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Conversational Threads

this month’s Threads

rjf | Posted in General Discussion on

I like this month’s magazine very much but it seems very different from the previous issues.  Something about the layouts and illustrations?  Or is it my imagination?  Seeing real people getting fitted and measured makes it seem like a magazine you can trust.  And it was good to see the article on boutis…..that’s like the articles from the old days….elegant handwork that says, “This garment is special”.   The tips article was good too;  quick ideas that work and don’t make the garment look store-bought.   Nice issue, guys.           rjf  



  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Thanks! Here's my plug for the boutis technique: don't hestitate to try it out--it's easy, relaxing, and fun to do, and you can actually see what you're doing if you sew at night (I can't sew black on black at night anymore). For more info. on boutis, see issue 105, and also go to the Threads home page and click on Video Tips--there's a video of Yolande demonstrating the technique.

    Yes, we have had a minor internal redesign in the magazine, intended to provide us with a little more space to show samples up close so you can really see the textures and techniques. However, my favorite photo in the magazine is the one on p.80--Brenda Bolin-Sandage, the winner of the Inspired by Threads contest, receiving her wonderful Brother embroidery machine from Janet Pray, the American Sewing Show founder and organizier. They are two very happy ladies, and the picture really captures their enthusiasm and excitement beautifully.

    And for all you machine embroiderers out there, take a close look at the new department, starting on p.74. Barbara Skimin's "Kaleidoscope" embroidery is absolutely wonderful. In three short pages we didn't have the space to show a really great detail photo of her work, but you can still get the idea of what wonderful, intricate designs you can make with even a very basic embroidery machine. This kind of embroidery has been showing up on higher-end (expensive!) ready-to-wear, so it's great to see how you can do it yourself, with no more than some pre-digitized motifs and a little patience.  

    As you can see, I liked this issue too! I think I'll just stop now and let you all find a copy and see what you think.

    P.S....Can anyone spot me in the magazine? Hint: I'm the size of a pin!


    1. sewhat | | #2

      I haven't received my issue of Threads yet.  Looked for it today.  I am a new subscriber.  Have only received one issue of my subscription so far.  Are the issues usually sent at the same time from the same location?  Hope mine gets here soon.

    2. FitnessNut | | #3

      I can't wait to get my copy!!!! But usually it doesn't come until after it appears on the store shelves :-( Must have something to do with that long trek to Canada.....


    3. rjf | | #4

      Page 80? At Novi?     rjf

      1. carolfresia | | #5

        Yup. No one would know if they weren't actually there at Novi, I think. In fact, I didn't realize it till I got the issue home and my kids tried to play "Find Mom in the magazine." I was pretty sure I didn't hand-model for any of the articles, so I didn't think I was there at all! And on the photo contact sheets, needless to say, I was all but invisible.


        1. ShannonG4d | | #6

          You know, I took the "size of a pin" literally...and thought you might be the model for the figure on the top of the pincushion on page 10!:)  I like the artwork on that page....would be great framed. (Hint)


          1. carolfresia | | #7

            That's funny! I never thought of that. But if you look in the far background of some of the Novi show photos, I'm lurking there, with very short hair and a sleeveless dress on, behind the podium--so I do look rather like a pin!

            The illustrator who did those cute drawings is sitting in the cubicle right next to mine at the moment, and says the original drawings are for sale. I'd like some original Threads art, too, but at the moment am saving my pennies for a new sewing machine.


  2. SisterT | | #8

    The issue is packed with great ideas and the layout is fantastic.  I am totally fascinated with the basket-weave jacket on p.82...what did the strips look like before she sewed them together?  It doesn't look like she started with straight strips.....What a work of art (and engineering)!

    Sr. Tracey

    1. carolfresia | | #9

      The pattern pieces for that basketweave coat were definitely not straight strips--they were more like variations on S's or Z's, for the most part (though that would depend on which part of the coat they're on). That is a very, very interesting garment, for sure.

      But honestly, all the winning pieces were wonderful, each in its own way. Brenda's ensemble was exquisite--gorgeous sewing, wonderful combination of fabrics and techniques, and overall stunning pieces that were very wearable (of course, she's tall and slender and seems to be one of those women who can wear just about anything!). Christine's yellow and black jacket (she also made pants to coordinate, which she's wearing in the photos) is a marvel of construction. All those layers and applique and quilting, and not a fiber was out of place. Elizabeth Stark's fringed ensemble is truly elegant, and very intelligently and creatively engineered. And Kristin Jaques, the young winner, designed such a beautiful outfit--classy, fresh and youthful, with really nice embellishment and detailing. I would be thrilled to own and wear any (or all!) of those garments, and frankly wish I could sew as well as the winners. There's a whole lot of talent in that bunch of women!


      1. sanderson | | #10

        Remember the big "hoo-haa" here over whether the young designer,Brooke DeLorme (whose sewing skills apparently fell short) would be 'the' influence for a contest entrant?  Did that issue actually arise?

        1. carolfresia | | #11

          Actually, I don't remember any finalist garments that claimed to be inspired by Brook Delorme. The vast majority of the entries were much more conventional in design and construction, with embellishment the area where the contestants expressed their  creativity. One person stated that she was inspired by the slipcover articles, which made us laugh a bit. She had sewn a very nice skirt and blouse, if I remember correctly, and didn't look in the least like a sofa or upholstered chair!


      2. SisterT | | #12

        I agree with you on all counts.  I have spent a lot of time picking out details on the garments--all of them are WAY out of my league!


        1. carolfresia | | #13

          I find it very inspiring to see what "real people" are making out there--I always feel that my authors are just a whole different species of sewer, but when I see what the "Inspired" sewers are doing, I think, "Hey, maybe I could do that, too!" Also, it's great fun to see how people adapt and change the techniques that we publish.

          Our "sister" discussion board, the Creative Machine Newsletter, has set themselves a challenge to make a "modular" vest , and will, I hope, be posting their creations here in a special folder within a month or so. Be sure to take a look at what they've done--they're a very creative group who work hard at stretching their design and technical skills; I'm looking forward to seeing their work. Actually, I signed up to participate as well--I had really better get to work on this! I put it out of my mind (let's say, I let it incubate in the back of my mind) for quite a while, and my deadline is fast approaching. Yikes!


          1. sanderson | | #14

            Is Creative Machine Newsletter an open forum?  Can we go there to sneak a peek?  I tried to google for it but got to a Yahoo! address that said it was not available. 

          2. SisterT | | #15

            If you go to the Threads homepage, scroll to the bottom and look to the left, there is a link for Creative Machines.  I was intrigued by the reference to is as well!


  3. JulieP25 | | #16

    I really loved this months magazine from cover to cover. Enjoyed seeing the garments made from regular folk like me.  Now don't get me wrong I love work done by Kenneth King and Sandra Betzina,they are the cream of the crop and I do hope to attain that level someday. Threads helps me to learn, inspires and helps me dream.  In the mean time  going to try out making jeans Sandra's  great  instructions should help a lot. Kudos to Threads. Please keep up the great work. Jules

    Edited 1/17/2004 8:31:01 PM ET by jules

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