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Conversational Threads

Latest Issue arrived today!

MegVT | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

I’ve only skimmed the newest issue.  LOVE it.  Cool new skirt to try!  And I’m going to suggest that our school’s home ec/family consumer science teacher get a copy, so she can peruse the ‘driver’s education for new sewers’ piece as well.  The basic sewing tools was good – it reminded me that I’ve broken/lost a few items and replacing them really will help my sewing; besides, good tools are so important.  Back to reading!



  1. carolfresia | | #1


    Do try the skirt idea. It's really fun to make and will garner you lots of compliments. Plus, it's wonderful to wear, so make one before summer's over (assuming it's summer where you live?)



    1. marijke | | #2

      Thw skirt from strips is very similar to something I'm working on.  My question is:  why did the author choose to make such a clunky inner yoke from fusible?  (Starting with a straight strip that gets pleated at the waistline.) 

      My plan for my skirt if to gather fabric onto a shaped yoke (like the yokes seen on many skirts right now, the Threads collection has a pattern for a skirt with such a yoke as well).  This would be less bulky, I would think.

      Apart from that, I liked that skirt a lot.  Trendy.  And it can be made with uneven hem and raw edges for a teen or a bit more finished for a more professional looking trendy result.

      Thanks for a good issue that makes summer sewing fun!


      1. carolfresia | | #3

        The reason for using the straight strip of interfacing and darting it to fit was to avoid having to make a pattern. You could certainly use a shaped yoke from another pattern, or draft one of your own if you know how, and save on the bulk of darts. I had to dart in about 15 inches from hip to waist, which sounds like a lot, but in fact it wasn't much of a problem--I used a pretty soft interfacing. The skirt fabric is quite light, and even pleated doesn't add much weight or bulk around the hips.

        I used a rolled-hem seam on my serger to join my strips, and left the stitching on the outside edge of each pleat to give a more defined, pleated look. I also sewed a length of grosgrain ribbon around the waist, about 3/4 inch down from the upper raw edge of the skirt, to stabilize the waistline, leaving long ends to tie in a bow at the top of the zipper. I also left the hem edges raw, so it's all kind of shreddy and interesting. Rather than cutting the fabric strips, I tore them--much quicker, and the resulting frayed edges were trimmed off during the serging step anyway.


        1. marijke | | #4


          Sounds great!  The ribbon sounds like a really neat touch!


          1. Janna | | #5

            I haven't received the latest issue yet (mail to Alaska is a little slow sometimes) but I can't wait to see it: I am the owner of the dress that was worn on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary that is featured on the back cover.  I am anxious to see how it photographed and what they had to say about it.

            I wish to extend my thanks to Carol Fresia for her attention and care to this family heirloom, which has had a busy few months traveling from Alaska to Connecticut to Kansas to California and back to Alaska.  It was worn as a wedding dress in California just after it was photographed for Threads, and now I am trying to finalize the arrangements to send it to the Queen Mary for permanent display.

            The Threads experience is a wonderful part of its history . . . . and I appreciate the magazine for giving it a showing!

            P.S.  I have been reading the debate and discussion about the target audience for Threads with interest.  I subscribe, and I like the magazine even when it has articles about topics that don't interest me or that are above (or below) my skill level. I find it's useful to see all that variety.  Sometimes I am surprised by what I see, read, or learn from a topic that I would otherwise never have come into contact with.

          2. marijke | | #6

            That's a beautiful dress!  What a privilege to own such a special garment!


          3. carolfresia | | #7


            The sequined dress really is fabulous. The color of the tortoise-shell sequins is incredibly subtle and deep, and the overall simplicity of the design as just perfect. It was a treat to work with it (although the sequins turned out to be pretty tricky to light for photography! who knew such a poised and classy dress could be such a diva?!), and I hope it finds a good home back on the Queen Mary.

            Janna, once again, thank you for sharing it!


          4. GailS | | #8

            I received my issue this week and I know that a lot of people have expressed their disappointment with the articles.  I just want to say that I'm one of the people that enjoy the quick to make projects.  Do I make all of them?  No.  But some do catch my attention.  I am looking forward to making the shrug and may try the skirt too.

            As with any magazine circulating, you just aren't going to please everyone.  I've only been subscripting for a couple of years but save every copy and share them with my mother and sister who enjoy the magazines also. 


          5. Hansi | | #10


            What a beautiful dress.  Thank you so much for sharing it.  Did it originally belong to a member of your family?



          6. Janna | | #11

            It was worn on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary and the woman who wore it gave it to my mother - I don't know when or why.  I don't know how my mother knew her - she was not a known family friend, a neighbor, a relative, etc.  My mother worked at Dayton's Oval Room (upscale boutique) in the thirties and forties, so she may have been a customer.  I was the only member of my family who paid attention and remembered the woman's name.  My mother died 9 years ago and I never thought to ask any more details.  (The Anchorage Daily News did a very long and entertaining article about the dress, my family, my repairs on it, its various wearings, etc. a few months ago.)  For that article I did as much research as I could, including an informal estimate of value from an Antiques Roadshow appraiser, and am now trying to get it to the Queen Mary - a goal which has been complicated by the bankruptcy of the company that manages the QM.

          7. Hansi | | #12

            My word, how interesting!  The dress truly is beautiful.  Thank you again for sharing it and for the additional information.


          8. mem1 | | #13

            Dear Janna that dress is lovely and thankyou for all the effort you went to . Can you tell us more about the original owner and how you came by it ?

            Marianne  Australia

          9. Janna | | #14

            My comments above tell everything I know about the origins of the dress.  I am kicking myself for not asking my mother more about it. Years ago she told me the last name of the name of the woman who she got it from but never said when, why, who the woman was, etc.  I was able to confirm that a woman of that name was on the first-class passenger list of the maiden voyage. It was only in the last year that I go the idea to donate it to the Queen Mary, a friend wore it for a wedding dress, it was worn at an Academy Awards gala for the Anchorage Concert Association, the Anchorage Daily News did a big article about it, and it went to Threads for photography.  But my mother is gone, and although I tried to ask some of her friends who are still alive (all in their 80's and 90's) no one knew any more about it than what I had been told by my mother.  If I can make the arrangements with the Queen Mary, my family is going to donate it in my mother's name - Muriel Chapman Stewart.

            Edited 7/11/2005 11:29 am ET by janna

            Edited 7/11/2005 1:29 pm ET by janna

          10. rsolish | | #15

            DEar janna
            for thise of us who did'nt get the magazine yet can we see a picture?
            it sounds very special!!

          11. Janna | | #16

            The Anchorage Daily News article about this dress has photos, but I can't attach that article here.  Anyone who wants to see the article or photos can email me at [email protected] and I will send you the pdf document.  Put Threads or Queen Mary in the subject line so I don't think you are a junk mailer!

          12. amyL | | #17

            I was just reading my Threads last night.  I have enjoyed the dress on the back cover so much.  It made me wonder about the original owner of the dress and  what the times were like then and the special occasions she was able to wear it. I adore vintage clothing and really enjoyed seeing this dress.  Thank You for sharing it. 

    2. Hansi | | #9

      Hi Carol,

      I really liked the new issue too and there are a couple of things in it I want to try, including that skirt.  At first I was going to make it for myself and then I realized that the combination of pleating and quilting at the hips was not going to be flattering to my figure type (I'm not overweight, but don't do well in things that draw attention to my hips.)  However, I do think it's a neat project so I'm going to make one for my 9 year old.

      Also, Carol, I have been following the posts from the advanced sewers and their concerns about the direction of the magazine.  I've only been sewing a few years and the new issues are about the right level for me.  But I did want to say that even though I found many things directed to my skill level in this last issue, I do miss the articles about things that are too hard for me to try right now.  For one thing, they're interesting.  For another, I have been brave on occasion and tried something that I never thought I'd be successful at and had a wonderful time and learned a lot doing it.  Specifically, that Laurel Sprigg slipcover series really advanced my sewing skills.  I was scared to death to try that and I ended up with a successful project and such good feelings about myself.  I've learned so much from my subscription to Threads and the support of the members of this forum and part of that is the challenge of trying that hard stuff.  I just can't believe that there isn't a way to present articles and projects that appeal to all skill levels.

      Anyway, thanks for a great issue.  (By the way, the photography and layouts in this issue were very pretty.)




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