Much great information can come from sewing magazines and any newbie sewist can really get some quality education as well as inspiration from some of these periodicals. One magazine that has really stepped up it's content is Vogue Pattern Magazine. Back in the day this was a magazine that I bought to get the latest fashions that were being made into patterns. I always liked it. But now, there is so much more substance and I find it a must have for any sewist, particularly newbies. If you say, "well, I can't sew at the level, or I don't use Vogues for whatever reason" don't let that stop you from the great content in this mag. I will just give you a run down on what's in the current issue.
Of course in the back are all the newest patterns and their specifics albeit in condensed form. There's a great fashion spread of the same patterns like you would see in any fashion magazine. But there is more! There is an article on invisible zipper installation and it's appropriate feet and another on how to install a zippered pocket. If you are into upcycling, a great refashion of a big old plaid shirt (remember grunge?) ends up being a lace embellished contemporarily cut beauty. Looking to arm your sewing space with the latest and greatest? There's an in depth article on garment presses, very informative. For the more adventurous sewist we have some great play with oil based paint sticks. Luv that one! Couture Maven Claire Shaeffer's article gives numerous ways to trim a jacket a la Chanel. One of my favorite pieces is on "Sewing Clothes You Will Love to Wear" based on the CASE method. I found it very informative and nice to see it underline some thoughts I had about my own style choices. And there is more and more. Suffice it to say this magazine is now a great resource for the sewist of every level, whether you sew Vogue or not. Highly recommend!
Threads Magazine is another great sewing mag. It has been around since the eighties??? and I think I have nearly every issue. Other than a couple years under different management, it has been very inspirational and educational and sometimes even controversial. On the Threads website you can access their index to get an idea of the amazing depth of information that exists from this publication. From sewing fur, to lace, to lessons from the top instructors in the business , to interviews with couturiers, and so much more you will have another great education going with this one. Many of your favorite bloggers have been featured here as well. Another solid buy and a classic you can rely on. They also have an "insider" program that gives you even more on line. I can't tell you how many garments I have made inspired by Threads, many, many, from new techniques to challenging new fibers. If you feel that it is too "beyond" your sewing level, newbies, well don't. You have to aim high and any information gleaned will go to making you a better sewist. There sister magazine "Sew Stylish" is oriented to a less experienced sewist and quite good as well.
Ah, the best of any heirloom sewing magazine out there, bar none, Australian Smocking and Embroidery! Guess what? Their last issue, issue 100, is out shortly and I am in their queue. This mag is published by Country Bumpkin in Australia and I can honestly say it is/was without equal. So if you are interested in learning heirloom techniques, seeing breathtakingly beautiful children wearing "royal" worthy designs, and learning some very special techniques with clear instructions, buy up these on ebay or direct from Country Bumpkin. This is not all gloss and glory. Every pattern I have used form AS&E has been extremely precise and clear, beautifully drafted and provided the results wished for. The clothes here are timeless therefore the age of the magazines still offered truly doesn't matter. The skills taught will ratchet up your sewing abilities big time. Get these while you can. They are an education. One of their separate publications, "The Best of Australian Smocking and Embroidery" , a one time issue, was going for 600.00 on ebay last I looked a few days ago. Really! This is the quality of this mag. You can be confident buying any of their issues other than the earliest as those did not included the pattern centerfolds. Make sure that is included in any purchase from Ebay or elsewhere "cause those directions are what it's all about.
ETA: Sadly, since this post was published Australian Smocking and Embroidery has ceased publications. It is so important we support this artform otherwise we could lose our wonderful and inspiring publications.
As I offered the post on the Sewing Masters of the Universe for our newbies to know where failsafe information can be had, I also offer this one. All three of these magazines will inspire and educate. Yes, there are other sewing mags out there but in my personal opinion, these are the best, the ones with the quality info that won't fail you. Credits counted for your sewing PHd. ; ) Bunny