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FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO SEW M A Y 1997 NUMBER 70

A TAUN TO N M A G A Z I N E

Horsehair Braid:
New Use As Trim

Perfect Your
Own Pants
Pattern
Success with
Slinky Knit
Keep a
Quilt Journal
$6.00 CAN $7.00
05

74851 64851 3
FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO SEW a p r i l/ m a y 1997 nu m b e r 70

details 52 Push-Button Patchwork


Use machine stitches to create, embellish, and simulate
pieced patterns

by IRIS LEE

55 Pocket Play
This freewheeling, free-hanging pocket also embellishes
the garment

by DIANE ERICSON
Do you like crazy qui lts
but not the prospect of
pi eci n g? S e e p. 52.

fabric & fit 48 Slinky Knit, You Flatterer, You


As this fluid fabric skims the curves, you'll look pounds
thinner.... So how do you sew it?

by GALE GRIGG HAZEN

68 TraditionalJapanese Textiles
A sewer's guide to finding and using these exquisite fabrics

by CHERYL A. IMPERATORE

techniques 40 Serge a Mock-TailoredJacket


Practice your basic serging skills while making a jacket
in a day

by KITTY BENTON

44 Draft Your Own Pants Pattern


Start with a straight skirt that fits, and you're halfway
to great-fitting pants

by PEGGY SAGERS

64 Two-in-One SilkJacket
Why line a bomber jacket when you can make it reversible?
on t h e cover:
Thought hors e h a i r braid was just by SHIRLEY MANNOCCI Here's a playful pocket with
for use i ns i d e a garment? Th i n k 17th-ce ntury roots that w i ll
aga i n -a n d turn t o p. 32. (Cover e nliv e n e v e n the pla i n est of
photo by Jack D e utsch; hair a n d garme nts. Cur ious? S e e p. 55.
makeup by A n to n io D iaz.)
Look to trad it i o n al J a pa n ese
text iles for glor ious a d d itions to
your fabric stas h , and head for
p. 68 to learn w h er e to f i n d t h em.

design 32 Horsehair Braid, Center Stage


Why not elevate this traditional hem stiffener to trim
the right side of a garment?

by LINDA LEE

37 Quilting Day by Day


Experiment with colors and techniques as you chronicle
your days in fabric

by NANCY HALPERN

58
It's just as easy to make a bomber
Birth of a Couture Collection jacket revers i b l e as i t i s to l i n e

Inside the House of Feraud as the Fall '96 collection


i t . Start i n g o n p . 64, you'll fi n d
out how.
comes to light

by NATHALIE GIROD

departments 6 Letters 74 Notes


Shopper's vest Exhibits, product news,
adventures, footed small pattern companies
tights pattern, Canadian
fleece sources
78 Quick to Make
Make your own hangers
14 Questions
Sun-protective fabrics,
sewing %-in. seam on
82 Books
Sewing, buttons, quilting
metric machine

18 Tips 86 Calendar
Exhibits, special events,
Quilt labels, craft-panel
couture, lining as muslin,
tours, workshops Turn to p. 58 to
see-through press cloth s e e what i ns p i r e d

98 Closures t h e garm e n t sketch


above (a n d for a
24 Basics The Singer Sewing
Machine Man
fasc i n at i n g glimpse
Construction threads b e h i n d the sce n es
at t h e d evelo pment

28 Fitting 100 Back Cover of a couture


garme n t collection).
Silk organza
Fitting the seated figure
baseball jacket

Threads magazine is CT
Threads
(ISSN 0882-7370) published bimomhly, Feb/Mar., Apr./May,June/Ju!y, Aug./ScpL, OCl./Nov., a n d Dec/Jan., by The Taunton Press, inc., 63 S. Main 5L, PO Box 5506, Newtown, 06470-5506. Tel. (203) 426-8171. Periodicals
postage is paid al Newtown, CT 06470, and additional mailing offices. Canadian Goods and Service Tax paid, Registration 11123210981, Copyright 1997 by The Taunton Press, Inc. No reproduction \vithoUl permission of the publisher.

I yr.; 2 1 2 (U.s.
magazine is a registered trademark of The Taunton Press, Inc. Title to the copynghts in the contribUlions in Threads magazine remains in the authors, photographers, and artists, unless otherwise indicated. They have granted publication rights

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to Threads magazine. Subscription rates: U.S. and possessions: $32, $54, yr.; $70, 3 yr. Canada and other countries: $38, yr.; $66, yr.; $88, 3 yr. doltars). Single copy, $6.00; outside U.s. and possessions, $7.00. Send to Subscription
Dept., The Taunton Press, Inc., PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470-5506. Address correspondence to appropriate depanment (Subscription, Editorial, Advertising), The Taunton Press, Inc., PO Box 5506, Newtown, 06470-5506. For orders
or customer service, call (800) 888-8286. U.s. newsstand distribution by Curtis Circulation Co., 730 River Rd., New Milford, NJ 07646-3048 and Eastern News Distributors, Inc., One Media Way, 12406 Route 250, Milan, OH 44846-9705

Posunaster: Send address changes to Threads Magazine. The Taunton Press, Inc., 63 S. Main St., PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470·5506 Printed in the USA
Letters
TH READS
We welcome your Wearing your purse future checkpoints, I took the vest
comments, criticisms, I live in Hawaii, so my trip to Eng­ off and sent it down the conveyor
advice, and ideas. land last fall required months of belt by itself.
Letters may be wardrobe planning to gather the Sitting on the plane was the next Editor
Christine Timmons
edited for brevity warmer clothes that I'd need. I hurdle, since the extra girth of
Art Director
and clarity. started with a piece of olive wool loaded pockets hardly fit into the Catherine Cassidy
Please write to: and made a long walking skirt for seats. This meant that the arm had Associate Editors
Threads Letters, the core of my travel wardrobe and to be raised, but, fortunately, my Susan B. Allen, David Page Coffin,
Karen Morris, Toni Toomey
63 S. Main St., added navy pieces for contrast. Af­ seatmates were skinny. Fastening
Copy/Production Editor
PO Box 5 506, ter reading Jo Reimer's "The Shop­ the seat belt over, under, or around Elaine Garen

Newtown, CT per's Vest" in Threads No. 67 (pp. the vest (I tried all ways) became Associate Art Director
Carla Ruzicka
06470·5 506. 46-49), I planned to make a travel the next issue.
Editorial Secretary
vest from her pattern, but the long Getting out of the seat was an­
Nancy Nelle Farmer
zipper I wanted for it was hard to other matter altogether: the vest's
Contributing Editors
find in Hawaii. Then I saw an ad weight would throw me off balance Linda Lee, Mary Smith

for a traveler's vest with 17 pockets when I tried to rise from the seat Publisher
Suzanne La Rosa
at Eddie Bauer's and sent for it. and then make me stagger down
the aisle, so that I had to be careful Corporate Circulation Director
This man's vest was somewhat
Douglas Newton
weighty when empty-and loaded, to keep a loaded pocket from flying
Advertising Sales Manager
it was really heavy! After all, since it out and hitting a seated passenger Ellen Saracino

replaced a handbag, it had to hold in the head. National Accounts Manager


Vivian Dorman
a wallet, passport, makeup, two Fortunately, the vest wore well in
Sr. Advertising Coordinator
tape recorders, camera, tapes, film, London and elsewhere, keeping Nancy Clark
pens, water bottle, snacks, keys, me warm and safe as I trod along. Advertising Sales Associate
thermometer, trip diary, and com­ In boots, leggings or skirt, turtle­ Carol Gee

pass (I got lost anyway!). neck, and sweater beneath the vest, Marketing Secretary
Marjorie Brown
My first challenge was to go I looked as if I were on safari-l
Threads Books & Videos:
through security at the airport, even had berets to match-and no
Acquisitions Editor
where the vest set off all the bells one bothered me. Jolynn Gower

and whistles. As I emptied the I came to liken this vest to a ver­ Publishing Coordinator
Sarah Coe
pockets, I warned the security folks tical filing cabinet, and had to re­
that, with 17 pockets to hide things member just where I'd stowed each How to contact Threads:
Telephone: (800) 283·7252
in, I might not be able to find item. Otherwise, feeling around [or (203) 426-8171

a needed object could get embar- Fax: (203) 426-3434


things again after "reloading." So at
E-mail: th@taunton.com

Customer Service:
Orders: (800) 888-8286
Other Inquiries: (800) 477-8727
E-mail: thservice@tauncon.com

Advertising Sales: (800) 283·7252 ext. 531


E-mail: thads@taunton.com

Taunton Trade Company:


Retail Sales: (800) 283·7252 ext. 265

Writing an article
Threads welcomes articles, proposals,
manuscripts, photographs, and ideas
from our readers, amateur or profession­
al. We'll acknowledge all submissions,
return those we can't use, and pay [or
articles we publish. For our Information c
.g
j
forThreads,
at
Authors brochure, call or write to us
PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT
06470-5506.

6 TH READS
IT TOOK THIS WORK OF AR T
TO CREATE THIS WORK OF ART.
The fabric art on this page was created by a machine. The magnificent and
talented new Esante ESe. The Esante ESe can create this art with no tricks and no
gimmicks. Just the right embroidery cards and Esante's advanced technology
Just touch the screen to know what presser foot to use, which embroidery hoop to
use, how long the embroidery will take to sew or how to do anything the Esante can do.
Choose from seven built-in alphabets, including a new 4.75" x 5" letter alphabet,
and 20 exclusive built-in embroidery designs that can be combined or mirrored
before you sew.
Expand your own creative talents by designing custom embroidery patterns using
your PC and the new Palette E-line Creative System.
And do all your embroidery on Esante's new
5.1" x 7.1" embroidery sewing field. The largest available on any machine today
Or, if all you want to do is sew, depend on Esante's built-in utility, heirloom, satin, applique,
decorative and cross stitches to sew anything you want. This is the art of the exquisitely designed
new Esante ESe, a work of art that will make an artist out of you.
Visit your Baby Lock Dealer for a demonstration on the new Esante ESe and receive a free, 18" x 24" print of the "Sometime Lost
May" fabric art you see on this page. For the Baby Lock Dealer nearest you, call 1-800-422-2952. In Canada. call 1-800-663-5964. Or on
the internet, http://www.babylock.com.

"Sometime Last May"

bobV laEA Because creativity is the essence of sewing.


letters (continued)
rassing. One hitch in this filing sys­ Spandex afoot On the road
tem, though, became clear the first Your wonderful fabric article "Fab­ Threads will have booths at the
time 1 hung the vest in the closet: ulous Fabric by Mail" by Susan B. shows listed below. Come by and
searching for an item had to be Allen in No. 68 (pp. 46-49) led me see some of the garments fea­
done essentially in the reverse of to Spandex House in New York tured in the magazine, meet
my usual procedure. 1
City, where had a splendid time! some of the editors, and tell us
Another snag, literally, occurred Do you know where can get a pat­ 1 about what's going on in your
when any of the pocket's Velcro tern for footed tights? sewing room.
closures were left open and caught -Aviva Robinson, Bloomfield Hills, MI

on my wool blazer. I would then -Original Sewing


have to disconnect myself and close The editor replies: This request was &: Craft Expo
the pockets securely. I was, in effect, surprisingly hard to find. While Pheasant Run Resort and
a walking burr patch! there are a number of patterns Convention Center
Last but certainly not least, both available for footless or stirrup 4051 E. Main St.
vest fronts had to be balanced so I tights, among them Kwik-Sew 1 288 St. Charles, IL
didn't list when walking, or worse, and 1 567 and Stretch & Sew 313, I April 4-6
tip over. And when I arrived back only found one footed tights/hose
home, I had to have my shoulder pattern: Jalie 916 from Jalie of Que­ -American Sewing Guild
muscles stretched back to normal. bec (2478, rue Martel, St-Romuald, National Convention
For the next trip I take, I may try Quebec G6W 6L2, Canada, 418- Westin Galleria Hotel
making my own vest with deeper 839-7214). You could, of course, 5060 W. Alabama St.
pockets to hold airline tickets and also take a footless tights pattern Houston, TX
pens and pencils. But, whatever and simply extend the leg, tracing April 13
the deSign, wearing your purse is a the foot on a pair of pantyhose you
great adventure! find comfortable.
-Susan Aiu, Aiea, Hawaii

More Canadian you're acknowledging Canadian


Polarfleece sources sources for fabrics. But I'd like to
1 just received issue No. 68 of point out two more important
Threads and was pleased to see the sources for outerwear fabrics in
article "Perfecting the Parka" by southern Ontario that haven't been
Lela Scott Landis (pp. 40-45). I'm previously listed in your sources
happy to see that you're continuing for readers: The Oakville Sewing
to explore both insulated garments Centre in the Trafalgar Village Mall,
and fleece for outerwear, and that Oakville, ON, 905-844-2782 ; and

Taunton & vice


The Taunton Press: Paul Roman, chairman; Peter Chidsey, preSident; Diane Madelaine Frengs, Tracy LeBrun, Debra McCormack, Gina Pabis, Andrea Shorrock. Dis/ribution: Paul scipold,

PaLlerson, secretary. Corporate Editorial: John Lively, edilor�irHhief loum Bun, Mar}' Ann Coslagliola, Deborah Greene, Linnea Ingram, Brian Leavitt, Aaron lund, Frederick Monnes,

PUBLICATIONS
president. Boob: Carolyn Mandarano, editor; Ruth Dobscvage, Peter Jonathan Pond, Elsie Rodriguez, Alice Saxton, Eileen Sheehan. Manufacwring: Kathleen Davis, director; Kathleen

Chapman, Thomas C. McKenna, Robert Olah, Jennifer Rcnjilian, Diane Donovan. Prep";,ss: Austin Starbird, John Garofalo, Stephen Roma, Patricia sigelli, Deborah Cooper, William

Sinilsky. New ProdIK{S: Suzanne Roman, editor; Jefferson Kolle, Marc Bivona, David l3lasko, Richard Booth,James Chappuis, �Iark Coleman, Lisa DeFeo, Tina Fostcr, William Godfrey,
for fellow enth IIsiasts
\V. rl/
Vassallo. Human Resources: Carol Marotti, director: Linda Ballerini, Florence Nichols,Joseph Petrahai, linda Reddington, Martha Stammer, Chansam Thammavongsa, David Kenney,

Christine Lincoln, Finance/Accounting:janice A. Roman, chief financial officer; Wayne Reynolds, controller; Sarah Kalhy Martin, Monica Murphy. P i l Production: Dec Flanagan, Nicole Anastas, lynda Morris, promotion;

Roman, Elizabeth Conklin,jennifer Glass, Carolyn Kovaleski. Accounling: Patrick Lamontagne, Irene Arfaras, Keith Thomas Greco, Deborah Baldwin, Michael Gyulay, books: Philip VanKirk,John Cavallaro, Tracie Pavlik, magazines.

Chapman, Mary Sullivan, Andrea Henchcliffe, Karen Williams, Carol Diehm, Margaret Bafundo, Dorothy Blasko, Video: Craig Umanoff, Thomas Menard. Managemenllnformation Systems: Roben Peters, director: Brendan Howe,

Design: Susan Edelman, director; Laura Bergeron. 80011 Art: jodie Delohery, Amy Bernard, Lynne Phillips, Ilemy
Susan Burke, Lawrence Rice, Gayle Hammond, Lydia Krikorian, Lorraine Parsons, Elaine Yamin. Corporate

Roth, Carol Singer, Cynthia Smith, Rosalie Vaccaro, New PmducI Design: Mary Terrizzi, Jody Hankinson

PJlOlogmplly: Boyd I lagen, Anthony Phillips. Promotion: Philip Allard, Francesca Arminio, D. J. Arneson, Wendy
Arthur Caron, james Courtright, Maurice Downey, Gabriel Dunn,J. Larry Kinnear, Marjorie Omalycv, Roger Seliga

Joanne Bisson, Rita Myers, lisa Northrop. Ope.rations: Pure/laSing & Facilities: William Schappert, Christopher
PC Apr/ica/iollS: Heidi Waldkirch, Barbara Daignault, Robert Nielsen, Andrew Wiles. PC Systellls: Margaret Archer,

Myers, lois Beck, Peter Bishop, Michael Capalbo,Jeanncue Pascal, Beatrix Vangor, Charles HolliS, jeffrey Meslin,
'0cocrn

:s
Bowes,julia Brine, Mary Beth Cleary, Leigh Haegcr,Jennifer WinSlon. Corporate Services: Thomas Luxeder, direc­ Aaron Nobel, Susan Nerich, Oscar Carranza, Alvin Jack, Lincoln Peters. Cafe/ala: Donna Freeman, Geraldine

tor; jane Torrellce. Fulfillment: Client Services: Patricia Williamson, Carolyn Arneth, Kathryn Dolson, Iiolly

Obenhoff, Eileen SWirsky. Oreler Processing: John Comerford, Nancy Brown, Barbara Lowe, Eileen McNulty, Dawn

Teixeira, Marylou Thompson. Customer Services: Patricia Malouff, Donna \Veinslcin, Christi Heuer, Penny Lefferts,
Benno, Isabel Kaplan, Nonna:Jean Taylor. Taunton Direct: Claudia Allen, Maryann Dielte, Pamela Dunaway,

Brenda Ilamillon, Dennis O'Brien, Megan Sangster, jeanne Todaro. Taunton New Media: Roy Swanson, director;

Christopher Casey, Scan Messenger. Taunton Trade Company: Dale. Brown, preSident; Thomas johnson, Frances
coc
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Jennifer Severino, Mary Ellen Silk, Barbara Smith. Data Enlly: Carole Ando, Bonnie Beardsley, Margaret Fainer, Allen, John Bacigalupi, Petcr Bill, Barbara Buckalew, Linda Yurchishin.

8 T H R EADS
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Letter (continued)

Pauline Trigere Evelyn's Sewing Centre, 1 7817 a copy of the pattern envelope of a lessly" (No. 67, pp. 58-62). I always
for McCall's, 1956 Leslie St. , Newmarket, ON, 905- dress Trigere deSigned for McCall's say the main difference between
853-7001. Readers in the greater Patterns in 1956 (a schematic is sewing on leather and fabrics is
Toronto and upper New York State indicated at left). I've made many that once the needle pierces leather,
areas will find that both stores car- dresses from this pattern and you have a permanent hole. Brenne
ry Yukon Fleece by Huntington and haven't been able to part with it. In states that skins don't have a defi-
Polartec products by Malden Mills, fact, of all the variously styled nite grainline, but I've seen twists in
as well as quality outerwear fab- dresses I've made over the years, finished garments from the pieces
rics, 3M insulation, findings, and my husband remembers this one. being cut too far off from the head-
patterns. As well, both stores con- Wouldn't it be nice if the pattern to-tail grainline. Regarding layout,
duct classes for sewing such gar- companies brought back some of rather than taping pattern pieces
ments and also sell by mail order. these classic designs? to the leather, after laying all the
-Barbara Jeffrey, Newmarket, ON -Dorothy Osman, Denver, CO pi.eces out, I generally mark around
each piece with a pen, then cut
Timeless good design More thoughts on everything out (tape will some-
Pauline Trigere's black-ti.e j acket leather and zippers times leaves marks on the leather .g
'N
.i!
on the back cover of Threads No. 68
brought back memories, and is a
I've been working with leather for
25 years and have a couple of com-
when removed).
I use an industrial walking-foot
-.:L>0>-�
u
.g
j
reminder that good design lasts ments regarding Kathryn Brenne's machine with compound feed,
forever. To prove it, I'm enclosing fine article "Sewing Leather Fear- which ensures even feeding of the

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10 TH READS
• •

Patchwork Potpourri
Premieres Spri1lg 1997
Quilter extra01-dinaire Ge01gia Bonesteeflaunches the ninth
season oj the popular Lap Quilting series with an array oj
Patchwork Potpourri. Not onfy is Georgia one oj the best­
Creative known quilters in the U.S., Imt she's become quite the world
This season, she visits France to teach and to warn
Sewing &
travelel:
jrom jellow quilters.

Seminars Needleart
Workshops Expositions
Fashion Presentations
Creative Venue Demonstrations
Exhibitors From Across America & Canada
• FT. LAUDERDALE, FL • ARLINGTON, TX PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS
Mar. 20-22, 1997 Sept. 4-6, 1997 ROUND AND ROUND WE GO
Brush up your patchwork know-how with rulers and
• PITTSBURGH,
Oct. 3-5, 1997PA • Jan. DENVER,
22-24,CO1998 rotary cutters.

FOCUS ON FABRIC
Visit New York City and discover the origins of fabric

You'll be amazed at the size of the exhibit hall filled with designs. See how fabric inspires a Percolator Quilt.

exhibitors offering the newest in sewing supplies, services, trends, DESIGN DETAILS

tips and techniques.


��
Tour the Dairy Barn exhibit in Athens, Ohio, and

ab�6erb/ learn about quilt categories.

VIVA lA FRAN
CE, PART I
Trek to France for a visit to the Souleiado Museum.
For more information call (800) 325-1882 Afterwards, enjoy a demonsu'ation of applique

or write to P.O. Box 8568, Medford, OR 97504 options.

VIVA lA FRAN
CE, PART II
Brochures are mailed six weeks in advance of the show. Greet international quiltmakers at the Quilt Expo V in
• • Lyon, France.

SPRING FORTH WITH FLO WERS


r------------------------------, Learn variations of foundation piecing with four floral
diamond patterns

Looking for hard to find notions SUMMERTIME STITCHES


Relish the creation of a corn and bean quilt, and

or tailor's supplies? observe sU'ip pictme piecing and curved patchwork.

FALL INTO STEP


Need small quantities? ... unusual length zippers? Probe the many settings resulting from ideas for a
house block. Visit Freedom Escape retreat.
Then you're in luck. WINTERTIME WONDERS/G ARME
NTS GALORE

Need a hard-to-find color zipper, Deck the halls with holiday gifts. View winning fash­
ions from the AQS show. MeetJacquelyn Nouveau.
seam or hem-binding? BUTION, B UlTON, WHO'S GOT THE BUlTON?
Then you're in luck. Unravel the history of buttons with Lois Pool. Visit the

We will closely match swatches Warther Museum in Ohio

HERE VER YWHERE

~
QUILTS - , THERE AND E
Assess quilts from Kutztown, Penn., to France, and
catch a machine quilting demonstration.

SEMINOLE S KIES, PART I


Oregon Tailor Supply Co, Inc. Master the first steps to making a mountain wall hang­

has hundreds of colors of threads and zippers.


ing. and get insprired by the "Coming Home" quilt
contest.

KIES, PART II
-We even sell zippers by the inch! SEMINOLE S
Finish up the mountain wall hanging and learn the

Minimum order $5.00 outcome of the quilt contest.

Check local listings jor the public TV station in your area.


Call us with your hard-to-fill notions
UNC-lV thanks these
and tailor supply needs, or ask for our catalog: Companion book
Patchwm'k Potpourri companies for providing
available from UNC-Press production funding:
Oregon Tailor Supply Co. phone# 1 800 693-3939 Leisure Arts
P.O. Box 42284, Portland, OR 97242 V.I.P. Fabrics
of America
503 232-6191 800678- 2457 Fax:503 232-9470 UNC(i)TV
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We're knowledgeable, friendly and will fill your order VIS4
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a pril/may 19 9 7 1 1
let ter (continued)

leather as I stitch. If your machine I feel that Bjorg Frackelton's reply because of the wide variety of
doesn't feed the leather through results in a rather unprofessional snaps used, I've found it nearly im­
with some distance between each repair, with the zipper tape show­ possible to match them. In my
hole, find another machine to use ing on the inside of the j acket. I opinion, exposing the zipper tape
for sewing leather. Holes stitched prefer to remove the snaps on the on the inside of one side of the
too closely perforate the leather so underlap side with wire cutters, j acket is a practical solution for a
it can easily tear. and then replace both the zipper quick, inexpensive repair.
Finally, I prefer to use a no. 69 ny­ and snaps.
lon thread and size 20 needle! This -Tricia Straub, Columbia, M O Editor's note: If you really want to
is because, although the hide the zipper tape but don't want
leather will last for years, Bjorg Frachelton replies: Here in Wis­ to remove the snaps, another op­
the thread gradually disin­ consin, I get asked to replace a lot tion is to cut semicircles on the un­
tegrates. I've had to restitch of j acket zippers! You're right that derlap half of the new zipper tape
many jacket seams for cus­ removing and replacing the snaps so that it will fit around the exist­
tomers because the thread gives a more polished repair. Yet ing snaps (use the old zipper tape
rotted away. it's a tricky job to replace snaps se­ as a guide), then melt the cut edges
Concerning the answer giv­ curely, and it's easy to damage the of the tape to prevent fraying. Now
en to the reader's question on right side of the fabric. As well, if you can sandwich the new zipper
how to replace a j acket zipper that you bend one snap out of shape, it between the jacket and lining and
has snaps (Threads No. 67, p. 12), means replacing all the snaps; and stitch as instructed.

NOW! EMBROIDER CAPS,


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Q u estions
Have a question Sun-protective fabrics looser garments offer more pro­ READERS ASK
of general interest I've heard about a new fabric that tection than tightly fitted ones; and To help with the following,
about sewing, quilt­ protects against the sun's harmfu l darker colors like deep blue and please write to Threads at
ing, embellishing, or uv,
u ltraviolet, o r rays. What is purple absorb more UV rays than the address at left.
a garment-related this fabric, and is it available yet lighter colors.
craft? Send it to: to home sewers? But there are special new fabrics I had a great pattern-marking
Threads Questions, -Veronica van Zyl, being developed and tested, and tool called Tack-It from the
63 S. Main St., Peterborough, O N , Canada these are probably the ones you've Orco Company of Dayton,
PO Box 5 506, heard about. Some of the most ex­ OH. Does anyone know if
N ewtown, CT Karen Morris replies: Actually, near­ citing breakthroughs come from this tool is still available?
06470-5506. ly all fabrics offer some protection Australia, which has the highest -Nancy Smith, Virginia Beach, VA

from the sun's damaging ultravio­ rate of skin cancer in the world.
let radiation. Even that old sum­ One new cotton/Lycra knit from Have any readers had
mer standby, the cotton T-shirt, has Japan reputedly has an SPF o[ experience reweaving fabric
a sun-protection factor (or SPF, 1000. And new fabrics are being to repair holes? I want to
which measures the length of time developed here in the United learn but don't know where
one can remain in the sun without States, as well, some that contain to begin.
sunburn) of 7 to 10 when dry (wet colorless compounds, fluorescent -Karen Kepner,

fabrics lose about a third of their brighteners, or specially treated Cambridge Springs, PA

sun-protective ability), so it can resins that absorb UV rays to re­


protect you for short periods in the duce the amount that reaches the larweave, a sun-protective fabric
sun. In general, according to Joyce skin, and others without chemical with a chemical coating, sold to
Ayoub of the Skin Cancer Foun­ treatments that block the sun with major manufacturers like L.L. Bean
dation in New York City (800- the tightness of the weave. The and Nike. Weather or Not Fabrics
SKIN-490), the more tightly woven sun-protective garment industry, &: Findings Co. (2845 Southwest
or knitted the fabric, the better it together with the Federal Trade Pacific Blvd., Albany, OR 973 2 1 ;
protects; synthetics screen out Commission, is in the process of 541-924-1446) is just beginning to
more rays than natural fibers (and setting up uniform gUidelines [or sell Solarweave fabric by mail to
natural, unbleached cotton more testing and labeling the SPF of home sewers. Call for color, price,

. \ . ;
than bleached); fabrics. Once that has been com­ and ordering information .

", ",\\ l i/-- . / .


pleted, it should become easier to However, it's important to re­
determine the SPF of fabrics member that 80 percent of all skin

' '@/---'-
-

- .�
...--

--.
you buy.
Meanwhile, Sun Pre­
cancers occur on the head and
neck, so the first defense is a tight­

· /--·?!II\t.�·
cautions of Everett, ly woven hat with a 3- to 4-in.-wide
WA, manufac- brim all around. And don't forget to

/ I i \ \ \>"
tures and wear sunglasses coated to absorb
sells a UV rays to protect your eyes.

i t . � \j
line of
clothing, hats, The elusive Va-in. seam
/ and umbrellas made I just purchased a European sewing
of a nylon fabric called machine, which is marked only with

',.j'� Solumbra, especially woven,


dyed, and finished to provide
an SPF of 30+ (call 800-
metric seam gUides. How do I sew
an accurate 'kin. seam?
-Ann Gill, North Ridgeville, OH

882-7860 for a catalog). c


.g
j
Solar Protective Factory of Carol Ahles rep lies: It can be con­
Sacramento, CA, markets 50- fusing when you first need to sew

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a pril/may 1997 15
Q u es t i o n S (C"o""",d)
a %-in. seam o n a metric machine. drawer with other frequently used seam gUide (available from Nan­
But part of getting to know your accessories. You can measure from cy's Notions, 800-833-0690). Or
new machine is learning to adj ust the lowered needle point with a use a strip of masking tape (I like
for accurate sewing for all the seam small ruler, or stitch on a piece of narrow basting tape) or a rubber
widths you'll need. lA-in. graph paper, after cutting the band around the machine arm to
The easiest way to get accurate paper along one of its lines. Try act as a gUide.
seam widths is by adj usting the different needle positions and Also, be aware that this level of
needle position on your sewing marks until you find the combina­ accuracy may not be as important
machine. On most machines, for tion that works best for each width, on some of the garments you sew,
example, if you gUide the fabric by then write the setting on the card. like gathered skirts. But if you're
the l . S-mm mark and move the On my machines, I figure out \{i-in. sewing pants, with four seams and
needle one or two positions to the increments from \{i to 1;; in., plus 1 eight seam allowances around the
left, you'll get an almost exact and 2 in. body, even small inaccuracies can
%-in. seam. For very narrow distances, guide add up.
I suggest that you make an along the right edge of the presser
index-card record of settings for foot with a right needle position, or Karen Morris is an associate editor of
your most-used seam widths. You use a foot that's designed for gUid­ Threads; Carol Ahles of Houston, TX,
only have to figure out each set­ ing close to an edge, like an edg­ is author of Fine Machine Sewing (The

ting once, then write it on the card ing or quilter's foot. For wider Taunton Press, 1 996), and teaches

and keep it in your sewing-machine distances, try an adhesive-backed classes across the country.

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TiPs
Share a tip, a Back for more (like the one below) out of these Letter-perfect quilt labels
useful trick, or I'll bet I'm not the only person who fabrics. I use the fabric, instruc­ Wouldn't you love to use your com­
a great sewing or uses a dining table to cut fabric. tions and all, as yardage, which re­ puter's beautiful type fonts as
embellishing I've found that bending over the sults in some very amused expres­ guides for the hand-embroidered
resource. Send table is terribly tiresome for my sions from people observing my letters you sew on quilt labels?
details, sketches, back (I'm tall, but standard table handiwork. And friends to whom Here's how:
photos, or samples heights are too short for most peo­ I've given these garments as gifts On the computer, type the infor­
(if you like) to: ple to work at comfortably). My have enjoyed the quirkiness, too. mation as you want it to appear on
Threads Tips, husband made four 6-in. cubes of To make a shirt or vest from craft­ the actual label, and print a paper
PO Box 5 506, wood, which I can easily slip under panel fabric, buy three panels per copy. Place a piece of wash-away
Newtown, CT the table legs when it's time to cut garment, which allows you suf­ gel stabilizer (Solvy or Avalon) over
06470-5 506. fabric. Not only does my back feel ficient room to the paper, and using a fine-point
Be sure to include better, but my cutting time has ac­ roller-ball pen, lightly make a series
a phone number tually speeded up, too. of dots on the stabilizer, essential­
in case we have -Madeline Gillespie, Abbeville, GA ly tracing the lettering. Put the sta­
a question. We'll bilizer over the label fabric and
pay for each item Sewers need tightly affix the two layers together
we publish. extra buttons, too in an embroidery hoop. With nee-
Have you ever made a garment dle and thread, hand-embroider
with several beautiful buttons, the lettering through both lay­
only to lose one? You waste time ers, and when you've fin­
searching for a match, or ished, pick the gel off with
worse, buying and sewing on tweezers (it's not necessary
a whole new set of buttons. to wash it). In a hot, humid
So now when I make a blouse climate, the gel might soft­
or skirt, I sew one or two extra en before you've finished
buttons inside the garment at embroidering, so just aim
a seam near the hem, like they a hot hair dryer at it to re­
do in ready-to-wear. If I lose a store the gel.
button, it's easy to snip one free -Cynthia Santiago,

and replace the lost one. For vests, Folly Beach, SC

j ackets, coats, or pants, sew the


extra buttons in an inconspicuous Out of pocket
place, like inside a waistband or showcase the choicest whimsical I occasionally add in-seam pock­
even a pocket. details. For instance, you might ets to ready-made garments or to
-Peg Pennell, Omaha, N E feature the craft panel's finished garments I'm sewing whose pat­
sketch (there's always a sketch) on terns don't include a pocket. To
Look, Martha, it's a front pocket, center the panel's avoid having to search through all
craft-panel couture decorative title bar ("Fedora the my patterns for a good in-seam
Ever seen printed craft panels in Sewing Doll" or "The Wild West pocket pattern piece, I designed a
stores? These are the odd fabrics Pillow") across the back, or run time-saving solution. Using a non­
(waiting to be sewn and stuffed in­ the printed instruction panel right woven tracing material (I used Red
to dolls, bears, and pillows) with up a shirt sleeve. After deCiding Dot Tracer by HTC), I made a per­
their cutting lines, seam allow­ how to show off this unusual fab­ manent in-seam pocket pattern,
ances, and sewing instructions ric, cut and sew the garment the which I keep handy in my sewing­
printed smack in the middle of the same way you would any fabric. notions drawer. c
.g
j
yardage. Well, I've been having lots And smile when you wear it. -Patricia Ann Van Maanen,

of fun making "fashion" garments -Cathie Marano, Lake Hopatcong, NJ Friday Harbor, WA

18 T H R EADS
The Sewing Companion Library

Let Top Sewing Teachers Show You How


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Easy Guide to Sewing Blouses by Connie Long


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Easy Guide to Serging Fine Fabrics by Kitty Benton
Professional designer Kitty Benton shows you how to use a serger,
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T i p S (co","",d
Pattern pieces Skip the muslin, A press cloth
from interfacing fit the lining to see through
I sew a lot with Polartec fleece, of­ I used to make a muslin version of Most press cloths are made of
ten using patterns repeatedly. I've each garment I sewed. Now I use opaque fabrics, so you have to
found a way to prolong the lifespan the lining of the garment as my guess whether the fabric under­
of patterns that simplifies the cut­ muslin. This saves time, money, neath is where it's supposed to be.
ting process at the same time. Just and frustration. Solve this problem by using silk
trace the pattern onto a medium­ Cut the lining first, making the organza as a press cloth. You can
weight nonfusible interfacing, seams generous, just in case an ex­ see through it, so you know the
which is more durable and translu­ tra pinch of fabric is needed to get fabric being pressed is set up just
cent than either pattern paper or a good fit. Machine-baste the pieces the way you want. It can be used
oak tag. When using that interfac­ together Fit this garment, making dry or dampened, and works on
ing pattern piece with fleece, you necessary changes directly to the wool, silk, or synthetic settings. It
need only place the pattern and lining. Then remove the basting, will scorch if pressed with a very
press it gently to the fabric by run­ and transfer those changes to the hot iron (cotton or linen settings).
ning your hand over it. The pat­ pattern. You're now ready to start For your own press cloth, cut a
tern will stick like hook-and-loop the garment with a properly fitted healthy-sized square of silk organ­
tape to the fabric, which eliminates pattern, and the lining is already za using pinking shears, so the
the need for pins or weights. cut, fitted, and ready to sew. edges won't ravel. That's it!
-Kevin Brooker, Post Mills, VT -M ildred Silver, Windsor, ON, Canada -Frances Cowan, Decatur, GA

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22 THREADS
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Basics
We've set aside C O N ST R U CT I O N Reinforce seams that will receive
stress during wear (for example,
this space to explain
sewing techniques
T H R EA D S in the underarm or crotch) with a
and terms that may by Millie Schwandt stronger thread or by stitching the
not be familiar to seam twice. Commonly used con­
everyone. If you've Shopping for garment-construction struction threads come in three dif­
ever been stumped thread was easy in the days when ferent fibers: polyester, cotton
by a casual there was one kind of thread avail­ (available in two weights for gar­
instruction to able in a limited number of colors, ment construction), and cotton­
"clean-finish the and the only trick was to find the wrapped polyester.
edge" or "find the best color to match your fabric.
true bias," this Nowadays it's not quite that sim­ Polyester: strong and stretchy­
column should be a ple-most fabric stores carry a The fiber in all-polyester thread
handy reference. daunting array of threads for your is strong, resistant to abrasion,
sewing machine in different fiber and has good stretch and recovery
contents and weights, and in a properties. Polyester is a good, all­
wonderful choice o[ colors. Here purpose thread for knits and syn­
are guidelines to help you purchase thetic blends. As well, it's the best
the right garment-construction choice [or taffetas and bridal satins,
thread for the job. heavy wools, gabardines, denims,
and heavy cottons such as duck.
What color? Garment-construction threads for
The construction thread should be the serger are 100-percent polyester
the same color but one shade dark­ and a somewhat finer weight than
er than the fabric (so the thread sewing-machine poly. (Another
blends as invisibly as possible). If garment-construction thread for
you can't find a good color match, the serger is woolly nylon, an all­
look for a gray or other neutral col- i nylon specialty thread used only
or that's the same value as or slight­ in the loopers. )
ly darker than the fabric. When
the stitches are visible in a pressed Cotton: disappears into the
seam (which is unavoidable on sea m s-Cotton thread is soft, with
some fabrics), a neutral color a little or no elasticity, and is the best
shade darker than the fabric will choice [or most natural-fiber wo­
show less than a much lighter or ven fabrics. Cotton has the advan­
darker thread the same color as tage of creasing and melding into
the fabric. a seam when pressed, producing a
beautiful, flat seam. (To see this in
Match the thread's action, fold a length of polyester
strength to the fabric thread in half and crease the fold,
When selecting a construction then do the same with cotton
thread, a consideration even more thread. You'll see a definite crease
important than color is the thread's in the cotton and almost no crease
strength. As a rule, avoid a thread in the polyester.)
that's stronger than the fabric, so Cotton threads are identified by a
that if a seam rips under stress number, such as 50/3, which des­
when worn, it will be the thread, ignates, first, the strand size (the
and not the fabric, that gives way. higher the number, the smaller the

24 THREADS
strand), and then the number of bin and setting tensions to main­ appearance on the spool is a good
strands. The most commonly avail­ tain stitch quality. But the combi­ indication of its quality-if it looks
able cotton threads for garment nation of fibers makes this thread fuzzy, it's probably made from a
construction are 5 0/ 3 , good for a workable compromise for most short-staple fiber, which is weaker
most natural-fiber woven fabrics, woven fabrics. than the long-staple fibers used in
and 60/2, which produces a good better threads, creates more lint,
seam on very lightweight fabrics. Silk: sleek but too strong? -S ilk and causes a loss of stitch quality as
thread is best used for marking and it feeds unevenly through the ma­
Cotton-wrapped polyester: the basting delicate fabrics because its chine's tension disks.
middle road-Cotton-wrapped smooth fibers don't damage a fab­ Remember, there are no absolutes
polyester, the most widely avail­ ric's fine yarns and weaves. How­ in selecting garment-construction
able all-purpose thread, has an ever, because silk thread is even thread-many of us could proba­
inner polyester core with a short­ stronger than polyester, it should bly sew most of our garments with
staple cotton outer cover, which be used for garment construction any all-purpose thread. However,
makes it slightly weaker than only on equally strong or heavy­ choosing the best thread for the
its all-polyester cousin. Cotton­ weight fabrics. proj ect will proVide a visible im­
wrapped polyester thread can be provement in the finished product.
linty, and the difference in elastic- Quality counts
ity between the two fibers requires Consider using the best threads Millie Schwandt is a Bernina instructor
extra care when winding the bob- your budget will allow. The thread's in Eugene, OR.

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26 T H R EADS
F i ttin g
Here's the place to Fitting the seated figure ed, the less they'll fit when stand­ always add details and dart shap­
get some answers I have a wheelchair-bound friend I'd ing. You'll probably have to live ing to, and redesign the waist of,
to your fitting like to sew for, but I can't figure out with knees that bag out in front this altered pattern later, as you
questions. If you have how to alter her pants so they look and wrinkle in back, since building gain more experience with your
a better solution than better and are more comfortable an angle into the legs at the knee friend's shape and needs.
the one we've given when she's seated. Any suggestions? would throw grainlines unattrac­ A seated person basically needs
here, please write -Carol LaBret, Bexley, OH tively off course. But, even avoiding more room in back and less in
and tell us. Send your this correction, be prepared for front, both in length and width, so
questions (include Our body dimensions change sub­ your seated patterns to look quite before cutting out a muslin test gar­
photos, if possible), stantially as we bend into a sit­ strange compared with ordinary ment that you'll tweak as your
comments, and ting position, says dressmaker Su­ pants patterns. friend sits in it, first make the
solutions to: san Schwartz. Ordinary pants are Because of the logistical difficul­ changes shown at lower left to the
Threads Fit, designed to look their best when ties of accurately measuring a per­ lengthwise dimensions of the front
PO Box 5 506, the wearer is standing, so a con­ son in a wheelchair, and having and back pieces. Shifting the in­
Newtown, CT siderable distortion of the garment them get in and out of muslins, I've seam forward, as shown in the
06470·5 506. is involved when the wearer sits. evolved a simple, combined alter­ same drawing, moves the four­
The main problems, of course, are ing and draping approach to fitting point seam j oint usually hidden
a lap full of wrinkles from a sud­ seated pants, as opposed to the more or less at mid-crotch toward
denly too-long front-crotch length, more familiar measure-everything­ the front, which will be more com­
a back-tilted waistline from the first/alter/test approach usually de­ fortable. Adding what is essential­
downward pull of a now too-short scribed in this column. The women ly a big released dart or unstitched
back-crotch length, and pant hems I've worked with all seemed to pre­ pleat in back, as shown below, ac­
that lift above the ankles and angle fer the simple lines of easy-to-get-on commodates the increased hip cir­
up in front. But if you're going to be elastic-waist pants with no pock­ cumference we all experience when
seated all or most of the time, you ets, so that's where I suggest you sitting redistributes our body fat.
can fairly easily adjust a basic pants start. I'll assume you have a pat­ Of course, if your friend is very
pattern to compensate for all of tern for this style that would fit thin in back, as are many folks in
these ills, understanding that the your friend's various circum fer­ wheelchairs, don't bother adding
smoother the pants look when seat- ences if she were standing. You can this excess.

A LT E R I N G T H E PATT E R N F O R A S E AT E D M U S L I N
Move the inseam toward the front Add room to the rear 2 to 3 in.
·······
-
3 in.I · ·

2 in.
1 'h to
Slash from Slash from

;:
knee to about Front Back center of back
1'd in. along waistline to
front-crotch center of knee
curve. then line and across
tape triangle knee on back
Spread
thus removed pattern.
to back Add extra
inseam. length at both
matching Knee hems and
notches. back waist. Knee

, , )
Back Back

. .. ... ... .. . 4 inI " .. ..... .. .... :


28 T H R EADS
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a pril/may 1 997 29
F itti n (continued)

These changes should give her Cut the hems, front and back, and side seams from the waist down to
plenty of extra room, so when you the waist in the back longer than where the hip bends forward will
cut out the muslin version, you typ­ usual to allow for shaping these make things smoother. Just pop
ically won't need more than ordi­ areas to the seated figure. Clip the the basting threads and repin, if
nary side and inseam seam allow­ crotch seam allowances (which this seems likely to help. It's often
ances around the legs. However, shouldn't be more than about 3h useful to make the back side seam
you may need to reposition the side i n . ) . As you construct the side a little longer than the front, re­
seams above the hips, so allow at seams, baste the top 8 in. or so quiring that it be eased onto the
least 1 �-in. seam allowances here. since you may have to adjust this front, in the same way that front­
area later. bodice side seams are sometimes
With your friend wearing the eased to conform to the bust. Be­
muslin, wrap a length of the elastic fore marking the waistline and any
TYP I C A L CO R R E CT I O N S you're going to use for the waist­ other changes, check carefully to
F O R T H E S E AT E D F I G U R E band around her waist and pin it at see that your adjustments have pre­
Corrected front the tension and position she finds served as much symmetry and dis­
Forward Deeply scooped waist­ comfortable. This is a good time torted the grain as little as possible,
Drawings show line with raised center

side seam to experiment with different widths repositioning gathers if needed.
corrected --
pa ttern after and types of elastic, if you have sev­ Before you take the muslin off
transferring eral around, to make sure you're your friend, fold up the hem at the
marks from Scooped front­ using the most comfortable and angle and height that work for her
draped muslin. crotch curve
Front attractive option. Of course, you'll seated posture. Typically, this will
Dotted line
shows muslin need to check that the elastic will fit involve extending the front and
before draping. over her hips, or else plan to add a shortening the back, so that the
simple (perhaps hook-and-Ioop­ pattern hem will be a convex curve
based) closure at the side. Next, in front and a concave one in back,
you simply need to slowly and care­ most easily finished with a narrow
fully adjust the gathered muslin machine-stitched hem.
folds under the elastic, pulling up The drawings at left show the typ­
Dropped front as much as is comfortable in front ical results you'll get at the top of
hemline and making sure the fabric is as the pattern when draping a seated
smooth as possible in back, in­ figure: a deeply scooped waist in
Corrected back cluding under the legs. This may front, combined with a raised back.
take some maneuvering and "see­ Surprising as it may seem, there's
Forward
ing" with your fingers. often a slight rise at the center
Extended side seam
Vertical folds at the front crotch front, so the waistline looks more
center
back probably mean you need to scoop like two side-by-side scoops than
the front curve out a little, and one big one. If you adj usted the
pulling at the center back means front and back side seams, you may
you need to release some of the also find that both now tilt for­
tightness by lengthening the crotch ward, as if bending at the hips.
seam at center back. Shifting the in­ This certainly makes sense for the
seam to the front as described ear­ seated figure, instead o f these
lier usually makes the front curve seams forming a balanced pair of
pretty shallow, so don't be afraid to opposing curves as they would for
Raised back hemline cut it deeper if it seems necessary. the standing figure.
Note that the center-front seam
doesn't need to be on grain. Also Susan Schwartz is owner of And Sew It

check to see if repositioning the Goes in Somerset, NJ.

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'

Horsehai r Brai
Why not elevate th is trad itional herY1 stiffener
to tri m the right side of a garment?
by Linda Lee

emember horsehair braid? available, comes in a range of ricn, and white in many local fabric
It's that stiff, synthetic, exquisite colors, and has a crisp, stores, and is inexpensive (from
weblike tape traditionally smooth surface that I favor over $ . 6 5/yd. for %-in.-wide braid to
sewn inside the hems of :
the softer tulle. But tull can cer­ $3.95 for 6-in.-wide braid) and usu­
evening and bridal gowns tainly be used, and it would also be ally available in several widths from
to stiffen them and make interesting to experiment with trim­ � to 6 in. This braid is also manu­
them flare out. Well , I recently ming other, entirely different fab­ factured in a range of luscious col­
came across an elegant black tulle rics like linen, wool crepe, or even ors like pale peach, Naples yellow,
j acket by Chicago design team wool tweed. On pp. 35 and 36 are Navaj o turquoise, kelly green, and
Roger Price and Craig Walton that samples I made in various fabrics military blue (likewise available in
used horsehair braid in an unusu­ and ideas for applying horsehair­ various widths), and is even pro­
al way-as trim embellishing the braid trim to other garments. duced in decoratively stitched,
right side of the garment. I was so Whether you decide to create all­ tubular, and pleated forms, though
taken with the j acket's dramatic ef­ over trim like that on my jacket or not in a range of colors (see the
fect and with the prospect of work­ j ust embellish the pockets, cuffs, samples on this page). These col­
ing with this odd combination of or edges of a garment, you can ben­ ored and more exotic braids, some
materials that I decided to try my efit from what I learned about of them vintage, are generally more
own jacket, which you see on the working with horsehair braid. expensive (up to $S.50/yd.) and
facing page and on the cover. (After harder to find, but they can be pur­
doing a little research on horsehair Bring on the braid chased by mail [rom several of the
braid, I found that other designers Originally made of actual horse­ suppliers listed on p. 34.

/
as noted as Christian Dior and hair, horsehair braid was first used When deciding on the color com­
Geoffrey Beene had also occasion­ in upholster n the 17th century, bination of organza and braid, I
ally used horsehair braid to and by the1ate 1700s began to be draped various color samples of
/
bellish their garments, and knew used y;vgarments. In the 19th cen­ braid over a selection of single­
that I was setting off to explore in­ tuYf,it was often used to stiffen layer organza samples. I made a
teresting territory.) and give body to the hems of dress- point of holding up each combi­
In the end I chose to apply the
braid to silk organza rather than
tulle since organza is more readily
\ es and the chests of tailored jackets.
Nowadays woven of synthetic fiber,
horsehair braid is available in black
nation to the sunlight to see how
the colors would change and play
off one another outdoors. In every

)
case, the colors became more un- Pattern: simple does it
derstated, gauzy, and translucent If you plan overall horsehair trim
in the sunlight than when viewed for your jacket, vest, or coat, I sug-
flat on a table. gest looking for a simple pattern
In the end, I used between 35 with few seams and no darts, Available in many
and 40 yd. of �-in.-wide light yellow which makes it easier to apply the colors, several widths,
horsehair braid for my teal-green braid. I used Vogue 1827 for my and even dimensional
organza j acket. For smaller proj- jacket, which has a one-piece shawl form (opposite). horse-
ects, like trimming a pair of patch collar; large patch pockets extend- hair braid offers an
pockets or a collar and cuffs, 1 to 2 ing to the hem; dropped-shoulder, intriguing. unexpected
yd. of braid should be enough. tapered sleeves; and a slightly trim for garments. At
In terms of fabric, I suggest pur- flared, A-line shape. Even if you right and shown in
2-
:c
C>. chasing one or more yards over want to trim only the pockets and detail above. the author
" what your pattern calls for so you collar, for instance, this or a similar combined �-in. braid
JlB- ean experiment before beginning design would work well. with silk organza to
] the actual j acket. When using or- Of course, you needn't be limited create an eye-catching
.c0-c�
'0
'"

ganza or tulle (or even linen or
wool crepe), you'll need to back
to trimming the pockets and collar.
It might be interesting to trim only
jacket (Vogue 1827).
c5
'00
the fabric with a stabilizer before the dropped sleeve or the cuffs or

@ you can apply the horsehair braid. front edges on a j acket or coat. But Working out
«
B- My favorite stabilizer is Totally whatever you decide, be careful the trim design
g.
.l! Stable by Sulky, a fusible tearaway not to pick a style with too many You'll find lots of inspiration for
i" (see Threads No. 66, pp. 63-65 for design lines that would interfere your horsehair trim design in
]� more on stabilizers). with the bold graphiCS of the horse- wrought-iron gates, fancy railings,
-5 and ornamental grillwork. Begin
� You'll also need a two-ply or hair trim. To eliminate pattern
0 embroidery-weight cotton thread seams, place the pattern pieces on working out the design on the front
�B- and a fine 70/ 10 universal needle. a fold, or tape the pattern pieces pattern piece. If you want the de­
II In order to see the work clearly as together when you can to get rid sign to be asymmetrical, make a
�{! you sew, use an open-toe presser of a seam and create larger surfaces second front pattern piece as well.
0
L foot on the machine. for the design. Then, using a soft-lead pencil, draw

a pril/may 1 997 33
Horsehair braid Draw the trim design

by mail directly on the

Bell'occhio pattern. Then transfer


8 Brady St. the design to the resin
San Francisco. CA 941 03 side of the stabilizer
41 5-864-4048
before fusing the
Also retail. Vintage braid.
interesting colors. 2-3 � stabilizer to the fashion
in.; pleated. tubular. and fabric, allowing an extra
braided ($3-8. 50jyd.).*
1 to 2 in. of stabilizer
Britex-by-Mail all around. Leave the
146 Geary St. pocket-trim design off
San Francisco. CA 941 08 the garment front, and
41 5-3 92-2 9 1 0
Also retail. Black. white. instead transfer it to the
colors. �-6 in.; white stabilizer to be fused
tubular ($ 1 .25-3.95). * to the pocket.

Dressmaker's Supply
1 2 1 2 Yonge St. D esign transfer and pre­
Toronto M4T 1 W 1 horsehair prep-To transfer the
Canada
pencil design from the tissue pat­
41 6-922-6000
Also retail. Black. white. tern pieces to the stabilizer, place
% & 1 in.; colors in other the stabilizer, resin side up, on top
widths ($.98-4.95 Can.).* of the pattern pieces. Then, using a
HE-RO Sewing Center medium-point black marker, trace
495 S. Clinton Ave. the outline of the pattern shapes
Rochester. NY 14620 and the penciled trim design onto
71 6-232-2160
Also retail. Black in four the stabilizer's resin side. (If you're
sizes ($1-2.1 0jyd.).** working with an opaque fabric,
To create the most texture with a spiral of braid, sew on the braid's transfer the design to the nonresin
Lacis
outside rather than inside edge. Also, the gentler the curve, the flatter side of the stabilizer, [use the sta­
3 1 6 3 Adeline St.
Berkeley. CA 94703 the braid lies; and pressing directly on the spiral rather than just the bilizer in place, then thread-trace
5 1 0-843-7178 surrounding fabric tends to flatten the braid. the design to the right side of the
Also retail. Vintage braid fashion fabric.)
($2-7. 5 Ojyd. ). **
meandering lines and curves, on the front pattern piece. After Although I didn't prewash the or­
Manny's Millinery spirals, loops, and other softly curv­ completing the design, position the ganza or horsehair braid before
26 W. 3 8th St. ing motifs over the whole pattern pocket pattern on the front and constructing the j acket, both re­
New York. NY 1 001 8
212-840-2 2 3 5 piece or pieces, keeping in mind trace the design beneath it onto ceived plenty of steam from the
Also retail. Black, white, balance, scale, and proportion as the pocket. iron in the construction process
colors; 6-in. pleated, you work. 1 treated the back of my j acket without apparent shrinkage. Of
black & white ( $ 1 .25-
Rather than always planning the as one overall design canvas, and course, if you're concerned about
3 . 9 5jyd.); catalog. $ 3 ;
minimum, $ 2 5 . design with a single length of braid, also used the same design on both the materials you're working with,
occasionally place several lines of sleeves. If you want a different de­ by all means preshrink your fabric
Tinsel Trading Co.
braid parallel to one another, then sign on each sleeve, make a sec­ and trim before sewing.
47 W. 3 8th St.
New York, NY 1 001 8 have the pair or trio branch off in­ ond sleeve pattern to work on. After cutting out the p attern
21 2-730-1030 to separate lines that form spirals Since there's no real way to dis­ pieces from the fashion fabric,
Also retail. Vintage braid, with about three rounds each (see guise the ends of the horsehair mark pocket placements and other
tubular and other novelty
the side back of my j acket on p. braid in the middle of the pattern pertinent construction references
forms ($.50-$5jyd.).
Video catalog. $ 1 5 ; 33). Don't skimp on the trim de­ piece, you'll need to think about with silk-thread tailor's tacks. Sew
minimum, $25. sign; instead, liberally fill the area where to begin and end the sec­ any seams, such as the center-back
of the pattern piece with it. tions of your design. I suggest be­ seam, that will run under the
*No catalog; no minimum. If the pattern you're using has a ginning or ending the braid at the horsehair design, using a small
**Catalog; no minimum. patch pocket, ignore the pocket side seams or hemlines, or in the French seam or a narrow flat-felled
while working out the trim design center of a spiral. seam to conceal the raw edges. But

34 T H R EADS
H O RS E H A I R- B R A I D EX P E R I M E N TS

wait to sew all other seams (or sec­


tion of a seam) in which horsehair
lines will begin or end.
With the stabilizer resin side up
on bottom and the fabric face up
on top of it, use a warm iron and
no steam to fuse the stabilizer to
the fabric. Begin fusing at the cen­
ter of the fabric and work toward
the edges. Leave 1 to 2 in. of extra
stabilizer around the edges of each
pattern piece, and cut away the Bias-woven horsehair braid
remaining excess. turns corners and cu rves
easily but produces equally
Time for the horsehair dramatic straight effects.The
Now for the fun . To apply the author's experiments with this
horsehair braid, you can start in a braid include: ( 1 ) hem trim on
seamline or at the hem, and place a linen sleeve; (2) curves on
a length of braid on the fabric's tulle; ( 3 ) a serpentine effect
right side on top of a design line, on organza with commercial,
leaving about 'h in. of braid in the decoratively stitched braid; (4)
seam or hem allowance. If you pairing with rayon braid on silk
want to start (or end) the braid in )
organza; (5 an edge trim, with
the center of a spiral within the the braid's flange sewn onto
garment body, cut the braid's end the facing's seamline; a (6)
on a slight diagonal and first sew checkerboard woven with
the braid in a circle so the cut end rayon seam tape; (7)
filler for
touches and is more or less hid­ a cut-out window in melton
den by the braid that passes by it. cloth; (8) thick-thin trim
Using a 2-mm stitch length, sew on satin made by regularly
down either edge of the braid. pinching in 5-in. braid with
You'll soon discover that the edge ribbon; (9) parallel rows on
of the braid you sew on (inside or silk shantung, pressed against
outside) determines whether the the stitching to make the trim
horsehair stands off the fabric's stand off the surface.

a pril/may 1 997 35
surface in convex or concave The hard part: maneuvering in
curves, as shown in the photos at the machine The only real frus­
-
U S I N G H O R S E H A I R B RA I D bottom on p. 34. (You'll also dis­ tration in sewing this j acket was
As a design tool. horsehair braid works either for or against cover that sewing braid in a curve manipulating the large pieces of
you. It has a mind of its own. can be pesky at times. but or circle causes the fabric and fabric and stabilizer under and
performs beautifully in the right situations. It stretches. it
stitching to pucker. This is easily through the arm of the sewing ma­
springs. it shreds. It also molds. shapes. and bends. and is
funky enough to set the creative wheels in motion. Listen remedied with pressing, which I'll chine. I suggest rolling and fold­
to the braid. Whatever it wants to do will definitely discuss in a moment.) Switching ing the fabric you're not stitching
be interesting. and probably exotic. For ideas into smaller sections to get it out of
sewing sides from one trio of spi­
for using it. consider those below.-L.L.
rals to the next creates an in­ the way. The rolling and folding, of

A confection of
teresting contrast and differ­ course, may take their toll, and you
ing texture and shadows. may find it necessary to re-fuse sec­
Don't hesitate to over- or un­ tions of the stabilizer before pro­
derlap the braid as you're sewing ceeding. None of these construc­
the deSign, since this will only tion logistics is difficult. They j ust
enhance the surface's texture. require patience.
You can also pull the braid taut as
you sew, making it thinner, but I Finishing touches
prefer not to do this and keep the After you've finished applying the
braid's width consistent through­ horsehair trim, gently tear away
out the design. the stabilizer along the stitching

Flat braid
lines. It should come off fairly eas­
accenting the Pocket protocol-When the de­ ily, but small bits will be left in the
edges of a sign has a pocket, apply the braid corners and at intersections of
Chanel-type jacket
to the main garment piece, ending sewing lines. Use tweezers to re­
it about Y, in. inside the pocket move these bits.
placement line. Then prepare the To eliminate puckering along
pocket itself by first completing the curved sections of braid, steam­
Pleated braid
to edge an faCing and pressing the seam al­ press the garment-the organza and
asymmetrical lowances to the wrong side. Trim braid can both tolerate a fair
jacket amount of steam. You can press
the seam allowances to a precise
y.; in. Then place the pocket on the the horsehair braid itself com-
tailor's-tack markings and use tai- pletely flat or just steam the sur-
lor's chalk to mark the intersection rounding fabric and let the braid
of the front's horsehair trim with stand in relief off the surface. Try
the pocket. This intersection is the both options and see which you
starting point for applying the like better for your garment.
braid on the pocket. Finally, complete any un sewn
To do so, remove the pocket from seams and finish the j acket in the

Braid insets at
the front and wrap about Y, in. of construction order suggested by
the shoulder the horsehair braid to the wrong the pattern. The braid and organza
and hem side of the pocket to hide the raw will wrinkle very little and can be
edge. Then sew the braid to the dry-cleaned (be sure to request that
right side of the pocket to complete the garment be steam-cleaned, not
the deSign, and edgestitch the pock­ pressed). Both the braid and or­
Curved and
et itself to the garment on all sides ganza will also soften with time
twisted braid
at a skirt's hem except the top, pulling the threads and wear, and this j acket may just
to the wrong side to secure the become your favorite bit of wear­
stitching. Complete the horsehair able drama for years to come. •
design on the entire garment and c
.g
j
attach any remaining pockets or Linda Lee is a contributing editor
other details. to Threads.

36 THREADS
ui ting
Day by Day
Expe ri m ent
with co l o rs
and tech n i q ues
as yo u ch ron icle
yo u r d ays
i n fabric
by N ancy Halpern

any times I've sug­


gested that my stu­
dents use the strip­
quilt format to keep
a j ournal of their
days-that is, to cut
out a piece of fabric every day and
sew it to the previous day's piece,
creating bands that can be joined to
make a quilt top. So how could I re­
sist when some of these students
challenged me several years ago to
try this proj ect myself. Indeed, I'd
made "calendars" in the form of
traditional strip quilts to chronicle
such things as migrating geese and
a year in the life of a red maple
tree, but this time I set myself the
task of sewing quilt blocks to
Making a new block every day for a year record the events of my life every
in 1 990, the author experimented with designs, colors, and techniques. In the day for a year.
resulting 1 3 8- by 72-in. quilt journal, shown above and in detail on pp. 3 8 and 3 9 , A j ournal in fabric can take as
the author preserved a visual record o f daily events-some ordinary, some remarkable. long as you like, cover any time
A Journal of
span, and be about any subject you
choose. You can make up your own
rules, and your journal can be a
planned piece or simply a collec­
Your Own
tion of experiments and ideas. I'm Why not record . . .
sure you'll find that keeping a jour­ • Your travels
nal is a useful learning tool and a • Your child's birthdays
November 25: I can never remember when I last fascinating pastime. • A season in your garden
cleaned my rain gutters, but here's proof that I • A year of Fridays
performed the odious chore this day. This abstract My rules . . . whatever is i m portant to you.
print's blood-red background perfectly symbolizes I kept the rules simple: Wait until
the terrifying wobbly ladders to be climbed. the day has begun to take shape
before starting a block. Finish the meer painting from a museum or
block by the end of the day (even if the release of Nelson Mandela from
it's during the wee hours of the a South African prison on February
...
morning). And never work ahead. 1 1 , at left).
Although the I used four templates to repre­
blocks in strip sent recurring events or themes­
qUilts are usu­ two airplanes, one that could be
ally joined hor­ flipped over to depict flying north
izontally (like or south, and the other east or west
a cartoon ) , I (see March 8 on the facing page);
decided that I one template for whatever room I'd
August 22: Some blocks celebrate would join the spent the day in (March 2 below);
mundane events. On this day, I stumbled blocks in verti­ and an envelope for days spent
across a favorite long-lost bowl (inset). cal bands and writing letters or doing paperwork.
treat each of the blocks individu­ I recorded natural events, like the
ally, without regard for the colors weather and the equinoxes. As well,
or designs of the adjacent blocks. I incorporated each full moon into
Some blocks were intricately the subject of that day's block (find
hand appliqued; others were ma­ the lobster picnic for August 6 ,
chine pieced. And some were left as shown in detail o n the faCing page,
a single piece of fabric on days on the quilt calendar on p. 37).
when I was down or just too tired
to make anything elaborate (like Spontaneity was key The blocks
-
November 25 at top left, which I didn't need to be finished and tidy
spent climbing ladders to clean (though many of them were). My
February 11: I commemorated Nelson Mandela's release rain gutters). But each block re­ goal was to complete each block
from prison with an Africanesque figure dancing before the flected the events of that day, like a sketch, reacting sponta­
African National Congress flag. The TV cameras recorded whether I was on safari in Africa or neously to what was going on that
the jubilant crowds, then periodically cut to the mountains writing letters at home. I recorded day. It was a challenge to isolate
shown in the background of the block. ordinary, private events (the first one visual event of the day, then
apple pie of the year, renting a recreate it with literal images (see
movie, or, at left, finding a long­ the painted chair for January 1 at
lost bowl on August 22) as well as right) or symbolic ones (see the
public events (the theft of a Ver- fabric for planting my garden on

March 2: I mitating new styles helped me stretch my own visual sense.


On this day I studied an interior by French painter Matisse. When it was
time to start the block, I chose the room template and asked myself. "If I
were M atisse going to my fabric closet, what would I pull out?"

38 THREADS
April 2 2 , also at right). Some days and now keep them as "scrolls"
I tried to collage several visual that have become an adjunct to a
images of the day (see March 6 at slide lecture that includes my notes
right, a day spent visiting a muse­ about the proj ect and photos of
um with a friend). many of the visual events recorded
The project was a testing ground in the blocks. I often consult these
for u nfamiliar techniques and scrolls to check the dates of par­
styles. Some days I pulled out a re­ ticular events, and the journal con­ August 6: I combined two visual events-the full
production of an artist's work in tinues to be a visual reservoir of moon fell on the day we had a lobster picnic.
the morning, studied it all day, then colors, patterns, styles, and design
made a block incorporating the ideas for my quilts.
artist's colors and decorative style Whether your passion is quilt­
(see the March 2 "Matisse interi­ ing, embroidery, surface design,
or" on the facing page). or fabric collage,
consider keeping
To plan or not to plan a j ournal in fab­
Since the journal began as an ex­ ric. It will encour­
periment with no preconceived no­ age you to look
tions about a finished product, I around for images
j ust selected a shape and size I you can use from
liked for the daily block. When the your daily life,
last block was joined at the end of and make you
the first month, the resulting strip take time each
was 138 in. long, which made it day to explore
clear the journal would probably color, imagery,
be too long and narrow to become and the tech­
a normal quilt. Better planning niques of your
would have made a better quilt, craft. You'll train
but it would have limited the plea­ your eye to see things differently­
sure of its impromptu nature. to see them in fabric-and will
Throughout the year, I wondered doubtless learn unexpected things
what the quilt'S final form would about your craft and yourself. •
be. Since the photo of the assem­
bled quilt top was taken, I've sepa- Nancy Halpern oj Natick, MA, is a not-
rated the months into strips again ed teacher, lecturer, and quilt maker. April 22: Digging and planting my garden is
suggested symbolically in this print. After a day in
the garden. I was too tired to use much more than
a single piece of fabric.

'
.. . � . ::�:::.�..: : :
. . .. . . ,,
.
. :.. ........ :. . -. . '.
.., . ' � :•.....':�.: .•.,. '"
. .
#:/.�.�J '?
. ..'.."� . •. ; "", '
. ',
• . . .
..
. .•.ll:":'
' . : ":..:..\.....:.,.
.It . . ..�::
:::
:. ::!.'!1 ;(!) .... . ••'
.�" ..'....' . . " .• �. .
.. • · • .. �•.::;: . ::�
•_�• ��::
.

�:...:-..
" .
'
_ • '
:
� ·.
:·.;
. ..' .. .

ii;r
"........... ,.�•••':O '�.' ,,�.... ....
... , ..... ..... . .. . .. ..: . .
.. ,'

:.......:..' . , .... . ....:.. _ ..


. . . .. . .!•. • • ,
. ; -;- . .
'
.::". •'_"
. .'..:
'. .
"

• •....:. . ' . :::


. ...�..: .. ..:....�. . .. . :. -
...

. . .. :: ,':
'
..,,
:: :;: ':. . ' '
·;':� ·f·· ::..:: :....:... :."!a�. , .. . ::.
. .. •

March 8: The airplane template depicting westbound flights could March 6: A collage of visual events shows a friend and me
be flipped over to head east. A different template depicted north- and (the two white circles) going from our houses to an exhibit
southbound flights. of aboriginal art.

a pril/may 1 997 39
A MOCK­
TAI LORE D
JAC KET
Practice your basic
serging skills while
making a jacket
in a day
by Kitty Benton

ouldn't it be nice if around the j acket's front and hem-


you could make a line, it mimics piping. To finish the
wool j a cket that jacket, the seams are stitched on
looked structured the sewing machine.
but didn't have a The shaping and body usually
stitch of tailoring in achieved in a tailored j acket with
it? Well, using basic serger skills interfacing are replaced in this jack-
and a piece of sturdy melton wool, et by the pattern's shapely princess
you can make a mock-tailored jack­ cut and the partially felted melton's Melton wool and
et like the one shown on these heft and minimal drape. The serged help you guide the fabric under serged hem and seam
pages. Once you understand the edges eliminate the need for fac­ the presser foot, most serger mod­ allowances eliminate
way a serger works, and where the ings, and without all the tailoring els provide marks on the toe that the need for tailoring
needle sews and the knives cut, it's to hide, there's no need to line the indicate the positions of the knives or lining. Vogue pattern
a short step to mastering the two j acket. This mock-tailored j acket is and needles, as shown at upper left 1685 was adapted for
basic skills you'll need for this or a so easy, you can make it in a day. on p. 42. If your serger doesn't have this jacket by removing
similar j acket-stitching outside these marks, consider adding them faCings, hems, and front
curves and, if you prefer to square Watch where you're going to the presser-foot toe with a sharp­ darts, and rounding
the lapel and hem corners, turn­ Accurate serging begins with un­ point permanent marker. center-front corners
ing outside corners. derstanding what a correct serger at the hemline.
The j acket'S raw edges, both in­ stitch looks like and how to adjust Stripes are perfect for practice­
side and out, are first serged with your thread tensions to produce it To gain confidence in gUiding the
woolly nylon thread in the serger's (see Threads No. 69, pp. 54-57). fabric in straight lines through the
loopers to produce a soft, satin­ Next, you need to know where the cutting blades, consider practicing
stitched finish. Applied to the seam knives cut and the needles stitch in on � yd. of striped fabric (a I-in.
allowance, this satin stitch creates relation to the front toe of the press­ stripe is ideal) with a thread color
a mock Hong Kong finish; and er foot (see the photos on p. 42). To that contrasts with the fabric. Select

a pril/may 1 997 41
Know your needle and cutting-blade positions (left), which are marked on
the presser-foot toe of most machines. The needles stitch just to the left of
the stitch fingers (indicated by arrows), so if needed, use the stitch fingers
to aid marking the needle positions on the toe.

First, practice straight-line stitching(above): Align a stripe with the


presser foot's right edge to guide the fabric into the cutting blades at their
widest setting (machines vary, so find your machine's reference point for
the blades at this setting).

Get to know the needles-To mastered the straight-line stitching


learn where the needles stitch in re- described above. Let's start with
lation to the presser-foot toe, prac­ outside curves: For this operation,
Second, practice tice stitching straight lines along keep your eye on the moving cut­
serging around an an average stitch length ( 2 to 2.5 the stTipes, first with two needles in ting blade as you stitch. Use your
outside curve: Create mm), and set the cutting width at the machine, then with the left nee­ left hand firmly planted to the left
a pivot point with your its widest setting. At first, focus on dle only, then with the right. Posi­ of the presser foot across from the
left hand near the the right edge of the lower (sta­ tion the fabric so the edge of a blade, as shown at bottom left, to
presser foot across tionary) blade, or on the left edge of stripe lines up with the left-needle pivot the fabric while guiding it
from the cutting blades, the upper (moving) blade. Get to mark on the toe, and stitch, check­ with your right hand. Consider
pressing firmly and know the relationship of your serg­ ing to be sure that the left needle practicing this technique on fabric
rotating the fabric, er's presser-foot toe to the cut edge stays aligned with the stripe, and scraps marked with a curve, let­
guiding it with your of the fabric, and practice stitch­ making small adjustments as you ting the cutting blades trim the
right hand. ing until the cut edge is perfectly feed the fabric to keep the stitching excess, or on an already trimmed
straight and coincides exactly with line straight. Continue practicing curve, stitching along the raw edge.
the edge of a stripe, as shown in the with the different needle settings
photo at right, above. Then adjust until you can confidently stitch a Around the corner-Turning an
the cutting width to its narrowest straight line on the desired stripe outside corner with one and two
setting and, again, stitch until you by watching the marks on the needles in the machine requires
can confidently sew the edge of presser-foot toe that coincide with different techniques, but for both,
the stripe in a straight line while the needle positions. you'll need to begin by trimming
focusing on the presser-foot toe two inches off the seam allowance
instead of the blade. (This skill will Easy outside curves of the second side of the corner, as
come in handy in other situations and corners shown at top on the faCing page.
when you want to stitch accurately Learning to stitch outside curves With two needles in the machine,
on the fabric's edge with the cutting and corners like those on the jack­ sew completely off the first side,
blades disengaged.) et should be a snap once you've cut the threads, and start the sec-

42 THREADS
ond side as if it were a new seam, To turn an outside corner with

stitching over the serged edge of two needles, cut out the first 2 in.
the first side and keeping the of seam allowance on the second
trimmed edge of the corner flush side. then serge completely off the
against the cutting blades for the first side. and trim the chain tail
length of the cutout, as shown at at the corner. Begin serging the
right. After stitching, hand-finish second side. keeping the trimmed
the corner's edge with a blunt-point edge against the cutting blades
needle by running the thread tails for the length of the cutout. and
under the looper threads for � in., serge to the end. allowing the
as shown, then trim the excess. blades to trim the remaining seam
allowance (presser foot removed
Tidy turn with one needle-For for clarity). Bury the thread tails
a very neatly finished corner serged in the satin stitches.
with one needle, you can turn the
corner as shown at center right. sions, fiddling with them until the
The key to this maneuver is clear­ stitch loops fall on the fabric's edge.
ing the stitch fingers (shown at bot­ Then, with the left-hand needle on­
tom right) by loosening the needle ly, apply the mock piping to the
thread just the right amount and hemlines, bodice fronts, and neck­
pulling the thread chain of the line (the only difference between
stitch fingers. Practice this type of the two edges is that the left needle
corner with polyester serger thread makes the stitch 2 mm wider than
before trying it with the woolly ny­ the right needle). Construct the
lon you'll use in the j acket, fiddling sleeves and bodice with machine­
with the amount of thread you sewn seams, and you r mock­
loosen above the needle, the posi­ tailored j acket is ready to wear! •
tion of the needle when you begin
the second side of stitching, and, Kitty Benton oj New York City is the
finally, the position of the fabric author oj the newly published Easy
near the needle. Guide to Serging Fine Fabrics (The
Taun ton Press).
Cut, serge, sew, To turn a corner with one needle
and you're done (above). stitch exactly to the
To make a j acket in a day, start fabric's edge. clear the stitch
with the collarless jacket pattern fingers. reposition the fabric just
(a princess-line such as Vogue 1685 in front of the needle. and continue
provides a good fit). You'll need stitching with the cutout edge next
only the front- and back-bodice, to the cutting blade. To clear the
and sleeve pieces (eliminate the stitch fingers (left). loosen the
faCings and cuffs, though you can thread above the needle. then pull
keep the pockets if you choose). the fabric just enough to slip the
Trim away the seam allowances looper threads off the stitch fingers
from the bodice/lapel fronts and (presser foot removed for clarity).
neckline, and cut the sleeves and
bodice pieces at their hemlines,
eliminating the hem allowances.
Apply a mock Hong Kong finish
to all seam allowances with the
serger, using the right-hand nee­
dle only. Use the shortest stitch
length and loosen the looper ten-

a pril/may 1 997 43
by Peggy Sagers

virtually endless stream


of books and articles has
been written on the top·
ic of adjusting pants pat­
terns to fit the female
form. But if you're one of
the many sewers who are still strug­
gling with the problem, I've got
a radical suggestion:
Why not draft your

I:-
\ start by buying a pat-
tern in a style they like,
A
D then try to alter it to fit. Perhaps
as a result, most pants-fitting meth­
ods take the same approach. But
patternmakers typically start the
other way around. First, they'll cre­
ate a fitted basic pattern, then adapt
this basic to create the style they
want. As both a patternmaker and
a home sewer, 1 can attest that this
is usually a much easier, and much
more logical, approach. The only
drawbacks are that you h ave to
learn a little drafting, and perhaps
buy a few tools. But I predict you'll
be amazed at how simple the draft­
ing process actually is, especially if
you've tried in vain to alter your
way into a well·fitted pair of pants.

Step 1: A fitted skirt


Professional patternmakers very
sensibly start a pants draft with a
pattern for a straight skirt that fits
well, and that's the approach I'll
take here. This way, you'll have
transform a fitted skirt pattern solved half the fitting problems that
great-fitting pants. your lower body presents, because
Start with a straight ski rt th at fits ,
and yo u ' re h alfway to great-fitti ng pants

you'll have already defined your back, onto its own sheet of paper, stead, follow these guidelines: ad­
waist, and shaped the side seams without seam allowances. just crotch depth at the waist (or
and darts to the curves and asym­ To convert your skirt pattern in­ parallel to it); adjust crotch length
metries just below it. It doesn't mat­ to a pants pattern, you need only by opening or closing the slash
ter where you got the skirt pattern, three body measurements (crotch from steps 4 and 5; and adjust the
or how you got it to fit, as long as length, crotch depth, and the cir­ circumference at the side seams.
you're pleased with the fit in the cumference of your upper thigh), Let's look at some common tweaks.
waist and hips, and it's a simple, and one garment measure (your
straight, two-piece pattern with side preferred length). The drawings at Typical pattern tweaks-F irst,
seams and darts front and back, right show how and where to take pull the muslin up until the
like Vogue 1000 or Butterick 341 5 , the body measurements, and the marked waist is held where you
for example. You'll also want t o b e drawings on pp. 46-47 explain the want it by the elastic, and confirm
sure that both front and back pat­ drafting process step by step. When
tern pieces have a horizontal line you're done, make a muslin to test
indicating the level of the fullest and tweak the fit of your draft. TA K I N G PA N T S
part of the rear, as seen from the M EAS U R E M E N TS
side. This is the hipline, as shown The muslin test­ Take crotch depth and leg circumference sitting down

:::::�� 7. ) ���:�
in the drawings on pp. 46-47. (You what to look for and following body contours to automatically include
"" " "" " ",""
could even draft your own straight Check your draft carefully to make me
h
skirt, using the directions given in sure you've gotten the dimensions f
Threads No. 69, pp. 42-45.)

Simple tools, simple


right-most fitting problems come
from inaccuracy. When you're sure,
trace your pattern onto muslin and
Crotch
depth
-1 (at widest part of leg)

Hem
length

'"1:��
ON
measurements cut it out, with I-in. seam allow­ --� )
cil
lJ
Besides a tape measure, a couple
of pencils, and paper long enough
ances all around, except at the
crotch, where 3� in. will be plenty
)l
y
l>
a1c for your patterns (look for rolls of (more will just get in the way of a
go

1 V
shelf paper, medical examining or smooth drape). Machine-baste for Where the measurements

c banquet-table paper, or pattern pa- your try-on, leaving one side seam )I! crotch )I! crotch
Ea A fter your pattern
U � �
/
per), you'll need a dressmaker's or partially open so you can get the is drafted, here 's l eng + in. engt 2 in.

"0 patternmaker's French curve, like muslin on. Clip the seam allow­ where these -

.�
0 either of those shown at left. These ances in the crotch's curved por­
dimensions Will
wind up.
l> Pants P nts
v
-10-- - (
+---1---
..ac.. curves will not only allow you to tion to make sure it doesn't bind. front b ck
ci. easily draw every curve you'll find
on basic patterns, but also simpli-
Pin elastic around your waist so
you can see how the pants look
'< 1 --------+---+
t Crotch
.s:: .s::
fy measuring around curves. The when supported at the right level. depth to to
c
0.Jl0-.
:;0
"
l>
drafting how-to drawings on pp.
46-47 show how you'll want to po-
Because all three critical mea­
surements come together at the

c
EQ)
I

E
Q)
I
�� sition the curves for making pants crotch seam and inseam, it's not )I! leg )I! leg
patterns, after you've traced each easy to adjust these seams without circumference circumference

0.. half of the skirt pattern, front and affecting all three dimensions. In-
-1 in. + 1 in.

apri l/may 1 997 45


that the crotch feels good. If it's too
tight or too loose, you can probably
correct it by pulling up or drop­ D R A F T I N G PA N T S , S T E P B Y S T E P
ping the pants a bit at the waist. Trace each skirt pattern at one end ofpiece ofpaper large enough for full length ofpants. Use crotch depth as
Mark the new position if this was taken. Divide crotch length in half, then add 2 in. to back and subtract 2 in. from front (e.g., length: ',,5 x 28 =
1 4 2 12 in. in front and + 2 16 in. in back). Divide leg circumference in half, then add 1 in. to back and
-= =
subtract 1 in. from front (e.g., circumference: ',,5 x 28 14 - 1 13 in. in front and + 1 15 in. in back).
necessary, then check and adjust
the circumference by pinching the
side seams, pinning or letting them
Basic process
= = =
out if you want something different. Step 1. Draw in CB Step 2. Extend CB
But don't over fit; the pants should crotch-depth line, depth lines to
parallel to hipline, match divided leg
not pull or cling to your body.
on front and back. circumference
The most likely fitting problem, measurements.
Hipline Hipline
in both ready-to-wear and home­ CF CF
drafted pants, is loose folds just
under the rear end, like those Crotch depth Crotch depth

shown, with their solution, on p.


Hipline Hipline
47. The dart that's been pinned out
in the photo (it tapers to nothing at Back Back
the side seam) fixes the problem by Crotch depth Crotch depth

shortening the crotch length. The


opposite problem, also common,
is revealed by a dip in the waistline Front

at center back, indicating that the


crotch length needs lengthening.
Slash horizontally across the rear at
the hipline level, starting at the cen­ Step 3. Use curve to connect CF to extended crotch-depth point in front. Measure from point A to B along
curve, selecting appropriate section of curve to provide ',,5 crotch length minus 2 in.
ter back and cutting to a pivot point
at each side seam. Both this slash
CB
and the dart above follow more or CF
A Step 4. On skirt back, connect hipline at CB
less the placement of the slash from to depth line at side, then slash, leaving pivot
point at side seam.
step 4 in the draft, which should
make sense to you now, since that Hipline Hipline
was how you created the crotch
length in the first place.
Crotch depth B Crotch depth
Interestingly, if your hipline was
inaccurate (in other words, if the
fullness in the rear peaks in a
Front Back
different place than where you
marked), you may have to both
slash to raise the waist and dart to
reduce looseness. Slash first, hori­
zontally across the area of greatest
fullness, then check underneath
B
the seat for looseness.
Another common problem can
Step 5. Spread at slash on back until curve from point A to point B
occur in front if there's a hollow equals back-crotch length (including any excess from step 3).
along the panty line between the Draw in back-crotch curve.
tummy and the upper leg curve.
Back
This can create vertical wrinkles,
which are typically best reduced
by pinching out an extension of
one of the front darts, as shown in

46 THREADS
CF

Step 6. To find front grain/crease line. mark midpoint of crotch­


depth extension from step 2 (labeled DE). labeling it A. Label the
side-seam end of crotch-depth line B. Mark midpoint C of line AB.
then draw grain/crease line perpendicular to crotch-depth line to
length of hem. Repeat for back (CB is not on grain). Move main
front dart to align with grainline.
CB

Step 7. On both front


and back. measure Eliminate wrinkles under the seat
pants you like to find Front
(the most common pants-fitting
width at knee and
hem. and distance problem) with a horizontal dart,
from knee to hem. tapering from the center back
Draw !,{ hem width
to nothing at the side seams.
and !,{ knee width
centered on crease Transfer the dart to the pattern
line. then connect by measuring its width at the center
points B and E to knee
back, then slashing and pivoting
and hem with ruler
and curve on all four to overlap the pattern in the same
'h knee
seams. Add seam place by the measured amount.
allowances all around.

the left-hand drawing at lower left.


This drawing also shows how to
., 'h hem
slash such extensions so the cor­


u rected pattern will still lie flat.
c:
. iii
'-
L?
CF
Now, just pick a style
The easiest style variations, of
course, are nothing more than
To correct pattern for a fitting dart
changes to the width at hem and
Mark pinned-
knee, applied to your basic pattern
out excess.
then slash to just as you created the widths you
end of dart · � .....--. -
originally chose for it, by redrawing
from side PIvot
the side seams (on a copy of the ba­
seam. Pivot to
sic) below the hips. Other simple

/
overlap dart
legs. then fill in changes include transferring de­
slashed opening Slash tails you like from other patterns,
with paper. and
such as pockets and belt loops. The
true side seam.
right-hand drawing at lower left
uses adding pleats to demonstrate
Adding pleats how you can make more elaborate
These changes will also work for converting basic pattern to style changes by slashing to a piv­
elastic waist. Extra ease in back can be added in same way. ot point, then spreading or over­
lapping to change the style ease-all
Step 1. Cut through first dart on grainline all the way to hem. Spread
desired width of pleat at waist. without tampering with the excel­
lent fit you've already achieved . •
Step 2. Cut through second dart past hipline. then angle to pivot point
on side seam. Spread desired width ofpleat at waist.
Peggy Sagers gives free answers to pants­
Step 3. True hemline and add seam allowances all around. drafting questions to buyers of her video
"Pants, Fitting and Drafting," available
at 305 Spring Creek Village, #326, Dal­
las, IX 75248, for $19, plus $4 S&H.

april/may 1 997 47
5 in y Knit,
Thu Flatterer, You
As this
hat do you think of women with perfect bodies. Actu­ garments. Breathable and com­
when you hear the fluid fabric ally, this stretchy knit flatters all fortable to wear, it has a soft, sup­
word acetate? Fab- figure types, draping like a waterfall ple hand and a luxurious drape
ric that's not so skims your and skimming the body in a way (with a great "twirl factor"!).
great, right? Well, that doesn't accentuate flaws. The And maintenance is simple. Just
think again. The curves, fabric has enough body to "float" wash Slinky by hand or machine
acetate/Lycra fabrics called Slinky over lumps and bumps and give (gentle cycle). It dries quickly when
Knit (a term trademarked by Hori­ you'll look the impression of a smooth body laid flat (don't hang it-the fabric's
zon Fabrics but commonly used to contour underneath. weight will cause it to stretch). And
describe similar fabrics from other
p ounds This updated version of acetate garments can be stored in a draw-
manufacturers) has been taking
thinner. . . . (it's different from the old stuff that, er or even a bag.
the fashion world by storm, ap­ when wet, smelled bad, got limp,
pearing in the lines of top design­ So how do and bled color) is just one of a new A survey of Slinky fabrics
ers and manufacturers and in all generation of man-made fabrics As you can see from the samples
the clothing stores. And, of course, you sew it? that have few of the difficulties of above, acetate/Lycra fabrics are
home sewers want to know how to synthetics, while retaining the ad­ available in a wide range of styles
get in on the action, too. vantages. Slinky sheds wrinkles, and finishes. The ones you find in
by Gale Grigg Hazen
The name "Slinky Knit" suggests travels like.a dream, and works well fabric stores are probably manu­
that it would look good only on for dressy occasions or everyday factured by Symphony Fabrics of
PATT E R N S & S H A P E S
FO R S L I N KY K N I T
Because of Slinky's weight and stretchiness, it's best to choose
a simple pattern. Try shapes and patterns like those below.

Short.
T-shirt-style.
flared dress
(Neue Mode
221 3 1 )

Long, straight
dress with T-neck
and vest (Neue
Mode 21736)

New York, since they distribute fab­ ment with more body.
Fitted T-shirt with
rics for the home-sewing market And the Slinky Crepe has choice of necklines
(although some stores sell offcuts a more subdued, matte (Kwik-Sew 2403)

from designers' workrooms). You look; it's an easy fabric to


can also order Slinky fabrics by start with because it's less
mail (see "Sources for Slinky Knit" slippery to sew.
on p. 5 1).
The original Slinky-style fabric is Simple shapes
the one you'll see most, with a lus­ work best
trous, slightly distressed rib that Because Slinky Knit
reflects light. It's available in rich stretchy, choose a simple
Full, fluid pants (Burda 3790
solid colors and several prints; in pattern with few pieces for
or 3216) or slim pants (Burda 6395
the same fabric with random, glit­ minimal construction and or Burda plus 4166)
tery dots; and in an embossed ver­ fast, easy sewing. A pattern
sion, with subtle designs pressed designed for knits is ideal. Long or short flared
into the surface. The Sculptured Slinky tends to drape and dress (Patterns for
everyBODY 1 0 1 )
Sheer resembles a stretch cut velvet; follow the body, so it's
Bubble Knit is a soft, puckery fab- important to cut the pieces
Flared
ric with a honeycomb texture; and with sufficient ease. For a
swing
the Chenille has a velvety finish. flattering dress or tunic,
Stretch Ottoman and Tree Bark, make sure your pattern has
thicker, heavier versions of Slinky, at least 4 in. but easily up to
work well when you want a gar- 10 in. of ease at the bust and

Acetate never looked this good. Slinky Knit's updated blend of acetate
and Lycra results in a lush, fluid fabric that's available in a wide variety of
styles. Keep an eye open for these (from left): puckery Bubble Knit in white;
Straight or gored skirt. tank top. and
original Slinky in tan, celery, lavender, and taupe, surrounding soft Chenille relaxed cardigan jacket (Butterick 3950)
in dark teal; matte-finish Slinky Crepe in eggplant; Sculptured Sheer in olive;
Stretch Ottoman in peacock; and, finally. Cracked Ice in olive.
hip. Don't worry about the garment
appearing too full-the fluid
drape will fix that.
In the photos at right and
on the facing page, you'll see
examples of the simple
styles I love to sew. For
more information on spe­
cific patterns, see the
sketches on p. 49, which
include pattern numbers.

A neat, drapey neckline­


Like many stretch fabrics,
Slinky offers a number of
neckline options. You can
use crossgrain strips of
Slinky like a standard rib­ Since the fabric is difficult to pin, plastic clothes pins. When getting
bing; to do so, cut the strip a I prefer weights to anchor the pat­ a seam started in the machine,
quarter to a third shorter tern and a sharp rotary cutter. If smooth, slow starts will help to
than the opening, and stretch the you use scissors, avoid shifting the prevent bunching, as will a 1- by 4-
strip to fit. Or create a bound edge fabric as you slide the scissors un­ in. strip of Solvy (a water-soluble
by cutting a crossgrain strip, sew­ der it. If you have difficulty, try stabilizer) placed under the begin­
ing it to the neckline right sides to­ putting a layer of tissue paper un­ ning of each seam with 1 in. hang­
gether, then smoothing the binding der the fabric and cutting both lay­ ing off. As you begin sewing, hold
over the seam allowance and stitch­ ers at once. the thread tails and the Solvy and
ing in the ditch to secure it. It can be hard to sew a narrow pull gently, as shown in the photo
Slinky Knit makes a great turtle­ �-in. seam accurately. For best re­ above. On some machines, you
neck. One of my favorite tricks for sults, cut �- to %-in. seam allow­ may need a strip on top of the fab­
a soft cowl neck is to sew on the Simple shapes are ances and trim away the excess ei­ ric as well.
first edge of a turtleneck, then mis­ ideal for this weighty, ther while serging or after sewing. OccaSionally, when you stop or
match, or skew to one side, the in­ stretchy fabric (outer sew around a curve, the fabric will
ner edge by several inches (3 in. vest and tunic: Neue Construction tips fail to feed smoothly. Stop with the
works well on a 4-in.-high turtle­ Mode 21736; short Most Slinky Knit fabrics have han­ needle in the fabric, lift the foot,
neck) before stitching in the ditch. top: Neue Mode dling problems similar to velvet's: smooth and reposition the fabric,
The result is a permanently swirled 21 9 8 3 , widened at the texture acts like a pile, and re­ and begin sewing again slowly.
cowl that's very flattering (see the the hem; pants: Neue sists feeding. A serger with differ­
top photo on the facing page). Mode 21 670). ential feed offers the easiest con­ On the serger-I suggest using a
struction method, but with care, three-needle setup and a medium­
How to cut Slinky Knit you can get good results on any long, 3- to 3 .5-mm stitch for seams
Slinky Knit comes in an unusual zigzag sewing machine. that give. Increase the differential
48-in. width, so follow the with­ If your serger or sewing machine feed to prevent stretching and wob­
nap layout for 42- to 44-in.-wide has an adj ustable presser foot (to bly seams.
fabric (although it's hard to ob­ adjust the amount of push the foot On most sergers, a standard nee­
serve, Slinky definitely has a nap). exerts on the fabric), loosen it to dle works fine, but use a new one
Because Slinky is heavy and tends medium-light pressure to reduce to prevent skipping. If skipping
to shift and stretch as you lay it any stretching of the fabric. Use a still occurs, try a Schmetz 75/ 1 1
out, it can be tricky to cut. First, strong filament polyester thread H-S (stretch) or a ballpOint needle.
don't let the excess fabric hang off like Gutermann or Swiss Metrosene
the cutting surface. I support the for construction. On the sewing machine-If
extra fabric on two stools so it I either use fine silk pins or hold you're constructing Slinky on the
won't distort the area I'm cutting. fabric layers together with small, sewing machine, use a satin-stitch

50 T H R EA D S
the wrong side. Take care not to Sources for stabilize Slinky in all the seams,
choose a high-heat setting, which Slinky Knit but sometimes a little structure
can "cook" the fabric. B & J Fabrics helps. I use Lastin clear-plastic elas­
2 6 3 W. 40th St. tic, sewn right into the seam, to
Are zippers okay?-All but the New York. NY 1 00 1 8 add stability to shoulder seams.
212-3 54-8 1 50
smallest and most stable neck open­ Elastic in the seams of a full-length
Free swatches
ings will stretch to fit over the head, garment like the full, sweeping
so most garments don't need a zip­ Cy Rudnick's Fabrics dress at bottom left helps prevent
2450 Grand Ave.
To start a seam in this squishy per. If yours does, use an invisible drooping. And you can sew elastic
Kansas City. MO 64108
fabric (left), place a strip of Solvy zipper (see Threads No. 59, p. 61). 8 1 6-842-7808 to a wide neckline, then fold over
u nder the fabric edge, hold the Free swatches the edge and stitch with a twin nee­
thread tails, and begin sewing slowly. An easy h e m t o finish-As for dle for a clean finish.
Melanie's
To create a soft, draped cowl that any stretchy knit, the hem must Actionwear Fabrics
keeps its shape (above), mismatch stretch, too. A 2.5-mm-wide twin 7 Main St. W Facings, pockets, and elastic­
the inside layer of a turtleneck by needle (75/ 1 1 H-S) gives a clean Norwich. ON NOJ 1 PO When inserting a side-seam pock­
Canada
a few inches before stitching. finish with stretch. For flat top­ et, try a nonfusible interfacing like
51 9-86 3-3 3 8 3
stitching, use a textured serger Complete swatch set, Sewin' Sheer in place of the upper
or embroidery foot with a wide thread like Woolly Nylon in the ( )
$ 1 0 $Can pocket. It reduces bulk and stabi­
groove on the bottom to reduce bobbin, loosen the upper tension, lizes the opening, helping to pre­
The Sewing Place
stretching, and a Schmetz 75/ 1 1 and loosen or bypass the bobbin PO Box 1 1 1446 vent gaping.
H-S needle. For long seams, tension. Be sure not to stretch Campbell. CA 95011 Understitch edges like facings
use a medium zigzag the thread as you wind the bob­ 800-587-3937 and pockets after clipping, to flat­
Swatches. $5 refundable;
stitch (2 to 2.5 mm wide bin; you may want to wind it Patterns for everyBODY; ten and prevent roll-out. Anchor
and 2 mm long). For con­ by hand. Sewin' Sheer; Woolly facings by stitching in the ditch of
struction details like in­ Marking a hem on a full Nylon; No-Roll and any intersecting seams, like the
Lastin elastics
serting a pocket or Slinky Knit garment can be shoulder seam on a neck facing.
attaching facings, quite challenging, since Sew What's New Slinky's weight will overwhelm
try a baby zigzag the seams are often long­ 2 6 3 Main St. most waistband elastics. I suggest a
Nyack. NY 1 0960
of 1 mm wide and er than the rest, and the strong, firm elastic, like Handler
914-35 8-3000
1 . 5 mm long. fluid fabric changes length Free swatches No-Roll monofilament elastic, to
every time you move. I use prevent droop.
Spandex House
Go easy on the an old-style, chalk hem And that's about it. Don't be
228 W. 3 8th St.
ironing-I use marker and join the dots New York. NY 1 001 8 afraid to sew with Slinky. I know
plenty of steam to to establish the hemline. 212-3 54-671 1 that once you try it, you'll create
flatten seams and Trim, then turn up a 3A-in. Free swatches quick and easy, hard-working sta­
hems on Slinky, hem and stitch from the right ples for your wardrobe. •
and sometimes
use the tip of Gale Grigg Hazen teaches sewing aaoss
the iron on a Stabilize when needed-Be­ the country. She's shown below at her
seam allow- cause Lycra has such great store and school, The Sewing Place in
memory, you won't need to Saratoga, CA.

thin or full figured, Slinky's


heavy drape refuses to
cling, skimming the body
for full-time flattery. And
besides, it's fun to wear­
just try twirling! (Patterns
for everyBODY 1 01 (see
sources above) with a
reshaped V-neck.)

a pril/may 1 997 51
......"utton
U se
m ach i n e
stitches
to create,
e m be l l ish,
and
si m u l ate
pieced
patterns

by I ris Lee aving hundreds of built- and your sewing machine's deco- Single layers for softness
in decorative stitches rative stitches, you can create beau­ My first efforts at machine-stitched
on your sewing machine tifully patterned and textured fab­ " crazy quilting" focused on the
is no fun unless you've rics suitable for vests (see the photo design potential of Single, unlay­
also got ideas for using on p. 54), j ackets, coats, cuffs, de­ ered fabrics. By filling crazy-quilt­
them. I struggled with tachable yokes, hats, bags, pillows, inspired shapes (marked before­
this challenge when I bought my and other proj ects that don't re­ hand on the fabric) with parallel
new machine, until I was rescued quire drape. rows of machine-stitched patterns
by my longtime enthusiasm for Of course, there's no need to con­ (as in the example at left, above), I
intricate (and time-consuming) fine the techniques to crazy-quilt­ found it very easy to create the im­
crazy quilts. Why not see, I won­ like shapes. You can use machine­ pression of many different fabrics,
dered, if I could create the effect stitched textures to define and all sharing the same color back­
of crazy quilting using machine highlight any kind of shape. And ground, joined without piecing.
stitchery? In addition to simulat­ it's not even necessary to have Besides ease, the chief advantage
ing the hand-embroidered outlines hundreds of stitches to choose of unlayered fabric is softness.
that are characteristic of crazy from; a handful can provide virtu­ Heavily stitched fabrics are inher­
quilts, fancy machine stitches laid ally endless variations, and even a ently nondraping (stitches always
down in allover patterns can give simple zigzag stitch can produce add stiffness), but Single layers can
the impression of pieced fabrics many striking effects. Let's look remain reasonably soft since there
without any actual piecing. This first at the fabrics and backings are no backings or fused layers. At
article is about the various meth­ that make suitable backgrounds the same time, if your fabric is thick
ods I've explored for making push­ for this "patchwork," and then ex­ and stable enough (like some den­
button patchwork. amine the possible thread choices ims, twills, canvas, or upholstery
Using small amounts of fabric, and stitching techniques to use fabrics), you can stitch without ei­
a few rayon or metallic threads, with them. ther a stabilizing underlayer or an

52 THREADS
embroidery hoop, which makes me how I'm able to find fabrics or two pattern pieces if I'm
the process much more efficient. that go so well together. They're of­ making a garment. It's best
Thinner fabrics can be stabilized ten quite surprised at how ordi­ to cut out pattern shapes
with permanent fused backing (1 nary (and how different) the fabrics from already fused and stitched The key to these rich

like knit fusibles, such as Easy Knit look together before being stitched. fabric rather than fUSing onto al­ textures is decorative

or Sew Sheer), or with temporary The multifabric method that I ready cut-out pattern pieces, be­ machine stitchery.

water-soluble layers if necessary (I settled on is very quick, and re­ cause the stitching somewhat Stitch over a single
prefer spray- or paint-on liquid sta­ quires no sewn piecing and very shrinks and distorts the layers. The fabric (at far left). or
bilizers), to eliminate hooping with­ little preplanning. You can use al­ fused layers have no common layer patches on a
out adding too much stiffness. most any fabric-cottons, rayon grain, so you can position pattern backing fabric with
challis, j acquards-but I usually pieces any way you like to take best fusible web and stitch
Fuse multiple fabrics stick to one type of fabric in each advantage of your patchwork. away. for effects that
Inspired by my success, I moved finished piece. Once you've securely fused your rival complex embroi­
on to combining different fabrics in Start by collecting 10 to 20 dif­ gathered fabrics to the web, remove dered patchwork. At
the same piece, using stitches to ferent fabrics to "piece." You should the backing paper and begin cut­ center and right. give
both outline and emphaSize their be able to get 1 yd. of finished fab­ ting out the shapes you want for a single assortment of
borders, and to embellish and uni­ ric from approximately 1 � yd. of your pieced creation and arrang­ related fabrics different
fy the different fabrics. Covering piecing fabrics. You'll also need a ing them on the backing, either fol­ personalities. simply
each fabric with a delicate network fusible web (I use Pellon Wonder­ lOwing a pattern you've drawn on by varying the threads
of machine embroidery can bring Under transfer web) to back each the backing or simply improvising used to stitch over it.
the whole arrangement of color piece, and a backing fabric layer until the backing is covered. A pre­
and pattern into a wonderful har­ to affix them to . I usually use drawn pattern means you can vir­
mony, or send the design off in a batiste or muslin as a backing to tually eliminate overlapping patch­
new color direction, as shown at minimize the weight, and cut it in­ es, which will help reduce stiffness,
right, above. People constantly ask to rectangles large enough for one but I usually improvise (keeping

april/may 1 997 53
overlaps to a minimum) because thread, and try experimenting with bining several different thread col­
it's so much faster. When every­ lowered needle tension. ors and/or types, like metallics
thing is laid out to your satisfac­ I select a size 90 needle when with rayons or cottons.
tion, press the shapes to the back­ using more than one strand of
ing with a hot iron according to thread, even two metallics, and a Match the stitching to
the directions for the type of fusible size 75 for one strand. Up to three the fabric ... or ignore it
web you're using. strands of metallic thread or five or I use two kinds of stitching to cov­
six regular threads will fit in a size er the fabrics I've selected, wheth­
Stitch with multiple 1 1 0 needle. I use a free-motion er they've been fused or not. On
threads for maximum presser foot (Bernina #24, or Pfaff prints I use a free-motion, mean-
coverage #6 darning foot) , dering straight
You can stitch with anything that sometimes drop­ stitch that loosely
can be threaded through your ma­ ping the feed dogs All you need follows the fab-
chine needle. Machine-embroidery for maximum ma­ ric's design. On
needles allow the most flexibility, neuverability with is a handful of solid fabrics I usu­
since they're optimized for thicker­ straight-stitch em­ ally use prepro­
than-ordinary threads (I prefer broidery. For dec­ machine stitches grammed stitches,
Schmetz Red Band needles, avail­ orative stitch work, but I try to com­
able by mail from Clotilde, 800- I choose an open­ to produce bine them so they
Use a favorite print 772-2891). Cotton, acrylic, rayon, toed embroidery give the impres­
to establish the color or metallic machine-embroidery foot. The bobbin endless, striking sion of patterned
theme (here. third threads are ideal, and you can use thread can be any­ fabrics or applied
swatch from the left) one or more strands of thread in thing that doesn't mock patchwork ribbon or lace.
for an entire embroi­ the needle, depending on the ef­ show on the right The new comput­
dered project. then fect you want. I usually use two side. Try a heavier effects erized machines,
unify the grouping strands, either the same or con­ thread, such as with features like
further with a network trasting, for the added impact and machine-quilting thread, in the mirroring and stitch balancing that
of harmonizing threads. increased coverage they provide, bobbin if you're having trouble are rarely used in regular sewing,
even though the with visible bobbin thread. really shine at these fabric-like ef­
more thread you use, fects. Older machines with fewer
the heavier and stiffer Thread colors can unify, stitches will demand more inge­
the finished fabric add contrast, or both nuity and control but can still pro­
becomes. If you use Whether you're stitching on a sin­ vide excellent effects. In either case,
two strands, run gle fabric or many, the threads you the best results seem to come from
them through the choose can create effects that are stitches that don't rely heavily on
tension discs to­ dramatic or subtle, dressy or re­ dense satin stitching. And to mini­
gether as if they laxed, bright or neutral. Usually, I mize rippling and other fabric dis­
decide on a color scheme at the tortions, stitch parallel decorative
fabric stage, selecting one print that rows all in one direction within
has colors I like, then selecting each pattern section.
solids and most of the remaining About the only drawback I've
prints based on the colors within found with these faux-quilt-stitched
the first print, as I did with the vest fabrics is how often people assume
at left. I often look for interesting that I've used purchased yardage
accent colors to use in the other to achieve such rich effects. A com­
prints. The new colors can suggest pliment? Maybe! •
exciting choices for the thread.
Sometimes I may not even use the Iris Lee conducts seminars in decorative
print with the accent color, intro­ machine arts around the country. To
ducing the new color with the obtain her video on new ways to use
stitching only. Wonderfully subtle machine stitches, write to her at 221
color effects can be gotten by com- Loraine Woods Dr., Macon, GA 31210.
Play
orne pockets are just so can piece, embellish, and use it in
This serious, with welts or many different ways. I like to an­
topstitching firmly an­ chor it to a garment by sewi.ng the
freewheeling, choring them in place. pocket's top into a seam, as on the
Thi.s pocket has an alto­ skirt yoke above, or stitching it
free-hanging gether different attitude: along the top, as on the vest on p.
It's fun, versatile, and quick to 5 6 . Or sew it as a separate, re­
p o cket also make, constructed separately from versible piece to wear with different
the garment in no time at all. It's garments, like the pocket/handbag
embellishes free-hanging (attached only at the shown on the facing page, echoing
top), and can become one of the some of the earliest pockets [rom
by Diane Ericson the garment garment's feature elements. You the 1600s. Constructed separately
from the garment, these early pock­
ets were worn on a belt and were

S EW A reached through slits in the skirt,


while others, called reticules, had a
F R E E- H A N G I N G P O C K ET strap and were worn as bags.
Make a special pocket from double layers of light
You can make a wonderfully sim­
fabrics (like the detail at right of the skirt on p. 5 5)
or from single layers of heavier fabrics. And it's ple version of this "portable pock­
easy to convert the lightweight pocket into a bag. et" in 1 5 minutes or so. And it's a
great canvas for experimenting
with surface design and detail, Ii.ke

"\
Lightweight pocket

1. Piece 2. Sew pocket pieced fronts, curved hems, flaps,


pocket '\ -
to lining at and new closure ideas. Or make
front, if top, RSs
another quick variation by adding
desired. ':>.. together.

Top edge
-� Bottom
a pocket to a lapel, like the one at
top on the faCing page. I'll explain
foldline
of pocket
the construction basics first, then
Lining share some ideas for variations.

3. Then fold into W shape. 4. Stitch sides, 5. To attach to garment, either sew
and turn. into seam or fold pocket up and Fabric affects construction
stitch, then turn down into place You can make a free-hanging pock­
(as shown in 4 below). et [rom just about any fabric, from
fluid silks and rayons, to linens
and wools, to upholstery-weight
Becomes pocket front

Heavier fabric needs fewer layers.


Transform into a bag
For a soft wool vest (Design & Sew
c
.g
To change pocket pattern 3 1 3 ; send SASE to PO Box
j
into bag, top edge
becomes flap, as
7404. Carmel. CA 9 3 921 ). the �:cQ.
pocket needs just a single layer.
shown at right.
Stitch strap in side sewn as shown below left. with
seam at base of flap, a folded selvage edge.
add loop to flap,
then turn through
opening at side.
Strap inserted
Slipstitch closed
and coiled inside
to finish.

Heavier pocket

1. Bind or fold 2. Stitch layers together 4. Stitch pocket to

-1
top edge. and clip each side. garment, fold into
place, and topstitch
Back 2 in. down on each
side, then bar-tack.

\1
Front

3. Turn, press
seam allow­
ances under.

56 TH READS
fabrics. And this pocket is a great and use a skinny tie or cord to wrap Build a pocket into

way to use favorite bilS of rare or them to secure your pocket, as your lapel. It's simple
special fabrics by piecing them in­ shown second from the left in the to add an extra fold of
to the pocket fronl. The lightweight drawing at bottom. fabric to a free-form
pockets are all sewn with a dou­ For the strap of a pocket/bag, you lapel to create a hidden
ble layer, as shown on the facing can use a variety of cords or trims, pocket, like the sample
page, giving the pocket body with­ including web­ in progress at left,
out bulk. bing, leather, to be added to the
For weightier fabrics, you'll want and braided planned vest (inset).
a single layer for the pocket front cords. If you
and lighter-weight fabric for the sew your own
back, like the pocket at bottom on covered cord­
the facing page. Finish the top edge ing, consider
of the front first with a binding or piecing it to
folded flap (leather or velvet make add interest.
Create a "portable
beautiful bindings), then sew the For a revers­
pocket" to coordinate
pocket as shown. ible bag like
with several outfits.
mine, it's fun
Instead of sewing the
Pocket placement to make one
pocket to a garment,
1 often construct the pocket first, side casual and
make it reversible, add
then experiment with places to use dressier, and to figure out a
it. To add it into a seam, pin and strap that will work with both
baste the pocket to one layer, then sides. I like to make the strap
add the second layer and stitch as long enough to wear over my
usual. Or, to apply a pocket to any head and one shoulder, so it
area of the garment, determine the hangs across the body.
placement, then flip the pocket up So, as you see, anything goes. The
and stitch twice along the raw edge. more you play with this pocket, the
(1 like to zigzag here, if 1 haven't more ideas you'll come up with [or
serged the edge.) Fold the pocket new variations. •
down into place and bar-tack at
each side, through all layers, to The ever-creative Diane Ericson oj
support the pocket's top edge. Carmel, CA, deSigns patterns and teach­
es workshops across the country.
Options for closures
My "anywhere" pocket gives you
lots of room for experimenting

f
with closures. An imaginative frog
or fabric-knot button can add a
C R E AT E F U N C LO S U R E S
Play with loops, buttons, frogs,
great detail. I like to stack interest­ and ties to create unusual closures
ing old buttons or use one large for pockets and bags.
flat one behind a knot button or
piece of seashell. For a pocket, the
button loop can be sewn into the
top seam, as shown at top, step 3 ,
on the faCing page, or into one o f
the pieced seams; for a bag, try
sewing the loop into the flap edge
(see center drawing, same page).
I love this closure borrowed from
interoffice mail envelopes. Sew on
two buttons, one above the other,

a pril/may 1 997 57
Birth oJa
Couture Collection
Inside the House of Feraud as the
Fall '96 collection comes to light
by N athalie Girod

ach year as April turns


to May, the great fashion
houses of the Parisian
Haute Couture spring into
intense activity with prepa-
rations for the coming Fall

� season. Excitement, high energy,

\�jJl ,
and the certainty of sheer exhaus-
tion buzz through the various work-
; rooms. Last spring, I was lucky
enough to be among the workers at
'<\ the atelier, or studio, of Louis

I, Feraud (see "A Designing Family" at


far right), and so was able to par-
ticipate in these often amazing pro-
ceedings firsthand. It was fasci-

..
nating to see the contributions of
iiO
1
the various divisions of the house
at each stage, and incredibly inter- u0
c
esting to be involved with the actual I"U
8

,(
In haute couture, no expense or effort is construction of a few of these ex-
};
spared to fulfill the designer's vision, and traordinary garments. Here are the
j<5
here the sewer's and tailor's art reaches its highlights of what I learned. "
c
highest expression. Every collection garment .�
idea evolves from sketch (above) to fabric on
t..;.
The "Theme" �co
0:
a fitting model (right), who ensures that the is announced };
finished garment will look glorious on the Each season, virtually every major
I c
:c0
runway. Once a client makes a purchase, her fashion collection in Paris (and
garment will be unique, cut to fit only her. around the world) is organized �
It's a team effort
The collections at Feraud are the
A
result of contributions from both Designing
within and without the atelier. Fam ily
Besides the sales, publicity, and
Louis Ferau d ' s career
administrative staff (all of whom
in fashion started i n
may find themselves pressed into
t h e 1 950s i n Cannes
sewing service as deadlines loom
i n the south of France,
nearer), there are two in-house
where h e opened
creative departments-design and
his first boutique.
sewing (with the latter divided
His ultra-feminine
into the tailleur, or tailoring area,
little cotton dresses
and thejlou, or dressmaking area).
attracted the attention
Everything starts with the design­
of film star Brigitte
ers, who present sketches and ren­
Bardot. and his star
derings of each potential ensem­
ascended with hers.
ble, including overall garment
enabling him to
silhouettes, ideas for fabric and em­
relocate to Paris.
broidery motifs, and suggestions
His Paris address, 88.
The theme for for hats, shoes, and jewelry. The
rue Faubourg Saint
Feraud's Fall '96 drawings and embroidery samples
Honore. directly
collection was on pp. 60 and 61 are typical; they're
opposite the French
" leaves," and 200 shown along with the garments
White House (the
sewing hours later, they eventually became.
Elysee Palace). has
this gown may rpr)rp�p",t_,. While poring over the silhouette
been i n active business
sketches, Kiki and Mme Feraud
since 1 95 5 . and was
may decide to combine several
the launching ground
into one spectacular dress, or they
for the careers of
around some image, or theme, pro­ a potential impact on every detail may simply add some single vital
couturiers Jean-Louis
vided by the chief designer, which from overall ensemble concept detail to perfect a design. This cre­
Sherrer and Per
serves primarily to give the de­ to j ewelry. For Spring '96, Kiki ative exchange is very much a
Spook. both of whom
signers focus as they and the rest of Feraud, the couturier's daughter hands-on, and ongoing, process.
worked as designers
the staff begin to pull ideas out of who now heads the studio, chose Fitting models (whose size match­
for Feraud. From the
the endless sea of possibilities. To­ the theme of "Sailing," which gen­ es that of the typical runway mod­
begin n i ng, his wife,
gether, they have to come up with erated, among other things, a top­ el), a dress form with lots of muslin
Zizi, has been totally
at least 60 complete outfits (as does stitching motif suggestive of the fabric, boxes of pins, colored pen­
i nvolved with the
every couture house, as stipulated seamlines on a boat's sails (you cils, and yards of black and white
day-to-day operation
by the Chambre syndicale de la haute can see this in the photos at bottom tape are easily accessible in the
of their business. and
couture, the governing body of the right on p. 63). For Fall '96, the main salon for draping, testing
their daughter-known
French couture industry), and not theme was "Leaves," and as soon as ideas, marking and repositioning
as Kiki-who now
all of these ensembles need to ob­ it was announced, samples, sketch­ details, and general brainstorming,
heads the studio. grew
viously celebrate the chosen theme. es, and swatches began to pour in as shown at right on the facing
up in the workrooms.
But as a springboard, the theme from every department for Kiki and page. This is where the real design
is an extremely useful device, with Mme Feraud to consider. action takes place.

a pril/may 1 997 59
Everything starts with the sketch
(as shown in this trio of examples).
whether it's the print of the fabric. the
exact look of an embroidery motif or
embellishment. or the concept for the
ensemble ... but between sketch and final

Fabric heaven long as the design can be complet-


All the while, bolts of exquisite fab- ed in time for the show. Couture
As designs are approved, the pre­ ric are arriving daily from England, garments are meant as much to
mieres, or heads, of the two in­ Switzerland, Italy, and [rom local thrill the watching world with the
house sewing rooms begin pro­ sources, and designs for custom glamour of Parisian fashion and
ducing muslin garment samples. fabrics are flowing out to the same the allure of the design house as to
Each completely finished, full suppliers. Some fabric is purchased actually be worn and sold, and lim­
muslin sample is ready in about outright, but much is available on itless effort and expense are all part
six to eight hours, depending on consignment, so that the house can of the appeal.
the complexity of the design. The cut what it likes and return any­ Hand painting and embroidery,
samples are hand-basted with the thing not used. I was particularly often of the most lavish sort, are es­
desired closure, thread-marked for impressed to see how much fabric sential elements of many deSigns.
essential details, and the interior is made to order, with either basic The designers now prepare precise,
construction is already decided on, weaves or final printing specified full-size flat patterns, along with
including all shoulder pads, inter­ exactly by the designers, and de­ careful renderings of all approved
facings, and understructures. livered as deSigned within a week motifs, which will be sent out to
At the same time, the other seam­ or two. the painters or embroiderers in spe­
stresses and tailors are busy work­ This is one of the most obvious cialized workrooms at other Pari­
ing up fabric samples, like those areas in which the world of haute sian firms when the garment pieces
shown at the top of pp. 62 and 63, couture distinguishes itself from are finalized.
of technical sewing details, em­ the pret-a-porter, or ready-to-wear
broidery, sewn embellishment, and clothing industry. Keeping costs The couture fitting
even hand painting on potential down is not an issue with the haute In the midst of this beehive of
fabrics, to provide the designers couture. Without exaggeration, de­ activity, with sketches, swatches,
with further input on which to base signers have complete carte blanche and muslins moving to and fro in
their decisions. for their every creative whim, so an endless round of approval, re-

60 T H R EADS
show seamlines, tucks, darts, and
notches. Shoulder pads are hand­
covered, linings and zippers are
hand-dyed to match the outer fab­
ric, and hems are hand-rolled. The
average completion time for each
garment is 80 hours, or two weeks
of full-time sewing, but some gar­
ments, like the dress on p. 59, for
which I made the 3 0-plus pin­
tucked and wired leaves, took more
than 200 hours to finish. Even the
seamstresses and tailors who do
this for a living never spend this
much time on garments for their
personal use, being as interested
in shortcuts and efficiency as the
rest of us!

Help from the outside


It is commonplace in haute cou-
ture for each garment to have its Satin ribbon strips at
own exclusive shoes, handbag, shoulders are formed
jewelry, and hat, along with the from bias-cut silk satin,
perfect hairstyle and makeup for shaped to the figure
the runway. Multiply this by 60 de­ on a dress form, then
working, and completion, individ­ of-house are likewise fitted to the signs, and you can imagine the end­ supported by fusible
ual designs regularly reach the model, then carefully unsewn, less parade of accessories deSign­ knit, the edges turned,
point at which they need to be fit­ thread-basted along seamlines, and ers, j ewelers, hairdressers, and and hand-stitched to
ted to a real body. Here is another prepared for the decoration with makeup artists with portfolios and the chiffon bodice.
departure from ordinary proce­ strips of muslin machine-basted to samples to show
dure, for the fitting in couture is not the outside edge of each seam al­ Mme Feraud and
done with muslin, but with the ac­ lowance. The strips will anchor the Kiki. Prototypes are
tual fabric. Since only one or per­ pieces to the "loom" of the em­ ordered, return ap­
haps two of each design, if that, broiderer, or painter, while wait­ pointments sched­
will ever be made for sale and fitted ing seamstresses prepare the lin­ uled, corrections
to the exact measurements of the ing, shoulder pads, and other made, and the cy­
client, there's little point in spend­ underpinnings in readiness for the cle repeats.
ing any time perfecting a pattern. decorated pieces.
What is important is that the mod­ Couture
el garment be perfection on the "Time-is-no-object" techniques
runway, so, using a fitting model construction Let's look at a few
whose shape will ensure a good fit Like expense, construction hours of the actual sew­
for the runway models, all atten­ aren't counted in the preparation of ing or embellishing
tion is focused on manipulating haute couture. Once the garments techniques that I
the final fabric into the designer's are in the sewing rooms for com­ saw in use at Louis
vision. For, of course, it's the fabric pletion, virtually everything except Feraud's, including
as well as the design that dictates the actual sewing of the garment several that I used
the construction and engineering seams is done by hand. There is in my work there,
of the final garment. no use of tracing paper and very as applied in both
Garments that will be embroi­ little chalk; instead, thin, pastel­ the Spring and Fall
dered or otherwise decorated out- colored silk threads are basted in to '96 seasons.

a p ril/may 1 997 61
Selected couture techniques:
appliqued "ribbons"-Several gar­
ments (see example at lower right
on p. 6 1 ) from the Fall collection
were embellished with ribbonlike
strips of bias satin, applied both
as edgings and as surface treat­
ments. Here's how we prepared,
shaped, and attached the strips:
• Use a lightweight fabric, like silk
satin, for the bias strips. Cut the
strips with a Y;-in. seam allowance
folded under on both edges.
• Back the strips with a soft knit
fusible. You can fuse the interfacing
before cutting the strips if you'll interfere with fitting the garment form a finished "window," clipping
use them on flat surfaces, such as on the body, snipping and rebast­ and trimming further at corners to
at the hem of a sleeve or around a ing to make any required changes. reduce bulk as much as possible.
waist, but if you plan to shape the When the ribbon is just right, se­ • Press from the right side using a
strips, as we did for the neckline cure it permanently with invisible slightly dampened muslin press
curves in the photo, it's better to hand stitching. Alternatively, you cloth, then hand-baste the flattened
shape the fabric on a form with a can machine-topstitch the ribbon. seam allowance to hold it in place.
dry, hot iron first, then fuse. • Now you can fill the window with
• First pin the strips into position, Reverse applique-Among the your desired inset fabric, edge­
then hand-baste so the pins won't first embellishment offerings to stitching the window to secure it,
come from the sewers then lining to protect and conceal
in the flou for Fall '96 the construction.
were reverse-appliqued We backed our windows with
leaves, like the one in various printed, hand-painted,
the first two photos quilted, or textured fabrics, as well
above. Here's how it as fabrics made from grosgrain
was produced: ribbons j oined edge to edge, then
• Trace the design (we usually embroidered the inset to
used a photocopy of a suggest the veins of the leaf, occa­
real leaf) on the wrong sionally embroidering or beading
side of your fashion fab­ to outline the window. We also
ric, leaving a Y;-in. seam made decorative leaves from the
allowance on the inside, same pattern using regular ma­
then cut away the fabric chine applique.
in the seam allowance.
• Cut a square of light­ Pintucked fl g
utin -Striking gar­
weight lining (we used ments [rom both of Kiki's recent
silk crepe) larger than seasons involved extensive pin­
the design by at least tucking. The lunic at left shows
� in. all around, place how this creates a dramatic fluting
this right sides together effect on stiff fabrics like silk shan­
over the cut-out hole, tung or silk gazar. Experiment with
and sew around the de­ other fabrics that may react simi­
sign, using the traced line as a larly, like thin linen or silk organza.
pintucking creates stitching guide. The technique itself is simple,
elegant flutings in a stiff • Trim the lining to about � in. on though time-consuming: fold along
fabric like silk shantung. both sides of the seam, then turn to the line you want to tuck and

62 TH READS
In couture, sampling
always precedes
construction. Here,
sample leaf embellish­
ments (from far left):
reverse applique
(in process, first two
photos), machine
applique, and top­
stitched felt. Feraud's
seamstresses made
the pattern from a
photocopied leaf.

edgestitch from the right side. The • Cover each seam with a stretched knowledge, and invention that I
challenge is to position the tucks in strip, basting it in place using a saw at Feraud's. I hope you find as
an interesting, attractive way. diagonal or crossed stitch (not a much inspiration in trying these
We pinned in place strips of thin, running stitch) to prevent any slip­ techniques for yourself as I did in
black tape to arrange potential tuck ping, and a fine thread in a con­ learning them! •
lines on muslin prototype garments trasting color.
on the dress form. Once the posi­ • Topstitch from the right side Nathalie Girod is now studying gar­
tions were determined, we chalked using heavy thread (we used silk ment design at Studio Ber(ot in Paris.
the lines on the garment fabric, cordonne) on top, but with a
made the tucks, then cut out the matching regular sewing cotton in
pattern pieces, which, of course, the bobbin to avoid bulk and an
couldn't be done until after the overly thick stitch.
tucks were sewn. Test your chalk or All of these techniques are, of
other marking material carefully course, varied as necessary to suit
beforehand to be sure that it comes the requirements of each new de­
out completely. sign on which they're used. And
they give just the barest hint of the
Decora tive topstitching-P rom­ incredible richness of technique,
inent in almost every collection,
topstitching was a particular fea­
ture of the Spring '96 season,
where it was used to suggest the
construction stitching on sails, as
shown at right. The double rows of
stitching in these garments were
usually placed on either side of
seamlines, in which case the seams
were first backed with I -cm-wide
(after stretching) bias strips of or­
ganza that had been steamed and
stretched to reduce their give. This
prevents the stitching from dis­
torting the seams, without redUCing
their flexibility.
• Once the garment seams are com­ topstitching recall the sailmaker's art in these coats from
plete, turn the garment inside out Feraud's Spring ' 9 6 collection. Each pair of stitching rows
and put it on a dress form. follows a piecing seam.

a pril/may 1 997 63
Silk
acket
Why line a
bomber jacket
when you
can make it
reversible?

b y Shirley M annocci
y first reversible
bomber j acket be­
gan life with the out­
side made of four
brightly printed silk
scarves and the in-
side made of solid-colored silk
yardage. I changed the construc­
tion steps in a lined-bamber-j acket
pattern, so in the end I had two
j ackets in one-a completely re­
versible garment with one casual
and one dressy side. Since then,
I've taken to using silk yardage in­
stead of scarves, for an unlimited
source of fabrics for j ackets like
the one shown at left. These jackets
are easy to slip on and o[fbecause,

Two si lks-a solid and a print­


create a reversible jacket with
two personalities-dressy on one
side (shown opposite), casual on
the other-that's lightweight and
great for travel (Butterick 3081 ).
no matter which side I'm wearing You can use any shoulder pad, per and pockets, and disguise any DIRECTIONAL
to the outside, I have a soft, slip­ provided its thickness and con­ lumps that might show through STAYSTITCHING
pery fabric on the inside. The sim­ tours aren't exaggerated and it's from the pocket. Preshrink and The key to smooth
ple construction lines mean the thin enough to be reversible. See soften the organza by machine­ underlining is stitching
in the direction of the
delicate, slippery silks aren't hard the directions on p. 67 to make washing and -drying it in a gentle
fabrics ' straight grain,
to work with, and since the jacket your own reversible shoulder pads. cycle. If your fashion fabric is sheer which prevents the
is stitched almost entirely by ma­ enough to allow seam allowances layers from distorting.
chine, it can be completed in a day. Customize your pattern to show through, underline the
Start with a bomber-jacket pattern back and sleeves as well.
Special materials
are easy to find
that's waist- or hip-length; styled
with raglan or dropped-shoulder
Applying underlining to a deli-
cate silk is no fun, but patience 1
Lightweight, tightly woven silks sleeves, ribbed collar, ribbed or and a light touch (without pulling
wear (and travel) well in this j ack­
et. Consider a solid and a print
that are color coordinated to go
elasticized bottom band and cuffs;
and takes a separating zipper. The
j acket at left was made from But­
or stressing either fabric) make it
a snap. To prevent the underlining
from drooping or drawing up, cut
'\ I
with one ribbing and zipper. terick 3081. Other jacket patterns out, then pin the fashion-fabric and
Ribbing and zippers are avail­ currently available are Burda 3540 underlining pieces together, plaCing
able by mail order in a variety of and 3666, and New Look 6 1 22. the pins perpendicular to the raw
colors and lengths (see "Zipper If your pattern has an overlap­ edges, and staystitch in the direc-
and ribbing sources" on p . 66). A ping zipper placket, remove it by tion of the straight grain, as shown
reversible-pull, separating zipper adding a %-in. seam allowance to in the drawing at right. Staystitch
with medium-weight plastic or the center front of both sides, and only one straight or curved edge
brass teeth is ideal. Buy a zipper the trimming the excess. If your pat­ at a time (without turning any cor­
length of the j acket's center front tern doesn't call for a 3 �-in. front ners); remove the pins and press
measured from the neckline's band and ribbing, adjust the pat­ after every two adjacent edges are
raw edge to the finished edge of tern's length by cut- stitched; adj ust the underlining
the bottom band minus P,i in. (which may have shifted slightly);
If you don't have a choice of zipper repin the unstitched lines; and pro­
lengths, either buy a zipper that's ceed as before, pressing, ad­
up to y.; in. too short and extend justing, and repinning the
the neck opening, or shorten a underlining until all the
zipper that's too long by re­
moving teeth from the top,
satin-stitching a new stop, Simple
and leaving at least 1 y.; assembly
in. of zipper tape be­ To begin your re­
yond the last tooth. versible j acket, in­
Consider using a stall the pockets,
medium-weight ribbing with good
"memory" (it retains its original der, sleeve, and side seams
shape). You'll need a 7-in.-wide of the inner and outer j ackets sep­
piece of ribbing two thirds the total arately, leaving a lO-in. opening in
length of the sleeve hems, jacket pattern's marked hemline. one side seam of the outer jacket
bottom where the ribbing will be And, if needed, make similar (step 1 on p. 66). Next, assemble
attached, and full neckline length, adj ustments to the sleeve length. the bottom bands and ribbing, and
plus 3 in. for all seam allowances. attach to the outer and inner jack­
If your silks don't match available Silk-organza underlining­ ets (steps 2 and 3). Install the zip­
ribbing colors, look in your sock worth the trouble per on the outer jacket (step 4),
drawer (see Threads No. 63, pp. 50- Before constructing your j acket, then sew the inner-j acket center
5 3 ) or sweater supply, which is apply a silk-organza underlining fronts to the zipper (step 5).
where I found the ribbing for the to the outer jacket fronts to stabilize Measure the j acket neckline and
j acket at left. the fashion fabric under the zip- cut the ribbing for the collar (step

april/may 1 997 65
Zipper and 6), then mark the front curve on
ribbing sources the ribbing by setting a tape mea­
Custom Zips sure on edge and drawing along T EN S T E P S TO A R E V E R S I B L E J AC K ET
PO Box 1 200 the arc it creates, as shown. Pin
S. Norwalk. CT 06856 Assemble jackets and bottom band
the collar to the right side of the
203-866-1 540 1 . To begin, partially assem­
outer-j acket's neckline, starting at
Custom zippers in the ble inner and outer jack­
lengths and colors you the center back (step 7a), making

Ii. 1""",
ets: install slant or welt

I
need (has color­ any needed adj ustments at the pockets; attach fronts, Front Back
matching service). backs, and sleeves; and
center front so the end of the col­
sew side seams, leaving
The Rainshed lar's folded edge meets the zipper
one seam open 1 0 in. [. Jack te 's bottom-edge length-[
707 NW 1 1 th St. � in. above the zipper stop. Sew on outer jacket.
Corvallis. OR 97 3 30 the collar on with a /join. seam
541-7 5 3-8900 CF bands
allowance, then pin and sew the Cut
Ribbing and matching
four. Cut two of each.

CJ 0T"- .
ribbed cuffs ideal for silk inner-j acket neckline to the collar,

r� .p:
jacket available in 21 right sides together (step 7b).
colors of nylonjLycra.
Interfacing
- 4 In. 7 in.

Textile Outfitters Topstitch neck and front-Pull


7 3 5 1 0th Ave. the j acket right side out through 5 in. Y, jacket's bottom length. minus 8 in.
Calgary. AB T2R OB3
the side-seam opening. Lightly
Canada 2. To assemble bottom band, cut ribbing, two center front (CF) bands from
403-543-7676 press both sides along the zipper each fabric, and interfacing to measurements shown. Join CF bands along
Ribbing and zippers in and around the neckline, then pin 5-in. edges, then attach to ribbing.
many colors (send fabric the inner and outer j ackets to­
swatch for color match). 3. Pin CF bands to outer-jacket's fronts, and center of ribbing to jacket center
gether, and topstitch 1(; in. from back. Sew bands and ribbing to outerjacket, stretching ribbing to match
seams and edges (step 7c), starting jacket, then repeat to attach band to inner jacket.
at one center-front band and con­ Ribbing, WSs
together
Zigzag
tinuing around to the other side. 'h-in . seam
CF here.
Baste around the neckline to pre­ allowance
bands
vent puckers along the topstitched
With ribbing's WSs together,
match ribbing/jacket seams
from both jackets, and
Zigzag-stitch together
through ribbing seam
allowances only (not through
band seam allowances).

Install zipper
4. Separate zipper; sew
zipper halves to RS of
outerjacket fronts, with
zipper teeth facing jacket
sides and bottom of
zipper � in. from bottom
of finished edge.
Slide
zipper
5. (Not shown) Pin CF raw pull out
edges of inner and outer of way as
jackets RSs together; sew you sew.
over first lines of stitching
on zipper halves.

Hold all layers taut as you stitch


by pulling gently in front of and
behind the needle.

66 THREADS
curves. To smooth all fabric layers REVERSIBLE
Prepare and attach neckband
as you stitch along the zipper, gen­ SHOULDER
tly hold the fabric taut, as shown at PADS
6. Cut ribbing for neckband 6 by 17 in., fold in half, and mark center and left on the facing page. Finally, pin To give shoulder pads
3 in. from each side of center. Also mark !1 length ofjacket neck 's raw the shoulder pads into position be­ same molding on both
edge on tape sides, cut five layers of
tween the inner and outer layers. needle-punched cotton
measure. Stand
tape on its side, batting with pinking
matching mark Inside-out tangle-The last few shears in shape shown.
on tape and steps call for repeatedly pulling the

T
center mark
on ribbing's raw �:!;jjJ:l!!tl:l±rl±:I:It:::
::::r :C:IItW:±L1Lm.:....i±::2:&ii!!2';C±� j acket through the opening, alter­
edge, and place nately working with it inside and
on first 3 in. along raw edge, then curve toward corner. Draw along right side out. At times, things will
curve of tape measure to mark stitching line. Trim on marked curve

�1
on both sides, and staystitch % in. from raw edge. seem like quite a tangle, but don't
worry, it all works out! .'_
_ __
7a. Pin neckband's raw edge to RS of outer-jacket Pull the j acket through the open­ ! - 6 i n. - !
neck, adjusting it so end of band meets zipper
tape j{ in. above zipper stop and !1 in. from ing so the jacket and sleeves are
Stack =
ribbing's raw edge. Sew band to neckline, inside out, and sew the shoulder layers as c:.--�����_§ -,
c:=:===::J
beginning close to zipper-tape seam. pads to the shoulder seams, as shown,
sewing each new layer
shown at right. With the jacket still
7b. Pin RS of inner jacket j{ in. from its edge
inside out, attach the ribbed cuffs with wide zigzag stitch.
to neckband, stitch
through all layers, to the outer-j acket sleeve, right Tack through all layers
and trim corner. sides together (step 8), stretching in center.

the ribbing to match the sleeve


ws edge . Stitch a few tucks in the
tape sleeve's edge as you sew, if needed,
Start top­ seam to match it to the ribbing.
stitching
at left.
7c. Turn jacket RS out, pin to hold, Inner sleeve only seems tricky­
and topstitch, starting at lower­
Match the inner and outer sleeves'
left front.
underarm seam allowances. To
avoid twisting the inner sleeve, start
by matching both seam allowances
at the armhole, then fold the inner
Attach cuffs and finish jacket sleeve's lower edge to the wrong
8. Cut ribbing for cuffs 7 in. wide by 7',,5 in. long, sew ends with j{-in. seam side and pin it securely to the cuffs
allowance; turn, WSs together, and match raw edges. Divide and mark seam allowance (step 9a). Pull the
sleeve edge and ribbing's raw edge at each j{. Pin cuff to sleeve, matching whole business back through the
raw edges at marks, and sew cuff, stretching ribbing to match sleeve.
side-seam opening so the jacket is
9a. Match sleeves' Leaving raw edges right side out with the inner sleeve Secure shoulder pads
seam allow­ pinned together, on the outside (step 9b), then pull to the shoulder seam
ances, WSs pull jacket through the inner sleeve back over the out­ allowances of both
together, and open side seam so
fold under !1 inner jacket is er sleeve so their right sides are to­ jackets with doubled
in. of inner outside. gether Gust fiddle with it until it thread and long stab
sleeve 's seam
looks like the drawing in step 9b). stitches, drawing the
allowance
to match to Finally, sew the inner sleeves to needle through all
9b. Pull inner sleeve over
ribbing's raw cuff, exposing raw edges the cuffs, turn the j acket right side layers with each stitch.
edge as they'll of cuff and inner-jacket out one last time, close the opening
be sewn. sleeve. Match raw edges of with a hand-sewn blindstitch, and
cuff and sleeves, and sew
inner-jacket sleeve to cuff.
it's a jacket. No, it's two jackets! •

10. Pull jacket back through so it's RS out, and blindstitch side seam closed. Shirley Mannocci is a dressmaker in
Salem, OR.

a pril/may 1 997 67
Traditional
Japanese Textiles
by Cheryl A . Imperatore

he first time I tried on a Kimono, then and now traditional dyeing, stenCiling, and
Japanese garment, I had to The term kimono (literally, "thing weaving methods. )
possess it. It was a knee­ to wear") is widely used to refer to
length silk robe with very a full-length robe but also encom­ Buying Japanese textiles
long sleeves and an ele­ passes a category of layered gar­ Here are four options for using
gant lining. On that day ments worn by Japanese men and Japanese textiles: Buy the garments
1 5 years ago, I fell in love with women for centuries. Traditional to wear; use small pieces (called
Japanese textiles. It was soon after kimono artisans meticulously dye, "fragments") of kimono fabric as
this that I went into the kimono­ embroider, and sew by hand mul­ embellishment in a garment or
importing business. tipieced outfits, which feature four quilt; buy new yardage; or buy gar­
If you, too, appreciate exquisite layered robes plus cords and sash­ ments to rip apart for yardage. If
textiles like those shown on these es, and easily cost thousands of you do the latter, you'll see that
pages, you can have enormous fun dollars. Nevertheless, then as now, kimono are sewn [rom traditional
sewing with these amazing fabrics, every young Japanese woman tra­ 13-in.-wide fabric that's 8 to 12 yd.
whether you use the yardage for ditionally gets at least one full long. Take a kimono apart by rip­
a complete garment or combine kimono outfit. Wedding kimono, ping out the stitches, which isn't
small pieces in vests, jackets, quilts, with 6-ft.-Iong robes and 4-ft.-Iong difficult but takes time.
or accessories. The gallery of work sleeves, cost $ 10,000 or more, so
on pp. 70 and 71 is sure to pro­ most people rent these days. Where to shop-Many shops spe­
vide inspiration to get you started. h
Until the mid-1940s, w en west­ cialize in vintage Japanese textiles
And, if you're thinking that it must ern clothing became fashionable, (see Sources), and mail-order sup­
be difficult to find these fabrics for almost everyone in Japan dressed pliers offer prepackaged collections
sale, the suppliers listed in "Sources in kimono each day. As the old of coordinated fabrics (new or vin­
for Japanese textiles" on pp. 70 kimono are discarded, the vintage tage) or bundles of garments. Sev­
and 7 1 offer a complete range of textiles have become available to eral suppliers display their goods
an appreciative Western sewing at quilt or sewing shows in vari­
and artistic community. (New fab­ ous cities throughout the U.S. and
rics are also available, made with Canada, and others offer catalogs
A sewer's gu i d e to fi nd i ng
and usi ng th ese exq u i site fabrics

with photographs of the fabrics. quality before making a purchase Kimono "R" Us
Kasuri Dyeworks in Berkeley, CA to avoid surprises when you work To obtain kimono in Michiyuki: knee-length
traditional Japan, one double-breasted travel-
(see Sources), offers a video catalog with or wear the textile later.
didn't exactly shop. ing coat with a square
of ISO fabrics, which actually ed- A visit to the kimono neckline, worn over a
u cates the viewer on the time- Identifying vintage fibers maker involved pots kimono and haori.
of tea and rice cakes,
consuming hand processes used Vintage kimono are rarely tested
and lots of discussion of Mompe: cotton rice
to make these fabrics. And, if you're for fiber content by the seller. Al- possible designs. Below paddy pants, made with
connected to the Internet, check though textiles are often labeled, are traditional forms a an elasticized waist and

out the fabrics offered on the this isn't an exact science. All too garment might take: a diamond gusset at
the crotch.
World Wide Web. often, fabrics that resemble silk are
Haori: ("folded wing")
labeled as such even if they're not, short jacket worn over Nagajuban: under-
Prices for every pocketbook- and those resembling cotton can a kimono and obi. kimono worn closest to
the skin; made of pinks
You can spend a little or a lot, de- be labeled 100-percent cotton, right
Hippari: hip-length and reds. If a woman
pending on the quality of the piece or wrong. If a garment's lining or gardening jacket with reveals this colorful
(similar to buying antique furni- thread is silk, the outer fabric is X-length sleeves and layer, she's flirting.
crossover ties. Usually
ture). Vintage textiles start at fifty probably silk, too. In addition to
made of indigo-dyed Obi: stiff sashes tied at
cents for a kimono fragment in the silk and cotton, you'll find wool, fabrics (kasuri) and the waist over kimono.
scrap drawer of a New York shop, rayon, polyester, linen, ramie, and paired with mompe Obi age are soft silk

and range to thousands of dollars blends of these. Polyester, used in- (see below). sashes; obi jime are
tasseled cords.
for a fine specimen. New fabrics creasingly since the 1960s, is hailed
Kimono: (both Singular
cost from $S to $SO/yd., depending inJapan as a great easy-care inno- and plural) a long robe, Yukata: casual cotton
on the technique used (simple vation. The colors are, shall we say, tied with an obi. The bira (after-bath)
woman's version is robes, available for
prints are less costly; hand-tied and less flamboyant than the polyesters
partially open on the guests at ryoken
-dyed shibori or stenciled katazome popular in the U.S. in the 1970s. sleeves, which are long (small rural hotels).
are quite precious). Many of the and flirtatious for single -C./.
women or short and
suppliers in Sources have indicated Cleaning older fabrics -If you've
practical for married
price ranges for their goods. Ask bought antique, previously worn women. A man's sleeves
questions about fiber, care, and textiles, always clean them before are completely sewn.
Japanese textiles beautifully
enhance many techniques. At
right and below, a patchwork vest
and purses by Kitty Noble, Santa
Barbara, CA; at far right, top,
three woven-strip bags by ALEX,
Santa Barbara, CA; and, bottom ,
wall hanging "Seagulls" ( 1 9 96,
17X by 21 X in.) of indigo-dyed
fabrics (yukata kasun)
and by
Eleanor Dolan, Cousins Island, ME.

Sources for Carol Lane-Saber


PO Box 6 5487
Japanese textiles Port Ludlow, WA 98365 Fax: 905-684-4977 Website:
Order by mail or visit a shop 360-437-0576 Retail and mail order. http:;/www.cliq.com/Services/
or show on your next journey. Quilt shows and by appointment. Vintage kimono and obi (including haiku/kimono.html
Hand-selected collection of wedding kimono), vintage fabric Mail order. Vintage kimono for
Ah! Kimono Japanese texti les. panels and pieces, new cotton sewing or wearing, hand-picked
491 3 1 81 st PI. SW yukata robes, and new, indigo in Japan, dry-cleaned, priced
Lynnwood, WA 98037 Dolan Enterprises patterned fabrics. from $5 to $45. Write, e-mail,
206-672-0842 PO Box 267 or phone owners Ginny Page and
Mail order. Vintage kimono and Yarmouth, ME 04096-0267 Good Goods Stephanie Schrieber ( 1 1 :00 a.m. to
kimono pieces available in packets 207-846-7868 9305 Sudbury Rd. 1 :00 p.m. PST, or leave message).
for quilters or embellishers, with Fax: 207-846-69 1 2 Silver Spring, MD 20901
2 to 20 pieces, sorted by color Quilt and trunk shows, and by Phone/fax: 301 -585-9217 International Fabric Collection
families. Prices from $8.50. Call appointment. New textiles­ Mail order and shows. Vintage gar­ 3445 West Lake Rd.
Sheri Bridges. authentic shibori, ikat, yukata, ments, cleaned and folded (never Erie, PA 1 6 505
katazome, and indigo cloth-for baled) in prepacked bundles of 5 800-462-3891
Arise quilters and garment deSigners. or 1 0, priced from $ 3 5/bundle, 814-8 3 8-0740
6925 Willow St. NW Send $3 for details and fabric returnable. Send SASE or fax for Fax: 8 1 4-8 3 8-9057
Washington, DC 20012 photos with prices. a complete list of bundle prices. Mail order, showroom open by
202-291 -0770 appOintment; quilt shows. New
Retail. New and vintage Japanese From Japan Haiku Kimono textiles from Japan include yukata,
kimono and textiles. 1 87 Victoria St. 430 Andrew Ave. ikat, and Momen House prints;
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON Encinitas, CA 92024-1146 books and patterns. Color
LOS 1 JO Canada 61 9-753-1 1 1 6 catalog, $ 3 .
905-468-31 51 E-mail: haiku@cliq.com

70 T H R EADS
starting a proj ect. I've had good Edgestitched obi-fabric
results dry-cleaning both vintage appliques and a belt of silk
garments and dismantled yardage, kimono "fragments" dress up
especially silk, wool, or rayon. a simple denim coat by Dan
You can safely hand-wash most and Eiko Blow of Japanalia,
cottons, linens, and polyesters. I West Hartford, CT.
toss cotton mompe and yukata (see
"Kimono "R" Us" on p. 69) in the
washing machine and dryer. strip weaving, to applique.
As with any older garment, be Cut the cuff, yoke, pocket or
aware that some stains (from foods pocket flap, or collar from larg-
or fold lines) are decades old and er pieces of fabric, and use frag­
can't be removed, so plan to cut ments or strips of fabric as piping,
around or cover them. And watch chunky cording, ties, or button
out for garments with red linings, loops. Or try sewing various strips
which may bleed when cleaned. together, end to end, for a random
Fold Japanese textiles and store pieced bias tape. For inspiration
them on a shelf or in a drawer­ to get started, take a look at the
hanging distorts the straight lines work on these two pages.
of the garments. Avoid direct sun­ So go buy a bundle or a bag of
light, which fades shades of blue silk scraps, or a yard of authentic
and causes black dyes to rot the kasuri. Stitch it into something
fabric. Don't seal the textiles in exotic. And get ready for multi-
plastic; let them breathe. cultural compliments. •
Kimono-fabric appliques are
stitched onto a background of Design possibilities Cheryl A. Imperatore sells Asian tex­
kimono fabrics in this vest by Japanese textiles provide a great tiles and garments through Good Goods
Jacquelyn N ouveau, Chapel Hill, NC. opportunity to try your favorite em- (see Sources), and has lectured on ki-
bellishment techniques, from pin mono at the World Bank and the Textile
weaving, qUilting, couching, or Museum in Washington, DC.

Kagedo Mi-Mu Club Old Japan (Also send SASE for brochure on
520 First Ave. S 1 -3-1 5-405 Tomobuchi-cho 382 Bleeker St. textile-focus tours of Japan.)
Seattle, WA 98104 Miyakojima-ku New York, NY 1 0014
206-467-9077 Osaka, Japan 212-6 3 3-0922 Sanshi Fabrics
Retail. Thousands of e-mail: webmaster@mimuclub.com Retail (call for hours). Vintage silk 8 9a Palmerston St.
vintage kimono. Website: kimono fragments sold in $ 1 0 Mosman Park 6012
http://www:mimuclub.com/fabric bags, and kimono, haori, and Western Australia
Kasuri Dyeworks Check their website to order and michiyuki priced from $30 to Phone/fax: 09 3 84 8244
1 9 5 9 Shattuck Ave. for color photographs of new $400. Ask owner Amie Belobrow Mail order and shows. Sue
Berkeley, CA 94704 Japanese fabrics, offered in multi­ to show you the special drawer of Leighton-White has a range of vin­
510-841-4509 swatch packets for quilters. kimono pieces, priced from $.50 tage and new fabrics, from scrap
Fax: 510-841 -4511 to $20 each. Collector-quality bags to collector-quality textiles.
Retail and mail order. New textiles Modvoo Kimono Shop kimono and 1 9th-century indigo
made with authentic, centuries-old 2 5 3 2 Roosevelt Blvd. panels are also available. Texuba
Japanese methods, including true Oxnard, CA 93035 1 3428 Maxella Ave., #342
yukata, ikat, katazome, shibori, 805-9 8 5-5 3 67 Quilters' Express to Japan Marina del Rey, CA 90292-5671
and hand-spun silks (jacquard and E-mail: modvoo@aol.com 80 E. 1 1 th St. 3 1 0-827-8 5 3 5
others). Made in Japan with no Website: Suite 623 Shows only. Thousands of Vintage
compromises in quality. (No print­ http://www.modvoo.com New York, NY 1 0003 kimono and obi, priced from $8
ed kimono fabric and no garments Retail (call for hours) and mail 21 2-505-0480 to $1 50, available at shows held in
sold here.) Fascinating two-hour order. Vintage kimono sold individ­ Fax: 212-505-051 0 February and August in California.
video catalog explains production ually or in bundles (money-back Mail order and quilt shows. Call or write to get on their
methods and shows 1 80 fabric guarantee). Check their website New and vintage fabrics in small mailing list.
samples, $ 1 2.50 ppd. for color photographs. quantities, related books, and
patterns. Catalog, $3.

a p ril/may 1 997 71
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a p ril/may 1 997 73
N otes
Here's the place to EXH I B ITS Collectible antique-lace note

share news about cards are embellished with laser-cut


interesting people GALANOS patterns adapted from historic laces
and places, special On exhibit at the Los Angeles in the collection of the Kent State
products, confer­ County Museum of Art through University M useum in Kent, OH.
ences, organizations, July 27, GALANOS, mounted in
and im portant cooperation with The Western
developments in the Reserve Historical Society of Cleve­ German Neue Mode patterns,
world of sewing and land, celebrates 45 years of fash­ long sold only in a limited num­
needlework-or just ion from American designer James ber of retail shops, are now also
to sound off. Write Galanos. Though limited-edition available by mail order. These in­
to: Threads Notes, ready-to-wear has been the main­ triguing styles are presented in five
63 S. Main St.,
PO Box 5 506,
stay of his work, Galanos is recog­
nized as an equal among French
-
collections Neue Mode and Avant
Garde for adults, Young Collection
N ewtown, CT couturiers for his innovative for young adults, Quick & Easy for
06470-5 506. designs and his insistence on beginners, and Children's Collec­
the impeccable couture tech­
niques used in his collec­
-
tion and can be ordered from a
23-page, full-color booklet ($ 10) of
tions. A 1 50-page, miniatures of all the pattern-book
full-color cata-
P RO D U CT N E WS illustrations. For this or the name
Historic laces from the Kent State of the retailer nearest you carrying
University Museum collection can Neue Mode patterns, call Sullivans
be yours in the form of antique­ USA (5221 Thatcher Rd., Downers
lace note cards. Three patterns­ Grove, IL 60515; 800-862-8586).
Belgian bobbin lace, an English
Honiton floral border, and a Vene­ Toni Toomey is an associate editor

tian Rosepoint (from top to bottom of Threads


variable S&H, The West­ in the photos above)-have been
ern Reserve Historical
Society Bookstore, 10825
adapted for the laser-cut note cards,
which come in packages of six (two
S M A L L PATT E R N
East Boulevard, Cleve­ of each pattern; $ 7.50 plus $ 1. 75 C O M PA N I E S
land, OH 44106; 2 16-721- S&H, KSU Museum, Rockwell Editor's note: Continuing our ongoing
5722). A 30-minute video, Hall, Box 5 190, Kent, OH 44242; reviews oj small pattern companies
Galanos on GALANOS 330-672-3450). I (see Threads No. 55, pp. 72-74, and
( $ 1 9 . 9 5 plus S&H, Los The E-Z Winder kit, with four Threads No. 69, p . 74), we've select­
Angeles County Museum large empty spools and a winding ed three additional noteworthy en­
of Art Museum Shop, 5905 attachment ( $ 2 0 ppd., 2 370-G tries to review.
Wilshire Blvd., Los Ange­ Hillcrest Rd., # 1 2 1 , Mobile, AL
les, CA 90036; 2 1 3-85 7- 36695; 334-665-0072), allows you Birch Street Clothing
6 146), features interviews to wind spools of speCialty threads Birch Street Clothing ( 10 2 1 S.
with Galanos, his models, and yarns for your serger, using Claremont, San Mateo, CA 94402;
and clients. the bobbin winder on your sewing 800-736-0854) offers patterns for
machine (specify the type of ma­ adults as well as a large selection of
"Woman's Coat" ( 1 990), on view in the GALANOS exhibit chine when ordering). This is a imaginative styles for children.
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, illustrates American handy little notion for special proj­ Clearly, the children's patterns are
designer James Galanos's flair for unique interpretations of ects, or for occasionally stretching designed by a parent for practical
contemporary fashion. one cone of serger thread into three wear and quick construction. Many
or four. patterns are reversible or convert-

74 T H R EADS
ORIGINAL
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China Silk 45" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 6.95 yd. Charmeuse 1 9Y2m m 45" . . . . $1 7.95 yd.
Silk Noil 35"/36" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 6.95 yd. Jacquard Charmeuse 45" . . . $1 8.95 yd.
Spun 35"/36" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1 0.95 yd. Silk/Rayon Velvet 45" . . . . . . $1 9.95 yd.
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a p ri l/may 1 997 75
N o te (conti n ued)

ible, for example, a poncho can be­ with illustrations, they aren't al­ ries of monthly pattern supple­
come a fanny pack. Other patterns ways clear. As well, the user should ments that contain templates and
use ready-to-wear garments such be alert to the need to adjust the instructions for creating variations
as a sweatshirt that's to be made in­ patterns [or basic details that have ([or example, making a nightshirt
to a j acket or an adult T-shirt to be been overlooked, such as shaping from a tunic pattern), and for up­
made into a baby romper. the hem allowance on tapered dating existing patterns with cur­
Printed on recycled paper, the pants, adjusting the position of a rent style variations, like neckline
patterns are multisized (adult XS j acket'S patch pocket for different treatments. This is definitely a cost­
to XXL), and finished-garment mea­ sizes, or adjusting the center-front effective way to add to your pat­
surements are given. The illustra­ extension on a j acket to accom­ tern library.
tions are clear and the instructions modate the recommended button
complete, but they're printed on size. Some finished widths and The MacPhee Workshop
pattern tissue and could be inad­ lengths listed on the pattern pieces If you want to make outerwear that
vertently discarded. The catalog are inaccurate, and critical areas, rivals L.L. Bean, look no further
includes both sketches and pho­ such as hem length, waistline, and than The MacPhee Workshop
tos of each pattern, and offers a crotch depth, should be measured Unique Patterns ($3 .98 to $ 5 .98
large selection of snaps, grommets, to avoid unwanted surprises. ($Can.); PO Box 10, Site 16, RR 8,
and zippers. Despite these problems, Great Edmonton, AB, T5L 4H8 Canada;
Copy Patterns offers an interesting 403-973-3516; in the U.S., 888-622-
Great Copy Patterns selection of moderately priced pat­ 7433). The catalog features an ex­
Great Copy Patterns (4901 Wash­ terns ($6 each plus S&H) for the tensive collection of adult's and
ington Ave. , PO Box 85329, Racine, experienced sewer. children's patterns for anoraks,
Wl 53408; 414-632- And there's a bo­ parkas, duffel coats, and rain gear,
2660) offers styles nus: "Creative Pat- as well as for daywear, appliques,
suitable for knits tern Ideas" ($20 and supplemental collars. Shown
and wovens, based in photos and line drawings, the
on designs from bet­ patterns come in a broad range
ter ready-to-wear col­ of sizes: child 2-6x,
lections. These multi­ youth 8-14, and adult
sized patterns (XS to 32- to 38-in. chest and
XXL) are designed with 24- to 50-in. hip. Each
generous ease to fit a va­ o[ the patterns offers nu­
riety of body types with­ merous styling options,
in each size. The catalog like yoke shapes, pock­
includes more than 30 de­ ets, cuffs, and collars. The
signs with sketches and de­ pattern pieces are clearly
scriptions, but there are no marked and accurately
flat-line drawings to help dis­ drafted, and the instruc­
cern style lines. tions are clear and complete
Tracing the pattern pieces with good illustrations.
is necessary since they're com­ These patterns are a
pactly printed on both sides great value for the price,
of the paper, with some pieces and the finished garments
superimposed on others, and are actually much Simpler
some instructions printed on to make than they look.
the backs of the pattern pieces.
The guide sheets provide cutting Sue Bennett of Granby. MA.
and sewing instructions, but even is a designer and dressmaker.

76 THREADS
Considering Graduate Studies... NEW . . . from the publishers o f Threads

M.S. in Textiles
• Textile Design
Concentrations in weave, knit, & print
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10YI EXPO CEITER To order, use the coupon
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and handling (CT residents add 6% sales tax, Canadian residents add 7% GST). If I'm not
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For Brochure Call 1·800 594·9029 Send to: Taunton Direct Inc., 63 South Main Street, P.O. Box 5507, Newtown, CT 06470·5507

a p ril/may 1 997 77
Q u i c k to Ma ke
If you're busy and TH E HANGER is why each hanger has ribbon or Pad and cover the b ase-For
have only limited
time to sew, try
D I LEM MA, trim to disguise the center seam.
To make this hanger, you'll need
padding, cut two pieces of batting
9 by 14 in. Lay the 9-in. edge of
these quick-to­
S O LV E D a plain wooden hanger (sold in one batting piece along one half of
make i d eas. packs of five at many discount the hanger and tightly wind the
by Dianne Boate
and drug stores; also check thrift batting around it. Anchor the bat­
My closet is like a garden begin­ shops); � to % yd. of silk, satin, or ting at the center, middle, and end
ning to bloom, because I'm gradu­ other interesting fabric (don't forget with transparent tape, and repeat
ally replacing the ugly wire hangers old scarves and thrift-shop gar­ for the other half of the hanger.
with colorful, luxurious hangers ments); some ribbon; and a thick, To cover the hanger with fabric,
made quickly and at little expense. firm batting like HTC Armo Fleece hold it between your knees so both
The shoulders of garments need Plus (available at local stores and hands are free. Place the foot of a
support, something that plain wire, by mail from Atlanta Thread, 800- stocking or knee-high over one end,

c plastic, or
wood sim­
ply can't
847- 1001). A pair of old, clean
pantyhose or knee-highs holds the
batting in place, making it easier to
cutting away the excess at the cen­
ter, then slide on a sewn fabric sec­
tion. Repeat for the other end, then
provide. So cover the hanger. hand-sew the center seam with
why take the time to cor- doubled thread, matching the in­
rect the shoulder seam or con­ Cut and sew a cover-Cut two tersecting seams.
struct perfect sleeves if you're only pieces of fabric 3% by 20 in. for the
going to toss the garment onto a top and two pieces 3% by 10 in. for Trims and finishing-If you have
wire hanger? the bottom (cutting on the bias is a garment with straps that tend to
But practicality aside, you'll find an option for a smooth look, as in slide off the hanger, add ribbon­
moments of delicious discovery in the top hanger on p. 80). Round rosette anchors 2 % in. from each
figuring out how to use your, urn, one end of each section, and press end (see the top hanger below).
"collection" of ribbons, silk roses, under % in. on the other end. You'll Cut a 6-in.-Iong piece of ribbon,
bits of lace and trim, leftover pieces gather the top sections, then stitch sew the ends together, then gather
needn't be boring of silk and satin, beads, doilies­ each one to a bottom section. around one ribbon edge. Pull tight
or expensive. Above. all those little treasures that don't fit To gather, use a zigzag stitch 4- to form a rosette, knot, and sew
a hefty quilted hanger into mainstream sewing but that mm wide and long. Begin sewing one onto each end of the hanger.
provides perfect none of us can bear to throw away. on the folded straight edge and To disguise the center seam,
support for a heavy And making one of my hangers continue around the top, curved drape a 24- to 36-in.-Iong piece of
coat or fragile garment; takes less than an hour. end and bottom of each top piece, r ibbon around the neck of the
and a wooden hanger I'll start with the classic padded sewing within the �-in. seam al­ hanger, bring the two ends down
serves as a base for all hanger, because it serves as the ba­ lowance over two strands of strong the front, up the back, around to
the padded hangers. At sis for a lot of variations. Then I'll crochet thread like Knit-Cro-Sheen. the front of the neck again, and
right. a classic padded show you an even easier, tasseled A braiding or cording foot
hanger (top). with version that takes about ten min­ with a hole helps: bringing
ribbon rosettes to utes to make. the heavy threads through
prevent strap slippage. the hole keeps them centered. Pull
is paired with a qUick. The classic padded hanger
ruched hanger. finished My smoothly padded. basic hang­ matches the bottom piece's
at the center with er, like the top sample at right, is length, then pin top
ribbon and roses. shirred or gathered on the top half to bottom and
and smooth on the bottom. Like straight-stitch a
all my sewn hangers, it's con- �-in. seam along the inner edge of
structed in two halves and hand- the zigzag. Turn the section right
sewn together at the center, which side out, without trimming.

78 T H R EADS
Multiple fittings?
Mayi?e it's your pinning method that
needs the alteration. If you ' re d o i ng m u ltiple fittings with each
sewing project, maybe you need to pin down
a new way of working. M ay we suggest Twi n
Fit, one of the pre m i e re adjustable Ard i s
dressforms from HTC. O u r Twin Fit, in five size
ranges , gives you precision measurements ,
m u ltiple " pi n points , " and easy, even basting.
You can also look for our Athena
economy model , M i s s Ven u s c h i ld ' s
for m , a n d the M r. Ardi s men ' s
tailoring for m .
No wonder Ard i s d ressforms are

[ij]
recogn ized throughout the world as
the fi nest in long-lasting qual ity and
ease of use.

h
So visit you r nearest
sewing retai l e r and be ready
for your next sewing project.
For s u perior d ress for m s
that d e l iver more accurate
measurements , it's only t C
fitting that you ask for HTC .

Prin ted
n�" .v�r:::� "if
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. "::;i";;')�
. f lf;;�l'if4
f )fV4lf;i' <1>f"
"'i:i..Vl4
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•• Woven-edge
LAB
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a p ril/may 1 997 79
Qui( t o M a k e (continued)
(

bow. Add classic version, this hanger has a fringe, attaching it to the hanger
a rosette, an­ top and bottom seam and is light­ base with a glue gun (see the bot­
other bow, or ly padded with two 9- by 5-in. tom hanger at left). Apply glue in a
a cluster of tiny pieces of batting. Round one end of zigzag, about 2 in. at a time, and
roses, beads, or other decoration. each fabric section and press under press the trim in place (for a neat
� in. on the other end, as before. finish, begin by wrapping one cor­
A few easy variations Right sides together, join two sec­ ner and end by folding under �
One useful variation is the extra­ tions with the wide, long zigzag in.). To finish, hand-sew the front
fat padded hanger (shown at left, stitch over two strands of crochet and back of the fringe together at
top, on p. 78), which is ideal for a thread. Turn it right side out, begin the top edge.
Cut the classic padded heavy coat or fragile gown. Just use gathering with the cord, and place In short, with all these options
hanger on the bias for prequilted fabric with no gathers, it on the padded hanger. Gather available, why let your interesting
a smooth look (top). cut the body wider and shorter, the two sides tightly to fit the hang­ garments languish on ordinary
And for the bullfighter for example, 4� by 11 in., and wrap er, and tie the ends around the base hangers? They probably weep day
in your family. create the hanger with two layers of bat­ of the hook. Hand-sew the center, and night in that closet!
a ten-minute hanger ting before covering. and decorate as you like.
(bottom) for that Another beautiful variation is the Dianne Boate of San Francisco. CA.

special garment. ruched hanger (at right, bottom, A speedy, tasseled version thanks Roberta Carr. Claire Shaeffer.

on p. 78), made from four 3- by To make the quickest hanger of all, Naomi Baker. and Tammy Young for

30-in. pieces of fabric. Unlike the I use 1 yd. of 3 �-in.-wide tasseled their hanger inspiration.

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a p ril/may 1 997 81
B o o ks
Here's our choice examples of this "pomp and
of the best of the
SEWI N G pageantry" are arrayed in
latest books for The Ultimate full-page, full-color glory.
sewers and embel­ Serger Answer Guide They're wonderful, even if
lishers. Check with If you have a serger, you already you do have to build a new
your local bookstore know how complicated these house just to keep pace with
or, if you want, handy tools can be to adjust and such magnificence.
order directly from troubleshoot. And you've probably Want help visualizing
the publisher or been a bit overwhelmed at the your own variations? In the
distributor, whose sheer number of books available book's most intriguing sec­
address is provided. that promise to help you sort out tion, Dickens has stacked
your machine while using it to do full-page drawings of the
everything but wash your clothes. photographed tassels, with
The Ultimate Serger Answer Guide each page cut into thirds
by Naomi Baker, Gail Brown, and horizontally so you can flip
Cindy Kacynski (Chilton Book Co., through to see, say, tassel 2
201 King of Prussia Rd., Radnor, PA with the skirt from tassel 1 2
19089-0230; 610-964-4839; 1996; and the cord from tassel 18.
softcover, $ 16 . 9 5 ; 96 pp.) keeps The Art of On the back of each flip section
right to the point, consisting al­ Tassel Making are page references for the tech­
most entirely of clear color photos Tired of do-everything sewing ma­ niques and materials needed for
of serger-stitch problems and de­ chines, endless bolts of fabric, quilt that example. Sources are listed for
tailed discussions of how to cor­ blocks and garment patterns by tools and supplies, which are min­
rect them. The solutions offered the tens of thousands (or do you imal (except for yarn and thread
will rarely convince you that serg­ still have some time and energy af­ requirements, of course!).
ers are less complex than you ter playing with all of the above)? My only complaint is that all the
thought (and the drawings could Perhaps Susan Dickens's beautiful processes are illustrated only with
be clearer), but it's hard to imagine new book, The Art of Tassel Mak­ black-and-white drawings. These
a serger problem that couldn't be ing (Allen & Unwin, distributed are clear and useful, but some of
easily identified and eventually by Independent Publishers Group, the more unusual processes, like
fixed with the aid of this guide. 814 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL winding the forms or securing the
Though intentionally generic, the 60610; 800-888-4741 ; 1996; soft­ skirt fringing with knots or twisted
book also includes a cover, $22; 1 5 2 pp.), has the cure. wire on a cardboard template,
collection of brand­ It's a comprehensive how-to man­ could benefit from a clear photo
specific tricks and ual for making the most ultralush, of the author actually doing them.
tips, and it winds up decorator-quality tassels seen since Dickens is Australian, so there's al­
with lots of charts, Scarlett O'Hara filched her curtains so a bit of translation needed with
glossaries, and check­ to make a party dress. some terms and tools (she calls a
lists to help you un­ Dickens explains to the reader "square" knot a "reef' knot, for ex­
derstand your serger how to wrap wooden forms with ample), but all my queries were
and keep it healthy, gorgeous gimps and yarns; dangle eventually sorted out by rummag­
select and buy a new sumptuous, multilayered skirts; ing within the book itself. There's
machine, choose use­ puff up pompoms and pendants no doubt this is a feast for the yarn­
ful feet and appro­ of bewildering variety; twist elabo­ starved, and a welcome addition
priate threads, and rate cords and glossy ropes; and to the short shelf of tassel tomes.
quickly spot trouble. further embellish the assembled
Looks like required tassel with sequins, fringing, em­ David Page Coffin is an associate editor
equipment to me. broidery, and netting. About 2 0 of Threads.

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a p ril/may 1 997 83
Book (continued)

Nehring explains how to make Wagner presents 12 quilting proj­


B U TT O N S buttons washable and removable, ects in which she progressively in­
50 Heirloom and turn them into j ewelry, and troduces rectangles, triangles, a few
Buttons to Make suggests ways to expand design terror-inducing curves (which she
Whether you have a vast collection options: Would you believe cham­ claims are actually easy), and, fi­
of treasured buttons or routinely pagne corks, steel washers, and or­ nally, diamonds and hexagons. In
shop at the last minute for the per­ dinary buttons used as button the process, we get the chance to
fect thing for each project, Nancy molds? Why not pull a single ply see in great detail how an ac­
Nehring's 50 Heirloom Buttons to from an interesting yarn or braid knowledged master of precision
Make (The Taunton Press, 63 S. for a button-scaled thread, or un­ machine piecing currently handles
Main St. , PO Box 5 506, Newtown, ravel a bit of the garment fabric for precision rotary cutting, marking,
CT 06470-5506; 800-888-8 2 8 6 ; a perfect match? And button-lovers pinning, and seam matching.
1 9 9 6 ; softcover, $ 19.95; 1 14 pp.) may find the history and the beau­ Wagner's previously published
will probably forever transform tiful photos worth the price even if Chilton book, Teach Yourself Ma­

HE�
your views on they never make a single button. chine Piecing and Quilting (all of the
buttons: Why Prepare yourself for a serious case quilt blocks in this book a re
not make what of button fever once you open this square), has more-comprehensive
you need? treasure trove. directions for general quilt mak­

BUTTONS
The closures ing, and much more information
described by Linda Hudson enjoys a wide range of on machine quilting (which is up­
to Make Nehring either fiber arts in Raleigh. NC. dated in the latest book), but All
consist of a Quilt Blocks Are Not Square looks
like an equally good place for a be­
mold that gives
each button its
Q U I LT I N G ginning machine quilter to join the
shape and a All Quilt Blocks growing Wagner fold, as well as an
decorative cov­ Are Not Square excellent addendum to the canon
er made from Debra Wagner has become a house­ for the already converted.
needle lace, braid, crochet, fabric, hold name among quilt makers be­ -David Page Coffin

or ribbon; or they're formed from cause her books on tech­


knotted braids, cords, or fabric. Be nique are as state-of-the­
forewarned that button making de­ art as her all-machine­
mands good vision, nimble fingers, made quilts are mind bog­
and perseveran ce, but most of gling ( and award win­
these buttons work up fast, some in ning). Her latest book,
less than 15 minutes. Each button All Quilt Blocks Are Not
project is graded easy, moderate, or Square (Chilton Book Co.,
challenging; and, though I haven't 201 King of Prussia Rd. ,
tried the latter, those I've made so Radnor, PA 19089-0230;
far have proved the directions and 610-964-4839; 1995; soft­
illustrations to be clear and easy cover, $ 2 1 . 9 5 ; 166 pp.),
to follow. There's also plenty of gen­ continues the tradition,
eral instruction for each type of focusing this time out
proj ect. I do wish Nehring had on traditional shapes­
been more explicit about using hexagons, triangles, and
strong, nonkinking threads; my curves-that have often
first proj ects were frustrated by been shunned by machine
breakage and knotting. piecers as too complex.

84 T H R EADS
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( a Ie 1 ar
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__ PO Box 247- T; Walnutport, PA 18088
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The CLASSIFIED rate is $4.50/word, minimum 15 HOMEWORKERS NEEDED! $460.00 weekly possi­ EARN $401.25 WEEKLY SEWING BABY BIBS! For
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Advtg , Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470-5506. The dead­ KITCHEN CRAFTS, Box 2310TH, Vacaville, CA to Stuff-4-Kids, P.O. Box 1060, EI Toro, CA 92630.
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ton Boutique Franchises are available! Own a retail ESSENTIAL GUIDES, P.O. Box 1862-B, Sebastopol,
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94 T H R EADS
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D RAPING AND PATIERNMAKING AT SUMMER 381-T, Morrisville, NY13408.
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more ! ! I ! Catalogs w/Wholesale Price Lists: Regular
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short cuts, profeSSional methods for beginners and Catalog-$3 00. LACELAND, P.O. Box 1504, Sugar­ MOMI Great stylesl Free Catalog I EL Designs, Box
old timers. Free brochure. Call 1-800-326-9221 or land, TX 77487- 1504. (281 ) 983-5223 Phone or Fax. 696T, Bluebell, UT 84007. 1-801-454-3350.
write Lifetime Career Schools, Dept. TI03Y3, 101 Har­
rison Street, Archbald, PA 18403. AFRICAN PRINTS ... NO DYE COTIONS . . FINE BURDA, FAMOUS FOR FASHION AND FIT. Pub­
LINEN. Swatch set $20. Fine Linen Fabrics, Box lished monthly. All styles in five sizes. Includes: new

r '\ kl( � 360099. Decatur, GA 30036. Phone 404-288-9660. user friendly pattern sheets: pink shaded palterns
you can locate at a glance; snip n' sew patterns; easy
CHILDRENS SPECIALTY FABRICS. Knits, wovens, WHOLESALE SOURCE DIRECTORY OVER 1000 patterns for beginners. Americanand European mea­
denim-dobbies. $3 Swatches. Kids Only Fabrics, P.O. WHOLESALE COMPANIES/500,000 PRODUCTS surements. Send $ 1 5 for 3 issue trial subscription to
Box 890905-T, Temecula, CA 92589-0905. listed. FabriCS, sewing supplies and more. Directory GLP International, PO. Box 9868, Englewood, NJ
$ 15.00 ClM Publishing, 870 Hidden Pond Court, #7, 07631-6868 or call (201) 871-1010.
CHOOSE FROM 1,000'S - All the fabrics in Denver's Lafayette, CA 94549. hltp:j/www.glpnews.com/Crafts.html.
biggest and best fabric store are now available
through the Denver Fabrics Personal Shopping Ser­
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10k ') I r TROUSER PATIERN FOR MEN WITH DISABILI­
TIES. Adapted for comfort and independence. Multi­
FOR SALE; NORTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME sized S-M-L-XL. Send $ 1 5.00. Wearables, P.O. Box
PURE SILKS-dyed/woven to order and airmailed BASED BUSINESS. Selling ethnic fabrics, clothing, 7404-T, Arlington, VA 22207.
worldwide. Ideal for weddings, specials etc! accessories at quilt shows, etc. Great potential. Infor­
Write/phone/fax us for swatches containing over 160 mation: JCEB, 1330 Quail Hollow Road, Ben HISTORICAL FASHION DOLL PATIERNS-Fits
silk costing just $ 10 airmailed by return! Angus Inter­ Lomond, CA 95005. FAX: 408-336-5632. Barbie. Send $4.50 for catalog. LORD PERRY Histori­
national™, 19/F, 8 Soares Avenue, Kowloon City, cal Fashions-Dept. T, 6041 Sanford Drive, Sanjose,
HONG KONG. Tel 01 1-852-2718-2748. Fax 01 1-852- FOR SALE; 25 YEARS
ESTABLISHED NEEDLE­ CA 9 5 1 23-4539.
2718-4565. We accept all major credit cards/personal POINT STUDIO. Owner wants to sell business or inve­
checks etc. Personal callers welcome I tory of approximately 400 original designs with right SCARLETI O' HARA'S BARBECUE PARTY DRESS,
to copy. Located in Southern CT. For information write HOOP SKIRT, A BURGUNDY DRESS, A GREEN
ULTRASUEDE®-$33. 77-39.95 YD. 75 Swatches to: Suite 188, 25-13 Old Kings Highway, Darien, CT PORTIERES DRESS, BONNIE'S BLUE RIDING
$ 10.00. Field's Fabrics, 1695 44th SE, Grand Rapids, 06820. HABIT PATTERNS AND MORE. Brochure $ 2 . 50.
MI 49508-5001. 1-800-67ULTRA. Pegee of Williamsburg, Patterns from Historie,
SOLID OAK, HAN D-MADE FLOOR LOOM: over­ Dept. T, P.O. Box 1 27, Williamsburg, VA 23187-01 27.
ULT RASUEDE SCRAPS 1 pound assortment in­ head beater, includes nylon heddles, 4 harness, as­
cludes many bright colors: $ 19.95 plus $4.50 ship­
ping 1-800-225-1887. ULTRAMOUSE, 3433 Ben­
semble with nuts/bolts. Call 914-691-4689.
01 J 1'\(
nington Ct., Bloomfield, MI 48301.
t YES! TWELVE FAT QUARTERS ASSORTMENT BEST
QUALITY COTTON PRINTS $ 15 .50. ANGIE'S, Box
CANAD IAN S! 65+ UltraSuede® colours. Yardage, PREMIER ARTS CAMP FOR 350 TALENTED,moti­ 968, Frisco, TX 75034.
squares, scraps. Swatches $ 5 .00. Linda's, 24 Main, vated teens in Connecticut seeks counselors for fiber
arts: sewing, weaving, batik, silkscreening. 21 + Major
Norwich, Ontario NOj IPO. ( 5 1 9 ) 863-2887.
Fax ( 5 19 ) 424-2887 in teaching or psych a plus; must be able to relate to
I A rOt
email: lindas@oxford.net. www.oxford.nel/ - l indas. and work with adolescents; room/board plus competi­ SMALL ADS YIELD BIG RETURNS. Call Nancy
Live salary. Intl Staff of 250+, no smoking Contact: Clark for information. 1-800-926-8776, ext 534 or
VINTAGE JAPANESE KIMONO FABRIC send large Buck's Rock: 179 Painter Hill Rd., Roxbury, CT 06783; write to THREADS AdvertiSing Department, P.O. Box
SASE for catalog to AH! KIMONO, 491 3 181st Place Tel (800) 636-5219. 5506, 63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470-
SW, Dept. T, Lynnwood, WA 98037. 5506.

G&S DYES: NATURAL FABRICS AND TEXTILE


L 1 1 HI R SLIPCASES FOR YOUR BACK ISSUES. Bound in
DESIGNS SUPPLIES. Silks, coltons, dyes, and paints. QUALITY DEER AND ELK BUCKSKIN. Send $2 for dark green and embossed in gold, each case holds
1-800-596-0550. Email: gsdye@interlog Com. sample packet. Bitterroot Leather Company, 1010 N. at least 6 issues of THREADS and costs $8.95
1 st, Hamilton, MT 59840. ( $ 24.95 for 3, $45.95 for 6). Add $ 1.50 per case for
DESIGNER DRESS GOODS AT DISCOUNT postage and handling. Outside USadd $3.50 ea.
PRICES. Large selection of manufacturer's fabrics.
Tell us what you're looking for. Samples sent upon re­
LJ)J 1 \'-' WI< (US funds only). Pa. Res. Add 7% sales tax.
Available in 2 sizes, please indicate your choice.
quest. Lycra selection also available. Phone: (315) IRISH WAXED LINEN THREAD: 30 COLORS. 4 Larger size is for issues 1-26 Smaller size is for issues
793-0623. Feminine Touch Fabrics, 8453 Seneca SIZES. LARGE VARIETY basketweaving supplies. Re­ 27 to present. Send your order to: jessie J ones
Turnpike, New Hanford, NY 13413. tail. Wholesale. Catalog $2.00. Royalwood Ltd., 517- Industries, Dept. 95THD, 499 E .Erie Ave., Philadel­
THYDE@juno comm. TH Woodville Road, Mansfield, OH 44907. 1-800- phia, PA 19134. 1-800-825-6690.
526-1630. Fax: 419-526-1618. (No P.O. boxes please).
SILK/POLY-SILK SCRAPS from famous tie manufac­
turer. Sizes range from 6" x 8" to 22" x 36". Perfect
for scraves, quilting, etc. $5/Lb Or five pounds for
OllO L JL'I
$20. CHIMERA, 1200 North Peters, New Orleans, LA STERLING NEEDLE THREADER US $20 ppd. In­ GUATEMALA, T H E PEOPLE AND CRAFTS OF THE
701 16. (504) 866-6255. ternationally Visa/MC Thimbles by T.j. Lane, 9666 HIGHLANDS, August 4-15, 1997. Sponsored by
E. Riggs Rd., STE. 401-247 Sun Lakes, AZ
85248. internationally-know quiltermakers, Nancy Crow and
SUPERIOR AFRICAN FABRICS. 30 pieces assorted USA. (602) 895-2771, Linda Fowler. Led by Vivian Harvey. Send a self
9 square inch samples and order form. Send $20 addressed stamped envelope, $ . 5 5 , 464 Vermont
check or money order to Superior Fabrics Inc., 331 SMALL MAN UFACTURERS-We're the Place. Small Place, Columbus, OH 43201.
W. 57th Street, Suite 120, New York, NY 10019. quantities. Prepaid freight. Notions, thread, tapes, zip­
pers, buttons, laces, cords, braids, ribbons, shoulder
KATIE'S VINTAGE KIMONO fabrics; silks/blends. pads. MONEY ARTS, INC, P.O. Box 17441 , j ack­
Six 12 x 14 inch sections. $20.00 postpaid. Send sonville,FL 32245-7441 , (800) 222-2890. UPHOLSTERY! Easy instructions-on video by
check or money order: Katie Kendrick, PO. Box German craftsmen-$34.95 plus $4.95 shipping &:
1813, Belfair, WA 98528. (360) 275-2815. Send large SEWING SUPPLIES, ZIPPERS, BUTIONS, SNAPS. handling. Quality Upholstery., 75 Diggs Blvd.
SASE for catalog. More . . . Giant Catalog-FREE. Solo, P.O. Box 378X, Warner Robins, GA 31093. (912) 922-89 1 1 .

a pril/may 1 997 95
I n d ex to Advertisers
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Amazon Drygoods 91 Hemp Traders 83 Sew Baby 85
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American Stitches 77 Hoop-It-All 12 Sew Fancy 85
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Auditore Pattern Design 89 In Stitches 26 Sew Pro 17
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Batiks Etc 88 Jan Bones 87 Shipwreck Beads 90
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Bonfit 96, 97 Kite Studio 89 Southwest Decoratives 92
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Brother 13 Knitting Machines 17 Stemmer House Publishers 92
BUllon Emporium 10 Kruh Knits 88 Sterling Name Tape Company 79
C & T Publishing 10 LJ Designs 88 Stitches 90
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..
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Frostline Kits 92 of Textiles & Sciences 77 Viking 2, 3, 16, 72
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General Label Mfg. 88 Qualin International 89 Vreseis Ltd. 92
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Goldblatt Cut Rate 90 Quilting From the Heartland 83 Wild Ginger Software 31
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Hamilton 88 RCT Fabrics 91 Worcester Center for Crafts 16
Handler Textile Corp. 79 Renaissance Buttons 88 Yarn-It-All 90
Hard-to-Find Needlework Books 93 Ribbons & Roses 89 YCMI 94
Closures
Have comments TH E S I N G E R Given my father's experience, it these gifts were tokens of appreci­
you want to share
about sewing or
S EW I N G made sense when, in the '40s, he
went to work for the Singer Sewing
ation from his satisfied clientele,
but more often they were a form of
needlework? A
M AC H I N E M A N Machine Company as a salesman barter between cash-poor custom­
fu nny or interesting and repairman, a position he'd ers and a flexible repairman.
by Mary McCal l u m
story about your keep for more than 15 years. By I'll never forget the tales he told
embellishing or There's a n o l d photograph of m e then, he was raising a family of five about his more colorful clients. For
quilting adventures? taken when I was seven years old, children on long Island. He had a example, Mrs. Bean, who lived on
A page from your in which I stare at the camera wear­ gray Chevy panel truck with run­ a small farm with her husband and
sketchbook we ought ing a red cotton smock my father ning boards and the Singer logo a gang of scruffy kids, was a large
to see? Send it to: made for me. Patterned with blue on both sides, written in fluid red woman who smiled all the time,
Threads Closures, and green flowers, it was edged script outlined in gold. I have a unmindful of the domestic chaos
63 S. Main St., with a matching green piping and memory of being quite young, around her. A goat had the run of
PO Box 5 506, had round plastic buttons. At the standing on the passenger-side run­ the downstairs, and chickens came
N ewtown, CT time, I didn't appreciate the singu­ ning board and grasping the half­ and went between the house and
06470-5 506. lar nature of my father's ability to open window as my father inched yard. My father enjoyed the peo­
sew, either the smock or the flow­ up the driveway, fallen pears from ple and loved the freedom of the
ered summer dress he'd made for an old tree popping under the tires. road back then. Gas was cheap and
my mother. The sweet smell of rotting fruit rose there were plenty of opportunities
His mother taught him to sew up as we left a trail of flattened to stop next to a field for a nap or
during the 1920s, beginning with pears and angry yellow jackets. to pick wild daisies for my mother.
how to shorten his own trousers. My father, the Singer Sewing Ma­ I never thought it odd to pass by
She supported her four children chine Man, drove the back roads my father and see him bent over
by doing piecework in sweatshops and two-lane highways of the is­ our sewing machine. It was no
that made ladies "garments," as she land throughout the '50s, making stranger to me than glimpsing him
called them. I never knew what she calls at old farmhouses to repair mixing cement in the backyard or
meant by the term until she took an ailing machine or to try to sell removing paint from an old pan­
me into a Brooklyn factory, where the woman of the house a new eled door with a hot clothes iron.
I saw hundreds of women behind model. He'd demonstrate the won­ When he sewed, it was like the lay­
rows of black Singer machines ders of the latest machines by ing of bricks for our front stoop:
making girdles at a furious pace. sewing his name in various pat­ careful, precise, thought-out. He
She'd begun as a young woman in terns on cloth scraps. His cus­ paced himself as the lines of brick
a factory that used treadle ma­ tomers loved his friendly manner rose methodically, much the same
chines, and by the time she retired and joking ways (''I'll keep you in as the seams on my mother's sun­
in the '40s, the industry boasted stitches" was one of his favorite dress emerged from beneath the
electric units that enabled workers lines). He'd often come home with needle. Those proj ects were his
to turn out more pieces per hour homemade pies or garden vegeta­ alone. His choices-whether the
than my grandmother could have bles, or an occasional bouquet of shade of brick or the pink-and­
imagined in the early years. flowers for my mother. Sometimes white floral fabric that made up
my mother's dress­
were my father's way
of making his love for
us visible.

Mary McCallum of
Proctorsville, VT, is
c
.g
j
a children's librarian

and free-lance writer.


S I N G E R® TaIte a Closer Loolt at . . .

b r oide ry U nlimit e d
It 's New! It 's BeautifuJ!
It 's AffordabJe!

Creative
ross Stitches

Colorful ..
Clo wns .,.

clown
Fun Sports
Themes r:< Do you embroider by hand?
Do you dream about beautiful
computerized embroideries but a
new machine may be too
expensive ?
Introducing EMBROIDERY UNLIMITED! Once again, Singer, the
most trusted name in sewing, makes your dreams come true by
turning a home PC int o an embroidery machine! You choose the

Tiger League design and colors, lettering style, and let EMBROIDER Y UNLIMITED
do the rest! Soft ware and instructions are included. For a
demonstration of this remarkable new technology, visit your local
Singer dealer -- or call for a Free Video: 1 -800-4-SINGER
( 1 -800-4 74-643 7) .

© 1996 Singer Sewing Co.


Singer is a registered trademark for
Singer Sewing Company NV YOUR FAMI LY COMPANY SINCE 1 8 5 1
IN DETAIL
Sometimes the simple choice of fabric

catapults an all-too-familiar design fro m

the ordinary to the memorab l e . The

unknown designer o f this baseball-style

jacket (found in a consignment store) took

advantage of this fact, selecting navy silk organza

for a stylish spoof on the classic windbreaker.

With flat-felled seams tracing the transparent

construction lines, silky cotton-knit ribbing, and a

graphic zipper pull, this design moves easily from

the seventh-inning stretch to black tie. For more

on constructing a reversible silk, baseball-style

j acket, see p. 64.