Thursday, January 29, 2009
Big Three Down to Big Two?
These are the Big Three when it comes to heirloom sewing magazines. Rumblings allude to it soon being the Big Two.
Australian Smocking and Embroidery sets the standard. They are expensive but worth every penny. Each issue comes with a pullout of patterns for everything shown in the issue. There is no going out and buying a pattern once you are inspired by this magazine! Their instructions are utterly clear. Their designers are contemporary. The photography is often breathtaking, peopled with the most beautiful children you have ever seen. They are published by Country Bumpkin in Australia, but often available at B&N or Borders. Oh, they are also addictive!
Next is Sew Beautiful magazine. This is published in the deep South and the connection is always evident. There is a folksy sermon with Bible book and verse from its editor, Martha Pullen, in every issue. It is laden with children in frothy, batiste and lace encrusted creations. This is not sewing for the real world of child play. The garments in this magazine are milestone garments. You make them for a first grandchild, a Christening, a graduation. There are attempts at being contemporary but they never quite pull it off as well as their competition. But that is not who they are. They are eye candy with a Victorian sensibility. Most heirloom sewists so not have enough milestones in their lives to use up even one issue of these confections. But it is fun to look at, in a quiet cup of tea moment way.
And then there is Creative Needle. The clothes in this magazine are wearable, to school , to play, to the beach, to church too. There are milestone garments in this magazine but best of all is that the designs work in this modern world and are an excellent showcase for fine needlework. The designers are top notch as is the instruction in each magazine. Here's the rub, or should I say facts: Their website has not been updated since November. Their copyright has not been renewed. Subscriptions are late. And there are grumblings from vendors. It appears the writing is on the wall. According to some the hand has written and Chapter 7 has been filed. I have yet to find that in any official publication or site but signs do point there. I truly wish their owners some sort of reprive and the best of the future whatever the outcome.
I will really miss Creative Needle if it goes. It certainly will leave a deep hole to be filled in the heirloom world but in our current economy there are deep holes everywhere. My real concern is that this could be a portent of things to come. Heirloom sewing uses the finest fabrics and expensive imported laces. It is high end kid sewing for sure. On line purveyors and small shoppes must be pacing thru the floor boards . This is such a wonderful form of sewing and I would hate to see it enter a dark age. It is so important to keep these skills alive .
If the demise of Creative Needle is not just a re organization, I would pray Sew Beautiful would take a serious look at its editorial content and start publishing some more realistic, wearable, and beautiful children's garments. Otherwise I think it could go the way of the dinosaur as this economy continues spiraling.....Bunny
A few weeks back I came across a blogger, who I apologize for not remembering, who evidently does a Friday Flashback to garments she has made in the past. I just couldn't get that bug out of my head. So we will have here, while they last, Throwback Thursdays. I have kept so much of what I have made over the years that it might be fun to have a review. I did some digging today and this is a pic of the oldest garment I will show you, then it will be on to more contemporary efforts. This is my wedding gown I made. I copied the gown from an artist's rendition in the Boston Globe in an ad for Filene's. The veil was a copy of one that was in Vogue and designed by Dior. It was peau de soie and guipure lace. I did make a muslin first for this one. And yes, I am 21 in the picture! I love this picture because everyone in it is so doggone happy. Next Thursday's garment will be more recent and more artsy, a hand painted affair. More coming,,,,,,,,,,,,,