Writing for a magazine

This month’s Sewing Made Simple magazine and my first print publication:

Sewing Made Simple

Clearly a notable feature to be mentioned off the bat is an article written by yours truly! (more on that in a bit)

Writing for a magazine

Sewing Made Simple is a ‘bookazine’ that is released every 8 weeks. It includes patterns and dressmaking tips (and is particularly good for those of us just starting out, wanting to make clothes that fit current fashion too). I like to look in magazines like this one, and their sister publication ‘Love Sewing’, mainly for inspiration and simple patterns I can actually complete. I was completely surprised to be asked to write an article…writing for anyone other than myself is something I had never considered. Obviously I agreed before they could change their minds, then started thinking about how I would actually transition from blog to print.


I was approached to write a review of Tilly and the Buttons’ online workshop for learning to sew knit fabrics on a regular machine. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know that I did this a while a go here when I first took theclass. This original review was what suggested me to the Sewing Made Simple editors. However, writing for a magazine was an entirely different experience. On my blog I can use as many words as I like and cover what I think is interesting.... basically it's on my terms Obviously writing for someone else means matching their specifications instead, which I was daunted by but wasn't too bad in the end. This task was not a case of republishing what I had already written - I needed to cover different points within a word limit and work to a deadline. Deadlines I'm used to, but I always struggle with word limits and this was no exception. I got there eventually but started out my usual double over.
Since taking the class the first time around I have thought about having another go in a different fabric, mainly to get the key skills under my belt and see how much the fabric choice made a difference. So, I retook the class, from the beginning. This time thinking about what the editor was looking for, rather than solely concentrating on the skills and content like before. It really made me appreciate how well structured the learning is in online workshops, and how much I was learning. Making the top a second time was a lot more successful, and I think this had a lot to do with the improved fabric choice. (Last time my fabric was a bit see through). This time I was also looking for a fabric that other people might like and want to use themselves too (again, normally it’s just for me!). Anyway, what I ended up making is perfect for spring and autumn, and feels really comfortable too (so I’m much happier with this one).
FYI -  I used an Art Gallery Fabrics jersey from Maud's Fabric Finds at £17 pm...I would definitely go back for more as it's so easy to work with and comfortable to wear too!

 Writing for a magazine

Taking photographs for print

Some bloggers have mad photography skills already when they start out....DSLRs, PhotoShop (and know how to use it)...I don't. Anyone looking at this blog would definitely give me an amateur label, and I wouldn't argue with them. There was definitely more pressure this time as this was going into print, into shops... and all that! I also needed to provide a different type of image to what I usually use for the blog.
On the blog I try to use images that aren't going to be too 'large' as I want the pages to load quickly and I use settings that say things like 'optimised for web' when editing in Canva or PicMonkey. For the magazine I needed to use a specific dpi... which I did Google to figure out whether I could actually do this with my resources. (Turns out you can if you use Canva for the editing. You end up with a pdf optimised for print).
Taking outfit photos is always difficult. I waited for a sunny day and spent it all trying to get two good shots! I kind of did but man that was hard work.

Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top
And so it was all done and sent and wound its way onto shelves! I admit I am super proud, and I think I have a bit of a taste for writing for someone else now too. If there's anyone out there who fancies a collaboration or guest post swap contact me!

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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