THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

April 26, 2007

It’s Not Super Triple Secret Any Longer

Filed under: Closures,Divas in the Press,Fabric,Gorgeous Things,Uncategorized — Gorgeous Things @ 5:23 pm

I haven’t been posting much lately because of work loads and things competing for my time. But I did just get a notice that the project, which I have been calling the “Super Triple Secret Project” has just been put out for public consumption at Threads Magazine. You can see it in the current issue of Threads, and it is online (without all the photos) here.

The article started thanks to the striped dress, which I made for myself last year for a summer dress. The pattern is New Look 6557. I changed the waistband pattern, as well as the grain alignments on several of the pattern pieces. I love this dress, and in warm weather I wear it frequently. Of course, I’m sure they had to safety pin it to within an inch of it’s life to fit the model, but it looks pretty good, I think.

The “fun” part of the project, and the Super Triple Secret part that had me tearing my hair out, was the white jacket. Now, that is one gorgeous, gorgeous jacket! I based it on a D-Squared look from the spring 2006 RTW line. I used a McCalls pattern as the basis, and you can see the process I went through to convert the pattern on my blog. It’s made from two silk fabrics, a duppioni that has nubby 1 inch wide stripes woven into it, and a novelty silk ottoman-type, that was woven in such a way that it had a quilted effect. The fabric was double faced with uneven horizontal stripes woven through it. And there was silk batting between the layers. When I opened the package from Threads containing the fabrics, I gasped in surprise and pleasure, they were that lovely.

Sewing with them? Hmmmmm, that was another issue. The duppioni was just fine. I love duppioni because it sews up well and is very easy to manipulate. The quilted silk, on the other hand, was an unmitigated rhymes-with-witch. I have two sewing machines in my sewing room. One is a Pfaff with differential feed, the other is an industrial Juki. I decided right out of the gate that the Juki would not work with this fabric. So first I tried sewing a seam with the Pfaff. Because of the horizontal quilting, I was super, super careful cutting the fabric so the lines would match across the seams of this princess style pattern. When dealing with a fabric like this, always, always cut out your pattern pieces in a single-layer layout. I did so, and it gave me control over the placement of the design and grain lines.

Under the presser foot, though, this fabric took on a Bad Diva personality. It loved to shift and move around, even with the differential feed turned on. I hand basted all the seams, and I even ended up recutting some pattern pieces to compensate for the shifting. Gah! It still didn’t want to cooperate! I did finally beat it into submission, but it cost me dearly in the number of gray hairs I got from it.

Finally, I did finish the jacket, after crying “Uncle!” to my editor, Jennifer Sauer. You can see the front view of the jacket in the magazine article (not online). But for your previewing pleasure, here’s a picture of the jacket as it sat on my dress form before I sent it off (and before I did the final press):
The Kathleen Battle of all fabrics!

Happy sewing!



  1. Beautiful job!! I have been wondering what you were referring to with the ‘secret project’…Thanks for the preview!


    Comment by Kristen — April 26, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

  2. Ann, that jacket is stunning! I’m going to need that one in my life!

    Comment by Erica B. — April 26, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

  3. Wow, phenomenal garments and inspirational article! Can wait for the mag to come in the mail.

    Comment by christina — April 26, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

  4. Wow! Wow! Wow! I’m sew glad I renewed with Threads – your article shows they meant what they said when they promised to return to more substantial, advanced articles. Wow!

    Comment by Julia — April 26, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

  5. Beautiful Ann, as usual. I’m looking forward to the article and more photos of the STS jacket. The dress is pretty nice too.

    Comment by Ann — April 26, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

  6. That is truly a beautiful garment. I’m really looking forward to my Threads this month so I can get a better look at it. Congrats!

    Comment by dawn — April 26, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

  7. Lovely jacket!!!Wow!

    Comment by Linda L — April 26, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

  8. Gorgeous! of course! Juat a gorgeous jacket.


    Comment by Maureen — April 26, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

  9. Yowza Ann- that looks wonderful. Looking forward to reading the article.

    Comment by ConnieB — April 27, 2007 @ 11:06 am

  10. Ann– I must say I’m humbled by yr talent ( as well as the the other Diva’s) and the generousity with which you so generously share your many pearls of wisdom with masses. Congrats to you ! Oh yes,this is by far my favorite of your dresses. Congrats on yr success!The jackets nice too. Can’t wait to read yr article. D-

    Comment by DinaD — April 27, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  11. Beautiful jacket and dress. I have that dress pattern and now I am thinking stripes. I have a 40 year old macine, so I’m sure I would not be able to work with the fabric you had to “beat into submission”. But the jacket is gorgeous, so worth the gray hairs I’m guessing.

    Comment by Nancy W — April 28, 2007 @ 8:58 am

  12. Wow, Ann, that is such a stunner! I can’t wait to read the article.

    Comment by Gigi — April 28, 2007 @ 8:58 am

  13. Tim has a very approving look on his face!

    Comment by Phyllis — April 28, 2007 @ 9:19 pm

  14. Lovely job! Now, if my Threads would arrive I could enjoy it more!

    Comment by Summerset — April 29, 2007 @ 5:41 am

  15. Lovely jacket! Thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Tany — May 1, 2007 @ 5:22 am

  16. Awsome. Can’t wait to get my issue. Your workmanship is top drawer.

    Comment by Cindyann — May 1, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

  17. Haven’t gotten that far in the mag yet–but now can’t wait. You have really given me some ideas in my designing. Thanks.

    Comment by Karen C. — May 9, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

  18. Yes very inspired. Thanx for look.Rgds Jenny

    Comment by jenny — May 11, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

  19. What an absolutely beautiful garment — and so thoughtfully shared with the rest of us. I am a returning “diva” and am quite humbled by your talent. Just reading patterns these days gives me the shivers, but, the end result is certainly worth the time and effort (and grey hairs) that must be endured to get the final result.

    Thanks again for the great inspiration. . .

    an admirer

    Comment by Southerngal105 — June 28, 2007 @ 6:11 pm

  20. Wow That is A neat shop

    Comment by Apex — July 9, 2007 @ 12:36 am

  21. Thanks for this article

    Comment by Tom Smith — June 23, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

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