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  • Writer's pictureSusan Kistler

See Better, Sew Better

I listen to a lot of podcasts. You might be surprised that there are some really great ones about sewing. I have read Threads magazine for many years and heard one episode where Carol Fresia, a senior editor of the magazine, mentioned how much trouble she was having with her vision when sewing. I sent an email asking if they might consider an article about suggestions for ways to improve your vision to make sewing easier. I was thrilled when she offered me the opportunity to write an article!

My article will be appearing in the November, 2020 issue of Threads magazine and and I will also be a guest on the Sewing with Threads podcast in to be released in early August, 2020.

I've been sewing since I was 10 and Threads is the pre-eminent sewing magazine, so it's an honor to share some ideas. And these suggestions are also helpful for other tasks, especially computer work.

We weren't able to cover everything, so feel free to ask questions here or email me at Or, post your questions on our Facebook page ( I will do my best to answer your questions personally and/or respond to them publicly if they might help others.

Even if you're not in Nashville, I am happy to pass along tips, make suggestions to help you see better and help find you the perfect pair of glasses. I've always tried to find special solutions for patients with special visual needs, whether it's a frame to fit your small face or minimize lens thickness.

One question on the podcast was what I've been sewing. I wish I could have said I was making some fabulous outfits for my WFH life, but, in truth, I've been making a lot of masks with help from Lulu and my new (adorable and horrible) dog Stewart.

Here's a sample of some of my designs with either elastic loops around the head or cotton twill tape ties. I responded to Etsy's call for home sewists to make masks for the public -- and I've made more than 500 so far to donate and sell. My designs are unique because they don't have ear loops. I can't keep them on my ears and they are so uncomfortable.

If you want to check them out, visit It's been fun to dig out some vintage treasures from my fabric stash (Pierre Deux/ Charles Demery/ Souleiado, Laura Ashley, Liberty of London, Marimekko) as well as cute fabrics from Rifle Paper Co., Cotton + Steel and Lilly Pulitzer sheeting. Everything is all cotton and lined in either cotton sheeting or flannel.

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