NEW: Search The Forums


Welcome to "Talk with us"

CarolFresia's picture

Welcome to the Threads “Talk with us” web poll and discussion. From March 1 through May 1, we’ll be posting weekly polls pertaining to the content and style of Threads magazine, and hope you’ll share your opinions with us, both by voting in the polls, and by joining in a discussion with us here on Gatherings. 

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 

Although the poll questions are intended to spark discussion, you’re not limited to these topics, so please feel free to voice your thoughts about any aspect of the magazine. During this period, a Threads editor will be checking in regularly to answer questions and to hear what you’ve got to say.


Bear in mind that if you’ve arrived here by clicking the “Guest” button on the Gatherings login page, you’ll be able to read the discussion, vote, and follow the poll results. If you’d like to post your own messages, you’ll need to register and log in as a member of Gatherings. We hope you’ll join us and let us know what you think about Threads.


Carol Fresia

Associate Editor, Threads

CarolFresia's picture

(post #31231, reply #1 of 70)

Hi, again,

I'm just posting here to let people know that the discussion mentioned in the previous message is taking place within the discussions labelled "Week 1," "Week 2," etc. C'mon over and see what we're talking about there.


TJSEWS's picture

(post #31231, reply #14 of 70)

I love Threads magazine and always am eager to receive the next issue.  I would like the magazine to continue its focus on garment making techniques.  I would like to see less quilting and embroidery articles except as they relate to garment making.  Quilting and embroidery generally don't appeal to me but I love sewing garments.  There are other magazines that cover quilting and embroidery in depth so I do not see a need for Threads to do so as well.


Sally99's picture

(post #31231, reply #2 of 70)

Hi - The type of articles that I read multiple times are those that nudge me beyond the skill  set I learned when I was twelve and seem to be caught at. If the articles are too advanced, I won't try the technique. For instance, I'd love learning how to drape a bias fabric for a fullish shirt or informal jacket...  helping me to understand how to turn over the knit edge for a collar on a tee-shirt so that it looks professionally done.  Taking a straight skirt pattern and doing wild things with it, or a full skirt pattern and fitting the top to my abdomen. How to make a tulip skirt pattern on my own? Thanks. I'm addicted to Threads.

CarolFresia's picture

(post #31231, reply #3 of 70)

Sounds like you're looking for some design/pattern adaptation/pattern drafting articles. As you probably know, these topics can get HUGE quickly, so we try to cover a smallish piece at a time. I'm not sure we can drape a jacket in 4-6 pp., but we could certainly drape a sleeve...

As for how to turn under and stitch a T-shirt edge for a professional look? Boy, I'd like to know the secret of that, too! After numerous attempts, with mixed success (some great, others hopeless), I've concluded that the fabric is the factor that makes it work better or worse. But if I'm wrong here, I would love to learn a foolproof trick that works all the time, on every fabric.  

How about quilting? We used to include a quilting-related story in each issue (could be patchwork techniques, quilted clothing, Hawaiian applique design, or even the story on boutis provencal, although that's not really quilting), but again, we suspect our readers would rather see that less frequently, and focus more on other garment-sewing subjects. Is there no interest in quilting, or should we keep looking for quilted clothing ideas?


Sally99's picture

(post #31231, reply #4 of 70)

Well, I like quilted clothing ideas.  I may be in the minority. Not sure. Thanks for the response.


karenw's picture

(post #31231, reply #5 of 70)

<<How about quilting?>>

No thank you. 

 <<We used to include a quilting-related story in each issue (could be patchwork techniques, quilted clothing, Hawaiian applique design, or even the story on boutis provencal, although that's not really quilting), but again, we suspect our readers would rather see that less frequently, and focus more on other garment-sewing subjects. Is there no interest in quilting, or should we keep looking for quilted clothing ideas?>>

I enjoyed the Hawaiian quilt design article, but primarily because I love the symmetry and color simplicity of Hawaiian quilts, not because I wanted to quilt anything.  However I wouldn't have missed it if it weren't there.  As with Home Dec, there are SO many other resources for unique and interesting quilting arts, wearables or not, where Threads provides high level garmentmaking techniques not readily available in other periodical publications.   Quilted clothing ideas would be ok (with me!) if the quilting was one of  multiple methods of making the featured item, perhaps one in an array of different treatments, i.e. taking the same pattern and creating it using quilted fabrics vs. a home dec type fabric vs. a sheer or texturized or other type fabric to show great contrast between styles using the same basic pattern/style format and thinking beyond the "recommended fabrics" on the pattern envelope.   I guess I see quilting as an art that I respect and admire, am not good at, will view and appreciate when in the mood but in its own context.... it's like music... I respect and admire the talent of those who perform opera, but I don't want any operatic pieces interjected on my jazz station... it's all still music... but I prefer to listen selectively!


Susanne's picture

(post #31231, reply #26 of 70)

Include quilting articles? Yes, please. And include quilted clothing ideas, too.

Constance's picture

(post #31231, reply #61 of 70)

I'm not interested in quilting, but embellishment - aaaaah, that's another story! I purchased Koos' book after seeing it reviewed in Threads and once I get my rusty skills back, will definitely be trying some of his techniques. But then, the strip-piecing story caught my eye too...


You can have anything you want; but not everything you want...
Judygoeson's picture

(post #31231, reply #62 of 70)

Hi, Carol...

Before I begin on the Topic of Discussion, I want to ask how you made out on the Halloween costumes.  I was making a Snow White dress for my Grandaughter.  It turned out so well that her mother had to hide it because she insisted on wearing it every day!  Her little brother and sister (Bam Bam and Pebbles) looked terrific...bones and all!  I want to thank you and all the other correspondents for you encouragement and helpful tips.

Now to get down to business...I like to sew clothing primarily.  I also enjoy surface embroidering by hand, thank you.  Occasionally I will make a quilt if I feel the urge.  In addition, I do a lot of "Sacred Threads"  which combine a good many of the fibre techniques and am indebted to Sarahnyc and Shelly for their tips and well as many more of you.

This leads into what I like in Threads...and would not mind seeing more of:

Combing several techniques in a garment such as knitting and weaving; quilting all or part of the outfit, embellishing, and embroidery.  I like to do Yemeni style.  This combines simple conventional stitches in linear or spot motifs which is simple to execute and can be adapted not only to casual clothing but to business wear as well. for different body types and for children!  Many of you seem to write about sewing for your own children.  Boys as well as girls.

And how about costumes?  Masquerade, theatrical, ethnic for example.  There are many construction and decorative techniques which could inspire or be adapted to regular clothing.  I enjoy using Folkwear Patterns and by a judicious editing and use of conventional fabrics have come up with clothing I could wear to the office.

This leads to the multi-use of one pattern, as was done in the present issue.  Please!  Lets have more!  And, perhaps a way to adapt one pattern to different fabrics, as you did with a version of one blouse in silk, and yours, Carol, in a bulkier tweed. I liked that.

Finally, the great appeal of Threads is its classy presentation and its ability to run the gamut from the tried and true (I am reminded of a featured very well-tailored jacket which I have used as a refence for many years) to the new and sometimes unconventional (Koos, YES!  Brooke DeLorme, uh, not quite).  Even though many of us jumped on her work product, I think we did so to send the message that we did not want this to become a (bad) habit. This is because the  Threads sewing community insists on techniques that end up in an impeccably finished garment. What do you think?

I will add more comments as I think of them.

Happy Sewing from JudyG 

JulieP25's picture

(post #31231, reply #63 of 70)

Hi Carol!

What I love about Threads? Is, just about everything, hey even the stuff that I just  cannot do gets interesting. The articles on machine embroidery when you do not have that option are wonderful only to make me drool even more for one of those toys. I guess what I love the most is you teach, challenge and enlighten me on all aspects of sewing.  I love the high end and the quick tips too. Threads to me is still the best sewing magazine out there.  Jules

SewNancy's picture

(post #31231, reply #65 of 70)

I am definitely not interested in quilting or in quilted clothing.  HIgh style applique intrigues me but I don't really have the time to experiment with it.  I also would love to know how to fold over edges and get it to look professional.  It is easier to just use a biding.


Sashita's picture

(post #31231, reply #68 of 70)

Dear Carol,

Please!  There are so many magaznes and books on quilting and home dec.  Let's keep Threads free of most of that.  I like to learn new techniques, fitting articles, new fabrics and how to manage them and so forth.  For quilting I will by a mag especially devoted to it--and also for home dec. 

Thanks for letting me in on this,  Sasha

Betsy's picture

(post #31231, reply #70 of 70)

Carol, I may be several weeks late with this response, but have been trying to stay away from "qatherings" to finish a project, a sewing project!   About 'quilting' in threads, as an active quilter, I agree that quilt making is covered adequately in other publications, but I like to read about quilting incorporated in clothing from the Threads perspective:considering the fit of the garment, whether it is flattering to the wearer,how to handle construction details, etc. I don't like to look like I had a quilt and tried to figure out how to wear it.

Sue2000's picture

(post #31231, reply #6 of 70)

We must all have different perceptions of advanced or too hard. I consider myself an intermediate to advanced sewer, but using "draping" and "bias" and "jacket" in one sentence has me shaking in my boots!

I'm ok with quilted clothing if the focus is more on the clothing, construction, alteration for the thicker quilted stuff, embellishment (i.e. different closures when buttonholes aren't practical because the quilting's too thick) but am not that interested in the quilting process.  Unless... maybe if it were unique and different fabrics other than quilting cottons and not crazy quilting them either....


LindaG's picture

(post #31231, reply #7 of 70)

Threads has given me the incentive to try so many techniques for fashion sewing that I would not otherwise have figured out on my own.  I did indeed try a felted project and have made several of the the floaty shawl with sleeves that was featured on the cover several years ago.

My preferences:  no home dec, no heirloom (except as an interesting embellishment technique), no quilting.

The biggest challenge I face these days is buying quality fabric.  Here in the Boston area, the closing of North End Fabrics and then DiCarlo Fabrics means that there are no local stores featuring medium to high end goods.  I now purchase all my wools and really special fashion fabrics by mail order.  I am also gradually finding sources for all the basics that I need, such as sweatshirt fleece and all cotton knits for the occasional simple kids' outfit. 

All this said, I'm wondering whether Threads could do more to cover the Fabric and mail order market.   Here are some of my questions:  What makes a fabric "high quality?"  How can a buyer use 2X2 swatches to make a good decision? An occasional fabric shopping trip to NYC is possible, but some of those stores are incredibly overwhelming.  Is the rayon/viscose blend on 40th Street the same thing that's offered through mail order by a different company?   Who produces high quality fabrics these days?  Are the only good wools imported from Italy?


Linda Green



Greythound's picture

(post #31231, reply #8 of 70)

Hi,  I just got my May Threads in the mail today and it turned a so-so day into a great day.  I was delighted to see this new section on the website, because I wanted to tell you what I think of this issue. 

As I was cleaning the house this Saturday morning, I watched my neighbor wash all 3 of his Italian sportcars--wondering why on earth any sane person would spend that much money on cars he rarely drives--My old Ford gets me places in comfort and that is all I ask of a car.  Then I read your article about Dream Machines and I suddenly understood.  My old Elna (inherited from my grandmother) works great, but, oh, it would be marvelous to have one of these machines--maybe someday if I save my pennies.

About quilting articles--there are enough quilting magazines out there that the only guilting info I want to see in Threads is how to use the techniques in garments, such as the article on striped quilted fabric.

I absolutely love the article on the wrap front top, shown three ways.  I often try to make these types of changes with a favorite pattern.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I am delighted with getting ideas on how to do this and what the possiblities are.

As to the level of sewing skill shown in the articles:  I think average to advanced--I want something to aim for and other magazines cover basic skills.  My least favorite article was the one on measuring patterns--to me it is just common sense.


edgy's picture

(post #31231, reply #9 of 70)

i agree w most of what's been said. Definitely quilting only for garments. There are several quilting mags already doing a great job.

And I think Linda's suggestion about how to tell if the fabric being sold online is good quality would be fantastic. All the websites list different info (or almost none) about the fabrics and it would be great if our questionning them could get them to fall in line (dream on!)

Less home dec, would be my choice. And Sew News is basic -- that's why I get Threads. Just got the latest today -- it's always good for a "lost" afternoon. :=)


npilotte's picture

(post #31231, reply #10 of 70)

Hmm.  Threads is the only sewing magazine I read, and I like the quilting articles.  In fact, I miss them when they are not there.  I have looked at some of the others out there on newstands, but I am not a fan of traditional patchwork, or sunbonnet sue or other kitschy things.  I like the art quilts and the quilted garments.  I would hate to see them disappear permanently.

One thing I would like to be able to do would be to purchase a year's worth of Threads on CD, with clickable links, so that I could identify all of the articles on a single topic (like fitting sleeves or pants) without having to page through 10 years worth of paper.  I would take up a lot less room on my bookshelf!  Is there a chance that Threads will eventually be put onto CDs?


Sue2000's picture

(post #31231, reply #11 of 70)

I agree with you about the types of quilting I don't care for.  Though I am one who wouldn't mind not seeing quilted garments in Threads I find other publications like Quilting Arts and Belle Armoire have some beautiful quilted wearables, so does Fiberarts sometimes, or some books I've looked at that weren't specifically quilting oriented but included garments that used quilted fabrics/quilting techniques (there's one in particular on vests I'm thinking of). You might want to take a look at those sometime!

sueb115's picture

(post #31231, reply #13 of 70)

I'd like to see less of the machine embroidery articles.  Isn't there already a magazine out there that covers this subject in depth?  I noticed that quick to make has dissapeared from the features and am sorry to see it go.

How about some new product reviews and some new book reviews - there's a lot of new books for sewing techniques, textile and surface designs, costuming, pattern designing and couture sewing etc coming out all the time.  It would be nice to get a synopsis of these  new books occassionaly.

CarolFresia's picture

(post #31231, reply #19 of 70)

Based on survey feedback, we've realized that many of our readers would rather see feature pages devoted to sewing techniques and design/embellishment ideas, so we've decided to cover machine embroidery as a department instead. Some 40% of our readers own embroidery machines, and we want to continue to provide them with up-to-date information on getting the most out of their investment. This enables us to keep embroidery in the magazine but frees up some pages in the feature well (that big, advertisement-free section in the middle of the magazine) for other topics.

We'll bring back Quick to Make on an intermittent basis--especially around the holidays. In general, we've found that our readers are less interested in specific projects and prefer to learn techniques they can use as they wish. What do you all think? Do you love the occasional project to jump-start some sewing action? Would you have an interest in a special issue of Threads (newsstand only) focusing on projects?


karenw's picture

(post #31231, reply #21 of 70)

<<We'll bring back Quick to Make on an intermittent basis--especially around the holidays. In general, we've found that our readers are less interested in specific projects and prefer to learn techniques they can use as they wish. What do you all think? >>

I just realized I don't miss Quick to Make when it's not there but enjoy it when it is... one of the nice things about this "column" is that you do get a quick to make project for yourself or a gift but it's always something more elegant than "quick to make" type projects in other magazines. Keep it!

<< Would you have an interest in a special issue of Threads (newsstand only) focusing on projects?>>

Yes.  Of course it would depend on the projects included, but I've bought these special issues from other magazines when I'd let my subscription lapse but found the special issue contained projects I wouldn't be embarrassed to make.


Jean's picture

(post #31231, reply #22 of 70)

I would love it if Threads were available in a bound yearly volume like Fine Cooking is. I have all (or most) of the issues since #1 and each one was bought at the expense of a 100 mile round trip to the Big City. We don't have one magazine seller who carries it and the post office mangles the magazines so badly (I want them pristine, if I'm to save them) so that it's worth it to me to make the drive, but I'd gladly put off my reading to wait for a bound volume if you'd sell them that way.

Please suggest this to the powers that be. I can't be the only one who would buy this.

I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die from natural causes.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
FitnessNut's picture

(post #31231, reply #23 of 70)

I would love to get my hands on issues that are missing from my extensive set of Threads. I really don't care if they are on paper, or CD or whatever, as long as I can read the missing issues. I imagine that I'm not alone. Even if I could buy the early issues only in sets which duplicate the ones I have prior to number 21, I would still buy them. Threads is such a valuable resource for me, both practical and inspirational. Any time I need to get my creative juices flowing, I reach into my collection, grab a few magazines and start reading. In no time, the ideas are flowing!


Follow your bliss ~~ Joseph Campbell
sewingkmulkey's picture

(post #31231, reply #24 of 70)

Hi Carol!

As a charter member of Threads (I have every single one) I enjoy and savor each issue and appreciate that Threads is interested in reader's opinions...thanks!

I'm both a garment sewer and quilter so I like the quilted garment articles but perhaps having articles that show how quilting techniques can relate to garment sewing is the way to go as aptly demonstrated in your most recent issue.   Unlike the 40% of your readers I don't own an embroidery machine nor do I have an interest in purchasing one. 

I prefer tailored clothes and appreciate hand finishing.  On the other hand I am open to new ideas and love to see new techniques and surface embellishments. 

All in all, I am so pleased with Threads that (if forced) I would give up every other magazine I subscribe to and just keep Threads.  I appreciate your thoughtful, clear articles and drawings done so professionally.  My only concern is that younger readers/sewers need to be encouraged.  Anything that Threads can do to peak the interest of young people would be fantastic as I don't want garment sewing to become a lost art.

Thank you, Threads, for years of enjoyment and education.

Karen Mulkey


JMW's picture

(post #31231, reply #32 of 70)


In response to the machine embroidery department. If I were not part of the 40% of THREADS subscribers who own an embroidery machine,  I would like to see this eliminated from the magazine, also. To date, the articles have been less than inspiring.

I would like to offer a suggestion. Perhaps, THREADS could do an article featuring Cynthia Guffey. She is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She designs patterns, creates custom clothing and teaches at various sewing expos. Her sewing techniques are impecable and her use of machine embroidery inspirational. Cynthia's suits (w/mach.embr.) can be worn in a business environment. They give new meaning to the phrase "power suit".

I believe C. Guffey's techniques and creativity are just the challenge and inspiration that THREADS subscribers have come to exspect from your publication. WE can't seem to get enough. WE want more!

Thanks for a great magazine and lisening to our input.


karenw's picture

(post #31231, reply #34 of 70)

I'm among those 40% who own an embroidery machine, two as a matter of fact, but I'd be ok without the embroidery articles... mainly because there are so many other embroidery resources, in print and online.  I'm thinking here more along the lines of the article in the last issues.... now one thing Threads could probably do more tastefully than some of the other resources (hope I'm not stepping on toes here!) is show how embroidery can be incorporated into elegant clothing.  It's been done before, and those articles I'm pleased with vs. those that are primarily software/combining designs, or more technologically oriented.

And this is a perfect segue to Cynthia Guffey whom you mentioned... I love her stuff!
My first exposure to her was at the Puyallup expo several years ago when she was mainly promoting embroidery on her custom garments.  She had a way of combining motifs, stitches, threads and fabric combinations that were atypical and very upscale compared to other idea sources that were out there at the time (or even that I've seen lately).  She completely changed my way of thinking of embroidery on clothing (I'd done little at that point except for kids').  With this new way of thinking I created a garment that won a dealer contest and made it to the finals in Martha Pullen's talent search (not heirloom style though) and they requested permission to keep a file for possible future publication (looks like that's not going to happen!).    Unless one's seen her books on embroidery at a Viking dealer I think a lot of people are missing out on how to make embroidered garments that are very upscale or elegant rather than cute.    Her teaching focus is now mainly on couture techniques, many of which I incorporate on a regular basis -- if she weren't inclined to write a full article a "tips" collection such as those published by Louise Cutting (Cynthia's are along these lines) would also be a great addition to the magazine.


ahsparks's picture

(post #31231, reply #35 of 70)

Quick to Make was one of my favorite features--I'm sad it's going away. I'm one of those people who wishes Threads would go back to it's old format which included many of the textile arts. Yes, there are quilting and knitting mags out there, but Threads did a great job of covering them all with class. I'm interested in many types of sewing, not just garments, and I knit too. I ask you to keep more variety rather than less.

sarahnyc's picture

(post #31231, reply #44 of 70)

I have been reading threads for more than 10 years...the focus of this issue seemed especially narrow and "in the box"...and unfortunately not so interesting... I guess i'm looking for  (I think this was a title of a book and a show on PBS) "the shock of the new"... a new way of looking at clothing, a new way to solve problems ..

I know that what I'm asking for is a tall order... but what I want is the magazine to do is get me so excitred that I must try the new technique or new idea that minute...

I want to see work that makes me look twice, work that makes me think, or work that makes me laugh...

lately i have been looking at work done in art and fashion design schools around the world ( i love the web)for the past couple of weeks I have been haunted by a pair of shoes i saw on the bezalel art school website... it was a pair of chartruce boots that completely unwrap from around the foot - yes even the sole unwraps the whole shoe unwraps like an orange.. does the shoe relate directly to my work??/not at all .but it does get me to approach problems in a new way.

some folks think in a straight line... some of us don't - the tangential often works to send me in important new directions... so I'm not going to bead a dress with sunflower seeds or make my own shoes or make a loom out of crutches... but it is really wonderful to read about people who do.

I think the place of threads magazine is an important one.. i also think that although it may sound counterintuitive in this age of constant market surveys... don't worry so much about your center  ...I think that articles with stuff people may even hate generates more interest than articles that are just the bland middle - I'm still thinking about why people reacted so strongly to brooke delorme. ( yes I have ideas about that...but I think that it belongs in a different post)


I for one would love to read an article about either the designer zoran... or about zelda. they both march to their own drummers and create clothing that is very flattering to a woman's body. ( or to different kinds of women's bodies)  They are also both houses that you don't see advertised or in the magazines..but the women who wear them are entirely devoted.

BTW I have had to change my regisration due to cookie overload on my computer's part.. so I'm the person formerly known as sarah kayla but as always..i'm


sarah in nyc

SewNancy's picture

(post #31231, reply #67 of 70)

Some years back there was a fabulous article on Zoran and I made a small wardrobe based on it and clothes I saw at Saks.  I would love to see what the design school students are doing, thats a great idea.  Also other avant garde designers would be wonderful.