If you look along the shelves of magazines available at your newsagent, you should find a selection aimed at those of us who enjoy sewing. The editor of one such publication, Sewing World, recently invited bloggers to review the new look magazine. I was pleased to be one of those chosen. However, my review of the July issue is a little late due to my extended stay in Australia.
The first thing that I noticed was the bright, inspiring cover. It is obviously designed to draw readers in which, in my opinion, it does successfully. I liked the bright colours in the cover photo and the clear layout showing the highlights of the issue. The one thing that I felt let it down was the font and colour of the title word ‘sewing’. It looked rather old-fashioned in comparison to the rest of the page.
Turning to the Contents, the uncluttered double-page spread is divided into three easy-to-read sections headed Regulars, Techniques & Features and Makes. The layout is clear and simple making it easy to see what’s inside the magazine. The photographs on these pages and, in fact, throughout the magazine, show clearly what the items are – none of the frustrating glamourised images that can be seen elsewhere. Unfortunately some of the page numbers on the pictures are a little fussy, making them awkward to read.
As you look through the magazine there are coloured tabs on the top corner of each page indicating the sections of the magazine, making navigation simple. Regular articles include two on shopping: one showing fabrics, notions, kits and so on, several of which were being offered for giveaways in this issue, and the other focusing on handmade items; one on shows, classes and other news; new books; giveaways and the subscribers’ club (Sub Club). One comment I have seen this week mentioned that it is good to feel part of a sewing ‘community’ and the Sub Club addresses this to a degree. Sewing World also has a quarterly feature listing exclusive sewing patterns that it has available at £2.95 each. In this edition there was a good selection of separates for women and girls, dresses, bags, snuggly toys and storage, easily a wide enough choice to be able to take advantage of the ‘buy four, get a fifth free’ offer.
Part 3 of the Masterclass series currently running was about using a multi-size pattern and was written in a style that was simple to understand. In addition, there is a Masterclass Project, putting the information into practice, which I think is an excellent idea and so useful.
The Projects section included items using various techniques such as ruffles, machine and hand embroidery, quilting and patchwork. An added bonus is that the patterns with the magazine are full-size, so there is no need to go three rounds with a photocopier!
There was an interesting range of articles in the features section including one on choosing a sewing machine. It concentrated on mid-range machines but I was a little surprised to find the range of machines cost from £299 right up to £1295. I’m not sure how useful it is to have such a broad price range as I should imagine most people would have a budget in mind which is likely to be somewhat narrower.
Advertising in Sewing World looks less ‘busy’ than in other magazines which makes it pleasurable to look through and see what takes your fancy. In addition, there is a page for readers’ adverts. Private For Sale or Wanted adverts are free and can be placed in Sewing World and its sister magazine, Patchwork & Quilting.
I was pleasantly surprised by Sewing World and would be tempted to buy it in the future. It has a fresh look which I find appealing. The layout is clear and uncluttered, tutorials are well-written with plenty of illustrations/photographs and there is a good selection of articles, projects and information.
Sewing World – July 2013
Cover price £4.95
Sewing World provided a complimentary copy of their July 2013 issue but all opinions expressed in this article are my own.