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Conversational Threads

Threads’ Fashion Style

SeamRipper | Posted in Fashion & Design on

I love Threads Magazine.  I’ve learned many advanced techniques from the crystal clear instructions, product reviews, and great tips from the customer write-ins.  But I didn’t buy the magazine the first time I saw it because I was turned off.  As I was with the January 2021 issue.

Like all artistic people, I am very visual, and sewing is a visual art.  The first time I saw the magazine in the late 80s I was turned off by the stuffy, outdated fashions, aimed towards older women.  I am a now a devoted subscriber, but I find the fashion is still outdated and generally points toward the same generation as it was 20-years ago.

I agree, Threads is not a style inspiration magazine, it’s an instructional magazine.  But would you not agree, instructions should lead by example, and the example should be something worth getting excited about?

From what I’ve read in several blogs, many readers would like to see the Threads become more fashion forward.  For instance:

The From Muslin to Pattern article (p 56):

A very nice pattern, M7900, was turned into an unfattering, frumpy top on a beautiful model.  Her hair and makeup were perfect, but the cool coloured fabric washed her out, and top looked too big on her.

The Needle Felting Know-How article:

When I searched “needle felting” for some inspiration, all that emerged were miniature animal felt toys.  “Fashion felting” however, resulted in haute couture runway items (Pinterest).  I did find a few inspirational pieces that could be needle felted and that would appeal to all ages:

Fendi Coat:


Felted cocoon coat with silk flowers:


Fun flower coat:


I also noticed a lack of modern fashion in the recent survey:  most of the stores posted for clients to select their preferrance are directed more to the older and frumpy styles.  It appears – at least to me – that Threads is attempting to steer their customers to the direction they want to go, rather than letting us tell them what we would like.

For instance, I did not see high end stores like Club Monaco, COS, Marchiano, Massimo Dutti, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, John Varvatos (lots of men sew, too), etc.  I can’t afford to shop there, but I would love to see examples of something like what they sell.  Then there are designers like Pierre Cardin, Guy Laroceh, Claude Montatn, Vera Cava, Alexander McQueeen, Yves Saint Laurent, etc..  Many readers love their designs and some aspire to be like them.  Recently Vogue Paris Original had a gorgeous Givenchy jacket pattern, 2086, that would have been an awesome pattern to showcase.  Don’t forget websites like Modern Citizen, Farfetch, Forward, The Outnet, etc.  Perhaps it would have been best to suggest nothing and let the stakeholders (you and me) tell Threads what we would like.

I am a subscriber, and I will remain one, but it would be really appreciated if the magazine’s fashions caught up with the times.

I thought it ironic there is an advertisement on the site titled “Clothing Choices That are Making You Look Older.”  Perhaps they should read it:   https://facty.com/network/answers/clothing-choices-that-are-making-you-look-older/10/


  1. ThreadsMagazineWeb | | #1

    Hello and thank you for your feedback!

    We do get this complaint from time to time. The truth is, though, that Threads serves a wide swath of ages, socioeconomic status, and locations... and we have found it is almost impossible to satisfy everyone's personal style preferences within the magazine. That said, the real focus of the garments we sew for the magazine is the technique - not necessarily the style of the garment in question. Our goal is to teach you how to use the technique to create whatever you would like with it, and whatever your style.

    We will take your comments into consideration, however, and really appreciate the feedback and your reference url's!

    Christine, Threads digital content manager

  2. user-7811435 | | #2

    Well, I agree it's hard to please a big demographic, but I think the OP's point is a good one. For example, contemporary designs are using new materials (fiber blends) and different silhouettes. Fashion trends can influence some sewing techniques, fitting methods, and garment construction. I hope you'll consider ways to address a wider variety of the end products/garments.

  3. simplypat | | #3

    You can pick any fabric you want. You can adjust fit as you like. You can make tweets to cut and style to suit yourself. But in the end it is all about the techniques. I have subscribed to Threads since Issue 11 and have not been disappointed in this articles and illustrations of techniques.
    Be your own stylist. Threads is a jumping off point for your fashion freedom.

  4. User avater
    BarbaraHewitt | | #4

    I love and look forward to Threads magazine. I have been dressmaking 60+ years. The technical articles are wonderful, which is the way I see the magazine. Years past Vogue and Harpers were fashion magazines with the clothes that were newly designed. Those magazines have become magazines that miss the mark for real women. Yes, it would be wonderful if Threads would show more current fashion. But to do top quality dressmaking, we need to know how to sew couture and design clothes that fit our individual lifestyles.

  5. zo7 | | #5

    What makes Threads' issues and offerings appear dated? ... constantly advertising their companion magazine Sew Stylish Spring 2017 issue as if it were new. Not good people.

  6. User avater
    bettystitch | | #6

    As a Threads subscriber since issue 14 and an older woman, I sometimes like and sometimes dislike the garments I see in the magazine. But Threads is NOT a fashion magazine, it inspires me to experiment with improvements to my sewing skills. I read the facty article suggested above and IMHO it contains generic good and bad advice for all ages- wear colors that compliment your skin tone, etc. Fashion comes and goes but good design remains relevant.

  7. user-925165 | | #7

    Threads is a SEWING magazine. The articles are timeless. Why don't you subscribe to Vogue and complain they don't have sewing articles.

  8. user-7812808 | | #8

    Love Threads. After checking out the inspiration garments you referenced, more like that would be great.

  9. sjkurtz | | #9

    I don't think there's any bad suggestions here. I am always interested to learn new techniques that send me down a new road. I can skip the accessories suggestions with the pattern reviews, the annual "French Jacket" article, and photos instead of tech drawings ....
    Ok, I see their point. As the house ad in every issue states: Suggest an article to Threads!
    That article or two is proposed at the top of this thread (pun intended)

  10. islandpeach | | #10

    I don't want or need fashion advice. I subscribe to and read Threads to learn and refine technique and as someone else said, be your own stylist. To be fashion forward you can find inspiration anywhere but the point is to lead and not merely follow you need to have skill.

  11. user-7863167 | | #11

    I am a frequent user of the technical archives of Threads, which has increased in quality and quantity over the last few years. I also find inspiration in innovative styles, art-couture and fiber art almost everywhere. For me, the technical side of fitting and sewing is much bigger struggle than designing.

    That being said, why not start a forum for Inspiration - where users could share interesting items articles and photos. Threads editors could use the forum as a place to follow up on users' interest in trends outside of the traditional markets.

    Also, highly recommend the recent podcast with Diane Ericson - she focused on inspiration and connecting garments and techniques to a broader philosophy of art and life. In particular, she offers a great insight into sewists as being interested in the challenges of multi faceted problem solving. That really makes sense to me - the satisfaction of imagining, then bringing the idea to reality. Honing the process itself is the part of the satisfaction - Drawing, cutting, embellishing, fitting etc. We can inspire each other to dig deeper in our own lives for new directions by sharing our influences and design processes.

    Here is a link I just found which is terrific:

    I really wanted to share it with other serious sewers....and came here looking for a good forum.

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