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This forum unexpectedly quiet. Why?

becksnyc | Posted in General Discussion on

I have posted to forums for other interests, and this forum is surprisingly quiet.  Anyone have ideas why?  I mean, Threads is the best sewing mag out there, so I thought there would be dozens of active discussions going on.

Are they going on somewhere else?



  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    I'm curious as well. I've only been monitoring this forum for a little while. When I was reading past posts, I thought it was busier than it has turned out to be this past month or so. I'm mystified. I check the discussion boards run by Bernina on a daily basis and they are hopping in comparison. I'd much rather read and participate in discussions regarding sewing than machine/embroidery stuff anyday ; )


    1. nmog | | #2

      I'm new at forums.  I've been reading the old posts, and have gotten some good tips.  I tried to find the Bernina forum using the name as the keyword, but I just got their website.  Is there a specific name I should be looking for?  Thank you so much.


      1. FitnessNut | | #3

        Hi, Nicole:

        Go to http://www.berninausa.com and if you rest your cursor on "community" on the far right hand side, you will get a pop-up menu. The message boards can be accessed if you click on the second item on the menu. You will then go to a listing of the boards (there are 7 of them). If you click on one of them, I believe you will be asked to register....I'm not sure as I registered so long ago. The bulletin boards have helped me immeasurably in the year since I bought my 180E. (My previous machine was a 15 year old Elna and the new, complicated computerized machine had a greater learning curve than anticipated!) You will find a wealth of information there.....I'm "fashiondesigner", BTW.


  2. rjf | | #4

    I've had the same feeling!  Are we all too busy making things to write about them?  Maybe we've got all the questions answered?  It can't be that we don't care anymore, can it?  Maybe it's the gloomy autumn weather?  Sun flares?      rjf

    1. carolfresia | | #5

      Hmmm....maybe we all are kind of busy?  Our "Shopping Spree" winner, Kate Davis, is visiting us today. She spent her $1000 prize money in NYC yesterday, accompanied by editors Carol Spier and Judy Neukam, and will be drafting a pants pattern here in the office with Judy and David Coffin.

      And I'm going to a machine embroidery retreat this week, which will be an exciting opportunity to learn more about everything from the basics to digitizing. I know a lot about embroidery--theoretically--but really am looking forward to 3 days of hands-on training.


      1. becksnyc | | #10

        Dear Carol,

        You must be one of the "gurus" I just referred to.  Hey, I'm thrilled that folks are busy creating...beats writing about it, anyday.  Thanks for the update on what's happening.


    2. becksnyc | | #9

      LOL about the sun flares!  Yea, maybe we are just such active sewers that we don't have time to gad about in the forums... I sew all day, so evenings it's nice to see what challenges other sewers are facing.

      Are there any of the Taunton authors or gurus lurking around this forum?  Other sites (especially craft sites) have visits from the experts who write for the mags, etc. It's nice to have contact with the ones on the front lines of creative publishing.

      Any of you out there?


  3. stitchmd | | #6

    This is going to sound totally snobby, but the caliber of what goes on here is on a par with comparing Threads to Sew News or other publications aimed at the beginner or average sewist. I find the posts here to be more knowledgeable and intelligently worded than most of what goes on at the two other sewing forums I frequent, both of which are far busier. There's a third I gave up on because the questions were impossible to decipher and the questioners incapable of utilizing the information they received. There is only so much discussion of fabric featuring Nascar, football teams or Disney characters that I can tolerate.

    So that's my elitist response.

    1. FitnessNut | | #7

      At the risk of being lumped in with the elitist ones, I totally agree. I've looked at many other sewing forums, but there really wasn't anything there to hold my attention. Since I am an advanced seamstress/patternmaker/designer with post-secondary education in the field and industry experience, I have pretty specialized interests. I became bored with Sew News and the like many years ago. I have lots to offer, but I have my own set of questions as well. I'd like to "talk" much more than I do, but I'm trying to run a home-based business and deal with two teenage boys (one of them out of control) at the same time. (And I'm trying, trying, to learn Fittingly Sew, if anyone can possibly help me get through this one!)


      1. freddyw | | #8

        I enjoy pattern review.com. Patterns are reviewed there and there are many discussion groups as well as classes offered. There is a fee to join and use all the features, but there is much that can be viewed without joining. Sewing world.com is a pretty good site as well and very active....and it is free.

    2. becksnyc | | #11

      OK, so I won't be searching THOSE forums!  (I'm LOL) I never could relate to Sew News.  I looked in vain for something to clip for my library, but it was just, how can I say it?  Another sewing culture entirely...

      Every craft has its subgroups, I guess.  This forum is the most serious, knowledgeable one I've found.


  4. SewTruTerry | | #12


    I read your posting the other day and it got me to thinking about it too. I always do my best thinking while I am sewing.  Well here goes my theory... I think that to compare Threads Forum to other forums is like comparing apples to oranges.  I mean other than they are both fruit there is nothing else to compare.  Threads is about sewing and sewing traditionally.  Don't get me wrong I believe sergers and all of the other equipment that we have in our sewing room are great and are wonderful time savers but we all know that the job can still be accomplished without them and has been for centuries.  But the people that read Threads Magazine are not necessarily looking for the fastest way to get something done but want to really do it right and for those of us that post to the forum, most are really staying on topic and asking serious questions or have real problems.  With some forums it is like going to a seminar on say heart conditions that effect women in their 40s and someone in the audience starts asking questions regarding diabetes in senior citizens.  For this reason I really enjoy the Threads Forum and their magazine.

    1. Jean | | #13

      Are  you saying you don't like tangents??

      1. Theodora | | #14

        I find this whole issue puzzling, too. I do agree with the "snob" contingent who find information and guidance of excellence here, and that thank goodness we aren't discussing Nascar fabric. On the other hand, I frequent several of Taunton's forum, and find them all to have different personalities, and to be incredibly lively. That this one is rather quiet is odd. Sewing is my main interest, yet I seldom check in over here. But I have chosen to attribute it to the idea that we would rather sew than talk about it!

      2. SewTruTerry | | #15

        Jean I do like tangents but what I am talking about is like when you listen to a group of teenagers ( Ok to be really pc about this lets say it could be any group of people young or old alike )talking and the subject of the conversation changes 30 times in less than 30 minutes. There is no connectiveness to the last statement issued.  It is kind of like someone giving you directions to their house and the first thing said is and then my house is on the right instead of the step by step way of reaching the intended destination.  I do however love this forum because there is such a diverse group of people and personalities.  I also believe that one can learn from anyone.  It is also nice to know that we all have tolerances towards all that come to this forum to learn.

        1. callie1 | | #16

          I like the way this forum stays on target and people have serious and interesting discussions of sewing.  I know I often have to choose between sewing and talking about sewing.  I think the reason the quality here is high is that most of us actually spend a lot of time sewing.

      3. rjf | | #19

        I love tangents.  And perpendiculars and all those other shapes and lines.  Some of our best discussions have evolved from those, don't you think?       rjf

        1. Jean | | #20

          ;-) You know I do.

        2. FitnessNut | | #21

          And even if you're not participating in the "tangent", it sure can make for an interesting read ; )


          1. carolfresia | | #22

            Hi, everyone,

            I'm back--and Becks, I'm not really a guru (at all!), but I am a Threads editor, so that's how I'm in the know about what's coming up in the magazine and online. Plus I get to hang out with the gurus sometimes, which is great fun.

            This weekend I went to Oklahoma City to participate in an Embroidery Bonanza offered by OESD and Bernina. I learned digitizing, some embroidery basics, and got to use the new Artista 200, which is a pretty wonderful machine. If you're into machine embroidery and want to spend a few days with 75 kindred spirits, being taught by the most knowledgeable folks in the business (and have all meals and transportation taken care of so you don't have to worrry about any of those details), check this out--you can find out more at http://www.embroideryonline.com. It was a "business trip" for me, but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. OESD offered all their merchandise at a 20% discount during the weekend, and many attendees went home with very large packages of stabilizer, needles and thread. We also had a tour of the facility, where we got to see the extremely talented design and digitizing staff at work. This was really interesting to me. I was fascinated to see how these people could translate a beautiful and detailed graphic into a gorgeous embroidery design that captures the look of the original artwork--and can be stitched out successfully.

            rjf did just fine on the serger--esp. since she had never really used one before and didn't know anything about adjusting the tension and so forth. I had a whole-day workshop to learn how to use mine; if I just walked in and sat down at it, I'm sure I would never have managed at all!

            Re: staying on topic: this board does an exceptionally good job of it, I think, and I'm very grateful for that. As "moderator," I'm supposed to keep you all in line, but you do it yourselves very well so I don't have much to say in that regard. Going off-topic is, of course, fine on occasion--we all enjoy getting to know each other here. If there's a big move toward lots of off-topic discussion, there is a folder here (I forget the name) that can be used for that kind of chat. So please feel free to go there if you want to initiate some non-sewing topics; that's what it's there for.



          2. Tish | | #23

            Gatherings is quieter than the other Taunton forums (that's really fora, but I give in to overwhelming odds) both in number of posts and in the way we all "talk" together.  However, I've seen a significant increase in posting ever since Taunton switched to Prospero.  I've been registered on these forums for just about a year now and I used to only read Gatherings once a week because there were so few posts.  After the switch to Propsero we had no complaints (they were all registered on the other pages, I suppose) and the board quietly got active.

          3. rjf | | #24

            Gatherings must have changed just as I joined because I don't see a big difference in the number or tone of the posts.....except recently when it got a little quiet.  But when we get a good one going, I always have a mad desire to have lunch with everyone so we can all talk at once.  We seem to keep focused on the topic but indivudual views on living seep through and always make me want to know the person better.  I usually read in the morning and it seems to get me moving when I read about all the amazing things people are accomplishing.        rjf

          4. Judygoeson | | #25

            Quiet?  Idon't think so.  There's a lot of good quality here but you know it IS a bit difficult to surf'nsew at the same time.  Also...a lot of times I will lurk around and take in a lot of good info but simply have nothing to contribute myself.  And believe me, there is plenty to observe and to learn!

            Happy Sewing from JudyG

          5. Tish | | #26

            I cleaned up an old unused email box this morning and realized that I've been on these forums for two years, not one year.  the Prospero switch was longer ago than I remembered.  Time flies when we're having fun!

          6. carolfresia | | #27

            I was just realizing this morning that it's been 2 years since the Prospero switchover. At the time it seemed like a big deal, but now it feels quite comfortable. I recently heard someone complaining that it's hard to navigate in Gatherings. I don't' find that to be true, but I'm wondering if others do, and if so, what problems are you having?


          7. Tish | | #28

            I don't have problems navigating.  I was here at the time of the switch, spent a lot of time playing in the Sandbox, got good tips from Jean and Eric (gardener, no longer posting) and others who caught on faster than I.  My dad was really unhappy, but one day when he was here for dinner I made him log in from my computer and got him going.  I recall that the Netscape Navigator users had more problems than the Internet Explorer users did.  I don't know if that is still the case.

            I hope that those who do have trouble navigating will answer.  Maybe you should post the question in a new thread so the users who haven't been following this thread will see it.

          8. rjf | | #29

            I joined just when they switched so I didn't have to unlearn.  It makes more sense than the few others I've tried.  They posted all the messages in a lump so you never knew what followed what.  That happens here occasionally when we get off track but you can always go backwards by using the "in reply to".  And of course, we're a much better informed and helpful group so with a hint or two, we can get where we want.                             rjf

          9. FitnessNut | | #30

            Just to add my two cents' worth....I find Gatherings to be extremely well-organized and easy to navigate. I belong to several other message boards and find that they are nowhere near as user friendly. I particularly like the way you can access or post to a specific subject area without losing access to other topics that may be of interest. (One board in particular (I won't mention any names) requires you to leave the subject area and enter another with multiple mouse clicks in order to find out if there are any new postings to another topic....and I'm interested in four of these subject areas! What a pain!) I also like the fact that you can see the message you are responding to while composing your post. Some other boards don't give you that option. The Gatherings boards are quite a contrast to the Creative Machine Forum, which I can't navigate my way around at all....and eventually just gave up.


    2. becksnyc | | #17

      Good point, I agree.  I'd rather have less postings of high quality than wade through a bunch of useless, unrelated chatter!

      I DO love this forum and Threads mag!


    3. rjf | | #18

      I got to use a serger this past weekend and it was an interesting experience.  If I had just been fooling around, it would have been really fun but I was trying to finish off a project that really needed to be nice and tidy so it was a little intimidating.  I settled for less than perfect but could see that with practise, it would be a useful machine.  Unfortunately, I think it has a mind of its own and it can't be coaxed to do exactly what you want all the time.  I find I'm settling for "less than perfect" quite a lot these days but I tell myself that formerly I was probably paranoid about not getting it exactly right.  I agree that the people who contribute to this forum seem like serious sewists and that makes me feel as if I'm not working on some outer planet.  It's nice to hear from people who have the same goals and recognize what we're trying to accomplish.            rjf

  5. SewingSue | | #31

    Becks, I love this group but I'm afraid I haven't been on it much in several months. I bought a patten drafting software program and now spend most of my time on the computer there (when not playing with the software). I've had the software a little over 6 months and still learning the software. I'm very comfortable around computers but learning what measurements impacts what fit issues takes time. If there were more pattern drafting software discussions I would spend more time on this forum. I agree with everyone else. This forum is the best. The topics are set up great with all the separate folders so you can follow the discussions that interest you and everyone is always friendly and helpful. The other forum I follow isn't set up as nicely as this and it takes me forever to navigate through everything. Happy Sewing. Sue

    1. FitnessNut | | #32

      I, too, am interested in pattern drafting software and would like to see some discussions on the subject. What software do you have? I'm working with Fittingly Sew off and on....more off than on right now, if you catch my drift. With some body types, it just seems to work better manually for me and since I'm just learning the software (and doing custom sewing as a business), I just want to get on with my pattern and get sewing. I'd love to learn more about working with this software and think that some discussions would be beneficial.


      1. SewingSue | | #33

        Sandy, it looks like you have your work cut out for you. I checked out several software demos before going with Pattern Master Boutique and hadn't run across this one. I relooked at the Threads issue that covered pattern making software and see they said Fittingly Sew was the least intuitive to learn. From the Threads write up it sounds like nice software when you figure it out. I downloaded the demo to take a look and unfortunately the demo doesn't show much. Try this,

        http://www.wildginger.com/DOWNLOADS/demoform.htm But I am sure you don't want to switch software at this point. I had purchased a couple of Click and Sew software programs (also from Wild Ginger) prior to the Threads article. I had my mind 99% made up to get the full software (Pattern Master Boutique) from Wild Ginger when the article came out. After reading the article I decided to act on my decision. It's really pretty easy to use and the patterns I drafted so far are definitely better then any commercial patterns. But as a sewer, I think we're fussier then average, I want to achieve perfection and haven't gotten there yet. I have made a couple more tweaks to my measurements and continue to get closer. Thankfully I had a closet full of quilting stash fabric to use. Look forward to hearing from you again. Maybe if enough folks chime in about pattern making software this forum will create a separate folder for the topic and the discussions will increase. I have another piece of fabric in the dryer so I am waiting to test another tweak. Happy sewing. Sue

        1. stitchmd | | #34

          Sue have you signed up for the Patternmasterchatter emails? You'll learn a lot. You will also probably find an established usergroup or people in your area interested in starting one. I've only  made it to one meeting of mine and it was great. People bring in what they've made, or slopers, and get advice on how to tweak the fit or style. It's also wonderful to hang out IRL with people who sew, so hard to come across in day to day life.

          1. SewingSue | | #35

            Pasdenom, yes I belong to patternmasterchatter. That is why I am rarely on this one anymore. I receive mine by digest and sometimes it takes me forever to get through it. While PMchatter is okay, this one is really my favorite. Haven't seen a users group within an acceptable travel range. I'm just a little south of Gainesville, FL. I know there is a group in St. Pete and a new group in Jax. Guess I'm getting lazy in my old age, don't want to drive that far. When I was in the military I used to do 45 min to 1 hr commute daily. Or, maybe that is it. Now I don't want to travel that far to get somewhere. I've got my measurements pretty close. I'm taking a break from cutting another pair of pants. I think this one might be it. If so, I will use it as my sloper. Happy sewing. Sue

        2. FitnessNut | | #36

          Hi, Sue. Yes, I do have my work cut out for me.

          When I purchased Fittingly Sew, way back in 1994 (I think), it was one of the few patternmaking software packages available. I played with it a bit and then got a job and basically forgot about it because I hadn't had any success. Then I went to design school and had intensive training at both manual and computer patternmaking. And went to work as a designer/patternmaker. My husband is in the Canadian military (what a coincidence!) and we moved away from Montreal and its fashion industry two years ago. So I started a home-based custom design and dressmaking business. I upgraded Fittingly Sew last year for two reasons....it is one of the few programmes available for the Mac, and while it is the least intuitive to learn, it is the most like a professional patternmaking programme than any of the others.

          At this point, the main difficulty I have been having is getting the sloper to fit correctly. Once I have that, I'm away to the races....I've done an evening gown and the bulk of a wedding gown this fall. I had to modify the wedding gown bodice manually to make it suitable for strapless because I couldn't figure it out quickly on the computer. I suppose that is part of my problem at the moment. I'm too busy in my business to take the time to really work with the programme. Its a catch-22 right now....maybe in the slow period that usually follows Christmas! (Maybe I could actually make something for myself!!)

          I agree that as sewers we are fussier about fit and want to achieve perfection. That is part of what led to my making my hobby into a career!


          PS I think its time to start a separate thread for this discussion, at the very least. Anyone agree?

          1. SewingSue | | #37

            Sandy, I envy you. It sounds like you have a very satisfying career pursuing your hobby. I would love that but not in the area where we are now. I have had a few people approach me about sewing for them but they have always ended there request with "I can't afford WalMart's". Gosh, then they can't afford me. I certainly can't do custom sewing for less then WalMart's. It takes too much time. I've always politely said I don't have the extra time, this is something I do just for myself. I tried doing some craft shows and flea markets after military retirement prior to civil service and it was a disaster. Lost money. So where are you now?

            I'm convinced the problem I am having with getting a good fit is that when I ask someone to measure me, I don't hold myself with normal posture. What I have been doing to tweak the fit is to make something and then evaluate what needs to be changed and by how much. Then I change my measurements accordingly. After a couple of decades slouched over a PC or sewing machine my back is getting rounder and I've adjusted my back shoulder slope by an additional 1/4 inch. Unfortunately, we had a few evenings in the 40s and I felt like making a new cozy lounging outfit. The pattern I made, which turned out pretty good, was very casual fitting in the shoulders so I can't use that top for an evaluation. The pants seemed very nice and I am in the middle of making another pair out of a more stable stretch woven fabric.

            I'm agreeable to moving the discussion. Got any suggestions?

          2. FitnessNut | | #38

            The comment about Wal-Mart makes me ROFL.....it is mind-blowing how many people think that they can have something custom designed and made cheaper than any store. Hello???? Why is that? (I'd better get off the soap box now before someone has to pull me off...) I have my name given out at the best, most expensive fabric store in town, so most people aren't expecting Wal-Mart prices. I give an estimate of how long it will take for a given project and then tell them my hourly rate. For some reason, that approach seems to help deal with the entire price issue, or at least diffuse it a bit ; ) On occasion, someone will tell me that they were expecting to pay a certain amount and I will respond that I couldn't possibly to it for that and be fair to myself. I've learned to say no. (And it was hard, too.) I just got sick and tired of always feeling cheated.

            I think we should probably hold a discussion on computer pattern drafting either in the fitting or pattern areas....maybe the former makes more sense?

          3. SewingSue | | #39

            I started a new post under fitting "Pattern Making Software." Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Got a little busy. Happy Sewing. Sue

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