fit, not the

justments to the pattern after it is fit.

the session, the better the fit will be.

One day, when I was struggling with a

last. Once I figured that out, I was able to

Because the hip area is the most chal­

After you cut out the fabric pieces, add ref­

streamline the process. Now, I do the fit-

lenging area to fit, choose your pattern size

erence lines as outlined on p. 36, then press




creases down the center of the front and Fuller figure? No

back pieces. The reference lines and creases

problem. Start

will act as fitting guides-the hip and thigh

at the waist and

reference lines always need to stay parallel

systemically add ress

to the floor, and the crease lines need to be

each a rea of the body

perpendicular to the floor.

down to the hem.

Sew the pants according to the pattern instructions, with one exception: Press the

Waist Abdomen (3 in. below waist)


Hip in. below waist) (8

crotch seam open, then trim the seam al­ lowances down slightly in the curve. This ensures that the crotch lays flat against the body. It's also important to completely fin­

Thigh (3 in. below crotch point)

ish your test pants: Stabilize and attach the waistband, insert a fly-front zipper (but not a fly guard as this adds bulk and hinders pinning), and add a hook-and-eye closure. Sew the pants true to the pattern, including Before/After

the hem. To fit the pa nts, start at the top and work down

Pants are virtually impossible to fit on your­ self, so pair up with a buddy. As


Knee (midpoint between crotch point and hem)


tioned, the fitting sequence is key. The first step is to size and position the waistband, as demonstrated on p. 37. When you are sat­ isfied with the fit and feel of that all-impor­ tant piece, then simply fit your way down (see pp. 36-37). Because pants hang from the waist, once you perfect the fit in one area-the abdomen, for instance-you can move down and concentrate on the next area-the hip-without worrying that the changes you're making will adversely affect

There are five key fitting areas for pants: the waist, abdomen, hip,

the traditional fitting method.

thigh, and knee. If you 've ever fit an unmarked muslin on a body,

Once you've completed all the fitting



you know that it's difficult to judge these exact locations. Marking

steps, move back and evaluate the adjusted

them directly on your test pants eliminates the guessing game

fit from all angles. When satisfied, adjust

and helps you get a more precise fit.

your pattern accordingly. All that's left to do is sew up the pants in your fashion fabric.

Mark the lines with chalk or a fabric marker, I

And be sure to store your test pants in a safe

machine-sew the lines using a contrasting thread and a basting stitch.

place; if you ever lose or gain weight, it will

You can then feel the stitch lines under your fingers, as well as see

be ready to fit again.

them, as you fit.

Joyce Murphy aSMPatterns. com) creates cus-

Make sure the lines are perpendicular to the lengthwise grain

tom pants in A lpena, Mich., and teaches pants-

of each pattern piece. Then, at any point you can visually confirm that

or, as


fi tting workshops across the country. She is a

the pants are hanging correctly on the body-the hip and thigh lines

member of the ProfeSSional Association of Cus-

simply need to be parallel to the floor.

tom Clothiers (PACC). 36

U s e refe re n c e l i n e s to h e l p y o u f i t

the previous area, a common frustration in

Size and position the waistband

Angle the band for ease of sitting and walking. A good-fitting waistband usually isn't parallel to the floor-it actually dips

% % to

inch lower i n the front.

When you try o n your test pants, take a l o n g , h a rd look at the wa istband. The a i m is a band that is snug, yet comforta ble. Where it s its on the body is a perso n a l p reference-decide if you'd l i ke it t o h it a bove, at, or j ust below the belly button.


Use long, sturdy T pins in the

waistband. Thin ner, shorter pins

Pinch out a too-big band.

will bend or slide out of place.

Because you can't pin out the desired amount along the center front due to the zipper, simply pin out an even amount o n either side of it. Continue pinning the fabric down past the abdomen line.

Insert a strip of stabilizer in a too¡small band. Unzip the zipper to the point where there is no longer any fabric tension, then insert a piece of waistband stabilizer, and pin it in place.



Check the hip position. M a ny women have one hip lower than the other, which can affect the fit and drape of pants. Rest your h ands on both hips to gauge if they are level. Also measure from the bottom of the waistband to the floor along both side seams, then compare the measurements. If there is more than


inch difference, make a

note to shave that amount off that side of the pants when you adjust your pattern later.

(continued on theJollowing page)

Adj ust the fit in the body core The abdomen, h i p, a n d crotch a reas a re cha l l e n g i n g to fit, as the fabric needs to fit a ro u n d the body, as well as between the legs. J ust start from the top a n d method ically f i t y o u r w a y down t h e body.

Pin out the excess between the abdomen and hip lines. If there is excess fabric in the front- or back-crotch area, adjust the crotch length by taking a horizontal tuck between the abdomen and hip reference lines. M ost women need this adjustment. Start at center front, tuck the fabric over the side seams, and continue to the back as necessary. Use the abdomen line as the top of the tUCk, and make sure the hipline stays parallel to the floor.

Do the sit test. To test comfort a nd Trust me-it works. If the fabric is snug

ease of movement,

a nd pulls across the seat, make more room

sit and walk i n the

for the body core by pinching out fabric

pa nts. If, when you

along the center-back seam.

sit, the waistband pulls down or gapes, the crotch length is a tad too short. To fix, pinch out more fabric i n the center-back seam. Although it seems counterintuitive, removing fabric at this seam creates more space for the body.



Check the ease and adjust the hem To move a n d sit comforta bly in the pa nts, a n d for a flattering silhouette, check to m a ke sure there is j ust enough roo m , or wearing ease, i n the abdomen, h i p, thigh, and hem. The fa bric should skim your body's cu rves, never h u g them.

Good-fitting Make sure there is enough ease.

comfortable, as

You should be able

well as attractive.

to pinch out



hem length. To shorten the pants, fold them out 4 to


i n ches

above the hem. This doesn't compromise the shape a n d a l l ows y o u t o better vis u a l ize the hem. To lengthen the hem, measure down from the hem a nd record the additional a m ou nt.

They don't pull,

on both side seams

twist, or gape as you

at the abdomen, hip,

walk, sit, or bend.

a nd thigh lines.

Adjust the

pants are very

O u r Ti ps Wi l l

Stream l i ne Space

S mart id eas to m an ag e cl utte r and i m p rove wo rkflow in ded i cated wo rkroo m s , s hared s paces , or i n p o rtable set-u ps by the Threads staff

ewing is a solitary enterprise, so a perk we thoroughly en­ joy at


is the simple fact that we get to "talk shop"

all day long. One of our favorite topics of conversation

I i nsta l led hardwood

is sewing room organization. Every sewer we meet and

flooring. What a difference!

every author we visit always asks us to suggest methods

Pins no longer get lost a n d

for controlling a healthy stash of fabrics, notions, and

stuck i n carpet pile. Loose

other sewing paraphernalia. The


office is a busy place, so we know how important it

is to minimize sewing room chaos. We take projects on the road

threads don't wind a ro u n d t h e wheels of my ro l l i n g ch a i r a nymore. A n d t o clean,

when we travel, sew at home in every free moment, and share a sew­


ing studio at the office. So, with eight or more creative individuals

threads that used to clog

spinning around in that studio, we've developed ingenious ways to make sure every spool of thread and scrap of fabric is handy and in its place. In the following pages, we've grouped our tips and tricks into three categories-for a dedicated sewing room, a shared space, or a portable/foldaway set-up-but we encourage you to try out any tip in your particular sewing space. We guarantee that you'll be pleasantly surprised at how orderly and efficient your sewing can be.



just sweep u p the loose

WORKFLOW To keep our studio at work org a n i zed, For bright l i g ht, without g l a re or sharp

we ordered sturdy cardboard bins in a

shadows, I h u n g shop lights i n each

variety of colors from an office-supply

corner of my sewing room. I fitted them

catalog. Each staff member has a specific

with f u l l -spectrum bul bs, which I find

color, and we keep fabrics, products, etc.,

best resembles natural s u n l i g ht.

for each article in a separate b i n .

-Judith Neukam, associate editor

-Carol Fresia, associate editor

So I never have to crawl u n der the sewing table to d isco n nect my machi nes, I plug all the machines into one power strip, and

set it o n the end of my table. I just need to flick the switch off as I leave the room. -Judy

I recently added a full-length mirror to my sewing room-and now I don't need to trek across the house every time I want to check a garment's fit. A m i rror with three sides is great because you ca n i nspect a l l the a n g les of a ga rment. -Jennifer Sauer, associate editor

LIGHTING Have an electrician hook u p the outlets for your sewing machine and iron to the overhead light in your sewing room.

When you turn off the light, you r iron a n d mach i n e will be safely p u t t o bed. -Lisa Summerell, art assistant

STORAGE I attached locking castors

To store fabric, I piggyback two

to the legs of all the tables

inexpensive bookshelves (without backs),

and shelves in my sewing

one in front of the other. The shelves are

room - I ca n now q u ickly

now extra-deep and accommodate bolts of

rearra nge the items as

fabric, just like a fabric store.

necessary for a project. And


clea n i n g u p is easy.

I'm a big fan of the rolling cart. I designate a drawer for each of my machi nes' assorted paraphern a l i a , then rol l it between my serger, ind ustrial sewing machine, and tabletop machine as I work. Presser feet, instruction m a n u als, and threads are always at my fi ngertips. -Robin Mazzola, art director

(continued on thefollowing page)


cutting surface, I p l a ce 'l2-inch-thick foam core (ava i l a ble at


a rt-supply stores) o n my b e d , t h e n slide m y cutti ng m a t o n top.

When I'm not sewi ng, my I like to store my fabrics on bolts, a nd I recently

mach i n e hides away in a

discovered two great plastic storage bins. Tall

handsome cabinet. Guests

wrapping-paper boxes have a plastic i nsert

just th i n k it's a striking

that separates the bolts so they don't tip over,

dresser or table.

a n d some under-the-bed boxes have wheels,

-April Mohr, editorial secretary

so I can ro l l them around the room. -Angie Termini, associate publisher





stack fabrics on tall

shelves, so I ca n easily see

what I have. And I attached simple m u s l i n curta ins in front of the shelves to prevent the fabrics from fading. -Mary Ray, con tributing editor

To organize copies of my favorite sewing articles a n d

Use i nexpensive,

p a g e s from various books, I bought a three-ring binder,

My guest room dou bles as a


and created d ividers for each

sewing room. I use the top of a

flatwear caddies

tech n i q ue-buttonholes, notch

rectangular resin patio table

to hold bobbi ns,

col l ars, l i n i ngs, etc. I i nsert

as a portable cutti ng surface.

hooks a n d eyes,

each a rticle in a clear sheet

I s i m ply sna pped off the legs,

buttons, etc.

protector to prevent bent

and when I want to cut, I slide

corners and tears, and so

the tabletop over the guest bed.

I can remove it easi ly.

It's very l i g htweight, and when

-Jennifer S.


I'm f i n ished, I slide it beh i n d


t h e dresser.

skirt hanger. I place the -April

secure each fabric to a

h a ngers o n a closet rod and sort them by colors. I

When I worked in a fabric store,

a lways know what I own

I fell in love with a cutting

at a g l a n ce, and I ca n

table hinged to the wall. It

h a ppily browse through

had two legs that were a lso

them as I would skirts at a

h i n ged, so it folded up flat. The

department store.

table isn't at a l l h a rd to m a ke. -Mary

I design and sew in an average-size bedroom, but it is as well-lit as a grocery store; I have five lamps and six overhead spotlights. The pure white light of halogen bulbs can't be beat. -Linda Lee, con tributing editor



you can attend classes, sew

on vacation, or quickly pack up and move to a quiet place away from work or family demands, these tips are for you. I hook a 2¡inch square of each of my fabrics onto a big kilt pin a n d

write t h e yardage amount o n t h e m with a perm a nent marker. This pin has a p l a ce in my purse, so whenever I make a n i m p romptu stop at a fabric o r t r i m store, I know what and how much of each fabric


I h a ve.

I made a hanging pocket organizer that fits over a sta n d a rd ch ild's clothes h a nger. I

-Jennifer S.

embroidered the word "patterns" on the big pocket, "thread:' "zipper:' "buttons;' etc., o n t h e s m a l l e r pockets. I collect a l l t h e notions Instead of sorting by color, I sort threads by fiber­

when I start a project, and can tuck it away i n the closet when I'm not working o n it. -Barbara Emodi. contributing editor

s i l k, polyester, cotton-and keep each in a separate,

To control my stash, I force myself to sew a fabric as soon as I purchase it. If it

l a beled drawer.

h a ngs around too long, I donate it to loca l

(Baskets or b i n s

h i g h school students or the n u rs i n g home. -Linda

work, too.) T h e n I never have to root a round for the right thread-I know exactly where to look. -Judy

WORKFLOW Station a thread snip and wastebasket at every work area - at each mach i ne, the

i ro n i n g board, and even the comfy ch a i r for h a nd-sewing-that way you never have to h u nt a ro u nd for one. -Robin

I purchased a metal rolling cart at a home-improvement store a n d fashioned fabric shelves from upholstery scraps. I ca n now roll my stash from room to room. -Judy

Easy-to-carry baskets a re

my best friends. I own a l l different sha pes a n d sizes, and use them to store and cart a round patterns, fabriC, and notions. -Jennifer Theme/, copy/production editor

I l i ke to carry my pattern envelopes around with me, Heavy-duty photo boxes with

since I never know when I'll have time to stop at a

reinforced corners a re great for

fabric store. To m i n i m ize bulk, I remove the tissue

storing patterns. I o rg a n ize my

and instruction sheets a nd store them in l a rge white

patterns by type-ja ckets in one

envelopes at home. I also label the envelopes with the

box, pants i n a nother, etc.

pattern name a n d n u m ber for easy identification.

-Jennifer S.






P r e p a re t h e g a r m e n t a n d m a r k t h e z i p p e r

S e w t w o rows o f s t i t c h e s t o

Prepare the zipper opening by sewing the garment seam from the bottom u p to with in about

Position and stitch the fi rst side of the

4 inches of the zipper opening. Fuse a %-inch-wide strip of l i g htweight tricot interfacing to the

zipper tape: With the garment right-side up

seam allowances; make sure that it covers the seamline.

and the zipper open and face down, lay one

M a rk the z i pper: With the zipper closed, mark the desired fi nished length on the zipper

side of the zipper tape along the opening.

tape, measuring from the top of the coil (teeth) toward the bottom. U nzip the zipper, u ncurl

Align the coil on the seaml i n e. With your

the zipper teeth, and extend the mark from the tape all the way across the teeth.

zipper foot attached and set to the right of the needle, machi ne-stitch along the tape, from the top of the zi pper to


i n ch beyond

the mark you made at the lower end.



A s m oot h , garment- i n d u stry tech n i q u e th at gets r i d of l u m ps a n d b u m ps by H el e n M etrakos

nvisible zippers have become a stan­

the basic zipper foot that comes with most

dard in the garment industry, and

sewing machines, and can be used to insert

home sewers, too, love the streamlined

a zipper into a seam that's already partially

look these lightweight, flexible zippers

sewn-there's no need to alter the order in

offer. Most sewers learn to insert in­

which you stitch the seams. Just follow the

visible zippers using a special presser

steps below and on p. 48, and you'll be able

foot-either a generic plastic foot or one

to insert an invisible zipper like a pro.

manufactured to fit their brand of sewing machine-and sew the zipper into an open

Helen Metrakos owns and teaches at the Aca­

seam, which may necessitate changing the

demie de Coupe et de Couture Helen Metrakos,

garment's sewing sequence. I've adapted an industrial method to make

in Mon treal, Canada. Vis i t her on the Web at

the job quick and easy. This technique uses

e a ch s i d e of t h e z i p p e r t a p e

Position a n d sew the second side of the z i pper tape, first pinning the right side

of the zipper tape to the right side of the garment, again with the zipper coil aligned with the seam l ine. Check that the unsewn section of the seam below the lower end of the zipper is completely even. If not (as can happen with u nstable or sli ppery fabrics), adjust the zipper placement from the top end, so that the seam matches perfectly below Sew along the coil of the first side of

the zipper. Open the zipper and stitch the

the zi pper, starting at the top. Use your

tape in position, sewing from bottom to top.

index fingers to uncurl the coil in front of the presser foot, and sew in the groove to the right of the coil. Stop at the mark and make several stitches. The coil will spring back to conceal these stitches. Then, close the zipper.

Sew a long the coil of the second side of the z i pper as you d id the first, but

starting at the bottom mark, taking several stitches in place, and then stitch ing toward the top. Close the zipper and check that it is, indeed, invisible from the right side of the garment, and that the opening i n the seam below the zipper is even on both sides.

(continued on theJollowing page)

t h e a m az i n g d i s a p p ea r i n g z i p p e r


Co m p l ete t h e g a r m e n t s e a m w i t h o u t b u l g es o r b u b b l es

Al i g n a n d p i n the seam a l lowa nces below the zi pper:

Pull the free zipper tape at the lower end of the zipper away from the seam allowances, and pin the seam allowances together, with edges aligned. Spear a pin t h rough the two ends of the stitching lines that attach the zipper to anchor them together. This will ensure a smooth transition from seam to zi pper.

Stitch the g a rment s e a m ,

starting with several stitches in place at the top of the unfinished seam , and proceeding toward the bottom of the zipper. For this step, move the zipper foot to the left of the needle. Then, anchor the free zipper ends to the seam allowances, if desired. Press the seam lightly from the right side, using a press cloth if needed.

If you haven't stitched close enough to the zipper coil, the teeth will show when the z ipper is closed. There's a q u ick and easy fix for this: You can sim ply u nzip the zipper, u ncurl the coil, and restitch closer to the coil without removing any of the earlier stitches.

Ensu re a perfect a l i g n m e nt at sea m i ntersections I f your garment has a horizontal seam that intersects the zipper, an additional step will guarantee that the seam remains aligned when the zipper is closed. After sewing the first side of the zipper to the garment, close the zipper and arrange the garment so that the intersecting seam aligns perfectly and the seam opening below the zipper remains undistorted. Pin the zipper above and below the seam, unzip it, then stitch first the tape, then close to the coil, for about inch, across the seam. Close the zipper again and verify that the seam alignment is correct; complete the zipper insertion.


When properly inserted, the only visible part of an invisible zipper is the metal zipper pull. If you can't find a zipper in a color that matches your fabric, you can easily paint the zipper pull. Nail polish works well and is available in a wide range of colors; you can also try paints suitable for metal models. Of course, there's no rule against using a contrasting zipper color deliberately to add design interest to your garment. To keep polish off the zipper teeth and tape, wind an elastic band around the base of the zipper pull to hold it up as you paint it.




spring/summer pattern review

th e


Break the rules: Pair unusual silhouettes and fabrics with plenty of exotic details by A n n a Mazur ashion is becoming seasonless. This spring, there are no hard-and-fast guidelines for colors, fabrics, silhou­ ettes, and details. Eveningwear or lingerie details for the office? Sure. Tweed, suede, fur, and velvet in June or July? You bet. Top designers have set the stage for custom, individualized looks by mixing patterns and colors, layering garments, playing with proportions, and search­ ing the far corners of the globe for unusual and ethnic details. The result-a global, multicultural aesthetic where anything goes. I've been tracking this season's trends for over a year, starting with the color forecasts and fabric manufacturer's offerings, then following the runways, and finally, seeing how the stores and fashion magazines have translated and presented the silhouettes and details. The patterns I've highlighted are just a sampling of the many, many good looks this spring. Every pattern has been sewn in muslin or fashion fabric by one of our talented testers who evaluated the fit as well as the instruc­ tions. I assure you that there is something for women of every age and body type, and for every occasion. I also encourage you to experiment with fabrication, embellishment, and accessories to make the garments uniquely yours. If you do, they're sure to be a wardrobe favorite long past the hot, lazy days of summer.

Anna Mazur is a couture sewer and self-described Jashionista, as well as a proud pattern-aholic. 50


White, ivory, antique beige, ecru, champagne Turquoise, aqua, dusty blue, teal, kelly green • Coral, watermelon, flamingo pink, pomegranate, begonia, cinnamon, mango • Golden yellow, lemon, sepia, bronze, antique gold • Platinum, silver, dove gray, lavender, violet •


Gauze, plisse, batiste, chiffon, organza Eyelet, lace, tulle, mesh • Crochet, slinky jersey, featherweight knits • Charmeuse, textured silks • Hemp, burlap, raw linen, basket weaves • Terry cloth, seersucker, pique • Jacquard, damask, velvet (yes, velvet for spring) • Lightweight tweed, boucle • Prints: large florals, ikats, blurred images, polka dots • Stripes, plaids, and checks •

Details and Accessories

Sequins, metallic threads, studs, rhinestones, eyelets Ethnic embroidery: shells, stones, mirrors, rafia • Fringe, feathers, tassels, pompons • Lace, ribbon, ruffles, rickrack • Ruching, pintucks, piping, trapunto, smocking • Wedge sandals, espadrilles, flats • Chunky wooden jewelry, multistrand necklaces, oversized pendants, bangles, cuffs • Long, skinny scarves, wide or skinny belts, sashes, obis • Straw hats, oversized eyewear • Clutches, top-handle detective bags, roomy totes •

Marty 9 1 45 ( This knee-length summer dress could be shortened to a top or lengthened for an evening/bridal dress. A fitting detail is incorporated at the front bust: Ribbon threads through a keyhole opening and crisscrosses to the back. Our tester suggests cutting all pattern pieces on the bias for even more subtle shaping. Simple to construct, but M arfy doesn't i nclude instructions or seam allowances. (Sized European 42-46, for busts 34-37 in. and hips 36-39 in.) .A.

Birch Street Cloth ing, Bias-cut Dance Dress

New Look 6429 ( Wrap dresses are very flattering, and this rendition, which gathers at the waist, is no exception. There are many style variations to choose from: sleeveless, short sleeves, or long bell sleeves, with or without cuffs, belted or unbelted, and with or without a col lar. Designed only for lightweight knits with drape. (Sized Misses 8- 1 8, for busts 3 1 1/2-40 in. and hips 331/2-42 in.) *

( Five bias pieces create this unusual d ress. The seams are left partially unsewn at the hem, perfect for swirling around a dance floor. Our tester recommends a stretch fabric for the partial lining; she also stabilized the neckline with clear elastic. An easy pattern, but requires some experience with bias. (Sized XS-XL, for busts 33-44 in. and hips 37-47 in.) .A.










Ma rty



jun e/july



Burda 8247 ( A good, fashionable pai r of pants of varying lengths-the Bermuda shorts version is the "it" bottom this season. The hip-hugger style is ultra-comfy and easy to fit, due to the partial­ elastic waist. Our tester was pleased that this cu rrent-style pattern is available in plus sizes. She also l i ked the straightforward instructions. By leaving off the back welt pockets, a beginner could tackle this pattern. (Sized 1 8-34, for hips 42-58 in.)

Kwi k Sew 3286 ( is fun to make and flatters a variety of body types. These very full, double-layered skirts have only one pattern piece, which is placed on the fabric's crosswise fold. Besides the waistline seam, there is only one other seam ; it's almost on the true bias, and depending on the fabric used, will stretch to different lengths. The waist can be tied tight or loose, and easily accommodates a dessert or two. (Sized XS-XL, for hips 32 %-47 in.)


l.J. Designs, Ulti mate Broomstick

Butterick 4396


Designs, Ultimate Broomstick Skirt


Skirt 71 7 (LJ This

Clothing Designs by LaFred,

five-tiered skirt is sized for someone around 5'7", but instructions on how to proportionally lengthen or shorten the skirt are included. For less bulk over the tummy and hips, the top tier isn't as full as the rest of the skirt. Our tester enjoyed using starch to create the "broomstick" crinkles, and for interesting effect, used a different fabric for each tier. (Sized XXS-XXL, for hips 291/253 in.)

Thalia Pants ( This

pattern follows the newest trend in pants: very loose-fitting. Fabric recommendations should be fol lowed carefully as these pu ll-on pants are very fu l l : someth ing soft and drapey is ideal. The tester thought it would be cute to pipe the pockets in a contrasting color. Clear and complete instructions. (Sized XS-XXL, for hips 3 1 1/2-50 in.)













Vogue 7969 ( Un like

traditional peasant blouses, which are full and shapeless, this top is tapered at the waist. The hook-and-eye closure at center front and the longer back hem also add a contemporary feel. If additional width is needed at the waist, the tucks can easily be adjusted. This simple summer top can be personalized with lace or a coordinating band of fabric. (Sized Misses 6- 1 8, for busts 301/2-40 in.)

Butterick 4396 ( This modern take on the twin set is designed for moderate stretch kn its, but could easily be worked up in a woven; just add a side zipper to the tank. The front edges of the tie-blouse are almost on grain, so only m inimal stabi lizer is necessary. Or, if desired, bind the edges. Our tester recommends using a lush fabric for an evening look. (Sized Misses XS-XL, for busts 291/2-44 in.) *

Lingerie Secrets, Shelf-Bra Camisole

(SewingLi Final ly, a g reat camisole for women of all sizes (up to for busts 5 1 -53 in.)! Because a shelf bra is i ncluded, the cam isole can be worn solo. The V-shaped yoke is flattering in both shape and placement, and our tester loved the fact that the yoke and straps are cut in one piece. Ideal for a novice sewer. For two-way stretch fabrics only. (Sized S-XL 4, for busts 32-53 in. ; available in A-B, and cups) + *


Simplicity 4750 ( Depending on

the age of the wearer, this baby-dol l top can be worn alone or under a shrug, jacket, or sweater. Our tester particularly l i ked the flounced spaghetti straps, and even though the bodice is li ned, she recommends underlining it with interfacing for a more substantial shape. (Sized Misses 4- 1 8, for busts 291/2-40 in.)

C, 0 7969


Lingerie Secrets, Shelf-Bra Camisole Clothing Designs by La Fred, Thalia Pants




Folkwear, Australian Bush O utfit 1 30 ( This safari-inspired ensemble was developed from a Banana Republic outfit, and although it is sized for men with women's equ ivalent sizes, it is quite fitted. To mimic current fash ions, pair the jacket with a flowing skirt or pants, or the pants with a slinky top. For bigger bust sizes, our tester recommends eliminating the pleated bust pockets. Instructions are extremely well-written, -illustrated, and -organized. (Sized Misses 8-20, for busts 3 1 -42 in. and hips 331/2-44 in.; also Mens 34-44)

Simplicity 4698 (Simpl icitycom) This is the

shrunken jacket of the season, so sew it up in a bunch of different fabrics. Different front and side-front pieces are provided to accommodate B, C, and D cups, and the two-piece sleeve has plenty of elbow ease. There is also an innovative upper back lining: Two symmetrical pieces curve out from under the arms, cross at center back, and attach at the opposite shoulder seams. They move independently from each other, which eliminates the need for a bulky back pleat. (Sized Misses/Misses Petite 6-22, for busts 301/244 in. and hips 32 1/2-4 6 in.)


Christine Jonson Patterns, Inset Jacket 1 1 5



Vogue 8088 ( Designed

by Marcy Tilton, this little swing jacket and vest sport gusset-like side panels and m itered hems; the shaped one-piece sleeve has a 5-in.-deep hem facing. Our tester suggests making the front panels an inch longer and increasing the narrow sleeve opening slightly for comfort. (Sized Misses S-XXL, for busts 3 1 1/2-4 8 in.) + A

Lingerie Secrets, Shelf-Bra Camisole Burda

8247 KEY+




(CJ This simple-to-make, loose­ fitting jacket can double as a blouse. Use a sheer mesh fabric for a swimsuit cover-up l ike our tester did, or in a satiny fabric for a night on the town. The inset yokes could easily be embellished with topstitching or embroidery for an ethnic look. (Sized XS-XL, for busts 301/2-48 in.) +





The Sewing Workshop Collection, M i mosa Top

Simplicity 4693 ( This coat-and­

dress combo is part of the new Threads Collection. The fully lined d ress with optional piping and ribbon trim hugs the body's curves, yet isn't binding. The lined coat has two sleeve options, an optional collar and obi belt, and can easily be shortened to waist or hip length ; both would look g reat with pants. An envelope-style handbag is also included. Our tester found the detailed instructions and illustrations to be some of the best she has seen; she especially loved the mini lesson on how to make piping. (Sized Misses 6-22, for busts 301/2-44 in., and hips 32 1/2-46 in.)

and Pant ( is a comfortable, stylish pairing. The sleeveless top can be buttoned two ways: symmetrically or asymmetrically. The armhole is cut high to prevent undergarments from showing; if you prefer to wear it as a vest, just d rop it down a bit. Between the French seams at shoulders/sides, mitered bands, and armhole binding, the i nside is as cleanly fin ished as the outside. The shapely pants feature wide legs and a contour waistline. Easy-to-follow instructions. (Sized XS-XXL, for busts 3 1 -46 in. and hips 34-471/2 in.)


Vogue 2845 ( This Oscar de

la Renta suit is beautifully proportioned and the princess seams on the jacket, top, and skirt allow for easy fit adjustments. All garments are l ined and underli ned, and the horizontal welt pockets sit slightly below the waist to give the i llusion of a longer torso. This isn't a beg inner pattern, but the instructions are easy to follow. (Sized Misses/ Misses Petite 8-24, for busts 3 1 1/2-4 6 in. and hips 331/2-48 in.)


Neue Mode V23 1 89 (Sullivans. net) This is a well­ designed ensemble that mimics the proportions of many runway offerings. Our tester has always preferred longer jackets, but was pleasantly su rprised with the fit of this shrunken style. If you have a shorter then average neck, she recommends reducing the mandarin collar height. For most body types she recommends creating the full skirt in a soft drapey fabric, but tells us that a petite frame can accommodate a crisp fabric, such as taffeta. As with all Neue Mode patterns, the i nstructions are easy to follow, but seam and hem allowances aren't included. (Sized 8- 1 8, for busts 3 1 1/2-38% and hips 34%-421/2 in.)



jun e/july



by L i n d a Lee

ow many of us keep our eyes on the run­ way each season, trying to select from the many new fash­ ion trends paraded there? I do, and in recent sea­ sons I've noticed that a lot of designers eschew traditional tailoring techniques in favor of easy-going, sometimes even de­ liberately unfinished construc­ tion methods. The j ackets they make still consist of recogniz­ able elements-suiting fabrics on the outside, softer, lighter fabrics on the inside-but these layers are put together in new ways, resulting in supple jackets that look modern and are com­ fortable to wear. If you're willing to step away from some conventional con­ struction methods, you can eas­ ily sew these designer-inspired garments. I'll show you alterna­ tives to inserting a standard lin­ ing and teach you how to treat fabric edges so they remain as flexible and lightweight as the garment itself. Best of all, these fashionable jackets rely primar­ ily on basic sewing skills-no tai­ loring experience is required. Redefining jacket l i n i ngs

There's no doubt that a lining can be the saving grace of a


Try th ese u pd ated , des i g n e r tech n i q u es fo r l i n i n g and f i n i s h i n g ­ n o t a i l o ri n g experience n ecessary

Raw-edged, appliqued layers To emphasize the jacket's shape, applique the outer

Sew the layers as

layer to the lining layer so the jacket and lining will hang

i ncom plete pieces, then

together as a u nit. Opt for a fairly stable lining fabric, as

join them into one

this supports the rest of the jacket.

Lining layer:

Adjust a com mercial pattern for the jacket and l ining

Begin with a very simple jacket pattern with minimal shaping through the waist, such as Vogue 771 4. Eliminate facings, seam allowances at the neckline and center front, and hem allowances from the bodice and sleeve pattern pieces. Make the adjustments listed below, using the suggested measurements or creating proportions to suit your taste. Then cut out the jacket and lining layers as directed.


Trim inch from the front- and back-neck edges. Determine the waistline on the front and back pieces (by using the marking on the pattern or by tissue-fitting the pattern and marking your waist level), and slash the pattern horizontally along this line. Separate each piece into an upper and lower section. Remove a 1f2-inch strip from the lower edge of the PaHern alterations for jacket layer upper bodice Remove inch from front- and back-neck edges. sections and a Slash front and back at waistline, and remove 1f2-inch strip inch from waist edges. from the up­ per edge of the lower bodice sections, to create a 1 -inch separation.

Jacket layer:



Join the shoulder and side seams so the seam allowances are on the side that will show through the waist opening. Press the seam allowances open. With right sides together, join the shoulder and side seams of the upper bodice sections; join the side seams of the lower bodice sections. Press the seam allowances open and turn the seam allowances right-side out. Alternatively, use a lapped seam to maintain the unfinished-edge look of the rest of the garment (see ·Untailored seams and edges," on p. 60).

Jacket layer:

Pin the lining layer inside the upper portion of the jacket layer, aligning the center-front edges and allow­ ing inch of the lining to show at the neckline; the lining seam allow­ ances will show at the side seams. Pin the lower jacket section to the lining, aligning center fronts and bottom edges, and allowing a 1 -inch strip of lining to show at waist level. Baste the layers together at the armscye. Edgestitch all of the outer edges (neckline, center fronts, and lower edge), as well as the waist edges of the upper and lower jacket sections. Topstitch again about inch from the edge­ stitching. (Tip: If the fabric lay­ ers shift during sewing, use a walking foot, or baste the layers in place before sewing.)

Applique the layers together:



Lining layer:

Omit the sleeve pattern. Cut the center front edge along the selvage.


Insert the sleeves: Sew the sleeve underarm seams and set the sleeves into the armscyes. Edgestitch the sleeve hems.

jun e/july



A free"floating lining and jacket combination captu res the spirit of sum mer. Each layer is sewn separately, then the two are attached with a single line of stitch ing around the neck. (Jacket: The Sewing Workshop, Tribeca Shirt)



j acket: It provides support to For flowing movement, sew an unstructured jacket and separate lining, tack them

and removes stress from the

together at strategic spots, such as the neck edge, and let the fabric layers drape

outer fabric, hides inner con­


struction work, and helps the garment slide on and off eas­

Adjust a commercial pattern for the jacket and lining

ily-and if it's properly inserted,

Begin with a jacket pattern that has set-in sleeves and is shaped by darts rather than princess seams. Eliminate all facings, seam allowances for attaching facings, and hem allowances from the pattern pieces. Make the adjustments listed below, using the suggested measurements or propor­ tions that suit your taste. Then cut out the jacket and lining layers.

no one ever sees it. But why not have the lining do more than just improve the longevity and wear of your jacket? Let it en­ hance the exterior appearance

Jacket layer:


Shorten sleeves by

Pattern a lterations for j acket a n d l in i ng l ayers

of the jacket as well. You'll see how the inner layers of your


garment can become part of its

Lengthen the jacket body by 3 inches. Lengthen the sleeves by 1 % inches; flare the bottom of the sleeves starting 6 inches from the lower edge, adding a total of 3 inches to their width at the hem. Extend the cen­ ter-front edges by 1 inch.

overall design.

Lining layer:

Pared·down construction ca lls for simple patterns

Because the linings in these ex­ amples are not attached in the 3


conventional way to the gar­



purple line = lining

ments' edges, I've eliminated

green line = jacket

facings and interfacings. You can still make j ackets of many

Sew the layers as separate garments

Sew the darts, then the shoulder seams, side seams, and sleeve underarm seams. Insert the sleeves. Finish the interior seam allowances as desired, and fringe the edges of the garment, as explained on p. 60.

Jacket layer:

Construct the lining in the same order as for the jacket layer, but use either French seams or the hairline seam (see pp. 6 1 -63) to en­ sure a clean finish on sheer or lightweight fabrics. Stitch the darts and all the seams to the inside of the lining (that is, to the side that will be against the wearer's body). Finish the edges of the lining with a very narrow hem, as shown in "Untailored seams and edges." Lining layer:

Join the jacket and lining layers

To attach the two layers together, slip the lining inside the jacket, aligning the neckline edges and shoulder seams. Pin the layers to­ gether to secure. Sew a single line of stitching around the neckline, about inch from the top edge. If you prefer to leave the neckline edges free, sew the shoulder seams together along the well of the seam, either by hand or machine.


jun e/july



What d o y o u d o w i t h a l l t h o s e raw e d g es?

silhouettes-both fitted and

H e re a re s o m e o pt i o n s :

loose-but bear in mind that un­

Using a wide multistitch pattern on your sewing machine, sew a line of staystitching at least inch from the raw edges to be fringed. Fringe the edges by pulling out the weft fibers up to the stitching.

a lot of heavy details. Patch and

structured j ackets can't support Fringe:

welt pockets, along with sepa­


rate collars, are difficult to ap­ ply successfully to uninterfaced fabrics. For this reason I prefer collarless patterns or patterns in which the collar is cut as part of

If the edges of your fabric seem too flimsy or unstable, stitch a narrow strip of ribbon along the staystitching line. TIP:

the j acket front and back. I also avoid styles with complex insets or bias panels that need the sup­ port of interfacing. It's more fun to m ix fa brics

Sew first line.

than to match them

Taking a cue from ready-to­

Fold, sew

Baby hems for sheer fabrics: Sew a line of straight stitching about % inch from the raw edge. Fold the raw edge to the wrong side, creating a generous %-inch hem that leaves the stitching line visible. From the wrong side, sew along the stitching line; trim off excess fabric from the hem allowance. Roll the stitched hem once again to the wrong side, and sew close to the stitching line. Other options for narrow hems include sewing the hem using a rolled­ hem foot, or serging a rolled hem.

third line.

wear garments, I like to make a statement when I pair jacket and lining fabrics. These jack­ ets look great when the lining provides a textural or color con­ trast to the outer jacket fabric. For your projects, be sure the fabrics you use have compatible care requirements, and that they shift (or don't shift) comfortably against each other, depending on how you intend to join the layers. Observe, too, whether one fabric stretches or distorts more easily than the other; you could run into trouble while

Lapped seams: Lapped seams cleverly echo the aesthetic of unfinished edges. To make a lapped seam, trim off the seam allowance on one garment section, and overlap that piece over the seam allow­ ance of the adjoining piece, so that the seamlines are aligned. Topstitch with one or more rows of stitching along the over­ lapped fabric edges to join the pieces.

sewing them together or later during wear. If you like a pulled-together look that's not strictly business­ like, try an untailored jacket. It's quick and easy to sew, and it's right in style.

Linda Lee, owner of The Sew­


ing Workshop Pattern Collection, is the author of several books on personal and home accessories.



U se yo u r sewi n g

he holy grail of any

minating sewing lessons-and

sewer who works with

knew immediately that I would

m ach i n e t o m ake

gossamer fabrics is a

use it again and again in my

seam that's very nar­

sewing. Much like a narrow

ti ny, p e rfect ly

row, fully encloses all

rolled hem, this seam is sewn

raw edges of the seam

three times, with each pass fur­

fi n i s h e d seam s

allowances, leaves only mini­

ther anchoring and enclosing

mal evidence of its existence on

the raw edges. Of all the tech­

t h at b e n d s m ooth ly

the outside of the garment, and

niques in my sewing repertoire,

bends smoothly around curves.

this is the one I use routinely

A traditional French seam ful­

when I want the finest finish

aro u n d c u rves

fills all of these requirements,

on lightweight fabrics. I'm sure

except the last; its opposing

you'll love it for all your delicate

fabric folds remain flat only on

sewing projects.

straight seams. For a seam that by A n n a M a z u r

curves-and is stronger than a

Anna Mazur, oj Avon, Conn., en­

French seam-try what I call a

joys using traditional couture tech-

hairline seam. I discovered the

niques, and likes to invent some oj

technique on a fine designer

her own as well.

blouse-designer garments can provide some of the most illu-

(continued on the following page)




F i v e s t e ps t o a h a i r l i n e s e a m The basic tech n ique for sewi n g a hairline seam involves repeatedly folding over and straight-stitch ing with i n the seam a l lowances until they form a skin ny, approximately Va-inch tube that conceals the raw

With right sides together, sew

the seam, using

edges and joins the fabric layers in a thrice-sewn

a %-inch seam

seam. You need no special presser feet, although a strai ght-stitch foot a nd/or stra ight-stitch needle plate can be helpful when working with very fine,

allowance (adjust the width of this seam allowance as

lightweight fabrics. Because hairline seams are q u ite na rrow, the turn of the cloth -the amount of fabric taken u p each time

the seam allowances are folded-must be considered. Heavier fabrics take u p more fabric than lighter

needed so that the final line of stitch ing in Step


will land

exactly on the 5fs-inch seamline).

ones when folded. Make a test sample or two to determ i n e where to place your i n itial line of stitching (as shown i n Step 1 at right), since this is where you can adjust for the turn of the cloth: The thicker the fabric, the closer to the raw edge the first stitch ing line should be.



Fold the seam a l lowa nces

a g a i nst the ga rment just enough

to reveal the first line of stitch ing.

The pe rfect too l for tri m m i n g cl ose

Duckbill applique scissors look a little unusual, but they're built to facilitate trimming individual fabric layers. Their wide lower blade holds the bottom layer or layers of fabric out of the way of the top blade, and isolates the upper layers so they can be cleanly and closely trimmed. When you're trimming the seam allowances of a hairline seam, the duckbill blade keeps the garment layer safe from accidental snips.




Sew a second row of stitch i n g to

the left of and very close to the first

row. Trim the seam allowances as close to the stitching as poss ible. Duckb i l l applique scissors work well for this (see left).


Fo l d the s e a m a l l ow a n ces a g a i nst t h e

g a rment agai n, to reveal t h e

second row of stitch ing.


Sew a third row of stitch i n g to the left of and

very close to the second row.

The secret to smooth, curved seams is proper clipping

Ro l l the seam a l lowances toward the body of the g a rment

This is the easier way to set i n a sleeve, but results in a somewhat flat seam at the sleeve cap. With the garment side u p and the sleeve down, beg in sewing the seam. When the seam allowance beg ins to resist folding,

Curved seams used for setting in

cl i p the g a rment seam a l lowa nces

sleeves are where the hairline seam

to the stitching line.

shines. The process is the same as for a stra ight seam, except that you'll need to clip the seam allowances slightly so they'll roll smoothly. When sewn, the hairline seam has a tendency to roll in the direction of the fabric layer that was on the bottom during sewing. Be sure to take this into account when it will influence the finished garment (as

ci. c o o


Rol l the seam

it will i n a sleeve seam).

a l lowa nces

Here are two ways to set i n a sleeve

toward the sleeve

with a hairline seam. Both follow the

Although this method is trickier, the fin ished ro lled seam allowances can be pressed

five steps outl i n ed above, with the

toward the sl eeve cap, providing an attractive l ift in lig htweight fabrics.

add ition of j udicious clipping d u ring

With the sleeve side up and the garment side down, make s h a l low cl i ps i nto both seam

Step 3.

a l lowances-just deep enough to allow those seam allowances to roll toward the sleeve.




O ne Patte r n .

• •

Flat, fri l ly, o r co nvert i b l e­ al l t h ese col lars start fro m t h e same n eckl i n e b y Kath l e e n C h e e t h a m

any sewers work way too hard to get a fresh style. Every time they buy a new pattern they must fit it, a time-consum­ ing process, before sewing the deSign, and even then there's no guarantee the pattern will fit when they're finished. No wonder so many of us say we don't have time to sew. I'll show you three ways to get more "style mileage"

Determ i n e yo u r perfect V- n eck, then d raft the faci ngs

from your favorite basic pullover V-neck top by creating new neckline designs without having to buy another

from your chin down the center front line on the pattern. Lay your pattern out flat and draw a line from the point on your chest to the point you marked on your shoulder seam.

pattern. And because you're starting with a favorite pattern, you won't have to go through all of the fitting processes. The panel at right explains how to design a perfectly proportioned V-neckline and draft a faCing to match. Once you know the basics, you can adapt the shape and width of the collars for even more design options. Sewing the col l a r is as easy as sewing a facing

Once you've cut and assembled your collar there are a variety of ways to sew it to your garment, but it's easiest to place the finished collar faceup between the bodice and the facing, and attach it as you sew on the facing. You can now let your imagination go wild designing new necklines for your favorite pullover-round the points, shape the edges, sew the collars from contrast­ ing fabrics, or make the frilled collar in multiple layers of silk chiffon for an ultra-feminine neckline. Whatever you do, enjoy exploring the possibilities.

Kathleen Cheetham owns and designs Petite Plus Patterns ( in Burnaby, BC, Canada.



To determine the proper width for your V-neck, pin a front pattern piece to your shirt so that the shoulder seam and center front line up properly. Stand at a mirror and mark a point on the shoulder seam directly below the widest point on your face. To determine the proper V-neck depth, measure from your chin to hairline. Then mark a point

To draft the proper interfacings, draw a line 2 inches in from and parallel to your new V-neckline directly on the front and back pattern pieces. Use these lines and trace off facing patterns, including the neckline and seam allowances.

A flat collar lies along the n e ckline witho u t the roll and lift u sually fou n d o n a traditional collar.

Lay the front and back pat­ tern pieces together at the shoulder stitching lin e.

Draw a line the width of the collar and parallel to the neckline, or design a shape for your collar on the pattern. Tra ce the shape on new tissue to make your pattern. Mark center backs and shoulder seams with notches on the neck edge. Add seam allowances to the outside edge.


To assemble, cut two collars, and with right sides together, sew the outside edges, turn right-side out, and press a crisp edge. Sandwich the collar between the fac­ ing and bodice, match the shoulder and center-back notches, and sew the facing to the neckline as usual.

Frilly collar

The frilly collar is a flat collar with added fullness. Use silk chiffon or other sheer and flowy fabrics for this collar.

Match shoulders, aligning seamlines, and trace an outline of the collar onto the pattern tissue. Add a seam allow­ ance at center back. Mark the shoulder notch. Draw the grainline parallel to center front.

Cut the pa ttern every


inches from the

outside edge up to and perpendicular to the seamline, lea ving just a tiny hinge of paper to pivot on.

Spread the back slashes a total of

3 4 to

inches and,

the front slashes a total of

5 6 to


Draw a smooth curve to establish the new outer edge.

Sew and finish the center-back seam. Finish the out­ side edge and center front using a rolled edge. This collar is applied in one layer of fabric. Hide a small lightweight button under the center front to weigh down the front frill if needed.

Convertible collar

The convertible collar looks similar to the flat collar, but it stands up slightly at the back of the neck. Measure the front- and back-neck seamlines as indicated.


Draw a line with a shoulder notch between the two lengths as shown. Follow the drawings to draft your collar.


-co"ar , CB } width in.









..J__-!-'_.;.I......... _"""'-!o_..;.._!ol _o!-..... �'/2 Foldline












J -L 41__ c! ,

ttf 11/2

� Shoulder notch



Scale: square = in. Add seam allowances and grainlines.






t - - - -1- - - --Cut




To assemble, interface, stitch, and clip the corners. Turn and press.



Custom belt servi ces

Capris vs. cro p ped pants



To cre ate cropped or c apri p ant s, wh at ch ange s do


need to m ake to full-length p ant s?

I love the belt s on -Brenda Young, via email

ln the 1980s, if you wanted cropped pants, you simply took any pants pat­

the cover of you r

l ast i ssue, No. 11 8.

tern and shortened it to the desired length. Today, cropped pants should

Ye ar s ago, you cou ld h ave

fit more like the petal-pusher pants of the 1950s-flat front, the hem falls

cu stom belt s m ade for you.

2 to 3 inches below the knee, and the legs are tapered from mid-thigh to



in at each side of the hem. Capri pants are even more slim-fitting-tapered from

Are there comp anie s th at

mid-thigh to 1 inch in at each side of the hem-and the hem hits 1 to 2 inches

still offer thi s service?

above the ankle. Because capris are so slim, I like to create a 3- to 4-inch slit at

-Julie Tarpinian,

the side seams-you can also insert zippers in the slits-for ease of movement.

Ellington, Conn.

Paddye Mann RCA is a clothing designerfrom Pakenham, ON, Canada. Yes . The companies listed

C a p r i a n d c ro p p e d p a n t s c a n b e c re a t e d f r o m a f u l l - l e n g t h p a tt e r n Start with a darted and sligh tly tapered {ul/­ length pants pattern.

Pants front

Pants back

below still produce custom belts. Just send your fabric or leather to them, and about a week later, a custom-covered belt and/ or buckle will arrive in your mailbox. Also check with local fabric stores and tailors, as they may also offer this service.

Joyce Mu rphy wrote

Are Capri length: 2 to 3 inches below knee, measure in 1/2 inch from each seam and taper to mid-thigh.

Cropped length: 1 to 2 inches above ankle, measure in 1 inch from each seam and taper to mid-thigh.




Belt Styles That

a Cinch to Make" in issue No.


A-1 Accessories 1 358 Hooper Ave., Ste. 202 Toms River, NJ 08753 A-1

Knee - - -

The Belt and Button Connection Inc. 1 20 Jersey Ave. New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Pat's Custom Buttons and Belts 537 York St. PO Box 335 Lodi, CA 95241 209-369-541 0

Sources for horsehair


I h ave a Vogue p attern th at c all s for hor seh air.

Ti ps for sewing with faux leather


Wh at i s it e xactly, and where c an I find it? -Janet Jones, via email

Originally woven of stiff, coarse horse's hair, the modern product

Any tip s for working with the new f au x le ather f abric s?

can also be used in necklines, off-the-shoulder sleeves, or other areas


that need a bit of stiff, yet soft support.

hot iron.

of the same name is made from strong polyester fibers braided to足 gether. Horsehair braid is stiff, yet pliable, and is most often used

in the hems of full skirts and linings to help maintain their shape. It


-Michele Ward, via email

Faux leather is really a vinyl fabric, and sewing with it can be tricky because a regular sewing machine needle can have trouble piercing the fabric, result足

ing in skipped stitches. Also, the fabric can melt under a

or I-inch widths,

To prevent skipped stitches, I suggest that you prewash

and it's sold prepackaged or by the yard. You can usually find it on the

the fabric in cool water to soften it a bit. Use a stretch/ball足

Lightweight horsehair is white, and is available in

notions wall in most fabric stores. Wider and heavier-weight horsehair

point needle, and lengthen your stitch length to 3mm to

is required for wedding gowns or costumes; it has a thread on one edge

avoid over-puncturing the fabric. And i.f the faux leather

that allows you to gather it like a drawstring to fit the hem's shape.

sticks to your regular presser foot, replace it with a Teflon

It is available in a variety

foot, which is available from sewing machine dealers. I don't like

of colors and can be or足 dered from Farthingales


put an iron to faux leather at all and instead

use edgestitching and topstitch my seam allowances to

(Farthingale s . on . ca) or

flatten seams. I also prefer to play it safe and use sew-in

Blanks Fabrics (Blanks

interfacing, but fusible knit interfacings that bond at a very

low heat can also be used.

Rae Cumbie creates custom

Barbara Emodi is a contributing editor for Threads.

bridal gowns in Baltimore.

Fix for a puckered hem I own a be autiful suede j acket, and a portion of

the hem i s puckered. How do I fi x it? -Hunter Neale, Yorktown, Va.

It sounds like the hem was incorrectly glued. Simply open a seam in the lining large enough to get to the hem, then gently pull the hem apart, releasing the glue. Lay the garment flat on a table (not curved over an ironing board) and apply a thin layer of rubber cement to both the hem allowance and jacket. Let the glue dry for a few minutes until it's dry to the touch, then finger-press the hem in place. Hand-stitch the lining seam closed.

Judith Neukam is an associate editor Jor Threads.




To o l s of th e Trad e



Elizabethan patterns If you've been bewitched by the romance of the Re­ naissance fairs, and would like to participate in full costume, take a look at the six Elizabethan offerings from Historic Costume Patterns ($22 to $48, plus s&:h; Sized from 2 to 30, the Eliz­ abethan Lady's Wardrobe includes patterns for an under­ skirt, forepart, overskirt, bodice, doublet, six sleeves, and a I SO-page instruction manual. Other pattern packages are Elizabethan Accessories, Lady's Underpinnings, the Gentleman's Wardrobe (multisized from 34 to 56), the Comfort Collection including a woman's kirtle


and gown with maternity and breast-feeding options, and the Elizabethan Working Woman's Wardrobe. Each pattern contains extensive instructions on 8 1(2- by l l -inch sheets, which are suitable for storing in a three-ring binder. The manual includes information for fabric choices, historical accuracy, hand stitches, fabric layout, and construction. Visit their Web site to link to sources for the hard-to-find notions you'll need for these historical costumes.

Brother's new kit-m akes 1 5 buttonholes Fine thread m akes for fine sewing

One-step buttonholes are pretty easy-but they've never been more beautiful than with Brother's new button attachment ($299; that combines embroidery functions and a variety of buttonhole styles. The buttonhole frame and accompanying software enable you

Directions for basting of-

to sew buttonholes in the embroidery mode on your ULT com­

ten recommend using silk

bination embroidery/sewing machine. The package provides

thread because it doesn't

15 different, beautiful, balanced buttonhole styles that you can

leave marks when it's removed.

edit and sew with digital-perfect placement. You also have the

Tire brand lOa-weight silk thread

option of surrounding your buttonholes with decorative em­

($4.85, 200-meter roll; SilkThings. com) is a two-ply, tight

broidery deSigns included

Z-twist, lOa-percent filament silk thread. It is so smooth and

in the package.

fine that it sews a beautiful seam and disappears into the fabric with such perfection-it doesn't matter what color you're using.

Tools oj the Trade

Available in natural and black.

is wri t ten by as­ s o c i a te editor, Judith Neukam.



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F i tti n g

To m ake a blouse or j acket pattern fit like a coat, ad d a prescribed amount of ease I want to convert a favorite jacket pattern into a coat pattern. I've perfected the jacket fit, but how do I add ease to make it fit comfortably as a coat? -Josephine Sean, via email


aren Howland responds: It's fairly easy to convert a blouse or j acket pattern


a coat pattern. To fit over other

Q u i c k e a s e refe re n c e To change your pattern from a blouse to a jacket or a jacket to a coat, various parts of the pattern are en larged by differing amounts. The bulk of your fabric and the weight of the

garments, a coat or j acket must

clothes you wear under a coat or jacket may require you to add greater amounts of ease.

have sufficient ease in the body

Also, the amount to increase the hem depends on how long you want your garment to be.

and sleeve circumferences. Ease is the difference between the measurements of your finished

From b l ouse to j acket o r

garment and your body. Also,

j a cket t o coat:

the shoulders are wider and the neck and armholes are big­ ger for a coat pattern than for a blouse or jacket pattern.

A Lower the neck



B Raise the end of the shoulder to allow for a desired shoulder pad.

The amount of ease to add and where it's added is formulaic. But you also have to consider the weight of the fabric and the bulkiness of the garments you're likely to wear under the coat.

C Extend the shoulder

'/2 '/2


(varies with style and current trends).

D Lower the underarm

E Add



inch to the sides.

To get you started, I've listed the amount of ease I recommend for blouses, j ackets, and coats. This is based on mid-weight coat fabric and medium bulk of the clothes you'll wear under­ neath. From here you can add more or less ease to suit your

Blouse From b l ouse to coat: To change a blouse pattern into a coat,


just double the blouse-to-jacket measurements above.


------� -------+� -+-H�


preference. Or, you can compare your pattern to a favorite coat to establish an amount of ease based on a proven model.

Karen Howland lives in Chil icothe, Ill. (continued on the following page)



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F i t t i n g (continued) S l e e v e s n e e d t o p ro v i d e ad d it i o n a l ease



in. a t

For a jacket o r coat to fit your arm, you also have to con­ sider the garments you will wear under the sleeve. To convert a blouse sleeve into a jacket sleeve add of ease;



1 inch for the biceps, plus 1 inch for the lowered

armhole. Accomplish this by adding 1 inch to each under­ arm, tapering the inseam to an additional A coat requires



inch at the wrist.

inches more ease at the underarm or

biceps level than a jacket. Add this ease in the same manner as described above and taper the sleeve to an additional


inch on both sides of the wrist

(1 inch total).

Use a flexible c u rve to check the sleeve cap length. Mea­ sure the garment armhole with the c u rve, and fit the length between the newly established underarm points. This may require lowering the cap d u ri ng the pin-fitting.

.L-I---:;"?' 1/2

. . . and taper to

in. at wrist.

Favorite sweater

I t ' s s i m p l e to c h e c k fo r s u ff i c i e n t e a s e

Measure the difference

To determine the amount of wearing ease that's most com­ fortable for you, compare your favorite jacket or coat with the pattern you're enlarg i n g , and measure the difference. To estimate your ease, lay your favorite sweater, blouse, or original pattern over a favorite coat. Match the center back and center front and align the shoulders to evaluate. Com­ pare the underarm depth as wel l as the sleeve and body width to be sure that the coat pattern is sufficiently larger than the other garments.



Favorite coat



between the garments, and add that amount to your pattern.

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Exploring Desig n Threads' Ninth Challenge:

Colorful fabrics in varied textures are by Carol Fresia id eal for art-to- wear

The sce n a ri o : Each designer was asked to imagine herself as the owner of a successful art gallery, who would be spending an afternoon critiquing student work at a prestigious design school. Her attire should show that she's both a businesswoman and involved in the arts. Later, she'll attend a cocktail reception in celebration of Threads' 20th anniversary, and will need a change of clothes. Her evening ensemble must have a feature that repeats 20 times, once for each year of Threads' publication. This feature can be decorative or structural, but it must be visible on the surface of the garment. In addition to the six fabrics supplied by Threads, each designer received 1 00 to spend on trims, linings, buttons, or any other notions necessary for her design.




do you challenge a tal­

ented deSigner who has

then give her three months to

dience. There they told stories

design and sew her ensemble.

that will be familiar to many a sewer who has worked under

difficult clients and fabrics?


did all this and then some, in­

a deadline, dealt with a short­

Give her the most difficult cli­

viting authors Sandra Betzina,

age of fabric, or tried to make

experience working with

For the ninth year,

ent of all: herself. Supply her

Kayla Kennington, and Mary

an unflattering color look ap­

with six different fabrics, insist

Ray to participate in our De­

pealing. Read on to see how our

that she use at least of five of

sign Challenge. Last November,

deSigners confronted these and

them, then, dream up a two-part

the three designers travelled to

other challenges.

fictional scenario for which she

Minneapolis, to present their

must dress herself-twice. Tell

finished creations at the Origi­

her that she must change her

nal Sewing &: Quilt Expo before

clothes in a public place, and

an enthusiastic and curious au-

Carol Fresia is an associate editor at Threads.

Three designers use six fabrics Sandra Betzina, Mary Ray, and Kayla Kenn i ngton (from left to right), show how d ifferently the fa brics can be used to interpret the challenge scenario. Below, Kayla a nswers questions at the



Contributing editor Mary Ray will host a Design Challenge fashion presentation at each Original Sewing


Quilt Expo through fall


For Expo

venues and dates, go to Sewi

The fa b r i cs : Six distinct fabrics to coordinate or contrast: Each designer received 3 yards of salmon-pink silk matka, organza with a windowpane check,


silk, 1% yards of crinkly, green sheer tissue, gold, a nd salmon ribbed silk, a n d


1 1/2 yards of ivory

yards of purple, 4-ply

1 1/2 yards of ivory,

Visit to view a short video of the designers on stage in Minneapolis.

yards of vividly striped a nd

dotted silk with two different faces.




E x p l o r i n 9 0 e s i 9 n (O"ot;oood) M A RY R AY

"I consider myself a maker of wearable art, but 'wearable' is the important part for me." Evening

If you can't have fur, ruffles are the next best thing. Mary envisioned the silhouette of a cropped fur j acket, and created it by sewing


rows of ruffles onto a soft jersey backing.

The finished jacket is fluffy a nd fun, with the comfort of a sweater.

The art of camouflage works at all levels. Mary devised this flattering sash by simply using a crescent-shaped scrap of fabric. When sewing a n a rrow hem around the edges, she found she couldn't quite get the poi nts to come out neatly. Her easy rescue? A couple of decorative

Quilting can transform a fabric. This

beads, which conceal the pOi nts and add

rather stiff, ribbed silk isn't a n obvious

weight so the sash ends drape nicely.

candidate for quilting, but Mary realized that it could become quite soft and pliable when quilted to a thin layer of wool batting a nd a silk backing.

A new, sturdier take on fabric flowers: These bold blooms are quilted, so they have plenty of texture a nd d imension, but a ren't crushable.




''All the pink was a challenge. But by draping the fabrics on a dress form, I found a way to balance the colors." The salmon-colored silk matka was not Kayla's favorite color to wear near her face. To spice it up, she made trim out of frayed fabric scraps, which brings in a l l the colors of the ensemble a nd adds a playful edge to a simple garment.

Embroidered diamonds of fabric applied as a faux­ lace trim give weight a nd su bsta nce to the hem of the sheer organza top. Without them, Kayla found that the top looked and felt fli msy and



Pearls of wisdom: Reversing one panel of fabric on the jacket

You don't have to settle for fabric just as it comes off the bolt. Kayla loved the ribbed silk for pants, but thought it needed more color. She satin¡stitched random stripes of purple and green to bring in colors from the rest of the fabrics.

This purse may not hold

back breaks up the overall

much, but it matches

striped effect and highlights the

everything. Working with

fabric's equally attractive wrong

her signature fabric collage

side. Kayla sewed 20 pearl beads

tech n ique, Kayla combined

on the panel's dots to symbolize

scraps from each element of her

the pearls of wisdom she's

ensembles to create the front of

learned from Threads over

her compact h a nd bag.

the years.

Exploring S A N D RA B ElZ I N A

"I really enj oyed figuring out what to do with fabrics that I didn't

Stripes or dots? Sandra wanted both for her vest, which meant using both sides of this lively silk. Rather than cutting it as a single layer, which would require time· consuming edge and seam finishes, she self·lined the garment with the reverse side facing out. This method is fast and results i n a very clean finish-so clean that the vest could be reversible.

choose myself."

Sometimes couture techniques are the only solution. Here, Sandra ha nd-pick­ stitched the neck and armhole edges of her silk d ress to anchor the fabric layers together. She felt that topstitching wasn't a good choice on this dressy garment, and understitch ing wouldn't control the fabrics well enough.

Hemming circular flounces on slippery fabrics can be a challenge, but Sandra has a great tip that speeds u p the process: With the flou nce right­ side up, staystitch the edge using fusible thread i n the bobbi n. Turn up the hem a nd press, so that the fusible thread holds the hem in a sharp crease. Trim the hem allowance to


inch, fold the

hem u p again, and stitch i n place by hand or machine. For extra pizzazz, Sandra added trim and contrast bands.

Pocket welts, multiplied by



decorative-but they're also pretty heavy. Sandra found that two layers of silk organza interfacing provided the necessary support for welts sewn on loosely woven silk matka.




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For more information from advertisers, use reader service card inside back cover. For quick access to their websites, go to the Index to Advertisers at

Reader Service Web Address No.


A Fabric Oasis


A-l Accessories



Able Labels of America

1 04

Academy of Fashion Design


Academy of Fine Sewing &: Design

1 35

Acme Country Fabrics

Alpha Impressions American Sewing Expo


American Sewing Guild

1 32

Antiquity Press Apple Annie Fabrics


Atlas Levy Aurora Silk

Baer Fabrics Barb Originals




Barudan America, Inc.


Beacon Fabric &: Notions

1 40

Bead Different Embroidery

1 05

The Bee Lee Company



1 43


1 21

Budo Bear


Burda World of Fashion


The BUllon Drawer


Buttons NW

1 38

Candlelight Valley Fabrics


Christinejonson Patterns


Claire Shaeffer

1 50

Clothing Labels

1 08



CoalS &: Clark

1 30

Cochenille Design Studio

1 57

The Cotton Boll


COllon Plus


Cottons, Etc.

1 44

The Couture Sewing School

Craft Connection

Create for Less


Creative Sew &: Needlework Festival

Criswell Embroidery

&: Design

CUlling Corners, Inc.

1 00

Darr, Incorporated


Dawn Anderson Designs

1 07

Delectable Mountain Cloth Delta Sewing Furniture




Page #


PP 8385 p.27p.84 p.86 Pp.7386 p.17 p.75 p.83 p.p. 8286 p.87 p.p. 8786 p.81p.84 p.p.857 p.p.1/05-] Pp.8483 p.82 p.85 p.83 p.82p.83 p.86 Pp.1839 pp.8471 p.86 Pp.7833 p.71P 86 p.33 p.71p.87 p.84 p.86 p.82 P 86

Design to Fit Pallerns, Inc.

Reader Service Web Address No.

Designer's Gallery

1 42

Discount Fabrics USA


Distinctive Fabric Distinctive Sewing Supplies


Do It Yourself Slipcovers


Dolly Mc Fadden


Earth Guild



Edward R. Hamilton, 67

The Electric Quilt Company


Embroider This'

1 25

Embroidery Arts


Embroidery Library


The Embroidery Studio


Eucalan, Inc.


Eva Dress

1 37

5 T's Embroidery Supply

1 24


Fabric Dame




Fabulous Fit Dress Forms Fare Tahiti Fabrics


Faux Chenille

1 67

Fine Fabric Stores

1 33

Fire Mountain Gems


Fishman's Fabrics, Inc.

1 26



Fuhng Satin Co., Inc.


Gaffney Fabrics, Inc.

1 51

Gayfeather Fabrics

1 03

General Label Mfg.


Grannd Garb Companies


Great Copy Patterns


The Green Pepper


Haberman Fabrics


Hands of the Hills

1 48

French Connections

Homespun Wide Fabrics Hugo's Amazing Tape

28 lamazingtape.htm



Islander Sewing Systems


jacquard Products

1 63

janome America

1 52

Page #

p.25 p.17p.83 p.71p.83 p.86 Pp.8282 p.P 277 Pp.3325 PP 285 p.p.8617 p.21p.83 p.75 p.84 P 259 PP 27 p.25 Pp.7373 p.84 p.86 p.84 p.8283 Pp.83 p.82P 86 P7 p.82p.86 P 87 Pp 8391 p.75 Pp.381 .

Advertiser Index/Web Directory

For more i nformation from advertisers, use reader service card inside back cover. For quick access to their websites, go to the Index to Advertisers at

j Caroline Creative

Reader Service Web Address No. 1 66

judith M Design

1 45

Kandi Corp


Kay Fabric Center


Kayla Kennington

1 20


LFN Textiles


Linda Stewart Couture




Loes Hinse Design


Lorraine Torrence Designs



Lodi Down



p. 27

Robison-Anton Textile Co.

Reader Service Web Address No. 15

p. 83

Royalwood, Ltd.


p. 84

Page #


Sadia's Designs



Sawyer Brook Fabrics


p. 27


Sew Easy Embroidery Retreat


Sew Images

1 53



p. 85

The Sewing Place

1 54

1 62

Silver Reed Knitting Machine

1 58

p. 85



St Theresa Textile Trove

1 02

Sterling Name Tape Company



p 17


Stretch House, Inc.

1 06


Sue's Sparklers

Manta-Ray, Inc.


Super Silk

Marin Needle Arts Guild

1 22



Martha Pullen Co.

1 55

p 73

Mary's Productions

p. 85

Michael's Fabrics

p. 86

1 59

Monterey Mills


Mutual Fabrics


My Twin Dress Forms



Nancy's Notions, Ltd.

1 41

Sew Fabrics

p. 9

p. 87 31 85 84

p. 85

1 46

p. 85

Textile Studio Patterns


Thai Silks



1 36

p. 81


1 34

p. 9



p. 84

p. 84

Three Pines Designs

1 27



Tosca Company


p. 83







Ottobre Design


p. 81



p. 86

Ultra Style Designs

1 56

Universal Presser Foot Lifter


Vestis Books


1 09



Vintage Fashion




p. 85

1 39

Paron Fabrics


p. 85 p. 85

Wild Ginger Software, Inc.

Pattern String Codes


p. 82

The Wooly Thread

Pattern Studio

1 61

p. 84



You Can Make It, Inc.

1 65

p. 2 3

Phoenix of Anderson

p. 83

Your Personal Fit

Ptak Couture





p. 21


Rit Dye



Road to California

1 31

p. 71

82 7 73

p. 9

p. 82 82

p. 87




p. 27 82


1 29


Zipper Source


p. 85

Zundt Design


p. 21

p. 83

p. 87


p. 82

Rain City Publishing



The Rainshed

p. 85

Palos Verdes Art Center



p. 9



p. 84


The Quilted Dragon



Oriental Silk Company

PM Organics

p. 33

Silk Baron

Montana Leather Company


1 60

SewkeysE Retreat

The Silk Connection


p. 85


p. 7


p. 71

Stitchitize Embroidery

Manhattan Wardrobe Supply


p. 83

1 23


p. 21

p. 87

Make It Yourself with Wool

Malden Mills

Page #


25 33




Closures The m agical m achine by Rebecca U pjohn Snyder


he day my mother told me

There it was, a gift greater than

that her Elna sewing ma­

a room full of spun gold-she

chine was a secret source

offered me the opportunity to

of power, of course I didn't be­

transform the imagined into the

lieve her. At the age of 10 I was

real. To the uninitiated it was

still given to flights of fancy and

sewing, an archaic chore wom­

would believe almost anything.

en did to be useful-but to me it

I was called

by the less

became a creative process utiliz­


ing my brain, eyes, instincts, and

the tactful, but this was too

hands-to create things that were

much of a stretch-even for me.

both practical and unique.

gullible imaginative

supportive and

How could something so coldly

Cautiously, I began to explore

mechanical and, well, old-fash­

the secrets of the Elna. It brought

ioned and green, warrant such

forth doll clothes and blankets,

a declaration? Certainly it was

peasant blouses, shorts, and bags

useful for standing on to reach

from old jeans. As I grew, so did

the forbidden upper shelves in

my confidence. I made my eighth

the hall at Christmastime. But why did it evoke such a wicked smile

grade graduation dress, spandex pants to match my electric guitar,

and cause the bubbling of laughter in a woman who was usually

and later, quilts to wrap around my newborn sons.

so reserved? This was my mother talking, and she never lied, so I demanded that she prove this secret power to me.

Motherhood was a jarring awakening to the finiteness of free time, and my creative energy was needed for two vital boys. So,

Without a word, she heaved the metal case onto the dining room

reluctantly, I returned the Elna to my mother. When I moved to a

table and snapped open the silver clasps. Still suspicious, I watched

different country, I bought a new machine, wondering if I'd ever

carefully as she lifted out the sewing machine and unfolded the

lose myself again in sewing. Slowly, as I reclaimed myself, I chose

knee-control lever. So far, nothing was different, I'd seen this before.

to sew, stumbling over the changes in me rather than the process

Then she handed me the oil container and the lubrication chart.

of sewing. I discovered I had different goals, mostly driven by

For the first time, I was allowed to drop the beads of oil into each

practicality: place mats, curtains, and Halloween costumes. What

of the 1 1 holes marked in red. When I was done, she opened the

I found surprising was the faith the boys had in me-they believed

accessories case and told me the name of each piece, explaining

I could make anything. To them, the machine was something to

what each one was used for and how the machine worked. I listened

drive very fast, stomp on the pedal, and shriek with delight while

with growing astonishment and fingered the tools. After giving me

I made them sit on their small fingers.

the manual she instructed me to thread the Elna. The more I had

This year, as we prepared to leave the city for the summer, I ar­

my hands on the machine, the more absorbed I became. When I

gued with my sons over what had packing priority in the car. My

was done, my mother sat down, reached for a piece of fabric, and

sewing machine was in conflict with one of their tubs of toys. My

began to sew.

older son is 1 1 , and I saw him hesitate-he has begun work on his

I fell into another world-all of my senses had awakened-from

first quilt, and I promised to help him make a quiver for his ar-

the whirl of the machine to the stickiness of the oil on my fingers

rows. When I checked later, the matter was resolved-the machine

to the smell of the hot iron pressing on the cotton fabric. Magic

was nestled in the trunk. Unable to help myself, I grinned. Now, I

flowed from her hands. She made me a halter dress with a match-

reminisce as I think of those forget-me-not flowers and the magic

ing kerchief. It was lush with forget-me-not flowers, and expressed

of that machine.

the cool freedom of summer. Spinning in delight, I almost missed her next quiet words telling me to give it a try.



Rebecca Upjohn Snyder lives in Toronto, Canada.

c o a.

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Ten yards of Italian

silk satin, equal quantities of organza under­ lining and charmeuse lining, along with hand­ beaded and -sequined French Chantilly lace are the main ingredients Susan Khalje used to cre­ ate this bridal confection. The gown consists of two pieces, with a separate bodice that can be removed to reveal a slender dress with a halter­ style neckline. The lace fabric, whose embellish­ ment is concentrated along the edges of the lace yardage, is perfect as is for the sheer sleeves, but to create the densely encrusted bodice, Susan pieced together and seamed many sections of the beaded edges. Even at close range, this piec­ ing is invisible-all we are able to see is opulent, all-over embellishment.

Threads magazine 119 july 2005  
Threads magazine 119 july 2005