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Conversational Threads

Potential Articles for Threads

jatman | Posted in Talk With Us on

Hi Amber,

In the spirit of the ongoing discussions about Threads I’ve been thinking about articles I’d like to see and why.  I’m a relatively new subscriber to Threads so I have no idea if these things have been done in the past or not but here is my wish list:

Hatmaking – I suspect there is a lot that can be learned and used elsewhere in the basics of hatmaking.  And since it can combine the arts of sewing and fiber manipulation it may be of interest to more than one kind of subscriber.

Articles that are devoted to certain decades – I’d love to see the inside of some of those ’40’s jackets and their shoulder pads, or the boning in some of the dresses of the ’50’s, or the quality and origins of the silks used in the ’20’s and ’30’s or just the finishing of some of the really old garments that had to be made by hand. A nice reference guide to vintage patterns of that decade would be great, too.

Movie fashions, particularly of the ’50’s dance variety – I’ve been watching a lot of TCM lately and noticed how incredible some of the dresses were.  Not only is the style unique in the combination of colors, collars, cuffs, etc. but the flow of the garment when they danced was just fantastic.  What is it made from?  How is it cut so that the skirt looks full until she twirls and you can see that there are panels and slits all the way up to the waist?  How did they do that?

Reviews of magazines that offer patterns inside – for example Burda Moden, Patrones, Sabrina, Knipmode, Ottobre – how difficult are these patterns?  All of these are from countries outside the US and not necessarily in English – is it essential to be able to read the directions?  Or do you just need to be an expert at sewing?  I’m guessing that a lot of people have never heard of some of these magazines – getting people to ask for them might be a good way to get book stores more interested in carrying them.

Details – like how to use a binding maker – until recently I never knew that this little gizmo existed.  I would have no idea how to use it or which materials it would work with and which wouldn’t.  And I’m sure there are 100 more gizmos out there that I’ve never heard of.

Trials and tribulations of working with (fill in the blank) – silk dupioni, silk chiffon, taffeta, fleece, velvet, leather.  I would be interested in everything from what you need to do before you cut it, to what needle to use, to how to keep it from fraying, to how careful you have to be to not permanently crease it while you’re working on it.  When I start on a new project with something I’ve never used before I’m usually clueless. 

Men’s products – I’d like to know how to make a nice men’s tie or bow tie or cummerbund.  How much material does it take, what goes inside and where do you get the hardware to finish it?  And where do you find patterns for these?

Clothing for industries – scrubs, lab coats, aprons.  I’m sure that I can learn something useful in the construction of these garments even if I don’t need them myself and having a reference guide as to where you’d get patterns for these things would be nice, too.

Dance costumes – again, I’m sure I can learn something here about fabric and what flows and how to embellish them that I would use in my own wardrobe.  Who knows, in the future I might volunteer to make costumes for a dance studio or maybe even get paid to do it. 

Small holiday projects – I would love a reminder year round that the holidays are coming.  I’m guessing that people who are killing themselves to get everything done this month are probably thinking that they should have started earlier.  I would love to see stockings, ornaments, decorative boxes, etc. in each magazine all year long.  It might actually get me motivated earlier.

Fabric information – I’ve seen the girls at the fabric store light a swatch on fire to determine what a fabric was.  How do they know what fabric will do what when it’s lit on fire?  What makes a satin?  Is it the material or the weave?  These are the things that would be good to know so that I don’t get steered in the wrong direction in the fabric store because I don’t exactly know what I’m asking for.  And with this era of buying online without being able to touch the fabric, it’s even more important.

Embellishing – using all different fabrics or ideas.  Show me a white t-shirt that five different people have embellished using their favorite way – with ribbons, with beads, with dies, with scissors.  I’m open to any and all suggestions and I’m fascinated by all of them even if I won’t use them all.

OK.  Sorry.  Whew!  Got carried away!  Can you tell I love fabric?  I’d love to be able to put that love into a career (I think articles on that have been suggested before but I’d like to reiterate that suggestion).

Thank you for giving us an open forum!  What other articles do subscribers want to see?





  1. meg | | #1

    Wow, but you've been thinking hard. 

    I've also wondered about an article on museums which house & display vintage garments, fabrics, etc.  Perhaps an review of museums?

    1. katina | | #2

      Here's a link you might enjoy - the Museum of Costume in Bath, England.

      I spent a couple of mornings there some years ago and was practically delirious with delight!


      1. jatman | | #12

        What a great site!  We have tentative plans to get to Bath early in 2007.  I will make sure that I get to that museum! 

        I've also been surprised at the number and the quality of uniforms that I've seen in various war museums throughout Europe and the US (my husband is a history buff!).  That's another good (and surprising) source for people who love to look at the craftsmanship of days gone by.  Maybe those museums could be included in any museum review.

        And I also want to thank you for the book suggestions.  Those titles just got added to my 'must order' list!



        1. katina | | #14

          You're very welcome JT; you are in for an enormous treat when you get hold of some of the much earlier issues of Threads.



        2. NovaSkills | | #19

          I, too, have been to that costume museum. Both it, the Baths, and the Georgian house museum in Bath are wonderful. And, eat at the Sally Lund Tea Room.

          Hit the War Memorial Museum in London, and the underground bunker Churchill used in WWII (War Cabinet Room, I think it's called.) Both you and your husband will enjoy them. We both did...too bad we can't meet you there! Also check out the Museum of London for great history and lifestyle exhibits. PS, it has a great cafe inside.


          1. jatman | | #20

            Thank you for the tips!  I'll have to put those items on the ever growing list of things I want to do!


          2. Ralphetta | | #27

            In this thread and others, I notice a high percentage of  readers refer to the fact they work in theater and costuming.  So, it seems logical to me that there are so many people who say  creating/envisioning the garment and deciding on fabrics, etc., is their favorite part. They clearly think in artistic terms.

            I really liked ther suggestions for articles about designers and the creative process.  It would be interesting to know if the designers had a turning point when they found their look, the thing that separates them from others.

            This interest illustrates that Threads readers don't fall into the "little gray-haired  grandma in the rockingchair" stereotype.  I wish I were better at drawing/painting, but  working with fabric allows me to create what I can't do with paints.  It seems  there are others who also get much more excited with articles about techniques, and things outside the box, because they don't want to make something exactly like  everyone else. 

            Also, I would be fun to hear what Tim Gunn thinks separates dressmakers from designers.  His very candid comments on his podcasts were incitefull and entertaining.

          3. AmberE | | #28

            Great ideas! I'll have to check out those Tim Gunn podcasts!

          4. Sancin | | #29

            Someone suggested I post this here for you.

            I would like to see Threads do a issue or a few articles for at home, casual wear.  Many such articles are for elegant mothers out and about shopping. Or are for the wash and wear crowd. I am a retired professional, as I am sure there are many others. I sew all my own clothes.  I live in an unsophisticated urban community - read, not big city stylish. I am not an outdoors person which most shops here cater to.  I do on occasion entertain, but mainly I roam/walk around my house and condo complex doing things, like short walks with my dog, sewing, reading, writing, and answering the door, etc. I do shop when I need to and drive to the pool for exercise classes.   I often do find myself in my nightie late in the day as I can't figure out quite what to put on. I know, this is not a Thread's problem.  I need clothes that are attractive, easy to wear and safe but not lounge wear. I wear pants most of the time, but mainly because I don't want to wear stockings.  

            Edited 3/19/2007 2:44 am ET by Sancin

          5. AmberE | | #32

            Thanks so much---good ideas!

          6. User avater
            Thimblefingers | | #33

            I would like to see articles on sewing high-tech fabrics and techniques and patterns for active wear such as skiing, running, climbing, cycling.  It's difficult to find the good fabrics, even more difficult to find a decent pattern.

          7. AmberE | | #34

            Thanks. There was an article on sewing spandex a few issues back that had some great skiing type leggings. But more on this would be good!

          8. victoria0001 | | #36

            I like many of the ideas presented.  People are travelling more and more today and I think it may be interesting to see 'travel fashions', not for cruise wear, but for comfort as well as convenience particularly for packing light.  Safety pockets and other nifty tricks in the article as well.  Switchable pieces which would be enough for several weeks of travel.  Are other readers interested in an article such as this or has there been one in past years which I didn't pick up on? 

          9. jatman | | #37

            I would really be interested in an article about that!

            Not sure if you're looking for inspiration or not, but there is a website called http://www.bostonproper.com that sells 'travel clothes'.  And a long time ago Danskin used to sell 'travel bags' with basics in them - pants and a cardigan, dress and a t-shirt, etc.  I'm not sure they do that anymore but it used to be sold at Nordstrom - the material was wonderful, you could literally wad it up and crush it into your suitcase and then just shake it out and wear it.  I would really like to know which fabrics are capable of this today.


          10. victoria0001 | | #39

            Thanks for the website.  It looks great.  Just took a peek and bookmarked it for later viewing. 

            I'm looking for something more casual as in easy care cotton slacks, tops etc.  I am also considerably 'older' than those beautiful models with gorgeous bodies and need to cover up a few lumps here and there.  Been sewing for half a century and enjoy travel.  We have a company in Canada called Tilley's Adventure Clothing.  Some of their casual pants are wonderful and wear like iron as well as easy care, hidden pockets etc.  My travel is now very casual and it would be nice to pick up on some new ideas for a very simple travel wardrobe which could fit into one carry-on case.  Is that possible or has dementia kicked in already?! 


          11. victoria0001 | | #40

            Here is the website for Tilley's: www.tilley.com




          12. victoria0001 | | #46

            I am happy that many of you like my idea.............but I must confess that my current stash includes suitable fabrics for travel and I've just got to get on with it as I'm planning a trip to Europe in the fall.  I did think that many others would find the idea helpful as well............even though they haven't stashed such suitable travel fabrics as I have over the years - including Liberty cotton!

          13. jatman | | #48

            I would love to know where to get the cotton that is used for 'no iron' shirts.  My husband has several of these shirts from Brooks Brothers and they was beautifully.  I have to confess that I iron them anyway but they are quick to iron since they really don't get wrinkled much in the wash.  Is Liberty cotton wrinkle resistant?

            Where in Europe are you planning to visit?



          14. victoria0001 | | #50

            Katina is right on about not wanting to look like a war correspondent.  She has some wonderful ideas.

            Can't say that Liberty has wrinkle resistant cottons but I mentioned my Liberty cotton as it has been in my 'collection' for a few years and time I did something useful with it.  Beautiful stuff it is!  I think I would use good broadcloth or oxford cloth for shirts today.  If it contains a bit of polyester that would be helpful for wash and wear.  I don't care what anybody says about polyester because it really looks smart when done properly for travel and so easy to wash without ironing.

            We are probably flying to London UK, Greece and France.  Quite broken up this time but certainly different climates in the fall.



          15. katina | | #52

            Your trip sounds lovely! As you know, London is going to be wet; Fall is a great time to be in Greece as it's still warm and the rains don't usually begin until November. France can be more like UK at that time.

            Liberty cottons make great travel shirts. They're so fine that they don't wrinkle badly at all in my experience. I hate to iron, except as I sew and then I'm a fanatic. I really believe that very careful pressing in the construction process saves a great deal of ironing and hassle later. I don't use the dryer too much either, preferring to hang the garments on hangers to air dry, but I smooth out the collar points and hems as things dry. I also grab hold of the hanger and shake hard a couple of times - makes a great difference and is particularly useful if you're travelling.

            Keep us posted as to your travel wardrobe.


          16. jatman | | #41

            In theory I think it's possible, in practice (at least MY practice!) I can never get everything to fit in one case and still look good when I get there! 

            And I don't look like those models either!  But I do like that everything coordinates and that the material seems to be wrinkle resistant!

            Thank you for the Tilley's website!


          17. katina | | #47

            Marcy Tilton wrote an article on travel wardrobes and packing light which I very much enjoyed - Threads #100. Yes, it is possible to do it all in one carry-on; it requires very careful planning of the outfits and how they will be worn. When hubby travels with me, I take the carryon on board as I'm too short to do the overhead locker thing; when on my own, I go the opposite extreme and just carry an Eagle Creek market tote with my book, knitting, socks, emergency clothing change (yes, the airlines DO lose luggage), toiletries.

            In my experience, T-shirts are great wardrobe extenders; I can't manage without some form of jacket/sleeveless jacket with pockets. Elsewhere in these discussions, I commented that one doesn't want to look like a war correspondent and was asked what's wrong with looking like one. The point is you do not want to attract attention to yourself, so I prefer that my travel garments not look 'military'. The fashion for cargo pants at the moment is great - I've bought a few pairs in lightweight fabrics which will last me a very long time. I sew my jackets from interesting fabrics - I like ethnic weaves, batiks, etc. I make them reversible, with one side being a 'heavier' fabric and the other more lightweight. Lots of pockets. These are great fun to sew, as I like to play around with the stripes, etc.

            In winter, I layer and cannot manage without my thermal underwear which has a high percentage of wool (Cherrypops - I get mine from Oz!) Incredibly light and fantastically warm; woollen socks.

            Sorry, didn't mean to write an essay -  hope this helps.


          18. Cherrypops | | #49


            Thermal underwear - Damart I presume? My hubby introduced me to those when I went on my first skiing trip down south at Perisher. I sure needed them. Even wear them in Sydney, Blue Mountain Trips..I rug up so much I look like an Eskimo (cute too says dh) not Australian. No offence anyone, but I really feel the cold.

            thanks for giving us the threads issue for the Travel Light Article. I was 25 issues to late. I love the magazine.

            I also like your jacket construction ideas and use of fabrics. I was recently looking at http://www.batikbutik.com/ in Canada, very nice.

            Thanks for your essay, I tend to write a lot at times too.


          19. victoria0001 | | #51

            I have used some of the fabric from http://www.batikbutik.com/ and it is quality rayon and that fabric would be great for all purposes.  The crinkle rayon is something new which I've not tried yet.  Heaven help me - I don't need any more fabrics at this moment, however.............it would probably make great travel clothing!  It's interesting how styles are now changing and becoming dressier once again.  I've seen lots of strapless gowns for graduation in the shops - and just like the ones I used to have back in the 60's!!!!  Should be a good idea for another article in Threads. 

          20. katina | | #53

            Hi Cherrypops

            I took all the labels out of my thermals, sorry. I bought my first many years ago in London, and they were Australian. Then I ordered online directly from Australia. I love how sleekly they fit. Most of the time I'm more than warm enough with just a shirt, a woollen vest (waistcoat) and light jacket, even in snow. I hate bulk on my arms, so a long-sleeved spencer is perfect for me. For travel purposes, I make sleeveless jackets out of boiled wool and sew pockets on from co-ordinating woven fabric. These work very well for me. Boiled wool has a great drape and is amazingly warm.

            I'm hoping to come to Australia again later this year to visit my oldest and dearest friend, so will be very much on the lookout for woollen items and fabrics.


          21. Cherrypops | | #56

            I agree thermals are lovely to wear. I haven't sewn with boiled wool is it easy? I have made a mental note to look out for it.

            Which part of Australia will you be visiting? Start making your list of stores. You will enjoy seeing your friend and the weather shouldn't be to hot at that time.


          22. katina | | #58

            Hi CherryPops

            My friend lives in Adelaide - great place.

            Yes, boiled wool is very easy to sew with; it doesn't ravel so finishing is not difficult. You should find it easily in Australia.


          23. Sancin | | #60

            Not exactly a suggestion for Threads but in response to the thermals.  I purchased some silk thermals from Mountain Equipment Coop in Vancouver, BC.  But I expect you could find them elsewhere.  One can also get silk T's or tank tops.  The advantage to the silk, other than fantastic and warm to wear is that they actually come in a bag that is no larger than a pair of socks.

            One of the things I find about travelling is not the clothes, its all the other paraphanalia one takes along - like medications, etc. I have taken to purchasing small zip lock craft bags to pack things in as well as the usual zip lock bags and I have air compress bags that one sits on to express air.  I wear a lot of crinkle cotton which is great for travelling, especially if it has a bit of poly in it.

            Edited 3/23/2007 5:12 am ET by Sancin

          24. katina | | #61

            Oh absolutely - the clothes aren't the main thing. And yes, zip lock bags are lifesavers.

            I'm always on the lookout too for small bags/containers - you can get useful ones in cosmetic/toiletries departments, often featuring some special offer. I'm very fond of the mesh bags; here in Europe Neutrogena's got a small blue mesh bag with a travel size handcream and a chapstick for 5 Euro. I bought a couple -  one of the zipped bags I've made into the perfect size knitting/sewing travel kit. The mesh bags are very lightweight too.

            Maybe an article on travel fabrics, travel outfits, tips, hints, do's/don'ts ...? On one trip, in winter, I decided to drape myself in a fine merino wool wrap I bought in Berlin. Looked SO dramatic in the mirror! I swanned out and within minutes resembled some windswept seabird after a particularly dramatic cross-country migration - I'm just too short to handle that sort of thing well. Now, of course, I know to avoid loose, flowing numbers.



            Edited 3/23/2007 5:34 am ET by Katina

          25. Sancin | | #62

            Giggle, giggle.  Re wrap, been there, done that.  Thought I would kill myself with the wrap and the seat belts on the plane!

          26. katina | | #63

            Oh yes - I can just see you! HOW do those elegant creatures manage to wear such

            wraps/shawls so gracefully?


          27. victoria0001 | | #64

            I guess the last laugh is on me as I purchased a wrap just last week for travel purposes and I'm only 5'2"/petite!!!  Oh well, either I'll wipe myself out or be able to hide!  You'll have me grinning all day about this.

          28. katina | | #65

            Not necessarily! You may carry it off very well. Maybe you should have a trial run and share it with us?


          29. PrincessKatja | | #66

            The trick to wearing wraps (any dramatic scarf, for that matter) is to keep your head high and your panache intact no matter what happens! :) 

          30. Cherrypops | | #67

            Well said!

            I will let my best friend know, she is making the 'One Seam Poncho' from Threads 127, using a lovely soft chenille in pink. She calls it a shawl/oversized scarf.

            regards, Cherrypops

          31. MaryinColorado | | #68

            I would love to see an in depth article clearly explaining how to insert bra cups into various clothing.  I especially am interested in summer tops for those of us with larger cup sizes.  I am over fifty and would like to wear nice sundresses and feminine tunic style tops. 

            How about including suggestions for both wovens and knits?

            Strapless bras are just too uncomfortable for travel or daily wear.  It is impossible to find lightweight summer tops appropriat for the fuller figure that have large enough cup sizes.  Even swimming suits just do not have enough fabric or comfortable support. 

            It would be great if some pattern and lining recommendations are included as well as where we could purchase supplies as there are very few online.  Googling for this can be very disconcerting with all the xxx rated sites that infringe on our lives

            Thanks, I hope you will consider this suggestion.  I think it would have value any time of year due to the desire for travel wardrobes too.  Mary

          32. Ralphetta | | #69

            I know this isn't the "finished" proper way that you were requesting, but it's something that's solved that problem for me.  I just recycle my old bras for a custom fit.  If the bra fit, then I know the cups are the right distance apart, etc.  I just cut it at the sides and sew it into the side seams of the sundress.  The top parts just get reshaped to fit the neckline of the garment.  It's much more comfortable than a strapless bra.  Of course, the inside of the garment doesn't look very pretty if you don't line it.  If you are one of the fortunate people who can find inexpensive bras that fit, then, of course you could just use a new one.  I didn't want to spend that much money.

          33. MaryinColorado | | #70

            I think that is a great idea!  I will try that, but I still would love to see an in depth article on it.  I have not been able to find a strapless bra with enough coverage at the top of the cup.  I am very small boned so it is impossible to find tops that fit me the way I would like.  I have the fabric all cut out for a strappy woven tunic and pants so I hope this works!

          34. victoria0001 | | #54

            I just read Marcy Tilton's article on travel wardrobes in Threads #300 issue.  It is an excellent article with fantastic ideas but that was 5 years ago and I think newer ideas would be wonderful and I would also like to see a wardrobe with less pieces but easy-care and even more multi-purpose.  One carry-on only! 

          35. Cherrypops | | #55

            I agree.

            An updated version is needed because I haven't got the earlier issues. and there are many newer ideas out there, fabrics, designs, etc.



          36. victoria0001 | | #57

            Do you suppose we should all be put to the test and pack one carry-on for a two month trip??  I think an up-date would be good too.  The styles were far more casual and artsy five years ago.  I think we can look great for today's travel if we put our creative minds into action.  Can't quite figure out if there would be space left for make up and undies though!!

          37. katina | | #59

            Now there's a good article article idea for Threads - The One-Month Carry On! (anyone remember the films?)


          38. Cherrypops | | #38

            I cannot say if earlier issues of Threads ever did an article as I am fairly new at this whole magazine and forum.

            I will say, I would like to see an article, like this one - suggested by you, sometime.

            including which fabrics are best, easy care yet stylish garments. a mix and match 'packed light' wardrobe.

            One can never be too careful about being safe, so your ideas on saftey pockets and other nifty tricks would be well received.

            Thank you for adding your thoughts. I feel it is a very good one!



          39. AmberE | | #42

            I love that idea!

          40. Sancin | | #44

            On thinking about this last bit of a thread, which I started, it may seem like more of a fashion request, but as sewers we do want fashion we can sew and try different techniques which is why we buy Threads magazine. I think the idea about fabric for travelling is excellent, and easy, fashionable fabrics for 'at home' may be very similar or the same.  Sometimes I see fabrics utilized in Threads articles but cannot find them in my community or even on line.  I hope when new or hard to find fabrics, and notions, are used in a Threads article that location sites are mentioned.  In this day of internet shopping, probably internet sites are best.

            Edited 3/21/2007 9:09 pm ET by Sancin

          41. Cherrypops | | #45

            Regarding: finding fabrics which have been utilized in Threads Magazine.

            Threads Magazine does publish a list of advertisers and websites toward the back of each issue.

            SewStylish website http://www.besewstylish.com, as part of the 'magazine extras' has a great Top 10 website list for online fabric shopping.

            The Sew Stylish Magazine website  addressed this Topic in their blog today. I have done a direct copy and paste. I may get in strife! But my reason for doing so, is I feel the two magazines complement each other, and I like to help out.

            The fabrics chosen for Threads Magazine Articles may also fall into this Q and A.

            Q: Where can I buy the fabric you used in an article?A: We try to include a shopping list with each project article in Sew Stylish to give you ideas. But timing plays an important role here. Not all stores maintain the same stock forever. Just as fashions change with the seasons in a clothing store, so do the fabrics in a fabric store.

            The reality is that it takes several months to complete an issue, and one of the first steps is often the preparation of garment and accessory samples for photography that will coordinate with an article. It’s possible that the fabric for the Sew Stylish garment was purchased three or more months before the issue was sent to the printer. It takes at least a month from that time until it’s available on the newsstand.

            So you can see it’s very possible that the fabric will no longer be available—but we hope it will give you fabric inspiration just the same. It’s always a good idea to phone the source if you don’t find what you’re looking for on its Web site. Often a store has removed it from its site but still has it in stock.

          42. AmberE | | #71

            Great point! How does everyone else feel about the sources we provide? FYI, the advertiser directory in each issue is alway a great resource.

          43. dorothyjoan | | #72

            I love your advertiser directory. I just noticed a message above referring a site for sew stylish magazine. i had a look and i was impressed! there are more sites listed now to when the above message was posted. good work.

          44. AmberE | | #73

            Thanks---we just posted a bunch to concur with the next (April) issue of Sew Stylish

          45. victoria0001 | | #79

            I think the sources you supply are excellent as well as the links on-line.  I've visited many of your advertisers to obtain more information on their products and Threads is a wonderful resource.  Thank you. 

          46. sewingkmulkey | | #43

            Ditto your idea of traveling garments - yes, yes, yes!!!


          47. amapola | | #35

            I agree with you as I have the same problem.  I hope they do have an article because  I can be really comfortable and of course beatiful. Ha!ha!

          48. Cherrypops | | #30

            I really wish I was a fly on the wall to see what Articles will be added to future issues of Threads, now that Sew Stylish is well under way.

            Can't wait for Threads issue 131. (My First Sew Stylish should arrive soon).




            Edited 3/19/2007 2:51 am by Cherrypops

          49. AmberE | | #31

            Thanks! Let me know what you think!

        3. JanF | | #21

          http://www.museumofcostume.co.uk will help you plan your visit.
          It is a brilliant costume museum and will sometimes arrange to have specific stuff out for you to view if you contact prior to your visit.
          Bath is a beautiful city and includes Roman stuff too. Lucky you if you can stay in the City - but book well in advance as it gets very busy!
          I don't know where you are from - but Bath as a city is still quite small so easy to get around!
          Another must if you get to London and like looking at old costume is the V and A Museum - which usually hosts lots of special exhibitions too.
          Another costume museum is Platt Hall Museum in Manchester - but you might not get "up north" as we say here! Lots of people only visit the usual places - but Manchester is a regenerated city and has good shops, Chinatown for food and a stones throw from Yorkshire Moors - Think Heathcliffe here!
          Liverpool is also being "done up" at the moment and not far from North Wales where I live - and Snowdonia National Park.
          If you would like other recommendations for sites of interest and you tell me what you like I can easily give you some info!
          Whatever - I hope you enjoy Bath - my husband and I went there when the children were still at home - and had a great holiday mooching around The Cotswolds - lovely villages. fully recommend Wells Cathedral if you like that sort of place!
          Happy visiting for next year - not long now!

          1. jatman | | #22

            Bath is still in the planning stage but we are going to London the week of Christmas.  I'm currently looking into museums, shopping areas, etc. that are going to make it onto the agenda.  I've heard Berwyck Street is the place to go for fabrics and I'm hoping to find some interesting vintage clothing places in an area known as Camden and in another post I've asked for and gotten some ideas of places where I can get ethnic fabrics such as sari fabric.  Between those things and the pubs that we want to get to it could be a really busy stay!  Thank you for the suggestions!


      2. sewingkmulkey | | #74


        Thanks for the fabulous site.  I'm going to London the end of April and plan to attend in person.  Wow - I'm excited!!!


        1. katina | | #75

          You're referring to the Museum of Costume?


          1. sewingkmulkey | | #76

            Yes - sorry I didn't mention it.  I was reading this post and didn't realize that it started in December!

            Thanks again!


          2. katina | | #77

            I just got their latest newsletter today; here's some links you may find useful:

            New name for the Museum of Costume


            Pockets of History





          3. susanna | | #78

            I'd like to see some focus on sources for organic cottons and other "green fabrics".

            Also I'd like to read an article profiling someone who renders period costumes, such as for renaissance fairs, and have that person explain some of the old methods, such as using lucets, for instance. I just love reading up on old or even ancient methods of construction.

            And I'd like to see an article on patternless but creative garment sewing again. Love those articles.


          4. jatman | | #80


            Thank you so much for posting all of those websites!


          5. katina | | #81

            You're so welcome! I presume, due to the time we're chatting, that you're in Australia?


          6. jatman | | #82

            No - actually, I'm in Sweden!  You're in the UK, aren't you?



          7. katina | | #84

            In Austria at the moment. We have a friend from US coming to visit for a few days this week; he goes often to Norway and Denmark, and I'm trying to persuade him to go to Sweden - I'm mad for all the Scandinavian knitting traditions. Is sewing 'big' there?



          8. jatman | | #86

            Sewing is pretty big - there are quite a few fabric stores.  One of them sells a really nice variety of everything - from high end silks to cotton broadcloth.  They have beautiful things.  Then there is a notions store, they don't sell fabric but they sell virtually EVERYTHING else.  It's very cool!  Knitting is fairly big, too.  There are a couple of knitting stores.  They have some beautiful yarns and buttons that you wouldn't find anywhere else. 

            Stockholm is a very nice city.  There is a museum for everything there.  I loved it.  Of course, I'm probably more partial to the city I live in (Gothenburg) because you can walk all over the city really easily.  We have our share of museums, too.  I love it here.

            I went to Austria about a year and a half ago - loved it there, too!


          9. katina | | #87

            Sounds a fabulous place for fibre types. Maybe Threads might feature an article on sewing in other parts - I'd really enjoy that.


          10. Cherrypops | | #88

            Yet another fabulous idea you have Katina. CherryPops :)

          11. katina | | #89

            CherryPops - there are so many different ethnic backgrounds in your lovely country that you're probably just the person to interview some of them for such an article! Of course, where you'd find the time is another question; but seriously, I wonder what might be achieved by enquiring at sewing machine dealers, fabric stores, etc about people of different nationalities and what type of sewing they do. Maybe some of us who live in other countries might be able to contribute a profile or two? Just a thought...


          12. Cherrypops | | #90


            Firstly, I thank you so much for considering my skills.

            Secondly, You are correct, there is a wide variety of backgrounds in Sydney alone. I doubt I would be able to conquer Australia as a whole. I may need to ask our other Aussie members for their input within their individual states. Then piece the puzzle together.

            It would make a very interesting and informatative article. I will keep in thought.

            Kind regards, CherryPops

          13. katina | | #91

            Please do keep it very much in mind. When you think about it, there's no need o cover all of Australia, or all the various groups - you could do a very interesting article in Sydney alone. Several years ago a most interesting article was published (might even have been in Threads) about styles of knitting in different countries. It was fascinating!


          14. Cherrypops | | #92

            Yes, it is probably best to concentrate on one area of significance. I'd love to read the knitting article you mentioned, if you or anyone else has it. CherryPops ( I don't knit )


          15. katina | | #93

            I found the article - it's in Threads#30.


          16. Cherrypops | | #83

            I too would like to thank you for those great websites. time in Australia is 6pm Sunday April 1. I never know who is sleeping while i type. CherryPops (northern beaches Sydney Australia)

          17. katina | | #85

            G'day, CherryPops. As you know I keep contact with Oz - friends in Sydney and Adelaide. I'm definitely visiting again soon - loved it there.


          18. sewingkmulkey | | #94


            I appreciate the Bath, UK links.  Unfortunately we'll be there when some of the museum renovation will still be underway but I'm still looking forward to our visit.

            Thanks again,



          19. katina | | #95

            Yes, I noticed that, but as they haven't closed the museum down completey there'll still be lots to see, I'm sure. Here's a link to the American Museum in Bath - it's well worth a visit.



          20. sewingkmulkey | | #96


            Thanks for this link too.  We'll arrive in Bath on April 26th so the timing should be perfect for touring this museum.

            Again, I appreciate your responces.


          21. katina | | #97

            You're most welcome!

  2. thimbles1260 | | #3

    Way to go, Jatman!  That should give the editors of Threads some great ideas!  I especially liked your idea of a small project or two in each issue.  I would also like to know (because I'm more of a beginner) What does all of the information on the bolt and along the salvage mean?  What are those little color dots?  What fabrics are best used for tops or bottoms?  What weights of fabric do I look for, for tops or bottoms and are those weights part of the bolt information?

    How about a review of web sites where various fabrics and notions can be purchased?

    How is a commercial pattern made?  Why are the directions so very different from what is seen in rtw.  Maybe an article on rtw techniques...although it may be offensive to some, many of us would like to know what those shortcuts are and how to get that rtw look for teens.

    How about children's toys?  I would guess that some rather elaborate embellishment and techniques could be involved.

    Ohhhh!  You've got me going now!

  3. katina | | #4

    Some great ideas, thanks. Sandra Betzina has written for Threads in the past - love her stuff - and here's a link to the updated version of her book on fabrics which should answer many of your questions.



    1. ShannonG4d | | #5

      I wrote an article for Threads a couple of years ago regarding the international patterns and pattern magazines of which you speak.  If you'd like further information about them, I'll be glad to answer questions regarding them.

      The article is in issue number 118.

      Shannon Gifford

      1. katina | | #6

        Thanks Shannon - I remember the article and enjoyed it. Jatman started this thread, so I think she's not aware of your piece. She'll probably read this now and maybe contact you. I do so hope things improve with Threads!


      2. jatman | | #13

        The first issue of Threads that I have is #122!  I'm ordering back issues in groups, so that one will be in the next group that I order.

        Have you worked with Patrones?  I have posted a general question under Patterns about this one.  I'm working on a blouse from this publication.

        Thank you for the info!


  4. Ralphetta | | #7

    I think you have some wonderful suggestions.  I would read articles on those subjects.

  5. User avater
    user-221153 | | #8

    Not to be disrespectful to Threads, but any one of your ideas is MUCH better than the quick cheesey  gifts to make that were featured in the recent Threads issue. Those fabric flowers look like a grade school project. I would be embarassed to wear them.

    I love every one of your ideas! Especially the movie fashions!

  6. katina | | #9

    Hello again

    You might enjoy the book " Secrets of the Couturiers " by Frances Kennett - perhaps you could get it from the library.


  7. solosmocker | | #10

    There is an irony here - much of what you would like to see is what was in the early issues of Threads. Last night I unpacked all my old Threads for the new sewing room. They have been boxed up for a year. I randomly picked a couple to bring to bed for some sleepytime reading. I was impressed, as always, with the depth of the subjects as well as the diversity. The letters to the editor bespoke a sophisticated ( in regards to sewing) readership. It was a delight. I recently bought some beautiful fake fur and one of the mags I brought up to read had the exact hat I envisioned on the cover, made from fur and leather. I am thinking a seed was planted back in early 1995 in my subconscious! Talk about deja vu!

  8. zuwena | | #11

    I had just been sitting here wondering why within a few years Threads had done two articles on "bag lining a jacket".  I figure once within 10 years is enough unless there's really something new.  Then you come along with a bag full of great ideas and suggestions.  They are all enticing so I won't bother to even try and rank them,  Many thanks for getting me started in formulating my thoughts on the subject. Z

  9. gahoad | | #15

    I'm the California coordinator for a national organization of seamstresses who are making adaptive clothing for wounded servicemen and women coming back from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with horribly injured arms and legs.  The organization is Sew Much Comfort http://www.sewmuchcomfort.org.  We try to make our clothing as attractive as possible and make a variety of types of pants from pajama-types to more sporty or dressier pants for men/women who are further along in their recovery.  We also specially adapt purchased or donated  t-shirts, underwear, and basketball shorts for physical therapy.  Our clothing goes to the many  military hospitals around the country: Walter Reed, Bethesda, Brooke, Balboa Naval Hospital, and many more,  and to field hospitals in Iraq and to Landsduhl Hospital in Germany.   

    When I saw your request for articles, I thought that an interesting article or categories of articles would be "philanthropic sewing" or something like that.  It could highlight the many organizations who, in some way or other, use their sewing skills to help others. 


    Gretchen HoadBox 121Sunset Beach, CA 90742[email protected]


    1. stitchintime | | #16

      There are some really great ideas here. I like Paddye Mann's articles and would like to see more by her.

    2. sewingkmulkey | | #17

      What an excellent suggestion 'gahoad'!  I hope Amber acts on your cause.

      1. User avater
        Thimblefingers | | #18

        Yes, I think that would be a great idea, too.  I had a customer in a wheelchair who wanted trousers and pants altered to fit for comfort and looks in a wheelchair.  He said that western jeans for cowboys seemed to fit the best and he didn't understand why but asked if I could alter his trousers (he was a professional) to fit like western jeans.  It took me some thinking but I finally figured out that western jeans would be designed for sitting in a saddle not entirely unlike sitting in a wheelchair and that's why they fit best.  So using those thoughts, I was able to sucessfully alter his pants.  But it sure would have saved me time if I could have looked it up in Threads! 


        1. Monkey1961 | | #25

          I used to work part time in a sewing store selling machines, and worked with a few people who were making clothing for people in wheelchairs, as most of the stuff on the market was too casual to fit into an office.


          I found a lot of help by doing research of clothing styles in tailor magazines from just after the civil war, as their were many people who came back in wheelchairs, or minus a limb, so a lot of the ideas were helpful.

          In the case of the pants, when a person is sitting, the thighs spread out more, so the fit is a bit more generous to allow for this, and will be more comfortable and fit better.

          Good Luck!

  10. jatman | | #23

    Hi Amber!

    When I originally posted this topic I couldn't seem to pull your name up from the list - looks like you need to be in the last 40 or 50 people to have logged on in order for your name to appear?

    Anyway, I had some ideas of things that I'd like to see in Threads and so did quite a few others.  I love the museum review idea and deciphering the information along the selvage of a fabric bolt.  What DOES that info mean?

    Anyway, here is our input.



    1. AmberE | | #24

      That's a great idea!

  11. sewingpsycho | | #26

    Oh my gosh!  I love all these ideas and as an AVID Threads reader I sure hope to see all of these ideas turned into articles. 

    I am addict of the great MGM musicals and would love to see articles about the costumers, and costuming for these wonderful movies.  Not only are the dance costumes fantastic but also the fashions.  If you notice, in many movies there is a bit of a "fashion show" in the middle of the movie (see "Singin' in the Rain, Funny Face, and a Danny Kaye movie or two)  I am especially fascinated by movies that take place in the moment and reflect the current fashion trends of the time (aka: Doris Day in Pajama Game, Don't Eat the Daisies and Pillow Talk to name a few)

    Although I have embellished on the movie theme, I do love all of the suggestions made and really hope Threads follows up on them.


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