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New issue

SewNancy | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

I just got my latest issue of Threads and it is my turn to be unhappy.  There was exactly one article worth anything, Heather Claus’s article.  What happened to book reviews, aren’t there any out there?  Too basic!  The changing a pattern 3 ways was a big disapointment. The designs are so unfashionable!    The first one was much better and has been downhill from there!  I am so not interested in making crafty clothing.  There are plenty of craft magazines out there, leave the crafts to them!



  1. kjp | | #1

    I agree!  I usually skim the magazine & then spend days reading through it in detail.  There's not much to read through this time!  I was bored! 

    The hemming was reminiscent of SewNews articles.  I did enjoy the bleaching bit, but I doubt I would try it ... though I do have some pants with bleach stains... :-)  I prefer the fashion sewing.  Good thing I subscribe to Burda...no articles, but lots of ideas!

    1. SewNancy | | #2

      You are right about Burda, the latest issue is fabulous.  I have a PO box and my husband usually picks up the mail. When an issue comes he makes sure to announce it when he walks in the door!   I find more to read in the old issues I've read  than in this new issue!


      1. edgy | | #3

        Nancy & Kip,

        Is the Burda magazine more than just patterns? I thought that's all it is and more patterns I don't need. But, I am frustrated w Threads and looking for something to replace it.

        I don't sew a lot of the latest fashions. At 55, I know what looks good on me and is comfortable. I have the feeling Burda is very up-to-the -moment, and maybe for younger sewers.


        the other Nancy

        1. SewNancy | | #4

          It is really mostly patterns with some articles on the featured designers and reviews of latest European fashion.  I am 54, and I still want to look stylish and these patterns are that. 


  2. AliceA4 | | #5

    I agree that the latest issue was a little more simplistic than normal however I disagree that it was disappointing.  My expectations are that there will be at least one thing in each issue that will inspire me to try something different .  Right now I am sitting here trying to figure out how Pamela Ptak got that skirt on page 75 to drape so gracefully with 3 hooks when she started with a rectangle.  And why did I believe I always had to hang lining for pants from the waist rather than from the hem.  Okay, so that's two things... not bad for $6.99 retail and more than I have received from classes costing much more in both money and time.

    In general Threads is a good value and an inspiration to all of us who want to take our sewing to the next level.  As to the Burda magazine mentioned in this string, a more pretentious and self serving publication cannot be imagined by this reader as its contents are only to sell its products.

    1. ElonaM | | #6

      I'm an experienced sewist, able to work outside the box, and yet I found this a good issue. True, it does have some really basic basics, like how to sew on a button, but heck, buttons are some folks' Waterloo.

      The "elastic fact file" was a great summarization, with excellent illustrations, of the elastic options available these days. I liked the hemstitched facing article, and from reading other boards, I gather that many sewists want a little help with how to turn linings put in by machine.

      To remain viable, Threads has to satisfy the majority of its subscribers as well as appeal to those who might buy the mag off the stand. I thought this was a pretty good effort.

      Myself, I'd appreciate more haute couture stuff, but boy, would that scare off the passers-by.

    2. kjp | | #7

      Alicea,  I wish I was inspired by this issue as you were!  I did like the lining article, but can't say anything truly inspired me.  I guess I like the couture part of Threads the most.  I usually read, and reread Threads for weeks.  This month, I'll have to go to my old issues for that. :)  I definitely agree that Threads should include and feature basics - or they'll never attract new sewers, so I'm certainly not cancelling my subscription!

      As for Burda, I'm guessing you've never seen it by your comments.  The magazine itself is the product.  In the centerfold are all the patterns for all the fashions featured in the magazine - it's totally a totally separate animal from Burda Patterns in the retail stores, which I believe are distributed by Simplicity (not sure, though).  I find it fun to have such a great pattern library at my fingertips when I feel like making something out of my stash.  The directions are scant, though, one really has to improvise sometimes!  Karin

      1. TashaGirl | | #8

        I'm a pretty experienced sewer but I appreciated the article on elastics and the differences AND WHERE TO GET THEM!

        With the demise of so many fabric stores you really need to know what you are looking for and where to look! 

         Even though Haberman's and Stewart Fabircs are close by, sometimes they aren't open or you want a extra-specialty item that they don't have. 

        Like other commenters, I find that even if an article might not apply at the time, I've gone back later to reread- "How did they do that?" Also, I may do things different ways depending on what I'm making! (Fancy that!) If I'm making something from a more expensive fabric I am going to lean more couture.  If I'm making dog booties or pillows, I am not going to be so particular!

        1. SewNancy | | #9

          I'm not about to cancel my subscription either, but  I hate craftsy clothes and thats what Threads seems to be showing these days.  I really miss the great artcles on great designers.  I too  take out my old Threads for inspiration.  I do like finding out about sources for materials too, but I need more meat! 


          1. marijke | | #10

            More craftsy clothes???

            There are articles from many years back on stencilling (Diane Ericson) and by Anna Carlson on creating surface texture through differential shrinking of quilted layers, and many other art-to-wear type techniques.  Those types of articles have co-existed with designers and couture techniques for as long as I can remember (as a long-time Threads subscriber).

            The last issue's balance or articles may have been a bit towards more basic techniques, but I don't think that the overall content has shifted all that much --perhaps a few home home-dec things than there used to be.

            I love both couture techniques and art-to-wear articles.   In the last issue, I liked the article on bagged linings (tell me more on how to attach the lining to the zipper by machine!), the one on using bleach, the PACC challenge (I would have loved additional pictures online to see more views of those great garments). 


          2. edgy | | #11

            I agree that I would really like to see more detail on the Challenges. I have no idea how they do those inside-out/quick-change garments. Perhaps an article by one of them on their garment or something on-line?


          3. Iris_Colo | | #12

            I was disappointed in this issue too.  The lining article was really the only thing I thought useful and worthy of keeping the issure for as a future reference.  The Design section is one that I most often look forward to but this one left me wanting. 

            What happened to all our suggestions and requests that the magazine maintain an advanced level of topics/photographs/articles/designs, etc.?  Seems the majority of us were clamoring for more interviews with designers and inspirational "in-depth" subject.

            I decided to let my subscription lapse when it came due this time.  Doesn't seem Threads wants to keep the great content level up that we've become accustomed to in past issues.  Wish that weren't the case.

    3. carolfresia | | #13


      FYI: when Pamela Ptak sent in her skirt for the striped challenge, she color-coded the hooks and eyes with little colored ribbons, and sent an instruction sheet so we'd know how to put the garment on and arrange the folds. Without that, we'd never have figured it out! It's very 3-dimensional, and you really need to see all sides to understand it. It's totally cool, though--I would love to recreate it myself, not that I have anyplace to wear such a thing.

      I really enjoyed Shannon Gifford's article. Even though I knew how to bag most linings before, I hadn't thought of the pants trick, and I also never did a sleeveless top the way she does. As "basic" as the techniques are, they inspired me to think about reversible and lined-to-the-edge garments in new ways, and encouraged me to do some mental engineering on subsequent garments to get a nicer interior finish. I love coming away from an article knowing that I can choose to use that technique on my next project, even if the pattern instructions tell me differently. It's empowering.


      1. ChrisHaynes | | #15

        I enjoyed the issue.  I like the fact that all the lining options were in one place.  There have been many lining articles in the past, but this way I could just look at one place (though I think I will still use the leave open at shoulders method for sleeveless dresses and vests).  I liked the idea of embroidering labels on ribbon, I thought that using duct tape to customize a skirt pattern was inspired (I might use that for the split skirt/culottes I am thinking of making)... I probably will never ebellish by bleaching out color, but it was an interesting idea.

        Sure there are things I will not do... and sometimes the designs are not to my liking.  But sometimes I think the point is not to show you what to do, but to get you to think about the freedom to create what YOU want (especially after the flap of the designs in ultrasuade in Issue #69).  This is why I like the features that show what different people do with the same pattern.

        Sometimes I run into articles in other places that seem to assume that you will want to create the project exactly as shown... including all the fabrics and colors.  Why would I want to do that?  If I am going to go through the effort to create something, it is going to be unique, and not like anything else.  When I make a bag I put in the pockets and straps that will work for ME... not what is prescribed by some pattern company.  Those magazines, patterns and websites are for people who need patterns to make pillow cases (and who could probably be helped by "sewing basics" articles that tell them it is okay to change the pattern and instructions).

        What I AM disapointed is that the PACC Stripe Fabric Challenge article claims that there are photos of all the outfits on the Threads Mag. website.  WHERE???  I looked, and I cannot find it (including http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/th_currentissue.asp )

        1. carolfresia | | #16

          Hi, Chris,

          Let me assure you that the PACC web feature is in the works--I saw the prototype web page this morning, so it should be up in a couple of days. With the end of summer vacations throughout Taunton staff, last weekend's holiday, and some major changes happening in our New Media department, some things have gone slightly off schedule. But once it's up, it will be on the site permanently (along with many of our other past challenges). I actually go back and look at all those slide shows once in a while to remind myself of the great stuff readers have made.


          1. JeanEsther | | #17

            I loved this issue. I can't wait to try the skirt sloper from duct tape. I loved the ideas for replacing vertical darts; I was looking for options besides belting to take in the waist of a pullover top I'm making in a delicate woven. The elastic article was very informative and addresses problems I've been having; I liked the way sew-through elastics were clearly marked. That's all I've read so far--I try to stretch out the reading to one article per day so I can enjoy Threads as long as possible.

            Great job!

          2. laural | | #18

            Hi JeanEsther. I too liked this issue. I have a lopsided body due to scoliosis and was intrigued by the skirt sloper technique. I also liked the elastic summary and linings article.

            I enjoy some going back to the old issues of Threads for the more in depth articles also. Some of these seem to be meatier.

          3. SewNancy | | #19

            Meatier, yes that was just the word I would use.  I just did a foray into alot of the old issues and they seem to have more in them.


          4. JeanEsther | | #20

            I love going back through old issues too. Many times there are articles that were above my skill level at the time or that didn't apply to any current project, and now I'm ready to try them.

            Although there are fewer articles now that are way above my head, I like to think that it's because my understanding and skill level are rising! For me, sewing is a weekend hobby, so the more time-consuming, advanced techniques are less interesting. I love reading them, though, and find something helpful in most articles. I'm glad Threads puts articles aimed at different readers in each issue.

    4. SewNancy | | #14

      The magazine is the product and the value is excellent. It enables me to have a large store of patterns and pieces that I can move around and fit together without spending a fortune on patterns.  I used to buy a lot of patterns I never ended up using, at least with the magazine I get a fashion magazine too and the cost of patterns is minimal.


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