I recently decided to take the plunge with a year’s subscription to Threads magazine – largely acknowledged as the most comprehensive and expert magazine for home sewing. ‘For People Who Love To Sew’ – as their shout line says.
I’ve read about this magazine so often in blog posts and some of its material is freely available on the web. An Oscar winner of the magazine world – or is it? Was it worth finding out?
I deliberated over this move for a while. I am the world’s worst at subscribing to magazines, getting bored, procrastinating for six months, then going through the extremely painful process of tracking down a phone number in the small print, sitting on hold for aeons, and then finally getting to talk to a person about cancelling the subscription. Magazines are clever. They make it really difficult to cancel a subscription. So, you know, I felt cautious.
What does it cost a UK-based reader for a year’s subscription to this most US of magazines? With international postage, it comes in at just shy of £25, which works out at £2 a month or £4 a bi-monthly issue. Bearing in mind that I spend at least £6 a week on lattes (that’s £288 a year, readers – eek!), my subscription didn’t feel too bad.
The first magazine to turn up was January 2013’s issue no. 164. I flicked through the pages and – pow! An in-depth guide to making a kick pleat. For ages now, I’ve felt frustrated by the lack of detail on how to finish one of these things. Suddenly, I had four pages and ten extremely detailed pictures of exactly how this was done. The minutaie was way beyond anything I’d found in other online tutorials or books. Sold – to the woman at Didyoumakethat Towers!
In the same issue, was an article that took a detailed look at the construction of a vintage garment. I love picking over construction details – as evidenced by my visit to the Museum Of Fashion and Textiles in February of this year, and the shameless way in which I inspected Prada dresses in Las Vegas three months later!
The details even looked at the hook and eye inside this 1971 Dior dress. I am becoming obsessed with hooks and eyes. More fuel to an upcoming blog post!
Fast on the heels of this issue, arrived the November 2012 issue 163. (Don’t ask me why January’s arrived ahead of November’s – I don’t care either way!) Now, I really had chance to compare and contrast. Yup, Threads was still performing excellently – this time with a choice article on adding tucks to a make.
I was really glad to see this, having admired Miss P’s recent work with tucks. (Or are those pleats, Miss P?!) Elsewhere, the magazine was bang on trend with a Kenneth D King article on how to add peplums to your jacket patterns, and there was a comprensive guide – should you want it – on setting up your own independent pattern company:
Threads know exactly what they’re doing. Expert writers, ipad-friendly editions, a strong and relevant online presence. They’re also extremely clever in making it clear that a) they’re open to reader contributions and that b) they pay for reader contributions. I think this shows a healthy respect for the two-way street of magazine writing and reading in such a niche area.
This is a US publication, through and through. But it is an expert publication, and I am thrilled already to see how much knowledge I have just gained access to. So, that’s my take. What’s yours? Would you subscribe, do you subscribe – and what do you think to sewing magazines?
NB As I type this, America is voting for its next President. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I’ll discover what you all decided!