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Louise Hoover writes—

A friend has been told by her doctor that she needs gloves made of rag wool. I’ve been sewing for 55 years and that’s a new one on me. Can one of your experts tell me what it is? Thanks—and thanks for publishing my very favorite magazine.

Response from The EditorsWe had to do a little research to learn about ragg wool, (spelled with two g’s) but we love a challenge! Ragg wool is a minimally processed wool, where natural lanolin remains in the fiber to repel water and remain warm even when wet. It is used mainly for hunting equipment—hats, gloves and socks—that can be found in sporting goods stores. Hope this helps.

Jeannette Harris writes—

I love the new format! It would be great to see a story on “One Carry-On,” how to combine different pieces (including accessories) that will fit into one carry-on sized piece of luggage. Many of us travel, either by plane or by car, and face the same packing dilemma. How do you pack for multiple days, seeing the same people each day, with one suitcase? The concerns are similar if you are traveling to see family for the holidays, attending a wedding, or a business conference. How do you effortlessly transition from spending hours in one seat, to attending several different events, using the same designs? What fabrics will work best for travel with the designs, what fabrics are not as forgiving? Will the designs need 100% natural fibers or will a blend work just as well? Even if the pieces fit into the suitcase, you will need to find an iron before you can wear them?

Carole Cates writes—

I’m a subscriber and enjoy the mix of articles and patterns that you have now. I’m very keen on Sandra Betzina’s Todays Fit patterns, her instructions are just so good. I have just made my fourth pair of pants using pattern V7027 with fabric I bought via a website from one of your advertisers.

For the future, I’d really like an article or two on how to make those wonderful Chinese fabric buttons that look like knots and the matching loops—I’ve always wanted to know how to do them. Then I will be able to make them in the same fabric as a blouse for example.

Deborah Bowles writes—

Just finished reading the October/November 2010 issue of Vogue Patterns. So many great ideas and fashion. I enjoyed the article by Elaine May “How to Avoid Becoming a Sewing Sucker.” I started sewing again a few years ago after a 20-year sewing hiatus and retirement from 30 years of teaching. Amazing how friends/family started asking me if I could “fix” a little something. I came up with the perfect solution. I find that with my sewing hobby, I often times can spend all day without interacting with friends/family. So, helping out my friends/family is not a problem if they will sit and talk with me while I do the desired project. This pretty much alleviates any of those who want to just use me to save money, as they don’t have the time to just sit and talk. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to connect with those close to me while giving me something to do with my idle hands. I had a delightful Saturday sewing with my daughter as I repaired a dress her dog thought was a chew toy! A different approach I thought you would enjoy knowing about.

Lyle Kuhlmann writes—

Now that the cut for men’s suits is changing—it looks like we’re going back to the ’50s—it might be time to publish a new pattern for a man’s suit. I like the vest pattern in the Oct./Nov. issue. If you are going to have a pattern for a man’s suit, a wonderful place for fabrics is at Michael’s Fabrics, one of your advertisers.

Response from The Editors—For all our readers who have asked for new men’s designs, there will be a new suit and a trench coat coming in the next issue. We’re very excited about these new designs and hope they are what you are looking for.

Linda Bucklin writes—

I love Vogue designs and I eagerly await each magazine’s arrival but I’m doing very little sewing these days. My problem? Alterations! I’m 41-31-45, with that 41 in a D cup. I have lots of books that give instructions for altering for D cup on standard (read boring) designs but I have no idea how to alter the most interesting of your designs. What do I do with the Empire bodices with very short underbust darts but no side darts (V1161), or diagonal seaming (V7828), or the gaping I always have with surplice fronts (V8646)? It would be a huge help to us bigger women if your staff would make up some of the best designs with alterations for larger cups and do display articles that show the process step-by-step.

Gail Ann Thompson writes—

Thank you for your kind invitation to comment on the New Vogue Patterns. I have been a subscriber for much of my life. Within this past year, in my opinion, Vogue Patterns has only grown better. I do have a few suggestions: The greatest hurdle for home seamstresses to overcome is the difficulty of finding fine fabrics and high quality notions, in our own towns. I don’t really enjoy “web” shopping—(inability to feel the fabric and trust the colors)— but, even I have turned toward the Internet for fabric shopping. So, please continue with your Web Watch page. I really like the “Destination Shopping” articles for the same reasons. I have and will continue to plan “girlie vacations” with my sister, daughter, niece, and granddaughter to shop for fabric, notions, yarns, and—well—we usually try to fit in a “spa day” too. It would be helpful if all your patterns were graded up to at least size 22. Vanity aside, it is so much easier to make a pattern smaller than to enlarge it. I like your patterns for gloves and hats. I appreciate the “Easy How To” Neck Ring on page 10 of the October/November 2010 issue. Back in the 1960s we gave it a half-twist to make a mobius and called them “Smoke Rings.” How politically incorrect!

Mary Mastin writes—

Your time and attention to the re-do of my favorite magazine (Vogue Patterns) has paid off. W O W !!!!! So clean, precise and a “cut above” the other publications on the market today. I’ve lived in Fort Collins, CO (just 65 miles north of Denver, CO) for the past 32 years. It wasn’t until I read the article on page 30 of the Oct./Nov. issue that I was made aware of all the local jewels to be visited, namely, the shops and venues featured. Plus I had no idea the Avenir Museum of Design & Merchandising, right here in Fort Collins was open to the public. Colorado State University is located here in my home town, under my nose you might say!

Ginger Ketzel writes—

LOVE it! The new format of the magazine is terrific! I especially enjoyed the “Editorial License” article. I rarely make a pattern exactly as it is shown and always appreciate new ideas that I can incorporate to make the garment “my own.” Also, I will definitely make one of those charming neck rings. Other articles that appealed to me include “Quick Fixes,” and “Sewing Therapy,” as well as those about stores in Denver. I wish you could do a story about fabric stores in Santa Barbara (where I live) but unfortunately, there is only one tiny one!! Seriously, there are no chain stores (Hancock, Jo-Ann’s, etc.) and only the one locally owned store (“Fine Fabrics” where everything is very expensive!) I do most of my fabric shopping when we visit our children in Phoenix and in Spokane.

Dawn Frisch writes—

Just a quick note to let you know how much I’m enjoying the “new” look of Vogue Patterns magazine. The in-depth articles, beautiful photography, gorgeous garments and helpful hints makes for a fantastic magazine and with the new changes, it has made it outstanding and above all others! The magazine certainly shows both the hard work and love that goes into each and every issue that you all create. I just wanted to let you know how much the efforts that you and your staff make to publish a very unique and informative magazine is appreciated. Thank you for all that you do.


To send us your photos, comments, suggestions or tips, email


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