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Conversational Threads

magazine direction

Kaaren_Hoback | Posted in The Archives on

Recently Ive noted the addition of home dec “stuff” to the magazine. I purchase Threads for the advanced sewing tips and content.

There are so many sources for beginning sewists and people attracted to simple home dec type projects that I hope that the content for the more advanced GARMENT sewists doesnt go by the way side.

Profit is important and increasing readership is a given.. but there are a large number of people who spend years and years increasing their skills that still would like the motivation and tips found within your past issues.

We have lost so many fine fabric shops and the remaining shops are featuring more and more craft and home dec items and fewer and fewer pieces of fine yardage.. but there are a LOT of people who have had their expensive high end sewing machines for years and dont try for the quick easy type patterns with 3 peices and 90 minutes start to finish but work for a month or more to produce the great fitting wearable garment.

One of the reasons home sewing software to produce patterns is becoming so very popular is because they offer a good fit to the basic silhouette and then we can add design elements we want.

Fit is paramount! quality is paramount ! good design is paramount ! and we need a “source” like THREADS to offer these ideas, and procedures.


  1. Nancy_Moore | | #1

    I agree with the message about the direction of the magazine. I subsribe to Threads for the advanced sewing content, not home dec. I may not always love the articles, but I do love Threads. Threads are prized and collected, what other sewing magazine can say that. If Threads goes to home dec you'll lose your subscriber base.

    1. Agnes_Domonkos | | #2

      *Threads has always been a special magazine for serious sewers who want to improve their skills and learn how the best sewers achieve their excellence level. Please do not change it. This is the only place where we can expand our skills and attempt to achieve "couture" techniques. We have other sources for home dec and crafts.

      1. Darlette | | #3

        *What about a compromise? No more than 1 article on Home-Dec per issue. How's that? When I check out the "crafty" mags for their Home-Dec ideas, most assume the reader has very little, if any, sewing skill. I immediately recognized the little details on the slipcovered chair skirt. You'd be hard-pressed to find something similiar in the Home-Dec mags. They're advocating fused hems, duct tape, or something less than fine sewing skills can produce. Now here's another question? The magazine recognized Linda Lee as an interior designer. Does this mean that girlie no longer owns the Sewing Workshop? Inquiring minds want to.... Heck, we're just nose-y...how's that?! ;-D

        1. silkscape_ | | #4

          *Regarding the direction of Threads magazine... I absolutely think that they should continue to focus on more challenging and creative aspects of sewing. Otherwise it is no different than other publications. However, I think there is also a place for "basics" in the magazine. For one thing, basics change as technology changes. Also, I find it useful to have my memory refreshed on certain techniques that I may not use regularly.But more importantly, I think the magazine must have something to offer the less experienced sewer as well. Yes, there are other references, but many are not so hot. And while a new sewer is practicing what she or he learns in a "basics" article, she is also aspiring to (and hopefully reading about) the more advanced projects and techniques featured. The run-of-the-mill sewing how-to books don't offer that.As to home decor (and quilting), I hope the magazine retains the garment-making focus, even if they occasionally produce features on unusual, special home dec we might like to try for fun.

          1. Chris_Timmons | | #5

            *Regarding your concerns about Threads’ new home-dec coverage, we plan to include one article per issue on sewing soft home furnishings, but this will in no way alter Threads’ long-standing focus on garment sewing and embellishment. The balance of articles will continue, as before, to address high-quality, in-depth coverage of garment construction and embellishment. From our ongoing reader research, we know that the vast majority of readers sew both garments and soft furnishings, and we see our home-dec coverage as both a response to our readers’ dual interests and as a means of building skills for newer sewers, who we hope will soon be naturally drawn into the more challenging realm of sewing and fitting garments. In fact, many techniques we’ll feature for soft furnishings will work equally well for garments. For example, in the upcoming April/May issue, in our article on “Digitizing Your Own Machine-Embroidery Designs,” we’ve embroidered the designs on table linens, but they could just as easily be applied to garments. Stay tuned, and let us know what you think once you’ve seen a little more of what’s planned. Chris TimmonsEditor/Threads

          2. Diane | | #6

            *Linda Lee is still the owner of the Sewing Workshop in San Francisco. She is an extremely busy woman who also has a fabric store in Kansas as well as an interior design business.

          3. Chris_Haynes | | #7

            *I actually like the idea of a LITTLE Home Dec being added to the magazine. Most of the home dec I have seen in other publications have been sclocky and "quick to make"... often with the phrase "no-sew" or "easy to sew", usually with the use of fusible stuff (AARGH!!! hate the stuff).Lately, due to demands of a house without curtains, limited budget and kids... I have not been able to sew for myself. Some of my clothes making skills have not perfectly translated well, and I have learned lots by my misstakes (like "shortcuts" such as fusibles or ring-tape are NOT worth the extra prices, for instance: fusibles work perfectly fine in interfacing for clothing... they UN-fuse in window coverings when hit by the sun's heat).Good dressmaker's skills SHOULD be applied to home-dec... but there are sometimes differences that should be emphasized. One thing I noticed as I look upon just hung up roman shades is that they hang crooked, the off-bias of the heavier weight fabric did not straighten as easily as lighter fabric for clothes. I guess I should have been more carefull at selecting the fabric. Sigh. At least these shades are in my bed room.I made sure that the curtains in the main floor were straight by pulling a thread. It is also of not so tight a weave and the bias straigtened easier (even though it was 3 yards of 90 inch wide stuff). It took more time, but at least they don't list to the side by a couple of inches!

          4. Chris_Haynes | | #8

            *Oh, yes... as I checked my inventory of Threads Magazines, I noticed that this is not the first time "Home Dec" articles have been included. In front of me is issue #24 from Aug/Sept. 1989 with an article on Shaker Cloth for shades and window coverings. Then as recently as issue #41 June/July 1992 is an article on comforter covers.I have no problem with an article per issue for Home Decorating. There probably is a need for good sewing techniques and STYLE in that field (I have seen a PBS sewing show doing some home dec sewing with "style" that makes me gag - but that may be my own taste... I hate anything labeled as "Country").

          5. L_Schmitt | | #9

            *I guess I've been noticing something else about Threads, and actually I am rather happy to see it. The most recent issue of Threads has dramatically fewer ads for computerized embroidery machines.

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