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up close; issue 143

lou19 | Posted in Talk With Us on

The macrame dress on the back cover took my breath away. It’s stunning. Unusual too. Thank you Threads.

But why does the caption read like a romantic novel? Threads is a technical magazine “for people who love to sew.” I want to know what threads/yarn was used? Is the undergarment separate or sewn in ? How does it fasten up? How old is it? what macrame stitches were used ………..how exactly do you get that lattice effect………etc etc. The old “In Detail” back covers at least related to an article inside even if they didn’t give specific instructions.

Is there a website where we can get more information, and maybe a complete view of the dress and I’m just off to  dust off my macrame books.



  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    I agree with you Lou. I would rather read more detail about the dress. I would love to have learned more of the history, fabric content, stitch/knot used. I love getting the up close and personal look at the details of some of the dresses shown in the past. These are details that cannot be seen in museum showcases, as you simply cannot get close enough to inspect. Would love also to see what the inside details on some of the garments look like also. Always wondered what was used for linings, underlinings, and what the inside stitching looked like. Can only see those if you turn a garment inside out. Cathy

  2. GailAnn | | #2

    Agree, I'd like to see more details, in fact often wish THE BACK COVER would refer to a detailed discription of fabric and workmanship, and original owner of the dress in the body of the magazine.  It always arouses my couriosity.

    Disagree, I like the "romance novel" bit of copy along with THE BACK COVER.  It is short and pleasant.  Gail

    1. kbalinski | | #3

      I like the "fairy tale", too.  Encourages me to do a thoroughly phenomenal work so that someday, my work will be pulled from a trunk and "ooh-ed and ahh-ed" over!


      1. GailAnn | | #4

        Yes, In - deedy!  That is my goal.  Gail

      2. sewelegant | | #5

        I think your reply speaks to the artistic nature in all of us.  It reminds me of the time I asked a friend if she had made her dress and she replied:  "Oh, you noticed the exquisite hand sewing on my sleeve hem!"

    2. gailete | | #6

      I'm with you Gail. I love those back pictures, etc. but would also love to know more about the garment itself. Most of us will never have close-up access to museum pieces and I know I have no relatives with museum quality garments in their closets, so this is our only way to experience them. I thought the dress was gorgeous, but hubby thought it was as ugly as sin! Not sure what was annoying him about it as he usually loves those close-up dresses also.


      1. Cityoflostsouls | | #7

        This really isn't a reply but do any of you get really frustrated when something interesting is in the papers and you never hear another word about it?  There was a beautiful, young girl found (I believe in Texas )who was buried under glass and perfectly preserved.,  they thought she was wealthy because of her beautiful clothing.  And then not another word.  I would so much like to have known more about it and to have read a description of her clothing.  Have any of you heard about this girl?  It isn't morbid curiosity but I'd like to know more about this real person who lived in the past. and what we might be able to tell about her from her clothing.

        1. gailete | | #8

          Actually I do as I don't get the paper or watch TV (no cable) and see only bits and pieces of news on line. I see something that grabs my attention and then nothing else about and it flutters around in my head afterwords looking for the....rest of the story!


        2. GailAnn | | #9

          How sad.  How interesting.  How sad.  Gail

  3. Teaf5 | | #10

    Perhaps the owner of the dress had no more information than was published, so the editors made up a back-story to amuse us?

    The dress is done in all half-hitches, and the "beads" are shiny red cord in multiple half-hitches over an ecru cord.  The diamond pattern is very common in macrame, so you should be able to find the instructions easily.  Not so easy is determining how much cord to buy (a LOT, for that dress!) and finding the time (again, a LOT) to make it.

    Having done a lot of macrame "back in the day," I would say that the dress was worked directly on a dress form, starting at the top, and pinned to it.  An alternative would be to work each piece separately on a large cork or bulletin board, rather like crochet or knitting, before joining.  Either method was very time-consuming, and the results are spectacular--an incredible piece!

    1. lou19 | | #11

      Thank you so much for this information!

  4. Ceeayche | | #12

    Okay, I'm greedy, I want it all.  The romantic caption was okay-- it whet my appetite.  But please do as the others have suggested and provide us with some technical nuggets. I thought this would be a lovely basis for creating a second chance wedding dress.  Or a fun carribean sun dress.  See how my mind went racing in opposite directions.  Some tips about the lining and the mechanics that make the dress work would be great.... even if you just include the url to this site or one of the other threads sites so that I can log on and get the details.  I understand you can't write war and peace on the cover for aesthetic reasons (cover up one knot with text and we'd hang ya) but a link to more info would do a couple of things get new folk to come by your site and hook us all into the content there.

    1. Teaf5 | | #13

      Which parts of the "mechanics" do you want to know about? Maybe I can answer some of your questions or direct you to sites or books that explain the techniques. This dress must have been handcrafted by a very, very experienced master craftsperson who had a LOT of time and patience. In macrame, each length of cord is doubled over the starting rown and is 10 to 20 times longer than the finished length of the piece, so each length has to be wound on a bobbin or secured in some way while working. It's easier to make smaller sections and combine them afterward,so that long skirt is a masterpiece. My guess is that the lining is actually a separate fabric dress complete in itself ( with the seam allowances on the inside), and the macrame is slipped over it, perhaps tacked at the neckline or shoulders to prevent slippage. That way, the underdress can be laundered more frequently, and the differences in the drape of the knotting and of the woven fabric doesn't cause problems at the seams.

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