Let me state up front that I have no part in the publishing or marketing of this magazine. I was not offered a free copy. I paid for it myself because I was intrigued by the concept and frankly because I'm nosey and wanted to see what was going on. Also, two of my sewing friends were featured in the first issue, so I wanted to support them.
A few basics - this is a digital/online magazine. The cost per issue is $9.99 and $119.99 for the year. The magazine has a very diversified editorship and is geared to women and men sewists. It also tries to encompass ALL sewists. By that I mean, not only are young and thin women highlighted, but plus size women, men who sew, sewists of color and sewists who make children's clothing.
Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow asked what I thought of the magazine in the comments section of my Saldana Maxidress post. I thought it was a great idea but wanted to wait until the second issue came out before I posted a review.
Here are my thoughts ~
1. It is a well photographed magazine. I love the tie in to YouTube, so that you can see more in-depth interviews. That was a great step beyond and a wonderful use of the digital platform.
2. I like that there are at least two free patterns included with the issues. Two that are available for download in the first issue. The second issue has three and one that you can download from Thread Theory, so four in total.
3. The menswear patterns are amazing and like nothing that's currently available in the Big 4 catalogue. Also the emphasis on mens sewing is awesome. Again like nothing that's presently being shown in any of the other magazines or online right now. If I was a male sewist, I would be purchasing this magazine!
4. There is an interesting mix of articles that highlight all areas of apparel sewing - menswear, women (plus and regular sizes) and children's wear. Trends (fabric and patterns), indie patterns and patternmakers and sewing suppliers are all featured in-depth.
5. I don't have to dispose of this. Weird comment right? But I have to recycle every piece of paper in my house, so I've cut back on the number of paper magazines I purchase/subscribe to. I also find that I like having digital magazines because I can access them anywhere on my iPad. So it's very convenient.
I have less cons than I have pros.
1. The first is the cost. This is an expensive magazine. However, I understand the cost. There is a high quality look to the magazine, there are the filming costs for the YouTube tie-ins and then you do get two free pdf pattern downloads.
Now I've already read some criticism online about the price of the magazine and honestly with the first issue I wondered about that too. However, after I made the Saldana maxidress, I realized that the cost of the pdf pattern, plus the magazine was worth the investment...well at least to me.
2. I thought there would be more in-depth construction articles, or how-tos, I mean it's MimiG and this woman can sew! The first issue has a lot of interviews in them. Now while these are very interesting interviews, we are sewists and you know we like to see how things are made!
The second issue definitely has more how-tos in it for both men and women. Although since Mimi is a master of the YouTube video, I think tying some of the techniques to YouTube videos would be very helpful. Maybe something for future issues. So I guess that's not really a con is it?! *LOL*
So I was okay with the first issue of the magazine and wasn't quite sure I would continue with it. But then I wore my dress, got several compliments on it and decided that I would hold judgement until issue two. Hey I'm honest! *LOL*
If Mimi continues to offer the opportunity to purchase single issues, I would go that route. Picking the ones I like by the patterns offered (cause the swimsuits for men and women offered in the last issue aren't my thing) and the articles would determine which issues I buy.
However fellow sewists, before passing judgement, I would buy at least one issue. Why? Well it's supporting a fellow sewist for one thing cause our dollars are the only dollars keeping this industry alive. Two, let's face it digital is the future of sewing. As much as I hate pdf patterns, they are only becoming more popular not less.
As an aside, I was in the grocery store in the middle of the day last week and I noticed it was mostly older people shopping. We all used the check out with the cashiers, there was hardly anyone at self serve. But when I go to the grocery store after work with shoppers my daughters ages, the self serve check-outs are busy and there are only 1 or 2 cashiers. There is a segment of the population now that is very comfortable with computers and have no problem dealing with them on a day-to-day basis.
So no matter how much I like paper patterns, pdf patterns are the future, just as digital magazines are becoming the norm. I honestly read my Threads and Vogue Pattern Magazine on my iPad and only refer to my hard copy versions when I need them for sewing. I'm sure with time, I will start to use my digital versions more when sewing too.
So give the magazine a try! My only other suggestion would be if Mimi could develop an app that I could download so my issues could go in my Newstand folder on my iPad. It would make it easier to find my issues, rather than rooting around in my email for a link.
I hope you give the magazine a try because I'm sure more sewing magazines will be going the digital route in the future!
...as always more later!