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Profile for bkryatty - Threads


Seattle, WA, US

craft interests: fashion, quilting, restyle, sewing

Member Since: 08/31/2010

recent comments

Re: Designer Secrets: Off-Seam Insertion

I've been instructed to add a zipper when altering a costume for the local theater and I've been puzzled how to proceed so this will be very useful to me. I'd probably turn and press to the inside for the cleaner finish - but I can see the design possibilities here.

If you don't want an exposed zipper, I should think that you could add an overlap if you can get enough fabric out a hem. Long folded rectangle, using your preferred method to stitch as invisibly as possible down one side and across the bottom.

I'd be interested to hear other ideas on this.

Re: Project Runway All Stars: "Finale Part 2"

Mondo was truly ripped off last season and should have won - no doubt about it. This was better though - he could show more work and got a better prize. It was far and away the best collection by the most talented designer.

I liked the All Stars show and the judges and Joanna Coles but I MISSED Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.

Re: How to Use Pins the Right Way

There is a time to place pins parallel - when you are serging and you want to hold fabric together until the presser foot picks it up so it won't slip. (I learned this making swimsuits). Use extra long pins and baste with the pin. Then as the fabric goes under the serger presser foot, start pulling out as you stitch. The fabric will stay together (especially the annoying edges that sometimes fold under as you start) and the pin won't run afoul of the knife.

Also, for zippers and stiffer trims, you can use Scotch brand Magic Tape instead of a pin because it lays flat, you can stitch right over it and it won't gum up your needle and it is easy to remove. I mention the brand because it was originally developed by the aeronautics industry for a similar purpose. Regular cellophone tape doesn't work.

Re: Look ahead to spring

I have spent the last year collecting up all the booklets for the sewing and tailoring courses from the Woman's Institue of Domestic Arts and Sciences so I have complete versions from the initial set (1916 to 1922), the second round (1923 to about 1928) AND the third round (after 1926). I also have nearly all the millinery ones. I even have their original hem marker and Picken Square ruler.

So starting with the first of the new year, I am going to put myself through the courses in order to test the instructions. I'm hoping to figure out blogging to blog the experiment. I know! for possibly 6 total readers - if I'm lucky!. If nothing else, I will figure out some old-fashioned techniques which are often very useful.

In the process I am also learning a lot about the history of sewing in the 20th century. It's exploding at least one myth - that all women used to know how to sew. I don't think it has ever been true!!

Re: Who influenced or taught you the most when you started sewing?

Four inseparable influences for me - and, no surprise - they are all the same as everyone else here: my mom who was very free creatively and let me be happy with my finished product no matter how imperfect it probably was, and who, along with my dad, firmly believe that you could do anything yourself as long as the instructions had clear pictures. Thank God there was no Time/Life or Singer series on brain surgery!

My gramma who taught me the importance of really nice finishing. I still think of her every time I hear the crunch of scissors cutting fabric resting on a table top.

My Home Ec teacher, Lynn Couch, who taught me (and 27 other girls in my class - not to mention the other four 28 girl classes she had) how to use a sewing machine and who was always encouraging.

My beloved red-haired bubble-cut Barbie doll. I started sewing at age 12 making clothes for her. I used a couple of simple Simplicity patterns. I've been sewing for her off and on ever since. It's not the same doll (my little sister got her and an extensive wardrobe), and her clothes are way classier, and I use a sewing machine and I sew more than doll clothes - in fact everything - but dressing Barbie got me started.

Re: What will you be sewing this summer?

Barbie clothes. No doubt about it. I recently donated a Barbie with couture clothes to an auction and got re-hooked on making her clothes. It's amazing how much smarter she looks in a decent outfit.

I got my first Barbie when I was 11 for Christmas in 1964. My mom made some outfits for her but she also had to make outfits for my sister Mary's doll (Midge) and my sister Nancy's doll (Tammy). So we got outfits but there were no closures. We used straight pins. I understood the time crunch but I WANTED SNAPS!!

So when I was 12 I started making my own Barbie clothes. I had a couple of Simplicity patterns. I used birthday money to buy the all important snaps. We didn't have a lot of fabric scraps floating around but you could go to the Goodwill and buy a bucket of quilt scraps for 89 cents. I'll never forget picking out my favorite bits of fabric - some with designs that I could work into dresses; some fancy satins for evening gowns; some bits of flannel for jammies. I filled it up to the brim and took it up to the counter with my 89 cents.

"What are you making honey?" asked the clerk. When I said clothes for my Barbie, she gave me a great big smile, made a fist and jammed it hard as she could into the plastic bucket. "Well," she said, "that's half a bucket. 45 cents."

I had no idea of grain line. I just laid the pieces out however I could make them work, cut them and sewed them by hand. By the time I graduated to a sewing machine two years later and started sewing for myself, my 5 year old sister inherited my Barbie and four grocery bags full of clothes.

They all had snaps.

Re: Book Giveaway: "Threads Sewing Guide"

Who wouldn't want a Threads reference book? It would be great for me and great for all the other sewers that wander in and out of my sewing room. Besides, my goal is to have all sewing books ever written.

Re: Online Shopping and Resource Guide

Also, and Fabric Club are two different places. is simply that and service there is outstanding.

Re: Online Shopping and Resource Guide - I buy lots of oilcloth there for my shopping bags. Service is great. HUGE selection of oilcloth. - HUGE selection of all kinds of spandex. The go-to place for swimsuit fabric - not to mention athletic/sports wear and ice skating and dancing - and you can find all kinds for between $6 and $12/yard. Minimum yard cut and (I think) 3 yard minimum order (not sure about that second one). They tell you 2 way or 4 way stretch (very helpful) and also whether the fabric has sparkly stuff on it (in case you are making a swimsuit).

Re: Project Runway: There IS an "I" in Team

Team Luxe - that was four against two with the four going into the challenge clearly having already decided that they weren't going to like anything Michael C or AJ were doing. I wish Michael C had more backbone - then he could have had fun reminding the four know-it-alls that he had immunity and that if they didn't lighten up, he could mess them all up. Fortunately, for once the judges had no problem figuring out what was going on and told them off. As to who should have gone home, I would have picked Ivy. That outfit was a hot mess, a whole lot of ugly, you name it. And hooray for Tim Gunn. They deserved the slap he gave them.

Liked the Military and Lace collection and love Casanova's outfit. The outfit deserved a win but I have no patience with a big prima donna who lies weeping on a couch and waits for people to beg him to return. If he wants success in the grown up world, he needs to get over that fast.