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You make a statement about yourself with the way you dress. And the way you decorate your home. What better way to make that statement, than to make it yourself-on a Singer sewing machine? Whatever you're fashioning, Singer makes it fast and easy­ whether it's beautiful outfits, or beautiful drapes, pillows, slipcovers, comforters, or other items for your home. Our Micro-ComputerT• Model 2210 and our Ultralock Model 14U64-just two of our many state-of-the-art sewing machines-have a remarkable array of features, yet are remarkably easy to use. And our Singer Sew Corner Model 699, like our other fine cabinets, helps make sewing even more fun and rewarding. Singer offers a full range of sewing machines and sewing products, something for everyone who sews. Visit your Singer retailer today and see them all. Because no matter what you want to make, Singer can help you make it-beautifully.

AugusUSeptember 1988

wedd owns; hort.4uw i broid tern eric The

4 Letters: Knap pants; 6 Questions: Em

ing g


ng; s



N ber um



ery with ribbons; bias bindings; knitting machines

8 Tips: Recycling T-shirts; pat

"tissue"; needle-pulling aids; hairpin lace

12 Notes: Needle arts; computer

pri nting on fa

bri c; Saudia Arabian dress


70 Calendar: Exhibits; tours; conf

es; works

ions bric

hop s; competit

B oo ks : Africa On trateshe techhikHirokoSeOgae wa2 .dem­ 90 Illlll Lou terns Art ione A is TheThe F. prod lProd Art 50 The 40 Larz 64boo terned row 63row 082-730604)7. (203)426-817. 72


76 Supplies:


onst sas o, a Japanese em­ bmidery nique. p.

Managing Editor



Add an old-fash


Adjusting the curve

38 Historic Chic


Vickie Joy Stansberry

Editorial Secretary

43 Shaker Rag Rugs

48 Intuitive Expressions in Stitchery



Lilo Markrich

Joanne Mattera

Rya Sandra Perlingieri


uce intricate-looking carpets

by Robbie Fanning


Jane Cam

Fashion Doesn't Stop at


by Deborah Newton

key is fit, and the handknitter's secret is a fa

56 Quilting Strip by Strip

by Judith

Arrange slices of banded fa

bri c mock-up

e lere

bri c into lively blocks of color

59 Patch Pockets: Plain, Fancy, and False

by S

tanl ey Hostek

A tailor's guide to bagging them on

Robbie Fanning Susan

by Jan Jasper

by Cheryl Anderson

simplest weaving techniques

Nancy Garbrecht

Contribu ting Editors

by Margaret Komives

the key

by Nancy O. Bryant

needlework of


and garments

A vintage style gets a modern fit

uction Editor

Geraldine Von Maluski


tou ch of elegance to li

36 How to Spot and Correct Pants-Fitting Problems

David Page Coffin

Alice Korach

by Catherine Roberts


Fitting Pair of Pants

Associate Editor

Assistant Editors

by Hiroko Ogawa

Simple running stitches make complex sashiko pat

Glee Barre


ent: Scuttle your shuttle and skip to m'

27 Knitted-Lace E

Amy Yarwgi


ultimate sewing shop: New York City

22 Embroidery from Japan's Snow Country

Betsy Levine Director

an quiltmaking; an album of styles and fa

Colorful Crochet

by Adriene Cruz

Richly pat

garments evolve


in tapestry technique

92 Great Stuff

The Taunton Paul Roman, publisher: JaniC(" A. Roman, associate publisher; John Kelsey. editorial director of and videos; John Lively, editorial director of ma�zines; Tom Luxeder. operations mgr.; Carol Marotti, personnel mgr.; Linda Ballerini, personnel asst.; Lois Beck, office-services coord.; Carol exec. Ben Warner, mail services; Christopher Myers, office-oper­ ations clerk; Charles Hollis, maintenance. Accounting: Wayne Reynolds, controller; Patrick Uimontagne. mgr.; Linda Anderberg, Elizabeth Cipolla, Judith Smith, Elaine Yamin. Roger Barnes, design director; Deborah Fillion, mgr.; e Feinstein, Martha Leugers, art directors; Catherine idy, art asst. Deborah Cannarella, managing editor; PauJ Bertorelli, senior edi­ tor; Christine Timmons, editor; Ben Kann, art director; Ruth Dobse . copy editor; MaMa Angione. Direct Marketing: Jan Wahlin, director; Jon Miller, mgr.; Philip Allard, copywriter; Pamela ne, copy editor; Karen Cheh, circuJation coord.; Claudia Allen, cin::uJation asst. Data ssing: Drew Salisbury, mgr.; Richard Benton, programmer; Ellen Wolf, PC coord. C mer Teny Thomas, supervisor; Christine Cosacchi, Anette Halnerski, Nancy Schoch, Claire Warner. ent: Car-

ks Gee,

Pasca Ann ThreadsDec.magllz, cr CT Press, Seco Press, Threads Dee KnOIT, Th ls ess m.tes: ssess Th ls Rose secy . drea secy. Rose posse Press, .• Box cr Press, dress Sales: assoc. cr . secy. Press 63 P.O. wto 064

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ine (ISSN is published bimonth· Iy. Oct., Feb .. Apr.. June. and Aug .. by The Taunton Inc., S. Main St.. Newtown, Tel. nd-class postage is paid at Newtown, and addi­ tional mailing offices. Copyright by The Taunton Inc. No reproduction without pennission of the publisher. magazine® is a registered trademark of The Taunton Press, Inc. Title to the copyrights in the contributions in magaZine remains in the authors, photographers, and artists, otherwise indicated. They have granted publication rights to magazine. SU bsc ription U.S. and po ions, for one year; for two years. Canada and other countries, for one year; for two years (in U.S. dollars). Single copy, outside UB. and ssions, Send to SubscMption Dept., The Taunton Inc Newtown. Ad all corre­ spondence to the appropriate department (Subscription, Edi­ torial, or Advertising), The Taunton Inc., Box New­ town, U.s. newsstand distribution by Eastern News DistMbutors, Inc . Cleveland Road, Sandusky. OH

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Art: Ann assoc. Cass Books: assoc . vage secy. Purro Proce usto Service: Fulftllm Threads


Roy Swanson, advertising mgr.; Vivian Donnan, aects. mgr.; Carole Weckesser, senior ad·sales coo rd.; Cheryl Welch, asst. adv. coord. Sheny Duhigg.

Advertising and



Letters Intrigued with Knap pants

worry, the yarnover won't disappear.

One week after I received the Feb.lMar.

In the article on Knap pants (Threads,

With the left-hand needle,pick up the

issue of Threads, my 11th grader told me

No. 17), the illustration on p. 33 has a

yarnover,then the stitch off the right­

she had to do a weaving project for art

scale (12 in. for small size). Does this

hand needle. Then purl both together.

class. She had brought home a hardwood

mean I can scale up the pattern pieces,

When working a pattern stitch,work

frame with skinny nails

and do you consider size 8-10 small? A

the pattern as far as possible, and turn.

pounded partway in to attach the thin,


in. apart

measurement somewhere on the pattern

Coming back to the full row,work the

three-ply,worsted-weight warp yarn. It

would help. This is such an exciting

pattern as need be from the center.

was clearly not functional. I picked up

concept; I hope you'll feature it again in

-Renate Broeker, Memphis, TN

more detail for the jacket.

some fence posts,dowels,spikes,rope, nails,and sandpaper at the hardware


-Janet Formanek, Twain Harte, CA Deborah Desilets replies: Yes, you can

Advice mai knitting hine

wool,some pattern books,and a small

scale up the pattern to about a size 8.

Not everyone has the advantage of

wooden comb at the weaver's shop; and

When the scale measures 12 in., the

living near a knitting-machine dealer.

I took my copy of Threads to the

measurement from side "seam" fold line

Mail-order dealers would be wise to

lumberyard and had battens cut from

CE to the crotch point A



store; I bought seven skeins of colored

include small swatches to show the

%-in. oak. I set up the loom and followed

the leg circumference at that point will be

machine's capabilities and distinguish

Martha's instructions for the first inch

24 in. I have about 30 designs. For

gauges for the novice.

of weaving, then turned the project

more information, write to me at 105

-Kate D. Tho


, Killeen, TX

Mendoza Ave., Coral Gables, FL 33134.

downIt awns Love NY to hort-row howdo �


by wedding g

was with dismay that I saw your

s it, and wants more

over to my daughter,who carried it to school every day and wove every evening after dinner. Thank you,Martha, Karen,

Evelyn Blake's letter in Threads, No. 17,

and Threads for such a thoroughly

p. 4,has provoked me to write. To criticize

detailed story.

June/July cover. The dress was pretty, but

someone's work is one thing (Rei

not indicative of the work being done

Kawakubo in Threads, No. 15,p. 39),but

-Timmy Mast, Grand Rapids, MI

Fannin offers inspiration

by fiber artists who have chosen wedding

to say "Let's have no more of it" is

gowns as their medium. There is a level of

definitely another! I love all those designs,

I very much enjoyed the short article

fine sewing that goes far beyond what is

the art, the passion,the mood,the

on the Fannin's weaving mill ( Threads,

described in this article,and you owe it

sense of humor. I want to see more.

to yourselves and your readers to present it. - Meg Mallory, Putney, VT

Another way


When ladies' sweaters are designed for

-Nancy Go

Just as



n, Albany,

you cu.s


No. 14, p. 14). I can attest to Allen Fannin's genius for machinery,as we have a 30-shaft dobby loom that he built from old loom parts. The one thing that


not mentioned is his abundant

The article on making your own sloper

generosity. He has given freely of his time

large sizes,they should be worked with

(Th1'eads, No. 16, p. 56) was quite good on

and extensively of his ideas and

short-row bust darts,in progressively

general procedure for making a muslin

suggestions for efficiently running a small

shorter rows across the front of the

and turning it into a sloper, but virtually

handweaving "mill." I wish this knowl

sweater. First I decide how many

nothing was said about basic principles

could be shared with a wider audience.


stitches to leave unworked on the needle

of adjusting the fit. True,there were

The Fannins are certainly the exception

at the end of each row and for how

detailed instructions on what to do if

in proving that weaving for one's income can be done successfully on a long-term

many rows. Then all I do is work the

your body is just like Mary's,but what if

short rows, turning with a yarnover. I

you,like many women,require more

basis,and we out here in the hinterland

always start short-rowing on the knit side

substantial adjustments? What if you

need that kind of inspiration.

and make my last short row on the purl

have a large bust,rounded shoulders,a

side, which means that the first row I

broad back,or some other problem that

-Jim Barr, Penticton, BC, Canada

price for book

rong NY udd now W

work to the end after the last short-row

requires you to go to the trouble of

turn is a knit row. Here's how it works:

developing a sloper in the first place? It's

In Threads, No. 13,p. 43,you listed the

not only unwise,but it defeats the whole

price of Needle Lace in Photographs as

Knit the first short row,turn the work,and make a yarnover on the right­

purpose of doing a personal sloper to make

$ 14.95 (Robin and Russ Handweavers,

hand needle and another yarnover to

the left and right sides symmetrical. Of

533 N. Adams St.,McMinnville, OR 97128).

bring the yarn into position for purling.

course there's the question of when figure

Purl the second short row,turn the

imbalance should be fit, camouflaged,

work,and bring the yarn to the front. As

or ignored,but it's a disservice not to

you knit the first stitch of the next

mention the problem.

short row,you create the needed

This book is $26 and has always been.

-Robin and Russ Handweavers


-Jan Jasper, New York,

yarnover. After the last short-row turn,

led ack


Madelyn Fatelewitz (Threads, No. 16,

p. 55) thanks the women of Sumb.OOr,

just knit each yarnover together with the

Navajo weaving

next (lower) stitch as you come to them.

Karen Bussolini's article on Navajo

Nicolena Jensen of the National

On the purl side,just purling the yarnover

weaving (Threads, No. 15,p. 26) will be

Museum; Vevnat1ur (a weaving shop) in

together with the next stitch would put

useful as I build my Navajo loom. I'd

T6rshavn; and Danjal Pauli of G�u.

a twisted stitch on the front. So, instead, I

like to suggest another reference: Navaho

especially those mentioned in the article;

& NM; NY

interchange the yarnover with the next

Weaving, Its Technic

stitch: Take the right-hand needle behind

Charles Avery Amsden, 1934 (reprinted

the yarnover and into the next purl

by Rio Grande Press, Glorietta,

stitch. Slip both off the left needle. Don't


History by


-Leslie English, Kingston,


We welc your comments, criticisms, advice, and ideas. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. Please write to us at Box 355, Newtown, CT


Th Magazine reads

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Questions broidery with rib

bons Coffin mas I eggy


book on em broidering with narrow ribbon place oJ th read? Can you direct me


ordinary foot). On inside curves I



-Louise Berini, Santa Rosa,


easy to overdo. If you discover that

always clip the garment seam so I can

you've distorted the bias, rip the seam and

straighten it. Then I stretch the bias

do it again. No amount of pressing and

slightly against the garment as they go

hoping will fix it. If you don't stretch it as

together. This helps the binding to lie

much the second time, you'll need a

David Page replies: Lem'n Ribboncmjt, by Eve Harlow, 1987

snug against the body on the finished

longer piece to go around the same curve,

garment. For outside curves I clip the

so don't trim the bias to fit until you're sure you don't want to do it again.

(Pittstown, NJ: Main Steet Press,

binding; even though it's naturally

$11.95) , describes many craft and

flexible, bending it unclipped to follow

decorative applications for all sorts of

an outside curve would stretch it too

I 've also found that a binding foot is a useful accessory. The one I use, shown in

ribbons. Included in the embroidery

much. As I sew, I try to stretch the

the drawing at left, below, is made by

section are instructions for surface

garment a bit, but not the binding so that

Viking (#6287). It keeps the garment and

stitching, couching, canvas work,

when the binding relaxes, the garment

the binding edges exactly even as you

smocking, and candlewicking, all with

,viII too.

narrow ribbon, as well as several

sew, which makes stretching and easing a

On bias-cut edges, like V-neck collars,

much more relaxed operation. You can

techniques for flower-petal effects with

that would tend to stretch, I either

also use it to topstitch prefolded bindings

couched and gathered wide ribbons.

staystitch the garment edge or stretch

on in one step and to apply braided and




the bias while I barely push the garment

other trims. The Viking foot will fit any

under the foot to ease it in a little. In

low-shank machine, and The Sewing

I like to sew tops with bias-bound

any event, the stretching I do isn't severe.

Emporium (1087 Third Ave., Chula Vista,

armholes, but can't seem to avoid wrinkled stretched-mtt, and twisted edges. Can ymt help?

Often j ust draping the fabric I'm

CA 92010; 619-420-3490) can custom-

necklines and

-Barbara Wazurki, WhitesbO'I'O, NY


Juve replies: It does require

some practice to control the flexibility of

stretching over my slightly raised hand as it passes on toward the needle is enough. However, on sleeveless garments that are supposed to have a dart going

fit the working part of this, or any, foot to


any machine. The Emporium's catalog

also shows other types of binding feet for

all machines.

into the armhole, I've discovered that I

z..orderlonguagli frmnI ondemacif IA

bias binding. Since I use bias bindings

can convert the dart to ease and take


a lot, I've developed a number of

up the ease \vithout gathering, entirely by

I live a



trouble, but if you're using purchased

the inside. If I'm machine-sewing, I'll

way any knitting­ machine dealers, and w r yon can suggest a mail-arder source far machines and i1'l/ ation. -Annie Woozle, Fairfield, S G mni replies: Kruh Knits

binding, make sure you preshrink both

press it over first; otherwise, I j ust fold it

(Box 1587, Avon Park North, Avon, CT

as I go along.

06001; 203-674-1043) is a dealer that

techniques that help me get smooth,

stretching the bias more firmly than

flat, and stable results. I think about the

usual as I stitch.

fabric first.


the binding and garment

are the same fabric, you'll have little

the garment fabric and the binding. I always make my own bindings, but occasionally I bind my silk dresses with a

Finally, unless I'm sewing for myself, I always handstitch the binding closed on



Jan Saunders replies: I also Clip any

takes a sort of

seams that have to spread to fit an

approach to machine knitting. Kruh's

Whole Earth catalog

different silk, like crepe de chine

opposing curve, and I'm careful to

112-page, $2 catalog provides a single

binding on a broadcloth dress, and I

stretch the binding as it goes onto an

source for j ust about anything a knitter

always test the combination before I

inside curve, but I've found that this is

could want. In addition to a full selection

start the dress. After sewing a length of binding on a swatch, I expose the test


Viking's binding foot

to mOisture, either by spraying (cottons)

huge and well-described variety of


or steaming (silks), to see if any puckering, twisting, or other distortion

all the current model machines, plus

parts and accessories, the catalog boasts a

Adjusts for width of binding.

occurs. Cutting, folding, and pressing


the binding as you make it inevitably stretches it, and moisture relaxes the stretch. Once I noticed this, I began moistening bindings right after I made

related books, tools, patterns, and trims, plus a generous selection of quality yarns, with color cards available for a fee. Generally, the price of a machine you buy from a local dealer includes six to ten hours of instruction. Machines ordered from a catalog can't include instruction,


them. The creases soften a bit, but with


most fabrics you can actually see the

the form of a gift certificate worth about

bindings shrink. At this point, it's easy to carefully re-press them flat and unstretched before you sew them on. I deal with the binding's stretch during sewing in different ways, depending on the shape of the seam, and to some extent on the fabric involved. With stable cotton bindings I put bias

10% of your order.

Cross sections of two bias applications by binding foot

Edgestitched Step 1

silk bindings I put a little tension on the garment as the binding and garment both go under the presser foot (I use an


,t..=--Bias----... -==�=t===

onto straight seams without stretching either binding or garment. With stretchy

does offer a kind of rebate in

Step 2


======��""'� .=.� •

Set seam­ allowance width by foot.

:: ' �I I T::J¥

About the answer people: David Page Cof­ fin is an assistant editar of Threads. Peggy Juve te about her painted silk dresses in Threads, No. 12, p. 29. Jan Saunders is the author of Speed Sewing: 103 Sewing Machine Shortcuts (Speed Sewing Ltd., 1985). Susan Guagliumi is a contribut­ ing editor of Threads. Have a question of general interest about the fiber arts? Send it to Threads, Box 355, Newtown, CT







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lub: am abricS C heS and as . On F 01 swatc t se doubts "Dear F �I st ad fir yh ed I re l just rece",e uld atlord hen I join co press t le ever im � price. I didn' p ise I can my ur r ualIty .a d Q to ut d ch u bO a tm bu evable an S lab:=' are unb 1 ve s e p ha ric I designer st. r You th be em and have afford th s, twO e money ur blouse av s lo , lly ine a ag Im signer can re . e d go I s re dY to ck t rom a er j la b twO order � and a z � the labrics slac"s . \-laving . n e a nd a lot 01 tim or lesS th labnCS l e s me a v a s ay m ed s uc , yoU coordinat nks so m � ork. , d. n e Iri guess-w st Sincerely e my be just becOm



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01 ��: $70 0

ins, Fort Coll



Me 63132


DEPT. TF88 1 0490 BAUR BLVD. ST LOUIS MO 63132 Yes! ENROLL me for one year in Included is my


Fashion Fabrics Club

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Exp. Date


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ptembel' 1988


as members anyone residing in CANADA









Tips Recy cling T-shirts


sock ribbing is good for ribbing at wrists

Perfect pa

and ankles. Pockets-the bigger the

I recently bought a basic pattern that

his worn T-shirts. The synthetics were

better-are a must. Adding a diamond­

was meant to be traced rather than cut

beyond hope, but the pure cottons still

shaped gusset to the crotch gives plenty

out. As I pondered what would be the

felt and smelled fine. The most worn

of room for a diaper and growth. Applique

best paper to use, I noticed a roll of 4 mil

areas were the armpits. After I cut

is a fine way to preserve the screen

clear plastiC that I'd been using as a

them away, I noticed that the overall

print on an otherwise worn-out T-shirt. I

drop cloth. Not only is it great for tracing

length of an average T-shirt equaled the

also try to salvage any long horizontal

with a permanent-ink marker, but as a

shoulder-to-midcalf measurement of my

strips. They make great edge bindings for

pattern material it's far superior to paper.

1S-month-old son. I pieced the shirts

other outfits.

Since two layers of the plastiC tend to

Recently my husband decided to discard

Outfits made from the most worn

together, and with the help of a few basic


stick together, it's easy to make mirror­ image pattern pieces for cutting one layer

patterns, I made some functional and

tees are wonderful for adventures in the

comfortable outfits for my rapidly growing

garden; the nicer ones are every bit as

of elusive fabric. Before separating the

son, as shown below.

good looking as expensive children's wear.

plastiC, trace the pattern piece, turn the

And what could be nicer against a

plastiC over, and redraw the marks on the

Crotch snaps, front tab snaps, buttons,

baby's skin than soft cotton knit?

and zippers all make good closures,

-Jennifer Johnston, Boise, ID

though Velcro is Eli's favorite; and old

other side. Cut out the double piece, and then separate the layers. Besides the obvious advantages of allowing you to

Basic pattern pieces

see the grain and pattern of the fabric, the

Shoulder seam Center back

"body" of the plastic also tends to

Center front Cut for sleeve.

Center front! back

stabilize fabrics like silk charmeuse, making it easier to cut accurately. Lightly tinted plastiC would be ideal.


1 8 1I----� I 810 Side



Pocket placement

� Add snaps here or , here.


Sleeve center


the clear plastiC; otherwise, if you need to use the pattern again, you might not be

-Norma Sipowicz, Houston, TX

Interlibrary loan When you live in the middle of

to in.

nowhere, and your only source for fiber arts and sewing books is mail order, it's nearly impossible to preview what you're buying. I've discovered interlibrary loan. It's a free service that accesses all



cut just outside the cutting lines on

able to see it on the fabric.

________----<.1 Pocket

One word of caution, though: Be sure to

�s� 3%i � nap tape Front

Baby clothes from old T-shirts

public and university libraries. It usually takes two to four weeks for the book you've ordered to arrive. This is an ideal way to preview books before ordering, and it's sometimes the only way to obtain out-of-print books.

-Shari Adams, Los Alamos,


Designer fabric swatches At the local interior designer's I was able to buy 25-in.-sq. swatches of discontinued designer fabrics for $1 each. They ranged from petit point for a

Original T-shirt neckline


3- to 5-in. ribbing from old socks

purse to chintz and cottons for applique and quilting. Some designers ,vill even donate obsolete fabric samples and leftovers (often several yards) to worthy causes, as will some upholstery shops.



Elkovitch, Skaneateles,


Needlepulling aids When quilting or handsewing, I use a rubber thimble to help me pull a needle through several layers of cloth. I bought

Wraparound pockets


Snap crotch

mine at a business-supply store for 26¢. It

Use different shapings and closures to produce a wide variety of baby clothes.

is covered with tiny nubs and is perforated on one side for ventilation, so I can wear it constantly on my fourth




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finger. I grasp the needle between it and

As the lace comes off the frame, it

my thumb when I need the extra help.

slides onto the loop of string hanging

One tug and the needle is free.

n Ml lace

-Donna S. Merritt, Ha cock,


Easy basket li

You can use any type of fabric to line a



below the frame. You can premeasure


the string and use it as a gauge for the

to measure or cut out pattern pieces. Place

length of the lace that has been made,

the basket in the center of the fabric with

or sq

basket without having

Often when I try to pull a quilting or

and you can easily remove it when you no

the right side up. Pull the fabric up

handsewing needle through multiple

longer need it to stabilize the lace.

over the sides of the basket, and clip it to

layers of fabric, it slips out of my grasp.

-Eunice Kaiser, Odessa, TX

To remedy this, I buy latex doctor's gloves at the pharmacist. I cut off the fingers

and place one finger on my thumb. Voila! I can pull the needle through anything!

-Lynn Teichman, Lewisburg, PA

Controlling Imirpin

the top with clothespins. Fit the fabric to the corners of the basket by making

Attach cardboard strip to upper end of hairpin-lace frame to hold string loop that will stabilize lace.

darts. Then sew the darts and clip the excess fabric. Try the liner in the basket, and, if necessary, take in the seams a bit. To finish the liner at the top, turn the edge and mark it for handles. Cut out U-shaped pieces of fabric where the

To eliminate twisting and tangling of

handles are and bind them with seam

hairpin lace as it comes off the frame, cut

binding. You can use the ends of the

a narrow strip of cardboard or plastic

seam binding for ties to secure the liner

sltghtly longer than the width of the

around the handles. Turn the raw edge


frame. Punch a hole in each end of the

under and trim it with eyelet. If you have

strip, and tie opposite ends of a string to

excess fabric, you can sew patch

the holes. Put the cardboard on the

pockets on the liner to hold small obj ects.


frame at the closed, or upper, end and

-Paula E

fasten it with tape, as shown at right.

wil l will The string

hang parallel to the sides


-Fuessle, Washi

Do you have a tip, some good advice, or a source for hard-to-find materials? We�l pay $25 for each item we publish. Send details, photos, or sketches to Threads, Box 355, Newtown, CT

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side of the frame as well as the string

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eed lead NedleExpTesions 8

N le arts on the ing edge

Lots of beads and qUilts, a few soft

sculptures and wearable art, and vel}' little canvas work were the characteristics of the entries for the


competition, sponsored by the National Council of American Embroiderers. Jurors selected pieces for their visual

power, the depth and passion of the ideas, and the mastery of techniques. A major condition of the competition, held every other year since 1978, is that most of the work be done with an eyed needle. According to chainvoman Julianna Mahley, the background of first-prize winner Bette Uscott-Woolsey (photo at left) is typical of a trend among competitors: artists who are challenging traditional needlework techniques.


opens Aug. 28

at the McClean County Arts Center in Bloomington, IL. Part of the exhibit will then travel. For information, write to NSCAE, Box 8578, Northfield, IL 60093.

Fairest Isle of them all Florrie Stout arranges small knit samples of sweater patterns on a table in the Fair Isle community center. Each Monday afternoon in the summer she partiCipates in a knitting demonstration (photo, p. 14). "Ere," she tells a visitor in her clipped brogue, "watch 'ow I graft the neckband onto the body


this jersey." The small

garment is so soft that it seems to caress her hands. Florrie is creating a bit of history- a Fair Isle sweater. Tiny Fair Isle braves the storms of the NOIth Sea above Scotland. It is administered by the National Trust for Scotland, which is devoted to preserving places of historical, cultural, and scientific interest and which also owns the copYIight for all Fair Isle patterns. Florrie, along with 13 other islanders, belongs to Fair Isle Crafts Ltd., a knitting cooperative. "We raise Shetland sheep. They're small and 'ardy with a fine fleece," explains Florrie. Shetland wool comes in shades of gray, white, black, tan, and moorit (reddish-brown). It's clipped in June, then sent to Lerwick on the main Shetland Island to be spun and dyed. "Till a few years ago," she continues, "all the spinning, dyeing, and knitting was done by hand right 'ere. We used lichen, roots, and flowers for the blue, green, and mauve tones. But our orders for

fiberbutte/jlies (34(Pho

' 88 Series 7 1 rned her talents her needlewerent herUkra ievessubtle


Firstrplace wi in Needle Expressions s i "Carpet, 2" in. x in.). The artist, Bette Uscott-Woolsey, is a painter who tu to arts when she lost studio. Infl ed l1y the ork oj inian neighbors, she started stitchirlf} abstract pieces


and then began to tra�orm paintirlf}s oj b 1end irlf} strands oj diff colors, she ach 12

into satirlrstitched carpets. By hue charlf}es. to l1y John Woolsey)

jerseys have increased so much we don't have time to do all that anymore. We knit from October to April only-the rest of the year we 'ave plenty of chores to do on the farm." The cooperative, formed in 1980, sells about 200 sweaters a year.

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UScptclllhcr 1988



ternausaiona pes rnatiorwl

In at La



l ta


Amid stacks of second- and third-class

mail, my eye lights on a familiar-looking

biennial's organizing committee and which are borne by the artist. The artist is

it again time to apply to the Inte Biennial of Tapestry at Lausanne? It

responsible for transportation,


insurance, and travel expenses to the

seems only yesterday that my entry was

installation and/or opening. In an

accepted for the 13th biennial.

informal canvass of a few Lausanne participants, I found this expense to

"Do I want to do this?" Entering art

range from $1,000 to $10,000. For 1989,

competitions entails expending energy,

you may be able to obtain some financial

time, and resources. What are good criteria

aid. If your application is accepted for the

for entering a competition? Among them

biennial, you may apply for funds from

are the stature of the exhibition, the

the U.S. Information Agency. To find out

quality of the jury, and whether the

more about financial assistance,

sponsors publish a catalog. How does the

contact Susan Stirn, Arts America, USIA,

Lausanne biennial fare in these terms?

301 4th St. S.w., Washington, D.C. 20547; (202) 485-2779. You'll need to supply

biennial is a world-class exhibition. In

documentation of acceptance, a budget

1987, established and unlrnown artists

for air fare and shipping, and information

from 17 countries exhibited. The

on additional support sources.

international juries for the exhibition

grafts kba nedtterm;dan)

Read the regulations about expenses closely, noting which are borne by the

Good griefl Can two years have sped by? Is

In existence since 1962, the Lausanne

Sitti'Yl!} beh ind samples oj sweater pa , Stout a nd unto a Fair Isle sweater. (photo by James O. S

the exhibition.

airmail envelope with a Swiss postmark.

However, now is the time to consider:


professional installation are benefits of

After deciding you want to enter,

are Irnowledgeable and distinguished

carefully complete the application, kiss

people from museums and the academic

the envelope good-bye, and go on with

world. So far, the jury for the 14th

your next work. The chances of being

biennial includes Gerhardt Knodel

admitted to any one competition are

from the Cranbrook Academy of Fine Arts

small, and there's always a lot of good

in Bloomfield Hills, MI; Erika Billeter,

work. From 1 , 1 15 applications, the

still lrnit sweaters by hand, most use a

director of the Musee Cantonal des Beaux­

jury for the 13th biennial selected 51

handlrnitting frame from Japan to knit

Arts in Lausanne; and Barbara Mundt,

works by 54 artists. Notification occurs

the body and sleeves. Finishing and

di rector of the Kunstgewerbemuseum in

in December. Works are exhibited from

washing are done by hand. "A Fair Isle

Berlin. As for my final criterion, one of

June to September in Lausanne.

sweater made on a machine takes

the strengths of the biennial has been its

fourteen hours, while one Irnit entirely

conSistently well-produced catalogs.

Though a few women on the island

by hand takes about sixty hours. Cost is

The Biennial envelope contains a

Those of us from the U.S. who have participated in the biennial are positive about our experiences, and we support

less for those done on the machine

questionnaire to be filled out in duplicate,

too." Florrie explains.

and a copy of the regulations. Let's look

giving advice. When asked if we would

at some details.

do it again, the answer was a unanimous

To meet the increasing demand for traditional handmade garments, all sorts

Start by reading everything carefully.

one another by sharing information and

yes. Our participation supports the

of sweaters labeled "Fair Isle" have

Since the English doesn't always quite

flooded the market. "Fair Isle" has now

convey the French meaning, consult

international exhibition. We enjoy the

come to mean any Irnit garment of

the French as well when needed.

contacts with the artists, with the

more than one color. Many of these turn out to be the traditional patterned-yoke

The jury selects applications on the

large American presence in an important

organizing committee of the biennial,

basis of photos and slides. Although most

and with the wonderfully hospitable

sweater of the Shetland Islands. Even

often I have my work photographed on

people of Lausanne. Besides, exhibiting

loosely Irnit ones from the Far East may

a black set paper, last time I opted to

our work in a grand setting increases

be labeled "Fair Isle." The Irnitting

use a profeSSional photographer in

visibility and validates our work

cooperative has a mail-order business

an i nstallation setting. I feel that this

in general.

that accounts for half of the sweater sales.

reinforced the architectural content

'We've been trying to get our trademark

of my work.

registered for over two years," Florrie says

Particularly relevant is the selection

If you don't have the application and regulations, request them immediately from Centre International de l a

in frustration as she packs the sweater

and hanging of work. The regulations

Tapisserie, a v o d e Villamont 4, CH-1005,

samples back in the cardboard boxes after

reasonably say that the work should

Lausanne, Switzerland. The postmark

the demonstration. "Everybody is

not exceed the height of the room; the

deadline for applications is Sept. 15;

making 'Fair Isle' j erseys! "

French more pOintedly asks the artist

nothing that arrives after Oct. 1 wil l be

to "take account" of the height. This year

submitted to the j ury. Allow plenty of

For i nformation on ordering a sweater from Fair Isle, write to Florrie

there is no minimum size, but scale is

time because there's a lot to do, and

Stout, Skerryholm, Fair Isle, Shetland,

important, and the rooms are large. I

you don't want to be defeated by the

learned a lot from working on a larger

mails. Good luck!

Scotland ZE2 9JU.




Sneddon, a free-lance photographer and writer, is part owner of Sage Productions in Lynwood, WA.


- Virginia Davis

scale than I normally do. My entry two years ago, when there was a minimum­ size requirement, was about 4'/2 ft. x 15 ft. The grandness of the museum and the

Davis, an artist, a lecturer, a teacher, and an NEA-award recipient, lives in New York City.


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-gra bo , on xes

The charcoal y rectangles, a'lUl lines in this China-silk scmj'mJ Mary Anne Caplinger are e s anto the scan. nter. printing, she air hed anto the fabric with an ruM

Computer printing

Propribricl\tf;er fa

lYrus brown tone


ated pixels that she printed directly

square-shaped on the screen but

printed side up, and let it dry

Computer-aided design, or CAD, is

assume rectangular dimensions when

overnight. A pressing on the wrong side of

becoming a familiar tool for many

they are printed; the number of pixels

the scarf with a warm iron sets the ink.

quilters, needleworkers, and knitters.

remains the same.

I wash the scarf by hand. Machine

A CAD user may easily rearrange

Instead of stretching a design to

washing or dry cleaning causes the ink

complex structures on the computer

fill a rectangle, I could repeat a small

screen and then print the pattern on

design element or vary its scale within

paper, thereby saving countless hours of

the scarf area. Abstract patterns of

to me last fall after I saw the computer­ generated work by Laura Lee Hayes and

to fade. The idea for computer printing came

laborious hand-drafting. Weavers can

thick and thin lines, drawn freehand,

use CAD for design and actual weaving

easily transpose into an elongated

Bob Brill of Ann Arbor, MI. They sell their

with computer-assisted looms.

shape. IWnderings of animals and people

work through their business, Zenagraph,

are less successful because they

to manufacturers to be developed into

The silk scarf in the photo above is the result of an extension of CAD. I designed the pattern on the computer

become distorted. To print on fabric, a printer must be

textile designs. As a surface deSigner, I naturally wondered whether I could apply

screen and then fed fabric, rather than

able to accept single sheets of paper

these graphics directly to fabrics. We

paper, through the printer. After

instead of only form-feed paper. Soft

discussed the possibilities brief1y and

printing, I heat-set the ink and painted

fabric, like China silk, needs stabilization

agreed to try some experiments.

the fabric further with an airbrush.

to run smoothly through the printer. I

Although my printer restricts the width of

attach China silk to regular form-feed

Laura Lee and Bob have two computers and three color printers. Bob

fabric to 9 in. or less, I'm already using

computer paper that I spray with

developed a sophisticated, custom­

computer-printed fabric for scarves, ties,

adhesive (Spray Mount from 3M). After

software program that he and Laura use

and pieced clothing.

I smooth all bubbles and wrinkles, I

to make original designs. Working with

trim the edges to eliminate stray

color printing on silk broadcloth, they

Printing on fabric doesn't require any special or complicated equipment. I work with a standard personal computer, the IBM PC


(two disk drivesl640K) and an

threads. Then I cut clean the edge that


be inserted into the printer.

Lightweight, thin, smooth fabric seems

have been producing beautiful repeat patterns. They see an immediate use for this process in producing printed-fabric

IBM Proprinter. The 'Paintbrush

to work best. Bumps or ridges, such

samples to accompany the artwork that

program by Microsoft, used with a mouse,

as from a hand-rolled hem, may cause

buyers see.

makes it easy to create all types of lines

the print head to stop or print repeatedly

and shapes. This graphics program offers

in one place.

16 "tools" for drawing 10 drawing-line

I do all my printing with an IBM 4201

Joan Jacobs Gaylord, who runs Kaleidograph Studio in Conyers, GA, is also experimenting with computer­

widths, and several palettes of patterns.

Proprinter black ribbon, with the printer

printed fabric, using a Zenith 158

My favorite tools are the paintbrush,

in the draft mode; this results in a

computer, an Epson printer, and cotton

eraser, and spray can. Combined with

charcoal-gray color on fabric. The quality

muslin. She intends to use her printed

preprogrammed or original graphic

mode produces a darker, richer black

fabrics in quilted wall hangings.

patterns, these tools offer unlimited

color, but it takes longer because the

options for creating.

print head must pass over each

that covers the computer-printed fabric

I haven't seen any written material

character several times. Before I print a

process. We're all working by trial and

narrow scarf is challenging because I

design on fabric, I try it on paper in

error and would like to exchange

can't tell from what I see on the screen

smaller dimensions than the actual item,

information with others who are trying

how the pattern will turn out. I determine

but in the same proportions.

similar work.

Designing a pattern for a long,

the dimensions of the print by setting margins in the print mode of the

a scarf, I monitor the printing frequently.

computer. The picture elements

When the printing is done, I lift the

(pixels) that make up the graphics appear

fabric from the paper, lay it flat with the


-Mary Anne Caplinger

During the half hour it takes to print

Caplinger is a textile artist who specializes in ha'lUl-painted fabrics in Rochester Hills,

MI. ThreadsMagazine

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How can a quilter of half a century find new challenge and scope? How can contemporary artists reach more viewers? Collaboration may be the answer. Several years ago, the Stables Art Center in Taos, NM, asked me, a quilter, to organize and curate a collaborative show of artist-designed quilts. This meant that I was to select and approach the artists, supply them with materials, and do the quilting. My motive for accepting the proposal was selfish. I wanted to learn more about contemporary ways to see and create so that my quilts might rise out of the traditional quilt-pattern variations and become unique. I felt I knew enough about the textural effects of quilting that I could complement a painting or cartoon. It took all my courage to make that first telephone call to Bea Mandelman, whose abstract paintings I had long admired. She agreed to meet me that afternoon to see examples of my work, hear something of my pedigree, and talk about the project. Bea showed me many of her canvases and said, "If you see something here you like, I'll be happy to work with you to make it into a quilt." My mind had raced with the technical problems of translation and, primarily, where the lines of quilting could appear in a composition that was complete without them . When Bea pulled out the collage-bits of torn and cut paper endlessly superimposed- I had it, every edge a quilting line.

Ti(pho piecedmeGeorg"(60ZapfJ

'Wh paper ilted80 Dmu


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in. in.) is a quilt ­ coUage by Bea Mandelman and qu by thy Zopf. e


The collaboration with Mandelman was the learning experience of which I 'd dreamed. By placing the collage under gridded glass, I translated it to quilt size. Thinking of Bea's work as nonobjective, I set out to draw the applique pieces with a straightedge. The pieces were pinned in place the first time Bea saw her quilt. She looked for a moment, then took me to the window. "Do you see the line of the mountain tops? How they curve and move? Every line in my work comes from observing nature. Go back and put some life into those pieces." Another time she scolded me about color. My scrap bag had yielded a paler pink than her collage used. "It has to sing," she said. "Be sure I see what you find before anything is sewn." I took my new samples to her house. Once again she was thoughtful. Then she went into her bedroom and returned with an incredibly hot-pink stocking; my samples withered by comparison. I was learning. The original collage was thick with layers of paper added to make every inch play its part. Pinning and unpinning were my counterparts. In the end I exhausted and exhilarated, and Bea was inviting all her friends over to see the wonderful quilt, ''White Time" (photo at left, below). It was difficult to approach the artists. They are busy, preoccupied people, who spend long hours in the studio. How could I ask them to do one more thing? As the project progressed and I could mention that another artist had already designed a quilt top for me, it became easier to keep asking, and I was more likely to get positive answers. In every case, one strong motive in the collaboration was kindness. The group of artists who collaborated with me was extraordinarily kind and generous. Despite the fact that Ginger Mongiello was enthusiastic about the idea of painting directly on muslin, something always prevented her from starting. Mutual friends assured me that all she needed was a reminder. It was then that I discovered how frightened Ginger was. Her largest works had never exceeded 48 in., yet I had given her a 90-in.-sq. piece of muslin. Here was this vast expanse of muslin too big to reach across and too big for a table. Could she trim it? I hesitated but agreed. Ginger worked on smaller pieces. Then, as she became bold, she telephoned for more fabric. I rushed to her studio. Big blue strokes and swirls covered three pieces of muslin lying on the studio floor. She was bouncing with happiness and excitement. "This is so much fun. Why did I wait so long to do it?"


Did all the quilts go smoothly? I should say not. Bill Gersh's bold quilt, "Kin," was long finished and ready for Signature when he saw it and decided it lacked "pizzazz." He eventually took it back to paint over, and a new technique was born. "Just a few shadow lines and a little more color," said he, as I stood there unwilling to part with the familiar soft bundle. I had thought it fine as it stood; his additions made it even stronger. When the artist paints directly on the muslin, scale is not a problem. When, as in the case of Carey Moore, the artist begins with sketches, a sheet of sketch paper is far from the dimensions of a bed. Carey had a stack of cat drawings that were wonderful, but how endearing can any creature be enlarged 20 times the original size? It was frustrating to keep rejecting her ideas and yet, in the end, it was the accumulation of so many drawings that suggested a final design of multiple images. We never argued; we simply struggled on together. When Carol Starr saw her completed quilt, there were tears in her eyes. Six months had passed since she had put a skillfully stained and painted piece of muslin into the mail. The quilting had been determined by mail: my sketches of suggestions, her pen lines on a too-small Polaroid photo. The final combination of paint and thread exceeded the strength of the individual parts. Several artists did turn me down. The interpersonal byplay that collaboration requires can be frightening. The problem of price was always present. I opened my requests by saying that I wished to share 50-50 with the painter. Most artists receive more money for larger canvases. A surface the size of a bed is really large. Double the artist's price, add the gallery markup, and what was a thrilling concept for the craftsperson may have sounded like an impossible sale to the artist. I believe that the adventure expanded horizons for all the partiCipants. Moreover, people who will not usually visit an art gallery will come to see an exhibition of quilts. The artists have had an opportunity to explore new surfaces and reach into the warm and personal world of quilts. Today the quilts have been dispersed to separate galleries, but I will always remember them together. -Dorothy Zapf


Zap!, with her husband, George, co-author of Patchworks: A Quilter's Workshop with Computer-Aided Design (Random House, 1985).




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the tecderedtor theembroideredanelead- ther terisbroi� danethelendor FrankopperKhoubia oma an

Aw n a farm in cool Asir regian m ight still wear this black-velvet dress, palm hat, and back while working. heavily em ­ side g and skirt are charac ­ tic of the region. Only the yellow chain stitches in skirt were by hine; stitches cuffs and u skirt by hand. (Photo by ry)

ares an



mac were

from Saudi Ara

What inspired the early Bedouin (nomads), who lived in isolation among the neutral hues of a desert landscape, to weave textiles in brilliant reds, yellows, greens, and blues? And where did they learn the embroidel1' techniques that transform each garment into an individual and imaginative work of art? Traditional dress in Saudi Arabia is the result of climate, religion, practicality, and the influx of a myriad of cultural influences throughout hiStory, as Palms and Pomegranates: Traditional Dress


of Saudia Arabia, shows. Virginia Heaven, costume consultant and installation coordinator for the exhibit, notes that the significance of the exhibit is its ability "to illustrate the diversity of costumes and styles that exist in an area that is almost three-quarters desert." It is not known when and if textiles were woven on the Arabian Peninsula for clothes. The Bedouin wove wool, cotton, goat, and camel hair for rugs and tents. However, for several thousand years, ancient Arabia was an active trade route between Asia and West Africa. The early trade routes brought in Chinese silk and fine wools and cottons, the finest of which were used primarily by city dwellers. Following the advent of Islam in 622, pilgrims traveling to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah often paid for food and lodging with lengths of cloth. For centuries, India has provided Saudi Arabia with embroidered lengths of cloth and gold and silver thread. The hot climate and desert conditions in Saudi Arabia necessitate loose-fitting, layered clothing that both insulates and protects the wearer from heat, wind, and sandstorms. The kaftan, a flowing, ankle-length garment with long sleeves, fashioned from a rectangular panel for the front and back with two gores on each side and gussets under the arms, suits both the climate and the Islamic precept for modesty. It is found in different forms throughout the country and is an inherently practical garment for a society where pillows and rugs are used for seating. In Saudi Arabia, the kaftan is referred to as a thawb, and it is worn by men and women over long pants or pantaloons, known as sirwaal . Another component of traditional dress is the outer cloak, the abaaya for women and the bisht for men. Each of these floor-length cloaks looks like a large square when the wearer holds out his or her arms. The sides of the square are sewn, leaving slits for the hands, and the front opening is a full-length slit. If the cloak is too long, one shortens it by sewing a pleat horizontally at knee level instead of hemming it at the bottom. Women wear the abaaya over the crown of the head, while men wear the bisht over their shoulders. Women wear veils or a mask and hoods for both modesty and protection from the elements. In early days, women wore elaborate headdresses, which often revealed their social status, their wealth, and the region from which they came. Although it has been approximately 30 years since the traditional Saudi

garment was handsewn, the Bedouin still hand-embroider their garments. Embroidery distinguishes one tribal dress from another, and the placement of embroidery on a cuff or hem indicates status within the tribe. Generally, dress seams and pattern segments are reinforced and outlined with embrOidery. Dresses from more urban regions were commonly embroidered with gold or silver thread, while the Bedouin chose bright colors. In the southwestern farming region of Asir, where the climate is cooler and there is more rainfall than in any other part of the country, kaftans tailored with straight sleeves for warmth, rather than with billowy sleeves, are often worn with belts or large scarves wrapped around the hips (photo at left). Typical of the Asir costumes are the heavily embroidered side gores. Wide-brimmed straw and palm-frond hats of various designs are worn by both men and women. Traditionally, Bedouin women used poppies, saffron , indigo, and abal (a desert shrub) to create red, yellow, dark-blue, and brown dyes, respectively, for their dresses. Synthetic and natural dyes were also imported from India. Indigo­ dyed calico the most common textile used for the Bedouin dress. Today, that has been replaced by black satinfinished cotton or velvet, as can be seen in the Asir dress. Traditional clothing is still worn in Saudi Arabia, and although very elaborate costumes aren't worn on the street, they are brought out for festive occasions. The costumes for Palms and Pomegranates come primarily from the private collection of Princess Haifa bint Faisal, wife of Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., and from an Australian collector, Heather Colyer Ross. Ross has written one of several books exclusively devoted to documenting Saudi Arabian costumes. The Art of Arabian Costume, 1985 (Arabesque Commercial SA, Case Postale 26, 1 Rues Fries, 1701 Fribourg, Switzerland), includ,es line drawings of the different parts of the dresses that she documented. The exhibit will be at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA (Aug. 16-0ct 2), the San Antonio Museum of Texas (Nov. 3, 1988�an. 1, 1989), the Jacksonville Museum of and Sciences in Florida (Jan. 26. 26, 1989), and y at the Museum of Na History New York City. -Piney Kesting


Artfinalin l MarArtstural in MA.

Kesting is a free-lance writer who specializes in the Middle East. She lives in Boston,

Th Magazine reads

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Em broidery from Japan's Country Simple r � stitches make complex sashiko patterns by Hiroko Ogawa hen I was growing up in Kiso, in central Japan, my dmother, who from the northern region of To­ hoku, taught me the simple running stitch, unshin ("carrying the needle"), which is used for all Japanese handsewing, includ­ ing the style of embroidery called sashiko ("doing stitching"). This was my first expo­ sure to sashiko patterns (see photo, facing page) . The dynamic patterns look compli­ cated but are merely lines of ng stitches that never touch one another. Later, my mother, a professional silk embroiderer, taught me how to do grid-based sashiko (hitomezashi) , in which the running stitches are long and fill in square units. I started collecting sashiko patterns from books, old documents, antique pieces, and modern kimonos and have over 300 pat­ terns, each of which has its own name. Now I do sashiko full time and am con­ stantly inspired by the work of Japanese embroiderers, dyers, and weavers, as well as by the free spirit of southern California and the U.S. I like to stitch sashiko pat­ terns onto indigo-dyed cotton, Japanese ikat, nubby cotton or silk, dyed and discharged cotton, or cloth rewoven from old fabrics. I also like to make garments that follow tra­ ditional Japanese style lines but that have a contemporary flair. Sashiko is dynamiC, yet it's easy to learn and offers many cre-





thedecorartesytethe nwgembromagnoriideryfromjlawtternscalled ke ep the ricAugus.Aswith the 98with8 herdownU1thaneedlendexthend. ­ atterns herroug dle

ative possibilities. My style of sashiko is rooted in Japanese tradition but is influ­ enced by Eastern and Western cultures.


History sashiko-Sashiko was used in early times all over Japan, although it flour­ ished most beautifully in the northern farm­ ing regions of Tohoku. During the Tokugawa shogunate ( 1603-1867), only people in the ruling class could wear or use silk and wool. Common people made fabrics from wild plants, such as willow, wisteria, and paper mulberry, and from cultivated plants, such as hemp or flax. After it was intro­ duced to Japan from southeast Asia and India in the 1 7th century, cotton was also allowed but remained precious because northern Japan's climate was unsuitable for growing cotton. Wives of farmers, fishermen, workmen, and artisans developed sashiko as a means

of strengthening or thickening the precious fabrics of work clothes. They used running stitches to quilt two or three layers of fab­ ric together. Besides using sashiko, people also dyed fabrics with indigo because the scent protected cloth from moths. White thread showed particularly well against the shades of indigo dyes and in­ spired the imagination and creativity of the snow-country women. They adapted the printed patterns from forbidden silk kimo­ nos-flowers, ocean waves, birds, bamboo­ into beautiful geometriC sashiko embroi­ dery patterns and stitched these onto their plain indigo cotton or linen fabrics. Ordi­ nary work garments were transformed into elegant, artistic creations. Grid-based sashiko, with overlapping layers of stitches, was developed to rein­ force garments much more strongly than regular sashiko. In the north, people wore

P far Japa nese sashiko are oft;en stylized i

na­ es ture. At left, Fan ami Ocean-Wave pa pillow, ami i inary ers grace the purple tunic (courte.�y of Miko Miyama). quilt displays family ts (cou ofMr. ami Mrs. Katsu Watan­ abe). All wark is blJ Hiroko Ogawa. While do­ ing a running stitch, Ogawa (right) s only thumbs right side ofthefab­ she pushes the tip of the up th h the fabric right i fin­ ger, she pulls fabric over tip fingers of




USeptember 1




Running-stitch seq

: Push

needle down; tip

puUfabric up

). needle


tip up; pullfabric


(center). S


moo thf


specially designed sleeveless vests when hauling lumber on small sleds. Grid-based sashiko was placed on the shoulder or side of the vest, where the hauling rope was slung. Like regular sashiko, hitomezashi is now used for artistic decoration rather than practical reinforcement. Its elegant beauty reminds me of European lace. Sashiko also developed into forms that are similar to needlepoint, called kogin and hishizashi, but I'll be talking only about the running stitch and grid-based sashiko.

long needle the hown 1 00% read, predtheraft;ed ttern,

Supplies far sashiko include a 2- to 2%-in.large-eyed a thimble to protect base of the m finger the sewing hand ( as s ), cotton sashiko ar ca icking th tracing paper, a pa andfabric. During stitching, sewing hand s the between thumb andfarej'inger, which are stretched as far as possible. eye of the ne rests against thimble.

nd1ew graspiddle needleedle an





runythm ning large-e

bas easy

ic stitch-The stitch used for sashiko is to learn. It is done with a push-pull rh of needle and cloth, aided by a Japanese thimble. You grasp the needle between your thumb and forefinger, with your fingers stretched out as far as possible and the eye of the needle always resting against the plate of the thimble (photo at left) . Your thumbs work on the right side of the fabric, while your hands and forefin­ gers work on the fabric's underside (photo, p. 23). The art of achieving beautiful sashiko is to keep all stitches even and straight. To practice the running stitch, you need a 2- to 2%-in.-Iong yed needle, sashiko or candlewicking thread, fabric , and a sashiko thimble (photo at left) to wear on the base of the middle finger of your right hand (all directions are for right-handed people). If you can't find a sashiko thim­ ble, stick adhesive tape to the base of your middle finger to protect your palm. I prefer to keep sashiko simple, and the soft, matte­ finish, untreated sashiko thread suits it well (see "Supplies," p. 26). Cut the thread 50 to 53 in. long, thread the needle and double the thread. Poke the needle into the fabric and put the eye of the needle against the thimble (see above photos for stitching process) . Hold the nee­ dle and fabric between your thumb and in­ dex finger. Place your left hand about 4 in. ahead of your right hand. Pull the fabric slightly to provide some tension. This is important for straight, even stitches. For the first stitch, push the needle into the fabric with your thumb. At the same time, pull the fabric into the tip of the nee­ dle and toward yourself with your left hand. Then lift your right index finger and inch it toward the point of the needle. For the The



Stitching sequence for patterns

Try for even stitches-identical numbers of stitches in each section.

Leave space at corners.

,--:3 ...:'


00 <:�:::1c 3 r:::/ '" fY),

-�n) 0 �

� �...

Stop after every to 4 stitches and smooth fabric. Be careful not to pucker stitches.


pencil in cen­ Draw a ter of each intersection and do not enter circle with stitches.

Augus mbe 1988 tJSepte


the uddha, thefromfrom rriorttomttomtheypresman,s ionaSev­ 25 enc

e, F :C tap to bo table run'1!er Hiroko Ogawa holdlJ are, Stitches in Variation, Blue Ocean Waves, Lightning, and a Blue Hemp Lea res of B en l : Sayagata (a tradit tap to bo contains, Ocean Waves Variation. Hiroko's d Blue Ocean , Bisha Mystic Wa of to ward off evil), Basketwork, A pa table run'1!er. Madre, invented by Hiroko, is behind S Waves, and Hemp Lea

Treasuttern ves. ierra ves

ress rmor

second stitch , push the needle up through the fabric with your right index finger, and pull the fabric into the tip of the needle and away from yourself with your left hand. Inch your right thumb toward the tip of the needle. Repeat the seesawing motion with your hands, inching your right index finger and thumb alternately along the stitching line at the point of the needle un­ til the needle reaches the left hand and the fabric is bunched on the needle. Then hold the tip of the needle with your left thumb and index finger and pull the fabric smooth over the needle and thread. Don't scrape the thread with your fingernails; this makes the thread fuzzy. Your stitches should be neither too tight nor too loose, and they should look like evenly spaced short-grain rice kernels, with the stitches on the right side of the fabric slightly longer than those on the wrong side. Keep practicing, and ad­ just your stitches to a gauge of 4 to 5 stitches per inch. You can use more stitches per inch, but keep your gauge consistent. Stitching sequence-To start a project, trace a pattern onto the fabric with pattern tracing paper and a ballpoint pen. I stitch the border before going to the inner de­ sign. I use photocopies of patterns I've al­ ready d and prepare a copy that covers the entire area I plan to stitch. This pre-

drafte SStteepp 21.. Step 3.

vents inaccuracies in pattern placement that might appear if I had to move a smaller photocopy around. I judge the scale of the pattern I should use by conSidering how it will look in my project. There's no set scale; I use the scale that appeals to me. The goal in stitching a pattern is to keep thread waste and knots to a minimum and to stitch the longest possible lines before j umping to a new line. Look for long, con­ tinuous l i n e s , whether undulating or straight. At intersecting lines the rule is: "Start sewing after the line and stop before the line." This means you must put some space between stitches at intersecting lines, junctions, and corners. Don't cross stitches or attach them to each other unless crossed stitches are part of the pattern. Each tradi­ tional sashiko pattern has its own effective stitching order, but I usually experiment to try to determine an efficient sequence. Lightning is a good pattern for beginners (for patterns, see drawings and photo, p. 25) because it consists of straight sections of continuous lines. The tricky part is to stitch j ust up to, and after, the corner, leaving a space at the corner itself. Ocean Waves is of medium difficulty because it is hard to ad­ just the tension of the curving lines of stitches. The Seven Treasures of Buddha is for advanced stitchers because the flowers in the center of each motif require very

Stitching sequence for a grid-based pattern

Draw a square-grid pattern. Stitch horizontal running stitches with single strands.


Weave stitches with single strands.

precise stitches. To make sure the spaces in the flower centers are all the same, I draw a tiny circle at the intersection of the circular motifs and stop my stitches out­ side the circles. Again, keeping the stitches even and smooth is difficult.

based tome

Gridsashiko-Hi zashi combines straight running stitches and interlaced stitches plus double and single strands of thread. The interlaced threads don't go through the fabric unless you're tying a knot. I use thinner thread, and, with a sharp white pencil and ruler, I draw a grid pat­ tern on my material before I begin. This may sound like a lot of white lines, but the white brushes off as you work the pattern. The Tortoise Shell (drawing and photo below) is a good beginning grid pattern. First I stitch horizontal rows of running stitches with single strands of thread. Then I weave vertical lines of single-strand thread through the edges of the horizontal stitches on the right side, going to the wrong side only to tie off the strands. (I knot most of the woven strands at the ends of a column.) The effect is something like the plates of a torto�� ��. D

Hiroko Ogawa designs clothes arul other items embellished sashiko arul hes sashiko on the West Coast.

with teac


Benjamin, Bonnie. Sashiko: The Quilting of Japan jrom Traditional to Today. Glendale, CA: Needlearts International, 1986. An introduction to sashiko for quilters. (Benjamin doesn't employ the stitching technique that is traditionally used in Japan.) Discusses pattern drafting. Ota, Kimi. Sashiko Quilting, 1981. Distributed by author: 10300 61st Ave. So., Seattle, WA 98178. An introduction to sashiko. Includes several tracing patterns arul projects.

Supplies Inset photo is actual pattern.

Kasuri Dy�works 1959 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94704 (415) 841-4509 Sashiko thread, iruligo fabrics, books, unpunch¢ plastic pattern templates (sashiko stencils). Needlearts International Box 6447, Dept. T Glendale, CA 91205 (213) 227-1535 Thread, prepunched plastic pattern templates, books (wholesale arul retail). Hiroko Ogawa 1661 Neil Armstrong St., #243 Montebello, CA 90640 (213) 726-8632 Thread, thimbles, paper patterns, needles, harulwoven fabrics.




Lac e

Add an old-fashioned touch of elegance to household linens and garments


by Cathe ri ne Roberts ace knitting has been in and out of fashion ever since the 16th cen­ tury, when faggot stitch was discov­ ered, but knitted-lace edgings are a somewhat more recent develop-

ment. The combination of faggot stitch and t h e well-known eyelet stitch ( drawing, p.


coupled with the fact that wool, silk,

and linen yams were being spun to a much finer degree than before, caused knitted lace to become popular. Queen Elizabeth I gave it her cachet when she wore a pair of silk knitted stoCkings patterned with an all­ over diamond design . In the 16th and early 17th centuries, lace knitting was used to produce fabric. No one considered making narrow knitted­ lace edgings until all Europe fell in love with the new needle-made and bobbin laces that became the height of 17th-century fashion . Van Dyck immortalized these nar­ row laces in his SOCiety portraits and lent his name to them. Soon they became not only a status symbol but a political state­ ment as well; the conse rvative reformers ( Roundheads) opposed the extravagance of the Cavaliers, who spent fortunes on lace. Sophisticated in technique as lace knit­ ting was, it was still impossible to copy these amazing laces. But clever knitters quickly noticed and adapted the outstand­ ing feature of these narrow trimmings, which were characterized by sharp, deep points or scallops along the bottom edges. The key was to be able to knit a lacy strip that gradually widened and narrowed to imitate the sharp points of the needle-made laces. The knitter cast on a few stitches and


kewesCorne � be

delicate lace collar on lia 's P(uty dress was knit blJ Betty S oj Cornwall, England. Since it is nted to a jacing, it can be other th ings and with this d .

worn an mou ress

ouAugustgrown 988 tlSeptember 1





increased one or two stitches in each row (by making yarn overs without accompany­ ing decreases, or by knitting into the front and back of one stitch) . Decreases were then worked at the same rate as the extra increases over the same number of rows. Or they could be worked all at once as bind-offs to produce a sharp angle on the pointed edge of the lace strip. Careful block­ ing improved the sharpness of the points. The straight edge of the lace also imitated the needle laces. A few solid stitches were positioned on the extreme edge to provide a fabric for attaching the lace. A row of ba­ sic or feather faggoting often introduced the lacy portion of the strip. Such edgings soon became stylish trim­ mings for woven fabrics as well as knitted ones. Shawls were worn by all classes, and they made excellent showcases for hand-




hawn very tternneedles, graw will requ ttern repea

when you knit with #4f) cotton and thin steel complete this version oj the collar s p. 27 (pa


a lace collar s rapidly. It ire nearly pa ts to taking 15 to 20 minutes. (Photo by Michele R p. 31), each U Slavinsky)


some borders and edgings. In the late 18th century, Shetland shawls became fashion­ able. The early ones featured simple, gar­ ter-stitch centers and intricately patterned edgings (see "Shetland Lace , " Threads, No. 1 1 , p. 40). At about this time, exquisitely fine and sheer cotton fabrics began to arrive from India, and with them came delicate cotton threads. This gave enormous impetus to fine fancy ("white'') knitting, which reached its peak during the Victorian period. Naked edges of any kind weren't tolerated, and handknitted lace edgings were ideal as trimmings, being quick and easy to make and very inexpensive. They endowed every­ thing they trimmed with elegance and charm. And they appeared on everything from bed and table linens, to sash curtains, doilies, clothing, and accessories, as well as


on innumerable gift items. Even when the exuberant Victorian love of trimming gave way to the more sedate Edwardian fash­ ions, knitted-lace edgings continued to be used on everyday articles because they were pretty and economical. Making these edgings was also a ladylike accomplishment. The work required little space and could be tucked into a fancy workbag to be carried on visits and trips. Another advantage was that it took only a few inches of knitting to determine a pat­ tern's suitability and attractiveness, and changes could be made early in the project. Many of the old patterns were passed from knitter to knitter, sometimes in writ­ ten form but j ust often by word of mouth. Even though many written patterns were lost, knitted examples survived that expert knitters could copy. Women's magazines


also printed regular articles of instruction in what had become lmow "thread laces." The wide distribution of instruction sheets and booklets produced by the manufactur­ ers of silk and cotton threads stimulated continued interest in this rewarding hand­ work. My collection of lmitted-Iace-edging patterns comes from these sources.


How to make knitted-lace edgings­ Worked with fine threads, knitted-lace edgings add elegance to handmade gifts. The patterns are usually very short and re­ quire basic stitches that are easy to master. Eyelet stitch is used to form a round hole. The technique is very old, and it's simple, being merely a yarn over followed by a de­ crease (usually k2tog) . The next row is worked plain. Eyelet stitch can be worked in an allover fabric, in a band, or to pro­ duce a pattern. Basic faggot stitch is more sophisticated, although it is almost as easy to make as eyelet stitch. The principal dif­ ference is that yarn overs and decreases are worked every row. The yarn over is made above the decrease of the previous row; then the decrease and yarn over are lmit­ ted together as the current row's decrease. This results in an open zigzag pattern that looks j ust like the faggot stitch that is used in embroidery. Feather faggot is a firmer version in which all the decreases are purled. Basic faggot and eyelet stitches, shown below, form the basis of almost all lmitted-Iace patterns. Cotton lmiUcrochet threads, available in most variety stores are hard-twisted, so the patterns don't blur. Bedspread cotton, which is more loosely twisted, works up quickly on size 3 or 4 needles and makes an attrac­ tive edging for unbleached muslin curtains and summer coverlets. It might be difficult to find the right size needles. Good lmitting shops carry size 1 or 0, which give an open, lacy effect with #20 thread. Try to get 8-in. double-pointeds; they're easier to work with, and the spare needle helps in picking back slipped stitches.


iAugustlS�e .mbel'f.'t'- 988r

If and when you become madly involved in making fine lmitted edgings, you'll have to get very thin needles (see supplies list, p. 30). Use a size 00 needle with #40 or #50 thread, and a 000 with tatting thread. Tension is important. Since cotton have no elasticity, too tight a tension will make it impossible to work some of the de­ crease stitches, but a loose tension means that stitches might constantly slip off the needles. Make a practice piece-l0 sts by 10 rows-to get a feel for the right snugness. Before you start lmitting, copy the instruc­ tions on a 4x6 index card. Double-check your copying against the printed master, and insert the card into the open core of the ball of thread when you're not lmitting. When you lmit a lace edging, the first inch or two may seem agonizingly slow, even though very few rows are needed to complete a pattern (see patterns, p. 31). But as soon as the work is about 2 in. long, you can hold it between the second and third fingers of one hand as you knit. Pull­ ing the edging down as you knit allows you to see each stitch more easily and helps keep them on the needle. Check each row you knit against the in­


struction card before going on to the next. Don't stop in the middle of a row or pat­ tern; but if you must, mark the place on the card so you'll know where to resume. Since there are few rows in most designs, you'll find it easy to remember them, but don't let this lull you into a false sense of security. Keep the instruction card handy. All knitted laces require dressing to pre­ sent them to their fullest advantage. This means washing and rinsing them and then dipping them into a light stiffening solu­ tion and blocking them to shape. In the old days, some people used a sugar solution, but today we have ready-made bottled starch. A dilute solution (half water) works well. Allow the edging to soak in it a mo­ ment; then squeeze out the excess. Pull the lace out gently to its fullest dimensions and press it dry without rubbing the iron

back and forth . To dress wool, dampen the lace, pull it into shape, and press lightly with a warm iron. Shape synthetiC mix­ tures by hand and let them air-dry.


Using the - Knitted-Iace trimming is especially good on children's clothing since, despite its relative fineness, it is very sturdy. The same patterns can also be worked in knitting wools of various weights to dress up plain articles, like shawls and scarves and baby sacques and blankets. To attach edgings to linens (photo, p. 30), examine the lace to determine the right side. You won't always be able to tell, but many edgings have a definite right side. Place the right side of the lace along the right side of the hemmed fabric, and whip the two edges together with fairly close stitches; don't pull them too tight. When opened out, the lace edging should lie flat without puckering or looking tight. Victorian doilies and round tablecloths took lace edgings into another dimension. While some of the old edgings had a slight built-in curve, it was usually insufficient to make the edging fit well around a cloth. The introduction of short rows (see Thre No. 17, p. 37) produced the right inner curve without distorting the design; and curved edgings were soon used as collars. Lace collars are a lot easier to make than they look, and the edgings are dainty and elegant but wash well. It's a good idea to mount the collars on a dickey so you can wear them on different garments. To make a dickey for a lace collar, finish all the edges, including the neckline. Then whipstitch the lace firmly but not tightly to the neckline of the dickey. Never machine­ sew. If the dickey is deep enough, it won't need to be fastened inside the dress. One of the best ways to attach a knitted­ lace collar to the neckline of a dress is also the easiest. All knitted-lace collars have a heading (3 to 5 garter stitches) that you can baste inside the neckline. Make sure that when the collar is turned to the outside,


� ,.

faggot' stitch .'Tlr f'e ' basic , o stitches every row:





. .:," :..':.. ' �.". ..��......:",:'\.�..f � it.. ..� \_ .



edgi 800ingSoimn lartwybordersline bridgBooks ttern bedspreacLs WI

this fine towel, ar bureau scmt, is a very old pa dating back to about 1 . with tiny ta.ssel.<; attached to each paint were med n the mid-19th cen . (Courtesy oj Old Stur e ViUage; photo by Henry E. Peach)


the right side of the lace is uppermost. This method allows for easy removal when nec­ essary. You can also attach the collar to a dickey this way, but sew it on securely. Whipstitch lace edgings to the hems of curtains, towels, and other household lin­ ens by hand. You needn't remove the lace to wash and dry them by machine. However, no-iron fabric with knitted-lace edgings at­ tached will require an additional step be­ cause the heat of the dryer have shrunk the lace. Spray the lace lightly with starch or water. Then pull it into shape and let it dry. A light touch-up with a medium-hot iron speed up the drying. Now that you're almost hooked, it's only fair to tell you that once you start experi­ menting with this charming lacemaking technique, you'll become addicted. 0



Catherine Roberts, who lives in Bruns­ wick, ME, learned to knit, crochet, sew, and embroider years ago. She has been aJashion editor, a department-stare buyer, a handcrafts lecturer, a teacher, and an author. She currently working on a book about knitted-lace edgings.

7is 8


Hewitt, Furze, and Billie Daley. Classic Knitted Cotton Edgings. Kenthurst, Australia: Kangaroo Press, 1987. Available from Schoolhouse Press: 54466; 6899 Cary Bluff, Pittsville, (715) 884-2799; $19.95 plus $ 1.75 P&H. Walker, Barbara G. A Second Treasury oj Knitting Patterns. New York: Charles Scribner'S Sons, 1985.

Supplies Craft Gallery P.O. Box 8319 Salem, MA 01971 (617) 744-6980 Lacis 2982 Adeline St. Berkeley, CA 94703 (415) 843-7178 Mini-Magic 3675 Reed Columbus, OH 43220 (614) 457-3687 (1-9 p.m. EST)


Patternworks P.O. Box 1690 Poughkeepsie, (914) 454-5648



Th Magazine reads

Lace-edging patterns and a collnr Only a few simple techniques are required to make lace, but it helps to know the tIicks. When you ya rn o've r two or more t i rnes at once, on the return row knit the first yam over and purl the next alternately until all the loops have been worked. Cast-ons and bind-offs should be loose and stretchy. The kn itted cast-on gives a soft, elastic edge that is especially good if you want to sew the two ends of lace together. Make a Slip loop on the left needle, Knit 1 st into it and slip it back onto the left needle. Repeat, always knitting into the last-made stitch for the number of stitches required. It's also a good idea to knit across the cast-on stitches before Imitting the first pattern row. In binding off, always Slip the first stitch and start counting with the Imitting of the second stitch. Add a plain heading to any edging for short rows that produce an inner curve. The swatches at left were worked #20 crochet cotton and size 1 needles. Stitch abbreviations are identified in parentheses after their first appeara nce.

RRooww 3: 4Row RDow Row31:: Raw 4:

agg wago

ouble f ot with picots- This attractive tailored edging looks good on linen collars and cuffs, but it also works well in wool on scarves and shawls. The picot technique might require a little practice to get it even. Cast on 7 sts and knit across. S, k l , yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, kl. 2: Repeat row l . Row Repeat row 1, but increase 2 in last st by knitting into front, back, and front of st to start picot. SKP (slip 1 st, knit the next st, pass the slipped st over), k1, pass first st over to complete picot, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, kl.

wil l with asy RRowRooww34: kl, Row 1: RRRawooww 34: RawRR 341:: R o w Raw 8 : k3 , R o w RawRooww8: kl . R o w k5 , oops Row RRawRowow 43: yo, kl, RRooa ww 3: rows: RawRaRRowow 8: RRawRawow Mrs. 988 E

eyelets- This curving edging

combines two of the most impOliant stitches in lace Imitting: eyelet and faggot. This version of faggot stitch is called herringbone. The edging goes nicely around a curve. Cast on 5 sts and knit across. 1: S (slip one), yo, k2tog, y02, kl. 2: S, kl , pI , k1, yo, k2tog, kl. S, k1, yo, k2tog, k3. Bind off 2, k1, yo, k2tog, kl. AWlt Nettie's petticoat lace- This 1880's pattern is handsome on table linens and curtains and on petticoats and other garments. Cast on 12 sts and knit across. S, k5, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, kl. o w 2: K4, yo, k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, kl. Row S, k3, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, k2. ow K7, yo, k2tog, kl. 5: S, k4, yo, k2tog, k1, y02 , k2. 6: K3, p I , k2, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, kl. 7: S, k6, yo, k2tog, k4. Bind off 2, k2, yo, k5, yo, k2tog,

- This easy handkerchief edging became popular in the 1920s. Pay particular attention to keeping the faggot border even. Cast on 8 sts and knit across. 1: K3, yo, k2tog, y02, k2tog, kl. Row 2: K3, pI, k2 , yo, k2tog, kl. K3, k2tog, y02, k2tog, kl. K3, pI , k3, yo, k2tog, k l . 5: K 3 , yo, k2tog, k 2 , y02, k2tog, k l . 6: K3, p I , k4, yo, k2tog, k1. 7: K3, yo, k2tog, k6. Bind off 3, k4, yo, k2tog, kl. Triple l

edging Augus

Philpot's spider - Spider stitch has been popular for almost 200 years as an allover fabric, an insertion, and an edging. Be particularly careful

tJSeptember 1

RRooww RScalowl y kl. RRRooowww 4: RRawRaaoww 8: Three RRawRaoww 34: RRoow Row 8:

with the yo before the 2 slip sts on row 6. It tends to get lost. Cast on 14 sts and knit across. 1: K2, yo, k2tog, k3, yo, k1, yo, k6. 2: K6, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, k l . K 2 , yo, (k2tog)2, yo, k 5 , y o , k6. Bind off 4, k1, yo, k2tog, k3, k2tog, (yo , k2tog)2, k l . 5: K 2 , yo, k2tog, k 1 , y o , k2tog, k1, k2tog, yo, k3. 6: K3, yo, k1, yo, s2, k l , psso (pass the 2 slip sts over) , yo, k3, yo, k2tog,

w ee

n h l -This edging was popular in the mid-19th century. You can make it wider or narrower by altering the lattice heading. Work the yo at the beginning of the odd-numbered rows snugly in order to keep the loops even. Cast on 19 sts and knit across. Yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, SKP, k14. 2: S, k l , (yo, SKP)4, p5, k5. Yo, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, SKP, k13.


S, k2, (yo, SKP)3, p5, k7. 5: Yo, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, SKP, k12. 6: S, k l , (yo, SKP)3, p5, k1, SK2togP (slip 1 st, k2tog, pass the slipped st over), y03, k2tog, k3. 7: Yo, k2tog, yo, SKP, k1, p I , k1, k2tog, yo, k13. S, k2, (yo, SKP)3, p5, k2tog, kl. 9: Yo, k2tog, yo, SKP, k1, k2tog, yo, k14. SKP)4, 10: S, kl, 11: Yo, k2tog, yo, SK2togP, yo, k15. 12: S, k2, (yo, SKP)4, p5, k l , k2tog, k l .

13: SKP, k1, yo, SK2togP, (yo, k2tog)2, yo, k3. 15: SKP, k2, k2tog, (yo, k2tog)2, yo, k2. 16: Purl.


ops with e lets- This versatile design works up well on almost any size thread and needle. It's very stretchy and would be good for knits. Cast on 7 sts and knit across. 1: K4, yo, k3. 2: Yo, k2tog, k6. 3: K5, yo, k2tog, k l . Yo, k2tog, k6. 5: K1, k2tog, y02, k2tog, k l , yo, k2. 6: Yo, k2tog, k4, p I , k2. 7: K4, k2tog, yo, k2tog, kl. Yo, k2tog, k6. 9: K3, k2tog, yo, k2tOg, kl. 10: Yo , k2tog, k5. eyelet points-One of the many variations on Van Dyke point, this pattern has enj oyed enduring popularity for trimming aprons and pinafores as well as muslin curtains and huck hand towels. The feather faggot heading is particularly good for items subjected to frequent laundering or hard wear. Cast on 7 sts and knit across. 1: K1, yo, p2tog, k2, y02, k2. 2: K3, p I , k2, yo, p2tog, kl. K1, yo, p2tog, k6. K6, yo, p2tog, kl. 5: K1, yo, p2tog, k2, y02, k2tog, y02, k2. 6: K3, p I , k2, p I , k2, yo, p2tog, k l . 7: K 1 , y o , p2tog, k9. Bind off 5, k3, yo, p2tog, k l .


and-trellis collar (ca. 1887)­ Directions for this collar, which is shown on p. 27, were supplied by Mary Wright of Cornwall, England. It was knit with #40 thread on size 00 needles, but it looks just as handsome when it is knit with #20 thread and size 1 needles. Cast on 26 sts and knit across. Work short rows every fourth row to produce the desired inner curve. 1: K15, (k2tog, yo)2, k3, y02, k2tog, y02, k2. (5 sts 2: pI, k2, pI, k2, p15, remain on left needle for all short rows). K9, (k2tog, yo)2, k H .

(yo, p5, k2t0g,kl. RRawRawRawaw43:K3,

Diamond point- Dating from 1820, this edging has been in continuous use on linens, curtains, and fancy shawls. It looks best if you block it fully stretched out. Cast on 11 sts and knit across. 1: S, k1, yo, k1, (yo, SKP)3, k2. 2 and a ll even Purl. S, k1, yo, k3, (yo, SKP)3, kl. 5: S, kl, yo, k5, (yo, SKP)2, k2. 7: S, k l , yo, k7, (yo, SKP)2, k l . 9: SKP, k l , yo, S K P , k 3 , k2tog, yo , k2tog, yo, k3. 11: SKP, k1, yo, SKP, k1, k2tog, (yo, k2tog)2, yo, k2.


K2, y02, k2tog, k1, k2tog, y02, k2tog, k1, p14, k5. 5: K13, (k2tog, yo)2, k5, p I , k4,

pI , k2. 6: K12, p13, tum. 7: P10, (yo, k2tog)2, k2, k2tog, y02, SK2togP , y02, (k2tog)2. K3, p I , k2, pI , k3, p4, k l 5. 9: K5, p H , (yo, k2tog)2, k9. 10: Bind off 3, k5, p4, kl1, tum. 11: P12, (yo, k2tog)2, k5. 12: K5, p4, k17. Repeat these 12 rows until the collar is long enough for the desired fit. Knit 1 row, and bind off on the next. - C.R.

RawRaw 8: RawRow


ants were not always part of a woman 's everyday wa rdro be. It wasn't until the early '40s, when Rosie the Riveter went to work in the arms plant that women be­ gan to wear what is now considered such an essential garment. I remember the first pair of women's pants that I dealt with as a sewing teacher. They were extremely easy to fit because the length from waist to crotch was so long in those days (see top photo, p. 35) that all I had to do was fit the waist and the hips. If you could fit a skirt, you couldjust as easily fit a pair of pants. Nobody had crotch prob­ lems in my classes. I still have a pattern from those "good old days." It was copyrighted in 1952, it cost 50¢ , and it measures 12% in. from waist-

P 32

line to crotch line. My most recent pur­ chase, in the same size, measures 1 1 1/2 in. (and cost $5.50). Little by little, as this more snug fit became fashionable, our prob­ lems in fitting increased. In the early '70s I found myself waist deep in the problem of pants fitting. I was teaching in evening school and department stores, and more and more women wanted to wear pants. I'd read everything available and could come close to getting a good fit, yet I still didn't feel I had the answers. One day, a student brought in a pair of good, ready-to-wear pants that fit so well she wanted help in copying them. They had a certain beautiful hang to them that ours lacked. A close examination revealed there was something very different about the crotch curve-it sloped downward from front to back.

In the wee hours of the following morn­ ing, I suddenly recalled a diagram from my college anatomy text that showed cross sec­ tions of the female and male pelvises. The text read: "The female pelvis tips from front to back." The light finally dawned! I could now see what had been the underlying prob­ lem with fitting women's pants. The crotch curves weren't shaped like a woman's pel­ vis. Correcting this curve (left-hand draw­ ing, p. 34) so it would follow the female pel­ vic structure has become the basis of the fitting method I've applied to pants ever since. Let's go through it step by step.

Wha "Wh to

t size pattern buy?- More than like­ ly the home sewer will opt for a commer­ cial pattern, and the first question she'll ask is: a t size pattern should I buy?" In my classes, we've found it easier to fit a



A more accurate method is to measure the side-seam area of the figure from the base of the interfacing to the f100r and from the inseam area at the base of the crotch, also to the f1oor. Or, preferably, if you have a pair of pants that fits, measure them the same way. Subtract the inseam measurement from the side seam, and the result will be the crotch length. You'll need to add ease to body measure­ ments. The rule of thumb is to add 1J2 in. for small sizes, % in. for average sizes, and 1 in. for large sizes, but firmer fabrics may require more to be comfortable, and some people prefer more room. If you're measur­ ing pants, and the top of the inseam looks crumpled, it's a sign that the pants were stretched, so add a bit of ease in this case too. But don't overdo it. The crotch curve can be lowered but not raised. You can establish the crotch length when you're fitting the muslin if you add an inch or more above the presumed waistline seam as you're cutting out the muslin. Then, after you've fit the pants, trim away the ex­ cess. However you do it, it's a good idea to leave some room for experiment when you're cutting the waistline seam. For the hip measurment, measure the fullest part of the hip, usually about 7 in. to in. down from the waist. Also measure the high hip, which is 3 in. down from the waist. We've observed that as a figure ma­ tures, what used to be a full seat is often replaced by a fuller tummy and high hip. You can usually solve this problem by short­ ening, and sometimes curving, the darts. The last measurement to take is the "depth-of-figure," or ''waist-to-waist,'' mea­ surement, which combines the crotch le with the distance through the figure, front to back. A figure can be wide from side to side but small from front to back, or vice versa. The hip measurement won't give any indication of depth-of-figure, and commer­ cial patterns often pay no attention to it. We compared a size 12 pattern with a size 20 pattern made by the same company and found that the distance between center­ back and center-front seams was actually smaller on the size 20! The size 12 pattern allowed 7% in., while the size 20 allowed only 61J2 in. You can find this distance by measuring the crotch seam of a comfortable pair of pants. Measure the front and back sepa­ rately from the inseam. Another method is to what known the trade as a crotch­ ometer. You can make one by taping or sta­ pling together two tape measures so the ze­ ros meet and then hanging a weight by a string from the join. Measure from the base of the waistband in the front to the base of the band in the back, with the weight cen­ tered between the ankles, as shown in the bottom-right photo, p . 35. Write down the front and back measurements; then sub­ tract 1 in. from the front and add it to the back, which seems to always improve the



muslin that's too small rather than one that's too large. If it's tight, you can usually see where it's tight, but if it's loose, it will probably appear loose all over, and you won't know where to start. We cut beyond the seamlines; copy carefully from the pat­ tern at side seams, inseams, and waistline; pin the pants together on those lines; and let out only where it's necessary. If you buy a conventional commercial fashion pattern and choose the size accord­ ing to your hip measurement, you'll most likely get a pattern that's too full in the seat, especially if the pattern is described as loose-fitting. I'd buy one size smaller than the envelope suggests. Basic pants pat­ terns, or those described as snug-fitting, generally have limited ease, and it would be wise to purchase that type of pattern by your hip measurement.

Augus mbe 988 tJSepte




T m ments-We begin by taking a few basic measurements. As usual, it's important that the woman being measured wear the undergarments and shoes she'll wear with the finished pants. We put a length of nonroll waistband interfacing the width of the finished waistband around her waist and take all measurements from it. First measure the waist. We've found that it's a good idea at the same time to estimate where the side seams should be and to mark them on the interfacing, as described in "Understanding the Waistband ( Threads, No. 15, p. 62). Next, measure the length of the figure from the base of the band to the crotch. One often-suggested technique is to measure the seated figure from the waist­ line to the chair. However, we've found this to be an unreliable method because you can't really tell where the crotch is.


is in


hang of the pants . Finally, you can add

is the only way to get any fullness in the

slash. If i t looks as if the figure is full in the

in. to 1 in. of ease, but I 've often found

seat. Dress pants should hang more smooth­

front but conforms to the pattern size i n

ly, with no horizontal pulling, as shown i n

the back, only the front needs the addition,

the right-hand photo o n p . 37.

or vice versa.


that it isn't needed.


ting the pattern -After writing down

The same problem can exist i n front i f

The next adj ustment to be made is for

your basic measurements, put them aside

the center front is c u t on a n angle, a s ap­

crotch length. Measure the front pattern

for a moment and take a good look at the

pears to be the current trend in patterns.

from the waistline seam close to the side

pattern you 've purchased. To see if it has a

The result is cupping at the base of the

seam and parallel to the grain line, down to

good crotch curve, we pin the inseams to­

center-front seam, which seems to be inap­

the crotch line. This line, rlliming from the

gether, seam on top of seam, for about 4 in.

propriate for women's pants.

crotch point to the side seam, is usually


below the crotch seam, as shown in the

Now, to use the measurements you 've

shown on the back of the pattern. The ad­

drawing at left, below, and check to see if i t

taken, correct the waistline overall by us­

j ustment will be more accurate if you mea­

slopes downward from front t o back. If i t

ing the side-seam markings you established

sure the front, so draw a similar line, i f

doesn't, sketch a n e w one a s shown, being

when you measured the waistband inter­

there isn't o n e already, on the front pat­

careful not to remove any of the pants width.

facing. If the tummy is full and some ad­

tern, perpendicular to the grain line, and

Don't worry about the crotch measurements

j ustment is needed, make it j ust below the

through the crotch point. I f you need to

at this stage.

waist in the form of ease, tucks, or very

adj ust, do both front and back equally, tuck­

The next thing we do is shift the center­

short darts beside the center front.

ing or spreading above the crotch curve,

back seam . If the pattern shows only one

Once you 've adj usted the darts to your

but below the darts. It is very important to

back dart, we make two darts, with the sec­

l i king, you can make a dart template by

make this adj ustment before you make the

ond dart as wide as the amount we shifted

copying the entire top of the pattern onto a

next one, for depth of figure, because you'll

the seam, and arrange them so that they

piece of cardboard. Cut around the seam­

be changing the crotch-depth measure if you make the adj ustment afterward.

divide the back more or less equally. You'll

lines and down into the darts, and trace i t

be amazed at how much flatter you'll look

onto any skirt o r pants pattern on which

and how much more smoothly your pants

you want the same elegant effect.

Next, measure the front and back pat­ tern pieces from the crotch point up to

At the hip you'll need at least 2 i n . of

each waistline seam along the adj usted

The secret behind the flatter appearance

basic wearing ease in addition to your hip

crotch curve, ,vith the tape on edge. Com­ pare this with your waist-to-waist measure­

will fit. is this: A very angled center-back seam has

measurement. Designer ease for front pleats

the effect of one large dart right in the cen­

or gathers

be added to this. You can

ment. At this point, you can make any ad­

ter of the back. The purpose of any dart is

expand the pattern at the side seams or, i f

justment, front or back, only by changing


to provide fullness for a curve below. This

side-seam details are in the way, expand it

the respective inseams, pivoting from the

fullness will fall right below the seat where

by slashing on the crease line down to the

knee line,

it is probably undesirable. Jeans are cut

hem, tapering the slash so that the hem­

ing below. Finally, recheck the curve for

this way, and i t works-on some figures­

line is unchanged, if possible. The new

shape, and check the overall length; that

because, with their snug-fitting thighs, this

grain line will be down the center of the

should j ust about do it.

How to correct a typical pattern


How to correct overall crotch depth


\\ \�

231.. j 34 �c �0:

;e ,.

"\ \ \ \\ � \\

\� \\ \\\\ \ \ Book \ \

Drop back crotch curve.

Add to front, back, or both by pivoting inseam at knee line.

I ..---­...

\� \��

// 7,\


Crotch-seam dimensions


/ / I I

-- -

\\ \


Return center front to straight grain.

Add second back dart, and add excess to center back.

shown in the right-hand draw­

Crotch length To size pants, spread or tuck at vertical and horizontal grading lines.



\ \ \ \ \ \

Knee l i ne

\ ThroodsMagazine \ \I

You probably already know if you have any other unique figure problems. your thighs heavier than average? Do you have a fuller-than-average tummy? Watch for these as you cut, and allow extra fabric or antici­ pate taking in a seam.



a muslin-It's important to cut your test pants from a fabric that's neither flimsy nor boardy, such as heavy muslin, poplin, kettle cloth, or twill. Then be sure to trans­ fer all pattern markings, including seam allowances. When you've made the neces­ sary corrections, you'll be able to transfer them accurately to your pattern. One way to determine if the crotch curve you've drawn is right for you is to try on half the muslin. Clip and press away the seam allowances from the center-front and center-back seams of one leg of the muslin. Pin the inseam and side seam, and try the muslin on over a pair of panty hose. By lin­ ing up the center seams with those of the panty hose, you11 see how the pattern curve corresponds to your figure. It's important that you follow a good pro­ cedure in assembling the test pants. The crotch won't hang properly if the inseams have been sewn as one continuous seam, up one leg and down the other. Sew the inseams, front to back, each set separately. Next, assemble the crotch seam and zipper. Then, fit the side seams, pinning right sides out and checking the darts, as described by Jan Jasper on pp. 36 and 37. To remove excess fullness in the legs, pin out a tuck j ust beside the inseam, as shown in the bottom-left photo. This will correspond to the amount that you need to take out of the back inseam, tapering down to the knee line. If you take the excess out all the way to the hemline, you'll have to change the crease line so that it falls at the center of the leg. Fabric affects fit -A perfectly fitting pair of

pants from any pattern is often determined by the fabric you choose. One of my stu­ dents achieved a truly lovely fit in a mens­ wear suiting and then cut the very same pattern from a soft wool flannel; the flan­ nel pants looked baggy. Gabardine and other hard finishes will look sharper and hold a crease better than softer fabrics. Bulky fab­ rics result in a bulky appearance. I suggest that you window-shop. What type of fabric do you think makes the best­ looking pants? Take into consideration the total cost and the cost per wearing. A fine fabric will be a fine garment, and it won't stretch out of shape, wrinkle, or lose its crease. A well-fit pair of pants that is made from the right fabric will make your efforts completely worthwhile.


� length adjus jromi$'ied,jront- peri

concernetheriherd aboutudenthe bove her the hame to to When sabet­­ to the bovekrcro nklessepa thetheto­


ne Hepburn (a ) is bl lly un­ crotch of clas­ sic gabardines Bettman Archive, Inc.). Margaret Kamives (below) ts the fuU­ of st t 's pant leg by pinning aut close the inseam. she's she'll an equivalent a nt the inseam, ta ng the knee. To use a crotc ter (right), center the weight tween the legs and a the a .M re center fron t and center back at waistband. Add the tsfar tal crotch depth, and use each rately to adjust and bac tch seamlines.


nessexcess remove

mau easu



Margaret Kwnives teaches at the Mequon Campus of the Milwaukee Area Technical College. She is a frequent contributor to Threads azine.



tJSeptember 1988


How to spot and correct three common pants-fitting problems

thethe theYou Theythe fromthe ftenthethe fromtheposi

nkles pper Looseback be cuttoo U don'trkedterFixout­ to � them pen remnm theto the or


by Jan Ja,sper uring the many years that I 've worked as a professional patternmaker, I 've identified what seem to me to be the most common pants-fitting problems, problems shared by manufac­ turers and home sewers. These also appear to be problems unsolved by most sewing texts and fitting methods. The method I pre­ fer is to examine and correct pants right on the figure, by opening seams and letting the pants relax into a better fit. The easiest way to begin is to study the best-fitting pants you've made. You won't de­ stroy the pants when you release the seams. Instead, you'll discover how to correct the pattern from which you made the pants. If you're not that far from a good fit, the photos and information on these pages may be enough to guide you to a solution with­ out your having to open any seams. If you do go straight to the muslin-fitting stage, having adjusted your pattern from sugges­ tions here and on p. 34, you can use the following analysis to fine-tune the muslin. The point is to learn what you can from an existing pair of pants before you cut an­ other so the time you spend making ad­ be as short as possible. justments A sewing friend comes in handy of course, but you can do all the fitting and correcting I describe by yourself. Either way, your most important tools are two good mirrors. Place them opposite each other so you can see your backside without twisting around to look over your shoulder.




-To improve cs of the crotch Mec the fit of pants, the first thing you must understand is the distinction between crotch length and crotch depth and how they re­ late to the flat pattern. Total crotch depth is the measure you get by pulling the tape measure between the legs from center-front waist to center-back waist. Crotch length is the vertical measurement of your torso from


thigh and back crotch u in Wri t are probably fron that point toward most common pants-fitting problem. in the are the result of insufficient by t can c bac�crotch curve. tch inseam. bac adding

fan seat that fold3 low crotch o sharply Q/f-grain. seam being in groin line (ma this by returning tion vertical a on muslin) darts. darl., in ng and

shown your waist to the top of your thigh, in the center drawing on p. 34. The drawing also shows where pattern­ makers in the industry adj ust these mea­ surements to grade the pattern, or make it larger or smaller for different sizes. Adj ust­ ing the vertical measurement alone will change total length, but it won't deal with the thickness of the body front to back. This is why attempting to loosen a crotch that's too tight by merely altering at the "adj ust-crotch-length-here" line shown on commercial patterns will help only if you're too short or tall for the pattern. Sewing the crotch seam lower at the inseam rarely works for the same reason and may aggra­ vate the problem if the pant legs are ta­ pered because then you'll also be tighten­ ing the top of the thigh. Unless your tight fit in the crotch results from your height alone, the solution is usually to widen the crotch hook, as explained below.

to the knee. If the back crotch hook merely needs to be lengthened, the wrinkles will disappear. You can baste in a wedge of fab­ ric to see the exact amount needed, or make a note to add fabric to the muslin. This single experiment may solve your big­ gest fitting problem.

orrecroam as

Pro 1: inseam

- For a cus­ The back blem tom fit in pants, not only must the overall crotch measurements correspond to your individual figure, but the front and back crotch seams also must be the correct length and shape. To accommodate the buttocks and upper thigh, the back crotch hook must be longer than the front crotch hook. How­ ever, if you have a large stomach, the front crotch hook may need widening too. As womens' figures vary greatly here , the amount needed will vary, but fitting prob­ lems for many women are caused by the back crotch hook not being long enough. Especially if you have heavy thighs or a large buttocks, you should try the follow­ ing experiment first to see if this is the problem. It can claruy and sometimes elimi­ nate other problems. A typical symptom of this are wrinkles fanning out downward from the back crotch, as shown in the left-hand photo above. Try releasing the upper inseam down

resu excessmore



- If your seam blem 2: The renter-back pants have a sharply angled (relative to the grain) center-back seam, you may still have wrinkles and folds below the buttocks, like those in the right-hand photo above, or the pants may still be cupping under the but­ tocks, but the wrinkles won't seem to pull into the crotch like the wrinkles from the first problem. Patterns designed this way are appropriate when you want a very tight fit in the seat and thighs. Often there is no dart on patterns of this type. For a fit that drapes smoothly down from the widest part of the hip, rather than cups in, the pattern must be widened at the center-back seam, starting from nothing at the hip level and increasing to an inch or more at the waist. Unsew the center-back seam from the waist seam to the hip level. You don't have to cut the waistband; it will help hold the loos­ ened pants in place. Just unsew the waist­ band seam from center back to about half­ way to the side seams. Again, you can add a wedge of scrap fabric, pinning it in the gap until the hang of the pants below the but­ tocks is smooth. The extra room you gain is needed across the derriere. At the high hip and waist, where it isn't needed, you add a dart or widen the existing one.

Pro darts

- If the hip circum­ blem 3: Back ference is adequate, but the darts look strained or have bubbles at the points, they may be the wrong width or length. A mis­ take commonly made by sewers is to try to fix this by lengthening the darts (see left­ t is usually hand photo, facing page). quired is to shorten or narrow them or do



When r r leases tend horten themis Thhortis Rem

dart points ex beyond the widest part of the hips, unpin and s the da too much fa bric the hips, it's lly not because the dart too s . ove excess side seam. g lly lts in a na er dart.

t the fromthe .If

e usua enera resu



both. If you've made corrections to the cen­ ter-back seam, the darts may also be in the wrong place. In either case, you must unsew them. Then put the pants back on and pin them in smoothly. If you have a full, rounded figure just below your waist, you may have to cut the pants waist a little looser and ease the extra fabric into your waistband in addition to using darts. If there's a lot of adjusting to do above the hip, cut the back pattern of your mus­ lin with extra seam allowances at the cen­ ter back, waist, and side seams, and make the corrections as you fit the muslin.


Wo with the muslin-When you've in­ corporated the desired changes into your pattern (or have allowed extra in the right places) and are ready to cut a muslin, use l-in. seam allowances, except in the curved areas of the crotch seams, where you'll use the reguJar %-in. seam allowance. You must also clip the crotch curve; otherwise, it will seriously distort all your efforts. Once you've clipped it, however, it's virtually impossi­ ble to retrace your steps, so clip carefully. Mark the darts, but don't sew them shut. Baste all seams together, but don't apply a waistband-fitting will be easier with the waistband off. If you can work with a friend for any part of this project, do so when you'll be fitting the back, but, as I 've al­ ready said, you can do it alone. Try on your pants muslin, wearing a leotard underneath to provide a pinning surface, or tie a piece of elastic around your waist to hold the muslin up. Adjust the waist, hip, and crotch fit by again releasing the seams and letting out where tight or smoothing any excess into the side seams and darts where loose. The important thing to remember is to let the fabric go wh e re it wants to go. Don't distort it. For example, if the whole seat and crotch area isn't smooth, undo the center-back and side seams from the hip level, smooth the fabric upward so it's flat




the from t. the D make

tteri bends towa

'Ylf} dress pants drape gracefnlly the hips without cuppi'Ylf} in toward the back of the thighs, and inseams don't pull toward the fron crease line, which is also grain line, softly rd the center back but r ins vertical. Fla

over the buttocks and crotch, pin it at the waist, smooth it across the fullest part of the hips over to the center, and pin. Then smooth over the hips again toward the side and pin. Continue smoothing and pinning up to the waist. The wrinkles at the waist should easily fall into a fold, which forms your dart. Pin in the dart and mark its end point. You can make minor dart adjustments when you try the muslin on with the waistband at­ tached, but if the dart area seems really distorted, you may need to unpin and re­ adjust the center or sides or do both. If the problem extends into the thigh, undo the seams that far, and follow the same proce­ dure. Keep the grain straight up and down in the area between the side seam and dart. When you're satisfied, take off the mus­ lin and mark all the corrected seams and

ema The

the inseams and outseams with notches. Then take the muslin entirely apart and smooth the pieces flat (don't iron them; it's too easy to distort the grain). Carefully pin the muslin pattern pieces to the correspond­ ing paper pattern pieces. Transfer all mark­ ings and corrections. Then cut the corrected pattern out again in muslin, this time sew­ ing on a waistband, and try it on. Don't be discouraged if you need to make further adjustments. It's normal to go through a few muslins before you get things perfect. Once you do, it will be well worth it. You'll never again have to waste your time and patience with sewing, or buying, pants that don't fit!

Jan Jasper of New York City is a profes­ sional pattern r and artist whose dia are fabric and clothi'Ylf}.




Chic toric

A vintage style gets a modern fit

by Nancy



Silk·georgette dress from about

The shift style was fashionable, with no fitting in waist, bust, or shoulders. The hem dips longer in the back.

I'�-�""�One-piece sleeve with inverted V is formed by an edge­ stitched tuck.

Diagonal panels hang on bias, hugging hips.

Placket opening has snaps set into bodice side seam and upper-diagonal panel edge.


Extra length, pleated for a blouson effect

Arrows indicate grain lines.


.5'·3 �c

� a


�Magazine Th



istoric dress is a rich resource for style, pattern , and con­ struction ideas for contem­ porary garments. Clothing in the collections at universities, museums, and historic societies contains many fine details rarely found in today's manufactured garments. Although you can't take these garments apart, you can trans­ late a design you like into a pattern of your own, using the techniques I explain below. I found a black silk-georgette dress from about 1929 (photo at right) that I wanted to adapt for myself. I liked the graceful flare of the skirt shaped by godets set between multiple vertical panels. Diagonal panels in the upper skirt create a close fit around the hip. Blousing at the lower back bodice balances the petal-shaped extensions of the V-shaped front neckline. The hem dips from j ust below the knee in front to below the calf in back, a nice finishing touch. It's unlikely that an exact duplicate of a historic garment will fit a contemporary figure, because of changes in physique and the undergarments that are worn today. You may want to change the fit or modify the style. To avoid major fitting problems, I start by outlining basic pattern pieces on a tracing of my sloper, which fits my size and shape. If you don't have a sloper, you can make one by using a basic dress-fitting pat­ tern (see "Making You r Own Sloper," Threads, No. 16, p. 56.) Since a sloper is j ust a basic fitted shell, I have to build the style I want into my final pattern pieces. If I want pleats, for exam­ ple, I add width or length to the piece. Before I lay out the pattenl pieces for cutting, I check the grain lines in the origi­ nal garment. If I want to achieve the same drape as the original, I have to cut my pat­ tern pieces on the same grain lines. I usually check the fit, proportions, and construction sequence and techniques by making a muslin prototype. In this case I used a polyester crepe de chine for my muslin to mimic the silk I intended to use for the dress. Muslin prototypes can be constructed quickly and cheaply.

riginaldressasci emybias. the u(pperco. the nequ hemlk. I.engthens itsweepsthe fron Augus 988

The o The ideal woman of the 1920s had a boyish figure and tried to hide her curves. The original garment (drawing at left) has no darts for the bust, waist, or shoulder blades (the darts were "released," or a dartless sloper was used). The diagonal panels in the upper skirt were cut on the straight of grain but hang on the bias. The

rmenaum on

Vintage ga ts f nate Nancy Bryant, who wears her version of black silkr g ette dress 1929) man in. It hugs hips because of eight diagonal panels in skirt that hang the Twelve tria ngu lar godets set between twelve vertical panels f skirt's flare. ine from t to bac (All photos mJ Rog er Schreiber)




t/September 1


Creating width for shoulder shirring Slashing and spreading a bodice sloper that has no bust dart from shoulder to waist adds width along entire bodice. The shirring will fall only a bit off-grain.

Rotating bust dart from side to shoulder adds width only in upper bodice. The shirring will definitely be off-grain.

fromside loperhas willoperl ontohasneddatts tternpiec� Diagloperhaspropor­ Da rts , rmnaking aking

On a tracing of her dress-s fron t, Bryant ouUines the pa es based on me. onal panels she tions the orig inal. She crossed out lines and tracing. She redrawn the back-sl oper ms in the skirt and continue the marked positionsfor inserting godets the hem line so the fron t is higher than the back and were combi two darts on the skirt s into for the dress s with x's. .

won one




back has 11 vertical pleats sewn closed

An area that was difficult to measure ac­

joins the diagonal panels to the front bod­

near the neckline but released over the

curately was the front-shoulder shirring. I

ice. To find the width of the individual

length of the back. The fullness is further

estimated the amount of shirring by ob­

panels, I divided the length of the seamline

enhanced by extra length in the back taken

serving the angles of the crosswise grain at

into four parts and then drew equally spaced,

up by two tucked horizontal pleats at the

the shoulder and armscye (drawing above).

parallel lines at the proper angle to define

side waist of the back bodice. The skirt has

In this case I decided that the dressmaker

the diagonal panels. Panels L and I (draw­

no side seams; the opening in the left side

had created the shirring by slashing the

ing, facing page) weren't complete yet; I

starts in the bodice side seam and extends

pattern from the shoulder to the waist and

still needed to refine the hip area.

along the edge of the topmost diagonal panel.

I decided to make my dress in the same

spreading the pattern rather than by mov­

ing the bust dart from side to shoulder.



ets-After drawing and god

separating the main pattern pieces,I began

proportion as the original but with a more

contoured fit. Before I could use my sloper


with a sloper-Once I knew

to modify individual pieces. The original

to make a pattern, I had to take measure­

the grain, sizes , and shapes of the original

garment doesn't have waist-fitting darts. I

ments from the dress.

garment pieces, I was ready to begin rescal­

didn't include waist-fitting darts either,but I


measurements- I wanted to handle

ing the pattern to my size. I needed to con­

decided to incorporate the shape of the hip

sider,though, how my sloper differed from

curve that my sloper provides. After draw­ ing the diagonal panels onto my upper-skirt

this dress as little as possible, so I put it on

the one used by the designer of the original

a mannequin. I sketched the shapes of all

dress. On a paper tracing of my dress sloper,

front and back-sloper tracings, I rotated

garment pieces on paper and recorded their

which I had made by combining my bodice

the hip curve into the two uppermost pan­ els, as shown in the drawing above. This


not easy,since

and skirt slopers, I drew lines defining the

the fabric had stretched over time. Pieces

front and back bodice pieces,then contin­

produced a smoother contour at the side

that should have been identical, such as

ued with the skirt pieces (see above photo).

waist and fewer fabric gathers.

the left and right skirt panels, were not,

To determine the widths of the vertical

To add blousing to the back bodice , I

and I eventually decided to average the left

panels in the skirt , I divided my sloper hip

added length at the bottom (top photo, fac­

measurements. This task

circumference into 12 equal parts. I drew

ing page). I would pleat the extra length at

The grain of the fabric helped me deter­

lines defining the sides of all vertical pieces.

the side-waist point before sewing the back

mine the shapes of the garment and pat­

There are no side seams in the skirt; the

bodice to the front bodice. I also slashed

tern pieces. The black fabric made it some­

front and back skirts slopers join in the

the bodice back vertically to create the width

what difficult to see the grain of each gar­

center of one of the panels.

for the pleats. To allow the bodice back to

and right measurements.

ment piece, although the georgette structure

The diagonal skirt pieces were a bit tricky

was helpful. Historic garments made from

to draw,


they, too, crossed the side seams

fit the curve of my shoulder blades without looking any different in style from the origi­

plaid fabrics make the task of measuring

of the sloper tracings. I knew the angle at

nal garment, I moved the shoulder-fitting

grain angles easier , since the plaid repeat

which the diagonal panels were set into the

dart from the shoulder seam to the back

can be used to measure the grain angles .

skirt and the length of the seamline that

neckline. When sewn, the dart would be




Rotating the hip curve into the bias panels Treat area between hip curves like a dart. Close dart at hip and open at slash lines.

Hip curve from back and front slopers Reshape panels L and I.


Center front fold

Center­ back fold Sloper side seam

concealed beneath the back neck pleat clos­ est to the shoulder blade. I provided fitting in the bust by rotating the bust dart from the side to the shoulder for shirring, as shown in the bottom photo at right. I also made a separate underlay pattern that's the width of the finished shoulder. When stitched to the shirring, the underlay would stabilize the gathers. The hemline is longer in the back than in the front, but the godet insets all begin at the same distance from the hipline. This made each godet a different length. I also cUIVed the bottom of each godet a bit. Checking fit, construction, and fabric­ With a complete pattern, I sewed a proto­ type from polyester crepe de chine to test the fit and decide on the construction se­ quence before I worked on the final silk dress. The opaque polyester fabric revealed the dress details better than a sheer fabric. When I sew, I like to work on the skirt, bodice, and sleeves separately and then join them, as smaller pieces are easier to han­ dle. I followed this same construction se­ quence for my dress (see drawing, p. 42, for details). When joining pieces, I sew from the wider to the narrower end to keep the fabric grain from distorting. I started the skirt by sewing the center­ front panel to the adjacent vertical skirt gore, starting at the point where the godet insert begins and continuing to the top



tJSeptember 1

edge. Next, I added the diagonal piece that lies above it (photo, p. 42). All the diagonal panels are oriented with their bias grains parallel to center front, but their long edges are on the straight of grain. These length­ wise grain edges stabilize the bias edges of the vertical panels. r joining two vertical pieces and one diagonal piece, I inserted the correspond­ ing godet, starting at the hemline on each side of the godet inset and ending at the pOint. I continued the construction se­ quence by alternately joining the next ver­ tical panel, a diagonal panel, and a godet until the skirt was done. This sequence puts the least stress on the fabric. I then worked on the bodice, sewing the pleats and the shoulder-fitting dart at the neckline of the bodice back. I shirred the front shoulders by pulling up parallel lines of stitches until the width of the shoulder matched the front-s underlay. I sewed



over the gathering stitches to hold the shape of the shirring with the underlay. After completing the decorative inverted V tuck of each sleeve's wrist placket, I sewed the underarm seams and set the sleeves into the bodice. Finally, I joined the com­ pleted bodice to the skirt at the waistline, while leaving an opening at the left side bodice for a snap opening. The original garment had no elastic in the waistline, but I found that elastic helped to keep the blousing at my waist and con-

spreadden.hadedbovehoulderbe/arespread lengtJiettern tternhadedned lousivertbe was

The backrbodice pa (top) slashed and to f pleats (gray ical s a ) and far b ng. The s dart (blue area) will hid­ On the bodice fron t, Bryant rotated the bust dart from the side to the shoulder (a ) slashing the pa into two parts. She the dart (s areas) far shirring.

reas arm

trol the waist fullness. I cut elastic the length of my waist measurement and sewed half of the length to the back-waist seam allowances with zigzag stitches. The front half of the elastic is unattached to the ss and fastens with a snap on the left side. The diagonal panels stretch to fit snugly above the hips because they're on the bias, but they could have made the pattern too snug. (Bias pieces often stretch lengthwise and decrease in width.) I thought the pat­ tern might have needed extra ease in the hip to compensate for the stretching, but when I tried on the prototype, the hip area fit well, and the only overall change I had to make was to add 1 in. to the length of all skirt pieces.



details- I 'd originally hoped to find a dull silk fabric with woven stripes that would readily show the garment's cut. I settled on a solid-color, matte-finish silk with a nubby texture. Although I used only one color, the design would also look striking with white diagonal panels and the rest in blacko


The neck trim on the original garment is a single layer of georgette, with three inset beige oval petals. All the edges of the trim and petals were hemmed by hand. To me, the oval shapes contradicted the straight lines of the ss , I used diamond shapes. To support the neck trim and speed con­ struction, I made the trim and the dia­ monds from two layers of material: silk crepe de chine for the top and dress mate­ rial for the facing. The original dress has a straight-grain, self-fabric belt. I used the sloper to make a contoured belt for a better fit. My dress was a joy to make and is fun to wear. As I move, the silk moves flUidly, and the long hemline in back brushes my calves. A tremendous and satistying learning ex­ perience awaits others who seek historic inspiration for a contemporary design. 0


Bryant sews a diagonal panel to the tops of two vertical panels in the final dress.

Nancy O. Bryant teaches apparel design at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

Seeking details

Construction sequence for Bryant's dress Assemble bodice front separate from bodice back, and then join.

U nderlay for shirring (shaded)

Center­ back fold Fabric is tucked in. and topstitched.

Bryant started skirt bV joining A to B. Then she added C. Next, she inserted godet sewing from bottom to top on each side to avoid fabric distortion.



When it comes to allowing close-up inspection of their costume collections, museums and historical societies are tom between their desire to serve the public and their need to preserve their collections. Here are some guidelines for gaining access to them. If you're professionally involved with garments or costumes, write to the curator of the collection, explaining what you would like to see and why. Be speCific. You may need a preliminary appointment j ust to research what is in the collection. Let the curator know if you'll be using the information for a nonprofit or profit purpose. Many organizations charge fees to commercially related ventures but waive them for researchers. Consider requesting a showing for a small group. Curators see benefits to serving many people at once rather than devoting time to individuals. Volunteer at the local museum or historical society to help with the costume collection. Each museum or society values volunteers differently; be prepared to go through a training period. If you aren't near a collection and still need correct proportions and details, try one of the books listed below, which contain patterns drawn to scale. -N.O.B.

After she joined panels A through she attached skirt to completed bodice.

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion: Eighteen Sixty to Nineteen Forty, 1977; Patterns of Fashion: Fifteen Sixty to Sixteen Twenty, 1985. New York: Drama Book Publishers.

Additional pieces not shown: sleeve facing, back-neck facing, front-neck facing, neck trim, front belt, and back belt.

Hamilton, Margot Hill, and Peter A. Bucknell. The Evolution of Fashion: Pattern and Cut from to (7th ed.). New York: Drama Book Publishers, 1981.


106 1930 roods

Payne, Blanche. The History of Costume from the Ancient Egyptians to the Twentieth Century. New York: Harper and Row, 1965.




Shaker Rag Rugs

The simplest weaving techniques produce ate-loo kin g carpets



by Cheryl Anderson hey didn't use colors like these, did they?" Visitors to the weaving shop of Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA are often sur­ prised as they watch me weaving these vibrant rag carpets with the many different colors of fabric strips that hang from peg rails along the walls. As often as I hear the question, I still de­ light in startling visitors out of their mis-

ugus 988


tJSeptember 1


conceptions about the Shakers. In 1976, when I began researching Shaker textiles at the village, an original Shaker commu­ nity established in 1790 that became a mu­ seum in 1960, I started out with the same expectations of drab simplicity. These tra­ ditional carpets are anything but drab, though, and the remarkable thing about them is how very easy they are to make with the simplest looms and spindles.

The tnIth about Shaker style- Original Shaker buildings and furnishings tell visi­ tors a lot about life among the Shakers, but they are also sources of much misinforma­ tion. Over the 200 years that Shaker vil­ lages have been in existence, their appear­ ances have changed with the times and with the tastes of the believers. Original stain on interior woodwork was varnished or painted over. The furniture that had


Yarn twist Clockwise action of spinning wheel produces a Z twist.

Counterclockwise action produces an $ twist.

Notice that twist angle doesn't change when drawing is inverted. When woven, $-twist yarn slopes upward from left to right, and Z-twist yarn slopes downward.

ZL C� Step 1.



\: Weft

J:&:l.'\'-l:"j.�.'<'"I1'1(""l".''1'��r".". -=If�_,� :'( � �

- l[



Four-strand braid

Z twist Warp

Step 2.

Cross two strands in center from back to front.

Cross outer two strands under first pair from side to

ri:ng(withaut ) rags, thoug

dom ternagreen bethemtwe. en greenlemen the green between pre­ neness

This carlfful stnu:tu oj color camp ts theJi ojweave. Al h blue is the inant color, the weaver achieved much oj the saphisticated effect by arranging the S-ply yarns the ami Z-ply yarns (with ) the red rags, then al ting two weights ami textures ojwhite yarns camplete the effect.


been painted various colors in the early 1800s was stripped and refinished later in the century, when natural wood finishes became popular. The textiles suffered even more extreme changes over the years. The ravages of use and repeated launderings, as well as con­ tinual exposure to the Sllil'S ultraviolet light, have badly faded or disintegrated what lit­ tle remains of the early textiles. For exam­ ple, the Union Meeting Room rug (right photo, p. 46) , which was once stripes of red, blue, black, white, green, and gray, has faded to a nearly uniform khaki-drab, rein­ forcing misguided impressions of cold, colorless Shaker austerity. In addition to analyzing artifact carpets, I have researched written records and de­ scriptions from the numerous collections of Shaker manuscripts, ranging from the


Andrews collection at the Winterthur Mu­ seum in Delaware to the Western Reserve Historical SOCiety Shaker collection in Ohio, and the Shaker collection in the New York State Library. By piecing together in­ formation about furniture and textile col­ ors and styles in the Millennial Laws and in old journals and dye books, and by ex­ amining extant textiles and original stain and paint colors on woodwork and furni­ ture, I have come to the conclusion that the image of Shaker life that visitors see at a museum or a restored village is uninten­ tionally misleading. The picture in my m i nd of an 1 840 Shaker "retiring room,» or bedroom, for ex­ ample, is very different from the curtain­ less, colorless retiring rooms of a museum. The woodwork, including peg rails, built-in cupboards, drawers, and closets, in the Han-

cock dwelling was originally stained yellow or orange, and sometimes a combination of the two. The five or so Single beds in each room were painted green and were covered with a blue blanket, or "comfortable." Ex­ tra blankets of various colors and weave patterns were piled at the foot of the beds. Chairs, chests, and oval wooden storage boxes were painted a variety of colors, in­ cluding blue, green, red, and yellow. Blue, green, or white curtains hung at the win­ dows, and in winter, the floor was com­ pletely covered by multicolor rag carpets (not always matching, although that's what the Millennial prescribed). You wouldn't see any lace or printed fabrics or English ingrain (patterned) carpets, but there was plenty of warmth and color. Although we associate certain textile styles exclusively with the Shakers, this is




also misleading. A Shaker weaver wouldn't have been born in her community. If she had learned her craft before joining, she would bring with her contemporary tech­ niques and styles. Unless these styles were forbidden by Millennial Law, she would continue to produce these same "worldly" textiles as a Shaker sister. Because of this constant outside influence, few Shaker tex­ tiles are significantly different from the utilitarian textiles produced in any New England weaver's home in the 19th cen­ tury. Although the Shakers always em­ braced the latest technology, they contin­ ued producing textile styles long after they were out of fashion in the outside world. Plied weft carpeting-I've studied four of my favorite rag and plied-yarn carpets from

the collection at Hancock Shaker Village so I could reproduce them. All are so faded and soiled that it's difficult to tell their original colors. I haven't used any elabo­ rate dye analysis, so my conclusions aren't scientific, but in most cases I've been able to find parts of the rug that were protected from light so that the original color re­ mains. I 've looked under the binding at the ends or folded the rug along two picks to see the color between them. Some of the rugs have frayed spots, where I was able to unply the yarns and look at the strands in­ side. Without the frayed spots, it's difficult even to count the yarns in the weft plies. The Shakers purchased cotton rug warp in various solid colors for warp. The weft was narrow strips of fulled woolen cloth, sometimes two colors plied (twisted) to­ gether, or several different yarns plied to­ gether. Some of the old carpets have only fabric strips for weft, or only twisted yarns, but my favorites are finely woven of fabric alternating with plied yarns. To make their carpet weft, the Shakers used many colors of fabric scraps and mill ends that were left over from other Shaker industries. Similar wool scraps and mill ends are still avail­ able; I 've listed several of my reliable sources on p. 46. Most of the rugs are sett 10 to 1 2 epi (ends per inch) with 7 to 8 ppi (picks per inch -passes of the weft through the shed) . Some sett variation can probably be attrib­ uted to varying shrinkage. I assume that a rug with 11 epi probably started out with 10 epi-though I did find an 11-dent reed. Many of the rugs are long runners, 40 in. to 50 in. wide and 12 ft. to nearly 17 ft. long. In these carpets, the picks of woolen fab­ ric appear as solid stripes of color. The yarn picks, composed of 5 to 12 yarns of various colors, fibers, and thicknesses that have been plied together to form one strand, create diagonal dashes of colors across the width of the rug. Although the rugs are all woven in plain weave, the plied yarns cre­ ate the illusion of a complicated twill or tapestry weave . Sometimes the Shaker weavers used a Z twist in plying their yarn;



tJSeptember 1

other times they plied with an S twist (top drawing, facing page) . The most elaborate carpets feature plies in both directions. You make a Z twist by spinning the yarn clockwise with a spinning wheel or drop spindle (top photo). The Z refers to the di­ rection of the diagonal formed by the twist­ ing of the yarns. In a Z twist, the diagonal slants in the same direction as the central section of the letter Z, when the yarn is held perpendicularly. Counterclockwise spinning produces S-twisted plies, and the diagonal slants in the same direction as the central section of the letter S. No matter how you turn or flip the yarn, the slant will still appear the same (try turning the illus­ tration upside down) . I n the rugs, the dashes o f color formed by S-plied yarns will appear to slant uphill (reading from left to right) , and Z plies will slant downhill, even if you turn the rug over. In the loom work shown in the bot­ tom photo, I produced a herringbone pat­ tern by alternating S and Z plies of the same yarns on each side of a single pick of rag strip, a technique I learned from study­ ing the beautiful rug in the photo on the facing page. You don't need an elaborate loom or spin­ ning wheel to make these carpets. Since the rugs are in plain weave, two harnesses are plenty, but you must be able to beat hard. A drop spindle is fine for plying the yarns. You need some wool rags, available from rug-hooking suppliers or mill scraps already dyed. I use a rug hooker's strip cut­ ter for my strips. Each type and color of weft should be wound on its own stick or ski shuttle. Details for weaving a rag tote bag are given on p. 47.


Reproducing carpet patterns - The first car­ pet I attempted to reproduce (right photo, p. 46) is on display in the Union Meeting Room exhibit in the Shaker dwelling at Hancock. My reproduction (left photo, p. 46) shows what I believe to be the original col­ ors. The warp is brown, and the rags are %-in.-wide heavyweight wool in cranberry red, medium blue, black, and drab gray. All the yarns are fine two plies and are plied Z. The weft consists of two strands each of cranberry red, dark olive green, turquoise, and gray, and four strands of white. My yarns were heavier than the original, so it wove up at about 6 ppi instead of 7 ppi, and my plying was a bit too tight. Loose plying produces a softly marbled effect; tight ply­ ing results in a random, dashlike look. For my current work, I ply at about one twist or less per inch. Th ere is no typical pattern of stripes in these carpets. The patterns were probably determined by the quantities of the var­ ious colors available at the time of weaving. This rug is mostly yarns, and the pattern is: 1 (pick of) blue (rag), 2 Z (yarns), 1 drab gray, 2 Z, 1 blue, 2 Z, 1 black, 2 Z, 1 red, 2 Z, 1 black, 2 Z, repeat. For my 1 5-sq.-ft. ver-

CherythenThereprodnderssponeedo drect. greabe11Z ndle

lA an rotates the t wheel in a clockwise directian to ply the c , balls, and ls ojyarn loosely in a twist. To uce a marbled she barely plies the strands, winds t hem into a skein, and puts them anto a shuttle to is no to set the minimal twist. and a simple drop spi would k just weU to ply the yarns.


nders nders


woven. wor

Z beternagrownifu,lragpic raguttletbag

an is weaving a carpe . Two A te with two oj S twist picks oj twist al an each side oj a single k oj Each type is wound an its sh , and A an must ca to the right the weaving s slowly.

one, so

ownuse .



eprod the ifferenfrom thereproduc rugowafrp p warp. Roomaded rug aded rugnders term

Union Meeting detail at right, andA an's r uction, detail above. An­ dersan studied unf areas of Shaker to de ine its ang inal colors, yarn weights, and numbers of strands. unf colors and tighter plying of tion ke it look very d t the ang inal, which it imitates faithjuUy.




sion of the 54-sq.-ft. carpet, I used 262 yd. of the plied yams, 27 yd. each of the red and drab-gray rag strips and almost 54 yd. each of the blue and black rag strips. The rug is finished with white binding on both ends and yam braid up both sides. There are two little square pieces of an unusually fine-weave carpeting in textile storage at Hancock, shown in the photo on p. 44. The sett ( 1 5 epi) is closer, and the weft (12 ppi) is finer than in any of the other carpets. The warp is blue, and the rags are cut about in. wide of lightweight wool in cranberry red and moss green . Four plies


of indigo-blue yam are also used as rag. Both Z- and S-plied yams produce the in­ tricate-looking pattern. The Z ply is made up of 1 indigo-blue heavy single, 2 fine green two ply, 1 madder-red tiny two ply, and 2 white cotton three ply (the same weight as the fine two ply). The S ply is 1 in­ digo-blue heavy single, 4 tiny red singles, and 1 white linen thread about the same grist as the blue single. The pattern is as follows: 1 blue (rag/yam), 5 S, 1 blue, 1 red, 5 Z, 1 red, 1 green, 5 S, 1 green, 1 red, 5 Z , 1 red, repeat. The rug is bound all around. These rugs aren't hard to make, but the process is slow because you have to stop constantly to change shuttles. Simpler rugs with one direction of twist and few colors of rags are remarkably beautiful and easy to make.


Finis -The Shakers wove their carpets as yardage and cut them to the desired length. They secured the cut ends by tying pairs of warp ends in square knots and then sewing a binding tape over the knots. At each edge, 10 warp ends were typically double-sleyed to give a very firm selvage.


Usually, the weaver j ust carried the weft yarns not in use up the sides and left the fabric strips hanging out. Later she hand­ stitched them against the edge. This sel­ vage treatment often made a rather messy edge, so some rugs were bound along the sides as well as across the ends. Early bindings are handwoven wool tapes in a warp-faced tabby stripe. In some cases the wool tapes have worn out, and cotton rug binding has been sewn over it. If the selvages aren't bound, a twisted or braided cord of weft yams is generally hand­ sewn to the edges and is visible on both sides of the rug. Two of the museum's car­ pets have a four-strand interlocked braid trimming the edges. It is usually just sewn along the edge in whatever way it happens to twist; there is no attempt to keep the same line of color in one position. However, the braids are usually made with all the colors of the weft yarns to produce a har­ monious edge. An interlocking braid is tricky to make, but it's worth the effort (bottom drawing, p. 44). You begin it by tying together four strands (or fom" groups of strands) and se­ curing them to something stationary, like a hook in the wall. The same two strands al­ ways cross from right to left (side to side), and the other two cross from front to back below the crotch of the first pair. 0




The Oriental Rug Co. 2 1 4 S. Central Ave. P.O. Box 917 Lima , OH 45802 (419) 225-6731 Least ex e nsive rug

Frederick J. Fawcett 1304A Scott St. Petaluma, CA 94952 (800) 289-9276; (707) 762-3362 Very expensive, but high quality; m,any colors. Coa t-/skirt-weight woolen fRbric

Harry M . Fraser Co. 192 Hartford Rd. Manchester, CT 06040 (203) 649-2304 e st

Mill ndsand ps; -ip cutrtes. Mill 18 KS hake lo . pp. 4 , 46, 47

Cheryl Anderson, who has woven for years, was recently appointed Coordinator of Crafts and Domestic Industries at Han­ cock Shaker Village, where she demon­ strates weaving on ang inal S r Red Shed Weavers, her own business, weaves rugs and bags on commission. Pho­ tos on and by the author.


scra 1

Braid-Aid 466 Washington St. Pembroke, MA 02359 (617) 826-6091 Remnant mill ends and specially dyed woolens. -end yarns

Yam Bam P.O. Box 1 1 9 1 Canton , GA 30114 (404) 479-5083

Yam Bam 918 Massachusetts P.O. Box 334 Lawrence, 66044 (913) 842-4333

Webs-Yam Merchants P.O. Box 349 Amherst, MA 01004 (413) 253-2580




Weaving a Shaker rag carpetbag

All the long-wearing rugs made in this rag-and-yarns technique are rather thin compared with ordinary rag rugs. The carpet material is dense but drapey enough to be made into very attractive, tough bags. To make a tote bag, I weave a piece 26 in. wide and about 21 in. long. I beam on a long warp in a dark, neutral color and weave the material for each bag separately, starting with three picks of doubled warp yarn and ending the same way. Two picks of miscellaneous rag strips or paper separate one bag piece from the next. The warp is 8/4 cotton rug warp threaded singly and sett at 1 0 epi (ends per inch), with the first and last 10 ends single in the heddles and doubled in the reed, just like the Shaker rugs. A dark warp color will deepen and enrich the weft colors, and I can weave many different color bags on the same warp. Light warp, in contrast, seems to wash out the weft colors. The weave is tabby (plain weave), so on a four-harness loom I thread a straight draw. That is, I thread in order 1 , 2, 3, 4 and tie the treadles to pull 1 and 3 together and 2 and 4 together, raising every other thread. The weft is wool yarns and wool or wool-blend rags. Using a rug hooker's strip cutter, I cut heavyweight, well-felted woolen fabric into 1/4-in. strips with or across the grain of the fabric (not on the bias). For lighter-weight wool or loosely woven cloth that is likely to ravel, a %-in. width is better. I cut tapering ends on the strips so overlapping won't make lumps, and I use a glue stick to hold the overlap joints together temporarily so I can make a skein of about 20 yd. of rag strip in each color. Since the glue will wash out, I make sure the ends overlap sufficiently. Then I wrap each onto a separate ski shuttle. The yarns that will alternate with the rag strips can be any weight. I choose colors and combine yarns until the thickness of the yarns is roughly equivalent to the rag-strip thickness. I determine this by rolling the rag strip between my thumb and forefinger and then trying the yarn combination the same way. If I use a mixture of yarn weights, including a few rug yarns, it usually takes five to eight yarns to achieve the correct thickness. This is a great way to use up bits of leftover yarns. (My bags generally take fewer than 25 yd. of each of the two weft types.) I ply the yarns loosely on a spinning wheel or drop spindle, with about one twist or less per inch. I usually ply some Z and some S to create different directions of diagonal in the finished weave. The stripe pattern must alternate frequently between yarns and rags to prevent their drawing in differently and creating a scalloped edge. In Shaker rugs, one to three picks of rag

normally alternate with one or two picks of yarn. Such frequent changing means very slow weaving. When I change shuttles, I cut the rag or yarn with a gradual taper, leaving about an inch to weave back into the next shed. The tapered end that I 've woven in will be overlapped by the beginning of the next weft, which I lay in with its tapered point at the edge of the cloth. The double-sleyed warp yarns at the edge make a very firm selvage, so all those tucked-in ends can't escape. If I'm using %-in.-wide strips, I try to lay them in the shed flat; I let the 1/2-in. lighter-weight strips roll up as they please. With any rug, it's important to weave under as much tension as your loom can muster and to beat hard. When the piece is cut off the loom, I zigzag the cut edges along the three doubled rug-warp picks by machine, trim off any ends of yarn that are stiCking out, and then steam-iron the piece. I use the pressed piece as a pattern for the lining, which I cut from cotton broadcloth. I use cotton chair-seat webbing for the handles and machine­ sew it onto the bag before sewing the side seams, as shown in the top drawing below. I cut one piece long enough to cross the woven bag piece (selvage to selvage) twice, including enough for two handles the desired length. The selvages will become the top edges of the bag, so I sew on the handles parallel to the weft stripes. I fold the bag in half with the handles on the inside and sew the side seams between the first rag strip and the zigzagged headings. After sewing these seams, and while the bag is still inside out, I square the bottom by flattening the side seams and sewing across the corner points about an inch in from the pOint, as shown in the bottom drawing below. Then I turn the bag right side out. If you want pockets in the bag, sew them onto the lining. Then fold the lining in half with the pockets inside, and sew up the sides. The lining bottom should be squared the same as the bag. Finally, keeping the pockets on the inside, fold the top % in. to the outside, and press it down. Then just slip the lining into the finished bag, and sew it in by topstitching around the top of the bag. I sew a Velcro closure on last through lining and bag. Although the tote-bag design is modern, the idea came from a Shaker bag made of carpeting material that is on exhibit at the Shaker Museum in Old Chatham , The Shakers updated their products to appeal to the market of their day, so my tote bags represent an appropriate use of the technique. Have fun with your colors. You, too, can startle people out of their misconceptions about "dreary" Shaker textiles. -C.A


Constructing a tote bag

Head i n g (3 doubled picks), zigzag

Sew handle onto flat bag piece in one continuous strip.

aAugusn boveand a

descrindersonbed rag 988

wovenons ruc as

's tote bags are simple to m ke Th is bag is c in the drawing at right. It is yarns and two colors of wâ&#x201A;Źft. selvages must si c they are at the top of the bag.



tJSeptember 1





with Z-ply kept

be even,

Sew side seams. Then square bottom by folding side seams flat and sewing across corners.


- -

-- - - -

Intuitive ess ions E xpr in stitc hery The needlework of F. Jane Cameron


by Robbie Fanni'Yl{}

s with the best folk art, the embroidered wall hangings of eron Calgary artist F. Jane radiate the spirit of the maker. Her shapes are bold and expressive; her colors vibrant; her use of space intuitive. Each piece contains a surprise, like the five legs on a cat or the striped legs and shoes on a happy girl. Yet life has not been easy for Jane or her parents. She was born in



1949 with Down's syndrome, a congenital condition caused by a chromosomal abnor­ mality. Although Alma and Jim Cameron knew little about retardation and what lay ahead for them, they felt their daughter needed as much love, care, and training as they could possibly give her. The family traveled widely; Jane and her brother and sister lived in India for nearly six years. They also spent time in Europe,

Australia, Brazil, South Africa, the United States, and their native Canada. As Jane grew up, the Camerons made sure she was fully challenged. They enrolled her in the Doctor Franklin Perkins School in Lancas­ ter, MA known for its emphasis on art, the­ ater, poetry, music, and dance. Then, one Christmas holiday, after ten years at Perkins, Jane announced that she didn't want to go to school anymore but





wanted to get a j ob. The Camerons found Fil d'Ariane" (Ariadne's Thread), a shel­ tered workshop in Montreal that hires quali­ fied, retarded young people to produce art work. Named to reflect its founder's objec­ tives, the workshop provides a monthly in­ come to about 20 young artists, who pro­ duce weaving, hooked rugs, toys, woolen flowers, and large embroidered hangings. Alma explains, "The golden thread, given by Ariadne to Theseus, enabled him to emerge safely, after he slew the Minotaur, from the dark labyrinth into the sunshine. Similarly, the bright threads of the embroi­ dery and weaving would provide young men­ tally handicapped craftsmen with not only an occupation but a purpose in life. This has surely been true for our Jane as she was allowed to develop her ideas. Working in this atmosphere, a latent talent for cre­ ating imaginative designs emerged, and she became an artist in her own right." In the eight years she spent at the ate­ lier, Jane became its chief designer. Her drawings were translated into embroideries by others, and she produced nearly 80 pieces herself. The recognition Jane has re­ ceived so far is largely due to Dr. Max Klager, professor of art and education at Heidel­ berg University in Germany. One summer


expreswithbacon.wild-caws her broiderincakeses rides rape , 'l'lhow hat epe e, tenusuall ttom themeread donehere. mbe 988 meron

he wandered into the atelier and discov­ ered Jane's preliminary drawings. He was thrilled not only with the shape and color organization in her work but also with its symbolic, psychological content. Klager took many photos and later returned to study Jane's work in detail. His resulting book, Jane C., Symboisches Denken in Bildern und Spache (Munich: Ernst Reinhardt, Ver­ lag, 1978) hasn't been translated into Eng­ lish, but it did attract the attention of Ru­ dolf Arnheim, the Gestalt psychologist who wrote Art and Visual Perception. Arn heim saw that Jane's work, like many powerful religious and political symbols, combines elementary visual form with a complex wealth of meanings. In 1980 Jane left the atelier to rejoin her parents, who had returned three years ear­ lier to Jim's native Calgary. Alma helps Jane with her many commissions by tack­ ing burlap to a wall-mounted board. Jane then draws the outlines of her designs di­ rectly on the burlap with colored chalk and marks the yarn colors she has in mind for each area as well. Alma and Jane unpin the burlap and choose the colors of four-ply worsted-weight acrylic and wool to match. Jane works into the holes in the burlap, four holes over and two back, in a variation

of the stem stitch. She completely covers the burlap, stitching out along the outlines and following the curves. This creates a flowing background pattern similar to the undulating lines of Hawaiian quilting. Jane usually has two pieces going at once, and one piece may take several months to complete. She works off and on between various activities-doing community volun­ teer work in a child-development center, swimming, and bowling. Jane hopes her newest piece, "Adam and Eve," be ready when Klager returns. He plans a one-woman show of her work, per­ haps 30 pieces, at the Heidelberg Textile Museum in April 1989. Then others will be able to see with Arnheim that, although "all art is symbolic, . . . not all art reaches to the deep abstractions of fundamental hu­ man experiences" that Jane's does. 0


is with

Robbie Fanning a contributing editor of Threads and co-author Tony Fanning of The Complete Book of Machine Embroi­ dery & Applique (Chilton, 1 986). To com­ mission a piece from F. Jane Cameron, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Alma and Jim Cameron, 3204 Rideau Pl SW; #603, Calgary, Canada T2S 1Z2. Photos courtesy of the Camerons.

F. Jane Ca 's em are direct ions of es. The big t in Calgary is the annual stam , complete milking and jree pa and In " ary Stam pede " (1977), at right, the cawboy a pinto, holds a and a 'ffii In "Indmn T " of stam pieces in 1986, ts are decO'ffitedfor the t, and a fire pot (at the bo ) is y for cooking. Jane yfinds for a sun At ''Animals in the Park" (1980).

experien c pede Calgth pede abore, l4t,Augus even

wears one ree




even somew


Fashion Doesn't at 40 Inches The key is fit, and the handknitter's secret


is a fabric mock-up


by Deborah Newton s a handknit deSigner, I 've had plenty of experience cre­ ating sweaters for the fash­ ion model who graces the pages of knitting magazines and sweater pamphlets. Almost anything looks good on this willowy ideal, who is at least 5 ft. 8 in. and has bust and hip measurements of about 34 in. But to design successfully, I have to know that my sweaters will look good on a range of more realistic sizes, the ones that are usually included in handknit instructions. Some sweaters do look better on smaller figures, but sometimes I sense that a sweater design would flatter the fuller-figured woman as well, and I'm dis­ appointed to see that the pattern excludes anyone whose bust exceeds 40 in. Of course the heavier woman has always wanted to look good, to enjoy clothing that fits and that suits her personality. She wants choice in fabric and style and doesn't want to settle for polyester double knit. She yearns for a range of beautiful natural fibers and more attractive details and styling for her dimensions. With more fashion attention being given to the full-figured woman these days, I began wondering whether she really was finding it easier to clothe herself at­ tractively. But even with plus sizes avail­ able in ready-to-wear styles and designer lines, what about the heavier handknitter? The knitter who is heavier than average has few patterns from which to choose. She's often left considering men's patterns to find a chest measurement larger than the bust measurement offered in most wom­ en's patterns. It's not yet the norm for larg­ er sizes to be included with the more aver­ age ones in handknitting instructions. The knitting plight of the heavier woman intrigued me. But I had little experience with larger sizes and wondered whether the concerns were different. Obviously, the best way to find out was to become in­ volved in a project. It didn't take long to


find two enthusiastic, full-figured knitters who were eager to help me. I didn't want to create scaled-up versions of smaller sweat­ ers. I wanted to design specifically for their figures, to flatter them and meet their needs, and I wanted to create a basic pattern that each of them could reuse. The first knitter I chose, Holly Mendes, owns Ewe and Eye, a yarn shop in Davol Square in Providence, RI. Holly, stylish and attractive, had knit for herself, searching for sweater patterns that offered larger fin­ ished measurements and adapting others. She often helps the heavier customers and students in her knitting classes cope with the limited number of patterns available by suggesting a change in needle size to al­ ter gauge or the addition of extra stitches to enlarge the pattern measurements. Also eager to help was Gail Harrison , who had made sweaters for her family and friends, but never for herself. Gail was in­ deed an inspiration; I wanted to devise a pattern that would help her knit many sweaters in the future. A full-time nurse, very active with family and a multitude of interests, Gail longed for a straightfoward cardigan that she could wear in a variety of situations. We spoke about other design considerations. Like Holly, Gail loves wool, yet she wanted something cool enough to wear indoors. She also felt that a longer line was more flattering for her. Both women had been discouraged in their attempts to find clothing for them­ ter availability of larg­ selves. Despite the er sizes, finding garments that fit or flat­ tered was still difficult. And price was a factor too. It was easier to find expensive garments that were attractive, but both felt there was little in the average price range. The first step in my research was to look at ready-to-wear garments in the larger sizes. I visited specialty shops for large women, as well as major department stores, travel­ ing with a tape measure and Holly's and


Gail's measurements in mind. I found lit­ tle on the racks that would flatter them and even fewer garments that would actu­ ally fit. The number of sloppy-looking dropped-shoulder sweaters with overly long sleeves and drooping, wide shoulders sur­ prised me. In an affordable price range, I saw many plastic-looking synthetiCS that wouldn't appeal to Gail or Holly. And I was dumbfounded by the proliferation of hori­ zontal stripes-I had thought that everyone knew this was a primary don't. The better­ looking garments, which were generally more expensive, showed more thought in the crucial cross-shoulder measurement. A set-in sleeve seemed to provide a more refined fit around the armhole, while still accommodating width at the hip and waist. Like any other sweaters I might design, I wanted those for Holly and Gail to flatter and to fit comfortably. The two knitters were built differently, so I needed to decide on the best measurements and shapes for each. I also needed to coordinate these ele­ ments with knit fabric, yarn, and color. It was exciting to design for two real people, rather than for some far-away model.


t 6t-I often refer Looking at garments to other sweaters as well as to sewn gar­ ments to guide me toward an understand­ ing of a certain style of fit. Woven-fabric garments don't stretch like knits do, but they provide a point of departure for plan­ ning a new project by supplying measure­ ments that can be tested. I often test new proportions' by borrowing measurements from another garment I like. I began the design process with both knitters by referring to sweaters that they

tersleaouldrnedendesmod thorGail borarrisonh.enule them Threads

wear rmen so

(right) Ha and Holly M to fit and swea h Newton, De While helping au ts ting ga ify exis to lves. continue to knitfor t c



To Ctdjust the d


shoulder sewn

on on

Gctil's mock sweater (above),

Newtonj'olds Ctlong the sewnline of the sleeve CCtp Ctnd body and then pulls the seamjurther in towal'd GCtil's CtCtuCtl shoulcle1' line before be­ ginning to pin it in plctce.

Afte r having clec icled

sleeve le119th, New­

ton pinned the w rist to simulctte ribbing and to see whethm' thel'e


enoUgl1 lel19th to allow the sleeve to dl"ape slightly Ctbove the rib.

Pinnil19 the neck edges into


V Ctt the depth GCtil prefers (right) is the

final step in fitting the mockrup. owned. Holly had a black, medium-weight,

Charting the garments -To record the

up garments in knit fabric so that I could

machine-knit, hip-length pullover with a

shapes of these garments , I plotted their

test the fit of the gmphed shapes. That

flattering jewel neckl i n e . She l i ked the

measurements on graph paper, using one

would enable me to refi ne the fit in such

length and the narrow ribbing at the lower

square to the inch, as shown by the black

crucial areas as the cross-shoulder width

edge that was not as tight as some of her

lines in the drawings o n pp.

53 a nd 54. I

and armhole shaping, which would ensure

other sweaters. But she asked me about the

measured the lengths and widths of Holly's

that the final knit garments were comfort­

dropped-s h o u l d e r styli ng because


simple sweater. The front and back were

able and flattering.

found this type of sleeve uncomfortable.

the same, except for neck depth. I plotted

The simple squared-off construction of the

the sleeve width at the lower and upper

Fitting concems - I thought about what I'd

dropped shoulder is popular among Imit­

a nns, as well as the length. Graph paper is

seen. The dropped-shoulder gannent, which

ters because it is easier to make than the

a n essential tool that lets me visualize the

is straight from the lower edge to tlle shoul­

set-in sleeve that requires armhole and

individual pieces of a sweater in their proper

der, fits around the hips but often provides

sleeve-cap shaping. But the dropped shoul­

proportion and in relation to each other.

too much fabric in the upper torso. Gail's

der creates extra bulk under the arm that

For Ga i l , I had to create a graphed guide­

bust and hip measurements were Similar,

ca n be uncomforta b l e . In addition, the

line from a composite of measurements

so this garment shape might suit her. But

seam that joins the upper sleeve to the

from her two garments. Their widths were

i f Holly wore a dropped-shoulder sweater

body can fal l unflatteringly low on the up­

similar, so I averaged the two. I used the

that fit her bust, the hip would be too tight;

per arm, visually widening the upper torso,

j acket's sleeve and armhole shapes and pro­

and if she accommodated her hip measure­

as it did in Holly's sweater.

portions. I measured the armhole depth

ment, the extra fa bric in the upper body

a nd the width of the sleeve at the lower

would make her look bulkier than she is. I

digan her father had bought for her on a

and upper arms. The sleeve cap required

was sure that both sweaters would benefit

trip to Ireland. She was disappointed that it

careful attention. I measured its height

from more armhole shaping.

didn't fit. We analyzed it together. The body

above the underarm; then

I plotted its curve

Length was an important consideratio n .

of the sweater should have been a few

as accurately as pOSSible, noting the width

Since the sweater pieces were wider than

inches la rger than Gail's body measure­

of the flat top. The blouse yielded a back­

average, they could tend to look b

ments to provide the extra ease that a bulky

neck width and a comfortable length.

ticularly with the square effect produced

Gail's only sweater was an Aran-style car­

Olo.:y , par­

fabric necessitates. In addition, the arm­

Plotting these basic shapes was the first

hole depth was too shallow for comfort.

step toward evolving the finished patterns

sleeve didn't need to be longer than for the

Since this sweater didn't inspire us with

for both sweaters. I decided to check the fit

avemge person , despite what I had seen when looking at ready-to-wea r sweaters.

by a dropped shoulder. I Imew that the

any useful i nformation, we turned to a fa­

of the garment shapes before starting to

vorite blouse and a comfortable lightweight

knit the sweaters. Had I been sure of the

In any size, it is importa nt to establish

jacket. Gai l , like Holly, said that a set-in

fit, I could have duplicated the charted

the correct amount of ease, or the neces­

sleeve felt better- less bulk actually allowed

shapes exactly in knitting a fter swatching

sary extm fabric beyond body measure­

her more freedom of movement. The jack­

for gauge and calculating the number of

ments. Genemlly speaking, a lightweight

et had a shallow sleeve cap that was just a

stitches and rows necessary to obtain them.

fabric needs less ease to cover the body

bit more fitted than a dropped shoulder.

Instead, I took the extra time to make mock-

than a bulkier one. I wanted these sweaters




. I

t fE

Gail's cardigan

. +-'-+";":"l-��+4_ · l-�·--+.-'--'Ch a rting- t h- e- m- oclr-Up

. Chart ctimensions on graph paper. Use a different qOlor- for c�anges.

. ' _p-­1- I" . . .. I Black = Gail's orig inal




CIl<kting k'---- .h-. .1 --.---+o-+----, - , -i-the sweater ,

Locate design panels appropriately on charted sweater pattern, and use gauge to calculate stitc{l counts.

22 in.

122 in. 126 if). .


I :---r-+-c----'-'-'- ----;- -+--:...-.. -i-'



Red = Adjust ments to mock-up

�l 5






; ;�,

in'--r-+F--'._--I t--� ·���-t�-Lt=+t=�;:�2�6;in�·==�====�����iL������_�;:��::�

1- ....�-+� tI Making (l tting


Gatl's-b-o-dV lTfeasurem-ents

Bust = 54 in. Waist = 5U in. i =5 i � Y� c n�.���� P j 7� K �� j _�t-_�_ �

__I����fl�tJJ+������-4����i n�-+__



__� �

� -; nBLolJ. sls.Js.=4 .3Yz... 79 .§ fit


iIL wide_ EL --+---'-'--I--__c___\_4-'-+--�+'_4.!..,-_H...:. ---�--+--_\_____:'_:--h_'__+_++-"�!_I-_-+- Ea .:... - � ---o :-.,. '-i--;--H rf f--'-NaTrOWeQ Vertical eyelet �attern = sts, slightly and 28 rows in. at bottom


to skim the body, not cling. This would

for sewn garments, but these are expen­

contribute comfort, as well as provide a

sive. If you settle for a less expensive alter­

nal ribbing would do, staystitch along the

flattering line. I took the body measure­

native, make sure your choice has some

edges to keep an open or a lightweight fab­ ric from stretching or raveling.

the fabric in place at the neckline, as a fi­

ments of both women so that I could relate

stretch. And, if it is lighter than your in­

them to the garment measurements I had

tended knit fabric, you may need an inch

The body of Gail's mock-up cardigan

already plotted.

or so more of total body ease than the test

fine. There was enough ease, so it didn't

garment reveals.

cling. The length was good, but there was

a fabric mock-up- I decided to test

I translated the pieces from the graph

still unnecessary fabric across the shoul­

the measurements I had derived from Gail's

paper onto the knit fabric, marking the

ders. I pinned the sleeve cap further in to­ ward the body, eliminating some of the ex­

clothes by making a mock-up cardigan. I

lines with chalk.

bought some medium-weight knit fabric

sized paper pattern , but I was able to elimi­

cess fabric across the front, while keeping

that felt like sweater fabric and would

nate this step with care .) The fold estab­

the same curve in the new armhole, as

mimic the final sweater as much as possible.

lished the straight of the grain of the fabric,

shown in the left photo, facing page.

This mock-up would test the basic fit, not

so I set the centerline of each piece along

Gail removed the mock sweater, and I

the more refined details, like button bands

it. I drew only half of each piece, using the

carefully marked the new seamline at the

fold to cut a double layer. I cut the sleeve

armholes. I removed the sleeves, added a

or ribbing.

could have made a full­

Any knitter, regardless of size, can bene­

slightly longer so I could adj ust the length.

seam allowance to the new armhole curve,

fit from testing new ideas by creating a pre­

Since the mock-up would be sewn together

and recut the line, making the shaping on

liminary fabric "sweater." This process re­

on a machine, I added seam allowances to

the back and front armhole seams match

quires an investment in time and knit

all the pieces. A loose zigzag stitch let the

exactly. I was able to fit the old sleeve into

fabric. But by seeing what a sweater will do

seams stretch slightly as they would in the

the revised armhole, but without much

before you knit it, you'll avoid the discour­

finished sweater.

ease i n the cap because the armhole was


nounced curve. The mock-up fit fine, but I

agement of knitting a garment that j ust

doesn't fit. Devising a mock-up is best as a

a mock sweater-When you try on a

now slightly larger, due to the more pro­

two-person operation. But if you can't have

mock-up for the first time, it may be diffi­

planned to widen the upper arm 1 in. or so

someone help you with the alterati ons,

cult to visualize how it could mimic the

to provide the extra ease the cap needed to fit nicely. An alternative approach would

stand in front of a large mirror. Remove

sweater you hope to design . Just remember

the mock-up to adj ust fit, and then keep

that the mock-up is for testing fit and mak­

have been to shorten the armhole depth a

trying it on until the fit looks right.

ing adjustments before the knitting begins.

bit, keeping the sleeve width the same, but Gail likes ease in the upper-arm area.

Try to find knit fabric that mimics the

A test garment can't easily test the fit of

drape and thickness of the sweater fabric

ribbed areas at the lower edges of sleeves

Now I could check sleeve length. I tried

you hope to create . Knitting a swatch i n

and body. If you're an experienced sewer,

to allow enough so that the sleeve would

the yarn you plan t o use will help you

you might roll bands of a slightly narrower

"blouse" above a close-fitting ribbed cuff. I

make the comparison when you go to the

pinned the neck edges to form a V,

fabric store. I 've had great success using

width and sew them on, but it's not really necessary, since the mock-up can't truly

the fabric suggested for cuffs and ribbings

simulate knitting details, only fit. To hold

mentioned that she loved side pockets, so



tJSeptember 1988



in the right photo, facing page . Gail had


�:S. ;e

Holly's pullover Charting the mock-up


\<-5 in.

Begin with a garment that fits and chart its dimensions; make adjustments to improve fit.

","I 1--- �--->+�r�-I 1 II r:----+---- --+"'"1<--ar3�mhole. --.; ;.--.--- -

1< -1< , ' 4 in.

4 in.

9 in.


Front ahd back


5 in.


Depth of V neck


2 5 in.

28 in.

1<-6 in

1 6 in.

20 in·

10 in.

25 i n .

+---- ----..\

--"'----;.1.1 'I

9 in .

6 in.-<>I

Decreased in. at

Black = Holly's original pullover

was widened slightly.

Hip clung too tightly; ease was added.

Red = Adjustments taken from fitted mock-up sweater

-1-1 1 1.T f 240 <'-0;----22+-;n.

Bust = 49 in. Waist = 41 in. Hip = 56 in.



5 in.

5 in.

Holly's body measurements

11 IT


14 in.




10 in.


15 in.


sts and 28 rows =4 in. Cable panel of 24 sts is in. wide.

we marked where pocket openings would fall at the seams. I returned to the original graphs, mea­ sured the altered pieces, and changed the graphs to reflect the new armhole and neck shapings, as shown by the red lines on the drawing on p. 53. I also added the extra width to the sleeve.


a dropped shoulder to a set-in C sleeve - I studied the graphs for Holly's dropped-shoulder sweater (top-left draw­ ing). When I added the total number of inches of the front and back, I discovered slightly smaller that the sweater bottom than Holly's hip measurement. Holly didn't need extra fabric in the upper body, so I added just enough to make the lower edge a bit looser. To create a set-in sleeve would require shaping the armhole and forming a cap on the sleeve where there had been none. I wanted to make the mock-up first, incor­ porating these changes, and then check the fit on Holly. I cut out the body pieces from a knit fab­ ric, using the same measurements record­ ed on the graph , with seam allowances. First I joined the shoulders; then I joined the side seams to the underarm. I cut sleeves like the original version drawn on the graph, but I left more fabric at the top from which to cut the cap. I sewed the sleeve seam and marked the underarm line. I measured Holly from shoulder to shoul­ der in her black pullover, trying to envi­ sion the best placement for the armhole seams of a set-in sleeve. I wanted the seams to fall where her arm joined her body, so I marked this line on the pullover with pins. Then I centered this measurement across the shoulders (left photo, facing page), and transferred the markings to the mOCk-up. To shape the armhole, I marked a gradual curve starting at the side seam and reach­ ing the cross-shoulder line approximately halfway up the armhole. I measured along the length of this armhole curve, front and back. The cap would have to measure the same, plus a little ease. I cut the front and back the same, adding seam allowances. The sleeve was already seamed to the un­ derarm line, so the curve for the back and front could be cut at the same time. Begin­ ning at the underarm marking, I laid my tape measure on its edge in a curve, at­ tempting to obtain the same measurement as the armhole, plus ease (drawing, facing page). As with Gail's sleeve cap, I allowed approximately 8 in. across the top to re­ main unshaped. This curve created a cap height of about 5 in. I marked the line that my tape measure had set for me and added a seam allowance. I cut away the extra fabric and assem­ bled the mock-up. I hadn't added sufficient ease. The cap j ust fit into the new armhole. I felt that it was necessary to widen the upper arm slightly, as I had done with




\ \ , /' �__ ___ �


m e rnksts dmpped houlder c e n ter her /� � centerV-nec fits (cenletj.from doum center


'-- _'J f) N <\�rr� <:)

Newton makes preliminary fitting adjust­ with pins Holly's black pullover. She a line mtICh closer to Holly's shoulder than the original s seam and eases it back to the armhole at the side seam. Next, she measures the cross- fron t width. A pin at fron t allows to make sure the armhole s are equidistant the (left). Holly's rnoc k-up with the a1whole shaping well. Newton pins in the back k detail HoUy wanted . Nar­ cables the back of Holly's sweatet- empha.size the dressy neckline and echo the sweatet-'s cabted fron t panel (l-ight).



A fter measuring armhole line, lay a tape measure on its side to mark curved sleeve cap same length as armhole, plus ease.







Gail's sleeve, in order to accommodate the

the mock-up (center photo ) . I plotted all

commercial patterns by studying the mea­

larger armhole.

these changes on the graphed pieces ( red

surements provided.

Holly tried on the mock-up, and we were pleased with the flattering fit. The sweater

lines on facing page ) . Holly's pullover would have some inter­

Above all, fit is crucial when you're plan­ ning a plus-size sweater or selecting a sweat­

skimmed her hips; yet she had little bulk

esting details provided by pattern stitches.

er pattern. Take your body measurements,

at the shoulders and bust.

The allover fabric was to be a simple rib.

and then be sure your sweater measure­

Swatching in the same wool chosen for

ments meet or exceed them, depending on

ttin g patterns-Gail likes

Gail (one of my favorite yarns, Maratona,

the weight of the fabric. Remember that a

open, eyelet-type patterns. Swatching yielded

from Lane Borgesesia), I worked a delicate

heavier fabric will require more ease.

a graceful "lily" panel and a small eyelet

twist-stitch cable. I sketched it at the cen­

If you 're b ulkier above the waist, a

pattern whose veItical lines would offset

ter front. It visually elongated the sweater,

dropped-shoulder sweater may fit you well.



the kni

the width of the cardigan . I suggested a

which inspired me to extend the use of

But if you have larger hips, try to eliminate

lovely wool, and Gail chose a warm gray.

twist stitches to create a yoke framing Hol­

some of the fabric above the waist with a

Finally, I sketched the cardigan to solidify

ly's face, as shown in the sketch on the fac­

shaped armhole.

my ideas.

ing page. A narrow pair of cables running

Visual tricks, such as using veItical pat­

It was time to get to the knitting. I mea­

down the center back from the V neck

terns or darker colors are fi ne, but they

sured my swatches to obtain gauge. Refer­

completed the neckline detailing (right

serve only to enhance the essential good

ring to my sketch and the graph, I plotted

photo). I transferred tl1e details to tl1e graph

fit. If your sweater is shaped well, it can be

the panels for Gail's sweater to settle on

(center drawings, facing page).

any color or pattern you feel comfortable

tlleir best placement, as shown in tlle tl1ree

We agreed that a pretty rose would high­

drawings at right on p. 53. I tl1en calculated

light the pattern stitches beautifully. Re­

bing at the wrist may be okay (Gail's and

how many stitches of the veItical pattern

ferring to the graph, I figured out stitch

Holly's sleeve and neck ribbings were knit

were needed to bring the piece up to the

counts for all the pieces. Now we could be­

on needles two sizes smaller) , but it's often

graphed measurements. I planned the de­

gin to knit Holly's sweater too.

a good idea to keep the lower edges looser

and shoulder shaping by referring to my

To sum it aU up-The three of us were re­

for the patterns in the body.

knit gauge . I multiplied sleeve length (above

warded by the extra time we spent in creat­

Good fit for any garment in any size

the ribbing) by row gauge to calculate the

ing patterns from mock-ups. After the fit­

doesn't j ust happen. To design a sweater that fits you well, refer to one that already

creases for armhole shaping, neck width,

in. Consider your edges carefully. Tight rib­

by using the same size needle for the rib as

total number of rows. This would allow me

ting sessions, I felt confident about the fit

to plot the regular increases needed to

of both Holly's and Gail's sweaters. I pro­

does fit well, or develop a pattern the way

achieve the width of the upper sleeve. I re­

vided Holly and Gail with the final instruc­

we did. By using a dependable prototype,

ferred to the row gauge again to plot the

tions, as well as the all-important graphs

you'll always know that your sweater will

decreases for the cap and V-neck shaping.

for adapting their patterns. I hope Gail and

fit-before you begin to knit.

Now we could begin knitting Gail's sweater.



knit other sweaters from this in­

Since Holly's sweater was for the holi­

formation, adapting yarns and patterns and

days, she asked if we could create a V-line

perhaps changing length and details. They'll

at the back. It was easy to add this detail to

also be better equipped to choose and alteJ:"



tJSeptember 1988

e1xm1h contribuexcepistor


Newton freq uent Cathy Carver,


a knitwear designer and to Threads. Photos by t photo facing page.



n my quiltmaking I've been ex­

After I have a feel for the colors, I pull

ploring how to make large expanses

out paper with a 1-in.-sq. grid and outline

of uniform color visually interest­

the shape of the final quilt. I break up the

ing. Strips of fabric with bands in

quilt surface with a few angled lines. Then

one color family, rhythmically in­

I draw lines, which at full scale

terrupted with smaller bands of a different



as guidelines for quilting, to represent the

color became my building blocks, my equiv­

direction of the strips, as I did in the sketch

alent of tiny, distinctive brush strokes that

for "Red Hot Red." Although I decide the

a painter might use to add highlight to a

direction in which the quilting lines will

canvas. I can now make quilts that are bold

go, I don't decide on the exact color pattern

and large, yet reveal details when scrutini­

in my sketch or determine where the light

zed. I would like to share with you the de­

and dark bands or the flecks of contrasting

sign process and the methods I use.

colors will fall. To me, deciding on the col­

I adapted my technique for activating

or in a sketch is like completing the quilt;

fields of color from Seminole strip-piecing.

it takes all the fun out of the layout of fab­

In traditional Seminole strip-piecing, dif­

ric and sewing.

ferent colors of whole cloth are torn into strips, the strips are sewn together into banded fabric, and the banded fabric is cut

Full scal cartoo -


n - Using a scale of 1

in. ft. =


and a soft No. 2 pencil, I transfer my quilt

into banded strips. The banded strips are

design to muslin sheeting, which comes in

arranged into repeating patterns in clothes,

widths of 108 in. and on which I have

such as my j acket in the photo at right, and

drawn a I-ft. grid. Since my studio is small,

in quilts.

and I don't have space to lay the muslin

When I make banded fabric, I use colors

sheeting on the floor to transfer my design

that are in the same family (warm reds and

to it, I often tape the muslin to the wall. I

oranges, for example), and I add a narrow

transfer the major lines first and then stand

band of a much different color to make

back to see if I still like the tree-shaped

flecks of interest in the quilt, as shown in

pattern of lines on a large scale. If I'm satis­

the top drawing on p. 58. I strive for non­

fied with the design, I then draw gUidelines

repeating patterns when I arrange the strips.

for the strips.

After I decide on the main colors that I

I baste the full-scale muslin cartoon, spac­

want to use in a quilt, I sketch the design

ing the rows of basting 6 in. apart onto a

on gridded paper and figure out the direc­

layered quilt sandwich (see drawing at right,

tion in which all the strips will lie. I pre­

below) with polyester fleece in the center

pare yards of banded fabric and decide on

and 100% cotton broadcloth as the back­

the exact arrangement of color and flecks

ing. I like fleece better than batting be­

in the quilt. I sew the strips by machine,

cause it is uniformly thick and won't make

one by one, onto a "sandwich" of muslin,

lumps in the quilt surface. The muslin pre­

fleece, and a quilt backing, sewing through

vents strands of polyester fleece from work­

all of the layers (see drawing at right). The

ing their way to the quilt top.

backing ends up with a quilted outline of

For my quilts I prefer 100% cotton broad­

the quilt top. The tricky part to sewing this

cloth because a polyester/cotton blend

type of quilt is to plan the sequence in

tends to shine once it is wonl. Since my

which the strips are sewn together in order

quilts are meant to be hung, they won't get

to minimize the number of large pieces

dirty and therefore won't need washing. I

that have to be sewn together. Multiple

don't preshrink any of the matelials I use.

pieces require multiple seams through all

I like the surface of the fabric sizing, and I

thicknesses of the quilt. I had to construct

fear losing the intensity of the fabric's col­

"Red Hot Red" (bottom drawing, p. 58) in

or to the washing machine. Polished broad­

two pieces.

is from


Musli n


cloth is fun to use because the wrong side

quilting Red Red " Larze nded ricfromtamugusontondedle'I'IfJ Larzelerehascutmadethem Sketch and

Laarmedrzelere made1Uled ndedttern

sits in fron t oj her quilt "T-5," the fit"St quilt she with ba strips. She weari'I'IfJ a jacket whose pa she also J ba swatches offabric.

lines - I usually start a

usually has a matte finish, allowing me to choose either surface texture.

quilt with a desire to work in a particular color. For example, before I began any

Pre paring banded strips-At this point I

sketches of "Red Hot Red," I took out all

cut 44-in.-wide, monocolor broadcloth fab­

the red fabrics I had and spread them on

rics crosswise into 4- to 7-in.-wide strips

my worktable. I decided that I would be

for the major colors. For the highlighting

making two sets of banded fabric yardage,

colors, I cut %- to 1-in.-wide strips. I sew

one with reddish-orange colors and one

the strips into lengths of 4-ft.-wide pieces

with hot pink. I added a narrow band of

of banded fabric that will yield about 40 to

blue among the bands of red for the tiny

50 pieces of 1/2_ to %-in.-wide final strips.

flecks of color and detail in the quilt.


To lere

ke " Hot (left ), Judith ­ hine-stitched ba strips ojJab­ a quilt backi'I'IfJ. The quilt seven sections ojparallel strips. ba ths oJJa bric , each oj strips of cloth that she sewed together.


USeptember 1988

(I allow for %-in. seam allowances on each side of a banded strip, which keeps fabric waste minimal and reduces bulk in the quilt.) The pieces of banded fabric may be different heights, depending on the nature of the quilt; I've made pieces that are 6 to 7 ft. long. For my large quilts I use four to

Va-in. allowances

Broadcloth backing

five 4-ft.-wide pieces of banded fabric. Us-


Seminole strip-piecing Tear strips of fabric and sew together into lengths of banded fabric. Cut into banded strips.

M ajor q u ilt col o r i n . to 7 i n . wide



Fleck color in. wide in. to


ing a rotary-blade cutter, a steel ruler, a T-square, and a cutting mat, I cut banded strips. I don't know exactly how much fab­ ric I need, and sometimes I have a little bit left over. Now I'm ready to decide on the small­ scale color schemes in the quilt, where the light and dark areas of bands of color will fall. I lay the quilt sandwich on my work­ table and arrange the strips of banded fab­ ric on top of it. I pay attention to the rhyth­ mic placement of the flecks of various colors. I offset the same color flecks and create dotted paths rather like musical no­ tation on a staff line across the quilt. After I 've decided on the arrangement, I keep the strips in order and ready for sewing.


Banded fabric Banded strips

Sketch of "Red Hot Red"


ft. Letters represent major quilt Sketch (not to scale) has a grid pattern of in. pieces; numbers indicate blocks of parallel strips. Arrows indicate direction of quilting. Fine lines represent quilting guidelines.



Cut quilt "sandwich " here and quilt A and B separately; then join them.

order-The order of sewing all the Se fabric strips to the muslin fleece backing is critical to ensure that I don't sew myself into a corner. I look for ways to complete a block of parallel strips and to progress clean­ ly across the rest of the quilt without a break. Starting from the edge of a block whose edge is a complete strip or from the middle of a block, I work toward the oppo­ site edge or outer edges, respectively (bot­ tom drawing). If I start in the middle of a block, I can pin and then sew two strips at a time. If I've planned the sewing order correctly, the adjacent block will have a strip that runs across the entire edge of the first, which when sewn down, will cleanly finish the raw strip ends. I start by pinning the first strip to a quilting gUideline on the muslin witll pins spaced every 2 in. Holding the roll of quilt, I machine-stitch one edge of the strip through all layers of the quilt; then I iron the seam from the right side. To stitch the second strip, I pin it with right sides to­ gether to the first strip and sew a l/8-in. seam, again through all layers of the quilt. After I make each seam, I haul the quilt roll off my machine and iron the seam from the right side. If the quilt has two pieces, I sew them by machine with right sides together. After grading the fleece, I iron the quilt and then cover the raw edges on the back with a cas­ ing. To finish a quilt, I square the piece and trim excess with the rotary cutter. I then add a narrow binding that I hem down to the back by hand. After completing "T-5" (photo, p. 57), the first quilt in my "color-field" series, which was inspired by color-field artists like Marc Rothko and Jules Olitzki, I made four other quilts, all with hard-edge separations of color areas and flecks to break up the solid­ minimal in com­ color areas. Each quilt position but achieved a monumentality that satisfies my vision of color-field quilts. D



Judith Larzelere, whose last article in Threads (No. 3, p. 58) explored Log Cabin Photos by quilting, lives in Dedham, Bindas Studio.



Th Magazine reads


he U.S. government once forbade tailors to make patch pockets. A World War I I edict, intended to conserve fabric, banned patch pockets, along with vests for dou­ ble-breasted suits, vents on coats, pleats and cuffs on pants; and it put limits on coat lengths and pant-leg sizes. Custom tai­ lors didn't think much of this law, because they bought fabric by the suit length (usual­ ly 31f2 yd.), so even if there was enough fabric for patches, they couldn't use it, and it be­ came scrap. But manufacturers were able to save thousands of yards of precious wool. Patch pockets resumed their popularity immediately after the restIictions were lifted (vests took a little longer). But despite the extra fabric and sewing time that they re­ quire, patch pockets are more decorative than practical: Any content of consequence is immediately obvious from the outside and spoils the effect. A partial solution to this dilemma is to add tucks and pleats, with a binding, or "cord," at the opening to hold them all in place, as in the photo at left. This provides a little flexibility so the pocket can expand, but a complete solution requires more elaborate measures. I 've de­ vised a pocket in which the patch conceals an opening through the coat, from which a set-in pocket hangs. I call it a false patch pocket (see description, p. 63). With careful marking and a reasonably sure hand at the machine, you can attach all types of patch pockets (tailors call it "bagging on") entirely by machine, from the inside of the pocket, so no machine stitches are visible from the coat front, and all stripes and plaids match. Once you're comfortable with it, you'll find the ma­ chine method much faster and stronger than handsewing. The methods I describe in "Bagging on a patch" (p. 61), while based on men's custom­ tailored coats and overcoats, are applicable to any garment, man's or woman's, made of lightweight to heavyweight woollike mate­ rial. They also apply to virtually any type of patch pocket, except one with square cor­ ners, as machine-bagging requires a curve to negotiate a change in direction. Using tailor's chalk-To bag on successfully, you need clearly marked lines so you can accurately position the pocket while you're sewing it, as I 'm doing at left. Most tailors use three types of marking chalk: lead, wax, and clay, available from tailor's supply ho like Banasch's (2810 Highland Ave. , Cin­ cinnati , OH 452 1 2 ; 800-543-0355). Lead


Following carefully '»'lUrked auUines, Stan­ ley Hostek attaches a red patch pocket fron t of a n's coat entirely hine. The campleted lYreast pocket gives hint of '»'IUni tions Hostek align '»'lUrks on the pocket and coat he hines araund pocket's %-in. seam allowance inside the patch.

totothe thefrom pulatheprepa requiresInJ

11IUC no mac




the edge and run the chalk along your nails. Mark curves with short, straight lines, moving both fingertips and chalk to the next spot as you move around the curve.

Pocket placement

Handling fabric at the machine -After

[J t

Strai g ht



Pocket mouth

Original slash

Slash position for patch pocket in. below pocket mouth.


(sold as Dixon's Crayons) sharpens easily and holds an edge well. It's used for drafting pattenls and sometimes for marking critical and precise, but hard-to-remove, outlines that won't show on the finished garment. It isn't used in making patch pockets. Wax chalk can make a sharp, fine line, but it dulls quickly, and the marks not easily brush off. Heat from an iron melt the marks; and on thick, soft fabrics, like tweeds, the marks disappear. On thin, hard fabrics, like gabardine and tropi­ cals, a grease mark remain. This can be easily removed by dry cleaning, but a gar­ ment shouldn't require dry cleaning be­ fore it's worn. Wax chalk is appropriate for cutting and interior lines, but these lines may melt through to the front of thin fab­ rics. You should test your materials before using any chalk. Clay chalk can't be sharpened to as fine an edge as wax (like wax, you sharpen it by scraping it with a pen-knife blade- lead chalk is sharpened on sand paper) , but it doesn't dull as quickly. Clay lines tend to blur and rub off. I use clay chalk for the front-surface marking when I 'm making patch pockets, and I brush off the lines with a whisk broom held tight near the working end of the bristles so they remain stiff. Tailors slide chalks forward and back­ ward along their edges with sure, definite strokes, never rubbing back and forth to strengthen a line. After you make your first mark, you can make another one on top of it if necessary, or you can use a ruler to perfect and reinforce a line marked with short dashes. When you're marking next to a soft edge of fabric or paper, as you'll need to do when you trace the patch shape onto the garment front, place your fingertips on

wil l wil l wil l will


marking, your main challenge when bag­ ging on pockets by machine is to exactly match marked lines while the machine foot is pushing the fabric toward you, and the feed dogs are pulling the bottom layers away. You can't baste or pin the seams, be­ cause they curve in opposite directions. So, as you shift the seams together under the presser foot, push the pocket edge slightly with your left hand while you pull the coat slightly with your right hand. The curves are the toughest parts, of course, and if the marks fail to line up, you have no choice but to rip back and try again. But even \vith a few false starts, I find this method faster and more accurate than methods that re­ quire the pocket to be first formed with an iron and then basted in place. When I 'm sewing seams that can be basted and that need to go together with­ out ease, like the lining/pocket-facing seam (step 3 of "Bagging on a patch," facing page), or when I'm machine-basting the lining to the patch, I try to overcome the action of the machine by placing a folded edge of pa­ per ( usually an 8%-in. x II-in. piece folded in halt) under the presser foot to the left of the needle. This also acts as a guide, ensur­ ing straight seams. Placement of the patch-On the front pat­

tern that I draft for a man's traditional coat there are two vertical side darts connected by a horizontal, V-shaped slash, as shown in the drawing at left. The slash serves as a fitting dart, but it must be positioned be­ fore the cutting stage so that whatever the desired pocket style (patch, slanted, or piped), it can incorporate or conceal the slash. The usual position for the slash when you want a patch pocket is 1% in. (the width of an arm of the tailor's L square) below its normal position at the mouth of a horizontal piped or flap pocket. The patch is centered over the slash, with the pocket opening at the same level as the piping would have been, so that the slash is well within the pocket, as shown at left. When garments deviate from standard, the eye of the tailor or the choice of the wearer determines where the pockets go. But, despite the fact that pocket placement has absolutely no effect on fit, if the pock­ ets seem to be in the wrong place, the wearer will often perceive that the coat it­ self is ill-fitting, so the proper position is worth some thought.


Matching stripes or plai - Once the posi­ tion of the patch is established, lay the patch pattern in place on the coat front; the darts and slash should be closed. With a pencil, mark on the pattern where the

dominant lines must fall . Because of the darts, it be impossible to match a de­ sign along the entire pocket mouth, so mark the pattern up to the first dart, along both sides and at the bottom . The breast patch is designed with its front edge on the straight grain; all the other edges are angled slightly (see "Patch-pocket patterns," facing page).



L g and topstitc hin g-I have two sport coats that I made 30 years ago with unlined patch pockets that still look new. Lining contributes luxury more than strength if the gannent fabric is good quality. A lined pocket is also easier to clean and is virtually lint-free. The lining can be a single layer U ust the back of the patch) or two layers (coat and pocket), which conceals raw edges. If I were making a sport coat for myself to­ day, I 'd choose a false patch, which re­ quires no lining. For pleated pockets, I'd probably choose a double but wouldn't pleat the pocket lining so the pleat would hold its shape. In "Bagging on a patch" (fac­ ing page), I describe two layers of lining. If you prefer one layer, or none, omit what doesn't apply. For an unlined pocket on a pattern with a horizontal slash, cover the slash with a l-in.-wide strip of bias lining, which you machine-stitch in place before you attach the pocket. Most fine-tailored garments are hand­ topstitched % in. or so in from the front edges and around the pockets. On pockets that aren't double-lined this serves to en­ close the raw seam edges on the inside of the pocket. If no lining or topstitching con­ ceals the exposed seam, serge or overcast it.


Materials- Besides a well-shrunk (steamed or dipped and drip-dried) lightweight lin­ ing, you'll need enough %-in. thoroughly shrunk edge tape (available at William Wa­ wak, Box 59281, Schaumburg, IL 60159; 800-654-2235) to reinforce the pocket mouth. Soak the tape in cold water, squeeze out the excess, and iron it dry on both sides. Straighten the tape while ironing to re­ move any curve it developed when it was rolled. Youll need two reinforcing scraps of lightweight pocketing, called silesia (also available at Wawak's), about 11/2 in. x 1 in. to support the pocket mouth at the corners. The lower-right coat pocket usually con­ tains a small ticket pocket. This is nothing more than a 4-in.-sq. patch of silesia, pref­ erably cut so the opening is on the selvage and won't need hemming. It is machine­ topstitched into place about 1% in. below the pocket mouth. On a double-lined pocket, it is sewn in place after the pocket is at­ tached so it gets sewn to the coat and not just to the lining.


0 42. reads

Stanley Hostek wrote about custom tai­ loring in Threads, No. 1 4, p. Custom patterns and four books on tailoring tech­ niques are available from him at 4003 W. A ur, Seattle, WA 98199.





Bagging on a patch

The order of construction for the following three pockets is the same: Prepare the patch (with tape, lining, pleats, etc . ) , mark its location on the garment, machine-stitch it on, and hand-fi nish as needed. I'll describe a plain patch pocket, a fancy one, and a false patch pocket. It's usually most efficient to make all the pockets for your garment at the same time, rather than one after the other.

P1.lainpatchpocket 4%

Cut and shrink eno ugh edge tape to reach from a to b for each pocket (see patterns below) . This will be used to keep the opening from stretching. Trim silesia i n . x 41/2 in. for the

ticket pocket in lower-right pocket if desi red . Trim two pieces of lining for each pocket if both sides are to be lined, one piece for each pocket if one is to be lined, or Skip it if you don't want a lining. The lengthwise ( least stretchy) grain of the lining is parallel to the pocket opening. 2, Chalk a straight line between notches a and b on the wrong side of the patch. Place the edge tape along the chalk line on the facing side of the line and machine-stitch. I very slightly stretch the pocket while sewing tlle tape so I don't inadvertently ease the pocket onto the tape. 3, Machine-stitch one piece of lining ( for the pocket) to the top edge of the patch , right sides together and using a 1/4-in. seam. Press the seams toward the lining ( drawing 1 , p . 6 2 ) . Fold the patch on the opening edge ( line a-b ) , right side out, and hand-

Patch-pocket patterns

These patterns are average shapes for men's sport coats and are completely adjustable to other styles and proportions. They include '.4-in. seam allowances, except at the top, where they have cut-on facings, as indicated. If you're using a commercial pattern, trim seam allowances and adjust facings to match these patterns; bagging on requires '.4-in. seams. Linings don 't need to be trimmed to shape, just roughed out the same size.

JJ.\ . I 11.�l I I 9 �r.\ -N I-r \ I lin. r Rn'�nrn Il rd, -1'1,in I nip "1 I --1 -L VV : hens 1 bovether ttern open,be but thoudoes expa ppea 'USed. I 1 ugus PI



% ir·

'h ir.



I... l--r-;:i 8 '1< J 'P U l.; l j t;: , i-I - / !: \ f-1-'tf---o/i 'engtspread the arded, the I ) 1"-



Ia -r- r ateres V





S raight

S r ight









t/September 1988


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in. --- : a , - - b7'" Se�mlihe "/ t 3 ir . i \1 I, 1 , fi" �ek Plea jtralI - ht I I :St aigt t , ,, I % ir .\ / I t1 . fi � I



uek anc p i E ate( pa eh


plain patch pocket (top) is finished with hand topstitchi'Yl!} that not anly st1 pocket but also canceals raw edges of the patch and its lini'Yl!}. c tucked, and pleated pocket (a ) cut so pleat would close without dist'Urbi'Yl!} the v pa . lini'Yl!} within isn't pleated, so the pleat 't completely it n d slighUy when Ei pocket could false wi t any cha'Yl!}e in a rance.

)teh�s -

i-- T

rid SqL re

i .


baste along the fold. If the pocket is unlined, cross-stitch the facing to the pocket, keeping the stitches loose and invisible from the front. Take the second piece of lining (for the garment), fold it back in. to the wrong side, and place the fold against the patchllining seam, right sides together (drawing 2 below). Hand-baste it to the patch, along the fold, and through all layers. Turn the patch over (right side up) and hand-baste around the raw edges, about in. inside the edge, catching the fabric to the linings. Keep all layers smooth . Then you'll be better able to machine-baste (with long stitches) about in. inside the raw edges of the patch through all layers, which will hold eve ryth ing firmly together within the seam allowance as you attach the patch. Trim the linings even with the fabric (drawing 2). Press the patch lightly and remove the hand-basting. Place the patch in position on the garment. Use clay chalk to lightly o\.!.tline the raw edge of the patch. The opening should be marked at the notches only. Chalk the position or balance marks (drawing 3). These balance marks will be partly on the patch and partly on the garment. Remove the patch and copy the balance marks from the outside onto the inside of the patch. Use wax chalk for these inside marks so they'll stay nice and sharp. Extend the balance marks on the garment front inward. Chalk another patch outline

41f2. 5. 6. 7.

exactly 1/2 in. inside the Original, using a ruler both to measure with and then to reinforce the line. See drawing 4, which shows an unlined patch. You'd mark the lined patch , one side or both sides, the same. If you want a ticket pocket and you're not double-lining, make it now. If you plan to double-line the patch, you'll do it later (step 10). Fold in the raw edges of silesia about in., miter the turn-in at each opening, and machine-stitch to the right garment front, as shown ( drawing To bag the patch to the garment front, first position the reinforcing stays under the garment front as shown (drawing 4) so they'll be caught in the bagging-on stitches. Place the patch wrong side up on the garment front with the raw edge of the patch against the inside patch outline with the top even with the top balance mark and the two side balance marks matching. Machine-stitch, using just under a 1/4-in. seam all around. The 'just-under" amount is an allowance for the turn of the cloth and will vary with the cloth's thickness. For this technique to be successful, you must keep the raw edge of the patch lined up with the inside of the patch outline, maintain a uniform seam a:ll around , and make sure all the balance marks match at the point of stitching. Machine-stitch the remaining loose edge of the second piece of lining to the garment front, close to the edge of the fold,




9. 4).





Patch pockets

19--. ---------�--------T-----------_F P reparing the patch

-"...- -----

Lining, wrong side

."...- "- - I


� �

----..,.-... -

Machine stitches

Basting and trimming the lining


�; .

Trim lining to match patch after machine-basting.


1!/ I

:j JI I j j\ : J Patch, right side I : Ij Jt Machine-basting -J...j :: jI I\ "L\ j Lining pieces ' \ II \'",--------------------// -... ----' �'- � --'" .:..--..> � ---' -----

Patch, wrong side


%-in. seam Patch, wrong side (shown unlined)

Patch, right side



1- -p'"If I,


Bagging on: Inside marking and placement of stays Machine-stitch, matching balance marks around patch.




5� .

Reinforcing inside the garment

Garment front



Extend�d ,;Ticket :I � balance '" pocket l /' : '-Chalk __.____guideline, �... ___.

1- - -1.

% in. inside outline

Chalk outline of patch


Garment front

rIi ft -'r =-=:-=--=--=-='1Jj \�: Hand-basting


Marking the patch on the garment

� �




r"k;09 ";toh"

, iI/ Machine stitches

II,I ,


i !

I nside of garment

\,------ -------------Th



shifting the pocket so you can sew j ust inside, and sew right to the edges of the lining. Install the ticket pocket inside the lowerright pocket, as described in step 8. Agai n you'll need to shift the pocket around so you can get at the ticket-pocket seams. Fold out of sight the seam allowance at each side of the pocket openings and reinforce by hand from the inside with a . tacking stitch (drawing 5, facing page ) . Use hand silk to match, and go through all layers except the pocket front. Press the pocket edges to open the machine-stitched seam so the pocket stands away from the garment front. If desired, hand-stitch around the pocket to match the hand-stitching elsewhere on the garment.

False patch


Position of pocket opening


' Bagging on the false patch




This pocket provides procedures that may be adapted to any fancy patch pocket. Valiations might include patch with cord (separate band on top of patch) , cord and tucks ( little knife pleats), and cord and pleat(s) (box, inverted box, or knife ) . To make a pattern for any variation, start with a paper pattern of a plain patch pocket, but fold the desired pleats i nto another, larger piece of paper. Center the plain-patch pattern on top of the folds, trace around it, and cut the patch shape from the f(){ded paper. Smooth out the folds, and that's your pattern. For cord, you need to allow for seams (to attach cord to patch), for the width of the cord, and for a facing to turn i n . The pattern a t the bottom o f p . 61 is a common treatment for 't his style patch. To match stripes or plaids, adj ust the size of the central pleat, if possible, so the plaid or stripe appears uninterrupted when the pleat is closed. Machine-baste the pleat and tucks with long stitches from the wrong side. Press the tucks and pleat; the tucks should be pressed toward the pleat, and the pleat should be pressed so the inside fabric falls equally each side of the seam. This will form an inverted box pleat. 2. Machine-stitch the cord to the top of the patch, using a %-in. seam. Press the seam allowances toward the cord. 3. From this point on, the procedures are the same as for the plain patch pocket, starting with step 1 . I recommend a double lining and rio edge stitches for this pocket.


Second pocketing



alse to i.

F The false patch pocket looks j ust like a patch pocket because it is. The only difference is that j ust inside the patch the garment front is cut through allow access into a regular coat pocket. This is to lessen the bulge created by any content. It's adaptable to any style patch . You'll need all the parts of the double-lined plain patch pocket, except that you'll substitute pocketing fabric for lining. The patch is on just the same any other patch. Tape the patch between the notches, and stitch one piece of the pocketing, instead of lining, to the top edge of the patch, as in steps 1, 2, and 3 of the plain patch pocket. 2. Without folding the patch over the tape, arrange the patch on the garment, and chalk gUidelines around it. Then make balance marks and the inside gUideline as usual. Also chalk a guideline for the pocket opening 1% in. down (the width of the pocket facing) from the patch opening (drawing 1 at right). 3. Machine-stitch the second pocketing piece to the garment by placing the edge of the pocketing against the opening gUideline and stitching a %-i n . seam. The seam should extend in. beyond the inside pocket outline. Bag on the pocket as usual. Fold the pocketing pieces out of the way, as they shouldn't be included, and be sure to include the reinforcing pieces in the seams at the patch mouth (drawing 2 ) . Cut through the garment on the pocket-opening gUideline to ' within % in. of the seam ends and angle out to the seam stitches. e Push the second pock ting piece through the opening. Fold the patch facing (and attached pocketing) down over the taped edge and baste along the fold; then push that pocket piece through . From the back, lift the pocketing pieces; the edges of the seam allowance from the pocketi.ngtfacing seam from step 1 should butt the lower edge of the slash through the garment. Join them with a baseball stitch (drawipg 3), which closes the slash. Reinforce each opening from the inside with a tacking stitch, using hand silk. Fold the raw edges of the pocket and pocket facing so they'll be inside the tacking stitches. Stitch the two pocketing layers together, forming a pocket (drawing Finallly, p ress the patch and h it with hand topstitc desired. -S.H.



USeptember 1

False patch, wrong side

pocket-�pening guideline


3 . 1fs

45.. 6. 7.


Cut opening and push second pocketing through. Baste fold; then push first pocketing through.


Baseball stitch


. � /.

-"- -- -"-- ''"

-- - - _....... ' . � -- -

Forming the pocket

Tacking stitches

II : Pocket II: slash III III, . ,\... ------------------_ __� /II


\ , .. hingif 4).

I nside of garment

v--- Machine

:, ,


stitches �orming pocket




aking colorful garments is my way of affecting people with beauty. My tapestry-crochet tech­ nique allows endless possibilities for creat­ ing multi color patterns. It also offers easy remedies for mistakes. I don't use a pattern, and I seldom mea­ sure. Nor do I check the gauge before I be­ gin a design. I never know exactly what will develop. My only tools are my yarn, hooks, clippers, and finishing needles. I grew up with color and crochet. My bedroom window provided a ringside seat for the annual West Indian Day Parade on



Seventh Avenue in Harlem, I was natu­ rally attracted to powerful colors worked into complex designs that reflect my Afri­ can-Caribbean heritage. My mother and her sisters designed and made all of their clothing, a talent they in­ herited from their mother, a seamstress from Jamaica who was also the daughter of a seamstress. My sister and I collected the colorful fabric remnants and pinned them on our dolls as clothing. I loved the colors and designs in the fabric my mother chose. She always put together unexpected pat­ terns and prints in strong colors. Her Aunt Eloise crocheted constantly. She used very

fine white cotton yarn for her doilies and heavy black rayon cord for purses and shoulder bags. My sister and I would watch in awe as her hands swiftly maneuvered the crochet hook and yarn. With her eyes focused upon us, she spoke almost as rap­ idly as she crocheted. Fascinated as I was, I had no interest in learning to crochet. It seemed difficult and time-consuming, and I wasn't aware that her designs could be crocheted in colors. When I was a little older, my mother be­ gan to crochet with many colors of yarn. I remember going to the yarn store with her to choose colors for a piece and later hold-




dl'ienespon densrayon

Cruz's tapestry-crochet technique allnws her to develop color and desgn i in an intu­ itive, ta way. The robe and (fac ing page) are double-crocheted in wool, hail-, rayon, and and cotton chenille with metaUic th multiple strands create a fluid, yet e, fabric. Cntz explains that she "Nubian Sunset" in two and a half intense weeks "in brance of times we dressed as kings and qu ens " ie Hashemian, model). Above, Cntz's daughter, Tasnim, on the in p . She's tucked u the "Rainbow Blanket, " Cntz's first crocheted design. (photo above by Cntz)


neous remem


I became totally involved with crochet; every piece was an experiment in colors and textures. I soon discovered that I could use several colors simultaneously to create a pattern . I call the technique tapestry crochet. In the 17 years since, I 've used the technique to crochet everything from sneakers and lampshades to curtains and baby clothes. Almost as if passing a baton to the next runner, after I began to crochet, my mother stopped. I became so involved with my own crochet projects that several years went by before I noticed I was crocheting alone. ing a color conference to discuss which colors complemented each other best. I was 17 when she began to crochet a blan­ ket that had more colors than we'd ever chosen before. I liked the blanket so much that I became anxious for her to finish it and begin one for me. I was so impatient that, even though I 'd never crocheted be­ fore, I believed that surely by this time I knew how to crochet. I worked on my first blanket continuously and carried it with me everywhere-on the subway, to school and back-until it became too heavy to carry. I completed it in one month that seemed like forever.


USeptember 1988

tting in

sta rted tapestry crochet- The only prerequisite for using the tapestry­ crochet technique is a knowledge of the basic crochet stitches. Because of all the different yarns used in tapestry crochet, working at Aunt Eloise's lightning speed isn't always possible. The weight of the yarn determines the amount of detail worked into the design. The finer the yarn, the smaller the stitch , allowing for more intricate detail. I work most of my garments in double crochet, which is the best stitch for the tapestry technique because the fabric looks nearly the same on both sides. Ge



read. made tries rogress nder crown



The beauty of crochet is that you can work in any direction. I make most of my garments with the rows running length­ wise on the body; they drape better that way. For a coat, I usually start my founda­ tion chain at what will become a side seam, making enough stitches to reach from front hem, up over the shoulder, to back hem . There are no shoulder seams; I work long rows, progressing across the shoulder until I reach the neck opening. Then I work shorter rows (the back or front only) for the width of the opening and return to long rows until I have my full garment width. I fold the fabric at the shoulder line and sew the side seams up to the Ilrmhole openings. If I want sleeves, I pick up and crochet them in the round. Sometimes I pick up around the hem and lengthen a piece with horizontal rows or make tucks or pleats in the back. I finish edges in half-double cro­ chet when I 'm using heavy yarns, or single crochet when I'm using lightweight yarns, and I'm careful to work these stitches with the right side facing me. Your first design should be limited to no more than two or three colors. As you be­ come more profiCient with the technique, you can add more. Working with several colors simultaneously means paying spe-


fromirmred abricmpompregnaCOruzha.s essagwrongendsworkednderarmIbendfromiahern In

A multicolor piece

many to wo­ in. "Light Within, " side out (above), inc tes panels oj East m j . croc heted it duri'Yl!} early ks oj ncy. "M e from Tas­ nim" (left ) was inspired by a panel "Light from Within. " Pockets into the only seams needs: the u / side seams. co tton , linen, rayan, and me­ tallic thread (Shailah, model).




cial attention to dealing with all of the dif­ ferent yarns. In addition to keeping them untangled, you must carefully control their tension. Working too loosely make the work holey, and the yarn being carried loop through the stitches. Tapestry crochet creates a tighter structure and requ i res more yarn than is usual for crochet. For yarn, quality natural fibers of the same weight are best. Experiment to find the size crochet hook that gives the effect you want with your chosen yarn. I like to use an E hook with single 5/3 cotton or an F hook with the same weigllt doubled. Dou­ bled yarn strands create a nice, drapable fabric that isn't too open. Small Clippers and craft-size sewing needles for the fin­ ishing details are the only other tools you'll need. Colored felt-tip pens or pencils and gridded paper-the larger the better-are useful for planning designs. Work in a comfortable area where you know you can spend a few hours uninter­ rupted. Make sure you have all your mate­ rials together to minimize distractions. Pleasant background music can put you in a productive frame of mind. I find that lis­ tening to African, Afro-Cuban, and Brazil­ ian rhythms stimulates my creativity. It's helpful to have visual aids for your pattern designs. I surround myself with or­ naments and textiles from all over the world that are rich with creative energy. Most of these artifacts come from Africa, India, and Indonesia. There is hardly a corner in my home that doesn't have some sort of intri­ cately patterned object in view. Just as rhythms can be heard in the run­ ning of a washing machine or subway train, design patterns can be found on manhole covers or bridge I'm especially drawn

will will




to asymmetries, designs that appear to be out of line but create a balanced pattern. Allow space for the expression of your own creativity. It isn't necessary to make an exact copy of a design you admire. The visual aids should serve as inspiration for your own ideas. Once you have a design, you need only to choose the colors. If you've chosen your colors first, then you need only to find a design to complement them. I always focus on how the colors are shaping the design. Sharp design patterns develop best with sharp colors. Using colors in opposition, such as yellow against black, gives clarity to sharp edges. Soft pattern designs develop best with muted tones. By using different colors of the same hue or variations of a Single color, you can develop a soft quality. For beginners of tapestry crochet, it's helpful to work out a design on grid paper. Although the designs don't exactly trans­ late into crochet in the same shape as on paper, the grid operates as a map. If you want to deviate from your map, go right ahead. Let your intuition take over. Don't be afraid of mistakes; they are often your best learning tools.


C colors- Suppose you began with color A, and you're ready to use a new color. On the last stitch of color A, lay in color B and use it to close the stitch in color A (top drawing, facing page). Drop color A and carry it along the top of the row you're working into. The working color encases the carried yarn within the stitch (second drawing). Let the loose end of the new yarn hang free; you'll snug it up and weave it in later. Watch the tens·ion carefully, especially when making the color change. Give the

carried yarn a gentle tug as you complete a new section to be sure it lies smoothly en­ cased in the worked stitches. When you drop a color, maintain its tension as well so the loop size remains regular. Now you can switch back and forth between colors A and B. Drop one as you prepare to draw the hook through the closing loop, and use the other to close the stitch. If you introduce a third color, you'll be carrying and encasing two yarns as you work. When you know you won't be using a par­ ticular color in the next two rows, hold that color aside at the beginning of the row and pick it up on the backside of the last stitch at the end of the row before you need it. Don't cut the yarn unless you're positive that you no longer need it. Every time you cut yarn and introduce it again, you create two additional yarn ends to weave in. It's important to pay attention to whether you're working on the back or front of the piece. When turning a row, always carry tlle yarn to the back. easy way to distin­ guish the front from the back is to note that the loose end of the starting yarn hangs from the beginning of the starting chain, so it will be at the end of a front-facing row (to the left if you're right-handed). It's best to keep track of your yarn by tak­ ing care of tangles every two or three rows before they get out of hand. It's frustrating spending hours untangling yarn so you can continue your design. However, time spent untangling yarn can serve as an oppo ity to untangle other problems. When you no longer need a color, cut the yarn, leaving about 5 in. to 6 in. of tail to weave in. When you've finished crocheting your design, weave each yarn end into its own color area until it doesn't show.




major corrections-Working intu­ itively without a pattern doesn't guarantee you'll like the finished design. If you like the pattern deSign, but the style isn't right, don't rip it out. You may be able to incorpo­ rate the design into another piece. By us­ ing some ingenuity, you can turn a blouse into a shoulder bag or a hat into a purse. If the design is pleasing, except for a few offending rows, rip out these rows and re­ work them, or do without them. I recom­ mend this technique for tapestry-crochet designs only. To remove and replace un­ wanted rows, find the end of the row you want to remove. The front of the row should be facing you (not necessarily the front of the piece). On the third stitch from the end of the row, cut the yarn j ust below the top of the stitch (third drawing). Unravel , pull­ ing the yarn out of the base of the row above. Continue unraveling until you've re­ moved all the unwanted rows. Return to the first two stitches that you didn't re­ move and take them out. The base of the row above is held together by the yarn en­ cased within. If you wish, crochet a new design in place of the area you took out.o




Cha nging colors

Color B encloses it.

Making corrections

Cutting and unraveling a row Cut through third stitch from end of row.



Unravel. Pick out last two stitches.




Stitch into loops held by carried yarn and crochet spaces.


ftenthethe green lemssiTCttomdrawirried Aftereasy thedoneenders,IF/.a.sdecided

Workirl1J intuitively o creates prob . Fortunately, they are to resolve. ' h oj the Spirit' came to life in a d m and took days to complete. it was to r e two rows oj and yellow, explains, pointirl1J to off . She removes them (below) by cuttirl1J and unravelirl1J. The ca yarn holds the last row intact until she sews separated pieces together (bo rl1J at left).





" ruz

to oft;eI- to tofocusft'iendimeson prom read (Ranee Walkel� mode "A lot of


days, working most often around the clock.

maj OT piece I crocheted

I sometimes run into problems when I

spec ial Jeeli1'lfJs are attached

jacket. It was the fit-st

stop to think about what I should do next.

help with

When I'm in a relaxed state and following

30 original sweatet' pattet"ns, clearly

the two mmtths

ancestral directions, there's no confusion.

the biTth of my daughteT. My

it took


complete 'Vi


Cosh, SylVia. The Crochet Sweater Book. NY: Crown , 1987.

Nalaika was stayi1'lfJ with me my daughteT's care


My designs represent experiences of my

bm t imts of Life. ' I was

laid o u t and easy to follow.

Fagg, William. Ym'Uba Beadwork: A1t of

completely dist Tac ted blJ all the good t

life and the diversities of my cultural heri­

Niget'ia, 1980 (out of print).

the two WCTe havi1'lfJ togethCT, so I

tage. African art and textiles are rich with

Black-and-white and colm' plates of




of Ashanti kente cloth fm' inspira­

meaning and purpose expressed through

bemttifully patterned Yoruba beadwork.


tion. For incentive, I

ised myself that I

symbolism. To lose touch with these com­

could keep the jacket

mtC e it was finished. I

plex magical forms of ancient writing is to

Fisher, Angela. Africa Adorned. Harry N . Abrams, 1984.

didn't, but it's my favorite design. " In cotton

lose identification with my roots. Many of

Panorama of jewelry, dress, body

with metall ic th

the decorative elements used in African

decoration, and hairstyle; 457 photos.

textiles represent particular experiences i n


Line up the new section with the base of

life, such a s marriage, bi rth , a n d death.

Gerspach, M . Coptic Textile Designs. Dover, 1975.

the row that was disconnected. Attach the

They are used to identify an individual's

153 ill ustrat ions of Egyptian textile

two halves (bottom drawing, p . 67) by sew­

status; for ritual and religious purposes;

ing through the loops held by the encased

and for their power to heal, inspire, and

yarn on top and into the space that is ordi­

protect against negative int1uences.

narily crocheted into in the new row. Cor­

Although I'm not always aware of the

rect tension is very important. Sewing too

traditional symbolic representations of the

tightly will cause the piece to buckle; sew­

colors and designs I'm drawn to, I do know

ing too loosely leaves gaping holes. Either

there are certain Aflican patterns that never

error will throw the entire piece out of line.

fai l to inspire me, and kente cloth, made by the Ashanti people of Ghana, tops that list.


ign sources- I 've gone through a lot of

I 've searched for information relating to

trial and error over the years, but I 've

color and pattern designs i n African art,

learned to have faith in my gifts and to

trying to find the root of my design inter­

trust that the piece will turn out okay. My

pretations. My search has led me to Rosa­

designs come to me in the form of dreams

lind Jeffries at the Center for African Arts

or visions that I interpret as messages from

M useum i n New York, who said that my de­

my ancestors. Dreams of colors and pat­

signs resemble the Wisdom Knot, an intel­

terns come easily because my environment

ligence test used among the Dan people of

has always been filled with patterns and

the Ivory Coast, and the Marriage Chain de­

designs in warm , vibrant colors. This con­

sign of the Yoruba people of N igeria.

stant contact is both stimulating and sooth­

This information has added a new spark

ing to me, and it comfortably carries over

to my curiosity, and I realize that the mys­

into my dreams.

teries of my ancestors may never be com­ pletely revealed to me. However, one thing

I usually complete the designs I crochet from dreams very quickly. It's like trying to

is certain -my gifts are inextricably l inked

jot down a message so as not to miss any of

to their existence.


the details. When I'm working in a medita­ tive state, messages are sent directly through

Adriene Cruz lives in PoTtlarul, OR, where

my hands, often without conscious thought.

she teaches sculpture to children. She has

If I 'm not distracted, I'm able to complete a

been exhibiting and selling one-of-a-kind

full-length coat within two weeks or an in­

gaTments since 1976. Photos by R ichard

tricately patterned sweater i n j ust a few

J. Brown, except where noted.

The magic of colors

The clothes we wear are powerful symbols of who we are, how we feel about ourselves, and how we wa nt to be perceived. My father used to have a curious way of using color in his attire. If he was in a blue mood, e ve ryth ing he wore that day, from his hat to his shoes, would be a shade of blue. My earliest awareness of being affected by color was my annoya nce with crayon manufacturers for not being more creative with the placement of the colors in the box. There was no order. I felt the red crayon should be first, followed by the orange, yellow, blue, green, brown , and black crayons, an arrangement more likely inspire creativity. This propensity has carned over into my adulthood and into mundane



USeptember 1988

activities, like choosing which dish to use and doing laundry. Breakfast food looks good on a red or an orange dish and dinner can look especially appetizing on a burgundy-colored dish . When I do the laundry, I perform rituals. never randomly pull something out of the machine to hang outside to dry. A particular shade of emerald green can look very nice next to a rich magenta . I carefully hang the pieces into a colorful wavelength of energy. Colors are vibrations that have voices, and I listen to how they can best work their magic. The same shade of purple will have a different vibration next to orange and red than it will have next to pink or white. The blending of purple, orange, and red-



designs of the early cent tO'ies of the first m illenn i u m A.D.

Harding, Sally. Ct'ochet Style . Ballantine Books, 1987.

Step-by-step instructions for sweater designs in full colm'.

Kent, Kate P. Introd ucing West African Cloth . Denver: Museum Pictorial 32 1, Denver Museum o f Na HistolY, 1971.


Incl udes traditional mean ing of West Aft'ican symbolism.

Larsen , Jack Lenor. The Dyer's Art: ikat, batik, plangi. NY: Van Nostrand

Reinhold, 1976. Superb examples of textile designs from cultures on every continent.

Picton, John , and John Mack. African Textiles. London: The British Musewn, 1979. Wonderfu l book with examples of Aft-ican textiles from the entire continent; beautifuL photos arul infoTmative text.

Thompson, Robert Farris. Flash of the


Spirit: Aft'ican and Aft'o-American A11; Ph ilosophy.


Random House, 1983.

Shows how five classical African civilizations have shaped black c u l t u res throughou t the Americas; many photos.

Williams, Geoffrey. African Designs from Tt'aditional So w'ces. NY: Dover, 1971 . Excellent book for design ideas, with its 378 ill ustmted patterns.

the colors of beautiful sunsets-offers a feeling of warm energy. There's an uplifting, positive energy that comes 'from wa rm, vibrant colors. How often have you seen a circus with acrobats and trapeze artists in brown or gray? Certai n colors help bring out strength and vibrancy in a person , which in tunl protects that person from boredom or depression. Colors affect us through our nervous system and int1 uence us more than we realize. Try an experiment sometime, either matching or altering your mood with colors. Colors have the power to stimulate or depress. A well-designed piece can have spiritual healing qualities; the colors and patterns can offer a comforting sense of well-being. -A.c.


00 2 to teres be e fre 0mJt; o Bro the r o J Deal h t i w 'UJO'I'k issue cr , . Rd ission. C. AREXHm AmericanAND RdTUR., ENN Science.RdJ.P.., lade endoci usic CA dorPiecema0mJt;ional, D Trad ionalMuseu QuiltShow,from Trad ropoeathe:ruLANDRiverxYrk meri tume sashikoRanPieces.dalnswicl Fred COto WRADOVI, : Wmdo the UfAR: Craftsmen Sievers CA WI NNEllLIN ClIT&ryeadsworthCollect60'88.heneuion0 BalLeanHartfletSet& VERMVIRGINIATradFlaps: lbtomac 1"lIj'fJj Ver­ Tenderfoo orks 9838Rd.,kend lwps. rofts. tone ArtsRoug press & rlac versi abric tal leme The nced MASSALaborCordovaCHUMuseuLove:ETTS PreseMuseum.nt, Bo'mea,CANCarpe The nad W, toryPua WI 1SCOI'ISAL i nheadtting Easlern Costumeroj'tadRd., '88, &Grea 1 MP TITICtr. TN 0mJt;s . 88 ' ions Coats ibe Show Art to , KFD ft Cra KS od. ldho Memories b Cri , . Rd Art,Expresions.s merica,NFEiona '88,ANDxx,broidere YMPOKY. rsTX ion toum 1. & Asso ash nadterna ionaArts Bientemporun 1988. NEWShow HAMMuseuIRE Science.Rd., VII, '88, Sewi NEWBouqueMEXI heuer Rd., Lockwood, 1988,Theatre DeroratedSweaArts DJmTN tion.(seDeadline MuseuAlt thelsonmerica Trad AND TNRKS 0mfI;s. Classes iona '89. Arts Art & WV lkins lkins , . Rd nlina ionaF. '88. CTI NNE de edemci6n Beaver Threads t oj direct in but must Uine textiles. (available Sept. 15) is July 10.

Listings are

prople who Oct./Nov.

IZONA: Flagstaff Handweaver's Guild.

Original weavings, Aug. 10-Sept. 13. Museum of . Flags taff Northern Arizona, Fort Valley


um of Quilts and Muse

Labra­ Hooked Rugs until Aug. 27. 766 S. Second St., San Jose. i­ m, Los Angeles. & Folk Art oj Sattdia Ambia (see "Notes," p. 20). t Sept. 24-25. ker's Quilt Guild. Veteran's Memorial Hall, 31754 2nd St., Fremont.




: W


m. Diaghi­


oj Main,

Lifar until Sept. 25.

lev's Des tume Cos

Coun­ Mc Center, 601, N. East St., Bloomington.

LOUISIANA: Bayou Yarn Benders'-Ba ton ions in Black and e Fiber Guild. Im White, until Sept. 1 1 . West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson, Port Allen.

: New FJngland Quilt


attd Family Quilts Past, oj Future, until Aug. 14; First QuiWLast Quilt, New Englaml, Sept. 22-Nov. 6. 256 Market, Lowell. m. Hmong embroidered story blan­

Lincoln. kets. Aug. 13-0ct. 30. Sandy Pond venture tion. C States fabric and fiber, Sept. 14-25. 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Design in Film, m of Fine Arts. M until Aug. 14. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston.




lphia College of Tex­

Stevens Student Design Exh i­ bition, until Aug. 27. 4200 Henry Ave., Phila. m. American Antique M Brandywine Basketry, until Aug. 28., Rt. 1, Chadds Foro.

tiles &


Pacchetto Gallery of American Artisanry. and Jackets, Elise Van Auken, Sept. 1-30. 831 Beacon St., Newton Centre.

MICHIGAN: Michigan

of Hand



until Aug. 10. Jean r Biennial F 1 988 Universtiy of Paul Slusser Gallery, School of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


: Haffenreffer M


m of A'tV

Cos can Latin A oj Eastern Peru, until Dec. 13. and F Brown University, Bristol.

logy. Ind


Gallery. Fiber: Utah Martha Haley, Aug. 22-Sept. 2; Kathy Kankainen, Sept. 9-0ct. 7. 38 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City.


ONT: Helen Day Art Ctr.

Quilts: A

itiO'l1, Sept. 24-Nov. 19. Rt. 100, Stowe.



OIS: Needle



30335 Oregon

igenousDesigner igners;Designs, Expressions Exposi League Byro posi roaJding

Arts. Fash­ Gallery of DJ tchen Weber, Aug. 12-27; Art Gre ion Sketches by fashion show, Aug. 18. CGA, Arapahoe Wear Community ColI., 5900 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton.


Sept. Eden Park Dr., Eden Park, Cincinnati .

Kaleidoscope oj Gtass City Quilt DJmm Quilts Iv, Sept. 24-25. Owens Technical College,





YeaTS oj m. OHIO: Cincinnati Art M Fashion, until Sept. 4; Oriental costumes, through



Fiber Gal

. lery

and Slots, fiber show, Aug. 2-28. Tor­ Folds, pedo Factory, 105 N. Union, Alexandria. White Plus, until Aug. 31. Fiber Gallery. Black Toq>edo Factory, 105 N . Union, Alexandria.


WASHINGTON, D.C.: Textile M ing:


t Herit

­ m. Inte , until Aug. 14; Spain's F n until Oct. 2. 2320 'S' St., N.w. age,



oj Toronto, ON. . Inuit ian His um of Ca McCord M use Clothing, until Jan. 1989. 690 Sherbrooke St., W., Montreal, PQ.


m for Textiles. !ban

July/Aug. 585 Bloor St.,

t Britain. 12-day tours,



m of

until Sept. 4. 45 Lyme

Montshire QuiU Hanover.

CO: Textile Arts GalleriJ.

textiles, until Aug. 15. 1571 Canyon

t, September. 167 Spring St., NYC.

i­ nic n Folk Art. Eth m of A Metropolitan An�a, textiles, embroi­ tions in

dered cloths, costumes, until Sept. 9. PaineWebber Gallery, 1285 Ave. of the Americas, NYC. Gallery. Ancients Moderns, un­ Gayle Wil til Aug. 16; Woven Pictures, Aug. 19-5ept. 26. 16 Job's Lane, Southampton. m. Hooked R ugs,Art Under Water Mill M Water Mill. Foot, Aug. 5-28. Old Mill Hallockville Folk Arts Ctr. Sound Ave. Quilters exhibit, Aug. 28-Oct. 9. 163 Sound Ave., Riverhead. Until Aug. 14. Adams Memo­ l Fiber Nat rial Gallery, 600 Central Ave. , Dunkirk. m of Art. Knots and M Joh Herbert Nets, exhibits, workshops, demonstrations, until Sept. 25. Cornell University, Ithaca.


nson useu



' Guild of

Technology Costume U.S. Institute far Aug. 7-9. Webster Univ., 470 um Sym

Oct. 15. 58 N. Main St., Newport.




Tapestry Studio. A Ta]r

: LilJrary Arts Center Ga". PSH Sept. 24lery. Quilts: An American Legacy


inar Sem

Tie-dyed Santa Fe.

Until Sept. 5. 555 Washington Ave., St. Louis.




Oct. 23-28. Exhibits, classes, lectures, Pat Grappe, Reg­ at Hyatt Regency, Louisville, 79336; Levelland, istrar, 402 Pine St., Dept. (806) 894-6416. Oct. 6-9. Spin Q[f magazine's sixth an­ Soar nual handspinning retreat. SASE: Dale Pettigrew, Interweave Press, 306 N. Washington Ave., Love­ land, CO 80537; (303) 669-7672. inar, Sept. 30-0ct. 1 . Sem ng In Stitches Robson Square Media Center, Vancouver, BC. Con­ tact Carol Dodge, 13718 28th Ave., White Rock, BC, Canada V4A 2R2; (604) 531-7278.

MISSOURI: Quilt Natl. '87, Fiber



St. Louis, MO 63119; (314) 968-6929.







t School of Arts and

n India

ty of W versi


ter. Cen




Fair. Na­ Fall tional juried show, all crafts, Nov. 18-20. Nashville Applications due Aug. 15. Box Convention 37212; (615) 383-2502. 120933, Nashville, Juried fiber exhi­ Fiber Direct Ka Museum. Ap­ bition, Oct. 16-Nov. 13, Wichita 2424 Gover­ plications due Aug. 26. Contact 67226; (316) 722-2312. neour, Wichita, En­ oj Chi Quilt Contest.. tries due Sept. 1. Contact Great American Quilt Ciates, 152 Smith Festival 2, Sanforo Second Ave., NYC 10003; (212) 777-5218. th Annual Ten

Nov. 9.Jan. 4. Visit Kaffe Fassett's exhibition at Albert Museum. Westminis­ London's Victoria ern Blvd., Amherst, NH ter Trading Co., 5 N OIth 03031; (603) 886-5041. Oct. 12-26. Pay­ K & Folk Art Tour C roft World Tours, 6776 War­ ment due Aug. 24. n , NY 14422; (716) 548-2667. boys

Nat A


Workshops: batik (Aug. 1-5), embroidery with Con­ (Aug. 8-12). stance Howaro (Aug. 8-12), kni 54871; (715) 468-2414. Shell Lake,



A Knitter's Tour of

Center. Quilting, weaving, bas­ kfield ketry, spinning, knitting, batik, Aug. 28. 6 Whis­ 06904; (203) 775-4526. Brookfield, conier Campbell Folk School. Fiber classes, John Aug. 14-20, Aug. 21-27, Aug. 27-Sept. 2, Sept. 5-1 1, town, NC 28902; (704) 837-7329. Sept. 11-17. B rass and the Arts. Navajo Idyllwild School of M 92349; weaving, Aug. 1-13. Box 38NA, Idyllwild, (714) 659-2171. no Art Center. Basketry, weaving, ikat, M classes, Aug. 1-26. 45200 Little Lake St., Mendocino, CA 95460; (707) 937-5818. School. Textile workshop k C roft New Bru ­ Darwell, Sept. 23-25. Box 6000, with ericton, NB, Canada E3B 5HI; (506) 453-2305. Classes in mola making, Aug. 3, 10, New 24, 31; quiltmaking, Aug. 30. 1597 Solano Ave., 94707; (415) 527-6779. Berkeley, School of Fiber Arts. Basketry, weaving, surface design, handknits, papermaking, wear­ 54246; able art; AugJSept. Washington Island, (414) 847-2264. . Shoemaking, Aug. 1-14. hop t W 2 ; (206) 683-2649. uim, WA 264 Atterberry, Seq Warks Tint & Splint Basketry Wee Garoen City, MI Sept. 24-25. 30100 Ford 48135; (313) 522-7760. Workshops in sew­ Center for C Touchs ing, knitting, quilting, basketry, Aug. I-Sept. 1 1 . Pioneer Crafts Council, Box 2141T, Uniontown, PA 15401; (412) 438-281 1. ture Design and Ad­ ty of Alabama. Cou Uni Dmping, Charles Kleibacker, Aug. 15-19. va Dr. Carolyn Callis, University of Alabama, Box 35487; (205) 348-8135. 1488, Tuscaloosa,

in , Aug. 1-5, 8-12. dyeing, basketry, weaving, b 37738; (615) 436-5860. Box 567, Gatlinburg, Augusta Heritage Ctr. Weaving, quilting, knit­ ting, spinning, lacemaking, until Aug. 12. Davis 26241; (304) 636-1903. , College, E E Avaton Community DJllege. Atlantic TiRs, work­ shops in textiles, surface design, lace, knitting, weaving, quilting, rug hooking, Aug. 15-26. ACC, St John's Campus, 50 Parade St., St. John's, NF, A1C 4C7; (709) 739-0594. Istand Quilts. Quilt retreat with Gwen Marston, Joe Cunningham, Sept 14-17. Box 155, Beaver Is., St. James, MI 49782; (616) 448-2565.



Area Wea

Guild. Fibre F vers


Handmade garments and accessories. Slides due Sept. 3. Contact Ellen Dieter, 1087 Center St., W., Warren, OH 44481; (216) 847-7124. Juried ry Quilts DJn ian Ca exhibit for Canadians. Slides due Sept. 5. Rod­ Centre, 109 St. Paul Crescent, St. man Hall Catharines, ON L2S 1M3, Can.; (416) 684-2925. ia l of Tapestry, Lausanne, l t In "Notes," p. 14). Switzerland. Deadline, Sept. 15 e, Sept. 16. peti ts Centre of Tennessee, 212 Car­ SASE: Fibre 37921 ; (615) 966-4261 . rick St., Knoxville, Quilts of Merit Competition. Oct. 1-16. Entries due Sept. 18. SASE: Woodlawn Plantation, Box 37, Mount Vernon, VA 22121; (703) 780-4000. 6th juried international ex­ l Quilt Nat hibition, June lO.July 9, 1989. Slides due Sept. 23. Cen­ SASE (45¢ postage): QN '89, Dairy Bam ter, Box 747, Athens, OH 45701; (614) 592-4981. Quilts =Art= Quilts. Juried show, Nov. 5, 1988Center. Jan. 1, 1989. Schweinfurth Memorial Entry forms due Oct. 15; work due Oct. 20. SASE: , tor, SAC, Box 916, 205 Gen esee Quilt Show Coo Auburn, NY 13021; (315) 255-1553.



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tivas Cristianas. Mexi­ can coop seeks person to train others to weave and spin woolen yam by hand. Estelle and Mario Carota, Apartado 1205, Toluca, Mexico 50000.



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tlSeptember 1988



in Art It: CA

WllO'd a Thought Improvisation African-American Quiltmaking, by

count." He suggests that "a notion of visually 'shading the count' goes a long

and it looks as if the annotated swatches

Eli Leon. Sa n Franc isco Craft and

way towards helping us understand,

were added after they were collected. The

say, Odessa Doby of northwestern

"second-mourning-for-my-father" swatch


lIluse u m, La ndma rk Bldg. A,

not follow in strictly chronological order,

941.23; 1 987, $15 plus $1.50 S&H, sojtcove1; 88 pp.

Arkansas as she rhythmizes the

precedes the "mouTIling-for-my-father"

expression of her double strip quilt-top."

swatch, and samples of the clothing

This extraordinary book serves as the

Thompson says that this "inner design

Johnson wore following the death of

catalog of the San Francisco Craft and

sense" reminds him "of what one Kongo

both her father and mother are on the

Folk Art Museum's exci ting show,

aesthetician calls 'blood time' [ k u m u

same page-perhaps so that all the

Imp )'o l'isa ti01I i n Africa n-A merican

m u menga , lit. holding and developing

mourning swatches would be together.

Qu i/tnwking, but Eli Leon's compelling

the beat in the blood]. To have k u m u

catalog essay makes the book far more

n w menga means that a sense o f time

preserved within the closed pages of a

than a catalog. Leon loves and

and patterning emerge, like a spirit, in

book and have never been washed or

understands this craft, which he calls

the fingers to be resolved in finished

exposed to sunlight, we are able to look at

"Afro-traditional" quilting, and he

textiles, or in the tongue, to be resolved

the original colors, which are sometimes

explains how it follows a design aesthetic

as song or chant."

surprising. The album also connects a date

Fmi lIlason, Sa n F m nc isco,

much different from that of traditional

Leon presents an exciting theory. The

Because the swatches have been

with specific fabrics. Again, the

European-American quilting. Those who

general assumption is that African slave

information may be surprising. Certain

don't understand the quilts' irregular

women learned patchwork quilting

printed-fabric patterns were available to

patterns have labeled them mistakes, or

from their mistresses. But Leon suggests

the public a little earlier than they are

"crazy quilts." Leon's knowledge of

that the idea may have originated \vith

credited in textile-history books. The

Afro-traditional style derives from his

the slave women, who, given fragments of

album also shows comparative prices of printed and woven cloth and reveals tlle

study of thousands of quilts and

cloth, drew on the textile designs they

traditional West African and Central

knew and on their fami liarity \vith

terms a customer, rather than a techniCian,

African textile designs and techniques

patchwork. He contends that examples

would have used for the fabric.

and from in-depth inteniews with many

of patchwork quilts are scarce in the non­

of the quiltmakers. His thoughtful

slaveholding populations of 18th- and

Victoria and Albert Museum in 1973. Ten

The album was acquired by London's

study has led him to the African aesthetic

early-1 9th-century America. His theory is

years later, conservation work began.

of imprmisation, which values the

that the slaves "contrived the decorative

Every page was photographed sho\ving the

different, the individual.

patchwork quilt as we know it today."

condition at that time. Then the pins

Eventually, white women imitated and

and fabric samples were removed from

IVh o 'd a Th o ught It is a feast for the

eyes as well as for the mind. Color

regularized the idea of patchwork quilt

the pages. The samples were cleaned

abounds on the heavy, varnished pages.

blocks according to a European aesthetic

and straightened, and the pins were

Dozens of quilts are shown , most in full

of repetition and symmetry. Patchwork

cleaned and lacquered. The engravings

color, and many of the makers are

thus took two directions, and the

were removed and washed, and the album

presented in candid snapshots and

imprOvisational, individualistic aesthetic

book itself passed through

exCell)ts of their own words. They tell

of the original, African-inspired version

conservation. Then the fabric samples,

of their early quilting expeliences and their

was not understood by those who had

engravings, and pins were replaced, and

mothers and grandmothers (often freed

begun by imitating it. -Al ice Korach

the photos in this book were taken.

A Lady of Fashion: Barbara Johnson's Album of Styles and Fabrics, edited by Natalie Rothstein.

and Albert staff place Johnson and her

slaves) who taught them the art. They produce prodigious quantities of qUi lts, and often, like Mattie Pickett, give them to "poor people who 'need cover.' " The quilts pulse with the personality

Several essays written by the Victoria family \vithin their niche in society and discuss the dress and costume of the

and indivi duality of their makers. Strong,

500 Fifth Ave., NYC 10110; 1987, $ 75, hanlcover, 208

production in England (Natalie Rotllstein),

almost clashing, colors are juxta.posed

Textile history is sometimes perceived

and the album's engravings and prints


as highly technical, too dry to be of

(Anne Buck and Jean Hamilton).


a quilt won't lie flat

Thames and Hudson,



period ( Madeleine Ginsburg), textile

because strips or blocks have stretched


at different rates, the pieceI' or another

who has more than a passing involvement

the period covered by the album was one

quilter merely cuts the top into new

with cloth. But Barbara Johnson's

of great change in fashion. At the

strips and reassembles them.

album, which includes issues of

beginning, wide skirts were combined

economics, politics, social history, and

with small bodices, and deep frills were

establishes the rationale for this design

even gOSSip, proves that textile history can

used as trimm ing. Shaping came from an

aesthetic. Both he and Leon argue most

be vital and exciting. It also provides

extensive use of hoops and corsets.

persuasively that the same cultural

superb photos of 18th-century textiles.

Then fashion changed, and woman's

Robert Farris Thompson's lead essay

approach to textile design that

the average person, or for one

Essentially a personal notebook, the

Madeleine Ginsburg points out that

natural shape became the ideal. During

produces the narrow-stJip cloths of the

album covers the years 1746 to 1823. In

the natural-body period, the dresses

Mande and the Mandeized Akan and

it, Johnson pinned swatches of fabric

required less yardage. By the time the

the "raffia velours" of the Kuba of central

that had been used for her clothing. Next

album ends in 1823, fashion had

Zaire informs the designs of Afro­

to each swatch she wrote a note

returned to a tight-waisted, full-skirted

American quiltmakers. Thompson

naming the cloth and the garment for

discusses the musical implications of

which it had been used. She often

was elderly and probably didn't

the "hidden cross-rhythm " that allows

included the plice of the fabric, as well as

participate in the extremes of fashion.

dancers and musicians to emphasize

some contemporary prints showing the

off-beats, which they call "shading the

fashionable dress of the day. The dates do


look. By then, of course, Miss Johnson .

Ginsburg's explanations of such terms as robe coat and sack are necessary






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Books Each page has another nugget of new information. We leam that in 1764 a four­ color, block-printed cotton fabric cost more than a copperplate print. This is surprising because copperplate printing is the more complex technique; the skill of plate printing using indigo, a practice which came to be known as "China blue," is highly regarded in contemporary writings about English printed textiles. In this case a greater number of colors, albeit achieved via a simpler technique, resulted in a higher priced product. Are there no complaints with this book? Of course, but they are minimal. There are two sets of n umbers­ Johnson's and the Victoria and Albert Museum's-and they do not coincide. Therefore, when the occasional reference to a piece on a specific page comes up in an essay, the swatch is difficult to find. Also, several swatches have been folded over a few times and then pinned to the paper so that we can see only one part of the pattem on the cloth. It's unfortunate that the full swatches weren't photographed when the book was taken apart for conservation purposes and included in an appendix.

for the moden1 reader. It is also useful to know that in the 18th century gh tgo w n didn't mean bedwem', or gown; it was a full-length dress shaped to the figure with pleats at the back, which was won1 for everyday occasions. For each of these "nightgowns," 1 2 to 16 yards of fabric were required. Yet, some words-shepel'tees, for example-stubbomly refuse to be translated into modern equ ivalents. Photos of the album pages-the major part of the book-with their COIOiful fabric swatches and short, handwritten notes interspersed with topical engravings provide enormous pleasure. The first album page contains three printed fabrics from the 1740s and four woven silks. Startlingly strong and bright colors were used on the printed fabrics. The yellows and blues are particularly interesting, as they were often fugitive colors when used for dyeing cotton in the 18th century. Here, in their original condition, the yellows are deep, and the blues are clear and strong. This is excellent evidence of the mid-18th-century-printer's skill in controlling mordants and dyes to make a pattemed fabric.


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A more serious criticism concenlS the cover, which may give some false visual information about 18th-century textile pattems in repeat. The editors have taken a photo of a 3-in. x 31/2-in. four-color block-printed fabric swatch and put that image into repeat by flipping it around to make it vertically and hOrizontally symmetrical. Those are repeat systems, which, while used in weaving, are not used in textile printing and succeed in creating a disturbing, rhythmless image. Luckily, much of this photo collage is obscured by title information. But the small criticisms do not take away from the enormous pleasure provided by the book, nor do they detract from its value as a historical record of some importance. It is a book that schools and libraries should acquire and one that textile buffs will want to add to their bookshelves. -Gillian Moss

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ultimate sewing shop: New York City New York City is an overwhelming treasure chest of unique resources for the textile and clothing enthusiast, no doubt because it is headquarters to both the fashion industry and the theater. You'll find everything from fabric shops to dress-form makers, with similar stores often in the same neighborhood, even right next door, so you can include several stops in a brief trip to the city. Many establishments will do business

New York City sewing resources The Garment District is home to most of New York's sewing-related shops. It's the shaded area shown below, between 5th and 9th avenues and 34th and 42nd streets. Shops outside the Garment District are shown with numbers in the order in which they appear in the text.


.1;; �EI�.�1;:!!; � �."oj>c w.,

by mail, so don't be discouraged if you have no plans to visit. If you are able to come to New York City, you'll find that many stores are small and hence jam­ packed because rents are extremely high. When I first moved here, I found these places unappealing, but I soon discovered that crowded, even j unky­ looking stores can be the most worthwhile. They often have high-quality merchandise, perhaps mixed in \vith cheaper goods, at very low prices. Lots of fabric stores in New York City are 'Jobbers," which means they sell off designers' remnants and manufacturers' mill ends at discounted prices. The cardboard fabric bolts and tubes they use are usually recycled, so the fiber content and price marked may be wrong-or it may not be marked at all. You probably won't find much in the way of notions, pattems, interfacings, or linings in such specialized stores. Whether or not an establishment is open Saturdays is noted, but beyond that you must call for the store's hours, which I haven't included, as they frequently change.

I �::> a..�., .c_::> _�c uo u.,

This listing primarily focuses on the Garment District, but there are other neighborhoods that have a small concentration of fabric stores: Orchard Street, on the Lower East Side; and lower Broadway, j ust north of Canal Street (see map). Many Garment District stores (indicated by symbol after the name) are closed on Saturdays, and those that are open often close in the early aftemoon. Most of the stores listed sell both wholesale and retail: wholesale-only distributors are excluded here. Most stores sell mail order, but, unless otherwise stated, no catalogs or swatches are available; the wide and ever-Changing inventories make that impossible. You need to send them a swatch or a good description of a specific item you need. For fabric mail order, there is usually a 1f2-yd. minimum, unless otherwise stated.


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251A W. 39th St., NYC 10018 (212) 221-1818 Wonderful selection of high-quality fabrics, including many designer fabrics, at discount prices. There's always a great selection of colorfhl printed and jacquard silks, along with wools, rayons, linens, novelties, velvets, and a wide variety of interesting knits, lace, and bridal fabrics. Sells mail order, no minimum. Open Saturdays.

Poli Fabrics


132 W. 57th St., NYC 10019 (212) 245-7589 or (212) 245-7750 DeSigner closeout fabrics and imports; high quality at good prices. All natural fibers, few blends and no synthetiCS. Nice prints and unusual textured wovens. Carries Vogue pattems. Sells mail order, no minimum. Open Saturdays.




263 W. 40th St., NYC 10018 (212) 354-8150 or (212) 354-8212 Huge selection of unusual, novelty, and luxury fabrics. Not cheap, but B&J's complete color selection makes it a good place to go if you need to match a spe,cific color. Many interesting weaves of silk and linen, brocade, lace, lame, prints, cut velvet on chiffon, Imits in all fibers, and a large selection of wools. Sells mail order, $ 1 5 minimum. Open Saturdays.


Rosen and Chadick


246 W. 40th St., NYC 100 1 8 (212) 869-0142 DeSigner and imported fabrics. Specializes in bridal fabrics and English menswear woolens. Carries expensive natural fibers, with the emphaSis on luxury fabrics: lots of lace, big selection of novelty cut velvets, lame, very large selection of solid-color silks, and rayon matte jersey. Carries Vogue patterns. Sells mail order, no minimum. Open Saturdays.

e&B Fabrics


250 W. 39th St., NYC 10018 (212) 354-9360 Everything from basic cottons to fancy and theatrical fabrics. Crowded- it takes time to see C&B's whole selection, but it's worth it. Sells mail order, $40 minimum. Open Saturdays.

Gladstone Fabrics


16 W. 56th St., NYC 10019 (212) 765-0760 Specializes in costume fabrics, supplying fabrics to college and professional theater, opera, and ballet companies. There's lots of glitter: metallic brocades, sequined fabrics, organza, chiffon, satin , moire, velvet, bright prints, spandex, stretch lace, and trims. Sells mail order, $10 minimum. Open Saturdays.

L.P. Thur Designer Fabrics


126 W. 23rd St., NYC 10011 (212) 243-4913 Mostly budget fabrics; noted for its good selection of spandex. Also has a decent selection of notions and trims, unlike most fabric stores in New York City. Sells mail order, $20 minimum. Closed Saturdays.


Handloom Batik Imports


214 Mulberry St., NYC 10012 (212) 925-9542 Claims to have the largest selection of batiks and handwoven fabrics in the U.S. Carries a wide selection of fabrics from India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Sells mail order, 1-yd. minimum. Open Wed.-Sun.

Diamond Discount FabIic Center


165 First Ave. (at 10th St.), NYC 10003 1 03 Essex St., NYC 1 0002 First Ave.: (212) 228-8189; Esse x: 674-9612 Imported and domestic fabrics: fine woolens, cottons, dress goods, novelties, plastics, lames, slipcover fabrics. Has some good-quality fabrics at great prices. Sells mail order, no minimum. Open every day.

Noti ns

Steinlauf and Stoller, Inc. -

239 W. 39th St., NYC 10018 (800) 637-1637, (212) 869-0321-2 Has a large selection of threads, zippers, shoulder pads, interfacings, elastic, buttons, Velcro, snaps, trims, buckles, sewing and patternmaking tools, and more. Sells mail order, $5 selvice charge under $30. Closed Saturdays.



Avenue Buttons, Inc.


1000 6th Ave. (near 37th St.), NYC 10018 ( 2 1 2 ) 391-6615 Small shop that carries a large selection of dressmaking and millinery notions and tools, including a very nice selection of buttons and shoulder pads. Sells mail order, no minimum. Open Saturdays.


& Inc. amm




24 W. 57th St., NYC 10019 ( 2 1 2 ) 246-2835 Everything you need to clean, press, and maintain clothing and shoes. In addition to notions, patterns, dyes, and dress forms, there are large selections of silk threads, scissors, interfacings, and pressing and steaming equipment. Impressive mail-order catalog, $ 1 5 minimum. Open Saturdays.

Gelftnan Co., Inc. == mmin ugus 988


237 W. 35th St., NYC 10001 ( 2 1 2 ) 947-3864-5 Great place to find a precise color match in threads and zippers. Also carries other notions. Sells mail order, no minimum. Closed Saturdays.



M&J TIi g Company 1008 6th Ave. (near 37th St.), NYC 10018 (212) 391-9072 More trim styles, and in more colors, than any store I 've ever seen. Also has a great selection of trims for interior


USeptember 1

decorating. There are braids, ribbons, lace trim, buckles, buttons, sequined and beaded appliques, loose beads, paillettes, tassels, antique passementerie, fringes, curtain tiebacks, etc. Sells mail order, $50 minimum; a catalog may be available soon. Open Saturdays.


sel Trading Company

47 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 (212) 730-1030 Wonderful selection of unusual trims for clothing and interiors: metallic braids, ribbons, fringes, cords, tassels, medallions, and bullions, much of which is antique and very special. This store claims to be the only U.S. firm that specializes in metallic gold and silver trims from the '30s. Carries antique lames, made of silk with real gold and silver threads. Also carries genuine metal embroidery threads in many colors. I doubt you'll ever see this stuff (certainly not in these quantities) anywhere else. Sells mail order, $25 minimum. Open Saturdays.

Hyman Hendler and Sons 67 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 (212) 840-8393-4-5 Ribbons galore-in every style, color, and width imaginable. Many are imported or antique. Carries basic ribbons, like satin and grosgrain, to the most luxurious and rare-moire, plaid, stripes, ombre, metallic, cut velvet, iridescent, and elaborate brocades and tapestry ribbons. Also carries fancy tassels from the '20s and '30s. No mail order. Closed Saturdays.




28 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 (212) 398-0236 Hundreds of multicolor striped ribbons (lower priced than Hendler's), plus solid­ color satin, rayon, grosgrain, and picot­ edge in every color of the rainbow. Also has animal-spotted, polka-dotted, plaid, moire, and tapestry ribbons, plus metallic brailis, cords, pipings, and fringes. Sells mail order, $25 minimum. There's a catalog, but it doesn't include everything. Closed Saturdays.

Gordon Button Co.,

Inc. ==

142 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 (212) 921-1684-5 Manufacturer and importer of buttons, buckles, and ornaments. Carries a wide variety of plastic, wood, metal, rhinestone, and jet buttons. Sells mail order, no minimum. Closed Saturdays.


so they're not expensive. Also carries the usual thread, zippers, elastics, labels, and ribbons. Don't go in if you're in a hurry or if you're wearing a pristine white outfit. No mail order. Closed Saturdays.

Tender Buttons


143 E. 62nd St., NYC 10021 (212) 758-7004 A little gem of a store. It's like a button museum, except that it's warm and friendly, and everything is for sale. Run by two button experts, Tender Buttons carries buttons from all over the world, spanning from the 18th century to the present, including many Victorian and Art Deco buttons. There are many wonderful buttons at reasonable prices. Prices range from 10¢ to $ 1 ,200 per button. The variety of buttons is amaZing: glass, ceramic, metal, jeweled, celluloid, inlaid pearl, jade, enamel, silver, porcelain, plastic-the list is endless. There's also a small, but very nice, collection of ribbons. Unless you've bought buttons here and need additional ones to match, mail order is not feasible. Open Saturdays, except during summer.

Sheru EnterpIises

Inc. ==

49 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 (212) 730-0766 Large, jam-packed store that carries every conceivable type of bauble. Supplies for crafts, beading, macrame, and jewelrymaking are j ust the beginning. There are sew-on and glue-on jewels, sequins, unusual pressed-metal disks, appliques, ribbons, feathers, rhinestones, shells, jewelry findings, fringes, and more. A great place to browse. Sells mail order, $35 minimum; Sheru's catalog contains a partial listing, but the vast selection must be seen to be appreCiated. Open Saturdays.

Lucien L. Stern, Inc.



230 Ave. (near 27th St.), NYC 10001 (212) 532-5760 Showroom catering to jewelry, handbag, and belt designers. Carries unusual faceted stones and beads from all over the world. There are hundreds of different shapes and sizes, most of them from precious and semiprecious stones. The quality is high, but items are reasonably priced. There's no minimum for walk-in purchases, but there's a $50 minimum for mail order; catalog. Closed Saturdays.

K. rimming Milelin rysup lies T

519 Bdwy. (near Spring St.) , NYC 10012 (212) 431-8929 Large, wonderful selection of unusual buttons. Many are old, though not antique,

There's a whole block of millinery stores (check here if you're looking for lace); those on the following page are the especially notable ones.


Suppl ies Lew Novik, Inc.


45 W. 38th St. , NYC 10018 (212) 354-5046 or (212) 221-8960 Large, superb selection of hat veilings, in every imaginable style and color. Also carries nets, tulles, metallic novelty fabrics, laces, ribbons, and bridal tiaras. Sells mail order, no minimum. Open Saturdays.

Carlos New York


45 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 ( 2 1 2 ) 869-2207 Wonderi'ully original hats, plus supplies for those of you who want to make your own hats. You can buy finished, unadorned hats and add your own trims and veiling (which are for sale at Carlos); or, if you're more ambitious and creative, you can buy plain basic "bodies" of wool felt or straw, which you shape, using steam and various wooden molds that are also sold by Carlos. You can buy hat bodies in many stores, but this store carries the most beautiful and colorful selection I 've seen. No mail order. Open Saturdays.


y's Millinery Supply Co.

advantages over the home-sewing models, and they come in many styles and sizes: There are sizes from newborn to extra-extra large, and there are different types for dresses, coats, pants, bathing suits, materni ty outfits, and so forth. A good way to obtain a model form inexpensively is to buy a used one. Perhaps the cheapest source for used forms are individuals, who occasionally place ads in Wmnen's Wear Daily or on fashion-school bulletin boards. However, if you need one right away, if you need a specific size, or if you live outside New York City, you'll save time by buying through a store (see Fox, Ronis, and Crown, below) , and you can still save money. And don't hesitate to buy one that's several years old; yearly changes are minor, and the latest model is hardly a necessity. It costs considerably more when you want one made to your individual measurements. For a sewing or pressing machine, also try Fox, Ronis, or Crown.

Wolf Form Company, Inc.


39 W. 19th St., NYC 10011 (212) 255-4508 New and custom-made forms. Sells mail order, no minimum. Closed Saturdays.

63 W. 38th St, NYC 10018 (212) 840-2235-6 Wool-felt hat bodies in a variety of colors, plus a whole range of millinery trims and tools: nylon horsehair in colors, feathers, ribbons, flowers, buckram hat forms, bridal tiaras, and hatmaking books. For the less ambitious, Manny's carries unadorned, ready-made hats in nice colors, which merely need to have trims added. Sells mail order, $ 2 5 minimum. Open Saturdays.

325 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 (212) 564-4453 New and custom-made forms. Sells mail order, no minimum. Closed Saturdays.


Fox Sewing Machine, Inc.

The professional model forms used by dressmakers and in industry are nonadj ustable, sturdy forms mounted on cast-iron stands. They have many

Modern Model Form



Honis Brothers Se



545 Eighth Ave. (37th & 38th), NYC 10018 (212) 947-3633 New and custom-made forms. Sells mail order, no minimum. Closed Saturdays.


307 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 (212) 594-2438-2761 Buys, sells, rents, and repairs all kinds of industrial sewing equipment,

Machines -

257 W. 38th St., NYC 10018 (212) 239-8782 Carries and services a full range of sewing-factory equipment: industrial sewing machines and parts, steam irons, cutting machines, pressing aids, pattern-room tools, and model forms. Sells mail order, no minimum; catalog. Open Saturdays.

wing Patternmakingpapers

Crown Se

Machine Service


2792 Bdwy. (at 108th St.), NYC 10025 (212) 663-8968 Claims to be the largest sewing-machine service in the city, servicing Broadway theaters, the Metropolitan Opera, and hospitals. Sells new and used machines (household and industrial) , attachments, and parts. Crown's specialty is sales and service of every brand of household sewing machine. Will make house calls in NYC. Sells mail order (for sales or service), no minimum. Open Saturdays.

Beiter Pak



Superior Model F

including sewing machines and parts, s irons, cutting machines, and model forms. Sells mail order, no minimum. Closed Saturdays.


555 W. 25th St., NYC 10001 (212) 675-7330 All sorts of paper, packing, and shipping materials for the garment industry. Sells large, economical rolls of \vide pattern paper, both the thin, "dotted" paper used for trial patterns and the heavier oaktag used for durable production patterns. You can go in and pick up what you need or have it delivered if you live in the New York City area. Closed Saturdays.

Jan Jasper is a professional pattern r and a devoted

rrwke home




V.B R.

The Education D e p a rtment pla ced orders in a ntici pation of l a rge school sales. Due to budget cuts these sales were unclaimed. Th e s e m a c h i n e s m u st b e sold. T h e s e n e w S i n g e r O p e n Arm mac hi nes sew all fa brics. Levi's, c a nvas, u pholstery, nylon, stretch, vinyl, silk. M a c h ines a re designed to zig zag, overcast, buttonhole, and much more. With year warra nty. Now reg u l a r Credit C a rds - C.O.D. We ship U.P.S.


$148, $329.

Call 1


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Bolt Price

. . . . . $7.70 9.35

$7. 1 0 8.50

(Priced by the yard in dollars) Charmeuse 19.5mm 45 " Charmeuse 19.5mm 55 " .

Crepe de Chine: 8mm unique designer fabric, Japanese . 1 2mm 40 " . ... . . .. . . .. .. 14mm 45 " . 14mm 5 5 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

... ... .

1 6mm 36" 1 6mm 45 " 1 6mm 5 5 " . . . . . . . . . . ISmm 5 5 " . . . . . . . . . . Spun Silk Taffeta 36 " Spun Silk Taffeta 45 "

. . . .


.. .. . .. . . . . . .

......... ......... ......... . ..

.... ....... ............. . . . . .... .

Fuji Broadcloth IOlb. 36 " 22mm . Fuji Broadcloth 71b. 36 " 1 7 .5mm Popular Silk Noil 36 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Popular Silk Noil 44" . Heavy Silk Noil Twill 36 " . Very Heavy Raw Silk 45 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silk Habotai, also known as China silk: 5mm 45 "

8mm 45 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8mm 36" . IOmm 3 6 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . IOmm 45 " IOmm 5 5 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2mm 45 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tussah 3A 42 " Tussah 3B 33 " Tussah 3C 36 " . Tussah 3D 45 " Tussah 3E 36 " . Tussah 3F 36 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



. .

Silk Satin Charmeuse 12.5mm 45 " ·Our exclusive- . Silk Satin 45 " I3mm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silk Chiffon 45 " Silk Organza 42 " Silk Gauze 3.5mm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silk Shantung 54" .


Heavy Silk Shantung 54" . . . . . . . Dupion 45 " . .. . . . . . Noipud Dupion 45 " . Spun Silk Gaberdine 36 " . . . . . . . Silk Satin Crepe 3 6 " . . . . . . . . . . . Silk Satin Twill 4O"14.5mm Silk Satin Twill 40 " IOmm . Silk Satin Twill 5 7 " I3mm . . . . . . Silver Square Chiffon 45 " Gold Chiffon 45 " . . Metallic Ribbon Chiffon 36" . Silk Ribbon 45 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

............... . . .


. .. . .. . . . . .

..... ...



Orders over $60.00



3.60 5.70 7.35 5.31 6.35 8.25 9.35

3 . 60 5.45 6.65 4.60 5.80 7.55 8.55 3 .40 4.95 4.95 4.40

3.80 5.50 5.50 4.95 3.85 4.30 5.80

3.40 3.80 5.20 7.10


2.50 3.00 2.50 2.95 3.75 4.58 4.20 3.10 3.59 2.95

2.90 3.61 2.90 3.35 4.20 5.25 4.65 3.78 4.00 3.35 6.97 5.36 5.55

6.50 4.85 4.95 5.80 4.40

6.30 4.95 3.90 3.15 2.15 6.80 8.15 5.53 5.63 6.61

3.35 2.80 1 .90 6.10 7.30 4.95 5.10 5.95 3.85 4.55 2.70 3.95

4.25 5.10 3.25 4.45 6.85




.........•. . .. .. . . . ..........••. II ••••••••••••••• ..........•..... ................•.

Silk Knit 5 2 " tube, fixed price . . Brocade 45 ". fixed price . Checkerboard Jacquard 1 9mm 3 6 " . . Crepe Satin Speckled 28 " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crepe Satin Speckled 45 " . . .. . . ... Scattered Seed Jacquard 45 " Tiao Crepe Jacquard 1 7 .5mm 5 5 " Rose Crepe Brocade 1 5 rn m 4 5 Rad Habotai Brocade 15mm 5 5 " . . Shey Chun Jacquard I7mm 5 5 " . Polka Dot Crepe Jacquard 17mm 55" Modern Habotai Brocade 45 " Youth Crepe Brocade 45 " .

6.17 6.17 4.21 3.95 6.45

6.85 4.65 4.45


9.00 5.95

5.30 6.95 7.60

4.75 6.25 6.90

9.85 5.79 8.96

8.90 5.25 8.15 8.15 5.25 5.54 6.95

8.% 5.79 6.10 7.75

(price per scarf)


12" 35 "

22 " 9"

54" . . 60" 35"

22" .

54" . . . . . . . . . . .

. $3.25 4.65 5 .46

2.25 2.75

60" . 72 " 35 " 45 " .

3.65 4.40 5.90 7.75

12" 60" . 22" x 22 " .


12" 14" 35 " 45 "

Orders over $60.00

Orders over $60.00

CrJapanes epe dee SiChilkne 8mm, xx x Crepex de Chine 12mm xx . xxx Crepex Satin Charmeuse t8mm



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.. scoured .. carded

.. grease .. soft-washed

Slivers Tops Shadea Wool Alpaca Silk Top ��i��?n�O£heeIS EqUipment

$5. 00


WoodsEdge Wools P.O. Box New


Dept. TH




THE WEAVER BIRD P.O. Box 142, Gralton, OH 44044

CALIFORNIA COLOR 1075 Wesl 20th Upland, CA 91786

216 9263551 1 .800 For Wool

714 9829600



Loom s , w h e e l s . carders,



� 5 >('0


Bornslde Co . Desk T

2 200 Leon


Simon Drive

New Orleans, LA 701 22


at up to


(refundable) for over

St., Belfast,




r=V()M Tti t= �t=CI\ An Illustrated Guide

Illustrated Catalog/Collector's Guide, 5 5

learn how to make hats with the easy to follow step­ by-step instructions in the most complete and unique m i l l i nery book ever. Includes a list of suppl iers and 60 modern and h i storical patterns. Spiral bound. 200 pgs. 8W'x1 1 ". Send $ 1 9 .9 5 $ 1 . 2 5 postage.

MADHATTER PRESS 3101 1 2 h Ave_ South 15Minn MN 55407 (612) 722-8951

••polt is, 4-6



weeks for delivery.



Acid-Free Tissue Fabric-Safe Soap



Acid-Free Storage Boxes Fabric-Safe Oxygen Bleach

SASE for Conservation Sheet



TO-FIT" BOOKLET frees you to go ahead_

by step, how to change a pattern to a different







arnto take y our gauge accurately with the

GAUGE-O-K N I T ; you'll get accurate numbers

using the CALC-O-KNIT_ The mystery of pat· tern changing disappears and you'll discover

it's easy.

Sold at leading knitting outlets_ fact sheet, write


For a free

or call ( 3 1 2) 3 8 1-5448_


Dept_ TH,P.O_ Box 1 2 3 7 , B

gton, IL 6001 1

KU MA B EADS Quality

e Beautiful Jewelry. Jade, Coral, Crystal, TurquOlse,1vory, More_ Findings, Sup�lies, Instructions, Tools_ Beadstringing Starter Kit $ 10., Book $4_ Catalog K co, Dept E40T, Box Pea bod y,

off retail!

Write for brochure.


arn you like and a pattern you

This self-teaching booklet teaches you, step

accessories and books_

and fibers.

Quality products and prompt service.

You've found y

like, but they don't go together_ Our "KNIT­



Send $ 2 for catalogue of yarns, patterns



An n o un c i n g the comp l e t i on of o u r mo s t s ati sfy i n g accompl i s hmen t , HANDWEAV I NG W I T H ROB E RT AND ROBE RTA , a comp rehen­ s i ve Home S t udy Course t h a t i s ma i l ed to yo u one seri es of l e s s o n s at a t i me i ncl udi n g actual yarn samp l e s , weav i n g p ro j e c t needs a n d c o s t fo r your pos i ­ t i ve s te p by s t e p p rogres s . Wo rk a t yo u r own pace a nd a c h i eve any l evel o f accompl i shment t h a t you desi re ( Be g i n ­ n e r to P rofes s i on a l ) . For comp l ete detail s , send a self-addre s sed s tamped b u s i n e s s s i ze x 2 ) envel ope to Ayo t te s ' De s i g n e ry , Dep t . T-Ki t , Center Sandwi c h , N . H . 032 2 7 .

Tailoring & Sewing Supplies Threads, buttons, lini ngs, zippers, pressing equipment, and much, much more!


William Wawak Company P.O. Box 59281

Schaumburg, IL 60159-0281

•• •• •• • Suil/(Jrlfll i l l' Ori( jiHU/S Fur




Quantity Discounts


Prompt Service

P . O . Box





Mctrketplace • '-'=., LOW PAR �Knif!!ngMachines! '/cPsESf� · tltt1>IS�;IPl�:' :I.t .

, LuxuriousGarmentLeathers "" (}\l'I1JIIY ,,�&s,£f \tJmsOUR COPRICESM E'-:, 0 . 2 S s e l p m a s r e b i f 80 YARNSAML�PLEKI"4T-$10-$2'!P $50 -A Al 5 7 . 2 $ 0 5 . 7 2 $ 2 2 6 3 6 4 1 BReDisaDipcAcartiesvsidect 81.1:1'IUl..YO1U.I...Va,8tKY'1'.QU 100: 13 C A T A L O G k f; " ' r e c in P l a d e P ! 8 4 . 7 $ 2 0 1 4 2 l a 2 0 1 0 4 2 1 5 . Qno/ Dry Dyes U A o . tio pp/ica A o s tio oc Dir "rEL.:31I3Th�-••e3OCa6-tralogig•40463n/¥r8als7. ,. P$6O1%.50 1326&So rderyoursto9d4ay1D3! DFAYBERNICGS. RPEAINDTYINFOG.RPERTICNTING, 0 0 " � . ; , < / _ S E U L A V C I R B A F T A E R G S ' E R E H IrlT2mlh4PeLplOUallgSJIreigSIlIIiI/UnuPlas.LKcIaEntSaitloA•gNn-Dg$NCETR1Le(AreSdfulnedEaBSbloe)x,. & RFeogruclaorlyraprnhyosrntamsp&leps$r3ioc.0feolvisetr,6s0enfdan$ta1.s2t5ic Notecards, tags, and useful items for 30 $3.50 E H T . g l a t a c e r F . o y e k i l e l p o e p e v i a e r c H T 1 6 5 H N N H A J Y R A M H S I R O L � 1 4 6 (816) 3 3- 85 0 Dept 590 83638 i't. ': Magazine O'Anton


'� � ' " .� �




Our portfolio of luxury yarns ls in gner IM:Ja Desi Cottons including

other nce



Generous Discounts!

Fine fibers 'rom Texas .1nd places


erenceyou can SE f Fora qualitYdif Choose a true double bed

',,/. .


Rt. 2



System for the Controlled Use of Reactive Dyes on Natural Fibers

- Indudes Instructions. Dyes. and Measuring Equipment

Fast Delivery On All Types Of Dye. Quality Products At A Reasonable Price. Dependable, Consistent Color Is Always Available for Immediate Shipment.

liFO. CO.


Iowa 52358



order) (refundable on Cotalog ofequipmen� tools. books Cotalog only


Box 159

Wesl Branch,

(319) 643·2568

PO BOX 550

over Pearl & OJOmeJeon CHAMEI�I I6n1dHl, IlJ"",fx>hs,INhu"",A, 462o.t ·c Tu317";/6·5,3,1-915·04 •* A* *

includes complete

Send SASE: D'Anton



Natural Fibers - Dye Hundreds of Colors on postage to: - Send


Hold ;t!

Stop speed control creep with the Calero Now, only

SOW &InUP PowderTTI£S li oz.Foon, 4 oz.. B Oz., IN1 SoldLB. ANT Free Fcx&Use& Manual.

Attaches easily to

control pedals, Works on any /loor. Easily removed for storage. We


- Mission.

P.O . Box


Australian Needlepoint ?;�,&>. 1� �/:0� :�; :: \;�S� :>';»�',\;!'f\ '




i O u ra n I n d u P . O. Box Apple Valley M N .

guarantee satisfaction;

Knitting Needle Box

Plus add

shipping handling. CA residents sales tax. Calero Products, Dept. San Rafael, CA. Box

A G R E A T G i f T fOR A N Y K N I TT E R


••• •••

Neatly stores your straight circular needles. Natural, Handsome Wood Cabinet. Plenly of room for scissors. gauges, markers. stitch holders. and more! Ready to use. No assembly . F u l l . money-back guarantee. Beautiful as is but ready for your pe rso n a l touch - staining, painting, or stenciling.


AtOrlasitg!inal Knit/lng (8Yz" 6" 15" SPEC$4I8AL INTRODUCTORY OFFER,

An attradive, organized home for all your needles and supplies. Needle Box is The long) high x wide x compact and suits any decor. A great gift for any knitter, including yourself! postage paid (U.S. O n ly). Full Refund if not Completely Satisfied. Send check or money order to:

P.O. Box 365, Dept. T6

Johnson, VT 0 5656



©®mr®� W®OO� ®OILill® \YlO®©OO®�

M u le spun, from o u r fine wool R a m b o u i l let sheep. Skei ns and cones. Free Brochure.

MI., 100%$5.00 46962 0 $2. $20.00 406962

,'!, �. --'

._ . " ." >

Dept. T, 772-39th St., 4901 0 Al legan,


$3.002 382, $3.383,00

fancies. Send wool suitings, plains Famous PENDLETON first order credit given on minimum for swatches and prices. yard order. Fabric is priced below regular retai l . Genuine PENDLETON label for your garment with each order. OPPENHEIM'S, Dept. North Manchester, IN

Classic and fashion fabrics, including children's patterns, at substan­ for current swatch offering good for a tial savings. Send order. After first order is received, you will con­ credit on first tinue to receive swatches FREE of charge. OPPENHEIM'S, Dept. North Manchester, IN



P.O. Box 420 (2011 469-6446N.J. 08846 USA


TOUC H STONE CENTER FOR C RAFTS Summer Workshops Deborah Chand ler, Martha Stanley, Anita M ayer a n d o t hers .



Pioneer Crafts Council.

Sox 2141-T, Uniontown,Po,15401 (412)438-2811

The {4n�g ShoP


926 Gilman, Dept. TM, Berkeley, CA 947 1 0

£. · ��

Rowan W e have Kaffe Fassett knitting kits at discount prices

:.1· :I flJl� _. � . 82

designer colors. all lengths, any thickness.

- �:::;':;":�';:�"oo

Each custom made to your specifications. Great for jewelry.


9 Foster H i l l Rd./Box 637 03242 Henniker , 603-428-7fj30

(Op en Tues·Sat. 1 0·4)

for color


samples and information to:




McCall. Idaho

�5 S


Virginia, Dept.

Kansas City, Mo. Phone




r , ANY Unique Learning Program-1I 9 0 \..JoNORMAN'hnYarnPedMaSdeINIdnsmnSTdustriTAh·eGAUUG.esSEA,TMm. e. No#T8thingmoretobuy. I AUuss.Ch54otralian.0seyfrourmownsWoamflplovscelfobanry$3fe,d0l,anModsihairght hippe NjGRruceaegtgwsl,ionRdguemSsgitaHnreadgnm,d2oa0bnetop!iqrouke­ P A T E R N A Y A N P A L E T E Li e s chk e p,o Box9, Henty, N.SW. 2658.Australia $79.50 $1cards.50SIHand yd.and 1/4 8yd.,and 757 MN 5 1 4. IQU*ILTSNSEIfNHaCDsIGOtP,NfBrETiOeDInNdPElKOyNSSseTAUrvPLNAicLUIeDI.MsIT*ED 21 Union SNI.,YS d ey ad13d 838 (60S71).5063-1 98 HeOl BOX 15, RITZVIL E, WASHINGTON 9 169 1 58 312-896-73 1 60506 PlymRouetht,aAribloBer Wholesale La/liI'ehU,m'seS(t2u1d(i,o) 2f1>L-4nl1>ie4w1o d Fr e n c h R i b o n s C o l ec t i o n Wh t e La c e ™ $ 1 . 0 • Stock Yarns•: 24 $47. & N e w Y o r k C l o s e o u t s : $ 2 8 . $4 . 9 5 . G5(8619r44e)ca4ot7m4S-Pe3A5rsv41wi6ce4t1h5&eEvxCrypaetrotloAgedr$v3ic.e0 $4.002.75 (17"J50.$4.39051-363-49 .17$'2. 83 AlIglls Purse-Size Knitting Miracle!"""

Measure stitches / rows on

size swatch;

increase / decrease pattern sizes; adjust patterns for different weight yarns; check needle sizes ... and MORE! Money Back Guarantee

Send $4.95 (U.S. Funds)


$1 postage to:

P.O . B . 5353-T, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

:L... _Embroidery __ _ _ _____ _ _ _ : everything you need delivered right to


your mailbox.


Learn over

different kinds of

needlework in your own home with

Monthly instructions with actual prac­ tice fabric, thread and needle with

$3.00 1SASE0:


Spooner Publishing



'297 7th Avenue


(718) 499-9168



27 1 Acton, MA 01720 Ha�J" (�7:"'2��� ___On / each lesson, Free information -

for more information or send for a unique catalog and sample


Hand and machine yams - single, plied, novelty, fancy, natura1.

colors. bleached. variegated. on cones, cakes, dyetubes -plain

singles $ 1 .75 per lb. Specialty yams $2.75 per lb. Ultra Fancy. 54.25 per lb. House Special yam deal, 50 Ibs. assorted colors:

singles. mixed counts. $75. A good deal for severa) people. Over

Great Road,

50 Ibs. wool yam 5 1 50 to first 500 orders to reduce inventory. assorted colors

Top quality, skirted, clean fleeces in black, white, brown, all greys, moorit, beige, fawn and sil r From 2500 Merino, Corrie­ dale, Border Leicester, Lincoln, and Tukidale sheep.



yarn counts. While it lasts, try 2124 acrylic

sweater yam 25 Ibs. for 560.

Yam is



by Janet Meany and Paula PJa.ff $18.95

witTexh intivoile Centce encler osedtheFOB Greenoil e, se

South Carolina,




P.O. Box 8372



lb., includes postage. Pet�onal checks accepted.


(803) 277-4240 or Telex 57-0477

Also slllall quantities of wiJite and colored moiJail: Prompt,

/liend0', pet'Sonalized sm>ice /lVIII:

Order fro m : Dos Tcjcdoras,


Full range of Persian wool in (405) colors mounted on

Raymond A v enue,

2 each, yds_ of



numbered for easy use

reference. A valuable tool in crealinll your own designs Also available in



lb. hanks

� ;;:::�[mbQe i n

Catalog of

, NY


die an and quilting

auppll.a and acce..o rl.a Residents


sal86 tax.

Prai r i e , Aurora, IL 1________ ______________________ _


We will l\OT be undersold. Can for details!

I\"eed accessories. " ideo tapes. books�:i

120031W.3-45-5 2154810 7Rd0 Ann

Seud business size SASE with


BEGGAR'S LACE .1.0. Box 1 726:1 Dt"II\'t"r, ('0 802 1 7

BonniE TRIOLf\ - Cone Yarn -




Bonnie Triola

G a rwood St.



I I 7th St.

OH -t-l107

Basket Making Materials Chair Seating Supplies

I nstruction Books


for Brochure/Price List

Fast Shipping (within

H rs.)

d'@"[l.,, e's'i'g-n's Hat Patterns

Our soft lacy cardigan was once a sweatshirt. Handmade swea'.­ shirt is appliqued with crocheted cotton lace. Pearl buttons pleated cuffs add the Cardigan or pUllover, one size Choose white or pink. Complete Kit (Includes shin, hand crochet lace, ribbons, pearl buttons and pattern) Pattern only

I 10 More Frenc&h Ribbons Patterns: & & kilS, & 65130,Street. MD 21209. When in Baltimore ,lisi!ISS,llS at 7/6 West Victorian evening bags, Petite Sacque day evening bags plus new dolls Victoria™ (Velveteen lace dressl Violette™ (Spring maiden), our classics: Hugging BearT M , Country Hare™ ea; or more each. Add postage for each item, or add per pattern . Send for catalog of whimsical patterns,

handmade dolls


ladies accessories line. MCIVISA orders call

Dealer Inquiries InVited. Pieces of Olde, Dept Balto,

USeptember 1988


Superior Qua ity

Natural Fibers, Synthetics, Blends Designer Ya rns



P.O. Box


featurUingiqushe SYdop nsepgryinift$in1g rbrocwehauvreingand pkanditsng NeVIwNaGrkAN.92E5D-19TW71OO5 D 757EKWETNHMNINATIVCI5NF1GIB4EB(R6O12AOK)R64TS6S-74 5 $3.50 & 50 & & MARd.,CMHanIcNhEesCteOr,. INC. silks1 1 (p.o. , 327, cashm MA0$112504.755)1 & �



• folded •


notes w/envel enclosures . scribble


F I B E R A R T S P U B L I C A T N S I O S E C O M P A N Y F R A R Y M . A R H BMairleHilIendSstud&iosstandarFidberstLoofctk) % P O L E 1 0 V S T E R C O N E T H R A D E S P C A I l F O W I N S E G S R S N D G R F r e M H I 0 A Freight 50 col rs . 50 yds. .-r1' �GMJe PUxb5r0i.dgo8.-9eB4,o3MAx-951240 569 AA 1 65201 Visa/Me 800 622 & T Mon.·Sat.10·6 314· 42$· .40 3 PcroiC-nrteadbitnlaetdseiftoonrcutSifvuetrsfgwaictrehmoDunetsseiagwnidnegr!s C E S I N G S P A A V T Y R N R E O ur Fl 72 1$2.0 04%1201. 9P4FD01.- 201. 6'7" Ca.l or w. ri.te $150. is0 f o r f e c a l o g ! MA T E R I ALS . T O L S . B O K S R Ff S ( o r H A N D A pas s ( eavi 1 , 1 T 5 6 5 4 6 ' , ( 2 1 8 ) 2 3 8 5 8 2 <9 Louel & H an d Jia rufs p u n 'Y a rns S i ng Ce & p { y etf 1 9 7 0 . IsFpoair(gde/fn3s0mrdpouPbgse.Olray.cmwBopstnhlxe2irg1o7tf2vT,eusr1nf2ad)0bt$cu1:lo0rs EARTHG2UIL8801D52.00 Po & LSJ{S'Ejor'Details5346 ( 8 0 2 ) 3 8 7 · 5 2 0 M i l V a l e y , C A 9 4 9 4 2 ThreadsMagazine 84 alpaca



WEAfo Box





Send large SASE for catalog Raymond Avenue Dept. A


Send for over colors textures first-quality mill ends of name brands for knitters, weavers, machines Periodic Updates · Quantity Discounts

St. Paul,


CT 06040

Double T Quill Shop 219 Berkshire Ave Springfield, Ma 01109

Tel. (203) 649-2304

Also Available: Exotic fiber samples (approx. samples of angora, ribbon, ere, etc:

Complete Supplies for Braiding Rug Hooking

(Retail :


Bldg) Box


Cone Yarns

Mohairs, acrylics, cottons and blends.





Man ufacturers of Cloth Slitting Machine ,

MODEfRASEl 5R()()-'

Wholesale inquiries welcome.

���j) kYarnS�-- -

Sch acht Ashford Lo u H t and others

Suppl ies Catalog $2.50

� (:) � _


Floor Lo o m s Cont. U.S.A.


Bozeman, MT -3025


(213) 928·2314

Established 1962



Our especially designed clothes for fiber ar­ tists pay attentian ta classic, smooth surfaces ready to print, paint or dye. Co-ordinate out­ fits or choose individual pieces to complement your fashions. Create yaur own styles. We have a per­ sewing production service. sonalized cutting Choose our cotton (white. pre­ shrunk), silk in colors, or supply your fabric.

oo Model Yarn Tree will store

cones of yam. This sturdy unit




Our Reputation For Quality No Yarn

g{g-tura[J'i6ers Onfy

Pacific Time

(213) 562·3438

Supplies for Weavers, Spinners and Knitters

Sales, Box 70, Cor1eton Place, Ontolio K7C 3P3




Write for our free cotaiog-your port to an exciting new world of W ng, spinning, feltmaking ond more!



No tax

So. 9th Street Columbia, Missouri Tel.


M i n i m u m o f three cones (Add $2 S/H)

Toll Free 1 -


Many books on coverlets.

No-Glilz Brochure Specializing in colton fabrics

features a sealed bearing on which it easily rotates. The overall diameter

28" when loaded with yarn. It stands high . . . ....

for a cotalog UJith fabric samples to:

P.O. 80x



- �.� ,� '. " i-=<;

Basketry, Wenlng, Spinning Dyeing, Pottery, W ood carving MllChine KnItting Rng-Maklng, Netting, Seating

Serving maite", and menders since

MRII C....Jog

Order (crcdlted 10 n .. 1 order'

Depl. TG Onc Tingle Alley A.hevllle


. .. . (Postpaid price anywhere in the 48 contiguous states.) Custom Knits & Mfg. RI. Box • Lake Park, MN as '£!yeti

'Woofs, :Mohair, Sif/&, Ylngora Specialty :Mi££spuns




in unusu.a1 corors


Marketplace NEW PRODUCT

� �.� � 1&1 �.;: :'<-' Catalog 00

.�! , �': � "

BFre BrOocNFhfTurDeR:ES PA1TERNER 1ili..ii ... .. ALt.FTA-8S,aVleasil, PG.Oat.eBo,NxY21965,84 $2.50 $7.50 250

ings. Cushing's Perfection Dyes-, Soye Salene'· needles.


9 Meadow Lane, Lancaster, PA 17601 (717) 569-6878

Contoins Lonolin 011

Reusable adjusts to any size, adopts to any style . Hailed by experts as the most important sewing invention in decades'

Harrisville Desi�ns looms & yarns, books & supplies, sp,nnlng wheels. fleece, rov-

Awotcphoreolnscdnweaitestouainnrtaeglrsafotnrdohlitaanrnueodnpidwaleoensritishgneds ESend RneriscthoerPs wDliofe(Cl TSAmdel sfluresth to oltec, Inc., Box I , RedThieng,CT pec T h e T a u n t o n P r e s CT 75 7 (604)278-0313 P•riced Sum erSeAmr$ki3n..a00r W·�� LaTI3acmegbKiionutrinEmbI3praootidr.eenr\.b' eKirgt $3.50 ($2.50 �iSoft ( $3 . 00 C omp an y AKE :UULLTTRRAA FFIITT SEND FUOLRTRAFREFIT.CATALOG •• A 16

\1 \ (, \ Z I :\ I


oz. bottle will condition


odult sweoters

SubscriberList Service � $2143(.0andp dM.achine) (jaT/fen1'airie.s'!'rru{inR

$ 7 . 0 \EnglishDepDesigner Knit ng Kits �t CraftCotage06r"I..87I.5 Designer Yarns BASKOEzTarRkYBSasUkPetryLISEuSp ly FWITLHITTEMUINLTGRbAoPdHFyREIuTOMn®iBDtsMLEMISEATPHSOED?AR fbviot enkgswapoerkohnpfist ng 2W#. 00 &KY faRrdUeGreMpsrAicKedINl4isG5teEsqetunaidpmmapeebndut,sei&nv-eSsluoppsezl'1iteos:efolra T H E R U G E R Y 5 6 C e d a r S w a m p Gl n He d, NY 1 R54oad OAugusR. RUG CO., Dept. 4806, Lima, Ohio 45802 85 send name to

tU•. Send rOT photos and price list. KII/Je FIISUII, Cllrlslun, Fillbe, S"e Black, IIItd oIlier

Berger d" Nord, Welco".".e, Noro! KlIllllllg Fever, George PicII"d ""d oIlier

•. Send ror over yarn samples & price I sL Y

Exotic IIl1d Speck""


700T WdclI Rd. Pilio Alto, CA 94304 (415) 327-5683

res. odd 7.5% tox)

We occasionally make our subcriber list available to companies whose products we think may be of interest to you. If you pre­ fer not to receive the mail, just send your mailing label (or an exact copy) to the ad· dress below. We'll take care of the rest.

Money Bock Guarantee



Vam S


Fashion yarns for

weavers and knitters -

Subscriber Service Dept.

plus knitting machines and looms Catalogue with samples


Elmbridge Way, Richmona, B.C.


Books, Kits, Tools, Low Top Quality Prompt S.A.S.E. for FREE Catalog . Samples

P.o. Box 56 · H, Kingston,

Box 355, 63 South Main St. Newtown, 06470

V6X 2Z8


501 -665-2702




Catalog refunded w/order) of many styles of handmade collar patterns, French Lace, Swiss Embroideries, Battenm at s r �ti�! &rf�!..: tern , �� gp����p� designer fabrics, calicos, del cottons--$6.00 for .watches funded w/fubric order--<:atalog included) -



�P. o. Box 5T70,707-526·5907 CA95402 1i Santa Rosa


•• ••

Seamless Draperies

Create your own customized pinch pleat or close stacking fan

pleat draperies from our range of sun rot resistant, heavy woven, cotton fabrics. All components and instructions

supplied. OTHER USES: Wall covering, upholstery, clothing, bedspreads, tablecloths, napkins, crafts.

P.O. Box 407 ... Yonkers. N.Y. 1 0705 (9 1 4) 963-4837


SendP.HOMESPUN, OVen.tuBox5r2a,fCAo3r223c93ataDe0l06-ogpt3&. 2T823swBatches to:


Enjoy weaving rugs in your home. Create your own serviceable rug designs for pleasure or profit. Always a year round market for your rugs in every community. Easy to operate floor model loom weaves wide. comes already threaded, fully equipped . . . ready to weave. We furnish complete


information on looms and all equipment with offer below. Send for descriptive brochure. You buy your supplies . . . car­ pet warps, rug fillers, shears, rag cutter, beam counter, looms, and parts at low factory direct prices. Also: rags - prints - and looper clips, in and lb. bales. If you now have a loom, please advise make and width it weaves.

25� 10 50

USeptember 1988


acryl ic, wool, cotton, blends, New dress yarn. More than samples ­ $10 credited to fi rst $50 order. Also New dealers wanted in MD, DE, VA, VA, NC. SC Send Tax and business card with SASE for dealer i nformation Concord Yam Bar 41 1 7 Concord Pike Wilmington, 9803 (302) 478 7

�� � & �



KKnniittKnngg SAVEHUNDREDSOFDOL$6LA75R.0S 8GR/E4AT NORTHERN WEAVING, E I • 2 1 5 8 3 0 8 1 8 7 0 7 6 9 1 2 J � 36\1 MI 49012. K R O W E L D E N R E N I F S I P U S UniquelyYoursbyAI/anson SneartyhoeuWhitweriPtagteos:fTornadystore &$2.0 & Le therCo., Dept T888 " ' " Ii UniquelPy.OYoursb5y21A37I/0a1nson r-�_, & "FURNDoEnS-PIGrNefosritWVohneal" -21 & - wt VT &$2.50 E D LFOIRGHrOTIDNGY'ASNDEVIDSLUEAWLOARIDKESR 1 50 gJ�omEnadt:' OodlIt'sthe58000Quilter'sWishbaiodsk,!.. " ana to: Send&< $1.00 ailinrus,h 11 '- Th Magaz."ine ,� �� Ht1� �� �R.� W��


•• •


We are the Rug Weaving specialists. Our large



1 278 M a i n St. Watertown, CT 06795 (203) 274-9777

cotton warp, rug filler, loopers, braid­

ing equipment and more. We pay shipping


Workshops Passap Knitting C l u b I ndividual Instructions

World of

volume means lower, discount prices, We carry

a large selection of beautiful cotton rags on coils,

Yarns and S u ppl ies for Hand and Machine


FREE 10 Day Trial

For catalog and samples send $ 1 .00 handling






Beautiful, Challenging Sweater Kits

offers a line of sweater kits for today's knitters. Imported and domestic yarns. Contemporary styles. All kits contain full instructions, necessary yarns and a supplement page -- detailing the alteration process to make your garment Uniquely Yours. For Brochure send SASE (business size) to:

Tandy Leather Catalog

Packed with over 1 00 pages of the finest leathercraft kits, tools and suppl ies. Plus g a rment leathers and exotics, h ow-to books, patterns a n d video tapes.






$1 6.95


Natural Yarns For Weaving & Knitting lb. to

2723 COLTSGATE RD. - DEPT. T CHARLOTTE, NC 2821 1 (704) 366-6091

VITA-LITE (tm) S�nlight Fluorescents -

•• ••

LOMB Magnifiers

Beads Beadwerk Supplies Bead E mbroidery Kits I nstruction Books

Personalized Service: Let Us Answer Your Questions! Complete Mail Order Service Write or Call fer Our Catalog











Instruction Booklets . . . . . $4,75 " Beaded Earrings" . . . . " Beaded Clothing Techniques" . . . . . . $6.75 . $6.75 "Contemporary Loomed Beadwork"

.. .... .. . ..

$2.50 for Catalog (refundable with order).

(313) 534-2277

P.O, Box 2092

Promenade Dept. B Boulder, CO 80306


* Quilting I -rnrr r�J;J; Catalog! I Get up to pages chock full of all the


(Authorized Service Center)

24865 5 Mile Rd .. #2 Redford. Michigan 48239


P.O. BOX 2206

Complete line of: DAZOR Magnifier Lamps




Write for sample cards and price lists.

Quality Prod ucts at Discount Prices








Box 602-TH8 05830 Derby Line,

$5 for samples and prices credited to first $50 order Concord Yam Bar 41 1 7 Concord Pike 1 9803 Wilmington, (302) 478-5476


P.O. Box 1 258, Dept. T, Parkersburg, (304)428-9500

Al paca, C a s h me re, Ice l a n d i c, M o h a i r, M e ri n o , S h et l a nd, Cotton Silk Skeins a n d Cones For f�ee i nfo rmation w rite :

colors available

M ore

For Newsa/ogue Send Applicable Toward Purchase



Platinum Plated Needles Real Metal Threads Much

0U'¥ nd .i..�";' �6�i3���C= ;.:�=!tlg.

LOPI B ulky Wool 54 colors available 1 00% ANDEAN ALPACA wstd Cottons

B a l g e r ® Meta l l ics Au Ver A Soie S i l k : 5 Textu res


Box Camp Hill, PA


Call n o w for more information

(303) 440-4807

I quilting goodies you could wish for... I I far your catalog today! I 0 Free. I o Almost I I I�

es of quilting books, notions, fabric scrap medleys, patterns, quilting pure cotton fabrics, batting bags, over lots more! address. Wen send Send name g. our next 3rd class m your catalog

wen Include your catalog to you by First Gass mail!


1(eepSaK.? Qgiltins.

Dept.TMC4, Dover Street PO Box 1 459, Meredith, NH 03253



Marketplace YOLO WOOL PRODUCTS rodu AuslraiJa




From Select Local Wool:



Due to Slight enamel blemishes, Sewing Machine Brokers Gle?,· inghouse was able to purchase a limited number new special 1988 HEAVY DUTY Zig Zag sewing machines. These all metal sewing machines were ordered from a major sewing mach lne , company. No tenSion adjustment needed. Sews on all fabncs: levi's, canvas, upholstery. nylon. stretch, VinYl. silk; EVEN SEWS ON LEATHER! No attachments needed for buttonholes (any size), monograms. elc. Sews on buttons. salin stitches, over· casts, darns, appliques. and more.


Selected. Natural,COlored. 2-pty

Box 17 Wo dland, 95695(916)756-n16 $·qlO(l!chh�<til£oelfrd·c"be4o'd.p)(lo8sl',$�o215YrtiL. ·er3pT"'/"<:. N . H. IFNOROWOVATMIVENIWHDEAOS EW P.O & 9l ST l SO ? S'Pf.CIA L S T Y L t T SKBIiJ'iIfJ/'ilLOUT/S'i'AtNfiTui.dS/I/&/'iI e. $3. TYL Ifi iJC5ICfiA'f'()NNSfliJwAm?u24chZ96!3-972 The World's Largest Sel ctiol1 o Beads FULL 00COLOR CATALOG : 0 � . 48 PAGE CATALOO ' $3.00BayTO: .;. rI>ia � ., , 1JIoir � � D i sc o u n t Y a rn s � T oo l s a nd Ac c e so ri e s .. C1780RANBROOK AbNuquerORWqOOue. NMD .8S7C10H7ACf• 5OfT �LOUET ®" 0 t t: p.o. D-4Send$2tor

RT. 3

These machines are SUitable for home. profes­ sional or school·room sewing. year warranty. list S329.0RDER NOW $99 Terms: Visa. MC. Check. C.O.D.

cing 'rom




Sample Packet


&Mo. on5 .

r , B ro $ C 1 h 02 U !" !. UJ i /f, T h e 'P 0 . 8 o JC 7 t, ( T ) Sewing Machine BrokersClearinghouse , O 45 QUA$L10IT.9YTRA&C10INGMA$T5E.00RIA1L0 . . RYARNOVING 1- -PAT- E-RNM-A1KI-NG - - 50 $ 2 . 0 / "The She p Shed" MI B E A D S . B E A D S . B E A D S �-�5 c., antedto dotowo l,butwereafraidto! 2 g>� $2 Write forSamples . ; � . . 75SOciiS, �--I-W.JLlJ.;J iJ Hugus RFoDn)"),1KniMBoaxitne1r6s05,40In94c2. L I MITED S U P PLY


CALLPO Fre Syracuse, NYM·F EST


Devoled entirely t o fashion pat




and comforters

ri.t i..nA.temi Can 't lind that

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Cu..tom CU-1tom Cu..tom CHIL Cu..tom


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ff1ui!5irnt ;Ilmpurl!5

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fl" - � ..


P.O. Box 632 1 -T R i c h m o n d , VA 232 30

The Auto-Knitter •••• u ....... .

For information on this faster way to knit send $1 for our catalog, to:


Box Que.

King Cole Superwa sh Anti-tickle Woo l and oth e r m a c h i n e washa b l e yarns, on cones from E n g l a n d .

a production ma­ chine for the home knitter of today, re­ taining the cliarac­ ter of the originals of years ago.

Also Fine French Laces, Swiss Em broideries, silk ribbons, old tiny buttons.


ec/lI'i.�UeA patte. ,,"r>ak i.n.g.· · i.n. ou . ..tep-b!/-..tep fJU i.deA:


USeptember 1988



- For



Springfield. M N

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ann ann

every month!


� kni ttin , g . (I ;::::g-:� ::::.0 � �- . • .

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Sample issue

..... . .. . ...................................


more! Eight big



al order


uded in pattern ins


tearproof, wrinkle resistant, nonwoven fabric. yards, PPD. O R yd. bolt, PPD.

'Il '1/. 1 '.00• >- g

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tern info, iIlUSlrations, designer techniques. reviews. fitting, lips nOI incl




on current design trends in

ready-to-wear, with romplele ins

Discover E-Z Trace. It's excellent for PATTERN

exclusive "Sp


ILLUSTRATED MONTHLY NEWSLETTER sewing, focus is PLUS i thesesources, book and pages tructi product 1 2 -$15.50 - 24-$2.00 -$28.00 39. 56087TH

Box 3912, 13220 Toll 1 1800) 4S1-7386 9·6


� Y1J

l\VIl:A\vIl:I[lS� l\VAVIl:IHI()USIl: Merou) NE

H i g h tension, heavy duty,


lAX ROVING in hanks:



206-8 1 5021 (T) . WA 98502 '

Specializes in Flax and Linen


shannock stRY �'-'tape looms '-'


turoflax, Inc.




. • .�,. ,�"' �p.n" 7":.• ::- Beads !. . Shipwreck Mud66-406Rd. • ���}m� KN1TT1NG and WEAV1NG,


LAX in stricks and bans;

natural and dyed

Flax samples and order

100% LINEN YARN (wet spun


skeins and cones:


Designer Quality


Sample card and order orm

in bales

Wholesale Inquiries Welcome

profess ional tapestry looms with roller beams and

Call (206) 573-7264 other weaving accessories. or wri e o 1 0402 N.W. 1 1 th Ave., Vancouver, WA USA 98685

£uroflu,BoxInc.241 Rye, New York 10580 87


·� m

e n i h c a M g n t i n K S T R E B O R A C I R T A P L Y T S r a w n g i s e D D We sure do. oPfASPTeOnaR$4OdtIrCLg2ifcoA.&n5Era0CRbldRpTrOYKoIioBncdabiettENh.RnunlrgirTsset.S TSOINYGETRA SINGER-. . c In , e KM R E H T O R B 5 7 9 0 7 3 5 / 6 1 5 KWniet sinegrviMaceDnthcISehCdkinOnleitUsseNo&rTnwEAshD.codeosesonroiets NY 7N'1Y2% (\1\'i-- HatfYiaRlerdnb,-eltc·AIa. aaa"aa,.'lMA 3801 1890 12 S2 by96 J$1D0.95 LFolbesrwe Eonrdks (BOSOII346NG-K0E23NR3I,TBRINOGTHMEARC&HITNOEYSOTA 1 $ f1i2lm". 1.2" . .$�4.50, 1 QHANUALIDlYCRAFNEWT FZLEALANCESD THE KNIT ING AL ERY 63 the60194 84-(0319Z) ( NY AngDoirsacFoibuenrt$e7dozpripcde..sHfaonrdtshpeunAxnpgeoriaenced. 60 & WoHaonlds .DSyieldks .MoRibhaoinrs . CBoletnodns BOSPEKCTSIA, FCL HSTBERYCINS,TAHOCREAHDTSO, RFTIBCE.RFSO, R SPe.DndBo$(1Whx.0lfe7os5r,leCiantquliorgesfirvKendi)t0e1r8s0to1 (refun(draefbulen)dable) P.O BNoxD8$231F9O,RSaleTmL,MGA0O1970 ElwiegthantFYiarnbe&rsBotoKo n&it-Weave·$S1.w00 PosBtDoOexpf4ti.c1e2 S27p4irit19Bo-9x1T011r9e101 ThreadsMagazine MILL ENDS BY MAIL ORDER?

DEALERSHIPS d_V_aI.lable__



FREE SAMPLES? Just ask. GOOD PRICES? Terrific. A N D DISCOUNTS? Nobody does i t better! For cu rrent samples, write to WEBS, P.O. Box 349, 18 Kellogg Ave., Amherst, MA 0 1 004. Or cal l : (413) 253-2580.



7207 Evergreen Way Everett, WA 98203 (206) 353-8742


Weds-Sun 1 0- 5 .

Phone orders

sales tax.

residents add

Uncommon Threads

.!!ft'k "'"1 ' Button Creations * * *

1 1 932

Main Street, Bridgehampton,

Ca l l or write for prices on equipment and yarn.

aaaaa �' .� Do D� 2223

�� ill


leam to machine applique with . step directions to . step professional resuks . . . latest methods & materials . . . designs & alphabets . . . projects & pictures . . . . spiral bound . . pages .





Custom f i b e r preparati o n . dye i n g , s p i n n i n g , k n itt i n g , weaving . Flberart Supplies: Louet pro­ dUcts, clover needles, spinning fibers, Oregon wool yarn, Kolander silks, handspun .

H a n d woven p r a y e r s haw I s , blankets, rag rugs. Custom knit sweaters, vests and caps.

442 Pearl St. 1Eugene. (503) 342-OR282797401

Expert Instruction avallable_

Breakers Point Schaumburg, IL Dept. T

Retail . Wholesale Collectibles

Accessories and yarns . Discount Prices . Free shipping over 5 2 50.00 Fast, Dependable Service since 1 98 1

Very clean, long & well skirted. All orders, only


patterns . books over accessories yarns . needles tags cards . gifts even T-shirts for knitters!


S 2 . 9 5/lb., p&p extra. Samples free. JANETTE

M c K E N Z I E , Gorrie Downs, Greta Valley, R . D . North Canterbury, New Zealand.

1 3 3 1 West Fayette Street 1 3 204 Syracuse, ( 3 1 5 ) 4 2 2 - 0079


& blends.

,���" ��V 1fiCff 'lltWeElJonJIBRES a iSend1tI!"� ����� 6�6��;�3�1Jl4 self addressed stamped envelope for information 4794 N.















B ns



Wool, Pingouin, Country Knits, Filatura Di

C rosa, Manos, D'urguay and More'




Hazelcrafts: Handknitters Marketplace!

• •



Stump Road, Dept. Doylestown, PA

plus pp. ordered together, add only one pp thg.


Wholesale rates on l1IIIuest



PA 19440 (215) 822-2989

uniQue Buttons & Thimbles

$2.00 for catalog

eza/t qattezg ,etd.

of yarns,

sweater kits, potpourri, teddy bears, baskets, etc.

$5.00 for yarn samples

The Country �� Craftsman

' Knitting kits-Color brochures Samples Imports Swedish Rowan tt Kaffe F



' New- Designer Fabrics coordinated yams from many major companies; silks, cottons, wools, linens, rayons. ks-Tools-More. SASE for infonnation

P.O. Greensboro, N.C.





SILK IN COLOURS. Yarns, threads, fabrics. Samples, $ 1 1 .


Cheryl Kolander, Aurora Silk, 5806 Vancouver, Portland, O R 97217. (503) 286-4149.

1J0564701. $2.75 35 , The CLASSIFIED rate is

mt Threads, adlPayment ly n wonts.


pe1- word, minimum


Advertising Dept, Box


i e

DESIGNERS' METHOD. Perfect dress form , any size, shape.


Simple, illustrated directions, $8.50. Se,,;ng TH, 121 5th St., Watkins Glen,

O1u er. Send to Newtown, CT




!01-the OctoberlNoveniher issue is

VING KlTS. Materials, instructions to

complete beginner's pin dish, $8. SASE additional projects.


Oregon Cone Co., Rt. 3, Box 3477, La Grande, OR 97850. SERGERS AND SEWING MACHINES-LOWEST PRICES. Sing­ er and other major brands. E,xample, Singer 6230, list $699,

VIDEO CATALOG. 183 craft videos. Send $3 (refundable) to

mail order, $349. Fast service.

LEE-Art, 112 N. Main. Shamrock, TX 79079.


hair, Shetland, and others. Write, Aura, Box 602-T, Derby




() 800

Zinger, 260 pages, 150 photographs. $19.95 plus $2 postage.

One-week beginners' mountain retreat.

Alcott Press, Box 857-H, Spokane, WA 99210. Free brochure!

For brochure, Robert Loewe Wea'ing School. Box W-1, Di­ 'ide, CO 80814. (719) 687-3249.

ACID-FREE PAPER. 10 sheets, $5 plus $1.50 postage. SiSSY Stitches, 23 Old Meigs Rd.,

ALL NEW CATALOG. Knitting and needlework accessories,

Moultrie, GA 31768. Acid-free

boxes available.

Do,'er paperback books. Send LSASE, Studio 35, Box 021177T, 11202-0026.



F BLANKS FOR PAINTING. Top quality, discount

prices. Send $11.95 for Crepe/Habotai!Paj assortment. Qualin


International, Box 31145-T, San Francisco, Ca 94131. (415)

Knitting Machines Sales, Inc., 1800 Water PI., Suite 280-G,


AtIanl<1, GA 30339. (404) 448-4835. SHET

t cards, C.O.D.. layaway.





Credi TX

Singer Center, 1669 Texas, College Station,

ARN S. Alpaca. cashmere, Icelandic, mo­



D, other fine 100% wool yarns from Scotland.



TERNS. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on types of

Skeins. cones. Portfolio ,,;th 96 yanl samples. book list. pat­

te rns , $3. Shetland Importers, Box 2215T, Pittsfield, MA 01201.

patterns (for example: ethnic, comtemporary. children's),

ARN S. Samples $1. The Wool

\\ith any other comments. I would particularly like to hear


variations i n fabrics (handwoven, silk), ranges of sizes, along

Shop, Rt. 3, Box 554A, Buchanan, VA 24066.


what you like, and don't like, about currently available pat­ terns. It is often said that American businesses don't listen to

D WOOL. I-ply cobweb. 100% long staple. 20.000

their customers anymore, but we do! \Vith your help. we can

ydJIb. For hand or machine lace or miniature. 500 yd., $5.

fill a gap in the pattern industry. Please write to me, Cynthia

Also 0-00000 needles. Sample, SASE, Lacis, 2982T Adeline,

III 3 07 716$-61.80&-710 14043 TH-8 giftHTecanhd'qpuiRSn ionjg odeCotDrojton ing gift ing Flax I I �

Scollard, Scollard Industries, Dept. 136, 5104 South 274th

Berkeley, CA 94703.

PI., Kent,

An 8-page booklet by leading expert


$2.50. (800) 828-9990, #3117.

ideas. Send $3.95 to, Update Newsletters, 2269 Chestnut,

nington Ct., Birmingham, MI 48010.



RAZ ILIAN FIBER ARTS TOURS. Brazilian Views, 201 East





($8.95) by the Linders would

lenge. If lacemakers are on your

making Today PO

Index to Ad'vert'isers &


Batik Weaving Supplier Beggars' Lace Bette Bomside Black Sheep Knitting Bonnie TIiola Bremerli Yarn Brilliance Brooks flynn Buffalo Batt Felt Busy Thimble Button Creations Calero ucts Campbell's Caning Shop Cerulean Blue Chameleon Charm 'Voven Labels Classified Concord Yarn Bar Connoisseur Tours Cord Company Cottage Creations Cotton Clouds Country Craftsman Craft Cottage Craft Gallery Cretan Yams Crystal Palace Yams Curtis Fibers Custom Knits Mfg. Lieschke D.L. Designs D'Anton Daisy Chain Dharma Trading Dogwood Lane Oos Tejedoras Double T Quilt Shop Dover Street Booksellers Downie Enterprises Drop Spindle Dyekit

&& Prod



AugustJSmbeepte 1988 r

Earth Guild Embroidery Research Press Euroflax Exquisicat Imports Fashion Blueprints Fashion FabriCS Club Feather Fig Fiber Studio The Fold Freed Co. Furs More G Street Fabrics Gaillorraine Originals Garden Fairies Trading Golden Lamb Gossamer 'Veb Great Adirondack Yam Great Northenl 'Veaving Halcyon Yam Hallandall Hallockville Hanndy Hints Harmony Knitters Harry M. Fraser Co. Hazelcrafts High Valley Homespun Hub Mills Factory Store Hummingbird House Ident·lfy Label John C. Campbell Folk School John Perkins Industries Kagedo Kaleidoscope Keepsake Quilting Knitting Gallery Knitting Machine Center Knitwear Architects Kreinik Mfg. Knits co La Lana Wools La Nell's Studio Lace Merchant Lacemaker Lois Erickson Loose Ends Fiberworks Louet Sales Louise's Janette McKenzie Madeira USA Madhatter Press MaIjorie Shires MalT Haven




pleasers. For the weavers,

list, a subscription to Lace­

Box 16186, Dept. T., PhoenLx,



&r.k.s etmakerQuarterty


is just $10 for one year (sLx issues). Bizarre But­

terfly Publishing is at

free list. BARK Seryice Co., Box 637-TH, Troutman, NC

85 82 15 88 17 11 86 81 81 80 84 15 80 83 81 81 83 80 86 71 89 83 88 82 78 82 15 82 73 89 80, 85, 86 91 82 91 11 88 85 88 85 11, 73 83 84 83 83 82 86 19 73 83, 84 84 81 21 17 82


some great holiday

($16.50) offers a unique chal­

BOOK SALE. Big discounts, "ide selection,

A1fa Sales A1jo Dyes Alpha Impressions AJphabetrics ALWAYS Knitting Ann Hyde Aura Aussie Yams Ayottes' Designery Baltazor Fabric Lace Bare Hil1 Studios

OUSE, 3433 Ben­

84 9 87 87 74 7 81 82 81 80 86 9 81 85 85 85 88 86 79 21 79 80 87 84 88 88 85 17 19 5 13 71, 83 17 81 86 88 88 85 71 13 81 80 83 81 80 73 88 84 11 88 5 81 87 82


Mary Lorish Jahn Mary Lue's Knitting World Mary McGregor Mary 'Vales Loomis Master DeSigner Mediaeval Miscellanea Mekong River Textiles Melco Industries Mini Lock Serger Mini-Magic Natural Fibers Only New Beginnings New Brunswick Craft School Newton's Knits Nonnan's Insta-Gauge Northampton Wools Oak Grove Omoshiro-Ya Oppenheim's Or. Rug Co. Original Knitting Needle Box OIizaba Ouran Industries Ozark Basketry Supply Pantograms Past Patterns Patience Purity Patsy B Patternworks Peacock Pendleton Shop Penelope Craft Programs Penland School Perfect Notion Pieces of Olde Pioneer Crafts Council Plymouth Reed Cane Printables PRO Chemical Dye Promenade's Qualilty Appliances Quilting Books Unlimited Real Ewe Rio Grande 'Veaver's Supply River Farm Robbie Fanning Ruggery Rupert, Gibbon Spider Sami's Knitwit School for Inquiring Mynds Sew Much! SewlFit SeWin' in Vennont SeWing Emporium

& Arts




Add ress

($7.95) and


McIndoe Mowltain Farnl. RFD 1 , Box 24A, East Ryegate,



Felt Corp., Dept.

Walden Ave. , Depew, NY Phone : Enclosed : for Brochure, Samples.

ideas for you! If your loved ones spin (or would like to)

1002 1 . (212) 472-9539.



RAM has


Suite 269, Dept. T788, San Francisco, CA 94123.

66th St.. New York,

Buffalo Batt


ULTRA SUEDE SCRAPS, 8 oz. assorted, $6.95. Shipping

Naomi B.'lker. Loaded \,ith practical new techniques and






82 11 9 75 75 80 79 13 86 81, 87 84 81 9 19 83 73 84 21 82 85 82 91 82 85 71 79 87 87 79 80 73 75 17 80 83 82 83 84 74 86 78 83 84 80 9 19 85 79 21 17 87 19 80 21


___________ __



Sewing Sampler 87 80 Shades 87 Shannock Tapestry Looms 87 Sheep Shed 87 Ship k Beads 73 Sievers School 2 Singer Sewing Co. 85 Soltec 80 Spin 'n 'Veave 88 Spirit Tree 83 Spooner Publishing 84 SpringBrook Yams 75 Sterling Name Tape 74 String Slinger 75 Suburban Sew 'N Sweep 86 Tandy Leather 10, 85 Taunton Press 79 Teaching for Learning 82 Testfabrics 82 Texas Fibers 82 Textile Resources 21 Textile Specialties 5 Thai Silks 84 Thread Discount Sales 75 Travel Advisers 87 Tri-County Sewing Center 85 Ultra Fit 88 Uncommon Threads 86 Uniquely Yours 81 Wawak 13 Weaver's Croft 84 'Veavers' Store 87 'Veavers' Warehouse 84 Weaving Wood 88 Webs Westbank Sewing Center 74 5 Western Knitting Machine Guide 15 Westminister 91 Wilde Yarns 81 Wooden Porch Books 81 WoodsEdge Wools 80 Wool Room 86 World of Knitting 5 'Vylde Weaves 86 Yarn Basket 88 Yam-It-All 85, 88 Yarns 83 Yarns and Bonds 13 Yellow Pages 91 YLI Corp. Yolo Wool Products 87






Scu to Lou

ttle your shuttle and skip m' by Constance Phillips For some time I have felt the same fascination for weaving that the cobra evidences toward the flute, but the sight of the complicated behemoth loom made me bereft of hope. I fantasized that weavers must possess super intelligence to be able to manage more strings than Toscanini and enough levers to stun Rube Goldberg. It was high time, I thought, to stop waiting for the invention of a loom that would be warped, in a spectacular display of independence, the way a rubber life raft inflates. I found a weaver who would let me sit with her while she worked. I hoped that by watching her at the loom I would conquer my fear of the

Great Beast and bring it down to human proportions. Weavers are, after all, human. I know. I was behind a group of them once in a cafeteria line. To prepare for my adventure, I studied many glossaries and diagrams to be somewhat familiar \vith the working parts so that in asking questions I would not continually be calling a fairly basic component "that thing there." At the end of an embarrassing amount of time, I had only three things down pat: shuttle, beater, and shed. The weaver's large, sunlit studio featured burgeoning baskets of glorious yarns and many looms. A huge one, lacking only tusks and a trunk, lurked in a corner. Several were similar to those I had seen in historically accurate museum dioramas depicting cultures that now aspire to polyester and

packaged bread. The one that she would be using to illustrate the process was the size of a spinet and looked surprisingly benign and vulnerable in its semi-unstrung state. She began to dress the loom. The weaver was a much better teacher than I was a learner, and for most of the session I felt like a Martian at the ballet. She seemed relieved to be told that I had no intention of swelling the ranks of real weavers and had come only to appreciate, not to participate. As she proceeded, she explained what she was doing in terms of why it was done and also how it might be done at other times within other systems. Most worthy young woman! She overrated my absorption abilities by a country mile. After a very short time, I would have been content j ust to sit in the warm sunlight surrounded by the sight and smell of the wonderful wool, lulled by the clacking sounds of the loom. Instead, mentally thrashing about in the unknown sea of sley/slitlslub, I frantically tried to match names and terms to my prior readings. Waves of words continued to wash over me with a rhythmic buzz, punctuated by pairs of definitions; partners in a vast and s\virling square dance: Looms join beams and promenade Countermarche, backstrap, and card Don't meddle with a heddle, just wait a bit Be sure to treadle the tromp as writ. A batten is a beater They'll tame the fleece The draft is daft And a cross is a lease. If you fight your bight In the middle of the night Take a hatchet to the ratchet And swing to the right. Set the sett and away we go Level your lam at will Rising shed is a jack, you know (Does sinking shed mean Jill?) Pajama your llama and turn to the left Sashay toward the old wild weft Honor your corner and split your shed And float your frame right off to bed.


Q..o�..s; z"'>.c I I .�� , I ',- �

� 90

; ",. ",. 1I-


-, -"

It came to an end and all was quiet. I went home with bundles of yarn and most of the mystery intact, which is possibly better for all concerned. But the melody of the loom is still with me. It provides that mystic and beckoning thing-the cloth .


Constance Phillips is from Monsey, After extremes of experimentation, she has found that 25th hour in the day.




Tour tbe World of Fiber with Connoisseur Tours

A l l wool ya rns for rugs,

MEChinagypilktZealaneyour'8 &-'89trllveLolpuisllnsnow! ExFRachordeletails,at:citinwrigteCruiseoschrcaled:ullAledl Fiber ArtsCCD990O.NNI TravOISSe1EUR TOURS for $5.0 3 7 800-212-32731-0-563 088 767 Third 10017 1 9 2 7 T /' "P�LE SIZ£ SWEATVG YLMeICtaolripcYaartnion YLICORPORATIONfT • •• ••

tapestries, cloth ing, home

furn ish i ngs - whatever you

and Morocco - January '89 - with Irene Miller

weave or kn it. Carded wool i n

d - March '89 - with Shay Pendray


G reat Britain & the Shetland Islands with Alice S ore Irene Miller

- tann


natural and dyed colors for

May '89

ha ndsp i n n i ng and felt making.

June '89, with Betty Chen


of the for January 1





Avenue New York, N_Y.


Phi ladelphia PA


Ma i n Street Dept.

�1t::. 1k �01 -. 5V . � mSV$1�

HEBI&5V �'I ___ __


soft, light metallic yarn, washable

and colorfast. For hand and

machine knitting, crochet, punch, needlepoint, weaving, decorative

fcard. orcat logandcol r Corporation ProWevo,stu ah North

serging and other creations.

Rush $2.50


45 300 84601 800-854-1932


Photos: "Blue Kudu," T.P. Speer; "'Odalisquc," Terry JODassoD

Threads magazine 18 august september 1988  
Threads magazine 18 august september 1988