Thursday, 3 September 2009

Sew Read

I bought issue 3 of Sew magazine last week.

I blogged previously about issue 1. Where I reserved judgement: not great, but not awful either. Later I bought issue 2. My teenage daughter looked through it, and asked "Why on earth did you spend £5.99 on that, mum?" Which was a good question, and not one I could answer.

But Issue 3 is much, much better. I like the vintage-style dresses in the accompanying paper pattern, the knitting needle roll and the baby shoes pattern:

Maybe I'll try my hand at a pair of tiny shoes next time I need a new baby gift.

My daughter also likes the recycled jeans skirt, so we're going to look for a pair of suitable jeans in local charity shops (she only has Top Shop jeans that fit her, and we are not cutting those up!)

However, I do have a couple of ongoing niggles, mainly to do with the quality of the instructions.

If the magazine is intended to be suitable for beginners, as they claim, it would be preferable if their instructions were accompanied by step-by-step photos. At the moment, the only patterns with in-progress illustrations are those which are book excerpts rather than original patterns. I'd like to make the household tote bag in this issue, but I've never sewn a bag with a gusset before, and I don't understand the instructions. I would have to cross-reference with instructions for making a gusseted bag in the latest issue of Sew Hip (where there are illustrations to accompany the explanation).

Also, when projects in denim, stretch jersey or other harder-to-sew fabrics are included, these should be accompanied by some explanation of how to handle these types of fabric on a sewing machine. At the moment the magazine gives no directions about this at all, and I think it is an omission.

Just my 0.02p.


  1. I bought the first edition and was so disapointed that I havent bought a copy since. Have you tried any of their patterns?

  2. I have the first two issues, and was debating getting the third. I was interested in the lovely dress on the cover, so after reading your review I might get it.

    I also noted the lack of comprehensive instructions to those of us not that advanced with sewing, which is one of the reasons I was debating buying this issue.

  3. I haven't tried any of the patterns yet. I've not had time for much sewing in the school holidays, and a busy schedule ahead for September, but I have added one or two things to my to-sew list so no doubt I will attempt one in due course - I'll blog about it when I do!

  4. I haven't gone near another sewing magazine, as at £6 I think it's too expensive (Sew Hip have also upped their price by a £1. ) At £6 you might as well pay £3-5 more and buy a decent book off Amazon! That's now my thinking with sewing magazines!! I do get Ottobre magazine, and that is a different league, it's only twice a year costs 15 euros for the 2 issues, but has about 20 women's clothing items in it. Written to the highest standard, and designed to the highest standard as well. Their website is worth a look, it's very imformative.