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Conversational Threads

Talk with Amber

AmberE | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

Hi: I am setting up a separate discussion thread so that all Gatherings members have a place to get immediate attention to concerns, ideas, etc. I will be alerted each time there is a posting in this thread, so you can be assured of prompt response. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Amber Eden


  1. SewNancy | | #1

    That sounds really great. I think that you are getting closer to that great mix in the magazine. I hope that the questions about the designer we would love to meet coalesces into some articles.

    1. AmberE | | #2

      I agree! Keep those ideas coming!

  2. ctirish | | #3

    Hi Amber,

    I am glad to hear you will be notified every time there is a post on this thread. I have been following the problems our Aussie friends have been having with delivery of Threads. I just want to make sure you have all of the issues in one place.

    1. Many, many Aussie subscribers have not received either the #126 or #127 issues of Threads.

    2. Some of the subscribers have managed to talk to Customer Service and had their missing issues sent to them via AirMail. 

    3. Other subscribers have been told theirs will come surface mail and to expect them in 10-12 weeks.  You are checking into this already. Is there a way to get all of the late issues AirMailed or to Australia quickly?

    4. With issue #128 all of this should be corrected as you will have a new International Delivery Service. Is this correct?

    5. Now there are questions as to how issues in the future will be sent to Australia. Can you tell us if they will be AirMail, Surface Mail, or another way so they will receive them in a timely manner?

    6. Is there a way for Threads to check that every Aussie Subscriber actually received their issues of #126, 127 and in a little while #128?   I am sure there are more subscribers who have not contacted you about there missing issues.  I don't know your computer system, but I have some ideas, you can email me if you want ideas. I am sure your IT staff can do this for you. Maybe a postcard?

    7. I am not trying to interfere in your business I just want to help our friends as best I can.

    Thank you for listening, Jane









    1. AmberE | | #4

      Jane: Thanks so much for your note. Taunton Press customer service is reading these posts as well and actively seeking a good solution. I'll pass on info as soon as I get it.

      Thanks again for your concern. I know that it just indicates how much you value the magazine.

    2. AmberE | | #5

      <!----><!----> Dear Australian Readers: I have a memo update from customer service  While I don't mind answering questions on this, it would be more efficient if you direct your questions straight to customer service at [email protected]. This issue is a top priority for them and they are vigilantly checking emails for notes from Australian readers<!---->


      <!---->Now I can get back to finishing up 128! Thanks again for being so dedicated! Amber <!---->


      <!---->The memo from customer service is as follows:<!---->


      Dear Threads Readers: When we replaced issues via airmail, we thought the situation was an isolated late delivery incident.  We never intended to treat any subscriber differently than any other subscriber.  It takes weeks to identify that there is a problem with the general or mass delivery of our magazines.  Our international shipper did recognize that there was a problem with the subcontractor handling Australian deliveries and arrangements were made with a new company.  The new company is responsible for all future magazine deliveries beginning with THREADS issue # 128 and we have been advised that delivery times should be back to normal.<!----><!---->

      <!----> <!---->

      We are still investigating the problem and when we determine what happened, we will have a complete answer to all questions and we will address the needs of the subscribers affected by this situation. If you have further questions, the email address is [email protected]. For those of you who have purchased replacement issues, please write customer service at that address and we will extend your subscription accordingly. <!----><!---->

      <!----> <!---->

      Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work to resolve this issue.


      --Taunton Press Customer Service

  3. Ralphetta | | #6

    Dear Amber,

    People have been suggesting subjects for future articles.  I believe some have shown an interest in successful businesses  involving sewing. Today, someone asked a question about making a man's ice skating costume.  Now, I doubt that I am EVER going to do that, but I really, really, enjoyed reading the answer.  It was fascinating information that could be applied to other sewing.  I find articles on specialized subjects fun to read.

    1. AmberE | | #9

      You are right---that's why the Q&A is one of our more popular sections.

  4. ctirish | | #7

    I just read there is an older Threads that has a list of fabric shops in NYC.  Would it be possible to do an update and produce a new list. Evidently it was a pullout section with the name address and telephone number.  Thanks,

    1. AmberE | | #8

      Yes, it's quite popular! I will add that to the list

      1. TJSEWS | | #10

        Hello Amber,

        I went to a denim seminar and found out about a kit that may be of interest to readers.  You might want to have a product review about it in Threads.

        The kit is a denim distressing kit and comes with tools, instructions and other supplies in order to "distress" denim.  The kit is available at The Atrium in NYC at 644 Broadway but I hear that the store can't hold on to them.  As soon as they get a supply, it is sold out.  The kit is expensive:  $300.  But the kit is nevertheless very popular.  The one I saw at the seminar was "The Gold Miner".

        You may also want to check out the website for more info:  http://www.denimdesignlab.com


        1. AmberE | | #11

          Very cool. I will pass that on to our Notions editor

          1. wlric | | #12

            Dear Amber, I am one of the people who began subscribing to Threads after buying #1 from the newsstand. I have all of the issues. The early editions are actually individual small books. It's fun to check the online index when I need to solve a problem, and then search for the answers.
            I would enjoy seeing a detailed article about the costumes in the Broadway production of The Lion King. Okay, I might settle for just a couple of the costumes!

          2. Ralphetta | | #13

            Wow!  That's a great idea.

          3. AmberE | | #15

            We actually have a seamstress working for us who worked on those costumes and I have been thinking of just that article. Glad to see that I'm on the right track!

          4. NovaSkills | | #16

            I, too, would love to see this idea.

            I cannot offer expertise there, but I certainly could do a humorous "back page" article on sewing theatrical PROPS. I have just finished doing all manner of silly sewing  for our regional theatre show, A Christmas Story. The working title would be, A Dog-Eaten Turkey and Other Textile Culinary Delights.....complete with pictures!


          5. paulette | | #17

            I'm new to Threads( quite honestly I never knew it existed) but pretty old to sewing. Actually I used to sew alot years ago(even made my own wedding gown),somehow got away from it while I was working but really am enjoying getting back into it now. And I need all of the help and inspiration that I can get.

            Back to Threads...since I have no history with it and of course can't say if it is better or worse,my only comment is that I would like it to be like my favorite magazine which is Photoshop Users. That magazine which is geared to digital imaging offers articles which appeal to both the professional as well as the novice. There is always something new and cutting edge presented as well as reviews of tried and true favorite techniques. There is a section geared towards teachers and a help desk.  It is heavy on content which makes it well worth it's rather hefty $10 per an issue price. There has never been an issue where I have not learned something of use. Be assured that I am just a reader and have nothing to do with the magazine.

            Increasingly I have not been renewing subscriptions to magazines that I have getting for years.....even if I can get them for  practically nothing. The content is just not there anymore. I have actually received magazines recently that would use an entire page to show a picture of an apple or something similar. Just alot of fillers in my opinion.

            I have enjoyed this site and its enthusiastic participants. Looking forward to Threads being all that we can hope it will be.



          6. AmberE | | #18

            Thanks Paulette and glad to have you on board!

          7. user-217847 | | #19

            Hi Amber,

            I've decided to continue purchasing my Threads Magazine from my local News Agency, theres delivery problems there too but I get it. Iwill continue to purchase it as long as I am able, I've been very fortunate if you don't cover something along comes my Stitches Magazine and theres my answer (most times any way). They compliment each other.

            Can you tell me if the new Sew Stylish Magazine will be available in my News Agency? How often will it be released?

            Thank's a bunch


          8. denise | | #20

            As  i said Amber on another area today i really am enjoying my threads.

            I have not sewed for 20 years when the children grew out of mums sewing and i worked.

            But now number one grandson has arrived and i started again and then progressed to me.

            I have learnt how to bag line a jacket.

            Sew zips better.

            French seams are much better.

            Leant to take in trousers.

            And all this is three issues.

            But i am wondering why in aust. or is just me i got 127 this week, i noticed the magazine on the web site is different to mine.???


          9. AmberE | | #22

            What issues have you received to date? We had some delivery problems in Australia and I want to make sure they are straightened out

          10. denise | | #23

            Thankyou  Amber  

            Yes up to date, thankyou.

            looking forward to the one off pulication.

            I am learning more and gaining more confidence with each issue.


            I think that it great that you are helping new sewers and people like me that are coming back having retired, and with grandchildren.

            Afterall if you did not help knew sewers  and us oldies well then the magazine would finish because there would be no new sewers.

            Makes a lot of sense to me to help new comers in to the art of sewing.

            IT seems easier after 20 years away from it, perhaps its the patterns or perhaps it is because i dont have little ones climbing all over me as i sew.

          11. flossie | | #24

            Just wanted to let you know I received replacement issues 126 and 127 today - have had a quick look but I am saving them to read properly tonight after dinner!

            Issues 128 and 129 have arrived normally and things seem to be back on schedule. I always find things of interest in each issue - sometimes more, sometimes less. I have all issues since #70 and find them an invaluable reference. I know that my interests and needs change as the years pass and what may not be of interest now may be useful in the future.  I have subscribed to several magazines over the years - some ( Australian Smocking, Sew Beautiful, Handmade, Vogue patterns and numerous patchwork mags) I have discontinued because I felt they were becoming repetitive but I still buy the occasional indvidual copy at the newsagent if something catches my eye; others such as Australian Stitches I continue to subscribe to because I believe it is important to support them as there are too few sewing mags out there, but I often cull my old issues and pass them onto the local high school hoping to inspire some new young sewers.  I think it is better for a magazine to grow and change rather than remain static - if it no longer suits you it is okay to move on to something else and retain the fond memories of the enjoyment it gave you - hopefully the new readers will find a similar enjoyment.

            Good luck with your new ideas for Threads, Amber - I look forward to my next three years of issues.

            Kind regards,

            Pauline Webster (Melbourne, Australia)



          12. AmberE | | #26

            Thanks! So happy to hear that deliveries are back on track!

          13. AmberE | | #25

            You are so right---and the proof is in the pudding. Our sales and subscriptions are climbing substantially for the first time in years, rather than shrinking! That's a great sign for Threads and a great reversal of fortune.

          14. denise | | #27

            Thankyou Amber for replying.

            I am so glad,  does that mean there is a revival in sewing in this so called affluent time.

            Or is it us oldies  coming back on board.

            Wondered if you could give some tips for childrens sewing.

            I had a problem with a zip for a 1 year old , i used stretched cotton a drill type fabric for a little pair of pants for him.

            But the area is so small it is very fidlley.  Video would be good as well.

            I wondered if one could actually put the zip in before the side seems are sewn.

            Also trends for todlers, as our daughters and daughters in law as we did before them like the children to look modern.


          15. Cherrypops | | #29

            Hello Denise,

            What a wonderful idea you had: 'Tips For Sewing Childrens Clothing and Modern Fashion Trends'.

            My Mother-in-Law sewed many items for my son when he was a baby..I made his blankets. He is now 5yrs. Mum is now sewing him a single bed quilt Log Cabin Style. Now, I am making his clothes.

            It seems a lot of grandmother's have returned to sewing for their grandchildren, all have their own reasons for doing so and I would like to say Thanks to all.

            The look on their little faces when given clothes 'made especially' for them by grandma is priceless.

            I wish you well in your future sewing endeavours.

            Kind regards, CP

             (Sydney Australia)


            Edited 1/21/2007 1:42 am by Cherrypops

            Edited 2/4/2007 1:23 am by Cherrypops

          16. denise | | #30

            Just to let you know i live in Tasmania.

            I also quilt,  I made a quilt to stay here when my grand children come and stay. and sleep in the cot i bought.  we hopefully will have more grandchildren.

            I tried to make a neutral one so i chose 1950 ( retro) fabric.

            Our little one charles will be one on the  31st of this month   the day after his mums birthday.

            So as yet does not realise i make most of his little pants,  but i am looking forward to when he knows and his little eyes light up just like they do now when i hold out my arms for a cuddle,   us grandparents are so fortunate to have girls like your self in our life our daughters and  daughters law.


          17. Susannah | | #32

            Hi Denise

            Grandmothers are very special people.  When my son was little, my mother was very enthusiastic about appliqued patterns on windcheaters.  David would make a special request, and a week or so later a new windcheater would arrive in the mail, with the picture requested.  His collection ended up including trains, a lion with a baby lion, an elephant, and a very special one that had a white horse on the front, a black horse on the back, and lightening bolts on each sleeve!  By the time he was 8, he was less interested in clothes with pictures, but at age 21 he still has very fond memories of the made to order windcheaters!


          18. denise | | #33

            thankyou Suzannah

            I think Charles  will be the same

          19. AmberE | | #31

            Thanks for the suggestions---my mother in law just made the same request yesterday!

          20. denise | | #34

            great minds think alike ( good old aussie saying), us grans are certainly out there.

          21. Susannah | | #35

            Hi Amber

            Great news that sales of "Threads" are up.  You would be gratified, and it is probably also an indication that interest in sewing is on the increase, which is great for all of us!  While there may be some people whose needs are not met by threads, or not met any more, the fact that there are new people entering the wonderful world of garment sewing is great!  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind doing a bit of patchwork (and have quilts on every bed in the house) but there is a limit to how many horizontal surfaces can be covered by cutting up fabric and then stitching it together again!

            Keep up the excellent work!


          22. midnitesewer | | #36

            How about making some beautiful one-of-a-kind quilted garments for your 3-D surfaces? Threads has featured articles on these sort of garments in the past. I hope to see more in the future.

          23. AmberE | | #37

            Thanks Susannah!

          24. User avater
            susannah_sews | | #38

            Hi Amber

            My copy of Sewstylish arrived last night - didn't get a chance to do more than have a quick flick through, and I did notice a few familiar articles (or at least photos) from previous issues of Threads (but I assume that they will have been updated/modified in some way for the slightly different target audience).

            I enjoyed the current issue of Threads, which I received about 3 weeks ago (right on schedule - your shipping people have things back under control!) and really enjoyed it. 

            Keep up the good work!



          25. Cherrypops | | #39

            Hi Amber,

            Sew Stylish arrived today, Tuesday. Will have a thorough look tomorrow afternoon. Busy with school excursions (field trips) and easter at the moment.

            What i quickly saw I liked!

            Kind regards, CherryPops


          26. AmberE | | #41

            Yeah! Let me know what you think. I still can't get over how long it takes!

          27. Cherrypops | | #42

            Sew Stylish - First issue took 10 weeks. Second issue took 2 weeks.

            I'm confused.!

            Customer service said SewStylish has fewer issues so mail outs are quicker.

            Mails in..Threads 131 is here..no 10 week wait. more confused but very happy!!!


            edited: mail arrived just after my first posting.


            Edited 4/30/2007 1:26 am by Cherrypops

          28. AmberE | | #43

            I have no explanation for you---the overseas mailing is just baffling to me. I would love it if we could just PDF the issue to you! Maybe someday.....  But do stay on CS, as you will get results, and the more voices to contact them, the better.

          29. Cherrypops | | #44


            A PDF would be great wouldn't it. Especially with Backorders. Order past articles from the lists provided on the main site, using credit cards/paypal on line, immediate download.

            This is now happening with sewing patterns at printsew.com. I downloaded for free Simplicity 4116 pattern (dress and bag). 35 pages, just cut and glue your nominated size together and work from there. Unfortunately this one is no longer available for free download.

            I'm receiving quick responses from my emails to CS. Everything is looking good.

            Thanks heaps for your quick replies to all my recent posts, and for letting us All know that we should contact Customer Service with our concerns regarding subscriptions and delivery issues.


          30. AmberE | | #46

            Glad to hear that they are responding quickly---they are a great team, but have a big job!

          31. Bernie1 | | #45

            Amber: what's with the letters to the editor column? Are you no longer publishing letters that give the magazine less than glowing reviews? Please. An editor's reputation rests on the ability to be objective and fair. Love letters are neither.

          32. AmberE | | #47

            Truth to tell, we aren't getting many of those letters!

          33. Bernie1 | | #48

            That's good. I am one of those who was highly critical of the way things were going but I see some big improvements. I knew one teacher who stopped writing for Threads because her stuff was getting cut so badly half the crucial information was left out. They wanted more pics and room for advertising. But that was under a different watch and I am hoping since articles are now edited by people who actually sew we will see more intermediate/advanced techniques explored in in-depth articles.

          34. AmberE | | #49

            Couldn't agree more. It's good to hear when we're winning back the dissatisified and I think we're going in a good direction! Keep in touch---and if I find a good bad letter I'll be sure to publish! We've just been getting tons from people saying that they are pleased to see Threads turning around!


          35. solosmocker | | #50

            Amber, I am a longtime Threads fanatic. I hesitated to buy SewStylish, thinking it might be a little amateurish. Was a pleasantly surprised. There was a lot of inspiration in this magazine with some solid info to go along with it. You have done a great job on your new magazine. Now I will have to buy both! By the way - My friends who don't sew have been picking of Sew Stylish off the coffee table and loved it. Just an observation as they never picked up a Threads from my table. FWIW,solo

          36. AmberE | | #52

            That's great info on your friends! I'll pass that along...

          37. Bernie1 | | #51

            I really enjoyed the article on making clothes from home dec. Though I've done this in the past, it has inspired me to do it more. Mostly I used home dec for vests but now I'm going to do a jacket and coat.

          38. Char9 | | #53

            Bernie, try making a jacket out of tapestry.  Wow!  Its not a drapey fabric so use a pattern that is somewhat fitted.

          39. Char9 | | #54

            Hi Amber,  I've been a Threads subscriber for quite some time now and always liked the way it inspired me to try new and different techniques.  Then it changed (frown).  Some of the articles were just too basic.  It was like reading a tutorial for someone who had never picked up a needle. 

            Well, I'm happy to say that I think Threads has now gotten their act together.  I really liked the feature on going against the grain and had just posted a question on that very subject 3 days before receiving the issue.  I now find most of the articles to be interesting, informative and instructional and even inspiring again.  Thanks!


          40. AmberE | | #55

            thanks char9---that's music to my ears!

          41. Kathleen | | #56

            Hi Amber,


            I enjoyed the current issue very much . The going against the grain article was very inspiring! I also liked the article about using home dec fabric.

            For furture articles, maybe you could consider the subjects of using or adapting vintage patterns, copying new designer special touches [ always my favorite] and interesting techniques from RTW.

            I also enjoy and read the fitting articles.

            Thanks! Kathleen


          42. solosmocker | | #57

            Amber, I just picked up my latest copy and you are definitely on the upswing! The grain article is just great. For Char9 and others, if you wash (YIKES) your tapestry first it will soften and make into a lovely garment, not stiff at all. Of course do a trial square that you have measured first and remeasure after washing. I have turned upholstery fabric into comfortable jackets a time or two by first washing what seem to be horribly stiff fabrics. solo

          43. AmberE | | #59

            Thanks, it does seem like we're hitting the right note with readers again. Thanks for the kudos!

          44. ctirish | | #60

            Amber,  When Threads first changed I thought, there are new sewers, go with the flow and see what happens. Well, with Threads returning to some of the old ways, I realized how much I had missed many of the detailed articles for advanced sewers. Sew Stylish has certainly filled in the blanks for techniques I either never learned or have forgotten.  I think they complement each other wonderfully.  I do have a suggestion though, if you decide to have Sew Stylish be a bi-monthly magazine could you please have it arrive in the alternate  month that Threads comes.  Then we can get our sewing nourishment on a monthly basis; it would make waiting for the next issue so much sweeter. 

            Thank you for all you do, jane


          45. AmberE | | #61

            It is on an alternating schedule, so I'm not quite sure what you mean. Thanks so much for the feedback!

          46. ctirish | | #62

            Amber, I had not realized it was already on the opposite schedule.  I get several sewing/embroidery magazines and sometimes they all seem to come at the same time.

            Thank you for thinking in advance.   jane


          47. User avater
            Aless | | #63

            Hi Amber.

            As a long time Threads glutton ;-))    I picked up Sew Stylish on a whim, and promptly bought it. What an amazing 'little' publication.I have been sewing for 35+ years, and I found heaps in the mag to interest me and to learn. Maybe another subs coming your way......Keep up the good work.

            Aless (Australia)

          48. Cherrypops | | #64

            Hi Amber,

            Good News, My newsagent is stocking Sew Stylish. They had a number of the Red Carpet Ready issue, a little behind but at least it is there.

            Very much looking forward to Threads 'Vintage' articles. Thanks for adding to the main website information on how to read vintage patterns. I have many of those, and figured out most of it, but was pleased to read extra from the experts!

            Would it be possible to add a picture of the back page of Threads Magazine to the main site alongside the front cover? A lot of positive feedback has been given on the nice back covers.




          49. SewistKitty | | #65

            I so enjoyed the direction that "Threads" has been taking. I also enjoy
            "Sew Stylish" and recommend it to my beginners sewing class.It was exciting to see an up and coming designer and directions for how to create the skirt that he had designed. I would like to read more about new designers featuring their work and maybe instructions to create one of their garments or a new technique that they developed.
            Keep up the great work.

          50. AmberE | | #71

            Thanks so much!

          51. AmberE | | #70

            Great idea on the back cover---I'll look into that

          52. AmberE | | #77

            great idea!

          53. Cherrypops | | #80

            Hi Amber,

            What a lovely "barrell coat" you have. I love it!. My first question was "what pattern did she use?" Then I read your editorial. Wow! You must be so pleased with your achievements.

            I would like to know:

            What was the fabric you chose?

            Are you going to give us  a peek at more "Designs by Amber" in the online magazine extras??




          54. AmberE | | #81

            Thanks Cherrypops! I also plan to drape a sheath dress in the same fabric. It's a beautiful wool boucle from Italy that my FIT professor, designer George Simonton gave to me from his studio stash. He goes there each year to personally shop for his fabrics and his clothes are sold at Saks and Nordstrom and so forth. He also has a new TV show that's much like Project Runway, called "I've Got Nothing to Wear", featured on The Learning Channel. I will be creating a collection in this last class so you may very well see Chez Amber on Sewstylish.com. ;-)

          55. Cherrypops | | #82

            You are such a lucky lady. Best of luck with your new garments- ( though you don't really need it) Will be keeping an eye out for your 'Chez Amber' line. :)



          56. AmberE | | #83

            I do feel so fortunate to be able to go to FIT (and pay the cheap in-state fees!)

          57. User avater
            susannah_sews | | #84

            Hi Amber

            I recall seeing a post about making information from out of print copies of "threads" available on line (or by pdf?).  Like many subscribers who discovered "threads" in more recent years, I have managed to acquire quite a number of back issues directly from Taunton, and have also found a few on ebay/garage sales etc, but some are very elusive.  It is frustrating to find a reference to an earlier article, but not being able to read it.

            In this age of quick and easy scanning, there must be scope for some of the articles from the out of print back issues to be made available?



            (ps - sorry to hear of the demise of SewStylish - got my copy in the mail earlier this week, and it is another pearler.  Likewise the latest issue of Threads.  Congratulations.)

          58. AmberE | | #85

            Hi: Re: PDFs---we are looking at that option, but to make the content searchable, which is necessary, is more expensive and extensive that just scanning the articles. However, we do plan to direct market a DVD-rom of the 50 Best Threads Articles during the holiday season and that will include many out of print articles. We continue to work on developing archives digitally--be assured.

            Re: Sew Stylish--it's not dead, we're just not taking subscriptions---there will be special Sew Stylish issues, so don't despair!


            thanks for your note!

          59. JanF | | #86

            Just a quick note - Sew Stylish - just received my copy - No 2
            what is going to happen to it
            Can u be specific?
            I'm in the UK and I think the mag is very good and wanted to recommend it to my students. I've learnt a few things from it myself too.
            Also I subscribed for a year - will I get the later copies, because I noted the odd comment indicating that I might not?
            If not - I don't like to be picky here - but isn't this a case where you have had my money under false pretences?
            Would you kindly respond?

          60. AmberE | | #91

            Hi Jan: Unfortunately the subscription has been cancelled, although we will continue to sell special issues online and at newsstands. You should have received notice from customer service with options. If you have not received, please contact customer service asap. Thanks and thanks for your kudos on the issues.

          61. SewNancy | | #87

            I don't know if this is the correct thread, to talk about the new Threads, but congratulations on reinvigorating the magazine. I just got my new magazine yesterday and I am really enjoying it. I have been a pretty vocal critic in the past, but I have been really happy with the last couple of issues.
            I love the back cover again and as, always I love the last page. I love to listen to jazz when I sew, but alas, though I like Issey Miyake, my body type and my age are definitely not flattered by it anymore. I have in the past, way in the past, made and loved IM, so she can't be too far off in her evaluations!

          62. AmberE | | #92

            This means a lot to me SewNancy---I know you are a tough customer and I know that I am really turning the tide when I hear from the most discerning of the Gatherings crowd! Thanks!

          63. GailAnn | | #90

            Greetings Miss Amber:

            I'm a little new to Gatherings, and have been enjoing reading old posts.

            Seems like there are others like me, who after years away from sewing have begun again.  Good News.  Clothes from the Mall are boring.  Fabric shopping is fun.

            Some suggestions for future articals.....

            1)  I too would like a reprint of the Fabric Shopping in New York story.

            2)  I've had to re-purchase my sewing supplies.  Yes, I have found some nice things, such as sissors at least as good as the Wiss, I had years ago.  Other products are, however, quite inferior.  It seems as if the Dritz brand no longer means you are buying a high quality product.   So I'd like to see a story on "The Very Best of the Basics", ordinary high quality sewing notions once found in everywoman's sewing basket.

            3)  Our Grandmother's Sewing Machines.  I used to have an old Kenmore, back in the late 50's early 60's.  Then in the early 70's I bought a very nice little Elna, which I used when my children were growing up.  3 years ago I bought a Janome, I've been quite disappointed in, it seems so flimsey!!!!!  So, now, I am using my old Featherweight 221 that used to be my back up/travel machine.  A great machine, it's true, but not really a workhorse.

            I NEED another WORKHORSE type sewing maching.  Don't need embroidery or computerization, just straight stitch, buttonhole, and maybe a zigzag.  I wouldn't mind buying a used one if I could find a good one.  So again I ask what is THE VERY BEST OF THE BASICS, in sewing machines, new or Blasts from the Past.

            4)  Thank you for all of the great fitting helps in recent Threads.  But DDD-cups are NOT the biggest standard issue boobs.  Those of us with the H and J-cups need a little help too.  In fact I would LOVE to be able to make my own bras.

            Thanks, you've been great and I'm really enjoying Threads Gathering.  Gail

          64. AmberE | | #95

            Thanks Gail!

          65. AmberE | | #74

            Thanks Aless!

          66. AmberE | | #76


          67. AmberE | | #58

            You must be reading my mind! Look for all of those topics soon, especially the vintage patterns will be in 132

          68. AmberE | | #40


          69. denise | | #28

            all up to date now  thankyou

          70. AmberE | | #21

            Sew Stylish will be available where all Threads are sold. We will have an issue in Feb/April/Aug/Oct. The first issue is awesome, if I do say so myself, for someone who wants to advance their skills from beginner to intermediate.

          71. User avater
            jacd | | #222

            Is there an Ispired by Threads Challenge this year?  If so where is the link on the website?


          72. MaryinColorado | | #341

            Sounds good!  Mary

          73. JanF | | #14

            This is a copy of a letter I've sent to Amber but I thought it might interest others too and I would welcome comments about the validity of teaching textiles in today's world - where consumerism has gone mad and clothing is so cheap to buy in some places - its not worth the hassle for a lot of youngsters!
            "To Amber - A thought really - I have seen various posts in Gatherings - about recent articles in the mag. and also about submitting stuff. After various chats etc. with people via "Gatherings" over types of work being done now - and what was done in schools in the past - I wonder if there would be any mileage in asking those of us who are teachers of textiles by profession,to submit information/files/pics of the types of work being done in schools today. I suppose this is because I have some concerns that a lot of the message posters can a) recall their most appalling teachers only! and b)do not appear to fully appreciate/understand what is being taught in schools now.
            However - I live in the UK and of course our standard curriculum might not be what is taught over the pond. Indeed I would welcome articles that gave people some insight into the world of teaching textiles in schools today - across the World for that matter. I'm sure you would get some input to the mag. and it might dispel fears that textiles skills are not being taught at all!
            I would willingly pass on to you details of our curriculum with some pics that would show the standard of work achieved. I only teach textiles up to the age of 16 (our Key stage 4) but across the UK there is some great stuff being done. At some schools 16+ work standard is brilliant, although we still have to battle to prove to the powers that be (that is management!!! and males - usually!!!)that there is a place for Textiles work in both Technology and Art( somehow we teachers of a creative subject are still thought of by some, as just doing stuff "for the non-academic kids!).
            It is a costly subject in terms of resources and not a lot of return in terms of numbers when it comes to exams. However it is interesting to note that when studies are done every year within Technology results - it is Textiles that achieves the highest marks consistently!
            I believe that there is still a lot of mileage in studying textiles in schools. I believe that it is a life skill - even if only for young men to do their own sewing on of buttons and repairing zips etc. for when they leave Mum's apron strings! However, I'm nearing the end of my teaching career now and replacement teachers are increasingly in short supply. Perhaps showing what is being done - or what is capable of being done in the field of Textile work - would encourage more youngsters to keep trying - possibly helping in the recruitment of a new age of textiles teachers.
            Anyway - your mag. could be a way of highlighting both the dilemma and the possible stars of the future?
            Thanks Janet Fletcher

            Edited 12/21/2006 8:52 am ET by JanF

          74. MaryinColorado | | #340

            Great information, well said, Jan.  I didn't fully appreciate Miss Haines until years after high school graduation, was unable to locate her to thank her personally.  My grandkids (from 6th to 11th grade) and my adult children make it a point to go back and visit thier favorite teachers. 

            It's sad to see so many schools over focused on "reading, writing, and arithmatic" as if the arts have no bearing on these "core" subjects, let alone stand alone value.  May I print your comments and share them with the school system?  Mary

          75. JanF | | #342

            Of course you can Mary - but check my spelling first? I may be teaching but a combination of too quick typing/interpretation across the pond/brain not functioning quite so well these days (I wonder if other people find that they question themselves over spellings as they get older - I have real blanks some days)! - and forgetting to do spellcheck sometimes leads to a few hiccups!
            By the way - yours is the first reply I have had to this letter - non from The Editor - even though it was sent to her??
            Good to have contact - I have been a little lax lately.

          76. AmberE | | #343

            Sorry, Jan, if I missed this in the thread---what number was it?

          77. JanF | | #344

            Sorry Amber - no = 5666.15 - sent ages ago + of course I promptly forgot it too!!
            I just thought it might make an article.

          78. AmberE | | #345

            okay, i'll check it out

          79. Josefly | | #350

            I'm glad to see your original posting in this thread is getting some response. I've lamented the fact that textile arts are rarely, if ever, taught in our local schools. Then recently I read in the newspaper that at least one of the high schools in our metro area offers a course in fashion design and construction, a very popular class among students of both genders, with final projects judged in a fashion show that is quite competitive. The instructors managed to get some outside sponsors and speakers, and the class is said to be very demanding. What a surprise it was to read that! In contrast, even when home economics (sewing, cooking, basic nutrition, basic gardening) was widely taught in our schools, and was a requirement for girls, it seemed to be one of those classes that guaranteed an easy "A", and was something one just had to get through, instead of a valuable, enjoyable skill and art. Girls in an academic track thought of it largely as a waste of time; I suppose boys who were required to take wood-working or machine-shop felt similarly.From what we've been able to read about your own classes and what you do with your students, and what they produce, it's quite a different story from what is common here in the states. You did an excellent job of describing your work in some early postings here - I'm sure that would make an interesting article for Threads. And it would be a treat to hear from US teachers who are specialists like you.

          80. Stillsewing | | #351

            I find it very interesting to see you say that
            "even when home economics (sewing, cooking, basic nutrition, basic gardening) was widely taught in our schools, and was a requirement for girls, it seemed to be one of those classes that guaranteed an easy "A",
            When I was preparing for my "Leaving Certificate" (our final exam in our secondary education level) our teacher warned us that the standard of marking was very high, and not to expect a higher grade, the reason for this being that it was women that marked the papers and as they were very conscientious there were very few higher grades awarded. At the time I wondered whether this was to cover herself, but on checking the over all number of higher grades awarded nationally in "Domestic Science" her comments proved to be true. I haven't bothered to check this out in recent years and I'm sure that they don't bother to teach these important lifeskills anymore in most schools here nowadays, but I am quite bemused in the different attitudes to this subject back then.

          81. Josefly | | #352

            Thank you for your response to my comments. Yes, I've been surprised at the different attitudes, too, on hearing JanF's description of her program in England. Of course, I'm only talking about my and my children's limited experience - the US is a huge country and attitudes toward "non-academic" courses might have been quite different in other areas - I shouldn't speak for the whole country. In my own secondary school experience there were vocational "tracks" for students not considering college, and during my children's secondary education years, there were separate vocational schools, where students could take classes in business skills, mechanics, hair-dressing, and other courses to prepare them for jobs after graduation from school. But very few students chose those schools - academic "tracks" were encouraged, with emphasis on the importance of Advanced Placement courses. Home economics classes were just slowly phased out of the schools - at least, so I thought, until I read about the outstanding program I mentioned before. I also don't mean that the home economics teachers weren't good - I feel I learned a lot in the classes I took. But they certainly weren't "demanding." Anybody else have a different experience?

            Edited 6/21/2008 9:14 am ET by Josefly

  5. jatman | | #66

    Hi AmberE -

    Thank you so much for the issue on vintage clothing.  I loved seeing the insides of the clothes as well as the outsides.  And I enjoyed seeing an actual garment from the old days being remade again today.  I also enjoyed the article on Alex Sudalnik and the instructions on how to make the drindl skirt.  Is there any chance of having an article on Daniel Vosovic from Project Runway?

    Just one more thing - I need to say thank you to your shipping department.  It's early July and I just received my Aug/Sept issue in Europe.  That's a real improvement over the last year or so.

    Thank you again for a magazine I will read over and over again!


    1. AmberE | | #72

      That's great news on the delivery!

  6. Katina | | #67

    Hello Amber

    I received my copy of the latest issue yesterday. Thank you for taking heed of our concerns and giving us back so much of what we've been missing - it's very much appreciated. I've got houseguests for a few more days and then I'm settling in for a good long read. We should present you with some kind of award!


    1. Cherrypops | | #68

      Threads arrived today. Perfect timing, it is cold and raining again!!

      Love Love Love this issue. I am curled up under a quilt reading it.

      Thanks for the many gorgeous gowns featured.

      CherryPops (sydney Australia).


      1. AmberE | | #69

        Thanks Cherrypops!

    2. AmberE | | #73


  7. tmorris1 | | #75


    I love threads, and this discussion group. I was on a thread here, and was struck that perhaps either threads or sew stylish may be interested in publishing a couple of articles regarding what we could do to sew for charity. Personally, I have been known to make "Broviac" tops for children undergoing chemotherapy, and sew all of my leftover fabric scraps into quilts for the local homeless shelter. We all have such a great gift, I would love to see my favorite magazine encouraging everyone to use this gift to help others.


    1. AmberE | | #78

      I would love to see your proposal---feel free to send in (you might want to check out writer guidelines first on this site)

      1. tmorris1 | | #79

        Thank you Amber, I will do that.

  8. Bernie1 | | #88

    Amber, I would be really interested in an article on sewing techniques throughout history. I own several books from the 1940s and 50s and I'd love to see Threads do something on how people used to measure and fit, how they developed the expertise to cut with the tools they had - the scissors in the 1920s were much heavier and it seems duller than what is available today - and how they perfected seam finishes by hand. So many of these techniques have been lost (or misplaced) so it would be fun to read up on them in Threads. 

    1. AmberE | | #93

      I agree and we do have a new department called Nostalgia, with plans for stories

  9. Tatsy | | #89


    I love the new issue of Sew Stylish. It's very nice that you have two sewing magazines that take such different points of view. 

    Any plans for articles on hats?


    1. AmberE | | #94

      Yes, we do have some hats articles in the works---but in Threads. Thanks so much for your kind note.

  10. rodezzy | | #96

    This was a comment I posted yesterday.

    "Just received my Threads in the office mail.  Looks great.  I love plaid and loved the ASG Fashion Show in the reader's closet, and the skirt project.  Great outfilts.  What I love most of all is to see REAL women.  Not those pencil dolls you see in most fashion layouts.  These are real women with the kind of bodies the average women across the globe possess.  I loved it."

    I believe that it echos the majority of women out here in the world who what to see the AVERAGE AMERICAN WOMAN in our women's magazines. 

    I belong to a quilt guild and in the spring I work with the International Quilt Show.  One of the assignments I have worked two years in a row is helping dress the models in the Fashion Show.  They are so tall and thin until they look unreal.  Like caricatures of the human species.  Not real people.  Most of the outfits had to be pinned and tucked to stay on them.  The clothes were from quilters.

    I'm not saying that everyone should be overweight or obese, just that the ASG Fashion Show in your magazine this edition was a pleasant surprise.  Real People modeling clothes.  And modeling the clothes they would wear in real life.

    1. GailAnn | | #97



    2. Cherrypops | | #98

      Very well said Rodezzy, Thank you!

    3. scrubble4 | | #102

      Rodezzy;  I agree.  I am quite slim but not model slim.  I love seeing clothes are not too slim and not too much the other way humans.  I think for many of us who habitually read Threads getting the fit right is one of the big reasons we read it.  We learn how to fit our not so perfect figures to make them look terrific in the clothes we make.  I think that is part of what Threads celebrates with us and for us.  Scrubble4

      1. AmberE | | #107

        Absolutely. I think that you will love the Fitting DVD we're producing. We start shooting next week. I had my clothes custom fit and it's amazing what it will do for a body!

        1. scrubble4 | | #113

          Yahoo.  I really enjoy the videos in the tips section.  I learn so much more when I see it happening along with the explanation of why or how different processes yield different styles etc.  I look forward to the DVD. 

          1. scrubble4 | | #121

            Amber:  A suggestion for a Threads CD: An index to all Threads articles since their beginning.  Some of us have all or most of the issues.  It would be really helpful so we don't need to find the index for each year and look through them all.  Now it is always a lovely excursion to do that, but unfortunately it is very time consuming.  I know I need to squeeze my sewing moments out of other time demands on my day.  So I am always looking for ways to extend that time.  If such an index is possible I would ask that it is not limited to titles and authours (which are really important) but also include references to tips, diagrams, resources etc.  Those are often the bits that seem to lodge in my mind and are my memory reference.  Thanks for considering this suggestion.  Scrubble4

            PS Although I have done it once, I can seem to figure out how to initiate a new message rather than just replying.  I know once you explain it to me, it will be simple but I couldn't figure it out this morning. Thanks

    4. AmberE | | #106

      Thanks for your comments Rodezzy. Always appreciated!

    5. MaryinColorado | | #112

      here here!  I agree!  The anorexic looking models set an unhealthy example for the young people of today.  Mary

    6. AmberE | | #116

      Thanks Rodezzy---we work on and will to continue working to have a great diversity of women in the magazine

  11. Cherrypops | | #99

    Hi Amber,

    I've just received #134...and i love it again, thank you!

    I do hope more people read your Editorial in this issue, join the Gatherings fourm, and use this discussion to not only contact you but find all of us. This forum is the best.

    Keep up the great work here and at your SewStylish Blog site.

    Anna-maree ( sydney australia)

    1. spinNsew | | #100

      Hi Amber, I also just received Threads #134, have read through and enjoyed nearly every article and am beginning to study a couple of the articles to internalize the information."Hit Your Mark with Darts" is especially interesting, the skirts are beautiful, flexible in fabric choice, and made to fit an individual (my shape doesn't seem to correlate well with pattern sizes). However, I'm really confused about some of the instructions. There must be some typos and omissions.
      1. am I supposed to buy "the skirt length plus twice the hem allowance" as printed, or "twice the (skirt length plus hem allowance)"?
      2. how does one get into the skirt? On the 3rd reading, it looks like the front pleat opens somehow, but this is really unclear; and how does it stay in place and neat? There must be some more snaps or some topstitching that is not described, or something.
      3. I am told to make one or two? slot darts in the back. This is incompletely described. From looking at the photo, it looks like I topstitch the folds at each side of the dart. Am I then supposed to meet the folds, like a shaped inverted pleat? What is the point of using this type of dart?
      4. Where do I start sewing the grosgrain ribbon to finish the waistband?
      5. And just for my own use--is there any way to make this skirt reversible? I bought some beautiful linen plaid made in Germany that is slate blue and navy, one side mostly slate blue and the other side mostly navy. I'd like to make some travel clothing from it and have been stymied about how to go about it.I'm about to begin playing with fabric swatches and the ideas in "Mix & Match with Domino Design".Thank you for a wonderful magazine.--Marguerite

      1. Cherrypops | | #101

        Hi spinNsew,

        Your message came to My email inbox - cherrypops - not Amber the editor. your're not alone on this. so don't worry.

        You clicked Reply to my post....however, I am glad you asked the question about the Darts

        **You need to reply to Ambers posts/messages for it to reach her email inbox.**

        Amber will read your message online, but next time look at the member's name before you post.

        CherryP - australia -


  12. User avater
    susannah_sews | | #103

    Hi Amber

    My latest Threads arrived yesterday, and I too have had some problems interpreting the instructions for the amazing skirt on the front cover.

    First - like some others, I can't work out the closure mechanism.  The fold at the front with the snaps seems to be holding a pleat, but not being a proper closuer.  Having stitched myself in - how do I escape!!  (great skirt, but I wouldn't want to wear it for ever!)

    Second, I am a bit bemused by the topstitched slot dart.  I am not sure what the purpose of this feature is - a little more explanation might assist.  If the purpose is explained, then it might be possible to understand why this more complicated feature is used, instead of a normal dart.

    I also found the instructions about adding the grosgrain ribbon for the waistband a little light on for detail.

    I had found this article confusing on the website, and thought there might be some fuller coverage in the printed version, but this was not the case.  Some sort of follow up would help.  The next issue would help, and for the many followers of the website, perhaps something a bit sooner?

    Other than this, great issue, keep up the good work.  (and I LOVED the back cover!!)



    1. AmberE | | #108

      We have had concerns on this story and are rechecking it. I expect to follow up in 135 letters section. Thanks for your note

      1. LisaE | | #109

        I'm loving my Threads magazine as it inspires me through both the techniques described and the great pictures. Reader's Closet is one of my favourite areas. However, most of it is not my style in terms of what I wear. I have an 'alternative' style that includes PVC, leather, and interesting uses for Halloween fabrics. Some might call it goth but it is broader than that. I have taken a workshop that showed me how to work with leather and I was hoping to learn more tips and tricks, as well as see what you guys can create with some of these different textiles. So how about it? Throw some goth or other alternative stuff in once in a while for us. I am sure most readers would love to learn about using different fabrics, even if only for their Halloween costumes. For example, I know that glue sticks are good for affixing hems on leather garments but when I tried this on PVC, the layers separated. Lesson learned. By the way, I am in my late-30s so I am not talking about teen fashions here but full-blooded woman's clothing, although it could apply to both.

        1. AmberE | | #110

          Yes, I've heard there's a lot of goth influenced sewers out there! Thanks for the info!

    2. AmberE | | #124

      Are you talking about the long gold skirt?

      1. User avater
        susannah_sews | | #126

        Hi Amber

        Yes, this was the one that puzzled me (and I gather from gatherings, some others as well).  I look forward to some further explanation, either in the next issue or on the website.

        Have a great Christmas


        1. AmberE | | #129

          Yes, working on it

      2. GailAnn | | #188

        Miss Amber--

        Would you please read the current gatherings discussions (January 22, 2008) about Sewing for Large Sizes.  This might be something to think about for future issues of Threads magazine. 

        Yes, I know you often feature alterations articals.   Adding an inch here and two inches there won't help the growing numbers of ladies over 250 pounds. 

        Many of the ladies I know over 250 pounds, don't look so very much out of proportion.  Some are tall, or broad shouldered, atheletic, and beautiful!  My own daughter's doctor told her that she would never be able to be healthy or maintain a weight under 190!  That would have been unheard of even one generation ago.

        I do thank Simplicity and their Khaliah Ali Collection, for recognizing that larger ladies don't necessarily have figures like beach balls.  Gail


        1. Deeom | | #189

          I asked this question on another thread and Cherrypops suggested I ask it again on this thread.  I was just wondering if the new Threads DVD on fitting contains new material or if it is a collection of past articles in Threads magazine presented in a more convenient manner.  Just wondering.

          1. Cherrypops | | #191

            thanks for taking my advice..(my email notification came thru for this topic)...

            i did mean for you to ask AmberE not ALL.

            Every question to AmberE in this discussion ( replying to her postings) is sent to her directly. posting to ALL, should get a response from anyone who reads your post whilst browsing discussions, but members are not notified individually by email.


          2. Deeom | | #197

            Sorrry about the goof.  I'm still feeling my way around this site.

          3. Cherrypops | | #198

            no apolgies, you're not the only one just feeling your way around. and there are no 'instructions' on how this forum works. everybody helps everybody here.

            i looked a few posts up and saw that AmberE has replied to your question. i'm pleased you received an answer quickly.

            i may purchase this dvd too.

          4. AmberE | | #194

            It's all new material! And it's video--myself, Kenneth King and Judy Neukam. It's really great information. I highly recommend...

        2. AmberE | | #193

          Thanks for your great suggestion---we did do a plus size draping series, but I think that we could do much with pattern drafting and fitting in this area.

          1. GailAnn | | #200

            Juat recieved my new July 2008 issue #137.

            Much of it was lovely, I especially liked From Sloper to Shirt on page 46.

            Fashion Squared beginning on page 52, however, was a huge dissapointment!  Discheveled is the word that best describes the outfits.  If you are looking for something made out of simple rectangles, you could do way better than that!  If quick and easy were your goals, other nicer clothes, wearable, polished clothes, could have been chosen.  Clothes we will be proud to wear.

            Threads magazine is at it's highest and best when featuring the finest examples of sewing from the past, and challenging us to improve our skills for today and the future.


          2. Stillsewing | | #201

            I have to agree. All of the items shown looked good on the models but you could see that they would not be putting them on their "wish list" to take home with them. Further the "Tailor a Brush Fringe Edge" was definitely a complete turn off as far as I was concerned. No way would I want to wear a shabby dog eared jacket as illustrated. However I did like his instructions on interfacing was very informative. It should have used a better garment to illustrative the point.

          3. AmberE | | #203

            That garment belongs to Kenneth King (he has all sorts of interesting menswear jackets he has created) and was the best example we had of the technique and we also wanted to get menswear in as well. Perhaps we'll better meet your expectations next time, but I'm glad you appreciate the technique. Thanks for your feedback!

          4. marijke | | #204

            Since most of the clothes in Threads are women's, this confusion would not have occurred if you had used a model (or had King himself model the jacket) rather than show it on a hanger. 

            It's a cool jacket for a man.  But if you look at the picture and assume it's womenswear...  the jacket just doesn't work for a woman (style, fabric).


          5. denise | | #205

            Dear  Amber,

            It may be that some ladies do not like the shaggy look but then on the other hand we have to remember that we have to cater for all and I do believe that here in Australia last winter it was the fashion,  as we are a season in front of the U.S. and keep in mind it is only May I have not seen it in the stores  this autumn but was very big last winter.

            And the magazine has to keep us with the latest looks in fashion and you never know who is going to pick up the magazine I have just read with interest on gatherings about a young lady  who sounded very young just starting to sew.

            So us older ladies must not be selfish in out look. Loved the seam ideas,

            I would love to be able to make my own pashmina but the secret for no seams on the side must be a very technical one,  When over seas I have bought them for a fraction of the cost my son bought me a pure wool ( which is the only ones I would buy) from Asia  i have several but with winter approaching would love a Red one, funny that as it is not a colour i have worn, except in shoes.  But then my maternal grandmother loved the colour so perhaps its my age.

            Thanks again for the magazine.

            My only suggestion is that perhaps we could have more recognition on the front cover.  e.g. the sample shirt made in a less expensive fabric.  Then when we look through our books we can quickly recognize what book has what.

            p.s. why is the word slopper used it is such, for give me for saying so an ordinary word.

            Here it means someone who goes around not well dressed e.g. they look sloppy.

            Also from what I understood the Sew Easy Magazine was discontinued as my subscription was discontinued and added to my Threads sub,  if that is the case why do I still see it advertised

          6. BernaWeaves | | #206

            Hi Denise:

            It's not "slopper."  It's "sloper."  It rhymes with "rope her." 



            The articles on seams and mitering were helpful.

            I really didn't like the frayed plaid jacket.  I hated the garments made out of rectangles.  They did not fit the models or look flattering at all.

            There's a beautiful garment on the back of the magazine and then NOTHING about it or its construction techniques in the magazine.  I would have prefered info on that to the ugly rectangles.


            Edited 5/8/2008 9:38 am ET by BernaWeaves

          7. denise | | #210

            Problem is Berna, the young ones like this type of  design i started sewing for my self at 17 and it was because i saw a mini dress on a pattern.

            I personally would love to see sometimes models who look my age just sometimes somewhere in any fashion book i do not think the advertisers have yet realized that we the baby boomers as they call us here in aust,  in some cases have a little more disposable income.

            Perhaps we could ask Amber why does every model need to be young.

            I realize its good advertising but you don't have to put us oldies on the front page.

          8. BernaWeaves | | #211

            But that type of design (just rectangles) doesn't look good on anyone, even young models.  At little bit if shaping would have improved those garments 100%, for example just sloping the shoulder seams.  I, too, sewed my initial garments using what I call "my pillowcase pattern" for a blouse that basically looks like a pillow case with a neckhole and armholes, but I did round the necklines and slope the shoulders and add bias gussets under the arms and they fit fantastic. 


          9. AmberE | | #213

            We do honestly try to get a wide range of models, especially racial diversity---but believe it or not the 40+ models are not in great supply! (40+ is considered elderly in the modelling world.) My dream is to have Carmen pose for us, but I fear she's out of our range! Just to let you know that it's always on our minds...

          10. denise | | #214

            why dont you engage your own models or do make overs  that seem very popular in aust.

          11. AmberE | | #216

            Love the makeover idea---the amateur models is a pretty difficult talent---it takes a lot of talent and patience to model and on our budget we have to move lickety split, so professionals work better, but great ideas!

          12. lorisews | | #228

            I love the makeover idea, too. On the tv shows the recipients often still end up with clothes that don't FIT very well so they still don't fulfill their potential. With my shape and proportions nothing off the rack ever fits me right. I always thought a custom-fit makeover on those shows would be fanstastic -- and wouldn't necessarily cost a lot more than the clothes they buy on the show!

          13. Ralphetta | | #215

            Yes, I agree that Carmen would be great. If I had to chose, I'd rather see younger models than awkward amateurs, (just because they're older,) on your classy magazine. I'm sure that good, professional plus-sized and mature models are hard to find and I'm glad that is your goal.

          14. AmberE | | #217

            thanks so much--always helpful to get more input on this! see my post above about working with inexperienced models---you are right!

          15. denise | | #218

            What about a   University student they are always  looking for extra funds and I am  sure would be very patient as long as they had time to study,  perhaps a girl from a Technical college  ( aust term) who is doing a diploma in dress design

          16. AmberE | | #219

            you still need the talent--that's why we go with the pros (and it doesn't address the age issue). but all great ideas---some we've tried and haven't worked and others that we haven't--thanks so much for your thoughts! :-)

          17. denise | | #221

            o well understand  all the business decisions.

            But the way of attracting older readers is for them to see how these garments would look on their age group  lost opportunities i feel

          18. Ralphetta | | #220

            Just as some people underestimate the skills involved in sewing, they also underestimate what it takes to be a model. When you are paying an entire professional crew, renting a location, etc., you really can't afford the time to teach someone what to do. Plus, some people just don't have "it," no matter how much time you spend.

          19. AmberE | | #226


          20. AmberE | | #227

            Thanks everyone for your comments on the garments---I love Gatherings because it give me direct access to what readers are thinking! And it's all good info to use for the future. :-)

          21. dollmarm | | #229

            Has THREADS thought a contest for a model in the midst of their sewing readers?   IT could be something like this: Submit your pictures of your garment and have different categories of designs `different shapes of people from tall to short and even have men and women and children sections and etc.... With this you can show the diversity of all who sew and who sews what for different sizes and shapes from all around the World. This can be once a year issue ! I know that sound like a lot but you could start this asking those to send in their pictures and have a team working on this.  You could even have an online contest for each category w/ finals - one from each groups ( however you decide) will be on the cover with the details inside describing the outfit from the pattern picking, fabric selection, fittings and then accessories.  Doesn't that sound like a fun idea?   Just a thought to bring it closer to home for some to see 'everyday people' wearing clothes made by and for everyday people.  Sincerely, :~) 

            Edited 5/12/2008 5:07 pm ET by dollmarm

          22. AmberE | | #230

            Yes, it is. We also have the Reader's Closet dept, which is very similar to that concept....

          23. MaryinColorado | | #331

            True, those were my thoughts also.  Everyone would be exhausted and dissatisfied at the end of the week it would take to get an hour's work done!  Then there would still be complaints.  The risks seem to outweigh the reality of what it must take to run a magazine! I'm glad that professionals are running the magazine!  Mary


          24. GailAnn | | #223

            Cjouldn't you tease someone out of retirement?  Jean Shrimpton, or (my favorite) Varushka?  I'll bet even Twiggy is fluffier than she used to be.  Gail

          25. AmberE | | #224


          26. GailAnn | | #231

            Dear Amber, this isn't necessarily about sewing, but rather knitting, I enjoy that as well. 

            I dislike the bulky, heavy, furry yarns that have been so popular for the past 45 years. just as much as I dislike the angular, sport clothes of today.   No class, no polish!  I have little use for fast and easy, churn it out, projects whether knitting or sewing.  Why bother?  Just go to the mall, open your pocketbook, spill out the contents and take home some more ill fitting, poor quality cloothing, manufactured under near slave-like conditions in countries that would sell the U.S. or Canada down the drain in a moment.

            I collect knitting pattern books from the mid 1930's through to the early 1950's.  The fashions are beautiful, absolutely "lady-like" and elegant.  The sizes, however, are tiny! 

            I am not so tiny.

            Recently, however, I have become the owner of a copyright 1938 U.S.A and Canada, Handknit Fashions by Bear Brand and Bucilla Yarns. Vol. 304. on page 50 is a section titled TO CHANGE SIZE OF GARMENT TO ANOTHER REGULATION SIZE.  Simple, elegant, straight forward.  Reduces hundreds of complex mathmatical computations into two, very readable paragraphs.

            I highly recommend it. 

            I've always wondered why women reared in a time when less emphasis was placed on education than it now is, could produce beautiful, useful, and complex items from fiber and fabrics, while we aspired to hot pants, tube tops, and one stitch afgans.


            Edited 5/13/2008 12:01 pm ET by GailAnn

            Edited 5/13/2008 12:04 pm ET by GailAnn

          27. AmberE | | #232

            Thanks Gailann---very cool

          28. dollmarm | | #233

            Very, very well stated !!!!!  I do not think any one else could have stated as you did more elegantly and yet direct.  Thanks you !! I have the hardest time fitting my son - there is a big gap in the boys to men's sizing.  Then lately every thing in the 18 for boys is for the husky and short.  My son, A is tall and thin.   Then,  I go to the men's dept. and the smallest is a 30 in the waist and 30 length.  A is a 28 waist and a 32 in length.  "All I am able to find is sloppy sports wear and or clothing that looks like a rain-gear from top to bottom.  I would love for a company to take up this slack ! YOU are so so right for the ladies wear..   I am tiny but do not wanna' look like a hoochie- mama - I love to dress like a lady !   :~)

          29. GailAnn | | #234

            Dear DollMarm:

            I've decided to leave the stores behind...............There is just absolutely nothing out there for me anymore!

            I can sew and I can knit, so I won't go naked.

            I've spent the past 8 weeks or so testing the e-bay, and internet "waters", for fabric, yarn and patterns.  I've made a few mistakes, but nothing more costly than the mistakes I've made in the stores, in recent years. 

            I find very good quality and excellent selection on the secondary market, plus it's delivered to my door.  Frankly, I was worried about moth or silverfish damage, but so far, I haven't run across that problem.

            As long as Americans keep accepting poor quality in materials and workmanship, as long as no one cares about the manufacturing conditions, or the living wage of the, (mostly) women who work in the factories, as long as no one cares WHERE the money goes;  Stores will happily take our hard earned American dollars in exchange for inferior, ill-fitting, styleless garments.

            Guess I'll still have to buy bras, shoes, and 2 or 3 pair (a year) of nylons, somewhere, but I'll be cautious and choosy about where and by whom they are manufactured.

            I'm "shopped out" and I quit.  Gail

          30. Josefly | | #235

            Amber, have you noticed the question about the Five-Rectangle Jacket described on page 58 of Threads #137? It's posted under General Discussion. The instructions for the sleeve and its insertion are at question, and I wondered if the marking dot 8 1/2" down from the shoulder seam, on the side front, is correct? That would leave an opening for the sleeve of 17 inches. The 15 inch wide sleeve, after being seamed with 5/8" sa's, would only be 13 1/4". Am I figuring this incorrectly? Thank you so much for your help.

          31. AmberE | | #236

            Let me check on this and get back to you. Thanks for the alert

          32. Gloriasews | | #239

            Am I the only person who is annoyed & distracted (I realize THAT is the idea!) by the Bernina pop-up?  It's new & pops up on every thread I read - really annoying!


          33. Sancin | | #240

            Nope - I hate it too. But at least you can turn it off if you hit it by mistake. I hate the pop ups that lead you to a site, even when you hit cancel. I haven't seen it here, fortunately!

          34. Gloriasews | | #243

            I have my pop-ups blocked, but it doesn't seem to work on this one - & there isn't an 'x' to close this one off, either.  I hope Threads isn't going to sell more ads this way.


          35. Crazy K | | #241

            Nope.......you are not alone...........I find it very distracting.  Makes reading the post right above it very hard!!  I tried to get rid of it and it was not to be..........still there.......driving me nuts!


          36. Gloriasews | | #244

            Driving me nuts, too!  As I said to Sancin, my pop-up blocker doesn't seem to work on this one.  Maybe if the red wasn't so bright . . .  I just don't feel that these ads are appropriate in these threads (they spoil our enjoyment & continuity) & I'm afraid they'll sell more ads to insert - aaagh!!! 


          37. AmberE | | #245

            Let me look into this

          38. Josefly | | #246

            I've seen this in recent weeks in a couple of other Taunton forums, esp. "Over the Fence."

          39. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #247

            While most of us probably have high speed internet connections, those poor souls who live out in the boonies and have a dial-up connection down in the 24K range are going to find loading each page has slowed significantly with these moving ads. I know, because until about 2 years ago that's what I had. It was costly to purchase the satellite system and to get enough trees cut from my yard so there was a clear view of the southern sky so the receiver could communicate with the satellite. It's driving me crazy. I would not complain one moment if it were not a moving ad. That seems a good compromise to me.

          40. Gloriasews | | #248

            This was the first one I'd seen.  I have to agree with JunkQueen, though, that if it is not moving, it's not so intrusive & irritating (especially if we have no choice but to pu up with it).  On the other hand, it there is a different ad between each submission, that could REALLY drive us nuts - then I can see how many will leave this forum, which would be real shame.  I spoils the intimate community we had going.


          41. User avater
            MichelleinMO | | #249

            Dear Amber,

            I was one of your first Threads members to subscribe to sewstylish when I heard it was coming out.  I was thrilled with it and all the basic information each edition contains.  It has increased my basic sewing knowledge tremendously.

            I am so happy that you and the publishing company have decided to continue to publish it.  I wish it came out each season instead of twice a year, but I will take what I can get.  Intially, I thought it was gone forever and wrote you an email begging that you continue the magazine in some form.  I hope it has been worth your all the effort.

            As an individual who did not benefit from a great Home Economics /Consumer Science program in high school, where they taught hand stitches such as the catch stitch, slip stitch and how to tie a knot properly I have just enjoyed each and every basic article in both sewstylish and Threads.

            Also, I love the fact that some of the sewing techniques have been put on U Tube for sewstylish.  It has helped immensely.  I think putting difficult sewing techniques online for Threads or sewstylish is the wave of the future and will draw in more readers especially those that are able to use the computer. 

            In 2003 I picked up Threads when I was trying to learn how to sew by myself, and it was so advanced I just couldn't even relate to anything in the magazine.  I was pretty discouraged every article seemed really coutoure.

            In late 2005 I picked up another issue of Threads and noticed a lot of discussion in Letters about the new direction of the magazine.  Many readers liked the new way the magazine was going and many did not.  I was one who did like the new direction of the magazine.  I could understand some of it now and today I understand even more.

            I understand the need for keeping it challenging for these wonderful ladies and gentlemen who have had the great life experience of being taught one on one by a family member or friend sewing.  I am sure it is frustrating for them when their skill is so advanced.  I was not lucky enough to have that life experience.   I hope maybe the magazine can add a permanent couture section in each edition. 

            I live in rural southwest Missouri, so you think there would be some type of sewing lessons available.  The closest place is two hours away at Springfield, Missouri.  I have learned by books and videos.  I buy most of my fabric online or when we go to Kansas City.  We do not even have a local ASG chapter, so that pretty much sums it up. 

            I liked the bag on the issue of Threads 137 as I considered it to go a long with the theme of everyone "Going Green."



          42. AmberE | | #250

            Thanks Michelle and greetings from a fellow southwest Missourian! We do try to keep a balance of great info for all sewers, and I'm so glad that the tools have helped you progress in your sewing. Take a look at CraftStylish.com/sewing, the new home for BeSewStylish.com. You'll find the same great info and a whole new community. Happy Sewing!

          43. Katina | | #252

            I like your phrasing 'intimate community'. Well put. That's what we are. The moving ad is very annoying - hopefully Threads will give this serious thought. As for me, I've had to cut down very much on my time here because of it. All I do is check a couple of Threads and get out as fast as I can.


          44. AmberE | | #253

            Hi All: I've looked in this and they are working on getting a still ad to replace the moving one. One good thing is that this ad pays the bills so that we can support the Web site and Gatherings---so bear with us until we get that ad in place.

            Edited 5/31/2008 6:27 am ET by AmberE

          45. Katina | | #256

            Thanks Amber!

          46. Gloriasews | | #272

            Just scroll past it as quickly as you can :).  When it quits moving, it's not so bad.  As Amber said in a further post, they are trying to make the ads still (quiet) & it does pay the bills to keep this blog going.


          47. Katina | | #273

            Thanks Gloria!

          48. Gloriasews | | #274

            You're welcome, Katina.


          49. AmberE | | #284

            I'm curious: Other web sites at Taunton have moved to paid subscription sites (Fine Woodworking is the best example, if you want to take a look). Would this interest any of you? The Threads web site is due for a makeover soon, and this would be a good time to ask what your dream site would be.

          50. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #300

            Would a subcription to the mag entitle us to a subscription to this site? I'm new to the net and this is the first site I have logged into. I am still reading past threads, so I can't tell you what I personally would want on a site like this yet. However if I have to pay yet again for information that is being donated freely and generously by your readers here...not exactly fair is it?

          51. AmberE | | #301

            I think that a subscription to the site is an add-on cost at Woodworking---and their forums may be free, with some content having paid access, like a complete issue PDF. The issue here is that something has to pay the bills to sustain the site, and I was curious if that model interested you. Sounds like it doesn't...

          52. User avater
            MichelleinMO | | #304

            Dear Amber,

            I would be interested in having an internet site linked maybe between sewstylish and threads that offered some type video demonstration of harder techniques.  An example would be a step-by-step demonstration on how to do bound buttonholes showing one how to determine:

            1. How long do you know how to make each buttonhole?

            2. What is the best weight of interfacing to use?

            3. How to get each button hole marked straight on the jacket with a ruler, how many and a foolproof technique.

            3. How to make each buttonhole the exact same perfect size?

            Also maybe a seasonal expert column question and answer with a demo?

             On a long coat with a heavy hem what is a floating hem and how do you make one?

            Maybe there would be readers out there, who are great seamstress that would be willing to have their husbands, nephews or grankids tape them performing such a technique on their DVD, and send it to you for review for your website?   Today the possibilities are endless. 

            An article in state of Kansas last month stated that 50 percent of the teachers in that state will be retiring.  Can you imagine how many Home Economics/Consumer Science Teachers will be retiring?

            My husband recently finished a book a couple of months ago I bought him for Christmas Called microtrends the small forces behind tomorrows big changes by Mark J. Penn.  You may have read it.  It was a very popular book. 

            Don't hold me to this figure, but my husband Steve told me that in his book Mark Penn was quoted as saying that sewing machine sales doubled between 1999 and 2005.  I think this shows a big renewal in sewing.

            Thanks for your time again.

          53. AmberE | | #306

            Thanks, Michelle. All great ideas. On CraftStylish.com we will have more videos (that's the new home of BeSewStylish.com.). We also have a lot of DVDs in the works. Thanks for some really good ideas!

          54. Ralphetta | | #310

            I've read similar figures, but many of us at this site can't figure it out. How is that possible, when the fabric stores are continuing to close and fewer and fewer people say they sew? I'm thinking they may be embroidery machines that are being sold and the people compiling the data don't understand there is a difference.

          55. GailAnn | | #307

            Dear Amber:

            How was Threads planning to pay the cost of running this site when it was set up?

            I arrived here a year or so ago, because I wrote to Threads magazine to ask a question, and the person who answered my e-mail directed me to this Gatherings Discussion to try to find an answer.

            At that time SOMEONE must have thought that it provided a valuable service.

            I'd be interested to know how others found their way onto this site.   Some may have just surfed onto it, but I think many were INVITED to join by Threads.

            Do you now believe it is a liability?  Gail

          56. AmberE | | #336

            Web sites are always set up with revenue models and selling ads are a key revenue model. To tell you the truth, it was likely myself or my assistant April who directed you here, and you are a valuable addition! Always look forward to your posts. :-)

          57. GailAnn | | #338

            Dear Amber:

            I read your post yesterday, and walked away to ponder it in my heart........After some hours, I began to realize the depth and breadth of my misunderstanding.

            On some level I knew this web-site was set up to encourage seamstresses to buy and read Threads magazine.  I believed, however, that it was a service provided by Threads magazine, for the exchange of information between seamstresses.  I, certainly, have recommended both the web-site and the magazine to many of my real life friends, even as I relished the achievements, creations, and ideas of those whom I came to regard as my "e-friends".

            I feasted on a banquet of food for thought.

            The idea of "revenue model" or venue for the sale of advertising, an intangible thing, never occured to me.

            My mistake.  Gail

          58. AmberE | | #339

            No problem! We have a revenue model that, unlike most publishers, is mostly weighted toward subscriptions, but advertising is also a part of the mix. In the case of the web site, we don't charge for it, so any revenue must be advertiser-related. That said, it looks like the ad will be changing.

            At any rate, please do keep bringing your fresh views and musings to the site!

          59. User avater
            MichelleinMO | | #303

            I know so many of you are concerned about content, and as a Threads subscriber I can understand your concerns.  I started sewing in my late 30's, because my daughter wanted me to stay home with her.  I had worked since I was 14 during my summer vacations.  I had a 20 hour job in high school. 

            I never took a real break until my daughter Whitney was in eight grade and begged me to stay home.  She was tired of daycare and YMCA summer camp.  She was and continues to be a pretty young lady.  When she was in eight grade I decided she could get into a lot of trouble.  I couldn't hardly make her go to a sitter anymore, so it seemed like the perfect time for me to spend a lot of time with her.   

            I took up sewing like I always wanted to do and haven't went back to work due to some continuing long-term health problems.  I am fortunate I am able to do this due to my husband's current job as I am only 44 with an empty nest. 

            I also have a old, beautiful, black Singer, treadle sewing machine that works great, but I haven't been able to get the rhythm down yet.  My husband, who in the past has sewn heavy, outdoor, canvas perfectly, on it for an umbrella for his tractor.  He is afraid of messing up the computer sewing machines. 

            If you are in the book store or a sewing store I would challenge all of you just to pick up a copy of Taunton's publication of SewStylish.  I am not saying you have to buy another magazine but just look through it.  

            Amber is also the publisher of this other sewing magazine.  I think if you will just take a look at it you will see how committed she is to the sewing community. 

            It is full of information from page to page.  I think it will show you how committed she is to educating new people to sewing and educating them to where they can transition to be a Threads reader and have the opportunity to learn all the wonderful information you all know.  I am one of those readers.  I am buying both magazines and I want to be at that level you all talk about such as tatting and feeling unchallenged.  I have stacks of projects I am stuck on and researching. 

            The education system has left the arts behind.  I know I just wanted my daughter to be able to pick up sewing in high school.  They only offered it 1/2 a semester, and it conflicted with all the college preparatory classes that she needed to be an K-12 Art Education Major.  We could never figure a way around it. 

            I was totally disgusted about the situation as we live in Southwest Missouri where you think living in the Ozarks three hours from Bran son, MO there would sewing everywhere?  Well, quilting is pretty big, but when anyone can go into a chain store and grab an ugly t-shirt for 7.00; that is what happens. 

            As for my daughter Whitney, she will be my project to teach to sew after she grows up immensely.  At this time, mom doesn't know anything, and she is busy with college, newly married to a guy her same age both 21.  She is 4 feet 11 inches, and she can fit in those tiny junior clothes now.  She hates the ready-to-wear petite section clothes as they are old lady looking, and she is only 21.  That Missy is going to have to learn to alter her pants and skirts; stitch-witch, staples and duck tape doesn't work for everything like she thinks. 

            Many Blessings to you all,


          60. GailAnn | | #305

            You should be proud of yourself for taking time at home with your daughter.  You will never regret it.  Those days can't be bought for any price.  Gail

          61. Ocrafty1 | | #316

            Every state has a County Extension office that is usually linked to a local university.  (Here in Indiana, they are associated with Purdue University.)  They sponsor the local 4-H clubs for youth and home extensions clubs for adults.  Many of these have women/men who love to sew and will help people who want to learn. I would suggest contacting your local county extension office and asking about them.  They are usually located in the county courthouse, or they can tell you how to find them.

            I also elected to be a 'Stay at home mom.'  My daughters' father died when they were 11 mos and 2.  Although I remarried, I still felt responsible for their upbringing, as well as that of the son who was born later. My mother was the main breadwinner in our family and I was always jealous of my friends whose mothers were waiting at home when they got out of school.  My kids enjoyed having me "at their beck and call" (my 23 yr old son still thinks I still am) but when they were ill or needed something I was always able to provide what they needed.  I think stay at home parents don't come close to getting the credit they deserve.  We work a lot more hours than the other parent who works outside of the home. I wouldn't change one hour of staying home with my kids!  After my daughters graduated from HS, I got a part time job at a local elem. school...and was home before my son got home.  That led to my taking classes at an IU extension campus.  I got my Elem. Edu degree 2 yrs ago (after going to school for 12 yrs.) and was taking classes on the same campus as my son.  Although he griped about me being on campus and 'cramping his style', he'd bring his friends over to meet me and get 'lunch money' just like he did in elementary school.  It brought us much closer and I feel like I set an example for him, as well as my daughters, who decided to have families first, like I did.  Stick to your guns and enjoy your life NOW!  It only gets better....and its better than the alternative!  When your daughter hits about 30 you'll be surprised at how smart you've finally become! 


            Edited 6/3/2008 11:22 pm ET by Ocrafty1

          62. AmberE | | #335

            Michelle: Thanks so much for your post. Since my family hails from southwest Missouri going back many generations, your words are alway especially heartwarming!

          63. lorisews | | #320

            Amber, I would like to see the web site stay free, and I hope it encourages new readers to come to Threads. I already subscribe to the paper magazine and would never want to go to all-online myself. I have issues from many years ago I still go back to and always find something of interest. It is really harder to go back to digital stuff. Digital ormats change, computers disks die, paper is just easier to re-access . . .

          64. AmberE | | #325

            Sounds good! Good to hear from you, lorisews!

          65. sewelegant | | #337

            You are so right!  I love my computer but the things I save get lost whereas my little library in the back bedroom is stocked with wonderful, informative volumes that I rarely "delete".  I hope our magazines and books never become obsolete.  They are dear friends with personalities all their own.

          66. stitchagain | | #346

            Why is it that two articles from Threads on the process of grading disagree?

            I have a vintage pattern that is a couple of sizes too small so I used a Threads article to grade the pattern.  The article was July 2002.  Then realizing that there was an older article (June/July 1990), I took a look at it.  The instructions are different.   

            Has the process of grading changed?

            I made up the bodice according to the older article and compared it to the graded bodice from the '02 article.  They are different- I am not sure which one to use.  Making two muslins doesn't seem fair. 

            Should not the '02 article referenced the '90 article?  Did I miss something? 

            Edited 6/16/2008 8:15 pm ET by stitchagain

          67. AmberE | | #349

            I'm going to have Judy Neukam, our senior technical editor, check this out and get back to you

          68. dollmarm | | #237

            BRAVO my dear - Preach it sister and all that !!!!!!!!!!!!  I am w/ U !!!!  It is totally crazy what stores want us to pay for clothing !  Yet I know we who make it deserve all that we ask - what is out in the stores is poor quality and that is sad for those who can not sew.  MY sister is totally pitiful at sewing - in fact she stinks and has to buy out. I totally love second hand stores and wash everything I buy.  WE had one store that had so so much that after every season they would hold a 'Bag Sale' - all you can fit in that bag for a price.  I bought my son 5 suits for 5.00 !  They are the best too ! I was able to take my mother, hubby's mom and a friend to these sales and they got great outfits and this one always had great clothing in them.  All the monies went to helping those in need and the prices were dirt cheap !We have a new GOODWILL that is superb and I love it.  My son loves going in and stand at the large bookshelf that has old videos.  IN fact we bought him some old Disney family movies this past week.  I also found 10  pieces of material - it was quilting fabric, plaids and 2 designs for quilt top for baby quilt and 2 pieces were ones that I have and can add for applique.  Each was only a $1.00.  2 pieces of fabric were  atleast 2 yds and one more.  SO I got a great deal.  Hey this store buys out clearance items from other stores and sells them.  I bought 3 pairs of namebrand underpants that were still in the package and a pair of the Spankx hose.  MY hubby gets Consumer magazine and they stated that Target has the best for the price bra.  WOW that shocked me!  There is one that is comparable with the Victoria Secret bras.   I have even bought shoes there and done very well.   Mostly I buy my shoes on sale.  I can not remember when I paid full price for them.  OH yeah I did buy one pair - Dr Scholls - love them !  I have 2 summer pair that are great and very stylish. I just need more time to sew what I really want to make.  However I do keep finding great deal - did buy a skirt that is too big and I will cut it down - very neat design and not my size but wanted it !!  teeheeheehee  :~)  Ain't great to be able to make when you can not find what you want?  Share some photos my dear !  PROUD of you !  :~) P.S. My grandmother made all her clothes - her girls - made several suits for the men in the family and made many of mine w/ no patterns. She would take us to the store and see what we like - check it out and then once we got back to her house she would measure us and w/in a week we would have a new dress that looked almost the same as the one in the store but better and w/ better fabric and stitching and all.  She had this closet always full of fabric and etc.... she special ordered everything.   :~)

          69. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #238

            GailAnn -- you are preaching to the choir! I'm totally flummoxed when I see retail prices and the lack of quality. Having had my mother make most of my clothes, I was spoiled to fit and quality, but when I was younger and climbing the corporate ladder and raising a family and going to college again I bought most of my clothes at retail prices -- albeit almost always on sale. I understand young working mothers having to do this because of time constraints.

          70. AmberE | | #225

            Thanks for all your comments. Sew Stylish cannot be subscribed to but it still comes out twice a year, in spring and fall and is available on newsstands and through online purchase.

          71. lorisews | | #207

            Amber,The jacket is so unusual that it is hard to picture how it looks on a person, and it did not click at first that it was a man's jacket. I thought it would have looked much better AND illustrated much better how the interfacing technique helped the fringed parts hold their shape if a model were wearing the garment. Someone with the right flair, of course! I know you don't like to show garments on people, but they looks very different on a person, and that's the look that counts to me . . .Lori

          72. AmberE | | #208

            Hmmm---are you saying we should shoot on a model or shouldn't. That's Kenneth King and it's his jacket, so we shot it on him.

          73. lorisews | | #209

            Amber, I am saying should have model, on the opening page for the article. I would have been more drawn to read the article, I think. I brushed it off at first because I didn't fully appreciate it so I didn't look past the first page my first read thru the magazine. Maybe that is just me.

          74. AmberE | | #212

            Got it---thanks!

          75. AmberE | | #202

            GailAnn: I agree that the editorial didn't convey what it could be. However, the concept is pretty cool and with the right fabrics, could be fun and fast to create. Thanks for your thoughts!

            Edited 5/3/2008 7:27 am ET by AmberE

    3. amm | | #134

      Hi Susannah,I think maybe you're trying to make more of the dart-fitted skirt than you need to. I'll respond to your questions below, and hopefully you'll see what a cool and very easy skirt this is. It's a great way to have fun with design opportunitites.First of all (and I apologize if this caused you frustration) we did have an error on page 40 in the first paragraph. The last sentence should say: To calculate how many yards of that fabric you'll need, simply take your desired skirt length (its hem can fall anywhere from above the knee to floor length) plus the hem allowance and double the total.After you cut your fabric, you'll have 2 rectangles each the length of your desired skirt plus the hem allowance. You sew both rectangles together and you have a tube that should be big enough to slip over your hips with plenty of room to spare (even after you add the darts). Step 1 on page 41 is probably the most important step. You fold over a large 5" pleat. In case you're not sure how I'm measuring the pleat, it's measured AFTER the pleat has been made, so it actually encompasses 15" of the fabric. This pleat is never stitched shut ,and it's what allows you to get in and out of your skirt when it's finished. If your hips are a whole lot bigger than your waist, you could make a 6" pleat, but that's probably not necessary. In the lower right photo on page 42, it may appear that the fold is stitched closed, but it's not. There's a snap holding it together at the waist and another snap near the closure. The closure itself is more decorative than anything else and helps to hold the snaps shut when you move. Since that fold is never stitched shut, when you open the closure and snaps, there's plenty of room to slide the skirt off and on easily.You also asked about the topstitched slot dart. If you don't like that kind of dart, you can use a regular one. That is just a decorative detail that's actually kind of fun to make. The large foldover pleats (that are stitched down in the back and on the side) are also intended to give the skirt some interesting style features while being functional as a fitting tool.The grosgrain waist stabilitzation is also easy, and it's purpose is strictly to prevent the waist from stretching after the skirt is finished. Although the photo shows grosgrain ribbon that's wider (so that you can see it more clearly in the photo), it only needs to be 1/4" wide ribbon, although wider ribbon can also be used. First trim the waist so that the waist seamline is straight and not ragged. Try it on after trimming to make sure the skirt hangs correctly. If the waist needs to be adjusted, make adjustments before adding the ribbon. Finish the waist edge (if desired) by serging, using a zigzag stitch or pinking the edge. With the fold unsnapped, place the grosgrain ribbon on the right side of the raw edge. If you're using wide ribbon, stitch close to the edge of the ribbon (the edge that's on the hem side of the skirt). If you're using narrow ribbon, you can stitch down the center of the ribbon. Turn the grosgrain to the inside of the skirt and press the waist edge so that about 3/8" of the skirt fabric above the grosgrain rolls to the inside to assure that the grosgrain ribbon will not show on the outside. (See the right side of the top right photo on page 42.) Once the ribbon has been pressed to the inside, stitch the the ribbon again through all layers right over the first row of stitching. If you're using wide ribbon, tack the other side of the ribbon in place every few inches. I hope you enjoy making this skirt. It's an easy way to make a well fitting skirt and have a little fun at the same time! Let me know if you have more questions.April

      1. LisaE | | #137

        Thanks for the corrections on the dart-fitted skirt and explanation of how you get into it. I was a little confused on that one also but desperately want to make that skirt. I love skirts, especially long ones. Now I can go buy fabric over xmas!!!!

        1. amm | | #142

          I'm glad I could be of help.  Let me know if you have have questions when you proceed--although I doubt you will.  Have fun with it!!


      2. User avater
        susannah_sews | | #159

        Thanks so much, April!

        So, the choice of the slot dart is only a design feature, and I follow the use of the grosgrain ribbon.

        I also now understand the front pleat.  This wasn't immediately clear from the original article, and in the accompanying photo, it did look as though the pleat was secured with stitching, rather than a snap closure. 

        It makes much more sense now, and I will certainly have a go at this.  I have some heavy brocade (that I think may have some silk in it) that might be quite good for this!

        There are a few postings querying this skirt, and I appreciate the detailed response that has clarified my queries.  I am not sure that all of the readers will necessarily see your response - I assume something along these lines will be included in the next issue - perhaps some minor changes could be made to the web article as well? It would be a pity if some readers missed out on this, because the ideas are great.

        merry christmas!



  13. Cherrypops | | #104


    I just noticed you have an "expert icon" next to your name.

    What an excellent idea!

    Thank You. I can easily find your comments as I scroll down the page.

    Anna-maree - australia -

    1. AmberE | | #105

      I think that must be new!

  14. dionna | | #111

    I think that's a great idea 

  15. Pattiann42 | | #114

    Hi Amber.

    I have been a subscriber for many years and recently completed my Threads collection......had missed out on a few of the early issues.

    I have also been sewing for many, many years and am not an expert at sewing, designing or tailoring, just an old fashion "if you need it then you make it" mindset.

    I was very happy when sewstylish was published and think it is what new sewers and those like me, who are not so trendy need.....good basic how-to information.

    Hopefully there will be enough interest, it will be offered again for subscription.



    1. AmberE | | #115

      Yes, that would be great! In the meantime, you can find your issues on the newsstand: Feb (Quick Stuff to Sew), April (Spring Fashion), June (Accessories), Aug (Fall Fashion), October (Gifts to Make)

      1. Katina | | #117

        Hi Amber

        I hope I'm not posting in the wrong place; I've yet to receive #134. Should I enquire about it via the subscription dept? Sorry to trouble you.


        1. AmberE | | #118

          That's fine. You'll need to contact customer service. Their contact info is on the masthead, so check one of your issues. Let me know how it turns out

          1. Katina | | #119

            Thanks Amber - I much appreciate your taking the time to reply.


          2. AmberE | | #120

            Of course!

          3. cynthia2 | | #122

            Hi Amber.  Has Taunton Press considered expanding beyond print and online publications?  I would think a series of seminars on advanced sewing techniques in various cities would draw sizeable crowds.  Or perhaps a Threads-sponsored sewing trip to visit designers and fabric stores in Paris, Milan or San Francisco.  As the acknowledged leader in providing sewing information, perhaps it's time for Threads to expand beyond printed materials.  I know I'd sign up!  Cynthia

          4. AmberE | | #123

            I think you're right and we have talked about this!

          5. GailAnn | | #125

            With regard to the Threads sponsored shopping trips and/or seminars...FANTASTIC IDEA! 

            Also there has been a lot of discussion on this sight about the "capsule wardrobe", which is - I think - "kinda" boring.   Reversable tops do get stained and perspired upon, so I'm not a fan of reversable or dual purpose clothing.

            I would like to see a "Well Dressed Woman" series of articals.  What SHE wears --  At work -- At home  --  While doing volunteer work  --  Warm climate  --  Cool climate  --  Wedding, Baptism, Funeral  --  For travel  --  For shopping  --  For parties  --  For Entertaining  --  Exercise and Liesure  --  and of course, while cooking, gardening, childcare, and chores.

            Actually, one of your postesses had several suggestions for making clothes and wraps to wear while driving the children to school, games, music lessons, and other events, a few months ago.  I enjoyed those posts.




            Edited 12/14/2007 2:33 pm ET by GailAnn

          6. AmberE | | #128

            I love that idea!

  16. Ckbklady | | #127

    Hello Amber,

    Thank you so much for the latest Sew Stylish - the embellishment ideas are great timesavers during this super busy holiday season!

    I know you're snowed under with suggestions and ideas from readers, but I have another one - discard if you wish! I noticed on the back cover of my husband's Woodsmith magazine (a competitor of Fine Woodworking, but it's ok, he gets FWW and Fine Homebuilding too!) that they are working on television shows for public television, much like New Yankee Workshop or Sewing With Nancy.

    That made me wonder if anyone at Threads has considered pitching a TV show idea? With the boom in sewing interest thanks to Martha Stewart and Project Runway, it could be quite popular. I know everyone here would be glued to the TV. Threads and Taunton Press are certainly public television material (pardon the pun). Since you're now working on DVDs it could be a nice next step, no?

    If nothing else, it is my solid vote of confidence for Threads that has me asking this. I would love a Taunton sewing machine and a Taunton house and a Taunton car - serious and enduring quality.

    May you and all of the hard-working Threads staffers have a safe and relaxing holiday!

    :) Mary

    1. AmberE | | #130

      Great ideas--all of them. Especially the Taunton car!!

      1. Ckbklady | | #131

        Thanks - hubby and I spend lots of weekend time over breakfast fashioning the car in our heads. It would have a terrific post and beam frame and of course, the seats would be upholstered in the loveliest silk, with embellishments like those little mirrors and perhaps tassels hung in all of the right places. Maybe we're just lunatics, but if we ever build something of the kind we'll submit it for consideration for the back cover of Fine Woodworking. I wouldn't want to lose the vintage dresses on the back of Threads!

        :) Mary

        1. Katina | | #132

          There's a fabulous ad on British TV for a Skoda car built entirely of cake. It's quite amazing!


          Would the silken seats on the Taunton car be padded and quilted? What a project this could be.


          1. Ckbklady | | #135

            Oooh, blimey, that's wonderful! A bit messy on a rainy day, but yum. Thank you so much for the ad!

            In my over-the-top cake decorating days I used to dream of a sewing machine cake. I've sewn "cupcake pincushions". It's funny how one's favorite hobbies can all meld into one. What a timesaver! :)

            Yes, padded and quilted seats for the Taunton car, I think. It would be a very special model - the TTS (Turbo Threads Sedan)!: Mary

          2. Katina | | #136

            Hey Mary

            You've got me all revved up now - I'm scheming ways to sew up a TTS.

            Toot! Toot!


            PS That cake car really is something

          3. Ckbklady | | #138

            Ahh, yes, the TTS model. Can you imagine the beautiful embroidered sash seatbelts? :) Mary

          4. Katina | | #139

            Mary, would you just slam the brakes on right now! My head is buzzing with ideas for a TTS and I've other sewing to do. Metallic thread for the trim details? Quilted treads on the tyres?


          5. Ckbklady | | #143

            Ahh, that's it - you're on of us now.... tee hee.

            Yes - metallic thread! Yes- quilted treads! What a soft and comfy car. I'm thinkin' velvet airbags.....

            :) Mary

          6. Katina | | #144

            What fun! We can do a virtual design.


          7. Ckbklady | | #145

            Yes - let's!

            I think that there should be felt cupholders and maybe a crocheted net bag on the front seatbacks to hold reading material for those in the back seats.

            :) Mary


          8. Katina | | #146

            This is a great idea, Mary. It would be nice if others would join in too.

            How would we build/sew the body of the TTS? and what colour/color?


          9. Ckbklady | | #147

            Yes- the more bakers the better! :) Amber, if you want to move our nuttiness to a separate thread, please do.

            I think measuring up an existing car would help with outer dimensions. Making something like a sewing machine cover for the car would work, and then we could rip it apart and use it as a pattern. Rubbing off the design from the car? Draping over a car-form? :)

            I'd go a dramatic purple taffeta that shines mint green when the light changes. My neighbor has a VW Beetle painted that way, and I've always thought it looked like the car was made of fabric.

            :) Mary

          10. Katina | | #148

            I think Amber will probably suggest that white coats be sewn for the people who'll come and get us....


          11. Ckbklady | | #149

            Ah, Katina, as long as they're the loveliest white brocade, I say come and get me!

            :) Mary

          12. AmberE | | #155

            I'm finding it pretty entertaining!

          13. Ckbklady | | #160

            Well, Katina and I relocated our nuttiness to my thread on my new/old treadle machine to give you a breather.

            May you have a lovely holiday!

            :) Mary

          14. rodezzy | | #181

            Oh I'm so glad someone mentioned crochet!  I was thinking it, but afraid to utter it. 

            Yes, crochet bags for holding travel intertainment items.  And I've knitted a steering wheel cover for my car and whip stitched it in place instead of using rubberized backing.  It's such a small amount of yarn used, I can just snip it off and knit up another one when I want, or not.  Put elastic in the edges.  How about a bulky novelty yarn that that resembles short haired fur?  In pink?!?  What color is the silk?  Match it with that.   Ummmmm luxurious.

          15. Ckbklady | | #182

            Eeeks, Rodezzy, never be afraid to utter non-sewing words here! Remember Threads' great origins widely spanned the fiber arts.

            I love your idea of knitted steering wheel covers - you could make casual wool ones for everyday, and fun fur ones for evenings out!:) Mary

          16. rodezzy | | #183

            Thanks.....I didn't want to get boooed.  giggle!

            Yea, those are great ideas.  I'm about ready to make a new one for the spring in my car since I made the last one in September. 

          17. Ckbklady | | #184

            Yeah, well, we in-it-from-the-dawn-of-Threads people would know that the Threads philosophy (and the name, for heavens' sake!) is and has always been about hand craft and fiber arts. The emphasis may have swung entirely to sewing, but the kindred companionship of skill remains.

            You've got me thinking about sewn covers for my steering wheel, and I would do seat covers but they'd stifle the air bags, which is against the law in Washington State. The air bag in the steering wheel must also remain accessible, but I could surely do something nice around the edge of it. Hmmmm...

            There was a woman at the Lion Brand yarn website who knitted a cover for her VW Beetle a couple of years ago. It was quite the sight. Maybe that might inspire you? My little Golf wouldn't be much bigger than a king-sized duvet cover. Maybe, since I'm a dreadful knitter, I could quilt something pretty in a locally made (and very appropriate) waterproof Gore-Tex!

            :) Mary

          18. rodezzy | | #185

            Really, Threads was more for everything handmade at first, that's interesting.  I love all crafts.  I've done beading, macrame', I've made small boxes, I had a part time silk flower arrangements business back in the eighties.  When I was in my twenties back in the seventies, Family Circle and Homes and Gardens magazines were my favorites.  They always had different projects.  I used to buy Mon Tricot, Crochet World and lots of other magazines.  When I first moved back to Chicago in 1980 I had an apartment with a fireplace and built in bookcases on each side of it.  There was a mantel and mirrors across the whole wall above it.  It was the whole wall.  I loved that apartment.  But I moved on.  I catergorized all of my magazines by taking out the table of contents page and cluing it to a page in a writing binder, numbering it and then taping a corresponding spine label on the books.  When I bought a house, they were stored in the basement and the basement flooded in 1990 destroying lots of my treasures along with the majority of my books.  I still have a few, that's because they weren't down there.  Oh, well, I would probably be giving them away eventually by now.  I live in an apartment again and space is at a premium. 

          19. Ckbklady | | #186

            Oh, Rodezzy, that's awful - what a dreadful loss! I'm so sorry! Have you replaced any of the magazines through sites like eBay?

            :) Mary

          20. rodezzy | | #187

            Oh no.  I don't need all of that stuff.  Like I said, at this point in my life I would be giving it to charitable organizations and such. 

            I just put together a hugh basket (3 feet tall I believe) with my cousin for her new daughter-in-law of crochet, knitting and quilting; books, yarn, needles, tools and supplies.  The basket was fun to put together and I felt really, really good to be able to pass on all of that stuff. 

            She's expecting now and I gave her lots of baby yarn that I had acquired, books with baby things to make.  I taught her to crochet also a few years ago.  We bought her a DVD on knitting and crocheting tutorials and projects.  I was so excited! 

            With each loss in my life, I've gained strength to just go on and look ahead, not behind.  It has been my saving grace from above.


          21. AmberE | | #192

            I wanted to let you all know that we are launching a new web site called CraftStylish.com, which will include knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, etc. The site is accepting emails right now, so you can be signed up for notification when it launches later this spring

          22. Cherrypops | | #199

            Thanks Amber, I'v been to the craftstylish site and signed up. I've read the blog on Besewstylish about the Threads Fitting DVDs. I'd love them but will need to save my pennies. Anna-maree ( sydney )

          23. rodezzy | | #180

            Wow, that was interesting to see.  Thanks.  An edible car.  I've already eaten too much on vacation and for the holidays.  (giggle)  Looks good though!  (ha ha)

        2. AmberE | | #133


          1. MaryinColorado | | #150

            I'd like to suggest that you be sure to check out the thread "Blast from the past".  This is so poignant and would make a great article for Threads magazine!  Mary

  17. rekha | | #140

    My apologies if this has already been suggested.

    I think each issue should have book and notions review as this magazine used to in earlier issues.

    Also it would be nice to have on the current issue webpage the URLs of the difficult to locate magazines such as Misses Style book

    1. Stillsewing | | #141

      Dear AmberI have been reading posts for the past month in particular about the skirt and how lovely it was and -- dare I say it --- how to get in and out of it. However I had no copy of Threads. My last copy did not arrive either and so I thought there really was a bug in the system but I was loath to complain again. I took some time out on Monday morning and caught up with some of the "threads" and again wished I had my copy to read. I decided that I would leave it for another few days, logged off went to the porch and there lo and behold was my copy of this wonderful mag that I look forward to so much since I took out the subscription to it. As far as I am concerned this is an ample early Christmas present for me.Thanks again for an inspiring mag, even though I do not translate much of it into works of art, the bits of sewing that I do keep me out of mischief!!Keep up the good work.Ps I suppose my next copy will arrive at the end of January

      1. AmberE | | #154

        Did you contact customer service? They'll send you a replacement copy

        1. Stillsewing | | #158

          Thanks, but the copy has arrived for this time. Must be a slow post over to Ireland.

          1. AmberE | | #165


    2. AmberE | | #153

      Hmmm---not sure what you mean---we run our notions column in every issue

  18. Katina | | #151

    Hi Amber

    Mary in Colorado urges you to read "Blast from the Past." Do you think such recollections might warrant a column, at least occasionally, in Threads? These stories are marvellous reading.


  19. rekha | | #152

    Is there a chance, Amber, that the magazine could run a series of Science of fitting. That would allow decision making simpler and you wouldn't have to buy any new book that comes on the market.

    1. AmberE | | #156

      You must be reading our minds---we just spent the last two weeks filming a Fitting DVD series---due out in Feb!

      1. rekha | | #157

        I think your DVD is likely to show the mechanics of the fitting.  What I would like to see is for example, the shoulder joint, how movement affects creases when moving around the joint. The same goes for knees but they are a completely different joint.

      2. Gloriasews | | #168

        Hopefully, you have/are making your clothing out of light-coloured fabric, as the navy/black/brown/dark gray fabrics are so hard to see in photos as to the stitching, etc.  We just can't see the details of design and/or construction in these garments - I find it very annoying.


        1. AmberE | | #169

          We always try to do that with samples for sure, but you have a good point!

          1. GailAnn | | #170

            Here's a question, You know in old photographs, many ladies SEEM to be wearing white clothes.  Was it endless Summer?  Were white dresses really popular for many occasions?  Or were they just lighter colors that photographed as white?  Gail

          2. Stillsewing | | #171

            Dear GailAnnI think there are two answers to your interesting observation.1 Light colours seemed white in photos in b/w days.
            2 All photos were mostly taken outdoors (no flash) so were taken in Summer,CheersMary

          3. GailAnn | | #172

            I feel awkward, no matter how hot, when wearing white (Bride, Nurse, Ice Cream Vendor), but I really like those old pictures. 

            Miss Amber --  Would you ever think of doing a story on treadle machines and those who use them?

            "Slow sewing at a human pace."  Gail

          4. AmberE | | #173

            I think that a story on the treadle machines would be really interesting! Someone needs to send in a proposal!

          5. Ckbklady | | #175

            The person you might wish to approach for a treadle machine article is our newest member, Damascus Annie, the expert treadler from Wisconsin. She's a regular at the Treadle On discussion forum and would either be qualified or could recommend another T.O. member who could produce an accurate article for Threads.

            :) Mary

          6. AmberE | | #196

            Thank you!

          7. damascusannie | | #176

            Re:article on treadle sewing machines. What sort of article are you thinking about? I've got an article on the actual use of the machines posted on Kim Wulfert's site, "Antique Quilting Dating" that might give you some ideas. http://www.antiquequiltdating.com/non-electric_sewmachine.htmlAnnieEdited 1/7/2008 4:01 pm ET by damascusannie

            Edited 1/7/2008 4:29 pm ET by damascusannie

          8. Katina | | #177

            Hello Annie

            I cover one of my sewing machines with a small antique cloth, possibly meant for a tea table, which I bought in Portobello Road about 12 years ago. A beautiful treadle sewing machine is machine embroidered in chain stitch on it. It's most unusual. The stall holder told me she'd acquired it when the contents of a rather fine home were auctioned off following the death of a very elderly spinster. Seems this lady had cared for her parents, who had apparently had her quite late in life, and then continued living in the home following their deaths. The seller, who grew up in the same village, said all had remained unchanged in the house for a great many years, and that the estate sale took place several years after the old lady's death. The cloth fascinates me. Who made it? Was it worked from a purchased design? How old is it? What machine was used to embroider it? Was it in fact made to be used just as I'm using it?


          9. damascusannie | | #178

            Hi Katina--It sound like you have a sewing machine cover, embroidered with a chainstitch machine. These covers are a hot item among collectors and while not exactly rare, they are uncommon. They were used to protect the machines and I think that many were ruined by over-watering the potted plants that were so often displayed on the machines (water damage is common on sewing machine cabinets). My theory is that the machines were placed in front of windows for maximum light and thus were the logical place to put a plant when not in use.Chainstitch machines were fairly common. Willcox and Gibbs was the most popular brand, but Singer also made one, and my company, National, made a W&G clone, of which I have two and use one. There's a picture of one in my National Sewing Machines album at:
            http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannieIt's mounted in my custom quilting table. (See Quilting Studio Album)These nifty machines make the stitch with only a top thread. You can just pull the end of the thread to remove the stitching which makes them wonderful for basting or temporary stitching. I have an antique petticoat with chainstitched "growth tucks" so that the tucks can be easily let out as the wearer grows taller. I use mine for basting extension strips to the edges of quilts for hooping them, and embroidering mock soutache braiding with perle cotton. I also used it for temporary alterations when I was costumier for a local theater group. Annie

          10. Katina | | #179

            Hi Annie

            Isn't Gatherings a fabulous site? Thanks for this info; I have a couple of Wilcox and Gibbs machines. Also a very interesting beauty, a Bartlett, in a lovely wooden carrying case. Do you know of any picture of these embroidered cloths, please?


          11. AmberE | | #174

            I was stumped until I read Mary's answer and it sounds likely to me!

  20. GailAnn | | #161

    Number 135 is WONDERFUL! 

    "Slow sewing" is SO valuable.  One stitch in front of the other, and then the next stitch, until time, anxiety, worries, and troubles melt into the stitches and evaporate............

    The back cover, Oh my, what a great suit!  A pure pleasure to behold.

    Elegant from your letter straight through to the back cover!

    Thank you for the New Year's Eve celebration!  Gail

    Edited 1/1/2008 2:23 am ET by GailAnn

    1. AmberE | | #162

      Thanks Gail---your letter means a LOT to me---that's one of my favorite issues!

  21. Katina | | #163

    Hi Amber

    It will be a while before #135 arrives here, but the preview looks terrific. Thank you very much for giving us back our Threads. Best wishes to you and the crew for 2008.


    1. AmberE | | #164

      Absolutely! Thank you for writing!

  22. Cherrypops | | #166

    Hi Amber,

    Issue 135 arrived to me in Austalia yesterday. I have enjoyed reading the wonderful comments about this one, and totally agree with the ladies.

    It is the best I've seen during my 12mth subscription.

    Truly a professional Sewing Magazine........Thank you for bringing Susan Khajle and Kenneth D King to the pages...Ladies here have mentioned these artists over time.

    There is so much in this issue which will help me out!

    Time for a new little black dress (underlining article goes with this perfectly) and a cami. Thank You for these. I've been searching the vintage patterns for the Lingerie, such lovely styles.

    Please make 'Close Up' a regular feature. Love reading fashion history.

    Thanks again to you and all for the turn around.

    Anna-maree (sydney)

    ps: Back page is gorgeous.



    1. AmberE | | #167


  23. Palady | | #190

    Possibility of an issue of Threads on darning?

    If previously done, an update?

    Katina posted a picture of her darner collection, message 8073.49, and in a later entry some background information.  The doing is probably a "lost art" in this day and age.  Certainly little likelyhood it could learned at mother's-knee.

    Thank you for providing this resource.


    1. AmberE | | #195

      Thank you for your participation and suggestions!

  24. Crazy K | | #242

    Let it be known...........that crazy, moving ad for Bernina is driving us all crazy.......and triggering migraines in some.  If you read some of the posts, you will see that you're losing readers............what a pity!


  25. kaitydid | | #251

    i wish that some of the clothing featured in threads didn't look so homemade. i also wish you would explain some of the showcased techniques better. and finally, i would love to see more patterns in your pattern review section.

    1. AmberE | | #254

      Hi Kaitydid: Can you tell me what clothing specifically you are referring to so that I can get a better idea of what you are talking about. Thanks!

      1. GailAnn | | #257

        I'm jumping in here, unbidden, I know, but I would like a peek into ready to wear.

         I'd like to fully grasp the difference between a $90.00 dress, a $900.00 dress, a $9,000.00 dress, and then know why Target can offer a similar dress for $19.99.

        I suspect the difference is Sweatshop Labor.

        If that is the truth, I'd like to see the working conditions of the seamstresses who sew ready to wear together.  Maybe a story about the lives of the ladies who make the clothes and the fabrics we buy.

        I'd also like a look into the manufacturing process of fabrics.  How, where, and by whom are silks woven.  Cottons too.  What is the advantages and disadvantages of Pendleton wool over wool woven in Scotland, Austrailia, Peru, or Italy.  Where exactly do our fabrics and fibers come from?  Who grows them? How are they finished into fabric?  Who does that and where?  What is good, what is better, and most importantly; what is best?

        Many good articals have been published about the manufacture of synthetics and bamboo, but the natural fibers we see and use all the time, seem surrounded in secrecy.

        I know garments exist that have been worn by 3 or more generations in the same family.  Show some to us.  Tell us what makes something WITHSTAND THE TEST OF TIME, and worthy of the care necessary to make it last.

        What is the best way to care for which fabrics?  The Threads website has taught me that not everything that says "Dry Clean Only" needs to be drycleaned.  Who is just CYA (covering your assets)?  How can we tell who is telling the truth? and When?  We want the truth.

        I love it when you feature fabric shopping excursions to different locations.  Not the puff advertising pieces to show off some shop or city 'quid pro quo', but actually shopping trips by real seamstresses.  Where they shop, what they find, what they actually buy and then what is made from these purchases. 

        What are the advantages and disadvantages of silk over synthetic lining, is any one fiber considered the best?  I'd like to see the comparitive strengths, weaknesses and differences of natural fabrics used in many different garments.

        Please don't show me advertising under the guise of "what's new?", but I would like to see a fair and honest comparison of the quality of notions, findings, fabrics, and even yarns.

        What products do we have the right to expect as home seamstresses and what is strictly the province of clothing manufacturers?  Petersham for instance, just where can a seamstress buy a few yards of that?  Yet, I think it is absolutely necessary for some waistbands.  I'd like to buy a pair of underwires, but I wear a "J" cup.  Somebody makes them, I know, I can buy a $60.00 bra and get a pair in it.  Just try to find a set of "J" underwires in any fabric store. Where do they come from?

        It's been years since I've used a good button form and made a fine button.  Are there any good button forms to be had anymore?  Does someone custom cover buttons?

        I'd like to explore techniques like "fortuney" pleats, bias cutting layouts, hand or custom beading.  Many business offer "hand dyed" yarns and "custom dyed" fabrics.  Yet I know very little about dyeing, beyond the batiks and tie dyes we did in high school.

        Just this week, I tried my hand, for the first time, at dyeing a fashion fabric.  It was a particular piece of loosely woven wool, I had decided I disliked the colour it was and thought I try for a Forest Green.  Washing machine, box of salt, and 4 packs of Rit, was all I had, so I gave it a try.  It is a lovely sage green now, and I will use it.  I knew NOTHING when I started, and I have read, not just Threads, but lots of books and magazines.  Everything seems to just try to SELL me whatever they offer for sale, not TEACH me what I need to know.

        What is the best way to get pocket flaps even on both sides of a garment?

        In my time, I've known 2 or 3 ladies, very proud of the fact that their sewing is done "all on the fingers" or by hand, yet Threads articals ASSUME everyone uses a machine, and an electric one at that!  Hand sewing is still done, finely, happily, cheerfully done.  Yet, when do we ever read about it?  Treadle machine are still used, not all of them by Amish ladies.

        I'd like to learn about things like having our skirts custom pleated, or belts and shoes made to match our fabric?  Where, how. by whom? 

        I don't ever need to read about how to decorate a sweatshirt or churn out a pair of shorts, again, but it would be very nice to know how to properly insert underwires in a bodice so that it doesn't look like an industrial strength bra.

        Finally I would ask you to clearly disclose where your loyalties lay. 

        I believe your first duty is to your subscribers and to your readers.  Teach us, enlighten us, challenge us, entertain us, and most importantly allow seamstresses to be proud of their intellegence, skills, and talents.  It is so much more than a craft.  It is a labour of love.  Please treat it as such.

        We can agree that advertisers are paying a part of the costs of publication.  Advertisement, must be clearly labled as such. 

        Advertisment and Content must NEVER mingle.


        Edited 5/29/2008 12:08 pm ET by GailAnn

        Edited 5/29/2008 12:10 pm ET by GailAnn

        1. User avater
          VKStitcher | | #258

          Gail, you have such a wonderful way of expressing yourself, and your thoughts mirror mine as to content ideas and suggestions for Threads.  One particular point that you make is that "Advertisment and Content must NEVER mingle".  That is one of my peeves with a lot of publications, particularly so-called women's magazines.  Without advertisers the publications wouldn't be printed, but I'm paying something for a magazine also, and I want some real and objective content for my money.  This is probably why the magazines I subscribe to and enjoy most are Cooks Illustrated, Consumer Reports, Our State, and Adirondack Life!

          1. GailAnn | | #261

            I think I got a little "windy" on my previous post.  So I'll try to keep this one short.

            I used to feel that if an item was advertised in Threads it was, most likely, a worthwhile and quality item.  As if companies had to come up to Threads high standards and meet a certain level of quality control before Threads would allow them to advertise to their valued readership.

            Now I feel as if valued readers have been thrown in the dust bin, as Threads "advertising executives" go chasing after the all mighty dollar, forgetting the fact that we PAY to read their magazine.


          2. AmberE | | #280

            GailGailAnn: I hope that my previous response has answered and quelled your concerns here. Also, do let me know if you have concerns over any advertised products and I will pass that info over to ad side and the publisher. The Threads revenue model (along with the editorial model) is reader-driven and readers always come first!

            Edited 5/31/2008 6:23 am ET by AmberE

          3. GailAnn | | #269

            I enjoy a copy of Country Woman from time to time.

            When content and advertising are mingled it shows blatant disrespect for the reader.  Gail

          4. Gloriasews | | #275

            I like Country Woman, too - but, the most recent issue actually had an ad in the middle - for the walk-in bathtub that Ed McMahon advertises.  I was really surprised, as Reiman Publishers have always been proud that their magazines had no ads.  Guess times have changed.   You're right about the amount of advertising in magazines.  I, too, have very limited my choice now, as magazines here are usually $10-12 each (sewing/quilting) & I've found many to be a waste of $ & not much content.


          5. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #277

            I stumbled upon Country Woman magazine not too long ago, and enjoyed reading it as well.  There's no advertising at all, and the editors publish reader's ideas and photographs.  The issue that I picked up featured an article about a woman who owned a small business knitting hats and Christmas stockings.  Very interesting, as it described how she set up her knitting machines to make the personalized patterns and colors, and all the steps that it took to finish the items and ship them to customers.

        2. Ralphetta | | #259

          You had some great ideas for articles. I believe it was an issue of Sew Stylish that did have a very interesting article about places that do custom pleating, belts, etc., that you mention. By the vary nature of the article it did include specific businesses.

          1. GailAnn | | #263

            And that would come under the province of "We have found this valuable service or product.  We have enjoyed it or found it to be useful.  This is what we like about it.  Here is where you might buy it for yourselves."

            Nothing wrong with that.

            So entirely different from, "This company paid us to write about their product or service, (but we aren't going to disclose that) we are going to allow our subscribers to think we featured this product or service to benefit  our valuable readers."

            The latter is sick and insulting.


          2. AmberE | | #281

            Again, I just want to reiterate that editorial content that is paid for is considered advertorial and must be clearly indicated as such. Threads does not accept advertorial and we never run content that has been paid for. All editorial choices are based on the reader, period.

          3. GailAnn | | #286

            Thank you and I appreciate your clarification on Threads Editiorial and Advertising model. 

            I have actually wondered whether or not Threads did post production reader surveys. 

            I've also wondered who you considered to be your constituency.

            I will not accept any work, at all, this Summer.  I tried to retire 6 years ago, but - well - opportunities do seem to come along.  I completed the very last of my most recent obligations, just this past Thursday.  If, however, the invitation to submit a proposal for an artical is still open, come late September, I may re-consider.  Thanks again.

            How far in advance of publication does Threads make editorial and content decisions?  Gail

          4. AmberE | | #289

            That invitation will definitely remain open! Enjoy your summer--the lead time for article development is 6 months to a year. Thanks again for all of your thoughtful input. :-)

        3. Digi | | #260

          Hi GailAnn:  Great comments/suggestions.  My own opinion re the difference between Target and Designer showroom garments is: 1) the quality of fabric used; 2) attention to detail in design; 3) fit; 4) and the quality of construction. 

          I have suits that I bought YEARS ago, and they still look and feel wonderful every time I wear them.  The designs are timeless, the fabric has worn well (still looks new with no wear around the cuffs and color); and I feel great in them.  Perhaps it helps that I'm not a "trendy" type, but prefer classic clothing.  I realize that I pay a lot for something like a suit, but in the long run, it is actually cheaper. 

          That said, I make my own clothing.  I bought most items only when I was working 80-90 hours a week.  Now that I'm mostly retired, I make most all of my clothes, including suits, coats, etc., not only because of my love of sewing, but also because my income isn't what it was when I was working full time.

          As for Threads: my biggest wish (along with some of your suggestions) is for more patterns to be reviewed - and ones that most of us would truly enjoy sewing and wearing.  Those "square deals" were freaky to me, and something I would never sew or wear.  I'm tall and thin - with long limbs - so maybe I have the body type for them but still ...I thought they were strange and just not practical.  I would like to see more "art to wear" type of clothing though, especially things that would "freshen up" a pair of jeans that so many of us wear much of the time.

          I make a lot of my own jewelry too, which I enjoy wearing with jeans and a washable silk shirt.  I love the sand-washed silks for shirts, and find them as practical as a cotton shirt.  They are comfortable, long-wearing, easy to maintain (never have to be ironed! which is a HUGE plus for me) and are comfortable when it's hot OR cold; i.e. the fabric breathes beautifully.  And of course, I love sewing on sand-washed silk.


          1. GailAnn | | #264

            I came from a family of long-time faithful Pendleton customers, three generations, at the very least.  Skirts, sweaters, shirts, jackets, coats, gloves, mittens, scarves, hats, blankets, slacks, blouses, AND fabric.  Not just the women, mind you, the men in my family, too.

            The last suit I bought, back when I managed a real-estate and land development office (in a past life), was a Pendleton suit, in what I believed, at the time, to be a tropical weight wool.  A tailored jacket with blouse, and two skirts, one straight and one pleated.  I paid almost $500.00 for the whole rig, back in the day.

            "Burn me once, shame on you, Burn me twice, shame on me."

            The first day I dressed to wear that suit to a meeting, I found the fabric to be 100% rayon, (O.K. with the Pendleton name, I never thought to look), the seams to be skimpy, the lining ready to shred, and inside the pleats; the plaids failed to match!  Yes, yes, yes, I took it back to the store, got my money back, and wrote letters to both Pendleton, and the store manager.

            The year was 1994.  I've never bought another readymade suit, since.  I do still buy Pendleton 100% wool fabric when I have the opportunity.  For the record, Filson has done the same, cutting of corners, on their once rugged outdoor wear, they also now undercut their sizes.

            My husband has not bought a new Pendleton shirt since they started leaving out the satin lining in the shoulders.

            I KNOW I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE, AND WE ARE NOT THE ONLY FAMILY WHO CARES ABOUT SUCH THINGS!  We work hard for our American dollars, we have the right to spend our money on the very best we can afford.  When a company decides to "shoddy down" their goods, we have the right to know about that too. 

            As the PAYING readership of Threads, we deserve to have the quality of those companies who are ALLOWED to advertise to us, thoughtfully, carefully, throughly, and truthfully examined. 



          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #265

            As a subsriber since issue number 56, I have stuck through all the changes. Like GailAnn so aptly stated in her rant, the advertising disguised as content is disturbing. A magazine or book is purchased for the CONTENT. Ads now fill more than 50% of the magazine. Yes it is nice to know what is out there, and sources to get it when I need it. It is also nice to know the new and upcoming products. However, article after article in the past have been on sewing machines, then sergers, then embroidery/quilting machines. It is good to have CONTENT on how to use them, but do we need so many about them? I start to feel pressured into buying something because I feel left out. Good Sewing, Knitting, Chrochet is about TECHNIQUE, not the latest gadgets. It is the information contained in the CONTENT that I have been paying for and am feeling shorted on.

          3. GailAnn | | #267

            Hope Amber is reading.

            Wonder how many of us are still using and loving our cherished old Singer machines?  Or Elna or White, or Kenmore?

            At least one of our sister seamstresses uses a treadle sewing machine.  I, myself, sewed all the costumes for the high-school cast of Oklahoma on a treadle sewing machine, without a hitch.

            Many of my own, personal, knitting needles and crochet hooks once belonged to my grandmother or to my aunt.  My thimble was my grandmother's, my darning egg a great-grandmother's, my God Mother kept her handkerchiefs in the sewing box I now use.

            The finest hand sewing needles I own, came to me in a hand-made folder, tucked into the box of sewing machine attachments I recieved when I bought a 1956 Featherweight from England.  Believe me, I know where every one of those needles is, at ALL times.  I'm hoping that one folder of hand sewing needles will last me the rest of my life, and I will never need to BUY another. I'm 57.

            The very beauty of sewing, of needlework is it's tie to the ancient skills.  We are as our fore-mothers were.  Our hands, our fingers, our minds and memories and imagination are our most valuable tools.

            It is not a quest to buy more things, newer things, faster things, shinier things, leave that chase and nonsense to teen-age boys.

            I have a new tatting shuttle and I hate it!  Flimsy and rough.  I'm on the hunt for an old one.  Hoping to find a wooden shuttle worn smooth by the hands of some caring lady from some other time, and the fibers of decades of thread.  As a begining tatter, I don't need inferior equipment! 

            The question is[ who does need inferior equipment?  It certainly won't serve to encourage a new generation of beginning seamstresses. 

            Sewing equipment should be an investment, lasting beyond the grave.  Superior household necessities, purchased with deliberate consideration.  Not something to be advertised, bought, used, broken, or found to be unsatisfactory, thrown away, and bought again, ad infinitim.  They should mean something, they should be important and real.

            Things we do need to buy are finer thread, better yarns, good fabrics, the very best notions and findings available.  Perhaps an excellent cedar chest, a beautifully made chair, or a lovely desk or sewing basket.  Things, large and things small, things that will stand the test of time.  Advertise these wonderful things to us that we may, one day, want to leave to our daughters. 

            If you need advertising dollars SO much, look to lingerie manufacturers.  Perhaps some of us may be interested in purchasing undergarments that will make our clothes hang and look as lovely as possible. 

            Show now and future seamstresses respect.

            One more thing, when "Expos" or "Conventions" or "Trips" or "Cruises" or "Sewing Shows". "Lectures", or "Speaking Engagements" are nothing more that opportunities to sell something, please let us know we will be entering a SALES FLOOR and paying an entrance fee for the privilege.  I've done that for the last time.

            Please accord your subscribers and paying readers these small courtesies.



          4. AmberE | | #271

            I am reading, but you all aren't easy to keep up with! Very prolific! Lots of good stuff in here and much of it the same issues that concern me ... :-)

            Edited 5/30/2008 3:20 pm ET by AmberE

          5. AmberE | | #283

            Gail: As I mentioned previously, if you have concerns about specific products advertised in Threads, please let me know! :-)

          6. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #293

            I also have cherished tools that have been handed down from my grandmother and her sisters, some are possibly even from my great grandmother. I always research and deliberate before any new purchase. I have neither the space or $$ to spend foolishly. I spend a lot of time going to garage or tag sales and auctions looking for good tools, buttons and sewing equipment. Lots of people don't know the value of the "old stuff".

          7. Ckbklady | | #295

            Hiya GailAnn,

            I read your post with pleasure and want you to know that at least two ladies here are treadle fans - Damascus Annie and me! I have a 1908 New Home and last Friday finally got a couple of old hand crank machines - an 1887 Singer 12 and an 1897 Frister & Rossmann (German, by way of England). I already have both cleaned up and they're up and running!

            I have a dozen or so machines, and the newest is 1991, the next newest is 1959. I will always prefer the quality and durability of older machines, not to mention their satisfying "clunk" at the resolution of each stitch. Using such old machines has also steered my interests to fashions and construction techniques of the time. I'd love to see an article on that in Threads!

            :) Mary

          8. GailAnn | | #299

            Amen!  When ladies first decide to buy a sewing machine, price is a concern.  Yet many fine machines, even new ones, can be purchased for about $300, less sometimes.  For very serviceable machines, that will last for many years.  If it lasts 10 years, that's $30 a year, or less than half a single months' cell phone bill, for my family.

            How sad to feel priced out of the market by expensive bohemoths, boasting stitches rarely used!

            I rarely zig-zag.  I prefer hand made buttonholes, but I'll use my buttonhole attachment for children's clothes or every day blouses.  I'm sure I could live out my years, joyfully, with only a straight stitch machine.

            Sometimes I want to shout, "Don't even look at the ads."  When in a store, "Walk right past any machine that glows!" 

            If our craft has lost potential young seamstresses, the cost of the machines they are subtly TOLD they need, may be a large part of the problem.  Gail

          9. Ckbklady | | #302

            Oh, GailAnn, you're funny!

            Yes, glowing sewing machines are not to be preferred! :)

            I've not paid $300 for any of my older machines. Even my first machine, which I bought new in 1991 (one of the last all-metal Whites). My finest scores - 1950s Singer, Elna and Necchi machines were each not more than $40 in thrift shops and flea markets. I learned very basic timing, repair and tuning from library books, and use all of the machines all the time. My oldest ones have very little that could break (unlike the modern Wally World wonders) and are very heavy as a consequence.

            I wasn't a big zigzagger either until I experienced the zigzag on the Necchi Miranda (1961) - the straightest and loveliest results I've ever seen.

            I'm sure you're right - modern machines can be tricky enough to operate, and may contribute to the desire to stay at a beginner level, or worse, to give up entirely. My oldies have fewer moving parts, no computer "brain" and big, heavy parts. The oldest is 1887 (a Singer 12) - can you imagine today's machines being around in the year 2129?

            :) Mary



          10. AmberE | | #282

            I'm a little confused---we have very few articles on machines and have not since I have arrived, as our mission is technique-focused (we have also branched out on this into more industry content, per reader (mostly Gatherings) requests). Can you tell me what stories you are referring to? Just to clarify again, so that misinformation about Threads is not circulated: as I have said in other posts: all content for Threads is based on reader benefit, as are ads. There is a strict policy, and ads never influence content---only the readers influence content.

            Edited 5/31/2008 6:24 am ET by AmberE

          11. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #285

            As I stated in My previous note, I have been a longtime subscriber. I just pulled Issues 91 through 106 off of my shelf and with the exception of issue of issue 98, they all had articles dealing with embroidery machines, digitizing, machine embroidery, and related online extras. This was a years worth of magazines. When sergers came out it was the same way. I do not wish to ever spread misinformation, however, when you look at the whole picture, these issues were definitely weighted this way. Threads has cleaned up its act some what with a much better blend and balance since then. The quality of a mag like Threads is based as much on it's past as much as it's present. We keep our issues forever and use them as a reference like no other. Industry content is fine, as long as it is a balance with the couture, tailoring etc. All we have been asking for is a blend and balance of techniques for All levels of sewers.

          12. AmberE | | #287

            Yes, I've only been here since 121--

          13. AmberE | | #288

            FYI, issue 135 was our couture issue and we are currently running a four-part tailoring series. I can assure you for the past issues that the content was strictly an editorial position, based on reader feedback, and in fact, when readers no longer had an interest in this sort of content, the content balance changed. Hope that helps to clear up any confusion on editorial policy. And thanks for your thoughtful concern. These are the sort of issues that strike at the heart of what comprises journalism and are important questions!

          14. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #291

            Yes, and I have been lapping it up!  Thank you for replying to the concerns expressed also.  From my point of view, Threads filled a niche that was lacking in the market that I was looking for.  It still continues to fill one of the areas I study.  I just don't want to lose the hallmarks that made the magazine what it is.  There are already several other good beginner, quick and easy, embroidery or specialty oriented magazines out there.  This was the magazine that incorporated fibreart into fine sewing, but fine sewing was always it's basis.

          15. AmberE | | #292


        4. BernaWeaves | | #266

          Gail:  I agree with everything you said.   

          RE: "Just this week, I tried my hand, for the first time, at dyeing a fashion fabric.  It was a particular piece of loosely woven wool, I had decided I disliked the colour it was and thought I try for a Forest Green.  Washing machine, box of salt, and 4 packs of Rit, was all I had, so I gave it a try.  It is a lovely sage green now, and I will use it.  I knew NOTHING when I started, and I have read, not just Threads, but lots of books and magazines.  Everything seems to just try to SELL me whatever they offer for sale, not TEACH me what I need to know."

          For information on dyeing please see http://www.prochemical.com/

          Prochem will let you buy as little as you'd like, and they are VERY helpful if you have questions.  They don't try to sell you.  They know you'll buy if you want something.  They also have a lot of information on their website about different dye techniques.


          1. GailAnn | | #268

            OOOOOOOO thanks for the wonderful information.  I will certainly give them a try.  Gail

        5. AmberE | | #279

          Hi GailAnn: I've been able to set aside the time to carefully read your thoughtful response and I love all of your ideas. I really wish that you would send some to Threads as a proposal---you definitely have the gift of writing. Re: Ads vs. content--at Taunton there is a strict policy and all content (ads and articles) are strictly for the benefit of the reader. That is why we have such a strict policy on endemic ads, i.e. ads that only pertain to the subject of the publication. Content is never, never chosen for the advertiser, only for the reader. For every story, every news bite, etc., that is what determines what makes it into the magazine. That is our touchstone: what is the benefit to the reader. It's a truly unusual publishing model in this day and age, and as a journalist from the old school, it's one that I feel passionate about. We base our choices on many sources: market research, such as attending shows; talking to readers, such as Gatherings; readers surveys, which go out after every issue, and plain, old editorial gut instinct. I also want to add that some of your story ideas are almost prescient--many will appear in our upcoming fabric issue #138 (Aug/Sept). Keep writing and more importantly, send us some story proposals. Threads is a magazine by readers for readers and I always encourage those who are not satisfied to step up to the plate and submit story ideas. You can respond to my email and I'll get you started on the process. Looking forward to more! Amber :-)

        6. Ocrafty1 | | #290



          You said it all!!!!

        7. MaryinColorado | | #334

          "advertisement and content must never mingle"  Then we would never know what pattern was used on a project, or where to buy things related to an article. 


        8. stitchagain | | #347



          I liked the points you are making but one thing stuck out to me:

          "What is the best way to get pocket flaps even on both sides of a garment?"


          It reminded me of a tip on a blog that I thought was quite good but I haven't had a chance to try yet.  The technique uses a thin cardboard template and silk organza.  Here is a link:


          Forgive me if this is not exactly what you asking about.


          an Elna SU owner

          Edited 6/16/2008 8:10 pm ET by stitchagain

          1. GailAnn | | #348

            Love the Sewing Diva's!  Gail

    2. AmberE | | #255

      In response to your other requests, you're right on target with pattern review, the spring and fall issues will have more patterns. Re: the techniques---again it would be good to have some specifics of stories where you would have liked more and what you would want that more to be. It's really helpful for our market research, so thank in advance!

      1. dollmarm | | #321

        Well her goes my thoughts on this moving ads !  WHY ??  I thought this was a message area where we talked about our sewings/craftsAsk questions, shared insight and even got to know each other little better as we all shared our love, helps and etc.. w/ our busy lives and our true love of sewing/crafts I am very curious as to why we must have this ad at all - whether it be moving and or not.  THIS  is and  is not a complaint - just a wonderment of why ?  As for me I and many of you all  out there - our time is precious & we are busy with all the many caps/hats that we all wear just being a woman!  Then to have this great avenue to yak about something we love is a portion of therapy for me in an area of my busy life.  When there is an ad that pops us - I think it is a distraction, and from reading of many others it is as well - esp w/ it moving.   I am all for advertising and sharing.  What about the other companies out there ? When they join in? Again I am just wondering why?    I am here to learn and or share  from other not feel I check out an add.  Will there be others - will other companies be competing to show an ad inbetween my time of sharing?  Again I go back to the why? of this ad - Please do share with us all about this and if this is only the begining of many to come.   hummmmmmm...........................  Again I wonder why? The ad a the top of the page is fine, but through out the page and moving is I feel too much.  Now I say no more on this issue!  Thanks, for listening to my wonderment  :~) 

        1. GailAnn | | #322

          You know, Miss Dallmarm, my instant reponse to your question "why" was MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, but now I'm not so sure.

          I just re-read the "House Rules" to confirm in my memory that everything we post here belongs to Taunton, and can be used by them, at any time, crediting us only by the use of our screen name.  We were invited here to aid Threads in their information gathering ability, helping them to tailor their magazine to the reader's tastes. 

          You and I like the, at large, exchange of ideas and activities.  We enjoy the sisterhood of seamstresses we have found on the Gatherings Discussion.  For these privileges, we have already paid a price.  We granted Taunton the unlimited use of our words, and the ability to mine our thoughts.

          You are right to ask "WHY'.  Why does Taunton no longer consider this to be a fair bargan?  Perhaps they have lost interest in us.  Perhaps some outside force has identified us a ripe target for advertising.

          I'd miss this site and I'd miss my e-friends here, but I dare say, Threads has more to lose than we do, if we just decide not to be a captive audience to advetisements for greedy manufacturers.  NO, indeed, I don't wish to pay a second time for something which I have already paid the asking price.   I, for one, will quietly go on about my own business.


          Edited 6/4/2008 2:58 pm ET by GailAnn

          Edited 6/4/2008 3:00 pm ET by GailAnn

          1. AmberE | | #327

            Thanks GailAnn---I love to be a fly on the wall in these discussions, never a dull moment!

          2. dollmarm | | #328

            I so agree -  As I stated the ad on the top of page is great - we see what's there and we can decide to check out or not - with them being through out and jumping out in movement - it is annoying and frustrates you.  I see it is on their other sites :~( 

            I love my Singer and would not get rid of them even it I could afford the best.   I have 3 - 1 being a Serger and at times have a complication or two no different than other different machines that are talked about in these postings. 

            This site has been great and would miss it, but are ads take over - I pray not !  Will be ask to pay for posting on this site after we have already paid for a subscription?  I pray not too.  My hubby will have a say or two !  I pray the they value all that we all have brought and continue to bring to the table.  I know there is cost for all but - let us know - share with us and see what can be done.  Lost Interest in us knowledgeable interesting yacker ?  oh do not tell me so ! :~( Not sure you would call it lost interest as to we ( me ) do not stay on track, but we are just simply wonderfully complex Creations created as we are .................We share - we learn - we help out and enjoy making something great out of stuff ! Things that make ya go hummmmmmm......................................    :~) 

        2. AmberE | | #326

          I hear ya! Thanks so much for your ponderings...

          1. User avater
            susannah_sews | | #329

            Hi Amber

            You were asking for responses to the idea of Gatherings being a subscription only service, which apparently applies to some of the other Taunton boards.

            I would be interested to know:-

            what analysis Taunton had done on the usage rates of the other discussion boards after the introduction of subscription only access?

            Has this had any impact on volume of usage? 

            What correlation is there between subscribers to the discussion boards and subscribers to the relevant magazine?

            Is there any data available on the proportion of regular gatherings users who are also subscribers to Threads?

            Anecdotally, it would appear that while many of the regular contributors to Gatherings are also either subscribers or regular buyers of the magazines, there also seem to be a lot of people posting who are not regular readers, at least at first.  It may be the case that Gatherings operates to introduce people to Threads, and on to Sewstylish/craftstylish as well.  If that is the case, making people pay for Gatherings might result in fewer people accessing the forum and, as a consequence, becoming Taunton customers.

            I am a reqular subscriber of Threads (for about 7 years or so), and being a bit of a computer geek, have also been a regular visitor to the Threads site.  Through this, I have bought quite a few back issues, and also subscribed to Sewstylish when it started.  I mainly come here for Gatherings, but also check out what sewing/craft books are available (and  consequently buy a few).  I find the discussion in Gatherings to complement my subscription to Threads very well.  If i were required to pay an additional fee to access this discussion board, i might think twice about it, and, more importantly, might be a bit less enthusiastic about my subscription to the magazine as well.

            Might I suggest that someone in Taunton have a serious look at the data before making any quick decisions. 

            If it is necessary to introduce a fee, perhaps there could be some opportunity for bundling with subscriptions to Threads, with a discount for magazine readers?




          2. AmberE | | #330

            I think that I've needlessly concerned everyone---a paid site would be a separate development---anything that is free, including Gatherings, would remain free. A paid site would just underwrite the costs of free features. Very thoughtful questions---thanks!

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #332

            On a positive note here, just to let you know, the issue of SewStylish-Red Carpet Ready was a lifesaver for me. I found the whole issue very helpful as a resource in making my daughter's prom dress. There were about 4 little tricks in there that I used that I didn't know before and they made a big difference on the fit and wearability of her dress. I had forgotten I had bought the Issue, and had filed it with my Threads mags. Any thoughts on doing another whole issue on a single subject again on other tricky things like zippers, waistbands, lapels, vent hems and things like that? It would be nice to have a neat issue like that, perhaps using a suit with a skirt, jacket, pants and shirt as the basis.

          4. AmberE | | #333

            That's good to know! I'll pass it on!

  26. kaitydid | | #262

    i think we all agreed that the jeans on the cover of issue #136 looked very homemade, as well as the other pair of jeans in that article. maybe it was the pattern ( or the awful flower power kind of color). i do want to congratulate you though, because as much as it sounds like i am complaining, i am rarely disappointed by threads. i guess it happens to the best of us. :-)

    1. AmberE | | #270

      thanks! yes, many commented on the jeans.... there was actually another cover option that was gorgeous, if you look at the bias tape ribbons on the contents page of that issue---it was beautiful, but didn't win

      1. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #276

        Amber, my intention isn't to beat a dead horse, but I think you may be missing the point. Although I was dismayed to see the shoddy workmanship on the cover, I was equally as dismayed to see that quality in my beloved Threads magazine at all. While I don't care to make jeans, the number who do may be legion, so the issue isn't the jeans. It's the quality.

        1. AmberE | | #278

          Got it---but many, many factors go into choosing cover--however, I definitely get your point. Live, learn and move forward, right? Thanks! :-)

  27. ccssbgsbp | | #294

    I am very new at this so I probably will make some foolish mistakes in enetering my questions.  As along as I have been knitting, I have never met this probelm before -  in changing gauge from needle size to neddled size what hoops do I have to go through.  I'm changing from #6 needles to #5 needles and need to figure out how many to cast on, for instance - to create 18" from a gauge which was 6 stitiches to the inch to 5 stitches to the inch.  My math has always been questionable.


    Cynthia C. Smith

    1. AmberE | | #296

      Unfortunately I can't help you, but if you post your question in general discussion, some of the sewers here are also expert knitters. Good luck!

    2. Katina | | #297

      Hello Cynthia

      If you post your question in Knitting, we'll be able to help you. Please don't answer my questions here - are you following a pattern and need to achieve a particular gauge? Are you perhaps needing to use a different yarn to the one used in the pattern?

      We'll work it out!


      PS Sorry - I've just noticed that you have posted under Knitting. I started a new discussion for you, and now see that Berna has helped you. Good. I will try to delete my post.

      Edited 6/2/2008 1:43 am ET by Katina

    3. GailAnn | | #298

      Hi Ccssbgsbp!

      Love the peace to be found in knitting. 

      The easy answer to your question is 18 inches multiplied by 5 stitches to the inch equals 90 stitches.  Once the new guage has been determined, the old guage become irrelevant, so forget about it.

      Make a swatch, at least 4 inches by 4 inches, bigger rather than smaller.  Pin the swatch to your ironing board cover, and measure a 1 inch by 1 inch square,  Count the stitches, in the square.  Say you have 8 1/2.  That is YOUR individual guage for this particular set of needles and yarn.

      Now the miserable, head spinning, part. 

      Measure the largest place arround your body needing to be covered.  If it is say 40 inches and you feel as if 4 inches of ease may be needed.  Your width will be 40 + 4 = 44 multiplied by 8.5.  You need to cast on  372 stitches, if knitting in the round.    If you want to prevent the hem from flairing out, you might only want to cast on 90% of the 372 or about 335 stitches, and increase the other 37 equally arround, after the hem.

      If knitting back and forth on two needles, the 335 needs to be divided, somewhat in half, although I like find it is more flattering to my woman's body when more stitches are added to the front than the back.

      Both Elizabeth Zimmermann and her daughter Meg Swanson, have written at great length about this sort of conversion.  They call it EPS for Elizabeth's Percentage System.  Thier books are all lovely.   One I especially like is THE OPINIONATED KNITTER.

      I find only one fault in thier system.  They have a fondness for knitting in the round.  I have a fondness for the old Minerva, Buccilla, or Beehive patterns written in the 1930's and 1940's, most of which are written with two needles in mind.

      Hope that gives you a place to begin.  Gail

      Edited 6/2/2008 8:56 am ET by GailAnn

      1. ccssbgsbp | | #308

        What a great response (I'm new to all this stuff on the computer).  I had forgotten about Elizabeth Zimmermann and her percentage system - probably for good reason.  Did you ever wonder if she would have rather been an engineer?

        I'll try all of this and see where I end up.  This is for a sweater, chosen by my daughter with yarn which she also chose which differed from the pattern suggeston.  Guess that is rather self-evidant! 

         Thank you for you support!!!

        1. GailAnn | | #309

          Enjoy!  Enjoy!

          I don't know about the engineer part, but I do know that although EZ was born in England much of her education was recieved from a German governess and later in Germany.

          My own grandmother, although not nearly as well educated, THOUGHT in exactly the same ways as EZ!  My grandmother immigrated from Denmark, alone, at the age of 16.  She could cut a pattern from of yesterday's newspaper.  She could make anything for any one, body shape or size was of no concern to her.  She could knit, sew, and crochet, but not tat. 

          Her math skills were impecable.  She taught me a lot.  But not nearly enough.

          Her patterns could often be found, scribbled on scraps of paper, drawings of clothes on stick figures, explainations written in combination Danish/English and stuffed into her apron pockets.

          Any school teachers out there??????? 

          I've always wondered if in that time - early twentieth century - and in that place - Northern Europe - Math was taught to girls in terms of housemaking skills, rather than the more abstract manner we are taught to understand Math today.  I can more readily understand the importance of increases and decreases necessary to make a sweater fit than I can see the point of measuring the height of a building by the shadow it casts.  Gail


          1. User avater
            MichelleinMO | | #311


            Thanks for your vote that I made the right decision to stay home.  I felt at the time I was making the best choice, but right now I am sort of doubting myself sitting here in my empty nest.  There hasn't been a lot of support for stay at home moms, but I think it is getting better for men and women.  I hear men are staying home if the wife makes more.  I can understand how that might make sense these days.

            I am thinking where do I go from here, so I continue to sew and learn.  I read about everything I can get my hands on related to sewing.  I appreciate you sharing your thought.


          2. User avater
            Thimblefingers | | #312

            In light of the death of Yves St. Laurent, I think it would be fitting to do an issue, or special issue on his life, his designs, etc. where the different articles in the magazine would feature some area of his craftsmanship or ideas.  He was a truly talented, unique, and wonderful designer, and I would love to see him highlighted.

          3. Katina | | #313

            Yes, please!

          4. AmberE | | #314

            That's a wonderful idea. Really good!

          5. GailAnn | | #315

            Dear MichelleinMO:

            You are welcome, and it's not over.  That nest won't stay empty for long.  Now you become the matriarch!  Sweet visits, and long talks are in your future.

            I'm up just North of K.C., MO, in Liberty.

            In 1967, age 16, I started a sewing business.  It took various forms from raising hemlines as fashion dictated, to the making of accurate reproductions, from historical garments, for the State of Missouri.  Everything in between.

            In 1989, I accepted a position as the manager of a Real Estate and Land Development Firm.

            In 2001 I quit.  I've been trying to stay quit ever since.

            Nothing I've ever done has been as important or as valuable to me as rearing my daughter.  She has been my delight, given me my deepest sense of accomplishment, and my purest pleasure.   I wish you the same great joy. 

            A book I have been recommending lately is DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY, by F. Carolyn Graglia (copywrite 1998).  It may comfort and encourage you in your choice.  Mrs. Graglia graduated from Columbia Law School, and practiced Law in New York, prior to her decision to stay home and raise her own children.


          6. GailAnn | | #317


            Keep right on creating those good memories for the ones whom you love.  Gail

          7. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #318

            The youngest of my 3 daughters is graduating HS, and I'm entering the "Empty Nest" years also.
            Staying home to raise my girls was a choice I have never regretted.
            It has been hard at times to make some people realize that My career was to raise the children. It is something I have done joyfully and with all my heart. I felt it was my job as a mother to love, nurture, teach, and prepare my children to become responsible, respectful, productive members of society. I am learning that I have done just that. I am so proud of all 3 of them.
            At 47, I'm too young to "retire", so I'm researching something else to do with the other skills I put on hold for the last 25years. I feel like I am graduating also.
            Like every test, I am sure we will pass this one also.

          8. GailAnn | | #319

            Consider every job, any job, done in the market place can be done by any one of many other individuals.  You and only you can be the mother to your own unique child.  You and only you are capeable of making him/her understand that he/she is a unique human being, WORTHY of a mother's devotion.  Gail

          9. ccssbgsbp | | #323

            What a wonderful family you come from.  My mother was an amazing seamstress.  She made dresses for my sister and me until we graduated to tailored suits nd coats - and she then she made those too.  She was reared on a farm in central Indiana - Amish country - and the women were independent in thought and very industrious and also very fruggle.  The trait I appreciate most about her, though, housework was of no interest to her but she did it anyway...rather in her spare time, I believe.

            My education was toward a career in Occupational Therapy and what a grand education it was.  In those days patients were to lie quietly in bed a heal.  We we're prepared to face most activities.  Would you believe flying tying, bookbinding, metal work, woodwork, chair caning as well as  sewing, weaving and ceramics.  I loved it.  I truly believed I could survive anything life threw at me for I was prepared to create something out of , say, anything which would then see me through.  In fact while working with hospialized children one of the mothers was so impressed that she said that I could probably teach the children to mcreate things out of carrot scrapings and potato peels.  But I digress...Would you believe, I had to teach myself how to knit.

            Off to knit my Daughters sweater with her chosen pattern and her chosen yarn.


          10. GailAnn | | #324

            My husband has a saying, "I've done so much, with so little, for so long, that I am now qualified to do anything, with nothing.", sounds a little like an education in occupational therapy, doesn't it.  Best Regards, Gail

  28. GailAnn | | #353

    Dear Miss Amber:

    Yesterday, I recieved my ASG (American Sewing Guild) newsletter, and that too, mentions the resurgence of fashion sewing due to the popularity of Project Runway. 

    Is there any truth to this rumor?  Have surveys been done, or studies on the subject undertaken?

    I'm having trouble making sense of this situation.  I find fewer and fewer opportunities for shopping and buying sewing necessities.   I've fallen back on the Web, time and time again, while searching for (what I precieve to be) relatively common fabrics and notions. 

    Other ladies on this very same site echo my concerns.

    I know Threads keeps their fingers on the pulse of the American Seamstress, so I am wondering exactly where the truth may lie.

    It is interesting to note that even as ASG claims growth in the ranks of seamstresses, they have decided to publish their newsletter, now only 4 instead of 6 times a year.   Volunteer positions remain vacant and the editor requests assistance. 

    Am I looking through the wrong end of the telescope?  Gail

    1. AmberE | | #354

      Yes, it is on the rise, but it's a completely new audience that learns, shops and communicates in different ways than the Threads audience (hence our Sew Stylish and CraftStylish.com products).

      1. GailAnn | | #355

        Rushing out just now to buy SewStylish and CraftStylish!

        Research of the competition.  

        That audience must need to buy supplies just as Threads readers do.  Perhaps I'll discover their secrets.

        Couriosity must be satisfied.  Gail

        1. AmberE | | #356

          If you can get on the road at all, try to get to the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago in July and you'll meet this new audience. I think you'll be charmed! Just google Renegade Craft Fair to find out more.

          1. GailAnn | | #358

            Good Morning Amber:

            I went to 3 local newstands (Hy-Vee, Michaels, Price Chopper) and didn't find your "Stylish" publications.  In our little town of Liberty (about 25,000), I'm hoping they were sold out.  I will try a few shops in Kansas City, today.

            Chicago's Renegade Craft Fair seems to be in September this year.  I just might be able to get there.  I know our sewing sister, Miss Rodezzy, lives in Chicago and enjoys the Windy City life!  Rodezzy and I grew up not far from each other, in Michigan, but we've never met.  How fun would it be to run in to her at the Fair!

            While I'm not completely agreeing with Katina's assessment........I opened several of the Renegade Fair's web pages.  Their offerings seem more like "objects", "things" and "toys", rather than clothing.  Perhaps that is exactly what you've meant all along.  We, here on Gatherings, enjoy sewing in terms of garment making.  The rest of the sewing world has, perhaps,  passed us by, with IPOD cozys, book covers, framed pieces of fabric, and novelties forgotten by a following season.

            A set of 3 MaryJaneFarm Exclusive (and adorable) Maternity Aprons, for my pregnant niece are in the works, on my sewing table, today.  One is black and white gingham, one is a lively kitchen print on a black background, the third is a little more sophisticated black with a touch of red (or maybe white, I haven't decided) trim.    They are darling and practical, but only a week-end's pleasant entertainment.    I won't be putting up a web-site to celebrate such a childishly simple accomplishment.  

            Most of us can manage to turn out a pot holder or a pillow-case if we need one.


          2. Katina | | #359

            Hi Gail

            Yes, I think you're right about the emphasis being on things. You have any idea why this is so? Cheap clothing so readily available? Garments too 'difficult'? I've noticed the same thing in knitting - lots of scarves/hats/shawls etc. Things that don't require fitting; things that can easily be given as gifts. Still, sewing is happening which is good, and we can only hope that it will lead to more advanced projects. This seeming emphasis on things is probably why we're seeing the demise of quality fabric stores. It's interesting that the need to create something is strong in most people.


          3. AmberE | | #362

            It's an audience that's more concerned with creating than with technique, but I think that's mostly because they are beginning and have no mentors---they're making their own path. Eventually, I think all sewers arrive at the same place of wanting to create beautifully sewn garments. But it takes time to get there! :-)

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #365

            I think a lot of the things people are making are because they want to give personally made gifts that they can make a bunch of to give to a whole group of different friends and relatives. These do not require a lot of material or time to make individually. They do not require fitting. They are simple to make in short periods of time. A bit of mix and match and they can be made to look very different. Cathy

          5. Katina | | #366

            Yes, I think so. And it's great that the handmade gift is so appreciated. Time is the one thing most of us are so short of.

          6. AmberE | | #361

            Yes, it's more of a overall crafts renaissance, with garments as part of the mix. You can find the CraftStylish Quick Stuff to make at JoAnn's. In October, you'll find Gifts to Make and Holiday Home. Thanks for your interest. I really hope you make it to that fair---I was really inspired to see a whole new generation embracing making things.

          7. GailAnn | | #367

            Another difference, I suppose.......I have 3 pair of glasses: Reading, Movies, Bi-focals.

            None of them are especially satisfactory for computer use, unless I am standing up.

            Thus, reading, learning or following directions via computer based information, doesn't come easily for me. 

            Perhaps this is what you meant when you said 'they' communicate differently. 

            I carefully cultivate my little library against the possibility, DVDs may take over the world.


          8. AmberE | | #368


          9. GailAnn | | #369

            Late yesterday afternoon, I finally got out to JoAnn's and there, I did find copies of both SewStylish (Spring 2008) and CraftStylish Quick Stuff to Make.

            Let the enlightening begin!  Gail

          10. AmberE | | #370

            LOL ;-)

          11. GailAnn | | #371

            Dear Miss Amber:

            Craftstylish Quick Stuff to Sew AND Sewstylish have been delightful treats for this Saturday afternoon!  Could they replace a dip into the carton of Rocky Road?  Maybe so!

            I didn't realize I needed a flexable ruler, but now I find 1000 uses for one!  Noted and added to my shopping list.

            Sewstylish is an Emancipation Proclaimation from tyranny and enslavement to the printed pattern.  So much freedom in 90 pages!  I especially liked the tribute to Charles Kleibacker and Beyond the Basic Dart.  I never mastered the art of the perfectly matched pair of welt pockets.  Now, hope has sprung eternal in my bosom that it may, yet, be possible.

            Loop on a Mobius Scarf, in Craftstylish fired my imagination.  It reminded me of the "Smoke Rings", back in the mid-60's.  Every time I made a "Shift" I always made 2 or 3 "Smoke Rings" to change the necklines.  The rest of the articles didn't really apply to this Old Doll's life, but I do know a few Sweet Young Things who may really enjoy Quick Stuff to Sew.

            I was delighted to read, on page 16, that Petersham could be found at JKMRibbon.com (I've been searching for Petersham since my stash ran dry and Cy Rudnick retired within weeks of one-another.).  My delight diminished when I found it is a wholesale site AND 16 yards per width, per color seems to be the minimum order.

            All of this brings me back to my original question:  "Where, Oh, where, do we shop for the fabric and findings necessary to make these lovely things?"  Gail


          12. AmberE | | #375

            I like Metro Textiles in NYC. Owner Kashi will send swatches and has great prices, especially if you mention Threads/SewStylish/Amber. New York Elegant is another great resource, but not sure if they do swatching by mail. Steinlauf & Stohler (sp?) is great for interfacing and notions. I'm lucky to live in NYC, but it's possible to develop mail and online resources with a little trial and error. Thanks for enjoying the new publications!

          13. GailAnn | | #376

            Tried the Metro Textile site, a few weeks ago, but found it difficult to navigate.  It did seem as if they welcomed telephone calls.  I confess I haven't tried that, yet.

            Seems budgeting for a trip to New York, San Francisco, or Chicago may be in order.  Darn the luck!  Gail

          14. AmberE | | #377

            Yes, much better by phone---talk to Kashi in person. If you come to NYC, let me know! I'll hook you up!

          15. GailAnn | | #378

            Such a happy surprize!!!!

            Took a peek at Lastminute.com and found airfare to NYC with 3 nights in 3 star or better hotel, for 2, about $800, per person.  Much less than I had expected.  While not change, that I could find by cleaning out the couch cushions and last Winter's coat pockets, it is not so much as to be completely out of the question, either.

            My husband worked in NYC, for 3 years time, in the 80's.  He returned again in the 90's, to film a commercial for, now defunct, TWA.  I doubt he'd be willing to accompany me.  He is not a big city fan!  That leaves daughter, sister, and niece.  OOPS, forgot, niece is pregnant, and under "NO FLY" doctor's orders.  That leaves daughter and sister.  Wonder what their calendars' look like???????????

            Thinking out loud, "$800. divided by 12 months would be about $67. per month.  If a person were organized enough to plan a year's wardrobe needs for her family and sewing projects ahead, she could do all her shopping in one 3 day trip, and perhaps she could fit that into the monthly clothing budget, enjoying a bit of a vacation to boot." 

            Rationalization, priceless!

            I'll let you know if any of this comes to fruition.

            Yarn stores?


            Edited 6/29/2008 12:45 pm ET by GailAnn

            Edited 6/29/2008 12:56 pm ET by GailAnn

          16. AmberE | | #379

            that's an amazing deal---many yarn stores---PurlSoho is a must

          17. Katina | | #380

            Love the way your mind works, Gail! Plan the knitting projects also and look, you're SAVING money. You must fit in a museum or two as well.

            Keep us up to date - Katina

          18. User avater
            purduemom | | #373


            I, too, am quietly building my reference library.  DVD's may take up less space, but as far as I am concerned, nothing will ever take the place of paging through a book.  Perhaps that is a reflection of my upbringing.  I have turned to internet resources numerous times and usually end up printing off the information so it can be right beside my machine or work table.  Sue

      2. Katina | | #357

        Amber - you've told me very politely and delicately that I'm getting old! Just kidding. It's great that there's still so much new to learn

        1. AmberE | | #360

          Oh no---we're all young, right! We just travel in different circles... :-)

          1. Katina | | #363

            This is why you're such a fantastic editor, Amber - you can see all the points of view, all the possibilities.


          2. AmberE | | #364


  29. Josefly | | #372

    Threads #138 just arrived. Fabrics! Favorite topic, since most always, it's the fabric that makes me want to sew. I hardly got started looking, and had to stop just to congratulate you on completing the Draping Certificate course - well done - and on your feminine, elegant designs. The "important" blouse is especially lovely. I am verrrrrry impressed. This is the kind of work that makes me want to pull out all my fabrics and see what I can come up with. Looking forward to settling in for the evening to examine the articles and photos more closely.

    1. AmberE | | #374

      Thanks! I think that getting that draping certificate is one of the hardest things I've ever done!

      1. Josefly | | #381

        "I think that getting that draping certificate is one of the hardest things I've ever done!" I can only imagine. What a terrific experience! Enjoying all the creations of your classmates, but - no bias at all - yours are the best. :)

        1. AmberE | | #382


        2. GailAnn | | #383

          Jesefly is right, your's is, by far the best.  Congratulations on a job well done!  Gail

          1. sewslow67 | | #384

            I'm envious that everyone seems to have their new issue of Threads ...and that they are even in the stores  ...and I don't have mine yet.  I would buy one, but they were all sold out.  I'd love to see, and read about, your experience with draping, and yet ...how much longer do I have to wait.  Do they not go out at the same time? 

            I devour each issue with the passion of a chocoholic who has had to abstain for months, so waiting is close to unbearable.  And while I have every issue from about the second year of publication ...and have plenty of delicious articles to re-read, I do so look forward to each new issue.  I hope the torture of waiting wont last much longer.  Perhaps I should call Threads office for a copy in case mine was lost?

            And yes ...:  Congratulations, Amber.  That is an admirable accomplishment ...and a wonderful gift you gave yourself to take those classes.  Kudos!

            Edited 7/3/2008 10:52 am ET by sewslow67

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #385

            Is this just a CDN problem? I am anxiously awaiting my issue also. It always seems to arrive about a week or so after it appears on the newsstands. I'm feeling deprived when others are already talking about theirs. Shouldn't they arrive before the newsstand issues are out. Otherwise, why do I have a subsription? Cathy

          3. AmberE | | #386

            This is a customer service issue---have you tried to contact them? Good luck with this! :-)

          4. AmberE | | #387

            You should definitely receive your issue before it hits newsstands---please contact customer service!

          5. AmberE | | #388

            P.S. Love your screen name!

          6. sewslow67 | | #390

            Thank you, Amber ;-)

          7. GailAnn | | #389

            I always recieve Threads after our local Hy-Vee has it on their newstand.  It only serves to whet my appitite and I am all the more eager, when my copy arrives.  Gail

          8. User avater
            MichelleinMO | | #391

            Hello SewSlow67, Ladies and Amber;

            I have been away for a couple of weeks.  My husband was on vacation for his birthday over the Fourth of July holiday.  Also we had some family business to take care of as I am sure we all face as we get older and so does our family. 

            Life is good and I am looking forward to a surprise Hawaiian Tiki party in Texas July 19.  I have never been to a big party but this one sounds fun.  It will be like a luau with drums, flame throwers and an Elvis impersonator named Joseph Anthony.  Let me say I have only been to picnics, Sunday dinners with the family and birthday parties at restaurants.  This is not my ordinary life, but a chance of a lifetime for me. 

            I have a cousin and her husband is throwing this party for her 40th birthday, and he is pulling out all the stops.  This is suppose to be a surprise, but she is super sharp herself and not practicing medicine at this time.  I wonder if he can pull this off; I hope so. 

            I am working furiously on a dress right now a Simplicity Threads Pattern Number 3877 View B.  It is a rayon combination light weight and a Hawaiian flower print, but not overly busy.  I had my daughter help me pick out the fabric. 

            I like your name.  I have the name of SewSlow on my profile at PatternReview.Com.   I do sew so very slow.  My husband points it out greatly.

            I should realize as my husband has pointed out way too much for me; I spend too much time online.  I should sew more and get my fabric stash down.  What I haven't pointed to him is a lot of fabric was given to me by people, who thought they would sew during retirement or etc.  I accept it graciously and promise to put it to good use. 

            The donated fabric works great for muslin, but a lot of it is just not quality fabric.  The material is composed of no wool content or silk.  It is not quality cotton T-shirt material with spandex.  It is mostly thin cotton or polyester material.  I use the cotton a lot for muslin. 

            I often wonder what did the person have in mind to make when they purchased this fabric?  I always have a specific idea for each piece of fabric I purchase.  Although, the fabric may remain in the plastic storage container after it has been washed or dry cleaned. 

            I gave up on finding a needle/velvet board for velvet or corduroy and took a friend's suggestion to just use a hand steamer and finger press.  I hope it works as I bought the steamer but have not yet tried it. 

            GailAnn did I hear you correctly that Cy Rudnicks in Crown Center has closed?  I have not been up there for a couple of years, but was hoping to make it there before Christmas.  I hear the lights on the Plaza are gorgeous at Christmastime.  Do you live in Kansas City since you mentioned Cy Rudnick's store?  Isn't there another store on the Plaza?  I once saw a fabric store on the Plaza that had some sewing lessons.  I thought if only I lived closer. 

            Lately, I have been studying my books and have been inspired to find a way to learn new techniques.  I tend to call myself a person that learns not only by text by also by demonstration.  I have struggled with just reading text, looking at pictures or diagrams in sewing manuals.  I have been renting sewing DVDs as I have no sewing mentor or teacher.  I would prefer to learn differently, but DVD rental is the best I can do.

            I am entertaining the idea of looking into courses at SMU in Springfield, MO but I may wait and see about gas prices..  This would be at least a two hour drive one way.

            I recently rented Roberta Carr's DVD on Couture Techniques.  I learned so much about shaping bias or facings with steam into the shape such as a neckline before applying it to the garment.  Also, there were techniques for welt triangle buttonholes and pockets, making sleeve heads and shoulder pads.  Also a technique called Spanish Fly buttonholes?  I didn't quite get that technique down, but it was so interesting.  

            I was too much into the DVD watching the perfect head of a sleeve being made by this genius.  It had two lines of stitching 3/8 of a inch a part with the seam allowance of the sleeve.  Then molding the head of sleeve into a perfect cup by taking your hands and fingers and easing out those puckers.  "The warmth of your fingers and hands will help mold the sleeve cap, said Roberta Carr."  I was astonished as I was always told if you had a "serger just gather your sleeve on it".  I could see this method would be better.  I took as many notes as I could. 

            Last week I watched a draping and muslin video by Peggy Sagers.  I thought to myself I have got to start over with another muslin.  I know so much more than five years ago about good fit versus style.  I will be using that french curve more often. 

            Amber your clothing you presented in your photo in the section of Letters and Editor's Note is stunning on page 8 of this issue of Threads.  It is a beautiful picture of you and your work.   

            The top of your gown "Ode to Valentino" besides being gorgeous is a different texture than the smooth flowing bottom.  The top is a striking contrast compared to the gown from the waist down.  Is the difference in texture the material, draping or a pleated stitching technique?  It is a remarkable and barely visible due to the small size of that photo.

            I looked at page 82 and 83.  I can see it much better and it mentions "hand stitches held the pleats in place."  I really would love to learn more about pleating, which is not a subject I have seen much about such as measuring for accuracy and hand stitching.   I am sure this is a very difficult task and possibly I could practice on a short-sleeve dress top?  Do you know of any good reference material?

            This issue of Threads is awesome and I plan to renew for a couple more years now.  I can see this will be a thing for me.      


          9. GailAnn | | #398

            Yes, Cy Rudnicks is closed.  I am distrought!  Good things happening for the Rudnick family, though,  Now retired they are eager and able to spend time with their grandchildren here and in Isreal.  Mrs. Rudnick is a chaplain, now.  Happy for them.  Sad for me.

            Yes, there is still a fabric store on the Plaza, in the same place, but about 1/2 the size.  Hot, dark, and dirty, Kaplan's is not the store, it once was.  Gail

          10. User avater
            MichelleinMO | | #400

            Dear Gail Ann,

            Thank you for your reply to my question about Cy's store.  What a shame for all of us that someone did not buy it.  I have heard from people in Chicago they have awesome fabric.  I almost went to the ASG Convention, but I backed out after I paid.  They were extremely generous and gave me a full refund due to my circumstances.   I found out that I have type 2 Diabetes.  I was sort of expecting it as I had gestational diabetes at 23.  I can handle it as I have dealt with other health problems.  I will continue to pursue happiness the rest of my life due to a wonderful husband and daughter. 

            Best wishes,



          11. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #392

            Hello sewslow, I contacted the service department about why our mags arrive after the newsstand ones come out. The answer is that they are mailed a week earlier, but the bulk orders are delivered sooner to the stores, who are supposed to wait for a certain display date, but sometimes do not. So there is nothing we can do except wait patiently I guess. The savings on the issue price and GST do make the subsription worth while. I guess I just look forward to my mag so much :) Cathy

            Edited 7/8/2008 2:58 pm ET by ThreadKoe

          12. sewslow67 | | #393

            Thank you, Cathy.  I sure hope it comes today or tomorrow though, because we are leaving for Montana for a family reunion, and then will drive to Oregon after that - and I would just love to be able to take the new Threads along.  I hope yours arrives soon too, as the wait is getting tenuous. 

            Ah, well; I guess it's like looking into the window of a bakery two hours before they open in the morning, when you can just salivate on all those great aromas coming out the open windows!  ;-)  (We lived near an incredible bakery when I was about 5-years old ...and I can still remember the yummy smells drifting down our way).

          13. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #396

            Safe Journey on your holiday. I have some family down in Oregon. In 98 we travelled there for a family reunion. Beautiful country. Trip of a lifetime. Threw the 3 girls in a battered van and drove to BC, and then down. Spent the summer with my parents. The girls still talk about that trip.
            I am still waiting for Threads as well. I am getting antsy as I keep reading reports about all the beautiful things in this issue. By the time we get ours, no one will be interested anymore :P Cathy

          14. sewslow67 | | #397

            Hi Cathy:  Thanks so much for your good wishes for our trip.  Also, thanks for sharing about your trip to Oregon.  Yes, it is beautiful country there.  I grew up in Oregon after we moved there from Iowa, where I was born.  I loved the "goodness" of Iowa people (salt of the earth and wonderful in every way) but I never missed the boiling hot summers and the icy winters.

            I saw the new Threads magazine in the grocery store yesterday and was so tempted to buy it so I could enjoy it for our trip.  But it seemed foolish when I will get mine - hopefully today.  I must say, I thought it was one of the best ever and I can hardly wait to devour it!  I may cave, and buy it anyway.  I can always give it to a friend when my subscription copy arrives. 

            What part of Oregon did you spend the most time in, and did you get to our beautiful coast?  It is considered one of the most spectacular in the world.  Having spent a lot of time in Europe traveling, I can attest for that opinion.  I'll take the Oregon coast to the Italian, French, or any other place in the world anytime.  I love it there, and miss driving over every 6-weeks or so, which I did for years when I lived in Portland.

            Thanks again for your note, and look forward to catching up with you when we return from our trip.

          15. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #399

            Spent time on the coast at Portland and most of my time in Eugene area. Had to say the neatest part was following the Columbia from the start to finish tho. Cathy

          16. Gloriasews | | #401

            Sewslow & Threadkoe, I'm in BC & my Threads came today (at long last).  Yay!  Yours should be along today or tomorrow, I'd think.  It has always been this way - the Canadians always receive theirs a week or two later than the US - we are just like kids waiting for Christmas, eh? :)


          17. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #402

            I have been watching the mail closely and with dismay for the last few days as I had expected it by now. :( Hopefully tomorrow. Cathy

          18. Cherrypops | | #403

            Yes me too.

            It normally arrives about a week and a half after I see the new issue posted on the main page.

            Cp - Sydney Australia

          19. Katina | | #404

            Haven't got mine yet either. I try not to read any posts to do with the latest issue until I get mine - I feel like the only one not invited to the party....

          20. Cherrypops | | #405

            What I did get today, to my surprise, was a little fold out information Card.

            Threads Fabric Shopper's Companion - a free gift to Subscribers.

            Fits into my purse just fine.

          21. Katina | | #406

            Was this in the mag, or a separate mailing?

          22. Cherrypops | | #407

            separate mailing, in a teeny tiny envelope. Airmail Sticker on front. Postmarked 12 July.

            The signature on the printed letter was Angelyn Termini Associate Publisher.

          23. Katina | | #408

            Postmarked 12th July?? Wonder if I'll get it?

          24. Cherrypops | | #409

            You are a Threads Subscriber , you should.


            Sorry postmarked 02 July.

            Edited 7/11/2008 1:32 am by Cherrypops

          25. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #410

            Well, it finally arrived on Friday. Spent some time with my nose stuck into it when the family will let me. Hope yours has arrived also. Cathy

          26. Cherrypops | | #411

            Hi your message came thru earlier today.

            Yes, the latest issue just arrived.

            No guessing what I shall be doing while enjoying my afternoon coffee.

          27. Katina | | #412

            Yes! got mine this morning too

  30. jomarinell | | #394

    Hi Amber,

    Do you have to worry about copyright when using various embroidery designs?  I want to use different ones on things that I'm making in the hope that I can sell them at craft sales at nearby churches during the fall.  If so, how do you indicate the copyrighted design on a piece of fabric that I've designed?  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  31. jomarinell | | #395

    Hi Amber,

    I'm new to this but I'm lovin' it because I really don't have anyone else to share my questions with.  I've just come back into sewing and newly retired and looking forward to having a good time with my sewing.  I just bought a Viking Designer I and having a ball with it.  I'm also using my serger at the same time- I'm having so much fun.  But I've gotten into fabrics lately- My question is where to get nice, different fabrics.  I've been looking on line but I don't know which sites to trust or which ones are good.  I've even seen some from Asia (any overseas for that matter.)  Do you have any suggestions?  Hope you get back soon.


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