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Profile for agapantha - Threads



EGA Certified Teacher offering classes in design for embroidery, contemporary embroidery, Yemenite Jewish Embroidery and costume for Middle Eastern dance.

craft interests: embroidery, sewing

Member Since: 12/06/2008

recent comments

Re: Book Giveaway and Interview with Shea Henderson

My first project all on my own (I refuse to consider my home ec experience anything but a nightmare) was a empire waist dress with a square neckline and a full skirt circa 1970. The problem was solved with a FBA which I learned to do by checking books out of the library and carefully following directions.

Re: Two-book Giveaway

I love to sew rayon challis- love the way it drapes and feels against my skin.

Re: Book Giveaway: Hand-Stitched Home - Signed by Susan Beal

My home is definitely hand-stitched... and hand-duct taped... and hand-baling wired...and hand-glued...

Re: Big Sew Stylish Giveaway: Books, Sketching Panels, Pincushions, and more!

National costumes from around the world inspire me to incorporate design details into my sewing.

Re: Enter Our Three-Book Giveaway!

Curtains, pillows, quilts, comforters, slip covers, and wall decorations are among my inventory of handmade household items.

Re: Book Giveaway: "Handbag Workshop"

Handbags... my guilty passion.

Re: Fall 2014 Color Trends Abandon Typical Palette

I don't care for the gold or royal blue but the rest are okay. Just okay, though, none of them really sing to me. Most of the colors are too busy being low key and modest to sing.

Re: Use Couched Elastic to Create a Ruched Effect

Sometimes a vee neckline or sleeveless armhole gapes or ripples a bit. A narrow piece of elastic applied just inside the opening of neck or armhole helps ease these ripples out.

Re: Book Giveaway: "Threads Sew Smarter, Better & Faster"

Did you know there is a right side and a wrong side to a hand sewing needle? If you have trouble threading your needle from one side, turn it over and thread it through the other.

Re: Vote for the Winner of the 2014 SewStylish Spring Fashion Challenge

Wow. What a range of techniques and skill! I'd love to see all entries- can't imagine having to narrow it down to five.

The skill that amazes me most is the ability to sew fabulous clothing in one's sleep. Astounding. It's all I can do to sleep in my sleep.

Re: Book Giveaway: "Patternmaking Made Easy," Third Edition by Connie Crawford

My favorite projects are costumes and ethnic clothing that translate into formal or every day wear.

Re: Magazine Giveaway: "Designer Techniques Vol. 2"

Madeleine Vionnet, without question. What she could do with bias... ooh la la!

Re: How to Create Echo Stitching

I learned echo stitching from my grandmother as a quilting technique. On clothing I've used it for decorative effects and to hold facings in place. My favorite use was on a shift dress made of fabric just a bit too light to hang properly. I used echo stitching on the deep hem which gave the bottom of the dress just enough extra body to hold the skirt in place, similar to using a weight chain in the hem of a jacket.

Re: Book Giveaway: John Gillow Textiles Titles

When I leave home, I rarely buy anything except books and fabric. I came home from (of all places) Fredericksburg, TX and Red Lodge, MT with gorgeous saris that are destined to become other things.

Re: Video: How to Bead a Motif Using a Template

In 35+ years as a belly dancer I've sewn zillions of beads and sequins onto costumes. Never used a template; usually make a light chalk sketch to indicate placement then let the design grow on its own.

My best tip is to tie off your thread frequently. Yes, that's a bit of a pain but sooner or later a thread will break and it is better to lose six or eight beads than a whole motif.

Re: Video: How to Sew a Pickstitch

I don't use a pick stitch often but it is the only way I can put in a zipper without screwing it up somehow.

Re: Enter to Win an Oliso Pro Smart Iron!

Oops. Hit the send before I was finished.

If you must use an extension cord for your iron be sure that it is sufficient to carry the amount of power drawn by the iron. I learned this the hard way when the plug of an insufficient extension cord blew up in my hand as put it into the outlet.

My next ironing-intense projects are custom western shirts for my rancher son and his three year old son.

Re: Enter to Win an Oliso Pro Smart Iron!

If you must use an extension cord for your iron be sure that it is sufficient to carry the amount of power drawn by the iron. I learned this the hard way when the plug of an insufficient extension cord blew up in my hand as put it into the outlet.

Re: Book Giveaway: Dressmaking: 200 Q&A

Silk organza is a favorite sewing aid. I use it for a press cloth, bindings, underlining, and more.

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

I can't afford to buy it so I'd love to win it.

Re: Enter to Win a One-Year Subscription to Threads!

I've spent a fortune on Threads Magazines over the years and would love to win on a subscription so I can spend my usual subscription money on a different offering from Threads.

Re: Win a One-Year Threads Insider Membership!

Because like the ad says:

As a Threads Insider you will have exclusive unlimited access to:
•80+ online videos demonstrating new skills and techniques (Teach Yourself to Sew, Industry Insider Techniques, Couture Basics, & more)
•The Threads Insider pattern database with over 100 patterns
•Exclusive downloads of popular Threads articles
•Digital access to our most recent issues of Threads online
•Tablet editions of Threads (iPad and Windows with Andriod coming this summer)

•Our insider-only 360-degree garment viewer
•Automatic entry into monthly giveaways
•Other special member discounts and offers

Re: Book Giveaway: "Creating a Successful Fashion Collection"

A collection featuring casual western wear alternatives to jeans(NOT the tourist stuff) would be my choice.

Re: Book Giveaway: "Improv Sewing"

I'd make a dress to wear to my husband's symphony concerts- something outrageous to be a counterpoint to his tuxedo.

Re: Costume Institute's Spring 2013 Exhibition Explores Punk Fashion

Punk fashion is not my favorite but I'd go to the exhibit if it happened to be in my home town. Style doesn't have to suit me personally in order for me to be interested in it. Ya never know what's gonna be relevant.

Re: Project Runway All Stars Episode 12: "Go Big or Go Home"

I'd have chosen in exactly the opposite order: Uli first, then Emilio with Anthony Ryan a distant third. Linda G7 expressed my feelings about Uli so neatly that I needn't say another word about that lovely collection.

I liked the imagination, color, fun, and cohesiveness of Emilio's line but several pieces looked messy and uncomfortable (those separate bodices!)next to Uli's cool brilliance.

Each of AR's models appeared to be sporting some strange Mondrian version of aprons, overalls, and pinafores. The exception was the long blue and black gown; it featured a lovely back treatment which is the most positive thing I can say about the collection. I am not a fan of geometric shapes especially when those shapes disguise what lies under them in such an unflattering manner.

Re: Mega Quilt Giveaway

My greatest quilting experience came after clearing out my grandmother's house. I missed her very much and thought perhaps I could find a few of her quilts to take home with me. I found some in the quilt box where I expected them to be. Two more were being used as mattress pads. One was wrapped around a collection of old radio parts. Several were stuck far back on a high closet shelf. Two more were in the garage. More were folded and piled up in the junk room. In all I collected thirty-five quilts that day. I didn't unfold most of them, just piled them into the back of the truck and hauled them home.

I didn't have the heart to open them without Ma-Ma there to tell me where they came from, when they were made, and all the little bits of trivia quilters delight in. I mentioned these unexplored quilts to a group of stitching friends and the Official Quilt Opening Party was born.

One January afternoon, a dozen friends braved the snowy weather and crowded into my small bedroom to open the quilts one by one on the tall iron bed I'd also inherited. Imagine dignified ladies of a certain age sprawled across the mattress to look intently at seams to determine whether they were stitched by hand or the treadle machine that now rested next to the iron bed.

One by one we unfolded the quilts and looked at them. Forty gentle hands stroked the quilts, marveling at the tiny pieces in the Job's Trouble and the way my grandmother had pieced tinier pieces together when there wasn't enough whole fabric to cut a slice of Snowball.

I could feel my grandmother in the room, murmuring. "Well, I'll do know" in wonder at all these people exclaiming over her handiwork and that of the people who often helped her with the quilting: my grandfather, my great-grandmother, and any number of cousins and aunts. I confess I cried a little but my friends were there to wrap me in their arms and cry with me.

That was many years ago. It's January again and I've been thinking: all those quilts are due to be taken out and aired and refolded for storage. What if I called a few folks...

The Official Quilt Unfolding Party is set for February 2. If you're in Central Wyoming, drop on by.

Re: Book Giveaway: "Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations"

Living in the wilds of Wyoming, books are the closest I get to haute couture.

Re: Full Bust Fix

Thanks! I needed this.

Re: Identifying Vintage Sewing Machines

I am such a dimwit. Here is the link:

Re: Identifying Vintage Sewing Machines

The machine in the picture is exactly, precisely the machine I inherited from my grandmother! How cool to see it online. I learned to sew on it and my grandmother made my sister and me dozens of dresses on it. It is still operational though it needs to be cleaned. There are a pile of attachments that go with it but I've never used them. We also have my husband's grandmother's treadle, a New Automatic, age unknown but still operational. Most of the time we use them as tables but occasionally we still sew on one.

My mother in law used to tell a story about watching her mother sew on the New Automatic. Great granma was making a wedding veil when someone brought in a torn canvas off the tractor. She changed needles and thread, sewed up the canvas, changed back to the other needle and thread and completed the veil- not a single other adjustment was needed.

I have a 1940s Singer than belonged to my mother; it has a knee control rather than a foot control. I have my Singer from the late 1960s and my darling Janome that I splurged and bought for myself several years ago. There are at least a couple other portables around the attic and neither my husband nor I have any idea where they came from.

Is it permissible to post a link here? This page is owned by Zorba, a collector and restorer. Ever heard of "hot rodding" sewing machines?

Re: Enter the Thrift Store Runway Fashion Contest!

My hometown is blessed with a plethora of wonderful second hand stores; why shop anywhere else when I can get a Coldwater Creek jacket for $3 and a LandsEnd sweater for $2.50- both in new condition!

I took a fifty cent black velvet bolero jacket with stains under the arms and turned it into a cool gold-trimmed vest that sold at an arts and crafts fair for $15- a bargain for the customer and a nice profit for me. I turned a beautiful little girl's Christmas formal into a Tribal dance costume that sold at a belly dance fair before I had all my merchandise on display; same for a couple of refurbished skirts and a knit top.

One of the shop managers told me, "It's like working in a revolving closet: I buy something for a couple of dollars, wear it a few times, then donate it back and buy somthing else."

LucyJane, St. Vincent de Paul is one of my favorites.

Re: Magazine Giveaway: What is the most exciting sewing destination you've been to?

The most exciting sewing destination I ever went to: the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico when Writing With Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities was on display. Ethnic costume and embroidery are my passions and this exhibit was a treat rarely seen outside China.

Unlike other museums (I'm talking about you, Denver Art Museum) that put glass-enclosed displays so far away that you can barely see the items, this museum generously exhibited the costumes without obstruction. I spent most of the day wandering from costume to costume, noting color, construction detail, and embroidery. No mean little old lady frowned at me for leaning closer to see details and no crowds forced me away from a particlar costume before I'd looked to my heart's content. The exhibit catalog I bought is one of the most beautiful books I own and has been the inspiration for a number of projects.

The same day across the mall, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture had an extensive display of rugs and (bonus!) a weaver demonstrating her craft. As a self-taught weaver, I was able to ask this woman several questions that I had not been able to figure out on my own. Simply standing and watching her work was an education in itself.


I suppose it is possible that I could be less interested in this exhibit, but I can't imagine how.;) Ivy League men's wear is not my thing. Now a retrospective on western wear for men... that I'd go to see.

Re: What influences the fabrics you buy?

Color, hand, usefulness, practical care. I particularly love rayon challis, hemp, and silks.

Re: Magazine Giveaway: Threads Issue #159, March 2012

I make costume bras for belly dancers and look forward to the article on bras.


Gorgeous- both the outfit and the model.