Friday, December 5, 2008

Stitch - first impressions


Yesterday I bought the first issue of Stitch, the new US sewing/craft magazine from Interweave. I paid a large amount for it: 129 Swedish kronor (~$15). The reason I did was that the magazine features skirt patterns from two of my favorite indie designers, Wiksten made and Uniform studio.

The skirt on the cover is from Uniform studio, and it's absolutely brilliant. The designer is also an architect and that shows in her clothes, they are structural and unorthodox in their shapes, but still highly wearable. I will make that skirt next summer using rayon/linen for the outer shell and line it with a red/white dotted fabric from Amy Butler. There was however a couple of errors in the magazine regarding the instructions and a pattern piece for this skirt, which you can read about here.

The magazine contains three full size skirt patterns in sizes XS-XL, with seam allowances included. The pattern and instructions for the other two skirts shown in the magazine must be downloaded as pdf:s from the Stitch website. There are also diagrams for several other projects such as a messenger bag and a cowl shawl.

Skirts designed by Jenny Gordy and Jil Cappuccio.

As for my impressions, it's a nice looking magazine with some cute projects but a bit thin on content and somewhat lacks a clear profile. There is not much to pull you in apart from the projects shown. And while the editorial topics they chosen are interesting, such as eco fabrics and an interview with Project Alabama founder Natalie Chanin, I find myself longing for something more. I guess it's meant to be an "inspirational" magazine - browsed but not digested, but I prefer a bit more words and substance for my bucks!

Also it's worth noting that this is not primarily a magazine about clothes sewing, it's more craft oriented. But I hope they continue doing patterns from skilled indie designers, I love that concept and have not seen it before.

6 comments:

  1. I have it too and share your opinion overall. My confusion stems from something else and I need to share with someone.

    It's called a Special Issue but the text on the website (I haven't visited it in the last 10 days) is ambiguous.

    Special issue, IMO, means once in a looong while. And yet, they talked of submissions and used the present tense. Which implies regular issues, right? Oh, and no subscription option.

    I just didn't get it. Maybe my comprehension of English was lower than I liked to believe?

    So I wrote to them, hoping to get the info straight. And this is their reply:

    "At this time we do not offer subscriptions to Stitch. It is published on a regular quarterly basis but the issues are only available as single copy sales at this time. You may order the individual issues through our website.

    Thank you,
    Tawnya
    Customer Service
    (800) 406-5283"

    Note, again, the confusing use of the Present Tense. When they only have 1 issue out and no date for the next...except if you do the math, that is!

    Sorry to hijack your post but thought I would share.

    Arielle

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  2. >>Arielle: My take on the confusing publishing plan is $$. I'm pretty sure that when they envisioned the magazine they planned to publish it on a "regular quarterly basis". But to do that they need to be sure the magazine will make money, and judging by the lack of external ads in the first issue (almost all are from Interweave)the future looks a bit bleak for Stitch. So by labeling it Special issue instead, they make no commitments but I guess they still hope for the best, i.e a regular publishing schedule. But if you ask me, such a non-committal publishing plan will probably backfire as they won't be able to score regular income such as recurring advertisers and subscribers.

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  3. Hej! Jag har inte kommenterat i din blogg förut - det beror inte på att jag är en nonchalant diva utan på att jag inte kunde nå din blogg från dina kommentarer och länkarna i min gästbok!
    Men nu går det galant. Den här lägger jag genast till i min favoriter!

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  4. >>MBJ: Tack för din kommentar och välkommen! Det är jag som haft en knasig inställning (i Blogger dvs, inte personlig, fick visst till en smärre dubbeltydighet där…)

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  5. I picked this up yesterday. I agree with your comments re publishing schedule. They are testing to see the reaction, and now that the world economy is really, really bad we may not see another issue.

    I too plan to make the cover skirt sometime in the new year.

    I thought the craft projects were a little bit more sophisticated than is typical for an American craft magazine. Most craft type magazines here for for 'cute' which translates to 'loving hands at home' - not my taste at all.

    Hope to see another issue, but I kind of doubt it.

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  6. >>Luckylibbet: Yes sadly, the prognoses doesn't look good for Stitch, they probably couldn't have picked a worse time for launching a magazine.

    I can totally see now what you mean by crafts in the vein of 'loving hands at home', like all frilly with heaps of ribbons and other stuff. We don't really have much of that in Sweden nowadays, it's more like those projects in Stitch, which I do find pretty cute (meant in a good way!)

    Great to hear that you plan to make the skirt too, then we can compare notes later on :)

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