To send us your photos, comments, suggestions or tips, email mailbox@voguepatterns.com

Virginia Van de Water writes—

I have a sewing tip to pass along. When sewing a closely fitted garment, make all the expected alterations in the lining first. If any further changes are needed they can be made in the less expensive fabric and be hidden from view. This has worked very well with evening fabrics especially. There are no unpleasant surprises with the fashion fabric.

Marcia L. Potts Vande Vusse writes—

Why has it taken me 65 years of sewing to realize that I could take a 3" X 5" recipe card and an Xacto knife and make a stencil for identical bound buttonhole marks? It works wonders for accuracy when you have a half dozen of them to mark.

Juanita Dean writes—

It has been a long time since I have looked at a Vogue Patterns magazine so I purchased one to see what the latest styles were for 2010. In the magazine I discovered an article on darts that gave me the inspiration to finish a dress that had been cut out three years ago. The lesson on darts helped me to make a professional looking garment. Now that my sewing enthusiasm is back I will tackle this plain jacket I purchased last year. I plan to embellish it with trims made the Claire Shaeffer way. I have all types of trims but have never tried mixing and matching them to embellish garments. The free sewing lessons are helpful.

Jennifer O' Grady writes—

I must congratulate you on an exciting, and more avant garde, few seasons of Vogue patterns. My mother and I recently spent an enjoyable few hours pouring over the latest patterns and then a further several hours trying to cull our list to a reasonable size (at 23 patterns we didn’t quite succeed). I am a young professional in my mid-20s and my mother is slightly older and requires a ‘smart casual’ wardrobe. You have succeeded in catering to both our needs. I have fallen in love with the highly original and utterly beautiful AKO and the fun and flirty dresses on offer from Anna Sui. Whereas my mother appreciates the tailoring in, for example, Anne Klein New York (V1156) and Kay Unger (V1183) which perfectly suits the tropical climate in which we live. I look forward to seeing further innovative designs from Vogue.

Mary Ann Wagner writes—

When my children were young back in the ’80s, I made each of them a Linda Carr Teddy Bear. Just before this past Christmas, my daughter asked if I still had that pattern...“the grandkids would love to have a ‘La Bear’ made by Grandma.” With time running out for the holidays, I decided to make a bear for each grandchild’s birthday in 2010. So far, I’ve made two. I’m working on number three and have two more to go. The girl bears are dressed in a pinafore (see left) and the boy bear will have a bathrobe (also a Linda Carr pattern). I thought you’d like to know how much love and joy ‘La Bear’ has brought two generations! By the way, we still have the bears made in the early ’80s. My nine year-old granddaughter comes to my house every week for sewing lessons. She is wearing one of her creations in the picture. I’m delighted to pass on my love of sewing and have several younger grandchildren asking for sewing lessons by Grandma.

Debra Beebe writes—

Both Vogue patterns and Vogue Patterns magazine have been a source of enjoyment and inspiration to me for many years. This year, with your help, I realized a long-term goal, completing my own “Chanel” type jacket! It was constructed using wool tweed and silk charmeuse lining using V8259, a Claire Shaeffer Custom Couture Collection pattern (now discontinued). I was able to get in touch with Claire through her advertisement in your magazine. She teaches couture sewing techniques in workshops which I twice attended. One is “Chanel and That Suit.” In this she taught the unique elements and techniques that are commonly referred to as “Chanel-isms.” They included hand-made buttonholes with special backs, quilted lining, a chainweighted hem, three-piece sleeves, shaped collar and hand-applied decorative braid. This project was truly a labor of love, one impossible to accomplish without your willingness to publish these wonderful patterns, inspire and educate those of us who are home sewers, as well as provide a forum for and support the professional sewers who teach and encourage us.

Karen Schwartz writes—

I have been a subscriber since the ’60s and read with interest your article in the August/September issue Hardware for Soft-wear. I have found that my bolt and nut magnet catchers from Sears are the best pin holders, the telescoping magnet nut catcher is also invaluable, as well as my 48" adjust-a-square. I have made more than 400 dresses for the May Festival Chorus (they sing with the Cincinnati Symphony) and more than once have used these tools that are so much better than what is supplied by the home sewing industry. I look forward to each issue and do get great inspiration from many of your articles. Thanks for the continued good work.

Margaret Abrams writes—

I read with some dismay the note from another reader suggesting that you cut or eliminate the articles on fabric shopping in different locations. Please, please, please DO NOT eliminate these articles, and please continue to give us just as much detail as you have in previous articles. The articles are useful not only to sewing enthusiasts who are traveling, but also to people who live near the featured area, or are moving or have recently moved to the featured area. In addition, your articles almost always give web site information on the stores you discuss, so there is utility for all readers who might be in search of something not available in their own locale. I love the fabric shopping articles; have torn every one of them out of the magazine and added them to a notebook for current or future reference. I think these articles are one of the great new features that have re-vitalized Vogue Patterns over the past year or so. You almost lost my subscription a few years ago, when the magazine seemed to be more ad content than substantive content, but you have redeemed yourselves and then some—I hope you will continue to give us great information on shopping all over the country and beyond.

Sue Ann Shedrick writes—

I have just subscribed to Vogue Patterns magazine after not reading your wonderful magazine for a year (my loss!). I notice some changes to the magazine. Although the articles about fabric shopping in various cities is very interesting, I think fewer pages committed to this subject would be better. Have you ever done one of these articles on shopping in Manhattan? I love the show Project Runway, and someday I would like to visit Mood Fabrics in Manhattan. I’d be interested in seeing Mood featured in an article in your magazine. I do have to say, however, that I find much valuable information in your Web Watch articles because shopping on the Internet is much more convenient and saves me from traveling from store to store trying to find the items I need. Thank you for producing the best sewing magazine. I will not make the mistake of letting my subscription lapse again.

Response from The Editors—Yes, we have had an article on fabric shopping in New York City (February/March 2009), and yes, Mood Fabrics was covered, as well as many other fabulous fabric, leather, notions, button, and trim shops. We’re glad you find the Web Watch feature helpful, and have expanded it to a full page. In addition, as reader Margaret Abrams pointed out, our destination fabric shopping stories give the web sites for these stores, so that you can take advantage of their offerings even if you don’t live nearby or plan to visit that city.

Jeff Keith writes—

Here’s my older daughter (she’s 22) in a coat I made for her using Vogue pattern V8601. I love the buttonhole on the seam line and the tuxedo tails. She gets loads of compliments whenever she wears this coat—it always makes me feel good when she wears it.



To send us your photos, comments, suggestions or tips, email mailbox@voguepatterns.com


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