Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Feeling...sacreligious?

The first sewing publication I subscribed to was Sew News, back in the 80's, when it was a large format, newsprint deal.  Before long, I had discovered and subscribed to the Sewing Update Newsletter, the Serger Update Newsletter (anybody remember those?  I still have mine in binders...) and the creme-de-la-creme of sewing publications, Threads Magazine.  My first copy was issue number 37, from October 1991.

The Update Newsletters eventually closed down; I don't remember if I subscribed to the end or just until I decided I had to pick amongst the subscriptions.  Sew News changed formats...and dumbed down its content to the point that it was like reading a women's magazine that had crafty discussions.  I didn't save those, but I do have a folder full of articles that I cut out of them. I gave it another go a few years back when I won a subscription in an online contest, but I was disappointed to see it no longer was a monthly publication.  And, while the content had improved somewhat...it still seemed more basic than creative and it didn't really seem worth the expense.

But Threads has rolled on and on.  Not too long after I subscribed, (maybe a year?) they altered their focus a bit from all-things-fiberly to strictly sewing.  I missed the interesting articles on making buttons from polymer clay and felting wool into hats, but since I wasn't likely to really use that (although I do have some aging Fimo somewhere...) it wasn't tragic.

But today I got this in the mail:
I haven't renewed yet.  I'm dithering.

The content has dropped over the years; those first issues were over 100 pages; this potentially last one has 82.  The quality of info has kind of vacillated; it's better now than it has been.  The decline in the printed product is a reflection of the times more than anything else, I think.  I mean, we haven't had a daily newspaper in these parts in years...it's all online.

And, to be honest, that's my biggest beef.  I'm a print subscriber, but I have to fork over more dough if I want to see the online content they call 'Insider'.  Maybe it's just me wishing for a perfect world, but it seems to me that the print subscribers should have access to the online content.  I don't even click most Threads links I see on social media anymore...what's the point if it's likely to be 'Insider only'?

And...then there's the fact that I'm simply not sewing as much.  It just doesn't seem justifiable to keep up the subscription so I can flip through it, smile at the end page story and put it on the shelf.

Maybe 27 years' worth (that's 162 magazines, all stashed in custom slipcovers) is enough.  Maybe.

Or maybe I'll put a check in the  mail next week...lol.  Can I really pull that plug?  Do I really want to?  Do I have good reasons not to?

Hm, hm and hm.

11 comments:

  1. I got the same notice yesterday with my Threads magazine. So often, I see their clothes and think the design is old-fashioned or otherwise unattractive. I never see anyone wearing clothes like many of their designs. Sometimes I file the magazine away without looking at it much but then read about an interesting article in that magazine, so I'll dig it out. I have every issue since the first one, but now I think I'll just look at the magazine on the newsstand and if I see something of interest I'll buy it. The early issues were wonderful -- fabric dye artists, weaving, knitting, lots of inspiring articles.

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    1. Wow! All of them! Some of those early ones are quite the collectors items! Unfortunately, I can't count on it being in the local newstands. Last time I checked B&N...it wasn't there. Might have been out of stock, I suppose.

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  2. Ah. Those days when Threads is in the mail are 6 of the best days of the year!

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  3. I stopped my subscription years ago. I still sew, not as much as I used to but I prefer magazines like Ottobre, since it has so many patterns in it for kids and women. I’ve seen several notices about e-zines but I’m so meh about them. I like to hold the magazine in my hands and flip through the pages. I don’t like most of the patterns that are being published, I don’t care for the magazines. I’ve just gotten to the point were I think I’ve got too much of it all and it needs to be trimmed down and not added to. Does that make sense at all?

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    1. Absolutely. I'm at the point now where I'm seriously beginning to wonder if I can possibly make use of it...and some is very nice. But the bulk of my patterns were purchased in the pre-menopausal years and would need...substantial alterations...to fit the current me...I'm seriously thinking about culling the stash down to the TNT's I really use. But I'm not sure I'm ready to pull that plug, either, lol.

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  4. I got the same notice on my Threads yesterday. There was interesting content but nothing I will probably use. Sometimes it has to sit on the shelf for a while before I find something. I did the same thing you did with Sew News. I started with the large format for a number of years then stopped for about 10 years because it seemed to repeat itself with crafty things, took it for a couple then stopped again. Two years ago I won a subscription and then reupped for this year on a special deal. We'll see for next year.

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    1. I did like the cover garment, made from the kimono fabric. Would I ever make/wear such a thing? Probably not...but it was inspiring to look at and read through the construction techniques. And the pencil skirt tute was also good...although my pencil skirt days are way behind me. Just enough good stuff that I'm wavering.

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    2. I loved the earlier incarnation of Threads. It stopped bribe as appealing when it got more narrowly focused. I found Sew News to be an annoying read. I do miss the excitement generated by a new issue of Threads.

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  5. Way back in the 90s my Dad gave me a subscription to Threads as he was a Fine Woodworking and Fine Homebuilding subscriber (both Taunton Press publications). I let it lapse after a year as I was not sewing a lot. Fast forward fifteen years when I picked up a copy at JoAnn's that I just had to have. Decided I'd better not leave again as tracking down what I had missed was too expensive (this was before the "archives"). There will come a time when I do cancel Threads and Fine Homebuilding but that is a long way off.
    Theresa in Tucson

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  6. I've subscribed to Threads since the mid 90s when I first found it on a magazine rack. Then I bought the digital archive when it first came out, and realized I really don't enjoy reading magazines on-line. Then I began a mission of finding missing issues on ebay. I went through this same renew or not quandary a while back when the quality of Threads dropped off and articles were aimed at beginners (editor change?), kept reading the letters to the editor against the changes, gave a deep sigh, and renewed. It took a bit but the quality of articles did come back. As I look back through the early issues, I do wish they'd continued with the subjects they dropped, also remember the outrage of knitters when they dropped knitting. I think they simply quietly stopped carrying any quilting articles. I'll probably keep renewing, unless they do another attempt at catering to beginners, or go heavy into machine embroidery. It's not a cheap magazine, but then again, I learn something nearly every time I read it. And I've spent far more on fabric, patterns and tools that sit unused in the stash. And if too many people stop subscribing, it may go away totally.

    I agree about paying extra for on-line access. I keep getting offers of trial access for cheap, but haven't taken them up on it.
    Subscribers should get a discounted rate always IMHO. Not free, but not full price either - I know they have to pay someone to create the on-line content. I imagine there will come a time they'll be either on-line only, or the magazine will become simply a catalog of what's on-line. That will probably be the day I end my subscription.

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  7. I honestly can't say I am surprised.

    I am a former print subscriber with a large stash of many, many years of issues. I became disillusioned back in 2003 when they were experiencing delivery problems and their customer service became nearly non-existent. Then came The Insider, which was the death of my subsctiption with Threads.

    I also wonder what happened too all the back issues? Did they burn them? Because they stopped selling them years ago, instead you have to buy a hundred dollar DVD when you only want one or two issues.

    I mourned the loss of Threads shortly after they went to the online content and shafted the print subscribers. This is just the final chapter (pun intended).

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