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Hello from a new member

designdiva | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello to all of you.  I am a Texas gal and thought it was about time to learn something new and I can tell that this discussion group will provide that for me.  I have been designing clothing since I was a girl and making my own doll clothes.  That does date me doesn’t it?  I am advanced in my age and sewing skills but never too old to learn something new!  Looking forward to hearing from other people who sew.


  1. Angels | | #1

    Hello - I used to make my doll clothes as well.   I look at that as indicating that we were highly creative and resourceful as children!  I live in Long Island and sew, knit and crochet, but not as much as I would like (very little spare time).   This website is an outlet as I have found it hard to meet people with similiar interests, also people are very good about trying to help out other sewers with suggestions.   Best regards.  Marie

    1. designdiva | | #2

      Hi Marie.  Thank you for your post.  I think that being creative begins at a very early age and we should encourage that ceativity in any young people who come into our lives.  If I actually executed every creative idea that came into my head, I'd be famous!  I don't know about you but I'm a dreamer and those ideas that I dream up keep me very happy.  I am looking forward to sharing sewing ideas and learning some new tricks here.

      1. user-172042 | | #6

        I feel the very same way. If I can just dream of what I would like to sew, it keeps me from being bored when I can't. I go to the fabric store on my lunch break and just look and dream. I sit at a desk all day and when I am not busy, I get bored. I like to keep my mind occupied with creative ideas. It is neat to know that you do the same.

        1. designdiva | | #7

          Thanks for your message!  Do you really have a Trans Am?  Lucky you.  I truly feel that to keep one's mind sharp one should continue to learn new things and to try new things.  I definitely would encourage you to sketch some of your ideas or if you feel you cannot draw, then write them out in a journal.  Months later those ideas could be just the inspiration you need.  I keep a notebok of color combinations that I see in fashion mags or boutiqies.  This has been a huge aid in giving projects that extra zip.  Keep on dreaming!

          1. user-172042 | | #8

            Yes, I have a 1998 Trans Am and I used to have a 1980. The one I have now is showing it's age, though. I new I would remember this name, so I use it on the internet.
            I do like to draw. That is a great idea about a sketch journal.

          2. AmberE | | #9

            My best friend in high school had  a 1978 Trans Am---that was heaven driving to school in that car!

          3. user-172042 | | #10

            I'll bet you both looked pretty hot riding in a TA in high school. I had to wait till I could buy one. I was about 23 at the time I bought my '80 model. They are a lot of fun.

  2. AmberE | | #3

    Hi: I m the editor at Threads and just want to welcome you to Gatherings!

    1. designdiva | | #4

      Hi Amber E.  Thank you for the welcome.  I have been a subscriber to Threads since 1991 and have saved every issue.  I love Threads and always find something informative and inspirational in each issue.  Occasionally on a cold rainy day I will get out some back issues and peruse them and am inspired again.  I especially enjoy hints from readers.  Keep up your good work!

      1. AmberE | | #5

        Thank you! I hope we can continue to inspire you well into the future.....:-)

  3. Alicia | | #11

    Hello designdiva:

    What a great name.  I am new too. I am in my 70s and still going strong.  Sounds like you are too.  I have been sewing since I was around 13 and loved sewing for my children and dresses for the granddaughters(who are now grown).  I have stared sewing for myself after 4 years of sewing other projects.  My problem now is fitting,especially my bodice.  A few inches here and there.... and a few relaxed muscles... I have asked if anyone knows of a company who will produce a sloper from my measurements.  I know vogue has the one where you make the complete skin tight dress.   But there is a better sloper that you can lay across your paper patterns. I will look forward to chatting with you.  God Bless.




    1. designdiva | | #12

      Hi Alicia.  I like your name also.  It's pretty.  It's nice to hear from someone in my age bracket *smile*.  Although, I have appreciated all of the messages I've received here.  As for the fitting problem -- I have a book titled "Making Patterns From Finished Garments".  (I think that is the title).  And it has been a huge help in making clothes for myself.  I made a sloper once and it was helpful but there is nothing like copying something that really fits you well.  If you are interested in finding this book I will give you all the details on it.  I only sew for myself with really special fabrics, otherwise, I purchase ready-made garments.  Let me hear from you and what you are currently making.  Fall is approaching and I am getting in the mood to make something that will be a transition from summe to cooler weather.  I live in Texas and it will be very warm until October so lighweight clothing is a special consideration.  I look forward to hearing from you!  Take care.

      1. Alicia | | #21

        Hello designdiva:

        Thank you for replying to my email.  The book sounds great. I would appreciate the name.  I have tried sewing pants from a pair I felt were a good fit.  I must have got the grain off line, luckily I didn't use good fabric to try it out.  The book would probably give me some tips that would help me with that.  As I said, I have just started sewing for myself again.  I have started a sleeveless dress with Jacket.  I have some lovely Italian cotton.  By the time I get it cut out it will be fall.....  Just a bit nervous.  You sound like you have become an expert on "sewing with clothes that fit".  Do you unpick all the seams etc.?  Thanks for your reply.  I live in Duncan on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.  Bye for now. 


        1. designdiva | | #22

          Ohhhhh...I am no expert at sewing with clothes that fit!  I just hold my breath and hope the garment turns out okay.  Here is the title of the book --  Patterns From Finished Clothes -- by Tracy Doyle -- ISBN 0-4874-4.  The best thing about the information in this book is that it teaches you to make your pattern from a favorite garment and you do not take the garment apart.  That has enabled me to make patterns from some expensive jackets and tops and duplicate the style and fit.  Also, my daughter works in a doctor's office and she got me a roll of that paper that they put on the exam tables.  An entire roll will probably last me through numerous patterns.  It is the same weight as the commercial pattern paper.  I just love using it.  Hopefully, you can find a source for this paper.  Good luck with that wonderful Italian fabric!  Have you ever shopped from Sawyer-Brook fabrics on line?  I could just go crazy and order more than I could ever sew.  Check it out -- if not just for the entertainment *smile*.  Please keep in touch!

          1. Alicia | | #24

            Thank you, I will get busy and see if I can order the book.  Just on our way in to Victoria.  Will chat again soon.  Bye for now.


        2. AmberE | | #27

          Hi Alicia: Just wanted to extend my welcome to Gatherings. I'm the editor at Threads and am alway excited to have new members. We have a big audience in Canada and am glad to hear of yet another. Vancouver Island is such a beautiful place to live---I could imagine sewing happily there!



          Amber Eden

          1. Alicia | | #28

            Thank you for your welcome.  We have just returned from a short holiday, so I will have to get busy with my replys.  I agree with you,,, we are truly blessed to live on this beautiful island....

          2. AmberE | | #29

            Looking forward to more of your posts... :-)

    2. mygaley | | #14

      I sew and alter rtw for my 84 yo cousin, who is my neighbor.  Her  alterations are rounded back, ever-more concave chest, long back waist, and skirt hems have to be adjusted to go over that rounded back part that extends from her shoulders.  Also, while her hips and abdomen are not large, they are not the same size as her bodice front.

      I learned from this forum that it was not her sleeve caps that needed adjusting so much as removing excess fabric vertically from armscye to armscye. On an unlined jacked with a lapel, this can often be accomplished by taking a curved tuck under the lapel, beginning at the lapel bottom (this is not supposed to show) and tapering to nothing at the shoulder seam, still under the collar.  This is kind of disjointed, but maybe it helps.  God bless you as you sew  Mygaley


      1. Alicia | | #16


        Thank you very much for replying.  My body is still in fairly good shape for my age (73).  My difficulty is in fitting my torso.  I have finished a muslin out of a dress pattern I want to make and I am now pleased with the fit, however it does not have sleeves and i am at the stage where I feel uncomfortable without.  I will try fitting the muslin to another pattern and see how I make out.  I have not had a  problem fitting my skirt pattern.  I made a sloper many years ago and it was just great.  I will just have to take the time to make a new one. 

        How kind you are to sew for your Aunt, I am sure she appreciates it.  I used to love to sew for my  daughter and granddaughters, and still love to sew dresses for little girls.  Since retirement I don't seem to have the same amount of time.   I have become involved in volunteering and then again with our church.  Time just flies. 

        Hope to hear from you again.

  4. isew4kidz | | #13

    I too, am in Texas. So howdy neighbor, and welcome to the forum. I love to sew, and have lots of ideas myself.


  5. kayrosie | | #15

    Hi there from Iowa.  I am an avid sewer from crafts to children's clothes.  I have 4 grandchildren and sew for them all. Boys included because if I didn't they would be mad at me.  They expect something just like the girls when I sew.  I have two daughters and a son.  My son is getting married in March, 2007 and I am making 9 dresses.  Two flower girls, two junior bridesmaid, and 5 bridesmaid.  I am beginning to panic but I will have help.  My daughter, the youngest can sew so she will be helping.  I am excited and aready to get started.  I am looking forward to it. 

    I am sure I will be coming back to the "Garthering" to get help. 
    Just wanted to say welcome to all the sewers.


    1. designdiva | | #17

      Hello there in Iowa.  Thanks for the welcoming message.  Goodness, you sound busy!  I think I would be having heart palpitations by now if I was in your shoes.  I only have one granddaughter, age 15, and she would not want me to sew for her.  I made her christening gown when she was a baby and that's been it.  I have two daughters and made all of their maternity outfits.  As for sewing for myself, I just got back into it this summer.  Previously, I have been busy making wearable art jackets and vests.  Those were creative and lots of fun but I have a lot of yardage that has been speaking to me to be made into garmets.  I am a fabric collector -- which I think most of us who sew are.  Keep a cool head and you'll get all of that sewing done in due time.  Good luck!

      1. kayrosie | | #19

        Sounds like you are busy too.  What kind of wearable art jackets and vests do you make.  My sister and I to quilted jackets for children and they are alot of fun to do.  Needless to say it has been fun to do them but not very profitable.  My granddaughters can only wear so many.  We are lucky a store in Michigan on the lake picked up four of them to see if they could sell them in a consignment store.  Hopefully. Thanks again for all your support.


        1. designdiva | | #23

          Hello.  I make my wearable art jackets by starting with a foundation of flannel that has been cut out from a jacket pattern.  Then I usually start with the back of the jacket with a piece of fabric that sets the theme -- I love anything Asian in design and use a lot of fabric with cranes on it.  From there I lay on other fabrics to compliment and frame the initial fabric.  Most of the designing is done on the spot and not thought out in advance, which is fun for me.  Once I get going I am a designing fool and really inspired.  I use a lot of small pieces of glitzy fabric and braid and other trims.  When I am finished with the piecing on to the foundation then I quilt it in a variety of glitzy threads.  Finally, I sew on beads wherever I think some should go.  My motto in making the jackets is that "too much is not enough", *smile*.  I sell my jackets as fast as I can make them.  Alas, I have to be in the mood and cannot just flip them out assemply line fashion.  Thanks for your message.  I hope I have answered your question.  By the way -- my initial inspiration for my first jacket came from Nancy Shriber.  She has a web site and you might want to check out her designs.  She has also been featured in Threads Magazine.

          1. kayrosie | | #25

            Hi, That sounds like so much fun. I might have to try that. I wish I could see some of work.  It sounds facinating.   Thanks again,.


    2. User avater
      Becky-book | | #18

      Best wishes to the Bride and Groom!

      One piece of advice to you: remember how children can "sprout" when you least expect it, so make the children's dresses last.

      For my third daughter's wedding I re-made my gown for her, 4 flower girls, 4 bridesmaids, matron of honor (who just had baby) and my own dress and jacket. And I still have my sanity ..... You can do it!


      1. kayrosie | | #20

        Well it can be done then.  I am so glad somebody else has tackled the sewing of bridesmaid dresses.  I will maybe be chatting with you later to keep my sanity.  Yes I know to make the kids dresses last.  Going to do a muslin mock of them to see how they are going to be.  thanks for your advise though.

    3. AmberE | | #26

      And hello from the Threads editor!

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