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Do You Have a Sewing Question for Threads?

Hi! I’m Mary Ray, contributing editor for Threads and I’ve been editing the Q & A Column where we publish questions from readers and the answers to help them out. If you have a question, we’d love to hear from. You can send your questions to me at [email protected] with the subject line Question for Threads. I’ll get an answer back to you and it may appear in the magazine as well. Your questions can be about technique, fit, construction, embellishment — just about anything that has to do with sewing.

By the way, I love this new website where you can post your projects. It’s great to see what everyone is doing. Keep up the good work!


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  1. nettie | | #1

    I have fallen in love with a knit lace fabric from Canvasbacks pictured on the Sawyerbrook website. Now that I've ordered it I need some help on how to handle the seams as it is very open. My thought was to make a summer cardigan.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. southergirls | | #2

    I have a jacket pattern that I like. The jacket patter buttons up the front. I want to make the jacket so that it has a hidden zipper and looks like it buttons. That way it would not pull in the front and would lood smooth. I have seen this before, but did not look close enough and the details in the construction to adapt this to my jacket. Any tips on how to make this happen? I am going to use another fabirc with an idea I have and see how it goes. I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Gillikins | | #3

    I am sewing a sleevless, round necked top that is lined. I have stiched the neck and sleeve edges to the lining, right sides together, and want to turn it inside out and do not know how to do this. I have tried leaving one shoulder seam open and pulling it through here but must be doing something wrong as I land up with a ball of fabric! I copied the pattern from a top I bought and simply can't work out how to turn it so the right side of the top is on the outside - can you help?

  4. sosewnem | | #4

    I can probably answer Gillikins question above. I made one quite some years ago. This is the method I used and there may well be another one. Possibly I might have time to check another book tomorrow. In any case, here are the instructions that I just pulled out.
    The procedure is this:
    1. With right sides together, sew both fronts together at the neckline and armholes.
    2. With right sides together, sew both backs together at the neckline and armholes.
    3. Clip curves of seams and trim to 1/4".
    4. Turn front piece only right side out. Press neck and armholes well.
    5. Slip the shoulders of the front section into the shoulders of the back section. (The back section is still inside out.) Adjust shoulder seams as necessary so they will fit perfectly - or as close to perfect as you can.
    6. With shoulder seams lined up, stitch seam through all four layers of fabric. (It says to trim the seam allowance here, but I wait to check if the seams are matched up properly first by doing the next step.)
    7. Pull front section out, pulling the back shoulder with them. The top is now connected at the shoulder seams.
    8. Sew the side seams from one hem to the other, two layers at a time, matching the underarm seam. (i.e. - stitching the two layers of the fashion fabric and then the two layers of the lining fabric - it's one long seam.)
    Hem as you wish.
    (Remember to press during construction - I didn't type that in.)
    I think I used another method when making my mother-of-the bride gown, so will try to look tomorrow for the book that had those instructions.

  5. cynde | | #5

    why do my short patterns hit the back of my legs? How do I correct this problem on my patterns.

  6. shoesnsox | | #6

    I just picked up Issue Number 144 and I was quite surprised to see the major faux pas on the cover of a magazine about thread. You should never put a needle through the middle of a spool of thread because it breaks the thread and when you go to stitch with this thread it will break. I have been sewing for over 40 years and working as a theatrical costumer since the mid 70's and this is one of our pet peeves when a novice stitcher comes in and uses the spool as a pincushion. Please tell your readers that this is not a good idea, but is something I am sure the stylist on your cover shoot did.
    One other thing that will also help when sewing is to always stitch in the direction that the thread comes off of the spool. This should keep the thread from knotting as often.

  7. Roseo | | #7

    I am making curtains for my daughter's new baby room. The perfect print turned out to be the wrong material. The material is a light-weight flannel. Can I make swag curtains from that type of material?

  8. patty_zoe | | #8

    I bought some really great Italian wool to make lined trousers for winter wear. I would appreciate any help or suggestions on how to make them as i haven't worked with good fabric in many years. I bought a pattern that I was assured would be wonderful because you followed their directions and made your own pattern to fit just you. Well, maybe it would, but it had an elastic waist, which i don't think would look very nice on good wool dressy trousers.

  9. fionac | | #9

    Ladies, I am sewing trousers (Burda 7723) and am attempting to convert the waist pleats to darts - I have overlayed another pants pattern (with darts) over my Burda pattern and traced the length of the darts from that pattern and taken in the width of the origin pleat into my dart - but the resulting darts are not sitting as well as I would hope - any suggestions to improve my outcome?

  10. user-2023201 | | #10

    Hi Mary Rae,

    I absolutely love the butterfly mesh suit you designed for Threads 162. While the article gives the pattern no for the skirt pattern you used, would you please tell us what notched jacket pattern you used?

    I am thinking of all the stretch net/mesh fabrics that have come into the fabric stores for Fall and how your creation would be a lovely way to explore using these fabrics.

    With thanks,


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