NEW: Search The Forums


Suggestion for next issues

kapnoel's picture

Dear editors,

I very much enjoy Threads and I thank you for your efforts to provide a fresh view on every sewing issue. I very much like asymmetrical garments (collars, sleeves, hems etc) and I would like to read an article on this issue in one of the next Threads. Would this be possible?

Thank you very much in advance!

Best regards


Katina's picture

(post #30924, reply #1 of 141)

I'm glad you raised this, Ellisavet. I also like asymmetrical details - in my knitting too. I read a knitting discussion somewhere recently where the respondents were NOT fond of such details though. What do other Gatherers think?


Edited 11/19/2008 1:17 am ET by Katina

damascusannie's picture

(post #30924, reply #2 of 141)

Assymetry is often difficult for people to accept, especially in clothing because our clothing traditions throughout time has been for very symmetrical lines. Assymetry is very much a 20th century idea, first appearing in the 1920s and I think is often associated with radical thought and behavior.

I personally like it--I think it adds a little surprise to a garment that would otherwise just follow the status quo. On a sweater, it can be as simple as a cable that only runs up one side or one sleeve.

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at:

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at:
Katina's picture

(post #30924, reply #3 of 141)

Hi Annie

Thanks, as always, for this. I wonder if others will be interested in this discussion.


ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #4 of 141)

Asymmetrical lines are very flattering for Rubanesque figure types.  They accentuate the curves you want, and draw the eye away from those you do not want.  For those who have few curves, they give the illusion of curves.  What could be better!  A one third/two thirds proportion is always more pleasing to the eye and begs for an asymmetric treatment.  Crossover or surplice fronts are a perfect example, as is a double breasted style jacket.  I would love to see some non traditional treatments for these!  Cathy

Katina's picture

(post #30924, reply #5 of 141)

Very good points, Cathy - thanks. What's your opinion of uneven lengths in garment pieces?


ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #6 of 141)

All the better!  I often make up for shortages in fabulous fabrics by making the fronts or backs longer or shorter.  It is also more flattering for longer or shorter people!  I love the look of handkerchief hems on skirts and dresses for the summer and for evening wear.  A Jacket or coat is easier to walk in if the front is a little shorter than the back, but you get that extra coverage in the back over the hip area if you need or want it.  I like the peplum for the same reason.  Look how elegant riding and cutaway coats are!  I think even a left to right difference can be attractive.  Look at the fab Issey Miyake (sp) .   Cathy

Katina's picture

(post #30924, reply #7 of 141)

I'm completely with you on all points! I often make my shirts with a longer back and side slits. I find these very comfortable; I do similar hems on knitwear too.


ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #8 of 141)

I have followed fashion and fashion trends for years.  I am not as up on it as I was when I worked in the field, but I never lost my interest.  What interests me now is how fashion has circled back to where it was when I first started studying styles.  My old patterns are coming back, and not always in an updated form.  One blouse that was in the link you posted was almost an exact copy of a pattern I have from the mid eighties!  Too bad I do not fit it!  It is very similar to an Anne Klein pattern that I bought way back when.  Issey was au courant and all the rage then.  Not my style exactly, but I appreciated where he was going with his style.  I saw some of his influences in other garments and liked where it was going.  I enjoy different looks, and enjoy putting it into my own clothes.  Cathy

Katina's picture

(post #30924, reply #9 of 141)

Absolutely - one of the reasons we sew

denise's picture

(post #30924, reply #35 of 141)

I have just looked at the readers closet,  I love the long vest is there any one out there who is  50 plus i would just love to wear something like this do you think it would suit us  over 50s and has any one made a similar item in that age group.

This is another reason i think threads should put older over 50's on the pages of their ideas etc and when explaining a new technique.

I live in Australia and we are now going in to summer  last winter i saw a lot of young ones in another version of this same item more in a flimsy knit, that would not have suited, but this one in the closet section is so beautiful and could suit i think any age group. In the winter that is coming in the u.s. will this be worn do you think.


Josefly's picture

(post #30924, reply #10 of 141)

I'm very attracted to the photos of asymmetrical clothes, but haven't sewed any for myself, don't know why. I particularly like the jacket of Marfy F1712 pictured here:

I do own several patterns I haven't tried yet, which include some asymmetrical features, like the "Fun Jumper" from Fashion Patterns by Coni:

and a couple of Marcy Tilton patterns, but haven't used these patterns yet. It seems to me that a lot of the independent pattern makers focus on asymmetry.

I'm a little wary - I'm not sure where on my body an asymmetric feature would work, and I'd like some advice on that issue. I think an article which discussed this issue, considering different body types, would be of great interest to me.

Katina's picture

(post #30924, reply #11 of 141)

Definitely of great interest to me too. Marcy Tilton writes for Threads - I wonder if she could write about this? Thanks for the links.

Josefly's picture

(post #30924, reply #14 of 141)

Marcy Tilton might be just right for the job.

Katina's picture

(post #30924, reply #17 of 141)

Definitely - I love her style. Do you remember the wonderful article she did on a travel wardrobe?

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #12 of 141)

Yes, thanks for the links.  Those are great patterns, and very flattering feminine garments! 

Have you ever tried draping scarves or fabric across your body to see what different angles and hems and lines look like in a mirror?  I know it is hard to look at yourself with an unbiased eye, but if you can try and turn off the nasty little picky voices for a while and honestly try to look at the image as another person instead of yourself it can be really helpful (and fun) If you have a willing partner or friend, you can even draw lines on the mirror with a dry marker and move around to see where the lines look best on you!  This is even helpful when pin fitting a pattern.  Cathy

Edited 11/19/2008 1:29 pm ET by ThreadKoe

Josefly's picture

(post #30924, reply #13 of 141)

What a good idea, Cathy! I do sometimes drape fabric around me, and usually get so discouraged I just do something else - like get onto the computer! But it never occurred to me to draw lines on the mirror. I'll try it. A-HA! Maybe I can draw my patterns on the mirror and "try them on" that way - why waste time making a muslin just to discover whether a style does or doesn't suit me?

I realize this is something akin to making a - oh the word has left my mind - you know, a drawing of your own shape, reducing it, and then drawing different styles onto it, something like a paper doll? Oh, drat. I can't remember the term. Well, another senior moment!

starzoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #15 of 141)

Croquis. Threads magazine quite a few years ago had an article of how to take a full length photo in tights, enlarge it and use the shape to try on garments. Overlay the shape with clothing drawn on tissue paper or flimsy and it is really quite easy to see how things will look. It really surprised me how accurate it is.

Later on their was an article (not sure if it was Threads) on perfect body proportions. You can draw the proportions on your croquis and see first hand where your body deviates.....also a good help in knowing what to accent or hide.

Josefly's picture

(post #30924, reply #16 of 141)

YES! Croquis. Thank you. I learned about the idea from the Threads article you mentioned, but I never did anything with it. Maybe I'll go back to it. I was thinking a body outline was traced on a large piece of paper taped to the wall, and then somehow that tracing was reproduced and reduced to get to a manageable size. Lots of copies were then printed, so that styles could be drawn over the figure, to see how they look.

I think Cathy's idea is a similar idea. If I can draw the basic lines on the mirror, then stand in front... hmmm.

Thanks so much for the memory jog. I really needed it. :>)

starzoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #19 of 141)

I would think the photograph method would be easier to do. What you are looking for is a proportional image, the size doesn't matter. There are quite a number of pre-photo tasks: a dark tight-fitting garment, (I used tights and sport top), tape marking numerous points of the body, a light-coloured wall and four views: front, back, both sides.
Last but not least, a co-operative friend/partner/spouse who will go along with all this!

I was surprised to see my "raw me" unadorned. It has made me more aware of my actual shape and has been a great help in designing clothing for myself.

Josefly's picture

(post #30924, reply #21 of 141)

I can see what you mean. It's difficult for me to know if I see myself accurately in the mirror, but that kind of photo would help with that.

Teaf5's picture

(post #30924, reply #27 of 141)

Wow, you are brave!  Rear and side views of oneself in a leotard? 

I'm sure a photo croquis would be very accurate, but I'm equally sure I'm not quite ready for that, even if it would probably solve a lot of fitting problems!  And I haven't worn a leotard in about thirty years...

As the chief photographer in the family and the one behind the lens, I've been able to maintain a mental self-image that is way more attractive than my actual one. While this overly optimistic self-image is great for my morale, it makes sewing for myself inefficient.  Thanks for the tip!

Gloriasews's picture

(post #30924, reply #28 of 141)

Loved your comments about 'maintaining a mental self-image that is way more attractive than my actual one'.  I seem to have the same problem - & reality is sometimes a shock!  Hahaha!  I try to avoid it, but is sometimes rears its ugly head.


ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #18 of 141)

A croquis?  I love drawing them.  Cathy

Josefly's picture

(post #30924, reply #20 of 141)

Yes. That's the word that completely escaped me.

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #30924, reply #22 of 141)

Dear Editors,

I love seeing the new patterns that are made up by your 'sewers' but they are usually for younger figures. How about doing an fashion article for those of us who are over 50.  We don't want to dress like our daughters or our mothers. It seems as though we are supposed to fit in one of those catagories; either too young or too old. Maybe it is not in the patterns/style but in the fabric choice, but I think it is the patterns/style.  How about some help for us.


Katina's picture

(post #30924, reply #23 of 141)

I second that!


ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #24 of 141)

I am not sure it is just for the age you suggest either Ocrafty.  I think a lot is for body type also.  A lot of patterns/styles are for the young and perky body types.  The patterns for the Reubanesque body types are TENTS!  What about something fashionable and fitted for us fuller figure types that still have curves, but have sagged a bit with age and babies.  We are still good looking, and fit, and want something that is the same as what you want.  I do not want to look like my 20 something daughters, but I do not want to wear something my mother would have worn.  I want something fashionable for ME!  I am not old yet!  And I still feel I look pretty sexy, even if I need a plus size!   Maybe show us how some of these patterns would look on mature and fuller figures!   Cathy

Edited 11/28/2008 10:39 am ET by ThreadKoe

Ralphetta's picture

(post #30924, reply #25 of 141)

Perhaps an article by a knowledgeable designer discussing specifics would be good. For example, I know that just dropping the hemline a little can make a dress more appropriate for a mature figure, but too far and I look frumpy. How do I take a pattern I like and adjust the neckline to cover the wrinkles or accommodate the heavier jowls? Can I do that without throwing the whole design off kilter? They could discuss whether, as you mentioned, fabric, etc. makes a difference. I'd rather have the broad knowledge to adjust all things that just a few specific pattern numbers.

There are frequent articles about adjustments for body types etc., but an in-depth article about how to keep plus sizes from looking dowdy, or if there are key structural things to avoid if you don't want to look like you've raided a teen's closet would be great.

I'm talking about something with substance for sewers..not just "Don't wear Spandex, etc."

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #30924, reply #29 of 141)

I think you used the perfect word-DOWDY!  Matronly is another one!  I have tried on RTW that has fit pretty well, the fabric choice was awful!  Yet you look across the aisle at all the wonderful colours and fabrics in the smaller sizes and think Why Not Me??????  So I sew.  But I need a better starting point.  I find a pattern with the style lines I want, but it only goes up to maybe a 16 if I am lucky.  So I have to grade the whole thing up.

Yes, Burda Plus has some great fitting patterns for plus sizes!  Have sewn from them for years.  But they even tend to recycle a few basic shapes over and over.  I have over 10 years worth of the mags, and sew from them.  They do not often have very fitted clothing styles either tho.  I have a waist, and hips and a bosom that I would like to show off at times with a more fitted, age appropriate style.  What I need to see is the style on a woman like me!  I loved the articles that show one pattern on several body types!  It shows better the possibilites than the one size shown in books and pattern drawings.  

I agree totally that a broad range of knowledge about what can be done to flatter the ageing or plus figure is needed, not just adjustments.  I have studied Barbra Deckert's Fitting for Plus Figures to death, but she did not really go into much in the choosing of pattern style specifics either.  Cathy

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #30924, reply #30 of 141)

Where are the designers for larger women?!!  All of the young,new, up and coming designers seem to want to find a niche where they can  make a name for themselves and earn lots of $$. None of them has figured out that the majority of mature women who can spend that $$ have figures that aren't gonna fit into a size 2 dress or pants.  They are all so intelligent and creative....but not smart enough to go where the $$ and the REAL need is!!!  Wish I could do it over again....I'd take classes in clothing design and business!