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Conversational Threads

Go Ahead and Vent article

TJSEWS | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

I always look forward to receiving my Threads magazine and issue 150 was no exception.  I normally find many articles that appeal to me and some that don’t.  Which is fine.  I don’t expect to like every single article in every single issue.  I actually loved all of the articles except for one.

The article entitled “Go Ahead and Vent” had me so aghast that I felt compelled to write this post.  I work in the garment industry in NYC and take couture classes at FIT.  One of the primary goals in both ready to wear and couture is to create seams with as little bulk as possible.  I am therefore surprised to find in this article that one of the options to creating a vent involves a vent with six (!) layers of fabric along the seam.  The finished product at the bottom of page 27 is not a professional looking clean finished vent.  From the right side, you can see a portion of the fold sticking out from the hem.  Even someone who doesn’t sew would know that this does not look good.  I don’t understand why this was even presented as an option.  The author says that commercial patterns use this technique – OK, but that does not justify a full page spread on the technique!  Or at the very least, a better “end product” sample should have been presented! 

The alternative on the next page does produce a much nicer vent.  I would have thought that a vent with a mitered corner would have also been presented as an option. 

Also, there is no mention anywhere about stabilizing the area of the vent (the “point” of the “V”) which would receive a great amount of stress in a skirt or pant leg.  This is an important step in the creation of a vent!

Despite this article, I truly have enjoyed reading this issue and especially loved the article by Claire Schaeffer about the designer Valentina.  And I most certainly will be using Kenneth King’s technique presented in Fitting a Sleeveless Garment.  And Anna Mazur’s attention to detail evident in her workmanship is just such an inspiration!


  1. vwren99 | | #1

    I also loved this issue, although I haven't had time to read it thoroughly.  I was particularly  interested in the vent article,since I plan to make a skirt pattern for dd using the techniques in another recent Threads issue. I haven't yet scrutinized it as well as you did, but *did* notice that it talked about stabilizing the V with a straight eye from a hook and eye.

    From my cursory reading of the article, I thought it was intended  to compare two different ways of making a vent, with the assertion that one way was better than the other. It sounds like it succeeded in that respect!  No doubt there are several other means to the same end, but it can get confusing and space consuming if too many techniques are covered in the same article.

    I consider myself an expert in sewing, but my expertise is not in this particular area; from my point of view, this will be a valuable article. I'm so glad that Threads acknowledges that even expert stitchers may have differing levels of experience with particular techniques.

    1. TJSEWS | | #3

      Go Ahead and Vent article

      Hello vwren99,

      The article I am speaking of is the vent article entitled, Go Ahead and Vent by Janet Adkins, pages 26 - 29..  That article makes no mention whatsoever about stabilizing the V with a hook and eye or any other type of reinforcement.

      The article you are remembering which does mention stabilizing with a hook and eye is a different article.  It is the article entitled Lining a Vented Skirt by Annalisa Tay, pages 79 -83.  Specifically, the tip about the hook and eye is on page 82.  This was a good article!

      Although you eventually find the missing information in the second article about vents, I believe each article should stand on its own.  I think it is important enough information to be included in both articles, especially since the better article, Lining a Vented Skirt, is listed as a Master Class - a beginning sewer might skip this article. 

      I agree that it is good that Threads acknowledges different levels of experience.  However, all methods and samples presented should result in a professional looking neat end product and the finished product on p. 27 does not.  Yes, the alternative option was better but why bother devoting a full page spread to a technique that has a better alternative?  I do not understand this but that is just my take on it. 

      1. vwren99 | | #4

        Sorry-I told you I hadn't scrutinized it as well as you had, lol!  In my skimming, all the vent information must have run together, and I don't even recall there being more than one article about them in this issue. Sometimes magazine articles can be real head scratchers! (My overall impression was still a feeling that this information will add to *my* knowledge.)

  2. Tycho | | #2

    I certainly agree with your comment on the vent article.  I have been sewing clothes for more than 50 years and wearing clothes for longer than that, and I have never seen the topstitched vent finish.  Since it is not attractive and looks difficult to do, I wonder why it was included in the article as a recommended technique.

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