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Profile for furballs - Threads


Mississauga, ON, CA

craft interests: fashion, gifts, quilting, restyle, sewing, jewellry, beading

Member Since: 06/01/2009

recent comments

Re: Pattern Giveaway: Simplicity SewStylish 1542

Oops, forgot. Size 12-20.

Re: Pattern Giveaway: Simplicity SewStylish 1542

Really like the jacket collar on View C. Jackets are one of my favourite things to wear.

Re: Enter Threads Storage Solution Giveaway Sponsored by

Organizing is always a challenge, given I'm a packrat. Anything would be better than the assortment of boxes and whatnot I have currently storing all my sewing gear. That shelved cart would be excellent !

Re: Simplicity Pattern 1466 Giveaway!

Be very nice to win the larger size pattern, 22-28' as I still haven't shrunk enough to fit something smaller. Love princess seams !

Re: Book Giveaway: "The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction"

I have always found good pictures to be the most useful tool when trying to figure out some new technique or one that I haven't used in a long time. Any new book is likely to contain at least a few tips that are new to me too. Make a great addition to my reference library.

Re: Make a Mary Poppins-Style Carpetbag: Part 1

ca2james, mat board is the flat, stiff, usually coloured board used to make picture frame mats. Those are the coloured surrounds you see on most paper art pieces that are framed under glass.

Any place that does picture framing will have mat board, and you can buy it at many art supply stores. It's possible that a framer might be willing to sell you offcuts that are of no use for mats for less cost, though they tend to try to cut as many useful mats as they possibly can from each cut out centre piece, to save waste.

Mat board comes in a variety of types. It can be made entirely from paper, either acid free or not, or from rag, which is the highest quality, most costly, and always acid free. Sometimes called museum board too, as it was once the only type used for museum, or conservation style framing of paper art and is still the safest product to use for conservation framing. Conservation meaning to preserve the original piece for as long as possible in as close to original condition as possible. That's why mats are used, to create a safe environmental 'package' around the piece of art, where it will be preserved as much as possible from the effects of air pollution, humidity, insect damage, light or anything else that might alter a piece.

The least costly type is the paper board that is not acid free. For a bag bottom, I'd think the least costly type would be ok, but if you had any concerns about the paper acids leaching & possibly damaging the fabric dyes later on, use acid free or rag board instead. Acid damage often appears as brownish staining and later on breakage,often at the edges of paper. Wood acids can affect natural fabrics and dyes too. Unless the label says a paper product is acid free, most paper and card stocks are extremely acidic, much as bare wood is. Bare wood also should never touch art or most fabrics either. Wood's acids will eventually rot many fabrics to shreds.

Re: The Kilim Carpet Coat : Adding the Collar and Sleeves

I have also made shirts from bedsheets and table clothes and I have a stash of lovely hand made doilies just waiting to be collars or something sometime.

Re: The Kilim Carpet Coat : Adding the Collar and Sleeves

I've made jackets from quite heavy upholstery fabric. I wash it first, which helps shrink it, soften it, and tells me something about the textile itself too. I've made some nice swirly circle skirts from heavy drapery fabrics too. Some have quite pretty patterns and are easy to match up if it suits the pattern. Like wallpaper, really.
I like that they are sturdy, wear well, look different. I always buy extra to allow for shrinkage as many were probably not intended to be washed.. but if the fibre is washable, usually the fabric will be too. Sometimes a surface finish will come off and make the colours appear greyer or softer or something, but usually I like what happens. Only really odd result was with one that was a jacquard weave that had multiple layers, which turned out to be of different fibres that shrank differently or not at all. Puckered up some, so it became a bag rather than a garment.

Re: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 5: "You've Got Male "

In this case, the only look that even remotely appeals to me is the winner, which I think is excellently done.

The giant houndstooth pattern is hideous, but I like the actual shape of the garments and there is a nice androgyny about them. Love to see them in something other than the houndstooth.

The only other look that really strikes me as being androgynous is Althea's. It would not be hard to mix up which is male or female. But I don't care for the design.

To me, none of the other looks seem to have achieved genuine androgyny, which was at least half of the assignment. It's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it ?

Re: How to Make a Floating Shoulder Pad

I love this idea. I've often wished for a way to keep shoulder pads from showing in necklines, especially if I'm adding them to something not originally meant to have a pad in it, or from looking overly stiff, and this is perfect. I wish I'd known about this long ago.

But now that I look twice, I find the picture and instruction in step 6 a bit confusing. For one, which side is the RS of the extension ? Is it the silk side or the tricot side ? If it is the silk, then it looks like the extension is shown in the picture as RS up, not down. It is not clear from other instructions which side is the RS in this construction.

Instruction also says to place the facing between the pad extension and the garment. If the picture is showing a facing stitched down one side, with the neck edge still to sew, when you fold it over at the seam and sew the neck edge, the extension would be the bottom layer.

If that is actually the shoulder seam shown in picture 6, are we to assume the facing is underneath it ? If so, the extension is still going to be the bottom layer when it is stitched together. Is it intended to be the lowest layer of all ?

I'd have guessed you would place the extension between a facing and the garment fabric. Then when the neck edge is stitched, the extension would be the centre layer at the neck edge. It would be covered by the facing on the bottom and the garment on top at the neck with no chance it could show at the neck edge.

But you might see it shadow, perhaps, more so once you're past the facing.

If it is meant to be the bottom layer, with the facing and the garment on top of the extension, is this meant to lessen the chance of shadowing at the neck edge ?

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

Linen is my favourite fiber to wear and lovely to sew. I"ve always wanted to try growing it too. Be wonderful to win a book like this and learn so much more about it.

Re: MAGAZINE GIVEAWAY: Quilt Your Stash!

Sorry for the double post.. I accidentally hit the button twice.

Re: MAGAZINE GIVEAWAY: Quilt Your Stash!

I've got a stash that is slowly taking over my apartment. I have fabric from my grandmother's own stash, some of those pieces must be pushing 100 years of age now. Some show it too.I have virtually every piece left from every garment I have ever made since grade school. I have an entire wall of one room with custom sized shelving for dozens of plastic and cardboard cartons filled with lengths. Most are prewashed, mostly sorted by type of fabric. Larger lengths, over six metres are on pant hangers and fill that room's closet, and I have several 'spacebag' type bags full of fabric and yarn, plus another 3 big rubbermaid bins of fabric in my bedroom, and a entire set of corner shelves that are packed tight with fabric, and more pant hangers with yardage in my own closet. I have plenty of books on quilting too, just haven't had time to sit and start doing it. Going to have to do something,there is just no room left :-).

Re: MAGAZINE GIVEAWAY: Quilt Your Stash!

I've got a stash that is slowly taking over my apartment. I have fabric from my grandmother's own stash, some of those pieces must be pushing 100 years of age now. Some show it too.I have virtually every piece left from every garment I have ever made since grade school. I have an entire wall of one room with custom sized shelving for dozens of plastic and cardboard cartons filled with lengths. Most are prewashed, mostly sorted by type of fabric. Larger lengths, over six metres are on pant hangers and fill that room's closet, and I have several 'spacebag' type bags full of fabric and yarn, plus another 3 big rubbermaid bins of fabric in my bedroom, and a entire set of corner shelves that are packed tight with fabric, and more pant hangers with yardage in my own closet. I have plenty of books on quilting too, just haven't had time to sit and start doing it. Going to have to do something,there is just no room left :-).

Re: Book Giveaway: "Draping Basics" by Sally M. Di Marco

A night school class I took some 30 years ago turned out to be a real prize, because we were taught to make slopers, using our own body measurements and math to translate those onto paper. Then we learned how to add basic design details and manipulate darts, to make usable patterns. Our class was unbelievably lucky, because the teacher that year knew how to teach these skills. Normally this class taught students how to alter a commercial basic bodice/skirt to fit and nothing else.

But like many of us, I've got bigger since then, :-), and all the notes I made in class have been lost over several moves. I'd love to be able to learn to make a sloper again, and then the draping to make even better use of it.

The night course didn't have time to teach draping. Our teacher said she'd do that the next year. But when next year's class came around, that wonderful teacher wasn't available. Sigh.. they were back to altering commercial patterns again.

Re: Button Placement

I also figured this out, decades ago. Being short waisted, most things gaped at the bust, the buttons being placed for longer torsos; one reason I began to sew my own clothes. I could see horizontal b'holes would hold better, but since vertical holes are so often required, I found a technique that would keep them closed. Don't remember if I worked this out myself or read it somewhere, I've been using it so long. As you mark button placement, make sure the button centres are at the very top of the b'hole. I lap the plackets over, as they will be when worn, making sure the hems and necklines are even. Stick a pin through each b'hole at the very top, as straight as you can. Mark where the pin goes thru the button placket. If the marks don't line up vertically, straighten the line. It's the horizontal position of the marks you can't change. Sew on each button making sure the upper button threads will rest at the top of the b'hole, but not so tight that they distort it. For example, with a four hole button, the top two holes should be at the b'hole top. I fasten each button after I stitch it, testing to see the threads are snugged up tight, but not so much as to cause a wrinkle. I check for evenness at the neck and hems after each button is done up. If anything is off,I cut off the button and do it again, until each one is exact. When I put the garment on, I tug the b'hole placket down, from the placket hem, while tugging the placket with the buttons on it up from the neck. This tugging sets each button perfectly into place. Assuming buttons and holes are correctly sized for each other, they won't come undone on their own. At least, hasn't happened yet to any of mine.

To fix ready made things, for small buttons,I sometimes shorten b'holes with a stitch or two at one end, or replace with bigger buttons. I'll reattach buttons to correct their placement, so they stay closed. Once or twice I've added extra buttonholes to shirts, often quite close together, to get one that's properly placed to stop gaping. I use new buttons, usually a different colour than what the shirt came with, so minor differences in the b'hole thread or stitches aren't very obvious. You can place extra holes above and/or below existing ones, usually one will work to close the gap. When done, it will look like the shirt was meant to have buttons grouped in pairs, threes, or even fours. Don't forget to make matching changes on the cuffs, if needed.
Sorry this got so long !

Re: What amazing technique or inspiration have you gleaned from Threads?

I remember learning from, I'm pretty sure it was an article by Kenneth King, how to make the points of a shirt collar nice and sharp looking, something I had never been able to figure out how to do myself. I made a lot of shirts that looked quite nice except the points were never as pointed as I wanted them to be, never mind as sharp as ready made shirts are.

The technique was simple. You folded over the trimmed allowances over the stitching before turning the point, so there was no fabric bulk in the point itself. No point pusher needed ! The point is not as flat as ready to wear, but this trick preserves the sharp shape perfectly.

I was so pleased the first time I tried it, it worked so well ! I was making custom shirts for rodeo cowboys at the time and this step made my finished garments look that much more professional, which made the perfectionist side of me very happy, even if the customers may not have noticed it specifically. I doubt I'd ever have figured this trick out on my own. By no means the only thing I've learned from Threads, but the first 'ah hah' I can recall.

Re: Staying a Neckline and Armhole

Oops, forgot one thing. The elastic I just described in my earlier post is a thin, clear,film-like product. There's a different one I've only seen in ready made things like swimsuits, that has similar properties, but is thicker and usually a dark greyish colour. Don't know where you'd get that, but the clear stuff works just as well.

Re: Staying a Neckline and Armhole

Pamrod, that 'silicone' is also known as 'plastic elastic', among other things. Most fabric stores should have it in at least a couple of widths, and it's available on line too, especially from places that sell diaper making or swimsuit supplies, because it's so resistant to harsh washing and chlorine. The nice thing about it is that it does not stretch when sewn through like most braided elastics do, nor will it tear at the stitch holes, so you can pick it out if you have to and stitch it again.

It won't shrink and is machine washable and dryable, plus it seems to last forever.I see it more and more often used as a stay in ready made garments, especially knit shoulder seams. I've found it can sometimes be a bit sticky, clinging to either the presser foot or stitch plate, and I haven't figured out how to prevent that yet, though it doesn't always happen.

One thing I learned about this elastic is that before you cut your length or stitch it into place, you will get the best results if you first take a longer pieces than you'll need and stretch it hard with your hands, as far as you possibly can and then let it relax back to it's resting state. Do this at least 3 times before you cut it for length or sew it on, then it won't change length with laundering or use afterward.

Re: The Wackier Words of Sewing and Fashion

I'd always wondered about the term feed dogs too.. but seeing the explanation by Skymom, it reminded me of something my Dad had on his workbench. He called it a bench dog, and it was, indeed, a simple device for holding onto a piece of wood. It was a shaped metal form bolted to the bench top, and a second metal piece fit loosely into the first one. You slipped a piece of wood between the two pieces and gave it a knock with a hammer to wedge it, and the friction would hold the piece for you to work on. I always wondered why they were called bench dogs too.. and now I know. I love finding out where words come from.

I've also wondered why a gadget I first knew as a 'third hand' is also known as a sewing bird. Third hand makes sense, but sewing bird ? Maybe because they usually perch on the edge of a table or shelf to hold the fabric, thus, I suppose, might remind someone of a bird perched on a branch ? I have no idea if that's where the term 'bird' originates, but can think of nothing else that fits.

Re: What were you sewing in 1985?

That year I was between jobs. I ended up doing a LOT of sewing. I made some clothes for myself to go job hunting in from my fabric stash. Some shirts and skirts, I think. I made several pieces for a very dear friend, Anne, who paid me for the work, which sure helped me get by. I made her an 'interview' suit, to wear while she looked into some new job opportunities. It had a fully tailored swing style jacket, the first jacket I'd made using fusible interfacings rather than hand stitching the tailoring details. There was a narrow skirt to match, done in a type of brocade, matte black, with a lightweight silk blouse in hot pink. Anne was very tall, with long limbs, broad shoulders and no waist to speak of, so she was often frustrated trying to find clothes that fit her well, other than jeans. When she found out I could sew, she wanted lots of things, and it worked out nicely for us both. Her hobby was break away calf roping and riding, so I made her some fancy shirts to rope in. That resulted in some other custom sewing work; fancy cowboy shirts for several other riders, which was also a help financially. I sewed or knitted most of my Christmas gifts that year too. I recall some adorable turquoise spandex tights for my 3 little nieces, with matching sweat tops with a first initial on the front appliqued in hot pink rayon cord. The spandex was a big hit with the girls & I made them new ones every year for a long time afterward. I sewed more that year, without a regular job, than I ever had before, or ever did again. There are pictures of some of these items somewhere, I'll have to see if I can find them and scan them for upload.

Re: Sewing Perfect Matchpoints on Intersecting Seams

If the glue stick says it's washable,it's water based. The majority of the glue sticks I see around now appear to be washable, so there isn't any need to get the special fabric ones. Almost any one will work. Great for sticking down tricky bits, fast & easy. Don't know what I'd do without them.

Re: Cut-on Gusset

To fwren. you asked about pant gussets. I found some information online. In particular, there was mention of an article in Threads # 27 about putting in pant gussets.

There is a web page with a written article, no pictures, on how to make women's workout pants with a gusset..I hope the link comes through in this post..

If the links don't post, email,, I'll send them to you.

There are a number of sites about making period or re-enactor's clothing with pant gussets,most based on square cut styles,not likely of use to you.

Also found a page at fashion fabricator,,
which demonstrates making and placing a gusset, though not a very fitted one. It would give you an idea how to do it.

In addtion, I have some riding breeches, quite old, that have a gusset in them. The gusset is a simple but asymetrical diamond shaped piece of fabric that has been sewn into the crotch, with the longer diamond 'point' to the rear, and the shorter 'point' to the front. It's about 2 1/2 - 3 inches wide in the middle. You could probably draft one fairly easily by tracing the pattern lines of the legs/crotch and using them to help draw a diamond shape that would fit the curves of the pattern properly. I'd make up a tester first, before cutting something more expensive. Wish I could do a drawing to post, but I have no idea how to do that. Hope this helps.

Re: Entering the world of sewing

I sure do recall my first sewing project, in grade 7 home ec. We all had to make an apron, and the teacher had precut lengths of fabric for us. This came after practicing on printed paper with the machine, to learn to sew straight and curved lines evenly. When the fabrics were distributed for the aprons, there was very little choice in colours,so I got stuck with a hideous pink print I just hated. Never did like pink very much..It was a fairly simple project, but we had to do it all perfectly. Gathering across the waist had to be perfectly even,then the waistband and ties had to be just so and edge stitched evenly. Next we had to sew on a pocket and edge stitch that and finally, hand hem it. I didn't much care for the hand hemming part either. It seemed overly tedious for such a mundane item and I didn't see any reason why we couldn't just use the machine to stitch it down, but I soon learned the teacher did not share my views :-). I finished it, because there was really no other option and promptly gave it to my grandmother as a gift, because I couldn't stand to wear it myself. Of course I never told her that :-), and she was tickled with it. My grandmother was a very skilled dressmaker, tailor, milliner and did lovely knitting and crochet too. She made so many lovely things for my sister and I, including new hats for Easter every year. As for me, I didn't sew again until I was well along in high school, when I discovered I could sew a blouse for far less than buying ready made. Unfortunately, I was terrified of snipping into the curves, for the collar and armholes,certain they'd just go to pieces. And I was sure that if I trimmed a seam as closely as the pattern said to, it would ravel to nothing the first time I washed it, so I never trimmed any seams either. Needless to say I had a dreadful time doing collars and sewing in efforts looked dreadfully 'homemade' at first. I think I still have one of those blouses tucked away somewhere that I never did finish because I made such a mess of it. But eventually I learned that snipping into a curve did not mean it would automatically fall to shreds... and that trimming the seams made it so much easier, and didn't fall apart in the wash, so I eventually became reasonably skilled at making clothes. But I'll never forget the pink apron !