The Matilda Shirtdress by Megan Nielsen : my first magazine article!

Sewing World magazine


Please indulge me – I wanted to share two things with you; my excitement over my first published sewing magazine article and it’s subject matter – my Matilda Shirtdress from Megan Nielsen! I popped along to the newsagents the other day and picked up the January edition of Sewing World magazine because… look! Inside there’s me! Appearing rather more put together than the version of me who stood outside the newsagents clutching said magazine in her be-gloved hands, wrapped up from head to toe and stamping her feet to avoid frostbite, it has to be said!

Sew Sarah smith husband

I received the email* asking if I would like to contribute an article way back in the summer of last year whilst I was in the States. (I remember running into the room where my husband was napping to tell him the news before turning on my heel and legging it back to the kitchen to pour myself about a pint-sized glass of wine to celebrate!)

I couldn’t start on the project until we’d returned to the UK and I ended up sewing it in a bit of a mad rush so I could wear it to the Great British Sewing Bee Live show in September. I think I submitted the article somewhere around the same time. And then had to do what I don’t do very well…keep schtum!

What’s the best sewing magazineAs for the magazine itself, I think Sewing World has had something of a rebrand lately; the styling and content is refreshing and looks clean and polished; much more likely to appeal to contemporary sewists, I feel. It’s got your usual mix of crafty makes thrown in too but even they look like projects suited to the modern sewer as well as your granny! Overall, I felt really honoured to have my own contribution within its pages!

I love all the possibilities Matilda offers to personalise the design – I merely opted to use contrast fabric peeking out from the inner collar stand and the underside of the breast pocket flap. Also, the instructions are fantastic; the Matilda is my first pattern from the Megan Nielsen collection and this is one reason it won’t be my last – I used the burrito method for the first time ever when sewing up the yoke following Megan’s instructions which made it an absolute doddle. Not forgetting there’s a full online sew-a-long for this dress too. It’s not a quick sew, by virtue of all the pieces, but it’s an immensely gratifying one. And of course it offers the option for lots and lots of lovely topstitching to emphasise the design lines of the pattern…I  lurve me some topstititching!

The full detailed review, as well as being published in the mag, has also now been published on the Minerva Craft blog, so you can head THERE to read it.

If you’re interested in the supplies I used, they were:

Megan Nielsen Matilda Shirtdress review

Matilda Shirtdress by Megan Nielsen
Wow, look…bare arms and not a woolly hat or scarf in sight!

I do love the dress and I highly recommend the pattern! Again, I feel I learned a lot making this dress but by no means do I think I perfected it but it’s not just for that reason I want to make it again! Again, you can access the full review and an online copy of the full article over on Minerva Crafts blog HERE.

Until next time, happpy stitching!

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*I was sent all the supplies from Minerva Crafts to make the dress for the Sewing World magazine article. By no means has this influenced my judgement; any opinions I express are always 100% genuine. Scouts honour 😉

Pssst – Yey! There’s a 10% discount at Girl Charlee UK – just enter my promo code SEWSARAH at checkout!

#suzyfriends suzy sewing magazine review

Suzy – A New Sewing Magazine pitched for the Fashion Forward Sewist – a Review

#suzyfriends suzy sewing magazine review

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new kid in town. Her name is Suzy; the brainchild of Bloggers/Vloggers Dominique Major and Rosabella Riddington. She is pitched as a magazine for the ‘fashion forward sewist’, a cross-between a high street fashion mag and a table-top sewing magazine.

Issue One of this biannual magazine was only available through backing the scheme via Kickstarter. Unsurprisingly it sold out. Without a doubt, I feel there is a gap in the sewing publication market which this magazine aims to fill. The sewing community is evolving; with the help of social media it’s throwing off its ‘fuddy duddy’ mantle.  It  should no longer be perceived as simply the pastime of the thrifty, the unfashionable or of grandma making something for the grandkids. There is a burgeoning scene of young (and older!) fashion-conscious creatives getting onboard; the indie sewing market is growing all the time and the sewing community as a whole, of which I’m happily part, is very active on social media. Sewists are looking, not only to make great fitting garments, but to buck and set trends of their own.  Whilst the sewing magazines currently on the shelves at your local newsagents are trying to incorporate this ‘scene’, only Suzy seems to be solely directed at it.

So what does Suzy offer? My first impressions are that the physical quality of the magazine itself is good, in fact very good, as is the overall design and photography; it’s by no means cheaply or amateurishly put together. It feels fresh and vibrant and something you’d happily have on the coffee table. But what of the actual content?

Suzy Magazine #suzyfriends sewn Dominique major rosabella

There’s a whole host of articles, imagery and contributors. I particularly liked the coverage of Molly Goddard’s interactive exhibition, the Industry Insider and the Week in my Wardrobe articles, the four Sewing Stories interviews and the Bomber Jacket : Sew the Trend piece. I also liked the Wild Flower section at the back covering pattern-print inspiration and I was glad to see these were showcased with a mixture of indie patterns and patterns from the ‘mainstream’ pattern companies as well.

Suzy Magazine dominque major rosabella sewn

In the main, Suzy is a breath of fresh air. I think Rosa and Dominique have done an amazing job getting this off the ground and should be congratulated. They have used their clout to get some good contributors on board. Only one note of caution, looking to the future, I do think that in order for Suzy to remain innovative, she needs to avoid the danger of her overall concept becoming too inward-looking and exclusive, repeatedly featuring the same contributors and pattern companies/designers. A sewing magazine truly written by the sewing community for the sewing community would be refreshingly innovative; I for one am really looking forward to seeing what the next issue brings!!

If you’re interested in getting your hands on a copy, you can do so here.

Until next time (or come and join me on Instagram)

Sew Sarah smith