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Profile for alotofstitches - Threads


Texarkana, TX, US

I learned to sew as a child at my mother's elbow. I've always loved to sew and made all my clothes and most of my young family's clothing. I began sewing custom clothing for others as a "job" purely by accident in the early 90's. I love making a client's vision of a special dress into a reality! I specialize in special occasion dresses, bridal and custom-made suits. It's wonderful to "go to work" every single day.

craft interests: quilting, sewing

Member Since: 12/06/2008

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1860's Silk Ensemble

A delightful lady wanted me to create a new 1860's ensemble for her.  We designed it together having been been influenced by photos, research and her likes & dislikes.  40 yds. of silk...

recent comments

Re: How did you learn to sew?

I learned to sew sitting at my Mother's elbow while she sewed. As a very young child, my job was to run the elastic thru the casing on my white eyelet trimmed panties. I guess my first real excursion into sewing was a 4-H gathered skirt when I was in 6th grade and my Mother insisted I learn to put a zipper into the seam. Sewing is something we've always enjoyed talking about & sharing new techniques, etc. Mother's health is failing & her memory for doing things is going so now I sew for my Mother just like she sewed for me. I'm passing sewing on to my granddaughters (I had 3 sons) and so far they've all taken to it.

Re: Starter Machines and Beginning Sewers

Several years ago my granddaughter got a "Barbie" one like those advertised on TV to pull out of a desk drawer to sew something at work. It was a nightmare--would hardly sew a stitch & "clattered". My 5 y/o said "it didn't sound right". She preferred sewing on my machine set on her little table to fit her. I will admit they are adorable machines but will they be more frustration than fun? Will they turn them away from sewing because the machine does not work well?

Re: Fresh Start for a Sewing Space

Lucky you! I too sew beneath a window and I love it esp. in the summer when the hummingbirds eat at the feeder hung outside! As for lighting I have a twin flourescent tube fixture for the room but also have a single one above my sewing table and an inexpensive goose neck lamp with an Ott bulb in it. The Ott bulb made a big difference in how my eyes felt at the end of a full day of sewing. More birthdays have also required more light bulbs in various work spaces! My serger is on a typing table w/drawer that I pull up to my sewing space when needed and the ironing board is set up behind my sewing chair so I can swivel around to use it. I have a sewing table with the lift system so that I have a smooth surface to sew on but it had no drawer space. I had a man build a 14" wide section of 5 drawers 4" deep to hold s.machine accessories & notions so they are all in easy reach. I removed the 2 legs on the left end of my 48" table and set the table on that stack of drawers. I have peg board all around the table & use pegs to hold scissors, etc. Serger thread is stored on a rack above the peg board & I replaced the short dowels to longer ones to hold 2 spools. You'd be surprised how you can compact everything! Have fun.

Re: A Special Trip to Mary Jo's Cloth Store

How delightful to actually see the store I've ordered from! I always talk to Maggie in the mail-order department and she's ALWAYS been a big help. This store is one of my favorite online stores--in fact the blue silk used for the 1860's ensemble in the Reader's Closet came from Mary Jo's!

Re: 1860's Silk Ensemble

To luvat1stsew: I love your name and I agree! Re: the silk skirt--all wedding gowns I've altered have a lining of either poly or acetate, something that is slick and moves easily, that is sew to the hem of the silk and then a 2nd lining hanging freely that is next to the skin. If a crinoline is added for fullness it'd be sewn to the free-hanging lining ending about 2 in. shorter than the skirt for walking ease. I cut a silk skirt, a acetate lining skirt, then a 2nd lining skirt. The silk and lining skirts had all side seams sewn, finished, pressed open, then the bottom edges aligned, right sides together with the lining extending 1/4-1/2 inch past silk. Seam is sewn, press as sewn then skirt turned: the lining turns to inside with the silk showing on the inside of skirt by either the 1/4 or 1/2 inch. Press lightly. I went back inside the skirt and added 2 inch horsehair braid scooted down into the hem fold sew it to the seam only. Sorry I can't explain how here. This is another detail in better bridal gown and it makes the skirt flow as she walks--beautiful! Meet the waistline edges of the skirt, add 2nd lining & band. If you have no band for the wedding gown, leave the back skirt seam open to be able to get inside the skirt--it's closed much like a sleeve lining in a jacket. note: I have seen some A-line w.gowns with a bridal underlining or crinoline used to support the skirt for a smooth A shape. I use acetate lining because it breathes and is more comfortable to wear. Batiste will not allow the fabrics to glide over each other. If I left something off let me know.

Re: Guipure Lace Shell

It looks wonderful but I bet it feels like pure heaven! I know you enjoy wearing it!

Re: Winter Wool Plaid Jacket

You did a wonderful job matching the plaids everywhere! It looks great!

Re: Pink Suit

Very pretty! Looks like you did bound buttonholes too! I'd love to see them close-up and I like the black contrast.

Re: 1860's Silk Ensemble

To catlover-- yes, I have my own business and yes, I do some private lessons. A former beginner sewing student has begun a lined jacket to go with her lined skirt that she made in the Intermediate Sewing class. She has a desire to learn and catches on quickly. After her first class in March '08, she went on to sew quite a bit thru the summer, took the intermediate class in the fall and then wanted to make a jacket to go with her skirt. I'm quite proud of her!


The veil is absolutely beautiful! You were brave to tackle making your own lace--I'd never try that! It is beyond words the thrill a mom has to have the pleasure of sewing for a daughter (in my case a DIL) for her wedding day!

Re: 1860's Silk Ensemble

To Catlover: Since I started subscribing to Threads (years and years ago) I've learned a lot! I clip and file all the fitting articles plus many other articles from every issue. They are all filed or put in my "Tips and Techniques" notebook. I refer to these articles often for both ideas and techniques on things that I don't do very often. Just this past week I made a wool suit using an article on bound buttonholes and a back embellishment that I had seen. so my advice to you is read both from Threads and other books on fitting, etc. Practice too--sometimes it takes several tries to perfect a technique. The thing I tell my Beginner Sewing students is to keep sewing anything and everything because practice does make a difference! I absolutely love going to work at my sewing machine every single day!

Re: Kelly's wedding gown

I KNOW you were tired when you finished all the sewing, but also very thrilled to have done that. I had sons but did get to sew 2 of the 3 DIL's wedding gowns. A job done with tender loving care!

Re: Zoe's Dedication Gown

It's absolutely adorable and baby too! It is fun to sew for our grandchildren!