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Week 2: These photos demonstrate good…

carolfresia | Posted in Talk With Us on

Week 2: These photos demonstrate good fit on different body types. How does the inclusion of models with various proportions affect the appeal of an article?

  • Makes the article more appealing
  • Makes the article less appealing
  • Has no effect on the appeal of the article

You will not be able to change your vote.


  1. Jean | | #1

    I appreciate seeing the garment on someone who has an ample figure. I'm sure there are more of us out there that wear a size 16 and up than those who can grab a size 8 off the rack and have it fit perfectly. I don't think many of them sew. ;-)

  2. sanderson | | #2

    Even more than seeing different body types, I find it helpful to see before and after pictures of garments on models;  the before shot showing the 'tell-tale' gaps and folds, etc. that pattern adjustments can correct.  As a matron of 50+ and being a slim 6' (5'12" on high school ID), I'm realizing that I've never had clothes fit properly and have made due by just buying larger sizes and being thankful for the loose look staying somewhat in vogue. 

    1. rjf | | #3

      I agree with you!  It's the before and after that really tells me what I'm going to learn from the article.         rjf

  3. JMW | | #4


    Publishing photos of models with varying proportions and different body types is one of the boldest moves a fashion related magazine could do. And THREADS did it!  What an excellent teaching tool. This is just one of the reasons I love THREADS.

    1. carolfresia | | #5

      Very few of us on the Threads staff can fit perfectly into garments off the rack, either, so we're as concerned with fitting as you all are. I just finished a muslin fitting on a "real life" model for an upcoming issue--she's super petite, but has just as many fitting problems as people in the over-size-8 range.

      The problem for me is that once I got to know what good fit was, I stopped wanting to buy clothes that fit just "OK". If I had more time to sew, that would be fine, but now I can't just go out and grab something off the rack and be happy with it.


      1. rjf | | #6

        Now that's a good example of a real Catch-22.  But it's worth it in the long run.   rjf

    2. amapola | | #11

      These photos demonstrate that any type of figure looks good when well-fitted

      garments are worn. Thanks for the great article.

  4. JaneInKC | | #7

    My vote was for showing something on different figures.  It doesn't just make the article more appealing; it is a lesson in itself (for me, at least).  Sometimes I will review the pictures and say, Gee, this must be a good technique since it works well for a variety of sizes/body types.  Other times I look at the pictures and think, This would be a waste of time for me; it doesn't even look good on the models!

    And of course we all have our own opinions about what looks nice and what doesn't.  I remember a fairly recent article Threads did on dressing to flatter various body types.  I was kind of amazed that I did not agree on about a quarter of the suggestions made.  I really looked at that article and reviewed it carefully more than once because I thought it surely was prepared by "experts" in the field.  But my opinion did not change.  I just think the article was too brief to be really helpful and the scantiness of the review resulted in too great a level of generalization.

    Whatever the facts of the matter concerning the earlier article, showing the same garment on different figures a la the Betzina article is helpful because you can then get a visual of an actual result.

    As always, thanks for listening!

    Jane in KC

    1. ShannonG4d | | #8

      I think the decision to use different size models was an excellent one.  It helps us to visualize what good fit really is for a person close to our own size when we see photos like this one.

      Incidentally, I really like the "Fabrications" article in the current issue, and hope to see more of the same.  I always enjoy the "Threads Challenge" articles, and also look forward to the pattern reviews.  

      I've thought more about what I'd like to see in Threads, and have a couple more suggestions to offer.  I like the balance of technique to design that you currently offer, and would be sad to see the pendulum swing either way.  I want to be challenged to think artistically about my sewing as well as perfect my skills. 

      Threads is my textbook. 

      Shannon Gifford

      1. tcsewhat | | #9

        i really like when you have short and tall model.  And those with normal figures.  I like to get an idea of what will work on my short figure.  And I need to be able to interpret styles for my alterations customers, who come in a wide range of sizes.  So seeing a single style on more than one body type is useful.

        I know what you mean Carol about the fit in RTW. In pants is where I see it most.  Once you have a pair of pants that really fit...you will never be satisfied with off the rack again.  I get so fussy with fit.  I have started to do alterations on my RTW pants beyond just the hem length.  I am no longer satisfied and do everything I can to make them fit better. Just tapering legs can make a huge difference in the way the pants look. It would probably be simpler to just make the pants, rather than alter them.  other people who don't sew would wear them as-is.  Oh well...

    2. user-244627 | | #13

      I'm a newbie so this is my first post. I've been taking Threads since the first issue (my husband has all of several other Taunton publications as well). I enjoy all of the articles even if I don't use the techniques. In fact I haven't been sewing for myself much lately but I do quilt constantly. I've been really discouraged from sewing for myself because of the lack of fabric stores left in my area. I'm really tempted to try the technique described in the new Apr/May '04 issue on making striped fabrics using quilting cues. I voted that I agree that the appeal of techniques shown on different sizes is higher, but I also agree that what some consider good looking on those sizes is different from what I would consider good looking, and is a good guidleline on what NOT to wear for my 4'11", 175 lb. frame. (Ever watch the British version of "What Not to Wear"? It's a real hoot!)

  5. edgy | | #10

    Frankly, I'm surprised by this question. I think it has been obvious that we need differently shaped models since we discuss this a lot. But, I'm not privy to your marketing stats, so I could be all wet.


  6. SEWSERIOU1 | | #12

    I love different sized models.  However, I don't think any of those pictures show "good" fit, but just okay fit.  I thought that when I first saw the issue these pictures were included in.  The jeans don't fit like jeans are supposed to.   The crotch area in the front is too 'trouser-like' and those smile lines on the skinner models are not an example of good fit.

  7. CTI | | #14

    Photos never hurt, but I agree with the poster who said the creases don't make it look like a good fit on the skinnier models. My first thought on the first model with the patterned pants was that they were either too short or too long and not tapered enough.

    What I would most like in this area is to show the identical style on two different people with minor modifications so they work for both, or something like that. As an example, a light colored blouse with a waist embellishment over dark pants for someone who is bottom heavy, and the same blouse maybe with patterns or some accents- maybe a peplum - and light colored pants for those who lack hips.

    I get a lot of ideas from the before and after segments on shows like Oprah - changing a straight skirt to one that is slightly flared, for example, adding patch pockets, etc. A great fit is not always easy and also depends on the fabric as well as the design. Another example is a box-pleated skirt - if you tack down the front pleats it actually makes your stomach look smaller. Things like that I appreciate learning about.

    All in all Threads does a great job, so these are just transient suggestions. Thanks for asking!

  8. TJSEWS | | #15

    I think having different body types to demonstrate fit is a great idea and I would encourage Threads to continue this type of presentation.  However, I agree with poster number 13 that the fit on the tall thin models was not a good fit.  There was too much fabric in the crotch area.

    1. ediebell | | #16

      I guess the bottom line is it's a great idea to show various types/sizes of models to demonstrate good fit but if you're going to do this you need to demonstrate GOOD fit!!!   I wondered at first if it was just my eyes seeing extra fabric in the crotch areas, apparently not.  But Sandra's jeans seemed to fit her great so she obviously knows how to do it!

      Were the other jeans featured on different models made specifically for those models?

  9. SewNancy | | #17

    Yes!! My husband and I both commented that you showed a real person in the fitting article.  It is definitely appealing to see a how a real person looks.  I certainly don't have the perfect body, but good fit  can really make me look better and downplay the faults.


  10. SewNancy | | #18

    This is my second reply to this question because I too really enjoy the before and after on makeover shows.  It isn't just fit but what is appropriate for my body that makes me look good.  How about an article how to figure out if a pattern is going to look good before we make it.


  11. becksnyc | | #19

    I do appreciate that you use realistic models.  However, I tend to evaluate the article on the content, the actual directions given and whether the suggestions given jive with my own experience.  In the case of the jeans article, one of the suggestions given puzzled me.  I wrote in about it, but will present my question online under a new topic.


    1. MarshaK | | #20

      Showing 'real' bodies in the garments is a great addition to the articles. It would be a bonus for us if the heights of the models were given, since we can't see them in person to know how tall they are. Knowing the weights would be good too, but that may be getting a bit too personal. This information would allow us, the readers to judge whether the garments shown would be suitable for our own body sizes. An Australian magazine has been showing garments for different sized women, they do several pieces that mix and match, which is a great idea as well, this gives an idea of different tops and bottoms that work well together.


    2. Barbaran8 | | #21

      I have to shamefacedly admit, on first scanning the pictures, my eye has been trained by the media to look at the fashionably thin first, and dismiss the less than perfect figures. However, the less than perfect figures would be what makes me sit down and read the article, because I would dismiss it as useless *for me* if you only had the thin models...

      On the separate topic of what kinds of articles I would like to see, last night my husband handed me the Threads #15, and said that I could finally add it to my collection. (We've been married 7 years, and this was still a big concession on his part) He bought it back before we even knew each other, because he collects Navaho rugs. The article on Navaho rug weaving in #15 was an article that transcended just being useful for those who sew, to being of interest to collectors of an artform. I paged through the magazine, and read about Rei Kawakuba (sp?) who I think FIT missed on - Issey Miyake was the new Vionnet of the eighties - then the article on needle lace... All of the articles were interesting to me, and I think the magazine is poorer for concentrating only on sewing now. So I would vote for re-expanding the format to include top level articles on all of the fiber arts - not just sewing.

      1. becksnyc | | #23

        I agree on missing the wide coverage of the fiber arts.  I'd guess it's a no win situation for a magazine... Money is made by focusing on a market, and I'd imagine the market for across-the-board-fiber-nuts is pretty small. 

        I can't learn enough about ALL aspects of the fiber arts.  I've read about the entire process, from animal husbandry (raising sheep for wool), to spinning, dyeing, weaving (by hand and machine), costume history and any art/craft that uses fibers--even enjoyed the display at the Corning Glass museum, upstate NY, about cloth made of glass fibers!

        I've tried my hand at most of the fiber arts--I come from a long line of sewers.  My great grandmother left behind beautiful examples of embroidery, rug hooking, crochet & tatting.  My grandmother was a consumate knitter but only sewed clothing because she had to.  My Mom ran a dress making business and knit, crocheted, macramed, made suits for my dad.  She never turned down a challenge.  Among her "victories" were a wedding dress for a lovely 350 lb lady and dress shirts for a 450 lb man with a thyroid disorder.  She also sewed for kiddie beauty pageants, cheer leaders and sewed clothes based on the drawings of a design student going to college nearby.

        I've been sewing since I could hold a big fat plastic needle, and have tried most of the crafts above, but keep coming back to tailoring-with-a-twist.  Softly structured garments with one of two unique features.  Threads articles are my inspiration. 

        My "day job" is altering RTW in a large shop in NYC that does about 400 garments each week.  I've seen a lot of bodies in the 14 years I've been altering full-time, and am still not tired of the challenge of giving my customers the confidence that comes from the best fit for their figure.

        That's my sewing history. 

        Call me Becks-never-get-enough-fibers-NYC :-)

  12. JulieP25 | | #22

     I applaud Threads for the great photo's of all body types. I also appriciate seeing what a great fit is supposed to look like. It truly helps when I have something to compare too. Please keep up the great photo's and articles. Jules

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