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Sewing with Threads Podcast

How We Review Patterns | Episode 24

Produced by Cari Delahanty and the Threads editors. Edited by Cari Delahanty

Learn how Threads magazine scrutinizes some of the latest commercial garment patterns released by the mainstream and lesser-known pattern companies. In the Sewing with Threads Episode 24 video podcast, expert Anna Mazur shares how she compiles the magazine’s Pattern Review department for each issue, a complex job she has honed over the last 15 years. She whittles down pattern options from more than 150 pattern companies and relies on 21 Threads pattern testers to help evaluate the chosen patterns.

Find out Anna’s observations about current garment trends, which pattern companies impress her most, and the designer she goes to for inspiration.

A creative designer herself, Anna has written many articles for Threads, including:

• “Embellishments: Distressing leather,” Threads #161 June/July 2012

Distressed leather vest

• “Embellishments: Chiffon braids and pearls,” Threads #192 Aug./Sept. 2017

• “Embellishments: Appliqué on net,” Threads #167 June/July 2013

• “Embellishments: Metal accents,” Threads #155 June/July 2011

• “3-D Appliqué,” Threads #152 Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011

• “Living on the Edge,” Threads #143, June/July 2009

Pearl beads hold tucks in place at the neckline

She also authored the book Handbag Workshop (The Taunton Press, 2014).

In the podcast, Anna talks about her favorite fabric to sew. She says, however, that she likes to find out about all kinds of textiles. One that intrigued her recently is chirimen, a Japanese silk crepe, which was recommended by Designer Stitch for constructing the Synthia Ruffle Top 1180, reviewed in Threads #208.

Anna provides valuable tips on pressing difficult fabrics and delicate garments, too.

Her meticulous work with beads is visible on the waistband of a skirt she made from an embellished fabric she bought years ago at G Street Fabrics. She says she used a right-angle weave to hand-sew 3.0-mm or 4.0-mm pearlized beads and then add the light green glass beads.

Beaded Skirt Waist

Watch and listen to the podcast by clicking the image at the top of this post, or simply listen by clicking below.

This episode of Sewing With Threads is sponsored by Baby Lock and Original Sewing and Quilt Expo.

Baby Lock’s Victory and Celebrate sergers include the features you’ve come to expect from Baby Lock at attractive price points. Both sergers come complete with Jet-Air Threading, which threads the lower loopers with the touch of a lever and a presser foot with a 6.0 mm height that makes serging on thicker fabrics a breeze. Right now, you can get a Victory for $1,499 and a Celebrate for $999. Best of all, each machine comes with a 60-day trial of online sewing classes. To learn more and find a retailer, visit BabyLock.com.

Baby Lock ad

We’d like to introduce you to Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. There’s shopping, runway fashion shows, free demos, and plenty of hands-on classes taught by experts who can help bring your sewing up a notch. Right now, you can visit SewingExpo.com to see this year’s calendar. Plus, you can sign up for their March expos in Atlanta, Georgia, and Lakeland, Florida. And exclusively for Threads listeners, enter the promo code Threads in your shopping cart and save $25. It’s that easy: Sign up for classes at SewingExpo.com, enter the code Threads in the promo box, and $25 will automatically pop in your cart. Check it out at SewingExpo.com.

Original Sewing and Quilt Expo

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  1. user-6617347 | | #1

    Anna mentioned that she misses Burda patterns without the seam allowances. Beth at SunnyGal Studios did a year end review of Burda Magazine patterns on her blog and mentioned that the patterns come with no seam allowances It is a bit daunting having to trace off the pattern pieces at first, but Beth writes that it get easier over time. That might be a solution for Anna, if she wants to get back into sewing Burda patterns

  2. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #2

    How does one become a pattern tester for Threads?

  3. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #3

    Was there a reply to my question? Got an email saying so. 🧐

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