Hobby enthusiasts seem to be drawn to publications about that hobby, and home-sewers are no exception. Which are most relevant to our particular interests? Which give us the “most for the money?”
Keep in mind that newsletters, compared with magazine formats, are usually smaller but contain little advertising, if any at all. They depend on subscription costs to cover their expenses. Considering newsletter options only, here’s my evaluation of some sewing-related best bets:
Creative Machine by Open Chain Publishing. Now expanded to nearly 50 pages, this quarterly is an open forum for people who love sewing machines the way others love their computers or cars. It concentrates on reader questions and unbiased answers about machines, as well as honest assessments of new books, videos and patterns. I like the subscriber exchanges of information, quick projects, and resource listings as well. For $18 per year, it’s a wealth of practical information. Call (415) 366-4440, 1 to 7 p.m. Monday - Thursday, or write to P.O. Box 2634,Menlo Park, CA 94026-2634.
Update Newsletters by PJS Publications. The first of these, Serger Update, features a wide variety of innovative serger ideas written by experts in the field. You’ll find step-by-step direcitons for both wearable and home dec projects, plus newest serger products and tips. It’s only eight pages, and 12 issues cost $48, but if you’re hooked on serging it’s worth the price.
Sewing Update is a fashion-sewing oriented, full of fresh ideas, technical hints, and pattern and product news. Again, only eight pages, but they are jam-packed with information. This is published bi-monthly, so it’s $24 for six issues. Watch PJS ads for special rates periodically.
Notions is the name of the quarterly newsletter sent to members of the American Sewing Guild. It’s included in the $25 dues (only for renewals), and seems to be a very worthwhile publication. Its 24 pages include interesting articles and projects to try, contributed by industry professionals. For information on joining ASG, even if you live outstate, call the metro Detroit chapter at (248) 288-3173 anytime.
Total Embellishment is a new 12-page quarterly focusing on embellishing techniques ranging from machine embroidery and applique, to fabric manipulation and ribbon work. It includes some designs and patterns along with how-tos for projects. Cost is $18; you may send for a sample issue for $4 to check it out - 142 Braewick Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84103.
The Sewing Sampler focuses on fashion sewing for women, and is $22 for 12 issues. Its eight pages are informative as well as project-oriented, usually touching on several different topics in-depth. This has long been one of my favorites, since I always seem to learn something new from editor/publisher Kathy Sandmann. She reports on fashion trends, too, and how to copy RTW details of the season.
There is also a Children’s Edition at $14 for 6 issues, the only one I know of, packed with good ideas for youngsters’ clothes. Subscribe by phone (507) 723-5011, anytime, or write to Sewing Sampler Productions, Inc., P.O. Box 39, Springfield, MN 56087.
Feel free to contact me with your opinions, too.
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