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Conversational Threads

July 2004 #113

Stefanie | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

Loved the new issue. I was just recently wondering about uses for stay tape. I bought the Lotus skirt pattern and cotton gauze and some stay tape. Wondered what else to do with the roll. Voila – answer. Although I do wonder when do you use bias tape vs straight?

Liked the design challenge. I wouldn’t have known what to do with those prints and thought they did a nice job considering no one seemed happy with the fabrics.

I especially felt inspired by the articles on changing sizes of multisized pattern and creating a designer knockoff. But I liked the whole issue really. The pattern review is always a favorite.
Stefanie

Replies

  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    Hi, Carol!

    I just wanted to compliment you on the new issue of Threads. It arrived in my mailbox this morning, which is extremely early for Canada! It isn't even in the stores yet! I'm blown away by the contents I saw on my quick perusal....lots of things here to pique my interest. Very impressive.

    Sandy

    1. carolfresia | | #2

      Wow! I can't wait to read my copy! I'm not really kidding, either, sadly. We editors don't always get to look at each others' work in any detail till after the magazine comes out, and since I've been on vacation, I've been trying to catch up on everything. Last night I finally had time to sit down and start reading in earnest, and I liked it, too. It always look so different in print than it does as separate pages thumbtacked to the wall.

      Carol

      1. marijke | | #3

        I'm not sure how to post a general message to this thread...  I just wanted to say I REALLY liked the latest issue.  I'm happy when my new copy of Threads arrives most times, but this issue was especially good.  One of those I curled up with and read cover to cover the first evening.

        The article on eliminating seam allowances made me think...  I often use patterns that don't have seam allowances but I always add them to the paper pattern.  I always thought it was so much easier to sew with cut-on seam allowances... 

        When learning to sew, I was taught to do something akin to tailor's tacks to mark all the seams on the fabric (double thread, loose stitches, pull the double layers apart and cut between so you have marks on both layers), then cut with relatively generous seam allowances and remove the tacks after sewing.  They'd often slide out before sewing on slippery fabrics and sometimes got stuck in the seam.  Such a hassle!   I was soooo glad when I discovered that I could include the seam allowances on the pattern. 

        But I guess the article's point is well-taken: marking the seam does make for more accurate sewing!

        Marijke

      2. SewNancy | | #4

        I realize that it is kind of early for a response to all our requests on this site but you seem to have covered a whole lot of them!  I sew with Burda mag patterns and often like a top in the plus sizes which are 2 sizes to big for my shoulders and perfect in the hips.  Now I have the perfect method for reducing the size!  The whole issue was great.  I also will reiterate that as  women with an extensive graphic design background, I really appreciate the clear elegant graphic style of your magazine that only seems to get better and better.   Now I still want to see some coverage on some young avant garde designers.

        Nancy

        1. kjp | | #5

          I would like to echo the praise for this latest issue!  I loved the removing seam allowances article!  I have sewn with and without, but removing them is really helping me to fit and true my "perfect pants sloper" I have been working on for months! 

          I also thought the grading article was wonderful!  I also use Burda mag. patterns, but often the patterns in reg sizes are one size too small - I can't wait to try this! 

          The basics article on stay tape was great, too.  I picked up a suggestion from a threads discussion to use tape on stretch fabrics for the crotch seam - fabulous!  Even though I've been sewing for life, sometimes it helps to be reminded of important basics.  I would have liked more sources & brand names for the fusible tape!

          Karin

          1. SewNancy | | #6

            Sounds like I could have written your note!  I have bought the fusible stay tape from http://www.sewingplace.com  I think that that is the correct address.  It is in California, but the service is fast and reliable.  They send out priority mail and I have it in 2 or 3 days and I am in NY.  I also buy all the new fusible interfacings from them.  They have a lot on their website. 

            Nancy

          2. kjp | | #7

            What a great website!  I will be placing an order today :)   I found it under http://www.thesewingplace.com

            I just completed a beautifully fitted pair of pants - stretch- & cut my own strips of fusible (1/4") to stabilize the crotch and waist area.  So easy & I love the results!

            Karin

          3. SewNancy | | #11

            Dear Karin,

            Since losing 75 lbs I have been trying to fit the perfect pants.  Everytime I get close it still isn't right!  Have you got any suggestions or steps you took in fitting your pants?

            Nancy

          4. kjp | | #12

            Nancy, I went to a free seminar at our local fabric store last winter with Peggy Sagers.   I think she details everything she went over in her Pants fitting article in this issue of Threads.  I took a Burda pants pattern that worked pretty well (better than ready-to-wear) & made a muslin from it with 1 1/2" seam allowances at the sides and waist.  I'm tall, so I always lengthen the crotch depth by about 3/4".  I had to slash & add even more crotch length in the back & then took in small darts in the back and the front (as in Peggy's article).  My muslin fit beautifully!  I did have to make adjustments to the final fit of the actual pants, though, since I used a stretch fabric -- I just needed to take in the sides a little.  The other thing I liked about Peggy's method was marking the waistline where you like it.  I find I like my pants just below the waistline.  I'm still perfecting drafting my own waist bands/waist treatments.  I've taken my muslin and altered the crotch depth & length on another pattern with pretty good success.  I've grown to love my french curve! 

            Good luck!  Karin

          5. SewNancy | | #13

            Dear Karin,

            Thanks.  I looked at Sagers article with interest and as soon as work settles down, I am going to cut another muslin from my almost there Burda patten.  I too like my waist line to be just below my waist.  It is more flattering to a large derriere!  More comfortable too. 

            Nancy

  2. JulieP25 | | #8

    I love this issue. Once again Threads has a magazine with lots of great stuff. A little more on Designers would be nice.  That design challenge was definitely a challenge. The fabrics were a real twist. My compliments to the designers on a great job. As for cutting off the seam allowances, I'm not so sure that I'm converted yet on all patterns. But will try it on a few. Grading up and down is really a lot more easier than I thought it would be. Thanks for that wonderful article, I'm finally not stuck with a pattern size, I can choose by design. As for the Chinese Brocade fabric article, I really would like to have some fun with it. It's added to my to do list. Also enjoyed the article on mimicking hand embroidery on the machine. Kudo to all. I can hardly wait for the next issue. Jules

    1. FitnessNut | | #9

      I was impressed with this latest issue of Threads. I found it much more inspiring than I have recently. Excellent job! Nice to see some education about stay tape....I've used it for years, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find. A very useful addition to any sewist's repertoire which can prevent many problems later in garment construction. Anna Mazur's article on reproducing a designer garment was excellent. Although I draft my own patterns, her process makes it much less intimidating for those without patternmaking skills. The same with the article on grading.

      I'm less convinced, however, with the need to remove all seam allowances from patterns. Perhaps it makes more sense to use variable seam allowances and adjust the pattern accordingly as stated on the first page of the article(5/8" seams scream homemade). I doubt that most home sewists are making the kinds of changes that usually occur before the seam allowances are added (#1-4 in the article). And I can't say I particularly enjoy the Design Challenges, although this one was better than most. Generally, the designers come up with outfits that I wouldn't be caught dead in, way too "crafty" for me, although I'm sure that the workmanship is fabulous.

      Pamela Ptak's fabric insertion is a technique that is new to me, which I quite enjoyed reading about and will likely use in the near future. I do have one observation to make, though. While I like the graphic quality of the green dress and understand the need to have a garment that shows well for publication, I wonder about the wisdom of using this technique for some of the areas of this dress. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the large areas of light green be separate pattern pieces and seamed conventionally? You waste valuable time and fabric when it is applied as an insert. And curved seams are no simpler to do in either method. Just a thought.

      1. carolfresia | | #10

        Sandy,

        You make a good point about the couture insertions in Pamela Ptak's green dress. Those sections, in some cases, could well be done by dividing the dress pattern and piecing it back together with ordinary seams. One reason for doing the job the couture way, though, is that it controls distortion in the fabric edges during construction, something that's crucial if you're working with a fabric like this 4-ply silk, which is cut entirely on the bias in this case. In some situations, I can see that you'd also have the option of simply appliqueing the insertion onto the background fabric, although you'd be adding weight and possibly bulk. This technique isn't necesarily for every garment, but it's perfect for that once-in-a-lifetime couture piece!

        Carol

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