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Conversational Threads

A Positive Suggestion

lauraflo | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

I am reading all the pros and cons concerning Threads, and while Threads is one of the few mags. on my ‘always subscribe’ list, sometimes I wish they would have other subjects for their articles, or that they would have less of some topics (machine embroidery, for example,) and more articles on certain topics.

Hopefully, Threads is reading these messages, or if they are not, perhaps people can en masse send them some messages of their likes and dislikes—sort of an impromptu survey, that may be more effective than one they would ask for. Instead of only dwelling on the negative, such as what readers don’t want, (which is valuable information as well,) let’s give them positive suggestions on the types of articles and subjects and people we do want to see.

Maybe they need ideas. Maybe their editor has got an erroneous idea of what actual readers want. Maybe if we tell them it will help. Think of what you would like, or people you would like to see articles by, and make suggestions. That’s my suggestion!


  1. suesew | | #1

    I like your attitude and your suggestion. I really think we have all been spoiled in the last few years especially. 20 years ago we only had the major pattern companies and Sewing with Nancy on TV. Then things started growing, new designers and ideas began to come out and we were learning new things everytime we turned around. It is really hard to come up with something really new and different nowadays. Although Threads often doesn't thrill me like it used to, I still enjoy every issue and know that there is a wealth of information available there. I'm not about to give up on them. Sue

    1. CLeoCre8 | | #2

      I really don't see what the issue is here. In most of the Threads magazines I have read there are new things for me to try. If not it's usually something that I haven't done in years. So it's nice to have a refresher course. For all these Haute Couture sewers out there maybe it's time to get back to the basics. I really don't believe you know everything and aren't learning anything new. I totally agree with having positive feedback. The negative is just dragging us down. I am one of the happy 159,999 subscribers. My only complaint is that I don't have enough time to try out all the suggestions in the magazine before the next issue comes out.

      Happy Sewing


      Edited 7/13/2005 10:37 am ET by Cleo

      1. marijke | | #3

        About learning something new from each issue:  I just tried the invisible zipper technique described by Helen Metrakos.   (In the issue with the fabulous scarf on the cover.)

        Funny thing is, when I first read that article, I wasn't sure whether this would work any better than what I had done before (and I wasn't totally happy with the result I had gotten with invisible zippers before).  I followed the article step-by-step and I am happy to report the invisible zipper looks better than any invisible zippers I have set in before!  The technique really works!


        1. carolfresia | | #4


          That was my reaction to the invisible zipper article, too, when it first appeared in the office as a proposal. It sounded logical as a process, but I figured it was probably successful for people with lots of experience, like the author herself. Well,when I did it, it worked beautifully for me, too--the best invisible zipper I'd ever done, in fact. I think it has to do with the fact that I really followed the directions to mark the various points on the zipper tape, and to stitch carefully to those points. Also, closing the lower part of the seam first really does keep things lined up a lot better than when you have two garment sections flopping around.

          One thing I did discover is that it works better if my fingernails are a little longer than usual (I keep them pretty short)--that way I can uncurl the zipper coil more easily as I'm sewing alongside it.


          1. marijke | | #5


            I appreciate your insights!   Interesting to know that with some ideas, the proof really is in trying it out.



          2. footlady | | #13

            Hello i am a subsciber in england and I love the magazine, I am attending patterncutting classes and our teacher has taught us to iron the coil of the invisible zip flat before starting to put it in, incidentally he yes he is very talented and teaches us to sew as well as pattern cut as it is necessary to make up the garments to make sure they fit . we make toiles as we call them in europe in calico, I think you may call them slopers although I dont know the origin of that ,

        2. Thim | | #15

          invisible zipper application from July 2005 issue

          Hello Marijke,

          I cut out the instuctions for inserting the invisible zippers this way and I have misplaced them. It worked out so perfectly for me and i need to use it again very soon. Can you help? It's prom season and bridal and I'm chained to my machine!!!!!

      2. Beth | | #6

        Cleo, I completely agree.


        1. GailS | | #7

          I know that others are unhappy with Threads but I look forward to receiving mine very much.  I've only been a subscriber for two years but save each of my magazines.  While today I might not be interested in a techique or process, tomorrow I might be and my Threads magazine is a great reference.

          On ideas for articles, what about an article on making bras or other lingerie?  I have never tried this but a number of people on a related sewing site have and it is definitely on my "want to try" list.  The topic of where to find supplies usually comes up also. 

          Just a thought!


          1. catslave | | #8

            Hi there.....I did a Threads search on bras - thought I remembered seeing an article once - and found it in [alas] magazine number 71, but you can read the article on line.  It contains links for bra making sources in the text.  I also purchased a book on making lingerie, but haven't taken that leap of faith to attempt anything.  Good luck!

    2. lauraflo | | #9

      Hello again, before I go off on holiday to Scotland,
      Some of the things that I am intrigued by are new, "young", unfinished, artsy clothing details--such as ones that may have unfinished hems or exterior seams, or details by which you can change the shape of a garment from wearing to wearing (drawstrings and snaps and such), or zippers as decoration etc. or have historic detailing brought back but in a fresh, new application. Some young designers or small company manufacturers (often one or two people) seem to do these types of things, where they can be found in trendy places--Lincoln Park in Chicago, etc. While I don't actually wear these whole garments myself, I do have teenage daughters who like these sorts of things, and I like to add one or two details to something for myself (or even to wallhangings I like to make--freeform style--just start with an idea and cut and stitch as you go along). I would like to see (and the younger generation of sewers or potential sewers probably would, too!) more articles of this type. How about anyone else? Laura

      1. marijke | | #10


        Yes, good suggestion. 

        However...  There was an article some time ago about someone named Brooke Lorme -- she did unfinished type things.  That article created a negative storm of comments at the time.  I didn't think her work was all that innovative or creative, just poorly done, but there must surely be other young designers doing creative things?



        1. karenb | | #11

          I'm just going to brainstorm and throw some stuff out there. I'm new to sewing, so I'll be coming from the inexperienced side.

          1. More, more, more of projects like the strip fabic skirt. The magazine could have had three of these, in varying degrees of difficulty. Perhaps one cool new project for beginners, one for those in the middle, another for those who are experienced sewers. If I had anything to do with the editorial decisions at this magazine, it would be very heavy in this area. My girlfriend's knitting magazine is filled with knitting projects. She can pick and choose what she wants to make. It isn't as graphically eye-popping as "Threads", but I don't see why they can't have both a great look and lots and lots of content like this.

          2. I like the magazine's idea of encouraging people to send in photos of their sewing creations so everyone can see each other's work. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's artistry!  This could also be the beginning of a real link between the magazine and communties and neighborhoods. Offer prizes for the best creations. Or let readers vote, and perhaps the winner can be featured on a pattern. Perhaps people in sewing circles could be encouraged to get involved with some prize for their group?   How about a junior category for teens and 'tween sewers?  On the subject of schoolkids, what about "Thread" fashion shows in local schools? Send the hipper "Threads" creations and you might fire up interest in sewing!  Homeschoolers are also good groups to get involved in sewing. Many belong to big co-ops and know lots of other families and they tend to like hands-on activities like sewing. I'm being a bit selfish here. I would love to have "Threads" classes in the community or school for both me and my daughter. I'm not talking about the big events with the big names. Just regular community classes with instructors who have been "certified" by "Threads", working on various projects from the magazine.  Maybe the magazine could team up with sewing machine manufacturers or sewing suppliers to fund such an enterprise. After all, they all benefit when more people sew! Art companies do this all the time with local artists. An art manufacturer will sponsor a teacher and class for the community at a local shop. Of course, there is a heavy emphasis on the products that are sponsoring, but that is to be expected. Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but it seems that in the sewing world, there are a few big, well-respected names who do this and that is it. I would try to target more people. "Threads" has an open field, the way I see it. Sewing is a great activity: it is creative, you don't have to wonder where your clothing was made (and under what conditions), it is great for kids, and "SewNews" isn't very....er....dynamic.

          3. Maybe a piece about where beginners are likely to get bogged down and have trouble along with an expert offering solutions. Sort of a "Warning, be careful of this and that" piece. That also lends itself easily to a pull-out box with common mistakes on one side and expert advice on the other.  If this has already been in the magazine, just ignore this. If not, it may be a good idea. I know I could benefit from something like this.

          4. Drop the subscription price from time to time for subscription drives like "National Geographic" does. I realize it may not be fair to compare these two, but dropping the price for a limited time might add lots of subscribers to the roster. Always a good thing when you are touting the benefits of advertising in the magazine. Plus, it rewards those who love the magazine but don't have a lot of money.

          Since "Threads" only comes out every two months, it should give you plenty to do over that amount of time and lots of choices about what to make. On an aesthetic level I  think it is certainly a pretty magazine with great graphics. I also like its large pages. The content is really good. Just wish there was even more.


          1. HollyT | | #12

            I think a lot of sewers don't know how great Threads is.  Perhaps you could partner with some of the good fabric stores to offer a free issue.  Or have some kind of gift subscription marketing around holiday time.

            Also, I always buy the special issues that Fine Gardening publishes.  Why don't you do special issues on sewing for the home, high quality sewing for children, etc.

          2. solly | | #14

            I really like the suggestion on having more than one project with varying levels of difficulty. I love the challenges (they really get me thinking) but my first criteria is that it has to look flattering when finished or why put out money and time and creativity to look bad. I've been sewing off and on for many years and, yes, have almost all the back issues. Fitting is my biggest challenge with a large bust and fluctuating weight. I'm always looking for ways to come up with attractive clothes for work and travel (packing/sewing creatively to avoid the slept in-tee shirt jeans look). I like machine embroidery ideas but the extra cost of the magazine designs put me right off the ones in Threads - it should be a bonus for buying the magazine. I look forward to many more years of inspiration and learning with Threads as long as they don't go the way of oversimplifying the instructions and details so the learning is lost. Thanks for all the hard work!

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