I recently won a year's free subscription to Stitch Magazine from PatternReview, just for "liking" a comment on its Facebook page. Cool! I wasn't familiar with this magazine, but who doesn't love a prize?
This description is from their website, and it says what they're about a lot more eloquently than I can:
Stitch is a quarterly special issue sewing magazine all about creating with fabric and thread. Whether you are new to sewing, have been sewing for years, or are returning to sewing after a long hiatus, Stitch will give you a fresh perspective on sewing.
• Home décor
• Fabric gifts
Stitch also brings you the latest from the sewing world:
• Designer profiles
• Inspiration from the exciting world of sewing and textile
From Japanese craft books and Project Runway to classic designer fashion and modern home décor trends, from fiber art to Etsy.com, vintage to fashion-forward—our focus is on contemporary sewing that celebrates the handmade lifestyle.
It's published by Interweave Press, a quality publisher of craft books and magazines. I'm familiar with them through their publication Cloth Paper Scissors Studios, which is an enjoyable read, full of eye candy.
Anyway, about Stitch. It's oriented toward a younger, less experienced sewer than me. Based on the projects and articles, I'd say they're aiming for a 20s-30s woman who wants to sew but doesn't have a whole lot of experience. And that's great, anything to encourage the next generation of sewists so that fabric, thread, and notions continue to be made and sold! I thought the article on the Top 10 sewing challenges was an excellent primer on common techniques that sewists have, such as setting a sleeve, pressing a curved seam, adjusting thread tension, etc.
The heart of the magazine is the projects, and there are plenty. My favorite is a wool pencil skirt with faux suede embellishment. It's very attractive and doesn't suffer from cuteness overload like some of the other projects (chipmunk hotpad, I'm looking at you!) I was a little dismayed when I flipped back to the directions and found an instruction to download the pattern. However, I soldiered on and was delighted to find that it was free and included the skirt as well as the embellishments. I haven't printed and assembled it yet but plan to very soon. A good pencil skirt is worth it!
What other projects did I like? I actually liked a little dress called the Easy-Fit Babydoll Dress so I downloaded it. I wouldn't consider it a true babydoll, which is why I'm going to give it a try. I also liked the look of Felt Confetti Pillow, but wow, it has a lot of hand sewing for a decorative pillow! For that reason, I probably won't make it. Unfortunately, the garment I liked most wasn't a project unless I care to reverse-engineer the knit jacket with the ruffled edge on page 64. Help me out, Stitch! It's a really cute item.
The magazine includes 2 pull out pages with full-sized patterns to trace off. They're laid out well, unlike the road maps that Burda prints. In addition, the companion website has a bunch of downloads, including these free projects in addition to the magazine patterns. Frankly, those are free too, but are meant to be used with the magazine since they don't include any instructions (you could wing them if you're an experienced sewist, just sayin'...) It looks like Interweave Press is making a strong effort to integrate print and electronic media, and that's to be applauded.
One caveat, this isn't an inexpensive magazine. The newsstand price is $14.99 an issue. However, the value is there IF you make projects from it and use the downloads. Also, consider the web support as part of what you're paying to support.
Right now, I'll give Stitch a B, but I'll update when I've received more issues and made a project or two.