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Conversational Threads

Threads issues a real disappointment

louise | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

Dear All
Having said my piece, and aside from itemizing titles for Brownie and posting a scan of my business card collection from Toronto’s garment district, I will retire from this discussion.

To Threads, I am saddened that you also feel compelled to cater to the lowest common denominator. It has been amply said throughout this discussion that it was the excellence that brought your magazine into our homes. I for one, will be leaving them in the store for the forseeable future. So long, God Bless, it was nice while it lasted.



  1. catslave | | #1

    I'm not a high couture seamstress, but I am always up for learning new things, improving what I do know, and if I want to focus on a particular technique for creating a suit, I'll go online to research an article or buy a book.  I subscribe to several sewing magazines because I have learned in these 50 some years that one publication cannot be all things to all people.  Yes, Threads has historically catered to the upper echelon of sewers, and yes, perhaps they have decided to broaden their spectrum.  In case you haven't noticed, the sewing industry is trying to encourage younger people to learn this art, just as all of you had to start somewhere.  For those of you who had the time and patience to create at a couture level from early Threads publications - my hat is off to you.  However, things do change, and companies are in business to make a profit and serve their customers.  I would encourage anyone who demands a publication that caters to high couture sewing exclusively to stop complaining about what is available, and create a magazine that meets your needs.  As for me, Threads is just fine and I intend to continue my subscription.  At the same time, I'll be looking for that first issue of "High Couture for Home Sewers", and wait to see how it survives for the next thirty years.

    1. pcraine | | #2

      I have to agree with you.  The Boston Globe did a recent story on Taunton, and Threads has the lowest circulation of all their magazines - only about 160,000.  Pitifully small for such a wonderful magazine.

      I think the editors are trying really hard to find new readers - more power to them!

      1. HeartFire | | #3

        make that 159,999, I just cancelled my subscription

        1. Jean | | #4

          Let's face it there are fewer and fewer people who are sewing nowadays. My DH came home with a couple of cotton short sleeved shirts that were about $9 a piece. Now you know I couldn't make them for that, even if I could find the fabric somewhere. When my kids were little, 40 years ago, I still could save money by sewing. I could save a few bucks and I really enjoyed the process. Today I sew for fun, but not for myself,  I do little kids clothes and doll clothes, trying to use up the boxes of scraps I have leftover from the good old days.'

          Is any form of sewing taught in schools anymore?  If not, why not?  That's where many of us first became interested.

          1. marijke | | #6

            So right... sewing is no longer about saving money!  It's amazing, the prices for some clothing!  The only reasons to sew now are creativity and a better fit than you can get from RTW.

            I'm not sure why schools aren't teaching sewing anymore, but I do know that the sewing lessons at the schools I went to were a big turn-off --  the teachers always picked unappealing, dowdy, homely projects that were useless.  I disliked sewing classes at school with a passion.  (And who knows how many people got turned off sewing altogether through such awful classes?)

            I was much happier with mom's help, access to her sewing machine and scraps, and my own desire to be creative with fabric.

          2. Monkey1961 | | #7

            I tend to agree with you.  I am 43, and in my Jr. High we had a half year of sewing - it was experimental then.  The sewing teacher did not know what to do with a room of boys, she could not have us make the ugly skirt, and the machines and instructor were not geared to working with knits to do a tee-shirt, so we all made Duffle bags and shop aprons.

            I do sew to save money, as I am a combination of sizes - Large waist and stomach, average size neck and arms.  I have learned to draft my own patterns thanks To David Coffin, who I miss writing for Threads.  People who are not a "average" size often can find ready made that is ill fittting in basic or street styles.

            Since I like control over the fabrics I wear, the color and fiber content used, Sewing gives me the most options.  I can fine tune the collar and length used, and even how it is assembled to give the best fit and finished results.

            At Times, I have been able to go to the remnant counter and find a silk and wool fine knit that would make a great feeling and looking turtleneck for 3.00 per yard, and for under ten dollars have wonderful garment that I could not find on the rack.

            Many of the basic articles I read are a re-hash - but in sewing, so much is!  I just wish that they would do one article a month like that, and give a reference to past articles.  I would rather read about new ideas in fitting, and Since it is well known that America is becoming larger in size, and that is Men and Woman, why not address some of the Men's fitting problems.

            I am sure Men are in the closet with sewing, but I think that is changing.  25 years ago, when I went to the local fabric store and asked about fabric care on a selection, I was advised to "send your wife or mother in" but now with fabric on line, I do not have to be talked to like a second class person.

            I do think that the editorial staff is less sophisticated now, or afraid to write something new, but I hope they will come up to speed, and do something to raise them over Sew News.

            The article on different basic sewing tools like the Clover Seam ripper seemed more like an info-mercial then opinion - It would be better to write about what was liked, and have the resources listed in the back - outting it in the article just seemed a bit more like an Advertisement.


          3. mimi | | #10

            Jean:  I can tell you that in our school district sewing is taught as an elective in the middle school years (grades 7 and 8).  It is not required.

            When I taught Kindergarten, every once in a while my kids would come in wearing something that was definately one of a kind.  I used to ask if Mom or Grandmom made it for them, only to be told (in a very insulted tone!) that "No!  My Mom bought it.  We're not poor!"  It used to crack me up.  They equated handcrafted with poor! 

            I told the kids one year that I was making my daughter's Prom Dress.  You guessed it:  "Are you poor?"  Out of the mouths of babes...


          4. carolfresia | | #11


            My mother is a very talented dressmaker, and used to sew wonderful clothes for us. To me, even through the college years, I equated home-sewn with highest quality, best styles, flattering fit. Once when I was just out of college and at my first job, I admired a coworker's beautiful skirt. When I asked if she had made it (well, it wasn't the sort of thing that you'd find in most stores, I thought--it was so nice I figured it had to be hand-made), she rather huffily replied that it was a Ralph Lauren piece. That was the first time EVER that I realized most people didn't value "home-made" clothes, and it was quite a shock. I still feel rather sorry for people who assume store-bought is better. I guess if they've never had the opportunity to wear well-made custom clothing, they just don't know what they're missing!


          5. cafms | | #14


            You reminded me of something my son said years ago.  I have always made clothes for my husband, two sons, daughter, and myself.  When my oldest son was in first grade one of his friends complained about his clothes not being the way he liked them.  My son said he told the other boy to tell his mother to make them different.  I had to explain that not all mothers made their children's clothes.  My son is now 30 and still loves the shirts I make him.


          6. roone | | #12

            Hi Jean, In response to your question Is sewing taught in schools anymore? The answer varies depending on where you live. I am a Family Studies teacher in North Bay Ontario Canada. In our provincial curriculum we offer sewing courses. The problem we have offering the courses boils down to 1. financial - does a school have enough students with money to spend on fabric etc. ( we all know that we sew for pleasure and not because we can make it for less) 2. for a school to invest thousands of dollars into upgrading machines there has to be a guarantee of numbers of students. 3. In order to have the interest you also have to have a qualified person with vitality to encourage students to take the course. Personally I think teaching sewing is a fabulous career, there is a need and I wish all schools could offer sewing courses. Karen 

          7. Jean | | #13

            Thanks Karen, glad to hear someone is still carrying the torch.

        2. pcraine | | #5

          That's certainly your perogative....I'm sticking with them.  I have friends who will be publishing some stuff in the near future, and their articles should be great!

    2. lauraflo | | #15

      I agree that with the sewing scene changing (less people know how or are learning) that it will be a dying art unless interest is sparked in some way. To make publications that only cater to the elite sewers only serves to cut the lines that feed the whole sewing world for everyone. A mix such as is seen in Threads is good. New sewers can see easy things they can do, and more complex things they can strive toward. Experienced sewers can use easy things (or new techniques/ideas) when they want something quick, can still have instruction in more complex techniques, AND they can hand the magazine to new sewers to inspire them to enter the creative word of sewing. That's what I have done with my daughters. Tho they like to leave most of the sewing up to me, they like to look at the ideas and techniques and pictures in Threads, and then DESIGN and sketch something that I sew for them. They help with colour and fabric selection, layout and cutting, changing/combining pattern pieces. They have learned some of these techniques and possibilities from looking at Threads (as well as from me) and since these are legitimate parts of the whole creation process, we work together this way. We created some knock-out original Homecoming dresses that did not look like everyone else's and got lots of compliments. One daughter wants to design a skirt made of strips such as the one in the Threads article this month. The other one likes to change ready -made second -hand clothes into other things. Sometimes if Mom has an idea it is not always accepted, but if the idea is inspired from something they see in the magazine, that is a whole other ball-game. I let them do it this way, as it works.I also do costumes for a college's community theatre, and some special dance related type costumes or props that need to be sewn, and I can tell you , not a lot of people can be found to do this type of work (tho the need is there.) To keep sewing only in the realm of couture sewing limits its usefulness. All its diversity should be embraced and encouraged. lauraflora

      1. mimi | | #16

        I made the costumes for my daughters first grade spring musical/pagent many years ago.  It started out as "Can you please make two pair of bunny ears" and ended up as about 35 pairs.  I cleaned out all my old scraps with that one.  We have pictures of boys in bunny ears who later grew into hulking football players and rock musicians :)

        When they were all in third grade I made the costumes for the Christmas pagent:  all the beasts for the manger scene.  We have pix of that too :)  Good memories now that they are all grown up and scattered to the four winds!


        1. lauraflo | | #17

          Glad to hear of your costume experience. i started out with Halloween costumes, then dance, school plays--then got hired to do regulation Scottish competition dance costumes. Then I called the local Jr. college and asked them if they needed anyone. they needed someone who could actually sew not just patch things badly, so I got hired there as their principle seamstress. I even sewed a 30 ft. by 20 ft scalloped sail for "The Oddessey" and an island, also.
          That led to special costumes for the presenters at a dance recital, and other sewn constructions they needed for which there are no patterns or instructions. ( such as a Tornado belt with 22ft. streamers in the 4 cardinal directions.) One has to just make it up, and that is where sewing skills and experience come in handy.
          Various places, such as live theatres, need people like that, and tho they often have a designer with a degree to design the costumes, etc. they often need skilled, extra seamstresses to help with the work. I also do temporary alterations on borrowed or rented costumes or the ones in their store room, and mutations of second hand clothes into other clothing. (We have a dye vat to change colours, too.)
          Maybe Threads will do an article on costume sewing, as it is a legitimate outlet for one's sewing skills, period designs, special construction, etc. It has given me ideas to borrow from theatre and use in regular clothing. Lauraflora

          1. mimi | | #18

            That sounds really neat!  Now I am wondering if our local colleges do something like that :)  That would be a fun job, I always enjoyed making something out of "nothing".  It is an essential job function of those of us who worked in elementary education.


          2. lauraflo | | #19

            The college near me has community theatre which puts on productions several time a year, runs them for maybe two weeks at a time--they are for different grades of school groups, even high school and college depending on the plays being produced. They are open to the public as well. Then they have their academic theatre productions (put on by therir theatre students.) I worked for the community theatre boss, but got borrowed by the academic boss at times.
            One of my sisters does the costumes for a high school that does community theatre (where the shows are open to school groups and the public) and they put on several shows a year and one in the summer that has actors of any age, not just the high school students. There are these types of places and situations in many towns---one just needs to look around and call them. They can pay a salary as they get grants and such, and charge admissions. (Other community theatre groups without affiliations that give them money usually cannot pay a salary, thus everything is done on a volunteer basis. i worked with one for a while.) Regular school plays usually use volunteer parents. (I've done that, too.)
            This type of work is sporadic--lots of activity for a few weeks before the play, then a break til the next one. Some places have work shops (ours has eveything --big cutting tables, multiple sewing machines and sergers, mannikins (sp) , all sorts of notions, tools, odds and ends, a laundry room and a dye vat.( A sewers Heaven!) Some places have little or nothing and one would do all work at home, as my sister does. Most places have storage for costumes so they pull from there, then alter, change, add, remove, repair, etc, and only manufacture the whole new garments or parts that they need. Still there is lots to do. Call around and see what you can find out. Good Luck! lauraflora

          3. mimi | | #20

            Thanks for the information.  It sounds like some thing creative and fun to do.


          4. KarenW | | #21

            I remember when I was in grade school I placed a HUGE value on clothes sewn by moms... because mine couldn't sew a stitch (though somehow, even though I never saw her do it, she taught me to hand embroider....).  I was green in 2nd grade when Deborah Hinton would show up in something totally cute and new that I KNEW her mother made, or her Barbie or trolls got new clothes that I knew her mother made.... then there were a couple girls at the school where I went to 5th and 6th grade whose moms made them lots of stuff - I knew what the answer was whenever I'd ask where they got something.  I completely recall the last time I asked Sonia Wood where she got that really cute dress and before I finished I knew she'd be saying her mom made it.  I was just fascinated with the fact that it could be done.  My only salvation was knowing I'd get to take sewing in Home Ec the next year and would hopefully learn to do it myself.  I was furious when I got cooking first semester....

            Remember, sewing used to be taught as part of the Home Economics program - key word economics - making your own clothes was a way of economizing in  your household.   As the price of RTW went down, the economics of home sewing changed.... and (in my experience) those who kept doing it who learned when I did, did so because they enjoyed the process. 

            I think it's taught less and less now as school districts cut money out of what they consider less necessary areas, or replace it with more general "life" classes.  I am furious that it's not available in our school district, though the neighboring school districts have it - ours is a fairly affluent area yet these enrichment classes get cut first.  I know even those classes offered in surrounding areas aren't making students sew an A line dress with bust darts and fisheye darts and zippers, facings, button tabs, etc. but at least there's some exposure, and there seems to be a lot of interest.  I'm working for a machine dealer now and we've a good size list of adults and kids who want to learn.  Maybe it's passed the "uncool" phase and now is a once again respected craft?  It's certainly no secret that it's not always cheaper to sew (depending on what you're making) so the interest certainly isn't from people who are too poor to purchase clothes.  While I'd like more advanced techniques in Threads, I know I can buy books as well that will have those, and to build the subscription base, they've got to appeal to those newer in the craft....heck, even AARP is marketed to those much younger and still working than the audience they went to 10 or 20 years ago!

            A slightly unrelated comment, I don't know about others but we so often hear about or blame the chain stores that sell fabric for driving out the independent stores.... where I grew up and lived through college (Santa Barbara CA), there was no shortage of great fabric stores, in addition the dime stores and department stores carried a wide range of fabrics.  Off the top of my head I can name half a dozen great stores I frequented through high school and college when I lived there.  The last closed last year, but the others (independents)  have been gone for years and years.  There's no WalMart with cheap fabric in town, or a Joann's.  The nearest ones are about 45 minutes away.  In areas where these stores coexist with independents, it's up to the consumer to keep the indies in business..... but my real point here is that the fabric stores went away NOT because of big cheap chain stores -- but because of lack of demand!!!!!  People just weren't sewing.....




    3. andreal | | #22

      Shadohart, thank you so much for expressing what I've been thinking about all the negativity about Threads recently. I admit that I'm an intermediate sewer relative to all these others who have been sewing longer than I've been alive, but I do enjoy threads and the mix of articles. The articles are not all my cup of tea but yes, for financial reasons they do need to appeal to the widest range of readers possible. The world of print advertising has changed tremendously in the last few years and I don't begrudge threads for trying to stay alive.

      1. catslave | | #23

        Hi andreal...thank you - when I signed up for gatherings it was to see what other folks had to say about sewing in general.....finding answers and solutions and ideas that might not appear in Threads or elsewhere.  I was more than a little surprised to see such negativity and no positive observations from several who apparently are gifted sewers of Haute Couture.  I've been happy to read feedback from people who recall learning to sew, and what their mothers did along with how other kids reacted to what they were wearing.  I think there are a lot of us who can appreciate those awkward times and remember trying to unravel the mysteries of garment creation; those are the folks who seem to "get" that every generation has its own desire to learn this art...albeit with their own style.   The "HC" ladies brought to mind [and quilters, don't take offense here] my experience when I was learning to quilt in Ohio.  I discovered some quilt shops offered great classes and had friendly, encouraging owners and staff...the sort that you thought was just another friendly customer until they stepped behind the counter.  The shop on Main Street in Centerville Ohio is such a place.  Then there are those [mercifully] few other shops that make you feel inadequate the minute you walk through their door.  But, I digress!!!  Let's all continue to keep a positive attitude and convey to everyone visiting these message boards that sewing is a great experience that will give them immense gratification, and that all of us had a beginning.

        1. karenb | | #24

          Wow, after reading all the comments, I've discovered I'm a real sewing heathen. For one thing, I only decided to learn to sew recently. If I'm really being honest, two things provoked me to decide to learn.

          The first is that I was increasingly disturbed to see American sewing jobs being sent overseas. I can't find any clothing made in America anymore. If I was the sewing industry, I would subtly use this issue as a tact to encourage people to learn to sew. ("When you can't find "Made in America", sew it yourself, then you'll know it was made in America!").

          The second reason might horrify the couture/fashion/sewing purists. I saw an issue of Threads at my local library and started looking at it. It made sewing seem really cool--not like I had remembered from grim home ec classes in my ancient junior high school. It is hard not to look at an issue when you are a non-sewer and not start imagining yourself sewing. The clothing is so colorful and the graphics are really inviting and exciting. They appear to have a good mix right now of text and graphics. Their photography is very nice--in particular the photos of the fabric strip skirt in this issue. Looking at it makes you want to sew.

          I wish "Threads" was more available. I can't find it in markets/magazine stands/stores. I'm not even seeing it in sewing stores. It appears that I will have to read it at the library or really commit to a subscription. I was looking for it a couple of days ago at Walmart and saw "Sew News". It may be good information for a person who sews, but it certainly wasn't as aesthically inspiring as "Threads".

          Soooo.....I bought some fabric and a few patterns to start and I'm heading over to my mother's house this weekend. She is thrilled that I've finally decided to learn. I hope I can do it!





          1. Elisabeth | | #25

            What a great reality check, thank you. As a teacher (but not a sewing teacher!) I do know that one of the the most difficult things to do as an experienced person is to teach beginners in your field. We think we remember how it was to be a beginner but essential details have always vanished somehow and it really takes some thought and effort to teach well. Wordy esoteric articles in small print and less voluptuous graphics might do it for me but I doubt that would have sparked much interest in you!

          2. TSews | | #26

            I really liked your post.  Welcome to the wonderful world of sewing!  I feel as you do about the garment industry's move overseas.  I really can not believe there are no heads in the manufacturing industry who are willing to put the greater good of employing Americans on American soil above making a fast buck in a sweat shop overseas.  I don't believe it's the fault of unionized workers either. 

            Happy Sewing. 

          3. Elisabeth | | #29

            It is not always about the fast buck from the sweatshops. There are people ready and willing to work for a living wage in countries like India and China these days. Not all are underpaid underground sweatshop workers. They can charge less because the cost of living is lower and with the high demand for cheap disposable clothing in this country the manufacturers go for the lower bidder.

          4. Beth | | #27

            I really like your post. Yes, Threads is hard to find. I live in a small town and the library doesn't carry it. A local bookstore did. Even Joanns doesn't always have a copy out.

            The tone of the writing appeals to me because it never implies that I can't or won't apply the information.

            Welcome to the world of sewing.


          5. karenb | | #28

            Thank you to everyone for your nice replies. I wasn't sure if I would fit in. I was hoping I would, of course. It is a great resource to be able to learn from so many people who have been sewing for so long. I'm really looking forward to hearing everyone's suggestions and reading about what you all are sewing. 

            Thanks again! You all are so nice!:)


          6. busybee | | #30


            I was very interested to read your posting. I live in England (Lincolnshire) and here (England) its very difficult to get hold of "Threads" too. I order mine thru'  our local newsagent. I have to wait for about a month for it - have only this week picked up the "Pins" issue! But doing it this way I only pay the cover cost of the issue - no subscription or postage. Do you have newsagent shops in USA? ie where you can buy the daily paper and get magazines , sweets drinks and cigarettes etc. If so, could you order it to  come in every 2 months. They keep it in a box under the counter with other sewing magazines for me and mags for all the enthusiasts of other hobbies.   All the best in your sewing and whilst I realise that many fabric outlets in the USA have closed I think you are still a whole deal better off than we are. Do I gather that Walmart sell fabric? Can someone put a word in for England  because I dont think fabric has filtered on to the shelves here yet.  By to you all

            Winifred (busybee)

          7. karenb | | #31

            Well, I finally found the current issue of "Threads" on the newstand at a mega-Walmart on the far side of town. So I finally got to read the issue with the pins on the front in depth.

            I LOVE the skirt that was made out of long pieces of fabric, but I'm not sewing well enough yet (and probably won't be for awhile--but I'm working on it!) Still, I'm keeping that issue within reach with that skirt as a goal.

            Also, the way they made patterns out of clothing that they liked was brilliant. I have a pair of jjill pants that are my absolute favorite--they fit perfectly. Also, I have a shirt that is a perfect cut but the wrong color and fabric. Wonder if copying a knit shirt and changing it to a cotton shirt would work as well?

            Winifred, I was really interested in what it must be like in England. Where do you buy fabric? Aren't there many fabric stores there? If there aren't, are there just fewer people who sew there? (hope it's okay to ask---I'm just curious) It is a shame that your Walmart doesn't carry fabric. Some of our Walmarts have some pretty big sewing departments. I got some very pretty knit fabric with little roses for $1.00 a yard the day I found "Threads".

            Even better than Walmart, though, is a great sewing/fabric store in town called "Hancock's Fabrics". Nice staff (that is so important!), nice selection, great price on patterns (99 cents sometimes for the big names), and all the extras. The have an online store if you are interested.

            My first sewing project is moving along. It is a "first sewing-Kwik Sew pattern that is supposed to be super-duper easy. It is supposed to be a cool tunic shirt. So far, mine looks like something a hobbit would wear. Seriously, all it needs is a rope for a belt and a bearded dwarf to jump inside. Hopefully, it will improve!! I'm about half finished.



          8. TashaGirl | | #32

            This weekend I was working on a muslin, trying out a new pattern.  I knew when I started that I had very little fabric, certainly not enough to complete the garment.  I decided that it looked too good to throw away unfinished so I made some bias binding for the neck but didn't even have enough fabric left to make binding for the armholes.  I didn't have any other fabric in the house in the right colors or weight to make a contrasting binding.  As I was contemplating my dilemma, I remembered that one of the recent Threads issues, residing in the pile of Threads, Australian Stitches, Burda WOF, and other sewing books under/next to the bed (I think the one with the wonderful scarf) had an article on making baby seams.  AHA!  I went and found the magazine and followed the directions for making baby seams in an armseye (even if mine was sleeveless) and it worked perfectly!!! So thanks, Threads!  even if the articles might not be timely when the issue is released, you never know when it will be just what is required.


          9. busybee | | #33

            Hallo Karen and all others,

            Great to hear from you so quickly.  Buying fabric in this country is getting more & more difficult.  I have been sewing since I was 13 and now 62!!  There used to be lovely fabric shops in every town and London was a real Mecca.  The last 10 years has seen a very fast decline with shops closing everywhere. Principally because sewing is not taught in the schools any more.  There is a move to redress this I think and not before time too.  So dressmaking enthusiasts are shut up to mail order unless they live in the vicinity of one of the very few good quality stores. Wherever we go I try to suss out anything worth looking at deslpite having drawers of fabric and hearing my husband groan!! Theres nothing quite like feeling fabric, looking at it and visualising that wonderful garment to be made. A sample just doesn't do that does it.?  One of my great ambitions is to come to a Sewing Expo but dont have a sewing buddy with that sort of interest.  I love Threads and the chat that goes on among you all.  Best wishes  Winifred

          10. karenb | | #34


            It was wonderful to hear from you again. I'm so surprised that there are so few fabric shops in London. That must be awful for you. I do agree that it is so much better to be able to see and feel the fabric.

            A couple of days ago, I fell in love with a Chinese fabric--very silky---in this beautiful eye-popping green. Sort of the green of leaves when the sunlight shines through---almost electric. I came close to purchasing it, but common sense prevailed. My social life is hardly dynamic enough to warrant such a fabric!

            Still, it is nice to dream. I'm beginning to see that part of the joy of sewing is the fantasy life. Just dreaming about what you can make and being alert to colors and fabrics.

            I'm still trudging along with my horrible sack-like tunic. I'm not going to let it get me down, though. I'm just going to look at this medieval-looking frock as a learning experiment.

            Another thing is that I love "talking" to all the sewers. I'm beginning to see that the quiet sewers are really these fascinating, creative firebrands at heart.




          11. raven99 | | #35

            Hi Karen, I just want to jump in here and encourage you not to give up on sewing. I can relate to your experience with the "easy to sew" pattern. The good thing about those patterns is that yes, they are easy to sew because they have minimal detail. The bad news is that because they have so little detail they are usually sack-like and unstructured. On me, those types of garments end up looking like a sack, although some people can wear them. I gather from your posts that your Mom is an experienced sewer, and if that is the case, you're one of the lucky ones. I started sewing out of necessity when I got a summer job in a corporate office and had NO appropriate clothing and no money to buy a wardrobe. So, armed with my one term of grim junior high home ec experience (is that how you put it?) and no one to help me through the rough spots, I started to sew a few mix and match pieces. Since I've never liked the unstructured look, many of the garments I tackled were beyond my experience to really sew professionally but they turned out well enough to keep me interested. 20-some years later I'm still at it and I love finding a great fabric and letting it inspire me to create something that is one-of-a-kind.Don't set your sights too low even though you're just starting out. With your Mom's help, I'll bet you can turn out some great garments that would put any hobbit to shame. And if you get frustrated with a project, don't toss it or give up, but set it aside for a while. Even today I have those moments, and I've set aside projects for weeks and even months before going back to them. Its funny, those garments that I thought I'd never get to fit or look right and abandoned for a while, have turned out to be my favourites--and they came together easily when I went back to complete them after the hiatus.Go ahead and buy that green silk you fell in love with, store it until you're ready and have found a great pattern, and in the meantime let it inspire you to improve your skills!Good luck and keep at it!

  2. berniejh | | #8

    Hi there

    Personally I enjoy my Threads mag & just flick over the embroidery part.  I have been sewihg for about 40 years and over the years have found I don't have the time to do the detailed garments I used to, but don't wear that sort of style much anymore either.  I enjoy the pattern review articles, and the articles that deal with fit etc.  Im find the mag provides me with the encouragement and inspiration to keep sewing in these days of mass produced cheapies. 

    What drives me crazy is that all the measurements are in imperial when most of the world (outside America) uses metric.  I live in New Zealand where we have used metric since 1967 and no longer possess anything with an imperial measurement on it!  Most mags provide both metirc and imperial measurements - I hope Threads will remember their subscribers outside America and do so in the future.


    1. marijke | | #9

      This is a good point. 

      I grew up with metric and had to adjust to inches, etc., after moving to the US.  I still think metric is easier to understand.  I can eyeball 5/8", 3/8", and 1/4", but I have to think real hard about how many inches go into a foot and how many feet in a yard!  And I have no clue how many yards are in a mile...  It's just not intuitive to me.  Maybe number literacy depends on what you learn first?



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