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Profile for whoneedlesthis - Threads


Courtenay, BC, CA

I am a 60 year old, married grandmother, and have been sewing all of my life. I have a small custom sewing business named Sew What?, my husband just retired after 34 years in the Air Force, and we both work at home now.

craft interests: embroidery, fashion, quilting, sewing, smocking

Member Since: 05/17/2009

recent comments

Re: The Detroit Cuff

Thank you so much for the article on sewing with the scuba knits, now I know how to sew the fabric, I can start on the Vogue pattern I got at the Sewing Expo in Puyallup, and the scuba fabric I was able to snag locally.
And the great article on the Detroit cuff a la the Carrhart jacket!!
Now, if you could just let us know how to get hold of some of their awesome canvas, that would be perfect.

Re: 16 Smart Sewing Tips from Professor King

Thanks to Mr. King for these tips, it is encouraging to me to see that I already use some of them, like the chalks and adding machine tape. And I will now invest in a bolt of "muslin", which I have hitherto avoided as too costly, my local fabric store is having a half-price sale this weekend!!

Re: Video: Adjusting a Sleeve for a Forward Shoulder

After Louise has showed you how to draw a new grainline on your altered sleeve cap, she is pointing to where you draw the new notch for the shoulder seam.
As usual Louise, brilliant, can't wait to try it out!

Re: Start to Finish, an Embroidered Fortuny Frock Coat

Kenneth, what an awesome coat, I adore it, and I am not surprised it took forty hours to embroider, even with a multi-needle machine.
Now I will have to start digging out patterns to modify, and sort through my embroidery designs, of which I now have hundreds, to make one of my own!!
Thank you for another inspired project, and an idea of what to do with my Italian raggedy denim!!

Re: Layer Your Way to Pattern Adjustment Success

Joyce, I loved that idea, but could you please tell us exactly the name of the paper you used, Dick Blick has so many products it's hard to find that specific one,
thank you

Re: The Construction of Bras

Some may have other names of bra makers they like, but I can highly recommend Beverly Johnson at!
Her book is the best, and the service for bra materials and kits is second to none. You always purchase underwires separately from the kit, but just download the wire chart and put one that fits you on it to find the right size.
She recently started doing Etsy classes online if you need face to face help.

Re: Add Stylish Details to a Shirt

Kenneth, that is a great article on "surgeons cuffs", (I did know the origin of the word already),and I have a question. How does your method improve on the "extra length and width, mitered hem fold, traditional cuff?
Just wondered, as shortening men's jacket sleeves is the bane of my existence as a tailoring specialist, trying to get everything lined back up again.
Thanks for all the great articles in Threads, one more reason my subscription always gets renewed!

Re: A Fix for a Baggy Seat

Many moons ago, pants patterns had a notch on the back and front pattern piece just above the knee, and again just below the crotch seam. The pattern instructions would say to slightly stretch the back leg piece between the notches to fit the front leg. I was told that it was because the leg front muscle was often fuller than the leg back muscle above the knee, and believed that until now!!
Since when did pattern makers stop using this technique, along with the one for a nice high arm scye to fit the body better by putting a sharper curve at the front armscye to fit the curve of the arm there?
Just wondering.

Re: Enter Threads Storage Solution Giveaway Sponsored by

As sewing is my business, my hobby and the artistic outlet everyone needs, I would be using this unit to start a collection of other units to house my growing collection of fabrics, notions, supplies, patterns, books and machines. It would make life so much easier to have it all organized and in one place, instead of spread over two complete rooms, and in ordinary cupboards that are not see-through! Out of sight is out of mind!!
I really need to get organized!!

Re: A Visit With a Savile Row Tailor

I am sorry that others thought the article was useless for not containing the precise information on how the tailors actually do match the plaids, but it was, after all, a visit with a tailor, not a lesson from a tailor. If every plaid was the same and every garment the same, then perhaps a definite method for matching would make sense.
I was always taught that one uses the armscye notches as the horizontal match points so that mainlines of a plaid will match across the body of the jacket and the lower sleeves, and when matching the plaid, one folds the cut piece on the seamline and holds it to the next piece's seamline, then pins or thread bastes the pieces at the seamline, not the cut edges.
Forgive me, Claire, if I have revealed any tailor's secrets.
I enjoyed the information presented, especially that when the new owners started cutting corners, several employees left and started their own business!!!!

Re: Clean-Finish a Curved Shirttail Hem

Louise, just echoing the previous comments, absolutely wonderful technique, as usual. I had wondered if the basting stitch would be necessary after serging the edge, but now I see that that simple line of basting is what is making the difference between professional looking, and loving hands at home!!
Now my husband wants to know why the narrow hemmed edges curl up after laundering the shirt? I don't know, unless it is something to do with the cross grain of the fabric. If it is, would cutting the pieces on the opposite grain be helpful?? Just wondering.

Re: Oliso Pro Smart Iron Contest - Official Rules

My best pressing tip was aquired when I ran my sewing business in a dry cleaners establishment.
Having the work turn out looking like a professionally pressed piece requires removing the steam as quickly as possible.
Since we don't all have access to a cleaners "buck" I have found that a real wool blanket on my ironing board is a big help in letting the steam dry quickly through the mesh of the board. That, and don't be in a rush to move the piece too quickly!
I do custom sewing for clients, including making anything that can be made with fabric, as well as alterations to RTW so that it will fit perfectly.
The lovely Oliso iron will be an invaluable aid in producing the "professional" look that is so desirable, and with no worries about spitting spots onto a customers wedding or formal gown!!

Re: Video: How to Sew a Nonstretch Waistband

Great tip, now I know how to fix a pair of stretch twill jeans that keep falling down, despite my best efforts re: adding elastic!
Although, I think we should point out to the producers that t
the product Angela uses is 'twill tape', not 'tulle tape'!

Re: How to Sew Inseams

Louise, thanks again for such a wonderful explanation of "why" and "how".
I knew from my older (1970's) patterns that there was a discrepancy in length of back leg seam between knee and crotch, but had forgotten exactly where and what it was.
As always, you have made my sewing more easy and professional looking, important for my clients as well as myself!

Re: How to Interface Jackets: Lessons from an Yves Saint Laurent Garment

usetobeahippie writes that she has been unable to get the sleeve header to look right, so try this way---cut your header fabric as long as the top of the armscye, and about three inches wide, on the bias. Turn your completed sleeve inside out, and place the right side of the fabric face down on the machine bed.
Starting at the front edge, and just above the matching notch, lay the header material down on the seamline, with the widest part towards the hem of the sleeve.
Holding the header firmly, stretch as much as you can while you stitch along just outside the seamline, towards the cut edge.
When you get to the back notch, stop stitching, and cut off any excess header. Turn the sleeve right side out, and gently steam over a ham. The header will relax, easing the sleeve and filling in the cap for you!
Experiment with remnants to see just how much you need to stretch the header fabric, it varies with different fabrics.
Good luck.

Re: A Trick for Working with Raw Silk

Kenneth, brilliant as usual, and an explanation of what "thread tracing" is, I have never done it because I just didn't know how!
Now, I have no more excuses for not making up a gorgeous piece of silk tweed gently aging in 'ye stash'.
I have purchased some tailoring supplies from Louise Cutting and am wondering if I really need iron on stay tape for a loosely fitted cardigan type jacket? Or silk organza interfacing?
Please keep up the brilliant work, you and Louise are my sewing heroes!!

Re: How to Dye Silk Organza

I have used both tea and coffee to dye ready made bra straps just to see which colour I liked better. The bra fabric was almost a flesh colour but the straps I had on hand were cream.
I found that black coffee gave me an almost brown result, while tea resulted in a much more pinky shade. Neither of them was a good match for the bra fabric, so I just re-ordered the fabric kit!!
I did accidentally turn a cream silk shirt brown when I spilled tea on it, and without thinking threw it into a sinkfull of hot water and bleach!! Took almost six months of laundering to get it back to cream!

Re: How to Make a Floating Shoulder Pad

Louise, how brilliant of you to come up with this idea. I have sometimes inserted a floating shoulder pad into a blouse with a yoke, but couldn't figure out how to add one to a regular blouse without stitching it to the shoulder seam, which doesn't always work so well.
As usual, you have blown me away with the simplicity of your ideas, and lovely instructions!
Jean, aka, whoneedlesthis

Re: DVD GIVEAWAY: Industry Insider Techniques with Louise Cutting Volumes 1-4

I have always loved Louise's articles in Threads, and when I wrote to her she very graciously replied to me. I can think of no better way to learn to improve my sewing skills than by owning this set from this awesome teacher!!

Re: How to Make a Precision Placket

I used to make my shirt sleeve plackets in two separate pieces, until I was altering sleeves on an expensive RTW shirt and first saw this one!
Once I changed to a one-piece placket, it looked so much more neat and professional.
Thankyou for including a printable pattern piece for us, now all my shirts and blouses will look fabulous!!

Re: A Beautiful Embroidered Beaded Bodice

Kenneth, yet again, you have provided a spectacular piece of work for we mortals to drool over.
If it did come from India, the likelihood is that it was actually worked by a man, as they considered that a womans hands were too clumsy to be entrusted with such delicate work!
Yeah, right! Good job times have moved forward is all I can say.
Now, if I could just get the man in my life to build me a tambour frame, I could get practising with my hook!
Keep on bringing us such lovely pieces, please?

Re: How to Sew a Bias Top

I made this top using Threads #143, and like it a lot. I am trying to figure out how to make it longer, while keeping the easy construction!

Re: MAGAZINE GIVEAWAY: The New June/July Issue of Threads (#161)

I am looking forward to Sewing Destination; London, England.
Being from Britain originally, I look forward always to any and all information about my homeland, especially if it involves fashion or sewing.

Re: Fashion Scarf How-to

Seamster asked what is a weighted hem? It is a narrow rolled hem sewn with two passes at the machine, first you fold under and press a one quarter inch fold of fabric, then topstitch. Now fold it under again and topstitch again. Only one row of stitching shows on the right side, but the extra row of stitching inside the roll adds a tiny bit more weight to the edges and it looks better.
If I am wrong, I hope Louise will comment and correct me!
Thanks again, Louise for a brilliantly easy article on how to copy otherwise too costly acccessories. Long live sewing!

Re: How to Sew a Bound Buttonhole

In response to aliensnextdoor's question about the narrow width of the buttonhole and making the inside look neat, there is a way, you use a square of silk organza to make a 'window' on the facing. Baste mark the buttonhole placement on the facing, centre a square of organza over the basting and stitch a copy of the buttonhole opening, turn over to the wrong side of the fabric, and slit the opening as you did for the buttonhole,cutting through the facing and organza, and pull the organza to the back of the facing fabric.
Press the opening to the exact shape of the buttonhole, now just slipstitch the facing and it's 'window' to the back of the buttonhole welts.
This technique was also in a previous issue of Threads, although I misremember which one!!!

Re: Stress-Free Pleats

Thank you, Louise, for doing it yet again!!! I always love your tips and tutorials, because you are always so easy to follow, and have truly excellent tips.
After I read them, I think, wow, how come I never thought of that!
I hope Threads keeps you around forever!! Or, at least as long as I am able to sew!!
Your number one fan,

Re: Giveaway: SewStylish Spring 2012 Fashion Sewing Guide

I am thinking couture know how, how to trim a neckline would be my most interesting article, whether it means how to correctly trim the seam allowances under the facing, or how to add trim to make a neckline more attractive. I love Claire Shaeffers couture techniques in Threads, and have her book.

Re: Charles James: The Exhibition

Thank you for this enlightening article on how some designers acheived their specific shapes!! I was a little puzzled at first by your references to "flying buttresses", as, in England, these are stone re-inforcements at a buildings' corners in order to strengthen a tall tower, mainly, bell towers on churches. But when I saw the sketches of them, I understood it completely!! That is almost exactly what a flying buttress looks like!
Please continue to give us this kind of detail, as it is available nowhere else, to the best of my knowledge, and enquiring minds want to know!!!

Re: Slot Buttonholes

Louise, you have once again inspired me to try something different. You are a genius!! The seams for the slot buttonholes could be made by rotating the bustline darts to the centre front, or by attaching a pieced section, turned on the bias, at the centre front of the garment with the buttonholes in the piecing seams, or?????
I love your articles because not only do you explain clearly, you inspire me to experiment, and think outside the box, or in this case, the pattern envelope!!!!
Please continue to be a Threads contributor. Threads editors, if you lose Louise Cutting, you may make me rethink my subscription!!!!

Re: Free Patterns for Three Apron Styles

I totally agree with love2costume, I have never felt put down for wearing an apron, I even have a waterproof one to keep me dry while I wash dishes!!
These two lovely patterns will be great additions to my apron wardrobe, especially as they can be cut on a single yard of fabric!!
Also, great inspiration for teaching kids to sew!!!

Re: DVD GIVEAWAY: Threads Magazine Archive, 1985-2011

I would love to have this DVD, as it would making searching my almost complete hard copy collection of Threads magazines so much more easy, not to mention it would complete my collection. And being on a fixed income, I can't possibly afford to buy it, so winning it would be the only way I could have it!!

Re: Drawstring Placement

Wow, Louise, thanks again for a lovely simple expanation, especially of how to correctly measure yourself for the most attractive placement. I will try this out on my next garment, and see if maybe I can get away with a 'waist'!!
your number one fan,

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: "Couture Sewing Techniques" by Claire B. Shaeffer

I love Claires work, and I would love to learn more about finishing the inside of things, or anything to do with using bias, or fitting issues such as a full bust adjustment to unusual styles. This book would make me one happy little camper!!!

Re: Creating a Back Neck Facing for a Garment

snikwas writes that the facing curve needs to be 3/8" smaller than the neckline curve, I think this will make it too much smaller, 1/8" is usually plenty.
Louise, thanks again for explaining in such a clear manner a relatively simple step so that newcomers to the sewing world can make a better job of what they are making. I love your tips and tricks, and it is so generous of you to share so freely what has taken you many years to learn.
When I do this with a back facing, I also like to extend the fold-back part of the the front, cut on facing to the end of the shoulder seam. It just gives the whole front extra stability, and a neater finish with no facings flipping out. It is not always necessary to interface with a bigger facing either.

Re: Project Runway 9: "All About Nina"

I have been reading the comments regarding Anya's supposed talents and learning speed with some disbelief! The main reason I have refused to watch any of the so-called "reality" tv shows is very simple--every single episode is scripted, not real at all. My disbelief is that anyone could possibly think these shows are "real"!
The only tv show that actually is real is America's Funniest Home Videos!!
C'mon people, wake up!!!

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: "Underwear Fashion in Detail"

I have definitely seen changes in my own lifetime, from the de riguer bullet bras and girdles with stockings of my teen years, to the panty hose and softer bras of today's looks, and the current trend to let the bra straps hang out with everything one wears.
We have, indeed, come a long way from the simple, underbreast, linen band used by Greek matrons in the Golden Age of Greece, to the fashions of current years!!
I would love to have this book, as I adore all things sewing, including making my own bras, and I love to read! It would make a super addition to my bookshelf.
Jean Morgan, aka whoneedlesthis

Re: Color Coordination

As a seamstress of many years experience, and a 'rugged individualist', I don't pay attention to 'the colour forecasts'. I know only too well which colours flatter me, and stick pretty much with them.
Other peoples ideas of what is 'in' have never been much of an influence on me. That being said, if one of the in colours happens to already be in my 'palette', I will use it!
I guess I am one of those throwbacks who refuse to follow trends, and was always out of step with the times at school!
Vive la difference!!

Re: Narrow Back Adjustment

Louise, once again, you have just blown me away with the absolute genius and simplicity of your technique and instructions!! A full bust adjustment in reverse, for a small shoulder area, that is just brilliant. Most techniques would have ended up altering the entire back width, not good for those with hips to consider, but this technique moves only the shoulder blade fullness!
Is there any wonder you are my favourite technique author!
Jean Morgan

Re: MAGAZINE GIVEAWAY: "Designer Techniques"

I have always loved Oscar de la Renta, his styles are so feminine, and even though I don't often wear dress up clothes, his are just so classic.
I would love to have the updated version of Designer Techniques in my library of sewing books.

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

I have so far, only draped one garment and would dearly love to learn far more, so that the grads who come to me with their custom ideas for gowns would be easier to sew for, as well as my own clothing ideas. I live to learn, and this would be awesome!!

Re: 30-Minute Jacket

Thanks for the reminder on this one, Judith. I have used this method to make a sheer shrug for a too-bare wedding dress, by pleating the short ends down to about twelve inches first, you get a soft drape to your jacket.
Keep up the wonderful work on Threads, I love it!!
Jean Morgan

Re: Book Giveaway: "Horrockses Fashions: Off-the-Peg Style in the '40s and '50s"

I would dearly love to have this book, we emigrated from my homeland when I was too young to truly appreciate the fashion.
Nowadays as a professional seamstress, I can't get enough, and I am so proud to call myself "English". I am proud of the quality of English workmanship, and the classic styles that did not require an entire wardrobe change every year!!
Jean Morgan, expatriate Briton

Re: Vote for the Winner of the Inspired by Threads Contest

I absolutely loved the candlewick and roses shirt by Elfstone, it is such a subtle, yet lovely decoration on that shirt front. It has inspired me to try a similar technique on my next one!!
Jean M.

Re: The Bullfighter's Jacket

Kenneth, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful work of art with us. It is interesting that the jacket sleeves are attached only at the sleeve cap area. As to the rust, I would not be at all surpised to find there is sheet metal in the fronts, at least, as armour plating for protection from the bull's horns. It is a gorgeous piece of artwork, and worth every penny!

Re: Double Bias Length Extension

Louise, thankyou for once again providing a brilliant solution to a common problem.
I don't understand the posters who think that bias will stretch if it is already stitched to a straight-grain edge, but they will learn in time to trust you.
I am thinking this would also be a way to effectively lengthen sleeves on a purchased garment. By using the bias to join the edges of the garment fabric and the lining fabric, and pressing the bias to the inside, like a false cuff.
Please continue to share your genius with us!!
Jean Morgan

Re: How to Make Stripe Insertions

I loved this technique, if I topstitched the stripe pieces onto the main body, they looked like afterthought add-ons! This way looks far more integrated. And I wouldn't have thought to add embroidered stripes to the inside collar stand.
What great ideas to incorporate into future projects!
Please continue with these inspired ideas, for those of us who have gone past basics, and need some new inspiration after some forty-odd years at the old machines!!!