So I went out and bought the latest issue of Threads, I flipped it open to pg 32 , the article “find your fit” I have to say, this is one very poor fitting shirt!
I do hate to be so nit picky, but really, in an article on fit.. The right shoulder seam seems like it’s falling way down on the arm, the collar is standing so far away from her neck, the armhole just looks weird, the shirt button, well the one that is buttoned needs to be a a couple of inches higher up at the bust point, not below it, the way it is buttoned she potentially is showing off her entire chest, that or she just needs to button the next one up. There should be a button at the waistline. The back view of the shirt shows just way too much bagginess (is that a word?).
The shirt just doesn’t look comfortable to wear!
Now, it may not have been made for this model, but still, on an article about fit, the clothes should fit the model better than this. At least on the next page, the pink jacket fits much nicer.
I also liked how the pink jacket fit and being as it looked like it was on a real model, gives one hope that the way to make it fit works.
There was another thread on the striped shirt and I think in general it got a complete thumbs down, including the mismatched stripes on the collar. Since it looked so bad, it was really poor advertising for the pattern software.
The point about poorly constructed or poorly fitted garments making it into the pages of a sewing magazine of this quality has been made many times before. Most of the people who read a magazine of this type are looking for and expect better than average skill levels to be demonstrated in the examples. We are going to immediately see where things could be done better! We are detail oriented! We expect to see fine sewing techniques in all examples! Beginning to end. I would rather have seen a garment on the person it was fitted for, real life bumps and all, than a model. Then you see what the fitting challenges are, and how they have been addressed on a non-standard body shape, you learn more. Cathy
It's like Gail said, This is very poor advertising for the software company. If this is not the person the garment was made for, they should rightly be very upset.I also think the dress made with the PMB program was very unflattering and poorly fitted, the skirt is way to baggy at the hips.But of course you're right about everything else which is why I canceled my subscription. Interestingly enough, I was listening to some reports on NPR about newspapers folding, and one of the complaints was very similar to what we have been complaining about with Threads. Too many big bright colorful graphics, no news, too much white space, larger font etc. I often wonder if it's just that my skill level has grown to where I have outgrown the magazine, but then I pull out very old issue and become engrossed in the magazine.
I agree. I pull out my first Issues, the ones I first fell in love with, and drool. Those were the issues when Threads was all about all fiber arts. I enjoy my issues still, but it is not the same magazine I first fell in love with. My interests in all textiles, and all fibers is no longer filled with one magazine. Sigh. I quit buying a lot of other mags because the content was too simple, uninteresting, not challenging enough. Do I see Threads disappearing into the void also? Cathy
Canceled your subscription, jjgg?!? Well, now, I find that very disappointing, but probably for selfish reasons only. The fact is, I learned a lot by reading your critical posts. Yes ...I also noticed the (general) lack of fit on pgs 32-37, but you were so specific on several details which I missed! Your comments will help me to make better garments in the future, (and Cathy's comments as well), so I hope you might reconsider. You are needed here!
Hope you are not gonna cancel your posts to us too Jigg! We would dearly miss your snappy humor and knowledge! Cathy
Don't worry. I have no intention of leaving this board. I cancelled my subscription to Threads about 4 yrs ago when it first got so "white". ( too much white space).
Phew! Glad to hear that
Yeah..... what Katina said....
PHewww...big sigh of relief...:) Cathy
I agree completely with you, Cathy. You have, as always, expressed the issues very well. How do the editors let these pictures through? Is there no quality control? The editors all sew - do they not see the same glaring faults that we readers do? We all want to learn, to expand our knowledge base, but we don't want to learn by constantly having to pick apart the 'what NOT to do" stuff.
Tee hee hee, kinda reminded me of those little black DO and DON'T banners in the trash rags at the grocery store, tee hee hee. I now have the awful urge to draw arrows and banners on the pics in the mag. tee hee hee. Ok, I got to get off of these Negative Nelly rants. I guess if we do not uphold the standards, no one will. It would be nice to see an article on how to match collars with stripes or plaids, take the fear out of it, etc. Show how easy it is to do those kinds of things to avoid those glaring mistakes. Cathy
Plaids are not hard to do, just time consuming. Well, not "quick and easy" anyway, but definitely not hard.Do you do muslins? just draw some lines on your muslin across seam lines so you know what has to match with the next. I was also taught to use the underarm point for matching.But when you go to sew plaids, you have to hand baste. Use a walking foot to sew, but hand baste with a slip stitch from the right side.
Thanks for the pointers. I have worked some with plaids and stripes, but I have seen some really amazing things done with them. I just wish I could "see" better what the options and finer points of working with them are. Being a visual person, I like to see what possibilities are out there. Cathy
I have no right to even comment but I noticed that the collar on the striped shirt in Issue No. 142 did not line up with that neat shirt. I would have tried to line it up. I thought this was a good issue though. With a credit and a fantastic sale price I bought a black and blue (can't recall what they called the color-sounds better than black and blue however) knit block print dress on Amazon that I love and loved the article on splicing knits. When I get my new glasses I'd like to try at least a knit top. My dress is self lined. and fascinates me.
I haven't taken Threads for a long time but this issue was really up on the things I'm reading about on Gatherings. I think my subscription was well worth sending in. I hope they do an article on fitting thin (??) people like me. We're really hard to fit too. We have too many things we have to cover up. You know-neck,chest,arms and on and on! I don't need any fabric that is slenderizing. All that and try not to look fourteen.
Many of us will envy your being thin! But seriously, yes, being very slender has as many fitting problems as being Rubenesque. After all, what is the 'perfect' body? Fit is very important, whatever your height/weight/frame.
"All that and try not to look 14" brought a grin to my face...I face your same fitting issues and often feel like the minority. I sew to ensure I have great fitting garments with a sense of style and originality. While sewing does not typically save me money...at least I know I have quality fabric and a perfect fit and I won't meet myself coming around the corner in the very same outfit! Whoops, fit was what prompted me to reply, sorry for digressing. I absolutely love sewing with Burda World of Fashion patterns. I find many of their patterns seem to be perfectly drafted for my body (smaller ribcage circumference, arms, hips, etc.) and require little more altering than adding length to sleeves and legs and occasionally raising a plunging neckline.
I'm going to try the Burda patterns-maybe thats my answer!
Have you downloaded and printed any of the patterns on the Burda site? Most of them are 'way out of my style, but I did like a jacket on there andbacked off when I read it took something like 42 pages to print the pattern at home.I buy Burda pattern magazines - the styles are so up to date.
I have never printed from the Burdastyle page. Like you, I am not interested in printing umpteen pages that then have to be taped together. I like the idea that you can trace off and grade down the sizing at the same time and then add your own seam allowances. After reading the article in a past Threads about using different seam allowances for different parts of the garment, I no longer sew everything with the "standard" 5/8" seam. This process seemed a bit time consuming the first couple of times, but now, I don't even give it a second thought.
Say Starzoe; where do you find the Burda pattern magazine? I've seen them advertised, but have never found one in the store here. Can they be ordered through the mail, possibly?
Second question: I saw a picture of the center-fold pattern page and it looked confusing with all those sizes. Is it difficult to find the lines you want to trace or cut on? It looks like they have more than one design as well as several sizes in each design.
I would think you could find the Burda magazines in Kamloops. Maybe one of the book stores could bring copies in for you. I get mine in Sidney, both the Plus and the regular copies are carried. It would be prohibitively expensive, I think, to order it from Germany.The multi-patterned pages look confusing, but in reality if you outline what you want in a fine felt pen and then trace it is time-consuming but worth it. A good many times I peruse the style and then adapt one of my own patterns to conform, so the Burda mag. and pattern books are used for ideas, not just for shapes, etc. but also for fabric types that are European in vogue.
Thanks, Starzoe; I'll try Kamloops the next time we get over there. I haven't been to Chapters yet, and have been wanting DH to drop me off there while he goes about his business. I love bookstores ...
Thanks again for the suggestion.
Sewslow, you can ask your favorite magazine retailer to order it in for you! This usually means: Bookstores, magazine shops (aka smoke shops), and some sewing/quilting shops. If the demand is enough, they will carry it as a regular order, or will special order it for you! I used to get mine in a shop near where my girls had specialist appointments on a regular basis in a large town near where I live. I have not bothered to get it special ordered, as several places carry it regularly around here.The fold outs seem complicated at first! Each garment has a key that tells you what colour and line type to look for. It is actually quite simple. It is just like reading a map. Once you find the line you are looking for, the rest just seem to fade away... A highlighter or coloured pencil will make tracing the lines a lot easier. Cathy
Thanks for the "roadmap" analogy Cathy; I'm pretty good with road maps so the comparison makes the challenge seem less intimidating.
Someone asked recently about Burda measurements, so I got out a chart that I had laminated some years ago (maybe 20-years ago or so) and then found a smaller version that I had in my files so decided to compare them. I found it interesting that, what I thought was the "newer" version had two distinct differences: 1) They had increased the neck circumference by 1/2 inch and the back waist length by 1/4 inch.
That got my curiosity going so I did a Google search to check the most current women's size charts. As I suspected, the measurements were the same as my newer "older" chart, but ...when it came to compare to RTW, it was a whole new ball game. For example, a Burda size 34 used to be compared to a US size 8. But now, the new Burda size chart compares their size 34 to a US size 2.
This confirms what many of us have suspected for years, in that the US garment industry has been putting smaller size numbers on the same size garments ...no doubt to make all of us think we are not getting fatter. What a hoax! Who on earth do they think they are kidding? Also, it seems like the more money one pays for a piece of RTW, the smaller the size tag will be on it. If it keeps up, I will soon go from a 2-4 to a minus 2-4. What a joke. If a person goes to a "minus size", does that mean that they are no longer here? chuckle chuckle
Tee hee hee. I discovered the size difference when I bought a size 12 dress (on sale) in a fancy store, and a size 20 dress in Walmart on the same day! Go figure. Actually it made me angry! Just go by the ruddy bust measurements or something reasonable, people!!!!! No wonder I hate shopping, do not know where to start, nothing fits, and I think it is all ugly! grumble, grumble, grumble....he he he, now I have gotten that out of my system... One of the things that I love about the Burda mags, is that they have a way of reworking some of the more basic pattern styles. After a couple of issues, you will see similar cuts reworked with updated details. You know that these garments are going to work if you have sewn similar ones before. I have even pulled out the older pattern and compared the basic components, then traced out the newer parts needed to update the pattern! No further fitting required to update a favorite pattern! Always a muslin to test, but a lot of the fitting changes are already done. Cathy
I had to laugh, because shopping isn't my favorite thing either, unless ...it's for fabric!!!
The last time I went in to buy jeans, the clerk came up to me and asked what size I wore. My response was: So how much do your jeans cost?!? She looked at me, completely puzzles. My point was this: I wouldn't be able to tell her my size until she told me the price range of the jeans, i.e. the higher the price, the smaller the size, and vise versa. She was really young, so I don't think she ever got it. No doubt I appeared to be just a crazy old lady who couldn't answer a simple question. Chuckle!!
>> ... size I wore. ... much do your jeans cost?!? She looked at me, completely puzzled. ... <<
Touche! on your uptake. pricey RTW is sized "smaller" to placate the person buying. Perceiving oneself as a lesser size (whatever), when one is actually a size larger - sometimes 2 or more - strokes one's ego.
You've got that right, Nepa! What's the saying? Oh, yes ..."I am, what I am, what I am"! And after all these years of living, paying more for jeans has never decreased the size of my hips! giggle giggle
Hiya Sewslow67! You can see the link for subscribing to Burda in the US or Canada here:
It's through a company called German Language Publications (GLP) and yes, it's expensive!
I suggest you could also try to order just one issue from a Chapters bookstore - is there still one in Abbotsford? Kamloops? Anyway, check out http://www.chapters.ca for locations.
I have the good luck to have an international newsstand in a mall near me, but the English Burdas sell out fast. I have had to buy the German and Russian issues if they're all that's left (I have a lot of dictionaries, so it's not as wacky as it sounds). Lately, I had the good fortune to learn that a local German deli/bakery also carries it in English and German, but again, it's move it or lose it. I have a standing reminder in my calendar on the 10th of the month to go search for a Burda!
Wow, thanks Mary; that's good information. I went to the Website and added it to my Favorites. I suspect that I will subscribe, though I will buy a single magazine first - just to make sure I still have "the stuff" to do that kind of advanced project. I have no problem with the advanced Vogue patterns but, as the reviewer said on that Website: "Burda patterns are Velveta, whereas the patterns from 'Burda World of Fashion' are the real thing." (great quote!)
I've never shopped in Abbortsford, so I'm not familiar with the stores there. And DH drops me off here and there in Kamloops, but there are no decent fabric stores there - and I haven't been in Chapters yet either. I understand that Vancouver has a great fabric store, but DH hates cities so ...we are still negotiating on that one. In fairness to him, I don't really need any more fabric right now. Blush ...
To quote Pasdemon: ""mature" ladies suffer from SABLE: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy. I have more uncut fabric and unopened patterns than I will be able to use and have to make a will leaving my sewing and craft supplies to people who can appreciate them."
I love the term "SABLE". I bet that fits a lot of us. It gets very confusing when there are so many things to do-what to do next? The answer too many times is "run and hide"!!!
Hi Mary: I guess I'll just go ahead and subscribe for a year, because I can't seem to find a store that sells the individual magazines. I'm sure there is one somewhere in Kamloops, but I haven't had any luck finding one so far - and I know, from all the comments, that I will surely enjoy it.
I live in a very small village up in the mountains now, and we have only one grocery store, and (questionable) "department" store - mostly just "stuff" that you would buy in total desperation because you can't get to the city. But then, I'm not a good judge of any store because I don't particularly enjoy shopping ...unless, of course, it's for fabric!!! ;-) Now that's a different story! Typical lover of sewing, I guess.
Anyway, thanks again for the Website. Have a great week.
Hiya! A small mountain village sounds good just now - I'm surrounded by the hubbub rush of Microsofties getting to the office. We live down here in WA and dream of moving to the quietest most rural part of Vancouver Island. Someday! I'm with you on the shopping. You have to strap me in the car to go out and shop, unless it's a road trip to Fabric Depot in Portland, OR - three hours' drive to fabric heaven!
I checked at Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca and notice that neither of them do magazine subscriptions online. That surprises me. I know that GLP News is the largest importer in North America, and I admire your commitment to subscribe sight unseen. The magazine IS great (although I'd say that recently the patterns have been a bit "youngish" - very slim 20-somethings in pencil skirts and arty jackets. The spring/summer magazines tend to have clothing that better spans the ages, I think).
I often see copies of the magazine at the ongoing local Friends of the Library book sale for $1. If I come across any, I'll pick up some and drop you a line. I'd happily throw them in the mail for you.
Edited to add - I forgot to mention that the easiest way I've found to trace the Burda pages is to tape the Burda sheet to a large window (ideally a sliding door) and then tape your tracing paper on top and go - the light makes the process easier. Also, I use really cheap white disposable tablecloths as my tracing material. You can see to trace through them, and they're studier than tissue paper for tissue fitting. I used baker's parchment in great big sheets before that, but that got too expensive. :) M
Edited 3/30/2009 12:16 pm by Ckbklady
Edited 3/30/2009 12:17 pm by Ckbklady
Oh, my goodness Mary; Thank you so much for your kind offer. If you do find any issues, please send me a PM so we can make arrangements, and so I can cover all of the costs.
I actually started to subscribe last night, but when the price came up, it was even higher than I thought (I didn't see where it sprung up for out of state subscribers). Thus, I decided to keep trying to find an issue or two.
I lived in Portland for a number of years. And yes; Fabric Depot is well worth the drive down from the Seattle area. Actually, Portland is fabric heaven for those of us who love fabrics. Have you been to Josephine's Dry Goods? They carry only high-end natural fibers; prices are high but it is well worth a visit.
As for living in a small, mountain village: Yes, I love it here, and the lack of shopping is well worth the exchange for a quiet, peaceful, safe, exquisitely beautiful place to live. We live within a couple of miles of two rivers, a mountain lake, a golf course, and a ski hill. However, we also had a dreadful winter, what with 9-feet of snow. I haven't been able to drive my car for 5-months as it's not 4-week drive and I don't have snow tires.
Thanks again, Mary ...and also for tracing tips. Good ideas. Have a great day!
PS: I hope you can fulfill your dream of retiring on Vancouver Island. It is truly beautiful there.
Hiya back! Yes, I'll watch out for them and email you off-list if any appear. I'm happy to help a fellow Canadian! :)
The subscription price IS shocking, in fact, if I'm not mistaken, it's actually MORE than the newsstand price. Burda costs $10 an issue each month at the newsstand. For all of the patterns, I guess $10 is a bargain, but then again, I'm careful to scan each new issue and see if there is even one pattern I might make. The magazines take up quite a bit of space, so there has to be a good reason to get them!
No, I haven't ever gotten to Josephine's. I was down in Portland last summer, went to Fabric Depot and very quickly ran out of money! That put the kibosh on going to Josephine's, Mill End Store AND Pendleton. Darn that couture wool aisle at Fabric Depot! :) Maybe next year when the economy cheers up.
I bet I know your area in the BC interior. We have family in Nelson and environs and would move there but for the snow. We have family on the Island, too, and the climate there is so much friendlier. We want what you have but on the Island. It'll happen! Thanks for the good wishes.
Of course, in the interior you have much more bright sunlight than we do, so the tablecloth tracing will work even better for you, tee hee!
Love-love-love the cheap tablecloths idea! My latest 'happy accident' in pattern paper was finding half a dozen rolls of Pier 1's lovely plastic wrapping paper on super-clearance for 75 cents a roll. It even has straight-of-grain lines! (Follow the pattern on the printed side) BB! Kharmin
Oooh, KJ, that's a bingo! Grain lines and everything! Sweet!
I've also used the back of old unused patterns ironed smoothly. You'd think that the tissue pattern lines would interfere, but what's another line when there are so many to look past anyway?
Is that different than Amazon.com? that's where I subscribed and I just checked to see that Threads is still listed. Also, in case anyone has a Sam's Club near them, I just left my local Sam's Club and they had Threads. Their magazines are at least 30% off. Oh, I forgot to check what country you are in, so this may not help.
Yup, it's a country thing. Amazon.ca is the Canadian Amazon website. I'm in the US, but Sewslow67 is in Canada. Threads certainly is readily available in Canada, yes and thank goodness! It's the Burda World of Fashion magazine that Sewslow67 is having a challenge getting. It's not impossible to get in Canada, but being far from a big city and its newsstands and bookshops can limit the options.
Oh! I was reading in a hurry and thought they were discussing Threads. I used to get Burda at Borders, but never see it any more. A subscription is a little too pricey for me.
Isn't it amazing that Borders and Barnes & Noble will have a bazillion magazines on weight lifting or how to put your make up on but it is so hard to find the really good sewing magazines on their racks. I suppose they only sale what will sell. Unfortunately they don't know what sales they are missing because we can't find them on their racks and so go elsewhere.
I noodled around online a little more and found a Canadian distributor for Burda - maybe the price would be a bit lower through them?
German Canadian News Company, Ltd.
25-29 Coldwater Road, Toronto, Ontario
Canada M3B 1Y8
I'll keep watching for used copies for you in the meantime!
I just sat down to check my email, and there was your most helpful message. Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness, Mary. I'll give them a call to see if I can get just one or two copies for starters.
Thanks again for all your help. I'll keep you posted as to my progress.
Hiya! Yes, do keep me posted. And be sure to share it here - I bet there are other Canucks who would benefit from knowing about your experience.
Did anybody try this technique of adding the bust dart?I did, and it really seemed to help with the bust fitting. It's a deep dart because I had to add a lot for my DD size.
but I'm having problems now with the sleeve fitting. Swinging the armhole point out to accommodate the dart actually made it swing up into the armhole (can you picture this?). The armscye is the same size so the sleeve fits in there, but it feels tight under the arm.
I can't quite figure out what the problem is.I'd post a picture here if I knew how...
You can also order Burda magazines through Amazon.com so if you get a gift card for them and don't know what to order, go to the magazine section. Because I have an Amazon reward card, I get a gift certificate every couple of months and have been able to get subscriptions to several magazines that way. I never knew of the magazine until I picked up some at a yard sale. I loved looking through a magazine of clothes that because the patterns were included, I knew if it came in my size and I wasn't lazy, I could make the actual garment. Of course, I am too lazy and haven't made anything from them, but I like the inspiration. I got a Burda Plus subscription for one year through Amazon (only two issues) but was disappointed that all the clothes I really liked were the smaller petite plus/half size (something like that--not my size!).
I hate how hard it is to find some of the good sewing magazines. I love just about every Australian magazine that I have picked up and saw one called Flair from England about a year ago and haven't found one since. I just got a letter in the mail that they are discontinuing the Butterick/McCalls magazine that shows the latest patterns from those companies plus articles, so don't be surprised when you don't see that any more.
Since I have a lot of sick days, I love having new magazines (or even old ones) to look at to keep my mind occupied when the rest of me doesn't work. I equate it to giving a child a picture book to look at when they are sick.
Thanks, Gail. I had no idea that Amazon had magazines. Thanks so much for the information. I recall hearing something about an Amazon Reward Card, but I never bothered to check it out. It sounds like it might be worthwhile.
Listen; you take good care of yourself now, and get to feeling better real soon, OK? Maybe you could do some handwork too, while recouping. Sometimes keeping the hands busy helps to pass the time while still accomplishing something. And thanks again for your helpful suggestion.
I have found that doing handwork with a larger needle and perle cotton, I can still embroider so I've been doing more of that lately. Tiny needles, don't work with my arthritis and bifocals so I was very happy to find moving up to larger threads let me go back to the handwork I so used to enjoy.
Amazing what you can find on Amazon! I noticed that some people even have some back issues of threads up for sale there if anyone wants to look. I sell used books there, but not my magazine stash!
Say Gail; I also have bifocals, but there are the (I can't think of the right name, now) the kind with no lines. With them, I can use very small needles and fine thread. You might want to ask your doctor about them for you.
Before I got them, several friends told me that they had a difficult time adjusting, but they only tried them for a day or two. I had no problems at all and wouldn't go back to the other ones for anything. It's something to think about.
I tried the progressive lenses twice now, 2 weeks each time and can't get used to them. I will stick to line bifocals, but since I need to see the dashboard in my car, I have the bifocal set for arms length, and then I have another pair of glasses for sewing/reading. My middle distance is fine, I don't need glasses for that, so around the house I don't use them, but always have my 'sewing' glasses hanging around my neck.a couple of yrs ago though, I told the optometrist I needed some for really up close. I said I need to be able to rip out tiny black stitches on black fabric under an incandescent lamp at night. I got what I asked for, they are great.My eyes are very mismatched so I can't just buy 'readers' off the shelf.
I got 'no-line' bifocals about 3 years ago, and they've been great. My optometrist spent a good deal of time watching and measuring how I used my eyes and my hands, to get the placement of the shift just right - which makes a huge difference in how well they solve your problems! That said, I think I'm going back to contacts next time around, though.
I got lots of back issues of Threads on Ebay. I think they all sort of tie into the same "used books" sources
Edited 3/28/2009 10:58 pm ET by jjgg
When I got my first Amazon Reward card I found a gorgeous dress for 75% off plus my card and happily sent for it. $37.00 for a $119.00 dress but what it really did for me is to tell me that I just have to quit using that card or I will be in big trouble! I love the dress tho!!!!
I too am becoming disillusioned with the content and photography in Threads. I am a more than middle-aged, midwestern sewing professional and for months (years?) have not seen anything displayed which I would sew for myself. The Pattern Review dominates the young and "slender", which I am not, but at one time was. I cannot see myself wearing anything with a ruffled sleeve, ruffled skirt, etc. Peplums? Give me a break. As I explained in another thread, I have let all my other sewing magazine subs. lapse, except for Sew Beautiful and Designs in Machine Embroidery. I custom design Christening gowns and love my little Janome 300 embroidery-only machine. I am not enjoying Threads as I once did, but hope with new life in the editorial department, possibly we will get some couture on a regular basis. As for shopping in Copenhagen, how many of us will board the next plane out of Indianapolis and head out? With this wretched economy, profile our native stores (which are shrinking at an alarming rate).
Looking at my "old" issues, Threads is being dumbed down for appeal to just the general sewing. That I could get from Sew News which has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.
Threads has always been my outlet to the finest and greatest in sewing. I do not like foreign publications, except for Stitches from Austrailia. Editors.....Do you hear us?
I agree completely with you; I just don't know what else we can say, what else we can do.
Hopefully the editors or the person who monitors this forum will see this and put the information to good use. Am I alone with these thoughts?
No, you're not alone, but we've been through all this before - many times. Take a look through the older posts here.
No you are not alone in your thoughts, but this has been hashed and re-hashed for the last several years,
This is absolutely no sarcasm intended but I probably fall in the dumb down category because I want to get back where I once was and find renewing past skills is helpful but I understand why you more occomplished people are discouraged. Some magazines are nothing more than how to make a tote bag. I bought a leather skirt and was told they are all made for above the knee!!! The fashions all seem to be for the young. Patterns too. Even so how can the beginning and intermediate sewers improve unless Threads introduces them to something more? Not just improve but get motivated and excited about sewing. The schools no longer even teach sewing and grandmothers are too busy anymore.
I don't agree with you that the patterns are only for young women. There are any number of designers who design for mature women. Think of Sandra Betzina for one, Connie Crawford for another. Aside from the large commercial pattern books there are many choices from independent designers and you can go to http://www.sewingpatterns.com and page through hundreds of patterns and dozens of designers.
I did not mean to come across as mean-spirited, rigid or "mature". Anyone who knows me will attest that I am forward-thinking, a great dresser, and a rather fun person. Now that is said: the world is being geared to the young and not too well-clothed. Case in point: I spent Saturday at a local mall and a free-standing store. There was nothing but JUNK to purchase. Most tops and blouses were of such poor quality that one trip through the washer and you could wash your dog or car with said garment. Soooo I feel it is the obligation of Threads to guide us, whether we are newbies or professionals to the very best; be it design, fabrics, and techniques. I am not maligning any one editor or editorial assistant. I am more partial to the Independent Pattern Designers, as these people are smart, design savvy and know their field.
Enough said. I stand by my musings.
I agree with you about mall shopping. I buy very little but I have to admit to targeting the high-end shops wherever they may be, to get ideas I can translate into my own version. Advertisements, pattern books, magazines and yes even malls are fair game.
This was pointed out at another sewing site: with this issue the newsstand price went from $6.99 to $8.99. That's an increase of approximately 28 % which is a hefty increase! Glad I'm just a few months into my three-year renewal, as the subscription price will increase also.
Edited 3/23/2009 12:12 pm by JeanM
I went to Sandra Betzinas patterns but most are from 8 up and I have an idea an 8 would swamp me. Is her sizing better than most? I really hate to buy patterns I can't use. I love her book Fabric Savvy and think she's probably one of the foremost people in the business.
"I want to get back where I once was and find renewing past skills is helpful but I understand why you more occomplished people are discouraged."
I find reviewing basic skills very helpful, as I often learn something from it. I often relearn how to do it properly, not just the "fast and easy" that doesn't always work in the project I am working on. I just also need to learn the next steps beyond, and look to Threads to provide it, as that is what was I was buying the magazine for. Threads has always been a source of style and embellishment inspiration for the fibre artist who is stretching ahead. I will admit to being a sewing snob. I want a sewing snob magazine. Cathy
I totally agree with what you said about relearning how to do it properly, not just fast and easy. That is the stage I'm in right now. In fact, with spring "only a few more months away" ...pun intended ...(it's snowing here right now ...arrrrrggggg!!!) I bought the book: "Linen and Cotton" by Susan Khalje. It is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful ...and I have been pouring over it and nearly reading the words off the pages.
I plan to make a number of cotton and linen garments for spring and summer and my plan is to have her book by my side, and do each step meticulously and with couture details. Of course, considering I am ..."sewslow" ...tee hee ...it may be 2010 before I'm done ...and it will still be snowing!!! giggle giggle!
Tee hee hee, I hear ya! right now I am waiting for the temperature to rise enough to do without that blasted noisy heater in the studio. The fan developed a slight whine this winter, and it hurts my ears, and the TV doesn't even block it out. Excuses, excuses, I know....
but it is hard to sew when your fingers are ice cold. But my curtains are almost done! One refresher point that was made, pressing time is 10X for the time at the sewing machine! Boy what a difference it makes! And taking the time to be careful with the little details, like pulling a thread to straighten the fabric on the sheers. Wow, do they ever hang nice! Cathy
I was going to ask you how your curtains were going; good job! And yes, pressing and pulling threads can be laborious, but well worth the effort. Actually, I don't mind the pressing part after collecting all sorts of helpful pressing tools. However, I miss my little "Streamstress" that I had for so many years. Mine finally cracked when a friend helped me pack for a move, and they don't make them anymore so I really miss it.
This cold is the pits, huh? I'm sorry your sewing studio is so cold. DH tells me that I absorb more heat than normal, and that is why the house is so cold. Chuckle!! I think he might be right. ;-) I get goose bumps even when it's 70-degrees in here. OK ...back to work with me!
Could have finished sewing the curtain panels today...but it was nice and sunny, and dry, and not so cold. Gave DH and FIL a hand with splitting and stacking the wood to keep warm next winter. Would (no pun intended, tee hee) have been warm enough in the studio to sew...
got to get the extra heat vent installed before next winter! New windows would be nice too... I could have covered them to keep more of the cold out, but I like to see the deer running across the field at evening, and the sun shining in. Some things you just have to be cold for, tee hee hee. Cathy
Wouldn't a huge, screened in back porch make a wonderful sewing studio during the summer? Warm, fresh air, sunshine, blue skies, flowers all around and ...I love your view of seeing deer running across the fields. Wow ...now that is a bit of heaven. I'm with you my friend; no way would I cover the windows in the middle of winter if I could see wildlife playing in the fields.
You will no doubt sleep like a baby tonight too, with all that exercise. Good job!
I have been lucky enough to inherit a screened gazebo that someone outgrew and sew in there on hot summer days. It is also perfect for painting my ceramic works, wool working, or beading, or snoozing! Bunny chewed a hole in one corner, last summer, so I will have to mend it this summer, tee hee! The one thing I love about spring and fall, perfect weather for getting busy sewing! Cathy
Oh ...so cool (pun intended);-) Now then ...if I lived next door, we could have a sewing party. I'm a cookie gal, so I could bring the treats. tee hee
OK, I want to know what you mean by "wool working". Are you talking knitting, needlepoint ...what? Inquiring minds want to know!
Edited 3/25/2009 1:52 pm by sewslow67
Yup! My short hand term for knitting, crochet, tapestry work, macrame, needlepoint, embroidery (crewel, or otherwise, even if it is not technically wool, tee hee), or anything else that uses yarn or cording. Cannot remember who started calling my stuff woolwork, but it stuck. Cathy
Thanks, Cathy; that's a very neat description that covers a whole scope of hand work. Cool!
I tried knitting in college, but my project turned out to be a joke. However, I enjoy doing a fair amount of texture on canvas with various fibers (needlepoint canvas) and have also done some counted thread work and crewel, but not for years. Clearly, sewing is my first love.
Starzoe has a good point about Sandra Betzina and Connie Crawford as to their wonderful styles. However, if you are thin (and I recall that you said you were), their patterns would probably not work for you unless you were willing to do extensive alterations. I used to be a skeleton and now am just thin. I have tried their patterns, but I've had to really "thin them down" considerably in order for them to work; and then, the pants were still ill-fitting (way too much fabric in the legs). Clearly, not worth the trouble in my estimation.
However ...how about finding similar styles (or a basic pattern) and copying Sandra and Connie's style ideas and details ...making the garment exclusively your own? I don't think that would be too difficult if you had just a few basic patterns that you had altered to fit your figure. Anyway, just a thought. Good luck and let us know how it is going for you.
Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed to know. I wear a size 4 in RTW. I'm 5'7''. What pattern size do you buy? Sometimes I can wear a size 6 dress depending on the style but never pants or skirts. At 16 I made it to 130 and have gotten thinner every year since. I think I remember being 16! I'm fine boned and think 130 on me now would be terrible. I'd like to try 120. Are we ever satisfied?
As you have probably read on this site, and others, that RTW sizes have absolutely nothing to do with pattern sizes. Independent designers sometimes have their own take on sizing - and so does S. Betzina.Find someone to help you take your measurements. There is a form on the Threads Magazine site you can download which covers all the measurements you should have. When you go shopping for patterns take your meas. with you and you will have a good start for some basic patterns which hopefully do not need too many alterations.Burda patterns are a good way to begin your search. They are mostly multi-sized and begin at the smaller sizes.
You are most welcome. Sandra says on her Website under the link "measurements" that she used very different ones from the norm, as her patterns are designed for "a more mature woman's" figure. Now then, to answer your questions: In RTW, I wear either a size 2 or a size 4, depending on the manufacturer. When my weight hit 83-pounds though, the size 2 was huge on me (I am not quite 5' 6" tall). My weight right now stays around 110-pounds (and that includes a belly full of dialysis fluid, which I do most days).
OK then, pattern size: First of all, it depends on what I am making. I have a rather small frame and am small boned, and when making tops, I always have to adjust for a full bust. I buy a smaller size than my bust measurement though, as I want the shoulder area and neck to fit, (and I have thin arms) and it's easier to adjust for a larger bust.
My waist used to be very small, but with this dialysis regimen, my waist has expanded 7-inches in the last couple of years, so now I have to also enlarge the waist. Thus, for skirts and pants, I buy for the hip measurement (I also have thin legs) and enlarge the waist ...which is easier than buying for waist and the doing all sorts of adjustments for hip and legs, which can get dicey.
My first choice in patterns is frequently Burda for the reason that Starzoe mentioned. As an example, using a multi-sized Burda, I can cut size 6 for neck, size 8 for shoulder; size 6 arm, size 8 hip, size 12 for arm length, size 16 for back length, size 18 for side leg pant length (I've got really long legs) etc. For bust, I technically would cut a size 14-16, but that wouldn't fit right, because I am so narrow across the upper back, i.e. from under arm, to under arm, so I do a bust cup adjustment instead (I wear a D cup). I'm also narrow around the rib cage.
I realize that this may sound complicated, but truly it's not. Once you get a basic pattern adjusted, you just kind of lay it out on top of whatever new pattern design you want to make and you can pretty quickly alter it and get on with sewing it up. Yes, I do fit as I sew, mostly because different fabrics change the fit a bit, and my ever growing waistline sometimes throws me. Right now, I'm making a new basic pattern as my body has changed so much this past year ...and not for the better, I might add. Oh, well ...it's just good to be alive, huh?
I'm sorry this is so long, but I've tried to answer all your questions in a way that will be helpful. Ask for clarification if you need it, OK? As for making really good adjustments and in the right order, there are a number of others here who are eminently more qualified than I who can give you really, expert help.
Good luck, don't quit, and enjoy the process. Trust me, it's worth the effort!
Thanks for the help Now if you'd just give me some of your Part D-depending on my weight fluctuation I can find that part of me! I never thought of using different parts of the pattern sizes. This would be especially helpful in the hip area. And arms. I bought muslin this week. My printer is out so I have to take notes. You're in Favorites but it's so full finding your post would be complicated. I'm 5'7" and 106 pounds. I used to be 36 in the bust but now 34 is a stretch. Maybe I should settle for Mu mu's.
You ladies are all so nice, there is no way I could leave this group. I don't always post, but I"m here. And, for those of you in the midst of winter, here in lovely Asheville NC it is springtime. The redbuds are budding out, my lilacs are loaded with buds, the daffodils are up and blooming, I don't have any but all around here the forsythia is bright yellow, crab apple trees pink and fluffy everywhere, Maple trees are all heavy with red buds on them, baby cows in the field next to my house, blue birds are all trying to nest in the park and bird song everywhere!It is so much nicer here than in Houston, I'm so glad we moved last year. At times I really miss the big city, but I'm getting used to a much more rural life style. (I'm actually about 15 miles south of Asheville)
Hi jjgg: I would have responded sooner, but I sat here, stunned when trying to remember what redbuds, lilacs, daffodils, forsythia, crab apple trees etc. etc. were. I actually thought I'd have to look in a dictionary for the definitions. You see, we've had nothing but 8-9 feet of snow to look at for the past 5-months and ...well ...it's just amazing what can happen to the human brain when that happens.
Seriously, your message was a breath of fresh air ...and one that gives us here in the frozen tundra of the north hope; hope that spring will come here too ...and sooner than later would be just delightful. Absolutely DELIGHTFUL!! So thanks for the reminder that it is just around the corner. There's nothing like hope to lift the spirit!
And BTW, I am so glad you've decided to hang around Gatherings. You would be sorely missed if you left us.
No, no ...don't give up. I've got a Burda measurement chart here that was a handout in a store some time back, and I will try to scan it and send it to you. I will have to send it through my regular email, so if you want a copy, please send me a PM so I will know where to send it (don't post your email here publicly, though).
This chart has eleven different body measurements and includes each of these measurement for sizes 6, 8,10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, and 34. I laminated my copy and use a dry eraser to circle each different measurement on this chart so I will know which lines to follow on the pattern. I mark the lines on the pattern first, before cutting out so I don't screw it up when cutting. Except for adding length ...I don't have to do a lot of split and adding tissue this way, and it saves time.
Remember too, that once you get your Basic Pattern adjusted, you can also lay it on top of your designer pattern to save time and double check your marked size lines.
As for "saving" these links: Just do a copy and paste of the messages you want saved and copy then onto Word and file them on your desktop. If you don't know how to do that, I'll do it for you and email them to you as well. No problem. Got to run for now.
I'm wondering if Junior size patterns would be better for you? Probably not the fashions themselves, but if you could take it down to the basic components? I know Junior size start in patterns at 3/4. They are made for the smaller framed not yet 'matured' lady. Matured being related to physical growth, not actually age and wisdom.
Thanks for the idea as I hadn't thought of that, though in RTW, it's impossible because I'm so long-waisted and also long in the rise (for pants). I'll check the size charts for patterns though, to see if that might be better.
And now, I've got a waist issue, what with my expanding waistline. Gee whiz ...I sure hope it stops expanding soon. I always wanted a little larger waist, but enough already!!!
Thanks again for yet another alternative. I appreciate your help.
Oh my! Sounds like another case of "be careful what you wish for!" One of my high school friends who was rail thin always wished she had a butt! Bless her heart, she got it. We tease all the time about the figure changes we wished for. Her butt and my bust line. Hope you get it worked out.
Regarding what pattern size you'll need first measure yourself. I have a daughter who is 5'8" weighing 118 lbs., wears size 2 in RTW but needs a size 8 pattern in the Big 4. Of course I need to lengthen the bodice and sleeves for her but the shoulder and neck area fit well.
You have really told me how different sizing is in RTW and patterns. I guess my first big job then is measurements and cutting a muslin and I can go from there. I'm so terribly rusty! If your daughter can use an 8 then my thinking has been way off. One of the girls suggested Burda patterns. Have you used these? Thank you for your help. I have fairly wide shoulders, small bust, no hips. In jackets in RTW I have to fit the shoulders and can never buy a matching pants suit. I'm happy with the color coordinates they're using now. I have some excellent fabric that I bought from a seamstress in Illinois and I don't want these things to end up as botched throwaways. I start Monday when I should have my third pair of glasses after cattaract surgery. I hope the third time is the charm. We have a storm coming in (the first this year) so everyone is scurrying around preparing for the worst. My sons trip to the Royal Gorge has been cancelled for tomorrow.
>>Looking at my "old" issues, Threads is being dumbed down for appeal to just the general sewing. <<
I look at my old issues every night to help me relax before bedtime. The old issues carried long articles full of text about the whys and wherefores of sewing. Now it is a lot of pictures with a sentence or two to explain why they are doing whatever and if you can't figure it out, you are up a creek. I do learn many things for my Threads magazines, but this is a trend I have seen with many of my subscriptions.
I'm also letting subscriptions drop and not because of the price but the content. By the end of my subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery (I have a 300E too!) I was ready to rip my hair out. For an entire year each issue contained an article on embroidering on blue jeans and an article on embroidering a purse (same stuff as what is in the book they put out). I didn't like the purse the first time I saw it and after 5-6 articles on almost the exact same purse I had had it.
Now Creative Machine Embroidery is going on the 'frugal' bandwagon. Their first 'budget $40 garment took me 3 times through the magazines before I found the article that was supposed to be the frugal one--a dog's shirt!!! The next 'frugal' article was a plain top with some butterflies embroidered on for $50!! What's next a beach towel for $60?? This is not my idea of 'frugal' sewing.
I don't even want to talk about the push in the last few months of all the these magazines into 'greening' our sewing. One of the reasons that I sew is because it is a fairly frugal thing for me. I even quilt and use up lots of scraps. However, I don't think that every sewer in the country is that interested in sewing 'green'. I've seen way too many articles on sewing bamboo and hemp, considering I don't think the only fabric store (JoAnns) in my area even carries it. Yes as a new fabric on the scene it is important that we know what to do with them, but why this constant push from all sides to go green? I don't buy sewing magazines to get my environmental consciousness raised but to get my sewing knowledge raised or at least inspired.
I know Threads has a hard job to appeal to the many sewers out there. Many or us will never be doing much in the couture sewing, but I like to see how things are done and to learn. I think if they can get a good balance that will be good. I would also like to see much more about sewing and putting together a wardrobe much like Australian Stitches does (from the copies of that magazine that I have seen). Wardrobes for different women in different lifestyles, like all the disabled RNs (and other women) on this board that would like nice clothes to wear but are easy on and off and also easy fit well fitted to make.
Babbled enough, sorry but related highly to your comment about discouragement with other magazines also, not just Threads.
I'm the other Gail, but I completely agree with you.
I enjoy sewing the best quality clothing I can.
I'm still using a fine quality leather purse I purchased in 1977, not about to spend time or money on making one that will last only a season.
I quilt, I knit, I've been known to crochet a book mark or two in my time.
Clothing construction is my first love, and that is why I buy Threads. Gail
I agree wholeheartedly with you. JoAnn's is the only store within local driving distance and have yet to see any hemp or bamboo either. I do not sew, quilt, or embroider to be "green", but for the pure fun and enjoyment of it. The reason I am keeping the Designs in Machine Emb. is for the advertisements. I NEVER wear embroidered clothing. Period!!! Perhaps if we wait this "green thing" out, (ala the 70's), we will get back to some real basics in sewing and in our lives.
I feel as if I have opened a can of worms, but sometimes I just have to vent.
Venting: you and me both. My hubby has been hearing it for awhile know too! I do embroider my clothes at times, but usually my embroidery is going onto crafts and quilts. Did you choke when you saw the embroidered floor rug sometime last year? Who are they kidding? Who is going to spend all that time embroidering out something to lay it on the floor for someone to walk on? I do try to glean ideas where ever I can find them, but sometimes I just can't get past the ridiculous!
I agree with your comment about hopping on a plane out of Indy to go to Copenhagen....I'm up in Peru, and our economy is based on the auto industry in Kokomo...which is going downhill rapidly! Over 17% unemployment and it will get worse when Delphi and Chrysler lay off most of their workers...probably in May......Its all I can do to get to Indy for fabric!
There just aren't very many really good fabric stores around anymore. I went to Arbuckle's for the first time, not too long ago, and while they had a decent collection of laces, I was disappointed that they are going to more quilting fabrics.
I do heriloom sewing for a client....She loves to wear vintage clothing that I alter for her. Where do you find your laces? Do you use authentic lace or new for your christening gowns?
I am just down the road in the Kokomo area and know too well about the auto industry. I have not been to Arbuckle's for a spell, but the last time
I shopped there, Sara had a pretty good supply of lace and batiste. I usually purchase new lace as the vintage (read: old) usually does not match the fabric well or I don't have enough to complete a project. I normally purchase from M. Pullen as she issues a catalog with coupons in the back. Twenty percent is nothing to sneeze at.
Also, the vintage stuff can be very vulnerable to dry rot. Would love to correspond more with you. I sew, quilt and make children's garments and Christening gowns. Not too exciting, but it keeps me off the streets!
Back to altering vintage for a client, I would definitely use vintage laces if you can find them. I scour flea markets and antique malls for these.
I thoroughly enjoyed your post about the designer wedding gown. I am done with professional alterations, as I have been through what you suffered with said bride and more. Periodically, I will hem, replace a zipper, etc. but that is it. I have had some health problems, so decided to enjoy life.
Keep in touch.
Interesting you should say this, I thought the blouse looked a little too large in the chest area on the tiny model.
since this thread has gotten so long I don't know quite what statement I made that you are referring to.
I apologize, I was off the net for a couple of weeks due to work commitments. You had made a comment about the blouse featured in the article on software packages. I agreed with you the blouse was illfitting and not a good representation for whichever software package it was supposed to illustrate.
HI, ok, I'm glad your back here now. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and stick around
Good Morning Miss Jigg.
I refer to the nasty, dreadfully miss matched collar, and offensive fit of the embarrassing shirt example in issue 142 of Threads.
Just for comparison, if you can get your hands on the JUNE/JULY 2009 issue of Sewing Today's VOGUE PATTERNS, you will be fastinated, inspired and delighted by the artical written by Kathryn Brenne as she explains, what she refers to as, "the finer details" of shirt constuction. Pages 26 through 34, that is 8 full pages of detailed photos and clearly written instructions!!!! There are a few resource suggestions at the bottom of page 34, but otherwise no advertisements intrude on the copy. Also on page 34 are the "Hallmarks of a custom made shirt.", highly enlightening!s
To my mind, Vogue Patterns, just painted a target on the wall for all other sewing magazines to aim toward! Bravo!
If the Threads editors are lurking about, it has been said, in this forum, that your readers seldom criticize you or your magazine without making suggestions for improvement. Well, dear ladies, here is my criticism and there is my suggestion
Thanks for this Gail. I was about to post a question on shirtmaking as it happens - my friend has asked if I can refer her to a book or article on sewing a basic, double-yoked shirt. We live on different continents, so it's easier for her to refer to some reference. Would this Vogue article be what she's looking for?
Thanks very much for the help. I'll tell her to order it.
I've just looked it up online - seems there's something by Koos van den Akker in it. I love his work, so I'll order a copy for myself.
Edited 4/27/2009 10:45 am ET by Katina
I too echo the other Gail about this magazine and the shirt article. It is THE Shirt ARTICLE! Excellent. The shirt looked exquisite and you knew at first glance it was well done, including matching those stripes. The shirt does also have a back yoke.
This is the kind of article I want to see in sewing magazines. It is all well and good to have articles about the best place to shop for fabric in NYC, but for those of us that don't live in NYC and won't be visiting it, it is a waste of pages. Many other articles come in under that same type of thought, but good articles for making basic clothes beautifully will never be amiss.
Thanks very much for this, Gail. I'm looking for a place to order copies for my friend and me - she's in Australia. She thinks she might find it in a bookshop, but would rather not take the risk. I'm anxious to see the magazine - might be a good bet for a subscription; unfortunately, articles in Threads have become very skimpy.
As for shopping in New York and other places - you're quite right. No need to waste magazine space on this type of thing in the internet age. With all the websites available it's a simple matter to post and ask where to buy in a specific area - people are always very helpful to point you to the best suppliers.
I think I'm having a brainfart. I can find information only on the April/May issue on their website. Are you saying the June/July issue is already out? I am really interested in reading that article. Sounds devine.
Yes, I have it in my hot little hand, Vogue Patterns June/July 2009. Now above the title, THE ULTIMATE SEWING MAGAZINE. Blond model with upswept hair and bangs on a blue cover. Hope that helps. Gail
Thank you and Miatamomma for this information. I shall find one. Thank you for the heads up.
I subscribe to the Vogue sewing/pattern Magazine and I have probably had the June/July issue for 2 weeks.
Edited 4/27/2009 9:31 pm ET by miatamomma
I'm so glad you brought this article to our attention (and the editors of Threads). It's such a thorough article and one I will refer to many, many times.
My friend and I are very anxious to get copies of this Vogue magazine. No luck so far. Do you perhaps know if it's out in the bookshops in America yet?
Thanks - Katina
I don't know, I will look next time I'm out. I subscribe. Gail
Thank you, Gail. It seems it is out.
Good wishes - Katina
Katina, it is indeed in the U.S. bookstores, or at least it's on the Kroger grocery store newstand. I bought one this past Monday after Gail enticed me with her post. I have not been disappointed. I don't know how the mail service is, but I'd be happy to get one and mail it to you, if you'd like me to.
How kind of you to offer, JunkQueen - very much appreciated. I may take you up on that. I feel like the kid left out of the party!
Thank you - Katina
LOL!! I know the feeling. Don't hesitate to ask. It would be my pleasure.
Thanks again for your kindness - a nice way to start my day. I guess you're about to go to bed - sleep well.
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