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Smoking jacket, 1925-1929. (Photo: Goldstein Museum of Design)

Smoking jacket, 1925-1929. Accession no. 1992.025.018  (Photo: Goldstein Museum of Design)

I am looking forward to writing a thank you letter like this someday (soon, I hope):

Dear Threads editors:

As a long-time subscriber I want to thank you for the single most informative, exciting and life-changing issue of your magazine I’ve ever read: the menswear issue.

For a serious home sewer like me, locating information about fitting and constructing menswear has been like looking for a needle in a haystack. I know it’s out there (I was a librarian for years), but it’s hard to find, and not always easy to understand when I do find it.

I knew I was in for something special when I saw a man on the cover. And it just kept getting better: page after page of topics I realized I’d wished for years someone would address directly and in depth:

Smoking jacket, 1925-1929, detail. (Photo, Goldstein Museum of Design)

Smoking jacket, 1925-1929, detail. (Photo, Goldstein Museum of Design)

  • Analyzing male figures for fit and flattery. Now I understand men’s proportions so I can sew better for Jack.
  • Best menswear patterns, tested and evaluated by your stable of discerning sewers
  • Sewing Destination: New York, menswear edition, listing tools, supplies, classes, and museum collections of interest to menswear lovers. I’m planning my trip.
  • David Page Coffin’s article on trouser styles and construction
  • Kenneth King’s companion article on trouser-fitting and pattern-alteration

    Women have loved menswear styles for years. From 1941: "Misses' Mannish Jacket"

    Women have loved menswear styles for years. From 1941: “Misses’ Mannish Jacket”

  • The article on vintage smoking jackets, with photo details. Gorgeous.
  • That 1920s smoking jacket from the Goldstein Museum of Design on your back cover–I want to make his and her versions for Jack and me!
  • The interview with the owners of The Vintage Showroom, in London, and their book, Vintage Menswear. Menswear for sports and outdoor work has so many practical details to incorporate into clothes for women, too.
  • The workspaces of three menswear-sewers. What beautiful spaces in their functionality, like professional kitchens. And I like how one sewer called his sewing machines his “power tools.”

    My rendition of the "Mannish Jacket." (Photo: Cynthia DeGrand)

    One of my four renditions of the “Misses’ Mannish Jacket.” (Photo: Cynthia DeGrand)

  • The interview with the designer of that small independent pattern company devoted to menswear patterns, with his emphasis on writing clear instructions. Much success to him!
  • Sewing for historical reenactment events, which I was barely aware of before–it’s a very big deal. Interesting!
  • The “Closures” article by the plumber who started sewing his own pants was hilarious.

I just wanted to say bravo, editors. Dare I hope the rousing response from us readers will mean that menswear topics are guaranteed a home at Threads?


Paula DeGrand