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Louise Cutting Answers Your Questions


Welcome to Threads Expert Chat with contributing editor, sewing instructor, and pattern designer Louise Cutting. Please leave your sewing questions in the comments section and Louise will reply accordingly.


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  1. User avater
    user-137240 | | #1

    I can't wait to chat with you shortly.

  2. bethsews2 | | #2

    Can you describe your pattern design process?

  3. User avater
    user-137240 | | #3

    I do a logt of snoop shopping and have a rather large file. Trouble is, I see something and want to design the latest things I have seen. Becasue of travel and moeny about $10,000 to bring a pattern out, I am only able to get about 4-5 patterns out a year.

  4. bethsews2 | | #4

    How do you manage to teach, travel to events, snoop shop AND sew?

  5. User avater
    user-137240 | | #5

    I try to design tops, bottoms, skirts, pants, jackets that will all go together so you all can continue to build a great working collection. then I start to change the basic designs and let people know that there is something new that can be done with a pattern.

    Many women hae posted pictures of their outfits on my flickr page.

  6. vic2025 | | #6

    Do you have a preference when it comes to interfacings. I'm not at all satisfied with fusibles. They come apart after several washings. I just loved your piece on the perfect collar in the last Threads issue. Thank you

  7. User avater
    user-137240 | | #7

    Sometimes I wonder, but it is what I love to do, with my store closing 10 years ago becasue of the 3 hurricanes we had in Central FL, I 'beefed' up the rest of what I do.

  8. bethsews2 | | #8

    Do you ever get in a slump, or a creative block? If so, how do you get out of it?

  9. User avater
    user-137240 | | #9

    The fusibles I carry have been hand selected...most are from Europe used by the designers and are 60" wide and one is from Japan. Make sure you have the 4 things that are important. Heat, Moisture, Pressure, and time (10seconds in every sopt)...preshrink your interfacings.

  10. Celestia14 | | #10

    I'm fitting the My Swing Set pants. How do you handle excess fabric at the upper CB? I have added a dart on each side, do I add 2 additional darts to reduce the extra fabric? I do have a sway back, but I don't have horizontal lines, just too much fabric at upper CB seam. Thanks.

  11. User avater
    user-137240 | | #11

    I was just planning on 3 tops for the next pattern...and I just couldn't get started...it was put away and I started something else...no use beating your self up about it...move on to something you will enjoy. I'll go back to the 3 tops, maybe next spring.

  12. User avater
    user-137240 | | #12

    You might add 2 more darts...but be careful, to make sure you can still get them up and down over your hips. Also, you could pinch the center back seam slightly so it is more off grain to remove some of the excess.

  13. Barbara_J | | #13

    I did a top and an FBA (my first time) for my friend and that resulted in the neckline gaping. Her bust size: 41", high bust: 39", cup size: F / DDDD.

    I'm now thinking if I should have done an FBA to begin with since the difference between the bust and
    high bust is only 2" which corresponds to a B cup. Also I did reduce her waist at the side seams by 4" in total. Could that be the cause of the gaping?

    The pattern is New Look 6356 and I chose the size according to her high bust.

  14. User avater
    user-137240 | | #14

    I just finished teaching at The Raleigh Expo and was helping pick fabrics for the new pattern, The Directors Cut. All had a panel of black, but some were bright colors and other tended to be more in the 'fall' color range.

  15. User avater
    MagentaRoseUK | | #15

    Hi Louise, I have been designing fabric on Spoonflower and I am wondering if you could give me any advice please about how to possibly get my own fabric printed in bulk or to get ribbon printed as I would love to develop my own brand of home wares one day. My Spoonflower shop is here: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/magentarose

  16. User avater
    user-137240 | | #16

    I really like to go with full bust measurements and then look at eh finished garment sizes to get a good starting point. Rather than a FBA...she should really have a bust dart.

    The gap at the neckline can be pinched out...I have even moved the center front line to remove the excess fabric.

  17. User avater
    user-137240 | | #17

    I know about spoonflower...I can certainly help you with how to produce a pattern..but doing fabric...you might want to contact some of the fabric houses to see if they would be interested to have you as one of there artists.

    I know many of the fabric companies that deal with quilting cottons have artists that design for them...year after year collections.

  18. rodrigues | | #18

    With so much attention paid to petites, why is there so little information about adapting patterns for those of us who are tall?

  19. Celestia14 | | #19

    How do I address a high neck base on the Pure & Simple pattern. Should I add extra fabric just on back shoulder seam next to the neck or do I add extra to the front and the back? I love the pattern. I always have trouble getting tees to fit because of this issue...the shoulder seam always wants to pull to the back and causes the front neck to pull. Thanks.

  20. User avater
    user-137240 | | #20

    Tall...everyone wants to be you! I do so many of the sewing expos around the country and must see over 100,000 women a year walking by or coming in to the booth...so many of them are about 5/4"...you are a rare breed!

    there is a new article in the current issue of threads about grading...this might help you with areas that need to be expanded...you don't have to do both width and height, but you will see that the expansion is done in several locations on the pattern, not just one...this helps evenly distribute the length needed.

  21. rodrigues | | #21

    Thanks! I've just read the article and it is helpful. I am making a princess seamed blouse and have to drop the bust point, just one of the many changes I have to think through. It would be nice to have a guide.

  22. User avater
    user-137240 | | #22

    I think you have a forward shoulder. You can cut off 5/8" from the front seam allowance along the shoulder line from the neck to the end of the cap sleeve. it would be easier to add tissue to the back shoulder line and redraw the shoulder line adding 5/8". this way the curve of the shoulder line will now find the shoulder ball and have a place to rest.

    this happens with lots of garments that tend to ride back. the forward shoulder is the problem.

  23. User avater
    MagentaRoseUK | | #23

    Thankyou so much for your help Louise. Perhaps I should approach the fabric houses direct to see if any of them would like me to work for them. That would be a very good start!

    Even though I do dream of having my own brand one day, practically speaking I would be most happy to work for someone else. If only I knew who to approach that might like my style...

  24. User avater
    user-137240 | | #24

    Go to a good quilt store and look at the manufacturers on the bolt ends and copy down all the info you can find...then do a google search. There are tons of companies out there. Look for designs that appeal to you...that way they might be more interested you your designs.

  25. User avater
    user-137240 | | #25

    I hope some of you are planning on attending the ASG conference later this month in St Louis. I just received some beautiful glazed linen today and expecting more Japanese cottons hopefully next week. I will be in Fredericksburg and Ft Worth later in Oct.

  26. User avater
    MagentaRoseUK | | #26

    Louise, thankyou so much for your excellent advice! If you had not suggested that, I wouldnt have thought of it.

    I have produced two "cheat" patchwork designs http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/3279924 and http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/3280244 which I designed to give confidence to beginner quilters. Here in the UK patchwork quilting seems to be taking off and I'm going to take your advice and go to he fabric shops to take notes.

    Thankyou again Louise, I really appreciate you taking time to advise me.

  27. Celestia14 | | #27

    Where can I find directions for installing an invisible zipper in a dress that will be lined? Do you have any special tips that might help? Thanks again for all you do.

  28. rodrigues | | #28

    Who do you design your patterns for? A specific type of woman? Yourself?

  29. User avater
    user-137240 | | #29

    At the moment I am working on an article about matching stripes. Today...all day was do the samples...it was all in pattern tissue and even and uneve stripe fabrics...it went off to Threads along with about 5 garments. Most of the info was hoe to match a stripe over the shoulder...and they said it couldn't be done!

    I have finished the plaid article...part 2 of stripes and plaids that will be in Threads next year. I'll start ont eh samples later this month.

  30. User avater
    user-137240 | | #30

    In the DVD's that I just finished I did show hoe to do an invisible zipper and dealing with the nexk facing...sorry don't know if it on 6 or 7...and 8 won't be available till next Jan. I do have on my website what is on each DVD.

    As for lining...I would be inclined to do it the old fashioned way...turn the seam allowance of the lining and hand stitch it to the zipper tape along both sides.

    I have never seen a way to do it by machine. You might go to a really high end boutique and peek inside...that is how I get many of my techniques.

    When people ask what I teach...I usually say I teach the 'guts' of the garment...what makes it go together and not have the 'home made look' it is all about the inside

  31. Celestia14 | | #31

    Thanks Louise. I will look into the DVD's.

  32. User avater
    user-137240 | | #32

    Designing patterns...I don't use myslef as a figure type...I've been so many sizes...and I know that many say to look at the designer to see what she looks like to get an idea as to what shape the patterns look like...I have taught design for so many years and fashion merchandising to college students...I would tell them on the first day, if I ever hear you say you like simething, you will fail my class...it isn't about you. It is about your customers.

    I see so many ladies of similar age comeing to the shows and what them to have an alternitive to T-shirts and mom jeans.

    My designs are just nice looking sportswear. I look to Eilene Fisher, Eskandar (high end), Shirin guild, Oska, Blanque, Bryn Walker, and right now J Jill...which is starting to look like fisher at a better price point.

  33. vic2025 | | #33

    My sister and I made your "one seam Pants" this weekend. It's a brilliant pattern, and so adorable. We had fun making it. Thank you.

  34. User avater
    ThreadsMagazine | | #34

    @Celestia14: Louise shows you how to install an invisible zipper in her just released video, Industry Insider Techniques, Vol. 7. You can learn about this video and purchase a copy here: http://bit.ly/IIT-Vol7-DVD

  35. User avater
    user-137240 | | #35

    Thanks threads...big sister is watching!!!

    Glad you like the one Seams...I just completed a DVD in conjunction with Threads that will be out in August...Yeah!

    69,000 One Seam patterns have been sold so far.

  36. User avater
    user-137240 | | #36

    I'm goad you all were able to join me tonight...I will be back next month for more chat time.

    till later, Louise

  37. User avater
    ThreadsMagazine | | #37

    Thank you all for participating in tonight's Expert Chat, and thank you Louise for all of your great advice!

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