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What sewing skill do you want to learn next?

We asked the contributing authors in theThreads March issue which sewing skill they'd like to learn next. What would you like to learn?

The March 2012 issue of Threads is available on newsstands today. We asked the authors featured on the Contributors page “What sewing skill do you want to learn next?” Ruth Ciemnoczolowski, Threads associate editor Stephani Miller, Patty Robison and Ann Williamson were featured. With so many learning possibilities out there, I thought it was surprising that two of them wanted to learn more about hand-smocking, and the other two had desires that were similar to each other—one to learn the manipulation of fabric into new shapes and silhouettes (á la Alexander McQueen) and the other to learn techniques that will support structural and sculptural garment features (á la Shingo Sato).

I thought long and hard about what I would most like to learn next, and it’s hard to pinpoint one learning goal—I have so many! Looking at the cover of this issue helped me decide. The lead article by Susan Khalje is about couture construction. I would like to learn to improve my sewing skills so that they could be considered couture. I don’t particularly like hand sewing, but so many couture techniques achieve precision because of the hand stitching used to secure fabric pieces and help provide structure. Susan makes it all seem so simple and logical. I want to learn for myself how valuable those hand stitches are so that I am able to execute them with a smile, understanding their importance. If I can produce beautiful couture garments, doing more hand stitching will be a small consolation!

What sewing skill would you like to learn more about? Perhaps your comment will encourage the Threads editors to cover the topic in a future issue. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.


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  1. msjuncos | | #1

    Couture techniques interest me also. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to pad a hem in a coat. I recently read about it, but am having trouble finding that information. Anyone have ideas? Thanks!

  2. SusanKhalje | | #2

    We recently (well, a few issues back) did an article about hems - and that particular situation was included.

  3. User avater
    Sewista | | #3

    Is it sewing? Not sure, but I would like to learn how to tat, really.

  4. User avater
    Wild_Lily | | #4

    Techniques used on glamour dresses like the ones you see on the red carpet. Those really low back dresses is what really interest me.

  5. amm | | #5

    As Susan Khalje mentioned, you'll want to read the article she wrote in Threads issue #147, pg 22--"Fundamentals: Hem support." It's a fabulous article covering more hemming techniques than you probably knew existed! You'll learn how to achieve a perfect hem depending on your garment style, your fabric, and the ultimate look you want to achieve.

    If you don't have this article on hand, contact our customer service department to see if it's still available--call 800-477-8727 9am-5pm ET Monday through Friday.

  6. msjuncos | | #6

    Thanks ladies! Yes, this is exactly the article I was looking for. It was just a little further back than I remembered it being. I'm sure my coat is going to be perfect now!

  7. getting_better | | #7

    I'm still trying to figure out the easiest and professional way to alter and sew the sleeves onto the bodice that will be bulk-free and comfortable for someone with larger upper arms.

  8. getting_better | | #8

    I would like to know more about japanese tailoring and construction of garments.

  9. dreamydesigner | | #9

    Fitting & alteration techniques, Pattern drafting techniques, and source ideas for quality plain fabrics (suitable for casual and semi-formal garments)are what interest me right now. I am especially interested in fabrics made of natural fibers, that are easy care and have a good drape. Also, the fabrics would ideally have soft coloring, soft contrast (if multi-color), and soft texture. Any help I can recieve with this would make my day! Thank you.

  10. lou19 | | #10

    I would also like to learn to Tat. I have the shuttles and booklets for one day when I get time.
    Japanese pattern cutting ideas (pattern magic) are very exciting, would love to update my pattern cutting skills with these ideas.
    I am always looking to find new ways of making exciting patchwork/pieced garments. I love the article on strips and tubes in issue 159.

  11. User avater
    MysteryWoman | | #11

    I'm voting for pattern drafting and more draping, too. I'd love to become a whiz with this French Curve that I own, along with all the other curvy rulers I have (nationality unknown . . .)

  12. User avater
    MysteryWoman | | #12

    One other idea . . . I think Threads should sponsor "Project Threads" whereby they give readers a weekly (or bi-monthly) challenge a la Project Runway challenges. We could do an unbleached muslin challenge, an unconventional materials challenge, all make a dress from the same pattern, etc., with pictures posted to the website. Probably 4 or 6 challenges would be plenty for something like this. Winner gets -- what else? -- a spread in Threads magazine, along with other fabulous prizes . . . Just a thought . . .

  13. tell_ann | | #13

    Just keep 'mixing-it-up'! Love to see & hear variety. Love to see classic vintage designs & their techniques. Love to see discussions on the classic designers, old & modern, and what made their designs so classic & wonderful. Zippers & their how to put them into garments & using them for designing are a current & modern alternative. There are so many new fabrics out there, including their fiber make-up, their texture & design. It boggles my mind in how I could use them all. Purse & bag design would be helpful. Thanks for your wonderful magazine. I have been subscribing since almost the beginning of your publication, and I still can't wait for each new magazine to arrive.

  14. yemini | | #14

    As i am more concerned about sewing bags , purses and totes in FABRIC to avoid plastics and animal skins too as leather ,
    I need designs that are more useful . still unique and special as gifts .
    As an elderly person I often feel bags that can hold organizers or pouchees ? that are reusable in any bag as INNER
    compartments , DEtachable?
    I some time get stuck in neat sewing of Flaps in the Totes
    A mobile pouch etc . Somehow the corners get a shabby look and
    my niece can always say Auntie " Get a purse from the shop!"

    Rounded base seamlines in bags ? to get and perfect them ?
    I live in India and read every news letter of yours almost next day itself

  15. User avater
    Boheme | | #15

    I would like to learn more about lining garments, specifically how to line a sheer reversible skirt that has an elastic waistband. I love it, so I'm hesitant to work on it until I know more about lining. Custom fitting and detailed fitting interest me also.

  16. Ikebana152 | | #16

    Draping, draping, draping! Haider Ackerman style draping that is elegant and modern and even wearable.

    And pattern work. I have both Pattern Magic books by Nakamichi. Creating patterns for unusual design elements beyond the necessary pants and bodice.

  17. Zepol1 | | #17

    Can anyone tell me what the red fabric featured on this cover is called?

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