Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The New Sew Sew Def Magazine

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 ~

Pros:
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.

Cons:
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*

Conclusion ~
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!



47 comments:

  1. I always use checkout lines with humans. A worker at my neighborhood grocery said that, every year at raise negotiation time, the supermarket trots out statistics of growth in automated check out use. I will not abet that.

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    1. Me either! I use a checkout line with a teller too. Many a first/last job is as a checkout teller, and it's a great way to learn new skills or be social. I hope they don't go completely.

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  2. Great review and will definitely check it out. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Enjoyed your review of the magazine. Interesting to read about the variety of sewists/sewing that it features.

    As for your observation about check out lines (e.g. grocery stores, home stores, etc.), I stand with badmomgoodmom--I will not be a party to folks losing their jobs or being paid less. My husband is so adamant about this situation that if a human checker is not available or if only a few are and lines are long, he will go to the manager and explain why he is going to leave an entire load of purchases and exit the store. And, we try to always use our local hardware store where knowledgeable helpers roam the aisles to assist you and the friendly checker knows the price of every nut, bolt, and item in the store without needing a code. Such a different shopping experience from the soulless variety provided in too many businesses.

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  4. I also use lines with cashiers when possible. I keep saying that I should be given a discount if I have to check myself out! I am happy to keep people in employment.

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  5. I like the look of the magazine as well. But I'm a sewing nerd. Pretty editorials are fine, but I need techniques! Hopefully, they'll be more pictorial features coming. And I'm Team Self-checkout as much as possible. Nothing works my patience as much as cashier chatting up the customer in front of me when I just want to checkout and go. We are so blessed with technology these days. I love options! So give me self-checkout and Apple Pay everywhere!

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    1. Erica there isn't a single technique I can show you, you are a rockstar, lol! but I will certainly try to do what is suggested and since I am seeing you soon maybe I can talk you into contributing ;-) Thanks for the feedback.

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  6. That was a great review on Sew Sew Def. I'm a big fan of Mimi's so I did get the subscription. Yes, for me it's more than I want to spend, but I enjoy reading it. The reality is, everything is expensive these days -- I just bought an American Girl magazine for my granddaughter off the newsstand and it was $6.00! I hate to admit it, but in the pattern world I am old school and have yet to download a pdf pattern. But your review has encouraged me to give it a try!

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    1. Thank you so much for even considering it ;-) I hope you check it out!

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  7. I enjoyed reading your review! I agree we DO need to support more independents in the industry (and I do by purchasing a LOT more indie patterns than from the "Big 4" :) I've noticed too that hardcopy mags are problematic - where to store them? Will I ever go through them again? I started sitting down with them and ripping out anything I could possibly use and putting them in plastic holders in a binder (like cutting recipees out of the paper like my mom always did - her favourite recipees were in this binder!) and recycling the rest of it. Thanks again for this really provocative post :)

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  8. I subscribe to over 100 sewing blogs. I've got enough chatty articles. What I'm looking for in a sewing magazine is very well illustrated techniques and ideas. And I only sew women's clothing, so Threads and Vogue are totally doing it for me. But if it had great articles there would always be room for one more magazine on the roster. Also refuse to use self check out. It has nothing to do with jobs and labor, I just really don't want to check out and bag my own groceries. I want to zone out while someone else figures out the price for cilantro or apples and figures out the best way to pack it. I get great service from the employees at my supermarket. As another reader said, they should be paying me if I'm going to do it myself!

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    1. Thank you Suzanne, we are working on providing exactly what you are looking for. I appreciate the feedback very much.

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  9. I may be one of the few but I by far prefer printed magazines, I find reading magazines on an iPad or computer very unsatisfying, not being able to page through bugs me. Also a paper magazine can go everywhere with me, and I don't run out of charge or stress out if I were to lose it.
    As for PDF patterns - they are definitely gaining in popularity but I will never be a big fan of those either. And I really don't see the rationale for "supporting the indies" Some are good, some are really bad and they need to sink or swim in the marketplace just like every other product. Plus if you are sewing anything slightly more complex than a simple tee or dress then downloading, creating, taping and/or tracing is not preferable when a traditional tissue pattern has all pieces in a very compact package. One of the best patterns I have sewn in the last few years was a Marfy pattern. They are custom cut paper patterns from Italy and are excellent.

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    1. Thank you so much for the insight Beth!

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    2. You are not the only one who prefers printed magazines and printed patterns. I suppose there will come a time when I cave but, for now, I'm holding on to printed paper.

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  10. I love this review - it felt honest and very encouraging of the sewcialist community's efforts to continue to engage and support each other. As you said, it's us who are supporting our tribe so it can't survive if we neglect it. That being said, although I haven't bought any issues of SSD yet (post vacation budget woes), I totally agree with your suggestions in the cons that I also think would work better for the magazine.
    Also, I don't find that the magazine is expensive at all. Digital sewing patterns for adults generally range in price from USD $10-$15 each and you're getting TWO patterns in each magazine issue for $10? Seriously? This is a sweet deal. I think the challenge is that the only other similar online sewing magazine is Seamwork and their monthly subscription is USD$6.00; so people may be thinking that any other mag should be the same price, I'm guessing.

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    1. Thank you Abbey for your feedback I appreciate all the insight we can get. I will gladly send you an issue on me to check it out, send me an email if you'd like to take me up on it. xx

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    2. With Seamwork you can read the whole magazine for free. It's the patterns (credits?) you pay for. I haven't bought from Seamwork or Colette ever because their products are just full of mistakes and bad drafting.

      I'd love to see SSD succeed but I am leary of shelling out $10 for what I've seen described as a blog recap. Maybe for the first few issues, SSD should offer all, or at least most, of the articles for free and charge for the patterns.? IDK ... it's hard to say what the perfect solution is.

      Isn't That Black Chic coming out with her own digi sewing mag too?

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    3. Debbie - I think the magazine will be around for at least a year, so maybe you should wait until you're comfortable with the content before you purchase it. Not every sewing thing is for every sewist.

      And Michelle, That Black Chick, is also starting a magazine but I think hers will be digital and paper.

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  11. I don't hate pdf patterns-- I mean, who doesn't love instant patterns hot off the printer? But...I do hate taping them together. Now if I had to do printing, taping, AND pattern alterations, that would be a deal breaker. Fortunately, I have pattern making software which customizes my patterns before printing, so I don't mind pdf as much. I still own tons of patterns which I purchased in the early years of my sewing journey because I was in love with the pictures. 99% of them have never been unfolded because I suck at upsizing patterns. Fast forward to now, I'm finally learning how to work custom slopers and my software into getting the styles I want. And as far as human vs self checkout--it depends on how much I'm buying. However, I hate when a much younger customer stands behind me and starts mumbling and blowing air because I take my time at the self check out.

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  12. Thanks for the review!

    I am also team paper-in-my-hand. Be that books, magazines, patterns...I prefer it the "old fashioned way". I HAVE come around to reading books electronically and bought a Kindle last year. But PDF patterns are only when necessary. I just do not enjoy that process.

    As for the mag, I'll have to give it a shot at least once. So far, the patterns haven't interested me but perhaps in time. And I'm so not into YouTube. It just never caught on with me. All videos of everything moves too slowly. LOL!!!

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    1. Yes, this! It's painful to get to the parts you want in a video or to figure out if it's worth watching. I also dislike PDFs, if there isn't a copyshop option it's not happening.

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    2. Hi KS_Sews, I would love for you to try it on me, email me at mimigstyle@me dot come and I will get you a copy. Thanks again.

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    3. You are too kind Mimi! Doing it now!

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  13. Very informative review. Thanks for posting it.

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  14. Thank you so much for the review, this is a new venture for me and I hope to make it better and better with each issue! I need and appreciate the feedback because I want to make it valuable for all those that purchase and support us. Carolyn thank you so much for taking the time out to read, review and support the magazine. It is truly very helpful to me.

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  15. I straddle the fence between old-school & new-school. Back when I first started sewing there were no computers, PDFs,sewing blogs, etc., however, I have fully embraced all the advantages that technology has provided to the home seamstress! I still use more Big 4 patterns than PDF, but I do have a very small collection of indie designers that I purchase from. I have never purchased an online magazine, but I may give MimiG's a try in the future, especially since there are patterns for men - which are very hard to find. My son has been bugging me to sew for him- lol. I've enjoyed reading your blog for a while now - thanks for the interesting subjects & comments.

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    1. Teresa - the menswear patterns in the second issue is fantastic! Especially the men's hoodie from Thread Theory.

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  16. Thank you so much for writing this! I see lots of discussion in the comments, so I can't wait to read these too. You've convinced me that it's worth a try, in order to support awesome diversity in sewing, and to check it out for myself. My husband is larger than the largest men's size, which does make it have less value for me... but I'll fit the size range, so... more selfish sewing for me! ;) I have so much admiration for the concept and production values... I'm less convinced that I actually enjoy sewing magazine content, because the sewing mags I've flipped through in bookshops don't interest me.
    Thanks for reviewing it!

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    1. Those comments were great! And I feel like I should say... I'm a self-checkout-introvert ALL THE WAY, and also, I learned my alphabet by playing Commodore computer games in the mid-80's! :P My family were early tech adaptors, and I prefer digital and pdf in all ways! But I get that's not for everyone!

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    2. Gillian - it was my pleasure. Im glad you enjoyed the magazine. I too like the diversity the magazine represents and the fact that it celebrates ALL sewists.

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  17. This is a great review of the magazine! I will definitely give it a try...just waiting for patterns that appeal to my style. I think the ones I have seen are nice, they just haven't piqued my interest yet. And a copyshop option would be wonderful! I will do PDFs but they are not my preference.

    As far as self checkout goes, I definitely used it a lot until I had my son. For me it depends on the store. I have shopped at places where the cashiers are lovely, and also at places where they could care less that you are there. For the latter, I much prefer checking myself out.

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  18. Your blog never fails to inspire, and to find a review of a digital magazine that is new to me was fantastic. I love hard copy magazines, however, to this part of the world (New Zealand) they attract high postage charges so a digital one that appeals is excellent. I have watched some Mimi G. videos already and I love her enthusiasm. Thank you Carolyn.

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  19. Thank you Carolyn for this great review of SSD. I bought the first issue as a single because I couldn't figure out how to subscribe for a year! So it is good to see the second issue is out. Pros: Great diversity in contributors - Yay!; Great photos and nice links to YouTube. On the other hand: I hate pdfs that don't have a copy shop option. Printing and taping is SO tedious and then to have to trace and do an FBA - not happening. The Saldana Dress/Top did not have any illustration for an FBA with those cute curvy seams! No fair. I hope that the Cons can be addressed in future issues. In a digital magazine and with Mimi's skills, why wouldn't they?

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  20. I hadn't heard of this magazine until now, so will be heading over to check it out. It certainly sounds good and that it's filling a gap in the market - hooray!
    As an environmental scientist, I LOVE your last "pro". Now, if you could reconcile scraps with sustainability you'd really be doing my brain/guilt a favour 🤣 at the moment my approach is to sew vicariously... Which isn't as much fun!

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  21. I haven't read the second issue yet, and I agree that SSD is a great entry into the sewing world for so many different reasons! Craftytraveller, try googling textile recyclers in your area. Here in Boston we have several, and one of them has collection boxes at local high schools. They then make cash donations to the school system for every ton collected and recycled. It's a great program. I recycle all my old headers and scraps that way.

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  22. This is a great review.! I am a fan of Mimi G but I haven't subscribed to her magazine. I want to wait until her third issue before I give it a try. I am intrigued by the patterns. Did you see the picture of the dress she made with the men's tshirt pattern? Absolutely brilliant!

    I'm a millennial and I hate digital books and magazines. This is the day of the PDF and ebooks so I have to conform. Surprisingly I hate self checkout. I guess I am confused.

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    1. I downloaded that pattern because I wanted to make a t-shirt version for me too. So I was glad to see Mimi's version of it!

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    2. Carolyn I can't wait to see your version!!!

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  23. Thanks so much for your review Caroline! I have been on the fence because of the cost but you have convinced me to at least try it at a per issue basis. I am glad it is such an inclusive publication. Plus, like you say our dollars will be supporting a few sewist. I think the App to have the magazine go to the Newstand is a great idea...and hope that that will happen. Thanks again for your thorough review!

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  24. Wow! So many opinions and views about this topic. I love Mimi G! She is a pioneer in the sewing world and I pray for her much success!
    I am a paper magazine girl so I was disappointed that this magazine was only digital.
    But after this review....
    I will be purchasing at least one.
    Be blessed!

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  26. Thanks for the review. I like paper patterns the best. I have worked with digital patterns they are sometimes tedious and time consuming. You definitely need to be patient. I love Mimi G and will definitely support her. I haven't tried the magazine yet but will soon. I like both self check out and cashier service. It depends on the mood that I'm in.

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