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craft interests: fashion, knitting, quilting, restyle, sewing

Member Since: 09/21/2010

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Eva's Dress

Eva's mother sent me a photo of a girl's dress, simple bodice, 3 tiered skirt, from a window in Paris.  Etched lightly in the glass , "lanvin".  We gasped when the price was a mere 1,500 euros...

recent comments

Re: Project Runway Season 13: Episode 6, "Rock the Wedding"

Agree that Kini should have won, but he didn't speak up about having made the top.

Korina's suit was a disaster. I didn't get all the negative Goth commentray. It's a look. Samantha &Alexander's dress looked cheap.

Can't fault the judges for Char going home.

Re: Project Runway Season 13: Episode 5, "The Klum of Doom"

Know your strengths and weakness. If you are fast at the machine go to. Mood, if not be creative and stay and re-work your idea. And get off Sandhya's case! She was smart enough to ask for money. Successful designer's also need to be good business people.

I agree the clothes were less than spectacular. It was however refreshing that the winning design was not über cleavage and uber short. I would have sent Emily home for that brown decoupage mess. Kristine just lost her way.

On the whole uninteresting. How many cookie cutter short, with long drape to one side hemlines can you put in one runway presentation? Some texture, very little prints and boring fabric choices. Yawn....

Re: Project Runway Season 13: Episode 3, "Welcome to the Future"

I didn't like Sandhya's dress but it was the only piece that had some element that didn't look like something I could walk into a store and buy now. That said, Emily's jacket and layers were well executed. Glad for her sake that Angela was sent home. Her temperament would not have survived the late season PR snarkiness.

Re: Project Runway Season 12: Episode 13, "Finale: Part 1"

Helen's work was poorly executed, a problem she has had before. The eye print fabric was muddy and out of sync with a very defined, almost classic Balenciaga silhouette. More important, Helen is not ready for the pressure of the high fashion runway world.

I liked the execution of Alexandria's work; her passion finally, really evident with the children. But , it's been done and done, Leather, cool, funky, clothes that will sell well in a high end boutique. But Heidi is in her corner.

Justin's gown was stiking, but a sort of knock off of the Alexander McQueen gown made of laboratory slides. The 3d printed pieces were interesting , but over used. He has execution issues. I am not a fan of the " save" and don't think he should have made it this far.

Dom and Braden have been pretty comsistent, Her avante garde look spectacular, his skill and ability to deliver for the task at hand remarkable. Braden , i think is most ready in terms of an overall package for the "real world"

but PR is not about that, which is why so few of the past winners have not really made a bigger name for themselves.

So it's a toss up.

Re: Book Giveaway: "Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing"

I have a 1950's cocktail dress pattern that I came with the Vogue label in it. (yes I paid more than I should have, but it was too beautiful and fulfilled another life fantasy..:-)) so now I need help making this dress with wired collar and bias whatever...

Re: Project Runway Season 12, Episode 10: "Project Runway SuperFan!"

Have to agree with Soli, the thinner the "real" body is the greater the chance of winning. Helen's dress was lovely and the drama of long hippie bangs to short chic hair was a Cinderella style transformation. Katelyn's look may have been less appealing to some tastes, but it took a lot of skill to take a less perfect middle aged body and give her a little bit of cool and edgy.

There should be more "real" body challenges. Whether it's superfan or women who have lost a lot of weight or older adults, it's a better test of design and fitting skills. Fashion Star did a challenge to create a look that looked good on both a regular and plus size model.

Good riddance to the Ken. PR is such an opportunity to showcase yourself, even if you don't win. Why act like such a egomaniac? Who would hire him? A mediocre talent with a massive dose of hubris. Sad that he knows that that is true about him (conversation with his mother) but thinks the world should just take it.

I think Kate, Helen and Bradon will make it to the end. Alexandria's clothes are a bit sad. Alexander, Dom and Justin are talented but not exceptional. But this is PR, so who knows....

Re: Project Runway Season 12, Episode 8: "Having a Field Day"

I am tired of black and funky must win. Helen's jacket was "cool" and the rest mediocre. Don't agree with the judges on this one. All of the pieces from Kates look could stand on their own. Kudos to Brandon, Dom and Alexander for their execution skills.

Ken is an unfortunate stereotype. Angry, young, nasty. He hasn't got enough talent to make one put up with his vitriole. He would not survive the pressure of fashion week.

I did not miss Mr. Kors. The delivery may be "funny", but he is as disrespectful as Ken, in some ways worse. Given his skill and success he could bring a lot more to the show than mysogynist comments about women and cookie buffets.

Re: Threads Selects Giveaway: "Easy-to-Sew Pet Projects"

Shih tzu's Nick, Nora, Asta & Myrna Loy demand new coats!
Itty Bitty Kiity wants a new cushion. Whose house is this, really?

Re: Project Runway Season 12, Episode 5: "YOU Choose Your Materials!"

AAAAGGHHHH! What a disaster!
I agree with the judges that sent Sue home. She can't sew, or even drape and baste. (poor model!) But what is it with designers and their disdain for anyone who isn't 5'9", size 2 and under 25? Ken was just offensive. If you are an absolute genius (LaCroix or Galliano or McQueen) "maybe" that would be tolerated, but sexist, patronizing, misogyny from a truly mediocre talent - NEXT...

I liked Jeremy's dress and was amazed that Bradon could produce that gown with the materials chosen. Talk about outside the box!

If I had my way, Ken , followed by Helen would be "aufed" next. Ken for unprofessional behavior and passion aside - with the exception of the project with Kate - Helen's work has been pretty awful.

Re: Project Runway Season 12, Episode 4: "Tie the Knot"

Brandon's hand work to create the top was very well done and I agreed with the judges choice of him as a winner. I am looking forward to seeing what Dom produces. That dress was well executed, modern, almost demure.

I liked Kate's garments, but was surprised when she said it was the second pair of pants she had ever made. How do you get out of design school and not make more than 1 pair of pants?

Helen not Jeremy should have been in the bottom three. What's wrong with a jacket that might look good on someone a little older?

And what is up with the judges? It's offensive to have a navel exposed (Zac Posen) but not make mention of the exposed labia and bum when Sandro's model came down the runway a few episodes ago?

Miranda lacks diversity and is mean spirited - saved by Sandro's meltdown, she should be next. Thanks to Sandro for taking himself out :-)

I agree that I watch PR for fashion and creative process and would prefer not to have PR's political agendas foisted on me. However, I would ask that this not become a forum to express personal political and religious opinions.

I enjoy very much the different points of view here, from people who are passionate about sewing and creativity, about the process and clothing and designers. Please, let's not taint this with the political rancor of the day.

Re: ASDP Master Alterations Specialist Certification

I'mnot interested inthe certification. I want to see your portofolio and photos from your satisfied cliients.

Re: Power Suits are Back!

I own a Pilates studio after years of consulting, so i live in activewear, but my favorite Linda Allard pants suit in plum wool, with a deep plum silk blouse stiil hangs in the closet. Love suits! Comfortable, elegant and powerful.

Re: Project Runway Season 12, Episode 3: "An Unconventional Coney Island"

To create that dress out of cheap boleros was true creativity! I am not sure that Kate should not have taken a second win but one of those two women should have one. Impressive tranformation of the textiles.

Timothy and Miranda were the height of dysfunction! In the real world you will work with all sorts of people. Timothy is immature and selfish, Miranda insecure and mean. She should go home next. Modern fashion is often disrepectful of most women, Sandro is at least honest about his sexism, not a positive triat but at least honest. I am concerned he will soon punch someone's lights out.

Had i those materials, i would have designed beach or active wear..

Re: Project Runway Season 12: Episode 2, "Million Dollar Runway"

For most of the designers this episode should have been titled: Overwhelming jewels with underwhelming designs.

I liked Kate's dress, but even if it isn't your taste, the combination of sewing, draping and fitting skill to produce a finished garment that complimented that necklace satisfied the challenge criteria.

I was also impressed by Bradon and Alexander's gowns. Well executed and we all know chiffon is not easy. Dom's gown was cheerful, but all that fabric around the head and neck masked the necklace that was supposed to be showcased.

Sandro can sew, even if it is bordello couture, but Timothy and Helen should both have been booted. I don't care where Timothy got that fabric, the dress was a disaster from design to execution. If Helen is such a couture maven, then ditch the cups and whip up a simple princess seamed bodice. Kahindo's dress had an execution problem with the back keyhole but it was minor compared to Helen's construction issues, but older women designers don't do well on PR. The others were just there.

I don't think Kate has a great advantage. PR is in season 12. Any one there I hope has watched a few past seasons before entering the show - expect the unexpected.

Re: Enter to Win an Oliso Pro Smart Iron!

When using cording with bias strips for edges or button holes , hold the iron over the cording to steam it. Do not let the iron touch the cording as it will flatten it. After steaming, gently lengthen the cording on a flat surface and roll it back and forth under your hands. The cording will be uniform in diameter , with no little kinks and ready to be covered with your bias strip.

I will be making a dress for the falll meeting of our Dress Up club.

Re: Book Giveaway: Dressmaking: 200 Q&A

I press my tissue patterns and then use Swedish Tracing paper to make a copy of the pattern with just the size I am going to use. I am left with a completely uncut tissue original should I need to use another size sometime in the future. It helps me to to get to know the pattern before I start the project as I copy markings, grain lines, etc. The Swedish paper copy is also more resilient than the tissue and is less apt to tear.

Re: Project Runway Season 12: Episode 1 "Sky's the Limit"

I agree with an earlier comment that two designers should have gone home - Sandro for sending his model out vulgarly dressed and Miranda for breaking the rules. If you are going to break a rule at least provide us with a garment that is spectacular.

I love that Zac Posen is there, not Mr. Kors. His comments are thoughtful, helpful and instructive - not snotty and condescending.

Yes to all the changes, but maybe a little more analytical of the construction.

More Tim Gunn - what could be bad?

It was a toss up for the top two, both good choices.

May the psuedo sustainable designer in non-sustainable sequined shoes be next..Talk about phony!

If the melodrama and the offensive "bitches" conversations can be kept to minimum it looks like a good season ahead.

Re: Inside a Splendid Embroidered Vest

Womderful craftsmanhip! I can blanket stitch, fell stitch, etc. and it is never going to look like this vest. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Win a Copy of Smart Fitting with Kenneth D. King on DVD

Fitting...a final frontier. Cut, thread trace, underline, top stitch, welted pockets, corded buton holes, understitch, baste, tuck, hemstitch....etc,
Means nothing if it doesn't fit. I am sure these dvd's will be useful.

Re: Project Runway 11, Episode 14: "Finale, Part 2"

Michelle was clearly, and I think rightly, the winner.

Forget the aesthetics for a moment, and look at her collection. Cohesive, modern, pieces that could work separately or together, all related, undoubtedly Michelle. She was ready, calm and professional.

Patricia had some beautiful work, but it was all over the place. That great blue dress was in no way related to that horsehair cape. Yes her clothes are original but they are almost novelties, like a sweater i bought in Vegas that had hand embroidered faces on it -funky- but you wouldn't buy more than one. I don't think she is ready to run a company.

Stanley 's clothing was maturer and more consertive which is PR death. The collection was cohesive but he didn't listen to the judges. Stanley was told to break up certain pieces and he ignored most of the critique - death to Smootchie! The arrogance of arriving so unprepared....

I agree with Soli, the Seth Aaron/Sebella vibe was there but Michelle's I felt was a bit more feminine and less hostile to women.

On the whole, I am disapointed that yet again what is considered design from emerging talent is so distant from what most women regardless of age or size can attempt to wear. Fashion Star had a challenge in which a garment had to be designed that could fit a sample size and a large size client. Both sized garments had to walk the runway. That would never fly on PR.

I join the cry for more talent, less drama.

One of the most enjoyful parts of this season has been reading the comments here and getting to play critic. Thanks Threads for the forum and to those of you who participate here. It's been fun!

Re: Project Runway Season 11, Episode 13: "Finale Part 1"

Do all the black clothes mean that the designers are in mourning for the death of fashion?

One bright, blue, spangled frock, 3 mud green/brown outfits and a whole lot of black..Yawn!

Sorry to see Daniel, the nice gentleman that he is go, but it was the right decision.

I agree that Stanley's clothes needed a kick BUT - yes I am on a soapbox - why is it that anything that might look good on a mature body OR on a younger woman who does not want the world to see her underwear as she ascends the stairs not fashionable?

I agree with Lise, Nina's point of view is so "New York narrow" (and I live in Manhattan) that anything really innovative will be rejected. Just make it short, tight and leather.

Patricia is a textile goddess and a so so designer. I loved the horsehair cape. I liked the blue headpiece for a bit of runway drama - imagine a row of 12 women coming down the runway like British stallions in a royal celebration.

I think Michelle will win. The clothes are not my taste, hated the ruffle on the neoprene, but her looks are complete, cohesive, and have the edge that PR seems to want.

Even if Stanley doesn't win, he will probably make a ton of money, making good clothes for the 98% of us who are under 5'9" and weigh a bit more than 110lbs.

Didn't love this season...

Re: Magazine Giveaway: How does fabric influence your designs?

For me it's always about the fabric. It might be the texture, the color, the feel of finely woven wool in my hand, or the drape of that peach colored mix of cooton and shantung that sets my mind in motion. I can see the drape at the neck, the fit of the skirt, etc and how i will have to balance a dart. I am working on a coat for the fall that started with a piece of faux fur for a collar, which lead to a piece of wool and cashmere and then a pattern. Happy...

Re: Create Gentle Inner Support with Horsehair

Wow! The work inside this dress is so skilled. The garment is beautiful. Thanks for the clear instruction. Add this to the list of reasons i am a Susan Khalje fan!

Re: Project Runway Season 11, Episode 12: "Europe, Here We Come"

Couldn't agree more that this season is disappointing. Too much nasty, snarky, stuff - not enough good design. Look at the photos above - all gray, black, white and drab.

Good riddance to the whiny Layana. The concept for the coat was fabulous, the silhouette dated and stale....and those sleeves - didn't I see them on one of the Three Musketeers?

I don't understand Patricia's presence. She doesn't understand that an interesting textile is not the same as a well designed garment. With one exception there was not a garment she created all season that would make it commercially. She has not grown at all during the season. I agree with Nina - lots of "art and crafts" projects.

I am glad that Michelle resurrected herself. Even if her style is not something you like she is definitely talented and distinct in her point of view. I was put off by her pouting about staying in New York. She chose to completely ignore the criteria of the prior challenge, almost lost a chance to continue at all and took no responsibility for it. All that self indulgent suffering instead of a mea culpa was off putting.

I am not sure that Stanley will be a shoe-in, but he deserves to be there. His work appears well executed. I wasn't thrilled about another long black dress, with yet another exposed zipper, but leather pailletes (sp?) are kinda cool.

Hats off to Daniel for breaking out of his mold. His willingness to listen and to try to do something different is to be commended. I have no desire to ever own a white pleather jacket, but kudos to him for pulling it off.

Whoever wins, I don't think that they will become a "great" American designer. I think if PR is going to continue on for a few more years there needs to be some sort of reset. Get back to more talented designers, fewer head cases and less celebrity judges. I'd rather see the head buyer at Saks, Terrence - currently on Fashion Star - than the wannabe starlet of the month judging the clothing.

Re: Project Runway, Episode 11: "Finally On My Own"

I agree with the comments below, what an awful season! Designers that can't sew, can't fit anyone other than a "perfect" body, have limited creativity and bitch, moan, groan and complain.

Look beyond the bad sewing and Patiricia's dress is a sad chiffon sack with leather feathers. I wouldn't allow my niece to wear it a costume party. Why is this fiber artist still here?

I can forgive, but never wear, Daniel's yellow wings. It makes sense in the context of a photo shoot and the high drama that is the stuff of fashion magazines and fantasy. Not for the real world, but at least is was well made.

Michelle's look was hip and cool, etc, etc, but if you ordered a lace wedding dress and a pair of white leather jeans with a halter top were delivered to you, you would reject it. Creativity and edgy design is no excuse for completlely ignoring your client's wishes. Unfortunately, It meant that Patricia was in.

Whine, whine, whine, but Layana's look was well done.

Stanley's look was commercial, a lot of people could wear it, not too tight, not too short. You might see it at a sping wedding. Oh my goodness- real clothing for real people on Project Runway! (sarcasm seriously intended).

Project Runway has gotten worse since the move to Lifetime. It's been downhill since Gretchen won over Mondo. I wonder if Lifetime has imposed some judging constraints about women winning or making it to the end, no matter what. The show needs better skills, better designs and a lot less snark. Perhaps someone should also coach Heiidi and Nina that not everyone want's clothes that are " tighter, shorter, younger".

Re: A Certification Program for Custom Clothiers

I am a big believer in continuing education and certiications. I am currently in the first class of the Haute Couture cerificate at FIT. BUT...i am not certain that a professional organization should be designing educational certiications. Curriculum design and teaching are skills that are as complex as sewing and design. I would want to know more about who designed the ciriculum and who vets the teachers. I am also wary of certifications that expire. The certificate at FIT is accredited by the state of New York and does not expire.

Re: Project Runway Season 11, Episode 10: "The Art of Fashion"

I agreed with the judges decision for this week's losing designer. I am not sure whether it was his attitude or his lack of taste and vision but that pleated bottom thing was awful! May Layana be next. How much more whining, "it's not my fault" must we be subjected to. She is a mediocre talent with a penchant for blaming others.

Tough call between Stanley and Michelle. The collaboration worked well. They were able to listen to each others editorial content and produce two garments that fit the bill for the project. I personally wasn't crazy for the print, but somehow Stanley's dress was wearable and her garment definitely in the avant-garde mode. I suspect it wasn't easy for the judges to choose between the two.

Patricia is not a designer - she's a fabric artist. She plays with fabric and then remembers that there's supposed to be a garment that fits a challenge. That veiled psuedo Freida Kahlo dress was hideous.

Properly mentored I think that Daniel has good skills and could make it to the end, just don't give us another jacket - we know you are good at it!

I have never designed a print and I am not sure that I have a well enough developed design sense to create a pattern and envision how it will play with the eye when it's part of a garment.

$2,500 of the $10K would be spent trying to save the 6 year old girl in Afghanistan whose father sold her to a family to be the wife of a 17 year old because he could not pay the $2,500 debt for the money he had borrowed to feed and clothe and keep warm his family. The rest would be spent on the Paris Couture week with Susan Khalje.

Re: Book and DVD Giveaway: Claire B. Shaeffer's "Couture Sewing: Tailoring Techniques"

I'd like to learn how to construct a corselette into a dress. I have seen photos of the interiors of couture garments that use them as part of the garments interior rather than wearing a separate corset. I am currently in a couture techniques class at FIT and another book in the library is always a good thing.

Re: Book Giveaway: "Costume and Fashion: A Concise History"

I would like to learn more about the early 1900's, particularly 1903 when Poiret open his fashion house and the radical change of silhouette, the introduction of photography and it's impact on selling fashion, etc. Amazing textiles and an interesting interpretation of Oriental style in western fashion (Poiret's kimono coats) - love it!

Re: Project Runway Season 11, Episode 8: "Take It All Off!"


I have to agree with Lisa the Hobitt, it was self inflicted - not enough time, pull off clothes, unusually proportioned clients, etc. The episode should have been called How to Produce Bad clothes and Bad Television all in one episode. BUT...even making allowances for the weird premise and ridiculous time frames, the results were spectacularly bad.

Real people: older, rounder, taller, buff, hippy, busty etc make up about 99% of the population. What is going on that a show that purports to discover the next great designer, chooses people that can't make clothes for 99% of the population?

They should all have gone home.

Re: Project Runway Season 11: Episode 7, "A Sticky Situation"

I thought this challenge was fun and creative and that all the dresses had something to offer. The complexity of creating the hound's tooth pattern for the winning dress was fun to watch. I liked the inclusion of the student's point of view.

I was glad to hear Zac Posen challenge Nina Gracia. Nina and frequently Heidi, seem to think that for a garment to be fresh and fashion forward is has to be short and tight and overexposed. Some people want to be a bit more demure. That said the losing dress was a bit drab and it was time for those two designers to go. Hats off to Tu for being so gracious in departure.

Re: Project Runway Season 11: Episode 6, "Senior Fling"

I own a Pilates studio in New York City where one of my fittest clients just turned 82. She comes to class with two 76 year olds and an 81 year old. My second favorite class to teach all week has 63, 68 and 74 year olds. They come in varying sizes and shapes, but they have all been my clients for 4 to 7 years now. So my experience of these amazing women leads me to strongly disagree with some of the comments I've read here. Not all of us, I am 56, want to cover our arms or legs. And just because we are older does not mean that we all want to wear basics. so I don't think that all the clothes were unsuitable for older women.

BUT, what I found awful about this episode, is the complete lack of experience with fitting anything other than an model. 2% of the women in the world have model's figures and then there's the rest of us. How is that fashion students graduate not knowing the fundamentals of fitting a real body?

Would the winning design have won if the client were round shouldered with sagging breasts? Where are the sewing skills that build structure and support into the garment?

I agree with a prior comment that older women, particularly boomers, are one of the larger demographic groups out there. Why are there not stylish great looking clothes that are reasonably priced out there for us?

The team theme this season isn't working. Three designers working independently on 3 garments, none of which are referential to each other, none of which try to resemble a capsule collection, having no connection other than being called clothes are not a team.

How about a challenge where a team takes a real person and designs a small collection for a long weekend to a friend's second wedding in upstate New York? I don't this group of designers could handle it.

Re: Oscar Fashions 2013

It's sometimes hard to separate the woman from the dress.

Salma Hayek's McQueen dress was well executed but on her petite buxom frame made her appear shorter and neckless. Amy Adams floating dress was lovely and floaty but the color against her skin was just drab.

I am not a huge fan of Raf Simon but Charlize Theron's Dior gown was spectacular. Love the geometry of the bustier and peplum. Georgina Chapman's Marchesa gown made her one of the most beautiful pregnant women i have every seen.

Kudos to Octavia Spencer in Tadahi Shoji - a large woman in a dress that fit her well, worked her curves and made no apologies for her size. Sadly Melissa McCarthy looked awful. Last year she was this big beautiful woman, this year draped in a sad, gray, droopy sack her appearance was disheartening.

One of my favorite designers of the night was Marchesa. Olivia Munn's spectacular bodice, Georgina Chapman's pregnant elegance and Fan Bingbing's fuschia draped bodice were all so well executed and suited to the women who wore them.

Ann Hathaways dress was ill fitted, over designed at the back and a bad color for her.

I am hot and cold about Halle Berry's dress. Almost costumey but fabulous on her. She could wear a dish towel and still be stunning. So was it her or the dress?

Jessica chastaine was the right woman in the right dress. A perfect match of color and line for a stunning redhead. Kelly Ripa's dress was perfectly executed and one of the few prints of the evening. The bodice on Kelly Osboune's dress was a fabulous piece of construction.

I am taking Haute Couture techniques at FIT this spring and this week have spent hours appliquing lace to silk organza ...NOT EASY!!! I have a much deeper appreciation of the talents of the people who execute these amazing, floating, beaded, ruffled and ruched confections. I am not often (ever) invited to red carpet events so my challenge as an average person who sews is how to incorporate the elegance and technique of these red carpet works of art into my daily life. Can i drape a better dress, modify a neckline, add a couture finsh and still be appropriate to my lifetyle?

Thanks to the NY Times for the online Red Carpet project - 15 years of Oscar red carpet fashion. My i-pad is glued to my hand.

Thanks to Threads for letting me play fashion critic..:-)

Re: Project Runway Season 11: Episode 3, "Surprise Me"

The winnng dress was nicely executed and clearly refernced the project.

In general the episode was uninspiring! Black, brown, beige, One pink dress that was sent home. The skirts are short to the point of embarassing or long with slits that substitute forced "sexiness" for innovative design.

Patricia's leather squares, even, if not to everyone's taste, were the most creative and skilled piece of work on the runway.

I am not sure i would have sent Cindy home; a sequined minidress with a birds nest growing out of the side of one's derriere makes wrinkled shantung seam like a prize.

I like the team format. In the real fashion world, people work collaboratively - designers, paternmakers, sample makers, etc. No one makes it on the fashion world totally alone.

Re: What's Your Sewing Storage Solution?

I have an I-pad app called Sewing Kit. It is a database for all my patterns. Once the pattern name and number is entered, if it's McCall's, Butterick, or Vogue the app will pull the original pattern image from the McCalls website. If not, I find the image myself online and and save it to the Ipad. I can then enter as much or as little of the pattern information that I choose to. I usually put in information such as recommended fabric, notions, and yardage. It take me less than 3 minutes to catalog new patterns. I store the patterns numerically by vendor in pattern boxes from Joanne's.

When I am shopping for fabric I just take my I-pad full of all my pattern images and requirements.

The app will also let you keep track of the fabric in your stash. I am not sure I want a written account of what's in there...-:)

Re: Museum Exhibit: Woven Treasures of Japan's Tawaraya Workshop

I am taking a group of clients to WDC in April for a pilates retreat long weekend. I will add this to my list of stops. It looks beautiful.

Re: Trending at the 2013 Golden Globes

It was great to see so much beautiful color! Hats off to Lucy Liu for such a fabulous choice of color and patterned fabric and the adorable yellow clutch. Can't say i love the deep front keyhole trend with copious amounts of viisible side breast . Eva longoria looked a bit tawdry, which is a shame for such a beatifull woman. But gorgeous color like Jessica Alba's De la Renta dress just make me smile.

Re: MUSEUM EXHIBIT: "Fashion and Technology" at the Museum at FIT

I went to see the exhibit Saturday, 12/29, and walked away with mixed feelings about technology's influence. The availabilty of more, better, different textiles and dyes and processes was fascinating, especially the opening dress made of a textile that had been created using a 3D printer. From sequins of celluloid to Mary Mcfadden's pleated polyester gown (stunning) to a man's overcoat of rubberized material usually reserved for wetsuits the abilility to create innovative forms from textiles that could be almost sculpted rather than sewn was ripe with possibilities.

I had the thought though, that much of what I saw, computerized sewing machines or not, would be almost impossible for the home sewer. Who has a machine at home that can mold a seamless dress with a heat process like the Pierre Cardin dress? Will garments in the future contain so much technology that making an au current gament could be out of reach for most of us?

Frankly, one of the most beautiful garments was a Charless James evening gown, that was so well constructed with boning that it stood on it's own.

I also am curious about the "care and feeding" of some of these garments. How does one clean a paper dress? If the dress is wired to respond to body changes, can you send it to the cleaners?

So the exhibit was well done and thought provoking.

On a different note, I want to respond to Dev-li. Many "people" are aware and make conscious choices to buy products that are not the product of sweat shops or other unethical business practices. I buy coffee at Starbucks because they buy fair trade beans, offer health insurance and retirement benefits unlike the much cheaper coffee i could buy at Dunkin donuts where most people behind that counter aren't afforded the benefits. I stay away from Wal-mart and Joe Fresh. I buy at farmer's markets.

Negative, sweeping generalities about "people" tend not to produce positive change and I believe are not what this site is for.

Re: Identifying Vintage Sewing Machines

Great resources!

I have my husband's grandmother's machine and a machine left in a house we rented. A client recently gave me her older Pfaff.

I confess I prefer the non computerized machines ( i don't create decorative embroideriy ) and the lack of plastic components. I guess I am " old school".

Re: Got a Mystery Fabric?

I agree with Artycrafter, blends make burn test results inconistent and "touch and feel" skills are good to develop.

I try to buy fabrics that are marked for content so that i determine the care of the garment once complete . When i buy something that is going in to the Stash, I cut a swatch and post it on a card on which I note fabric content and yardage.

Sandra Betzina's book Fabric Savvy has been educational and helpful.

If i have no clue, I just look at how it drapes, how it feels and assume it is going to require special care.

Re: Antique Fabric Swatches Online

Love the site! Thanks for sharing it. I surprised at the contemporary feel of some the older swatches.

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: "American Menswear"

I like the men's wear of the 1980's, when Miami Vice and Don Johnson were the rage. The clothing was formal - double breasted suits - but worn informally with a silk tee shirt underneath and a great pair of Italian loafers.

Yes rolled up sleeves are now a cliche, but great soft yet structured jackets in colors other than gray, black, brown and navy made men look polished but not stuffy, casual but not grungy.

A man in a tuxedo from almost any era is eye candy...:)

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: "All Sewn Up"

Desperately trying to finish Grandma Helen's quilt for Christmas...Joy and deadlines..:)

Re: Project Runway Episode 13: "Finale, Part 1"

YAWN! Black-white-brown.. or ...washed out unflattering watercolor. Where are the beautifully trending "winter neons" ?

Dimitri's line was unmistakebly his and beautifully executed. The white dress is impeccable, but looks like it could have walked out of Ralph Rucci's studio. The sheer blouses were edgy and for most of us unwearable but there is an element of show, that i think the judges want, that they satisfy. Christopher was innovative by making his own fabric, but boring in his color choices. How many more "too short for most women in the world" shorts and skirts are needed in the world? Melissa should produce black "cool" clothes for a small clientele in a boutique somewhere. Not a great designer. Fabio's looks were washed out, weirdly fitted (that top with the skirt) and somewhat unattractive - but - from the point of view of the judges, more outside the box than the others.

I wouldn't try to pick a winner. Wearable, beautifully executed clothes on PR, does not equal a winner.

Re: Sewer vs. Sewist

My grandmother was a professional seamstress. I like the word because it connects me to the history of the craft that I continue to learn. Historically sewing guilds were considered valuable craftspeople. The artistry of good sewing, regardless of the final product, has always been evident.

We don't call master carpenters a new name despite the evolution of new tools and techniques so why do i need "sewist"? The sewist term seems part of a linguistic trend that includes the redundant and increasingly ubiquitous "istic" and "esque".

Re: Project Runway Episode 12: "In a Place Far, Far Away"

I agree with sew4fun - not a lot of competition. Most of it was not avant garde.

Sonja's concept was in the right direction, but the execution with that hideous mesh was sad. She probably would have created a wonderful fashion week collection but i do agree that her dress this week was a loser.

Dimitri's execution was perfection, but the collar was just weird. Christophers victorian goth was well done but not avant garde. I don't know what to think about Fabio - outside the box but limited appeal. I think Melissa may surprise us when she is not faced with the time constraints of the daily competitions. I liked the skirt.

I wouldn't guess who is going to win. If it's wearable for most women, the judges will hate it. I think there wil be well executed designs - but none of them will rise to the level of "next great American designer" potential.

Re: Mood Fabrics Debuts the Mood Sewing Network

I live in NYC, so Mood is on my list of favorite places. It's a bit over whelming, but you turn your head and there's this great remnant of a desiigner bolt of coton that is reasonably priced and perfect for whatever. They have the best priices for muslin.

Re: Project Runway Episode 11: "It's Fashion, Baby"

I thought this was a good challenge. Clothes for little people can be as challenging as those for big people. At the high fashion level Dior and Lanvin both have lines for children; for the rest of us with smaller budgets who have sons, daughters, nieces and nephews and grand children there isn't a department store without a children's department.

However, how could the designers not know that there would be a twist? Either it was going to be a dress for Mom or a matching coat for the dog, teddy bear, etc. This is Project Runway after all.

I thought the decision to "auf" Elena was fair. Like Ven, outside of her signature silhouette, she is somewhat lost - although I did like the little blue jacket.

Christopher's dress was adorable. He also managed to be extremely tactful, with a pretentious and patronizing client. The mother's dress for a somewhat difficult body (large bust and hips) was well executed with no complaints or comments about her size.

Hilary Duff was a useless judge. She seemed to parrot Michael Kors every word. I wish they would have fewer celebrity judges. I would rather listen to a professional pattern maker judge these garments than an actress with so little knowledge about design and fit and construction.

The dolls were funny and annoying, but it was interesting to see how the designers reacted. Fabio's conversation with his "baby" was touching and Dimitry's reaction hilarious.

I could see doing this challenge again.

Re: Project Runway Episode 10: "I Get a Kick Out of Fashion"

Glad to see Ven gone. He's a good technician with limited design abilities outside of his signature "origami" technique -a shame given his construction skills.

Chris and Dimitry were in a dead heat for this one. I could see the judges going either way. Chris's was a bit more "wholesome" in keeping with the Rockettes image, but I agree with an earlier post that the details may not read from a distance.

Elena's dress was overdone and tacky. Sonji's dress lacked a concept. Fabio's design looked like armor with a matching turtleneck. Melissa's dress was interesting, but not quite right somehow.

This isn't a great season. The designers' are competent but not exceptional.

Re: Project Runway Episode 9: "It's All About Me"

I thought that Ven should have been sent home. The print looked like a Marimeko outdoor tablecloth. It appears all he can do is fold fabric into roses. Did he study origami or fashion design?

Gunnar's jacket was tradtional, but so is a lot of Ralph Lauren and it seems to work for the vast number of people who buy Ralph Lauren. At least it was an attempt to do something different. His departure was gracious.

I hope Sonja makes it to the final three. The pants were beautifully done.

Glad to see Dimitry step out of his comfort zone and win.

Several times designers stated, " i don't work with prints" - WHAT ?

I sound like a broken record, but how do you get out of design school and not have worked with prints, or real bodies, or made a cocktail dress that wasn't black?

Re: Project Runway Episode 8: "Starving Artist"

I respectfully disagree with kdr. No really successful designer works completely alone. Collaboration is an essential component of large scale success in fashion and allegedly this show is looking for the next great American designer. I don't think that Elena is so talented hat she could run a successful business with the wrecklessly foul mood she brings to everything. Ven is talented, at this point has a limited point of view, and has no ability to bend his design to the body in front of him, which is another form of inability to collaborate. I recently watched a documentary about the annual fashion industry award competion for young designers. The designers are evaluated on not just design, but also how they run their business.

Alicia's departure I think was appropriate. She has shown little sparkle. Although Elena should be next in line. Her Star Trek silhouette, poorly executed was attractive on no one. Dimitri should design dresses for Victoria Beckham as it appears to be all he really can do well. It is a shame that Fabio is not as creative with his designs as he is with his own wardrobe.

Christopher, Gunnar and Sonja at least listen and respond well to the task at hand, but again good not great.

This season has been very disappointing.

Re: Another sewing machine design concept

The machine's sculptural appearance is beautiful. The height of the arch solves one of my ongoing complaints about sewing machines - the low profile of the work area that limits light and visibility. Sewing machines are not ergonomically friendly.

The concept of a manual pressure feed is intriguing, but i think would be difficult if manipulating large, bulky projects, such as quilts or drapes - which i guess makes sense if the machine is a beginners product and you are making that first skirt or apron or whatever. It might also be a product for handicapped persons with limited lower limb mobility.

I would love to see the next iteration, " 2.0", so to speak, of this re-invention of the sewing machine.

Re: Project Runway Episode 7: "Oh My Lord and Taylor"

Boring, boring, boring and safe. What a sad and uncreative set of garments.

This season's designers lack ingenuity and sparkle. How many black cocktail like dresses came down the runway?

Someone bring Mondo back!

Re: Project Runway Episode 7: "Oh My Lord and Taylor"

Re: September is National Sewing Month!

A wool dolman sleeved 1940's Vogue jacket, a wool/casmere blend coat with fux fur collar AND my mosr onerous UFO - finshing the floor length lined drapes for my brother that I promised 3 years ago. Just chain me to the machine and feed me bread and water...

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: "The Art of Fashion Draping" by Connie Amaden-Crawford

I have a group of friends with whom i have formed a " dress up" club. We plan a day out once a quarter and get dressed up - dresses, great shoes, perfume, hats, etc., each time on a iffernt season. I would love to drape a modern day dress for one of these occassions.

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: Fashion by Design

There are great designers that can't sew, and talented sewers that can't design. I am moderately good at sewing, and appreciate good design. My ability to design is limited. This book would be a good addition to my library and hopefully be a tool that helps me develop my design skills.

Re: Project Runway Episode 6: "Fix My Friend!"

Women who naturally have a "model's body" are about 2% of the population. That means that overweight or not the other 98% of us are probably, shorter, rounder, bustier, hippier etc. etc. than the women that grace the runways. How do get out of design school with honors and never make a dress for a "real" body? (as though models are not real people also). Ven's attitude was sexist, condescending, and selfish. He treated that woman horribly. She was gracious enough to put up with it. Frankly the judges should have dressed him down when he was on the runway alone. If he makes it as designer, is he only going to sell clothes to the 2%? Loved the winning dress. It was nice to see something that was modern and a little demure.

Re: Project Runway Episode 5: "It's My Way on the Runway"

The winning dress was innovative and well executed but a bit much for day wear. I used to work for a wall street law firm with well heeled clients coming and going. Unless you are in a design firm - where you need to be "cool" virtually no one dresses like that. Nathan's one shoulder and Dimitri's keyhole back would result in a visit to HR. I find it sad that the designers haven't figured out that in the real world successful designers like Michael Kors collaborate and work with others all the time. Someone please "auf" Elena and that attitude.


Of course I will go. It's not my aesthetic, but it is a big piece of the evolution of men's fashion history. The tailoring techniques for many of the jackets and trousers are still used today. Alexander McQueen's first apprenticeship was with men's tailors and inspired some of the women's wear he made years later. Will it last? It is diffiicult to say. A man in a well cut blazer is a nice piece of eye candy, but fashion on the street is less and less formal and bowties are frequently considered quirky. I confess i would love a straw boater for myself -:)

Re: And the Winner of the 2012 SewStylish Summer Fashion Challenge is...

Congratulations! Great dress well styled.

Re: Project Runway Season 10: "Women On the Go"

Sonjia's draped dress was well designed and executed, but who do you know, that is not a celebrity, that is going to wear that sheer dress as day wear into evening? Christopher and Dimitri fufilled all the criteria, including day to evening. One of them, not Sonjia should have won.

Let's hear it for Rachel Roy! A desgner judge, who actually understands the garment construction, tailoring, etc. More real designers as judges, please

Andrea's departure was cowardly and immature.

Kooan, admitted that he did not have expertise in an earlier challenge, which i thought was refreshingly honest. I wish that he would have stuck it out though. Anja, last season, had limited sewing ability, but worked her vision with the tools she had.

In general, i find this season disappointing. The casting seems to have tilted more in the direction of reality drama than fashion talent. Fabio may be great looking to judges because he has a head scarf and ropes around his neck, and Hooan is a character, and Elena's B$?'.! Factor is a 10, but where are the innovative designs? With a few exceptions, where are the sewing skills?

I doubt that i could ever work fast enough to produce a garment at Ven's level in the time allotted, but aren't the contestants on this show supoosed to have that expertise?

Re: Project Runway Season 10: "Welcome Back (Or Not) To the Runway"

I agree with the prior post, none of the garments presented were spectacular or innovative. Fabio and Ven justly won for creating what their client asked for, beautifully executed, there was no doubt that dress was for Kenley. Had irina not looked good in white I am no sure the dress would have garnered so much attention. I am surprised and bored with the amount of self inflicted angst and melodrama. These designers have the opportunity to be exposed to, coached by, and critiqued by some of the best in the business, STOP whining and create!

Re: Project Runway Season 10: "Candy Couture"

Kooan will be there for a while because this is Project Drama, where soap opera personality may trump talent at any moment in time - remember Gretchen. I wish there were fewer celebrity judges and more designers. Get Ralph Rucci, Isabel Toledo, or even lesser known designers who have successful boutiques or sell capsule collections at better stores. Dylan Lauren is a very talented woman but her father's point of view vis a vis fashion is the one I would love to hear. Ven and Dimitri I think will be front runners but beautiful, wearable and flattering does not necessarily constitute a win on this show.

Re: FIT Museum Relaunches its Online Collections

I live in NYC so access to the museum at FIT is easy. It's not a large space as museums go which is a plus. You can get close to the garments, see lots of detail and best of all the exhibits are free. Their collection of garments is varied and not limited to just the big houses like Dior or Chanel. The exhibits are well curated. Making the collections available on line is a gift. I browse the collections at the Met with my I-pad and am glad to have another museum to "walk through". Now if the Kyoto Costume Institute opened their archives I would probably never leave the house...

Re: 2pc vintage style romper play suit

Love the fabric! Love the styling! Well done!

Re: Download a Free Alexander McQueen Jacket Pattern

Thank you Threads for the link to the pattern and the Showstudio website! The photos there and the gallery submissions give a wholly different view of the jacket. The site is also a treasure trove of interesting collections and photos. I found the photos of the students from Central St. Martins, aspiring designers still defining themselves, not pushed by "need to sell" interesting. Thanks again.

Re: Download a Free Alexander McQueen Jacket Pattern

I visited the McQueen exhibit many times at the Met and had the luck to have a friend who had worked at the Costume Exhibit, so we got a tour of the exhibit on a day when the museum was closed to the public. The tailoring was superb. The ability to take a very familiar almost mundane garment and simply extend the line of a lapel or lift the edges of a corset and suddenly have a garment that was new and daring and yet staid and familiar was amazing. The level of craftsmanship, understanding of form and drape, and the use of unusual materials was the most creative I have seen in any fashion exhibit. Even if you don't like the McQueen aesthetic, it's difficult to not appreciate the level of craftsmanship.

The jacket above I do not think is a great example of his work. The background, poor lighting and styling make it difficult to see the construction and frankly the tights do nothing to enhance the jacket. I'll download the pattern because I am curious about the complexity of the pattern, but this is not a McQueen I would want to wear.

Re: A Look at Exposed Zippers

Bustles, panniers, hot pants, low rise pants, exposed zippers...pick the trend that works for your taste, your body, your age. It's an interesting technique and the zebra striped zipper in the new issue is sort of cool..-:)

Re: Book Giveaway: "The Big Book of Flax"

Looks like a great addition to the fiber library. Can you picture sitting on the porch, in a linen dress, straw hat on the side table, lemonade nearby and book in hand?

Re: New SewStylish Pattern

Already working on a lightweight wool jacket or fall, and a coat that I started but didn't finish in time for last fall (a UFO).

I have a group of friends that have formed a "dress-up" club. Once a quarter, we dress up and go some where. Last time it was dresses and heels and all the trimmings for tea at the Plaza. So I am in search of patterns for the fall outing.

As to the pattern above, it's a bit tired, been there done that. iit lacks the allure of the 50's Mad Men trend with those fitted waists and wide skirts that are so forgiving. Not all retro is good retro. Remember those Dynasty shoulder pads?

Re: Turn Your Special Textiles into Something Special to Wear

Cheryl, I took my grandmother's hand embroidered tablecloth and had it stretched and framed. I included information about her, name , dob, etc. inside the back of the frame, so that it has provenance, and she is acknowledged for her work. I have no one to leave it to either, so I will sell it at one point or donate it as artwork to some organization such as a craft's museum. If your cloth is too large to frame, consider dowels at either end as a wall hanging.

Re: What influences the fabrics you buy?

I usually look for a mixture of color, texture, and hand. The more ornate the pattern, the less ornate I want the fabric and vice versa. I try to buy more natural fabrics that will wear well over time and will be easy to maintain. Nothing is more disappointing that a great dress made in polyester with an oil spot that will never go away. I love the infinite variations of cotton. Silk shantung and broadcloth are stash-able in just about any color.

Re: Turn Your Special Textiles into Something Special to Wear

I love the sentiment, love the embroidery and the technique but frankly the jacket looks like the wearer is in a potholder.

Re: Create a Travel Wardrobe

I used to travel for business teaching seminars. Frequently I would fly to a particular state and work my way across that state visiting a different city each day. So I bought several leather skirts in different colors - plum, forest green, blue etc. Leather doesn't wrinkle and cleans easily (not suede - leather). A few blouses that could either dress up the leather or dress it down for dinner in the evening. One casual jacket and one dress jacket and I could make it through a week easily with two skirts and a few coordinated pieces. I stayed away from black and red leather - too much significance attached to those colors.

Re: The Renaissance of Millinery

Thanks for loving hats and making beautiful hats! I have loved hats since the opening shot of Ingrid Bergman in Saratoga Trunk. In three weeks a group of friends and I are going to Tea at the Plaza (in NYC) and have decided that hats are a must!

Re: Book Giveaway: "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty"

I saw the McQueen exhibit about seven times. I was lucky enough to have a friend that had been a curator at the Met who invited me to the Museum on a day when it was closed to most of the public. One of the quotes in the beginning of the exhibit from McQueen, loosely paraphrased stated that essentially, in order to break the rules you needed to know the rules. The level of tailoring was impeccable. Each garment, no matter how outrageous or beyond the norm, was clearly a derivation of something I had seen or know before, brilliantly tailored yet fresh and raw and intimidating. There was a quote, from him, about wanting people to be afraid of women who wore his clothes. I struggled a bit at first with this as frankly some of the design appeared at first to be dark, almost S&M, and misogynist, particularly the masks. However, underneath it all I walked away with the impression that as women we should be expressive of both the lighter and darker sides of who we are - that the sartorial presentation that we have walking out of the house every day needn't conform to some norm defined in a magazine but rather be a true expression of who we are on that moment or day. That said, the shoes looked like they really hurt after the first 10 minutes..:)

Re: Three Ways to Attach Boning

Steinlauf &Stoller on 39th Street in Manhattan has boning, caps etc. They have been there forever! They are within a block or two of B&J, Paron, & Mood..heaven!

Re: Threads Insider - Coming Soon!

So I have paid for my paper subscription, purchased the archive annually, purchased fitting DVD's, books, Insider Techniques, my husband's woodworking subscriptions and now Taunton wants me to pay more for access to the ad filled web pages? I can't say that I am thrilled. I rather spend $12.95 on a great Vera Wang remnant at Mood.

Re: Book Giveaway: "The Chronicle of Western Costume" by John Peacock

This book looks like it would be a great addition to any sewing library.

Re: Free Patterns for Three Apron Styles

What is refreshing about Threads, for me, is that there is a forum for creative and talented people to share ideas, techniques and craftsmanship.

This derogatory commentary about what "women think" is petty, and demeaning. Every era has its issues for women. In the 1600's in Salem it was tough to be a woman. In the 2000's it was tough to be Hillary Clinton running for president.

Whatever issue an apron connotes for you politically or emotionally is personal. Transforming your feelings into a rant about what the rest of us think is something I'd rather not have to read here.

Re: Video: Designers Create Golden Cloth from Spider Silk

Is this the same piece that Godley had on display at the Museum of Natural History in NYC? The texture and sheen were spectacular. The spiders were intimidating...

Re: Discover Fashion's Impact

The exhibit is lovely, starting alphabetically with Azzadine Alaia, moving through, Balenciaga, Chanel, etc. The Isabel Toledo dress is lovely, but not really representative of her signature style. There is a video presentation of past exhibits which is well worth watching. There is no entrance fee which means you can stroll over to a Payless and pick up a pair of Isabel Toledo shoes afterward..:)

If you are out for the day, take in the hat exhibit at Bard for $7. Also lovely is the exhibit at the Queen Sofia Institute. Traditional Spanish regional dress from the paintings of Sorolla culminating in a display on the top floor of Spanish inspired gowns by de la Renta, Lacroix, and Ralph Lauren. Curated by Andre Talley and chairman Oscar de la Renta it's a bargain for its $15 entrance fee.

Re: What sewing skill do you want to learn next?

Draping, draping, draping! Haider Ackerman style draping that is elegant and modern and even wearable.

And pattern work. I have both Pattern Magic books by Nakamichi. Creating patterns for unusual design elements beyond the necessary pants and bodice.

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: "Roberto Capucci Art Into Fashion"

Exuberant explosions of color and form that are editorial, fantastical, impractical and so desirable. I promise not to drool on my book if I win...:)

Re: Tangerine Tango

The color is beautiful and a pleasant change from the ubiquitous runway black or brown as "the new black". Unfortunately, it's not an easy color for many skin tones to wear, myself included. That doesn't mean that a piece of some exquisite silk-wool blend won't end up in my stash...:)

Re: Book Giveaway: "Threads Sewing Guide"

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”

Thus spoke the late Alexander McQueen.

Underlying his amazing design were impeccable sewing and tailoring skills that enabled him to innovate and construct amazing clothing.

Balenciaga included one black dress in every collection that he designed and constructed himself so as not to lose the "thread"from sketch to construction to finished garment.

If you want to excel, and innovate, and design, even if only for yourself,you need great skill and a good sources to research that which you do not know. This book would be a great addition to my library of sewing books that keep me humble and learning.  

Re: Book Giveaway: "Threads Sewing Guide"

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”

Thus spoke the late Alexander McQueen.

Underlying his amazing design were impeccable sewing and tailoring skills that enabled him to innovate and construct amazing clothing.

Balenciaga included one black dress in every collection that he designed and constructed himself so as not to lose the "thread"from sketch to construction to finished garment.

If you want to excel, and innovate, and design, even if only for yourself,you need