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Kayla Kennington’s jacket design

MsMouse | Posted in General Discussion on

Kayla Kennington, of Threads, was a recent guest on DIYs Sew Much More with Susan Khalje.  She demonstrated a number of unusual seaming techniques (e.g. connecting seams with bar tacks).  The jacket and vest she demonstrated were her own design.  Did I miss an article on this is Threads?  If so, which issue?  If not, does where can Ms. Kennington’s designs be found?  Does she have her own website?

Thank you for any information you can provide.

Marilyn in MD




  1. sueb | | #1

    diynet.com always posts additional info and resources on their shows.  Here's the info from the Kayla show.  If you go to diynet.com and look up the show for that day she was on you'll find the instructions for the vest that she made that day.

    Kayla Ink.
    Kayla Ink.
    West Linn , OR 97068
    Phone: 503-722-5152
    Fax: 503-656-0996
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: http://www.kaylakennington.com

    1. MsMouse | | #3

      Dear Sue and Carol,

      Thank you for your responses.  I didn't look at the diy site because when Sew Much More and Sandra Betzina were on HGTV, the info posted never included instruction details.  I'll also look at Kayla's site.  And Carlo, now I'll go back and look up the article in Nol 98. You've both been so helpful.

      Marilyn in MD

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    Issue 98 (Dec 2001/Jan 2002) includes an article by Kayla called "Seams in the Spotlight, which describes her signature seaming techniques. Coincidentally, I'm wearing "my" Kayla Kennington Cross Over Top, today, which has serger rolled hems around each section; I then abutted the sections and stitched them together with a 3-step zig-zag. It was quick and easy to sew, and I always get compliments on it when I wear it.


    1. SewNancy | | #4

      I went to the link for Kayla and saw the crossover top which I liked, but I am a D cup and always shy away from tops like this because of fitting problems.  Adding darts would destroy the line.  I bought a vest from Sewing workshop and then couldn't figure out how to make it fit !  Any suggestions ?


      1. carolfresia | | #5

        Hi, Nancy,

        Does Kayla list a contact email address on her website? If so, email your question to her. She's made this top and many like it for people of all shapes and sizes, and I'm pretty sure she can give you some advice for fitting it. The ties make this one nicely adjustable, and you want to be sure to use a softly draping fabric, but see what she has to say.


        1. SewNancy | | #6

          Thanks.  Iwill send her an e-mail.  Out of curiosity, is monitoring this site and answering e mail part of your job description?


          1. carolfresia | | #7

            It is now! I always keep an eye on the discussion board, and sometimes post, but for this period of 9 weeks (Mar 1 through May 1), we're doing the "Talk with us" polls and discussions aimed at giving readers the opportunity to tell us what they like/want more of in the magazine, so I'm on somewhat more than usual. I love hearing what you all think about Threads, what you like to sew, how you manage to fit sewing and fiberarts into your lives (since most of us lead pretty busy lives), and just finding out who's out there sewing. I really don't know that many people who sew locally (aside, of course, from the Threads staff), and I suspect that's true for many people these days. I think online communities make sewing a whole lot more fun.


          2. SewNancy | | #9

            As I have said before, I don't know anyone who really sews seriously either and the responses I get to my questions are really appreciated.   The number of responses that I got from my Chanel jacket query was exciting and really helpful.  There is a new Viking dealorship where I purchased my new machine this summer who opened after the old dealer retired and closed.  They sell primarily quilting fabric, what else is new!  But, they are incredibly responsive  and supportive  and a nice place to visit when I buy thread or machine supplies. The atmosphere is much friendlier than the old dealer.  I was introduced to a custom seamstress who was very eager to share knowledge.  A great dealer really makes a difference. 


          3. carolfresia | | #10

            You said it! The dealer makes a huge difference in how satisfying you find working with your new machine.

            I'm pretty spoiled by working here at Threads. It's really a dream come true to come to work every day and know that there are people here who won't think it's weird to talk about fabric and sewing and who will gladly debate the relative merits of sew-in and fusible interfacing, among many other topics that come up. We all have pretty diverse backgrounds, so each of us has his or her own area of expertise, and we're always learning from each other.

            And then there are the authors we get to work with...I could go on, but I have to get ready for a meeting!


          4. KarenW | | #11

            I had seen Kayla's Crossover top in a couple illustrations that looked fairly different from one another (imo),  but after seeing a couple different people wearing it decided it's definitely one to add to the collection! 

            A couple semi related thoughts this thread brought to mind... is there a place on the Gatherings site where readers can post photos of their creations?  Or would you just add an attachment to a post?  Not that I have a clue about how to get a photo from the camera to the computer, but I have the next best thing, a teenage boy...

            Re: getting to talk sewing w/o others thinking you're odd.... I recently watched an episode of Law & Order (I'm hooked... I tape the reruns and it's what I watch while I sew...) and a witness and the detectives were walking along F.I.T.'s building in NY and the witness said she and the victim got together and talked about sewing, she (witness) was in fashion school and victim was a seamstress.  Wow - sewing comes to prime time!   And Family Circle magazine is having a contest/sweepstakes and giving away - a sewing machine!  Though I don't follow these magazines, I'm willing to guess this is the first time in many years a major prize in a giveaway like this is a sewing machine outside of a sewing specific magazine.  Maybe sewing's slowly infiltrating the public again???....


          5. carolfresia | | #12

            Karen, I think the Cross-Over Top would be great on you. I wear it either as shown in the sketch, or with the neckband tie extensions wrapped around and tied together in the back--this gives a much more defined waist shape.

            If you go to the "Photo Gallery" section here, you can post photos as attachments to messages. There are a bunch of Creative Machine vests there, and maybe the temari ball discussion is happening there? But in truth, you can attach a photo to any message you post, in any of the discussion folders. Just for fun, let me attach a picture of Kayla in her Cross Over Top (in Batik Butik fabrics).

            Speaking of sewing and popular TV, if you watched last season's "Survivor," you would have seen that one tribe won a sewing machine during a reward challenge--the tribes had been stranded with just the clothes on their backs, so they got the machine (an old treadle style), plus notions and fabrics. No one did much creative with it, but at least it was there! I felt so sorry for the poor thing sitting out on the rainy beach, though.


          6. anneelsberry | | #13

            I must be the only one who finds patterns like this annoying.  For all the time and skill that goes into creating a piece of art clothing, I wish more designers would make patterns that didn't fit like feed sacks.  My body may not be perfect, but frankly, the bigger and looser you make your clothes, the bigger and looser you look.

            What ever happened to the beautifully tailored and embellished clothing you see in vintage items from the 1920s to the 1950s?  Threads often shows beautiful examples of these clothes, but rarely how to create them.

          7. SewNancy | | #16

            I agree! I have D cup and these loose tops and jackets just make me look fat, which I am not.  But all that excess fabric is difficult to wear well.  I need princess seams and or darts for things to fit well. 


          8. KarenW | | #14

            Thanks for the photo posting tips!

            As you've probably gathered, I haven't seen Survivor...ever!  So maybe I'm missing something but how was a sewing machine and all the goodies supposed to help those on the island with nothing but the clothes on their backs?  Or was it a treadle???BTW, I looked at the Family Circle giveaway again, there are actually 4 machines being given away, a Designer 1, a couple Viking Platinums, and another I can't recall.  Good for them!Karen

          9. carolfresia | | #15

            Yes, it was a treadle machine, and I forgot to mention that they also supplied some fabric. What the survivors were doing mostly, though, was cannibalizing their existing clothing, and turning it into other stuff. One woman had on a long sundress; she chopped off the bottom of the skirt and gave it to a guy who then made a sarong out of it, and she had a shorter, easier-to-wear skirt. If anyone had known how to sew for real, there were some interesting opportunities to improve their shelter as well as their wardrove.

            And one fellow jumped overboard in an Armani suit. He continued to wear the jacket, and even after a swim in the ocean, it looked pretty good!


          10. carolfresia | | #8

            I should actually clarify: Emails that are sent to the Threads email address (found in the front of the magazine) are answered by our editorial assistant, April. She's wonderful at finding answers to just about any question, and spends a fair amount of time daily replying to readers' inquiries.


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