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Thread Cult

Each episode Christine Cyr Clisset, of the sewing blog daughterfish.com, interviews creators and makers in the home sewing, fashion, and textile communities, ranging from independent pattern and textile designers, to couture experts and museum curators.

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#36 Uncommon Threads, an Interview with Rebecca Ringquist

Artist and teacher Rebecca Ringquist pulls embroidery out of its classic confines, using her needle and floss to tell modern stories in cloth. This episode she and Christine chat about her process, the art of collecting, and her new book, Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-the-Rules Primer. Outro music: "Inspire me Forever" by Spinningmerkaba 


7 Jul 2015

Rank #1

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#12: Reuse, Recycle, Refashion!

This episode, Christine catches up with Kate Sekules, founder of Refashioner, a new website that acts as a curated consignment shop for pre-loved couture and designer fashions. The women chat about what it means to invest in a beautiful wardrobe, why we should keep good clothes in rotation, and how the site differs from other online e-sellers, like eBay and Etsy. 


7 Mar 2013

Rank #2

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Thread Cult, Episode #6: Susan Khalje Dreams of Couture

Christine chats with renowned couture sewing expert Susan Khalje about sewing women’s dreams (wedding dresses!), fabric shopping in Paris, and a new series of online couture classes she’ll soon launch. 


26 Jan 2013

Rank #3

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#16: Going Local with the Western Carolina Sewing Company

Producing clothing and other sewn goods locally and sustainaly is no easy task, particularly in our global age. Yet there are still dreamers and doers out there actually making things on their own turf—and their own terms. This episode, Christine catches up with Libby O'Bryan, an artist and founder of the Western Carolina Sewing Company (a.k.a. Sew Co.), a full-service cut-and-sew manufacturer of high quality clothing and other products. Sew Co. operates out of the Oriole Mill, in Hendersonville, NC. Check out episode #15 to learn more about this amazing Jacquard mill.


18 Apr 2013

Rank #4

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#33 The Lost Art of Dress with Linda Przybyszewski

History, home ec, and fashion converge in this episode, an interview with historian Linda Przybyszewski (Professor Pski to her students), author of The Lost Art of Dress. Professor Pski fills us in on the fascinating and little-known story of the "dress doctors"—a group of early 20th-century seamstresses, scientists, and artists who taught girls and women the art of dressing (and living) with style, taste, and beauty. If you've ever wondered why vintage sewing books are so rad, you can thank the dress doctors!  Outro: "Born on a Train" by The Candy Strypers


31 Jul 2014

Rank #5

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Thread Cult Episode #3: Sewing for Your Sweetie

In this season of gift giving, Christine teams up with Oona, of Oonaballoona.com, to try and answer an elusive question: Why is it so hard to sew for your significant other? They tour Mood Fabrics in Midtown for a lesson in mens' shirting fabrics, and a frank and laugh-inducing discussion on why it's so dang hard to sew for men!


28 Dec 2012

Rank #6

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Thread Cult, Episode #5: Fashion and Technology

Since the industrial revolution, fashion has been inextricably linked with technology. From the invention of the sewing machine to the zipper to high-performance fabrics, technology has continually changed the way we make and wear clothing. This episode, Christine chats with Ariele Elia and Emma McClendon, co-curators of Fashion and Technology, a new show at the Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in Manhattan. Along with talking about the exhibit, they also discuss how new inventions—such as 3D printing and fabrics made from bacteria—may change what we wear in the future. To see images of the show, visit Christine’s blog, www.daughterfish.com.


17 Jan 2013

Rank #7

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#35 Imprint of a Life, an interview with Jessamyn Hatcher

How do you come to know someone if all you have is the evidence of their clothes? This is the mystery author Jessamyn Hatcher is trying to solve after the discovery of 21 rare couture gowns in a forgotten storeroom of the heiress Hortense Mitchell Acton. The dresses were made by the innovative and radical Callot Soeurs, one of the Belle Epoque’s most celebrated couture houses. The collection reveals not only a forgotten piece of fashion history, but the story of one woman’s life. Jessamyn detailed the discovery in the March 23 issue of the New Yorker, and in this episode she dives deeper into the tale, revealing along the way how the clothes we wear can tell our story long after we’re gone. 


5 May 2015

Rank #8

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#7: She's Crafty! Inside the Renegade Craft Fair

Small crafts have become big business, with the likes of West Elm and Anthropologie trolling booths at the Renegade Craft Fair for the next big thing. This episode, Christine speaks with Sarah Spies, director of vendor relations for Renegade, about the growth of the indie craft movement, starting a crafts business, and tips for getting into one of the most influential indie craft fairs in the country.


31 Jan 2013

Rank #9

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#8: Color Wizardry with Audrey Louise Reynolds

The New York Times has called her the artisanal dyer of the fashion world, but Audrey Louise Reynolds, a Brooklyn-based natural dye and color expert, could also be considered an alchemist, as she turns fabric and natural plant dyes into high fashion. Christine chats with Audrey about creating colors, nature as muse, and her new line of kid-friendly natural crayons, paints, and molding clays. 


7 Feb 2013

Rank #10

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#11: Going Organic with NearSea Naturals

By now, most people recognize the environmental and health benefits of eating natural, organic, and sustainably-raised food. But what about the fabrics we sew with and wear? Should we hold them to the same standard? In this episode, Christine chats with Tara Bloyd, founder of NearSea Naturals, an online retailer specializing in organic, sustainable, and domestically produced cotton, wool, silk, and hemp fabrics. 


1 Mar 2013

Rank #11

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#14: Boost Your Sewing Machine IQ!

If you sew, or aspire to sew, you surely have questions about that most important piece of hardware—the sewing machine. Perhaps you're in the market for a new one, want to maintain your current one, or wonder whether it's worth fixing Grandma's hand-me-down? Christine gets the answers from Harvey Federman, master sewing machine repairman and owner of Sew Right, a sewing machine and quilting shop in Bayside, Queens. 


22 Mar 2013

Rank #12

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#13: Fashioning a Sewing Career with The Williamsburg Seamster

Have you ever daydreamed of ditching your 9 to 5, stretching your creative muscles, and sewing fulltime? Nayantara Banerjee—a.k.a. The Williamsburg Seamster—did just that six years ago when she started her own concierge tailoring service and custom design shop. Christine and Tara chat about how she launched, as well as about favorite sewing notions and machines, and a cool textile-related volunteer opportunity (hint: it's in Peru!). 


14 Mar 2013

Rank #13

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#37 Fairy Tale Fashion

A current exhibit at the Museum at FIT explores the connection between haute couture and the folk stories of the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault, among others. Christine and associate curator Colleen Hill chat about the process of organizing the show, how fast fashion is pushing designers toward the fantastical, and why we might want to teach kids traditional fairy tales rather than the sanitized Disney versions. See the exhibit virtually by visiting http://exhibitions.fitnyc.edu/fairy-tale-fashion/. Music: “Sweet Water” and “Welcome Home," by David Szesztay.


6 Apr 2016

Rank #14

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#34 Death Becomes Her

A new exhibit at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art explores how high fashion influenced bereavement rituals during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. In this episode, Jessica Regan, co-curator of the exhibit Death Becomes Her, discusses how the silhouettes of women’s clothing changed during this time period and how elaborate mourning rituals created a booming business for dress makers, as well as a costly investment for women who needed to wear black for an entire year. Jessica also shares some of her fashion and textile must-sees at the Met.  Outro: Fauré’s Requiem in D Minor, Op. 48: Introit, The Choire of King’s College Cambridge,  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & Stephen Cleobury


1 Nov 2014

Rank #15

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#15: Weaving Special! The Oriole Mill

If you love beautiful fabrics, don't miss this episode! Christine takes Thread Cult on the road to interview Bethanne Knudson, co-founder of The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The mill specializes in Jacquard woven textiles made exclusively from high-quality natural fibers, and produces some of the most beautiful heirloom quality linens you'll likely ever see. Visit www.daughterfish.com for some amazing images of the mill and fabrics. 


4 Apr 2013

Rank #16

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#9 Lotta Jansdotter's Scandinavian Style

Textile designer Lotta Jansdotter is the epitome of Scandinavian cool, even when she's designing in her Brooklyn studio. Christine catches up with Lotta on what's inspiring her now and her newest projects, including lines of fabric, rugs, and melamine picnic ware, out this spring.


14 Feb 2013

Rank #17

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#10: The Art of Fit with Kenneth D. King

Making perfect-fitting clothes is one of the toughest sewing skills to master. In this episode, couture designer and sewing expert Kenneth D. King gives his tips on achieving perfect fit, as well as details on his new Threads DVD series "Smart Fitting with Kenneth D. King."


21 Feb 2013

Rank #18

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Thread Cult, Episode #4: The Story Behind Spoonflower

This episode, Christine chats with Stephen Fraser, co-founder of the digital fabric printing company Spoonflower, which has allowed crafters and small businesses to order custom-designed fabrics at affordable prices. Along with the company's origins, they talk about how internet-based businesses can innovate and change the way manufacturing is done in the U.S. today.


13 Jan 2013

Rank #19

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#32 Alabama Chanin! Interview with Natalie Chanin

Sometimes home is the best place for great ideas to thrive. Fifteen years ago, Natalie Chanin discovered just this when she moved her nascent clothing company—Alabama Chanin—from New York to her hometown of Florence, Alabama. Since then, she’s built a thriving clothing and lifestyle company that merges craft and fashion in a beautiful way. Christine and Natalie talk about starting her business, how to get over creative bumps in the road, and how changing your perspective can make you more successful. Outro music: "Insprie Me Forever (Secret Anomaly Jonez Mix)" by Spinningmerkaba


19 Jun 2014

Rank #20