Editor’s Note: What’s Next
As the coronavirus pandemic unfolded this year, sewing became vital to an expanded audience. The need for face masks created a call for skills and materials. I heard from retailers that sewing machines were sold out. An online pattern seller told me she sold four times her usual volume, particularly medical scrubs and pajama designs. A sewing entrepreneur shared that though her in-person classes were canceled, she kept her business afloat by selling narrow elastic. These are optimistic examples, however. It’s difficult to anticipate the impact on sewing and its rituals, from live classes and conferences to the fabric shopping experience.
Now is the time to keep sewing valid and alive. If your next sewing class or conference was canceled, look for an online alternative from your favorite instructor. If sewing machines are sold out, that may mean you know someone who is wondering what to sew next and where to learn more. Threads can help with whatever project you wish to turn to next.
In this issue, we offer garment-making insight from friends old and new. Jumpsuits are having a moment, and New York City costume designer and tailor Vanessa Nirode shares her tips for fitting and sewing them. Wardrobe consultant Nancy Nix-Rice reveals her construction enhancements to make jersey knit wrap dresses more comfortable and secure. Contributing Editor Judith Neukam explains the figure-flattering benefits of sleeve heads and how to make and install them. We’ve changed our Pattern Review department to include longer reviews and a sewn garment from each pattern.
You can show a friend the rewards of making garments that fit. Sewing always seemed solitary before (I could never work without my specific notions and machine), but now I know how to set up a video meeting and sew with a friend for hours. We have had to make new habits for a while; let’s try to keep the positive changes as we find a way forward.
I hope to see Threads update itself, both in content and in its form. Unfortunately, Threads is not affordable for many sewists these days. At $60 a year, there are other good informational alternatives out there, many for free. Back when I used to subscribe I was disappointed to find out that the "Insider" was not even included in the print subscription cost. Never been able to get the "free trial" to work either. Despite the valuable expertise in some of the articles, reviews of older or long existing patterns and a comparatively high participation cost, I have not been interested in resubscribing. Obviously, Threads is geared towards more experienced sewers, but stylistically it is frumpy. Younger sewists looking for expertise are unlikely to be attracted. That doesn't mean dumbing down content, but updating it to the times and expectations of those who sew. Fashion, I'd like to see it too. These are difficult times for magazines and Threads may become one of the casualties, I fear. Sorry to be harsh. I just thought it should be said. I genuinely hope for some changes.
I subscribed for three years, works out to be $26 annually without Insider. I was able to get the free trial to Insider to work. Threads also provides tech support if you get stuck. Insider can be subscribed for $5.99/mo. I have to disagree with you. The things I appreciate about the magazine are the current ads inside for fabric shops and notions. I also like the tips from readers and updates on sewing notions I would have never discovered on my own. I think the greatest value are the in-depth pieces on technique. I have learned so much. Just like the cook's recipes cannot appeal to everyone: you have the gluten-free, those avoiding dairy, the vegan, the vegetarian...a magazine cannot address everyone's sense of style. If Threads is not "hip" enough for you, the secret is in creating your own sense of style and using the "how-to", best practice and think out-of-the box information that Threads provides. This is one of the most serious, heavy-on-content magazines I've discovered. I appreciate that. ~ Eileen M. Rowley
Thank you for your comments. We wanted to mention that you can purchase a subscription for $32.95 to receive one year of print and digital issues. Alternatively, you can opt for a Threads Insider membership, for $59.95, which entitles you to one year of print and digital issues, plus much more: access to the Threads online archive containing 34 years of content, access to hundreds of professionally produced technique and detail videos, 360-degree garment views, Insider-only e-letter, and more. If you would rather pay monthly, rather than a bulk fee yearly, that is also an option. It takes more effort and more people to produce additional content for the online membership so that accounts for the increased cost.
If you have specific suggestions or concerns, feel free to reach out to [email protected].
All the best,
Christine, Threads digital content manager
Congratulations Sarah..Have enjoyed the various podcasts. I have been listening to some back podcasts featuring this young gal interviewing various people in the industry..these podcast go back to 2014, 2015 ,etc...nothing current but I stumbled onto them and the host was fantastic.It involved a lot of people in the textile industry such as Kenneth King, I think it was called a podcast for sewing; textile and fashion..It is probably in the THREADS archives....really great...I found the website for it...;https://threadcult.com/
re. Jen: We are all different and have differing likes and needs. Personally, I love Threads Magazine. I appreciate that the articles and styles are classic and timeless--quality instruction and techniques do not go out of style. I learn something new in every issue. I don't look at Threads so much as a fashion magazine, but instead as inspiration and knowledge for creating my own style. Yes, there is a lot of free stuff available but my experience there has frequently been that "you get what you pay for". To me Threads is worth every penny.
My first budget crunch necessitated that I look at the cost of my magazine subscriptions. I go all the way with Threads to its beginnings, and it quickly became the subscription that I did not want to do without. I am print, digital and insider subscriber and comparatively, Threads is the only paid subscription I have for my sewing. In the past, I have given paid individual sewing instruction.
With the rise and popularity of the internet, I do not take paid sewing students and instead advise them of the many and myriad free content available to them. I also provide a list those sites. I always check out newcomers to the sewing world. I tell them if they can manage it in their budget, Threads is well worth it - from beginners to advanced.
Their original magazine was all inclusive into all the fiber arts. And, when they decided to streamline their subject matter, I was so pleased that they chose fashion sewing. I was never going to raise sheep, shave wool, hand dye and use a loom. But I always found them to provide creative inspiration, hugely so. No magazine can make everyone satisfied completely with their content, but Threads comes close to having something for everyone, all levels of sewing and all manner of patterns. Thank you Threads (and I hope Taunton Press figures out how not to become a casualty of the economic times!).