Thursday, 31 May 2012

Do you want to be on TV?

BBC Craft Shows

There are 2 new sewing & craft shows filming this summer for the BBC, both of which are looking for applicants.  So if you fancy showing your skills off on TV, read the details below:

BBC 2 Sewing Show

First up Love Productions, the company behind The Great British Bake Off, are planning a similar show based around sewing.  The show will be filiming over the summer to be shown on BBC2 later this year.  They want people who love to sew but that don't do it as a job.  More details here.

Paul Martin's Handmade Revolution 

The second show we've come accross is Paul Martin's Handmade Revolution, from the producers of Flog It! which will also be airing on the BBC.  They are seeking crafters from all disciplines, not just sewists who do not earn their main income from crafting.  They will be holding to events where they will ask finalists to bring along samples of there work in July so want applications to be sent in during June.  More details here.

So if you are an amateur crafter and would like to share your makes on national TV get your applications in before the end of this month.  Good luck to all that apply.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Fat Quarterly retreat next weekend!

I'm very excited that this time next week I will be in London at the Fat Quartlerly retreat!  If you haven't come accross Fat Quarterly before they are a funky online modern quilting magazine, you can find out more about them on their site:

Fat QuarterlyThey are running a 2 days sewing retreat in London next weekend which will be a great chance to meet up with other sewing/quilting bloggers, meet the team behind the magazine and take part in some amazing classes.  I'm incredibly excited to be doing a hand embroidery class with Moda designer Aneela Hoey and a purse class with one of FQ's editors the talented Katy Jones.  I'm only there for the 1 day (Saturday) but I plan to fit lots in!

Fat Quarterly are doing a little linky party so that we can all get to know each other a bit before we meet next weekend so this is my introduction.

My name is Fiona, I'm 30 years old and have a 4 year old son James and a husband called Alex (see family pic - this was taken a couple years ago, I'm very camera shy).  I work from home running The Sewing Directory which despite me planning to only work 2 hrs a day on it has turned into a more than full time job! I look back at my original business plan and laugh at how naive I was back then.

I'm fairly new to quilting, I used to go to a local quilting guild group here in Cardiff but the business soon took over.  I've started several quilts but never seem to get around to ever finishing them so my new years resolution for 2012 was to actually finish a quilt for once!  I'm almost done piecing the top so I'm getting there, still 7 months left to finish it ;-) 

Unfortunetly I spend so much time working I rarely get chance to sew but I'm squeezing in the odd 10 mins here and there to keep the quilt going.

Anyway can't wait to meet everyone next week.  7 days and counting....

Monday, 21 May 2012

Purchase of the All Craft Media Magazines

Following on from our last post about All Craft Media we now have news about what is happening with the magazines given that ACM are now in administration.

A publisher called Taylor Made Publishing acquired the titles a couple weeks ago and have now made a statement about their plans via Ravelry.  The original statement can be found here. I have pasted the exact statement below:

The recently acquired titles Inside Crochet, Yarnwise and Handmade Living will be published by Tailor Made Publishing from issues 31, 50 and 14 respectively.

Sew Hip, Modern Quilting, Handmade Fashion and Simply Beautiful magazines are up for sale.
Previously published issues will not be available for sale from Tailor Made Publishing. Subscriptions to Inside Crochet, Yarnwise and Handmade Living will be honoured.

We are delighted to announce that Zoe Clements is to take on the position of Editor of Yarnwise magazine and Charlotte Brett will be Editor of Handmade Living magazine. The Editor of Inside Crochet will be announced within the next few days.

Tim Harris
Director - Tailor Made Publishing

They posted this statement via the group administrator on Ravelry, and emphasised that they want to move the magazines forward in an ethically sound way so hopefully this will be the end of the problems previously associated with the magazines.

Letters have gone out to the magazines subscribers (along with the most recent issue of the magazines) confirming that their subscriptions will be honored and that the next issues of the magazines should be with them by the end of June.  The current issues of the magazines are also out in the shops now too.

It remains to be seen who will take over the sewing and quilting magazines, I will update again when I have more news.  It will be interesting to see how the magazines develop over the coming months, the new owners will have a lot to overcome with all the negativity associated with the magazines.

What do you think?  Will this be a fresh start or has too much damage been done to the magazines reputations? 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Fabric giveaway ending in 1 hour...

Dragonfly Fabrics summer fabric giveawayDragonfly fabrics

Now the sunny weather will hopefully be arriving any day now (we can dream!) it’s time to make some new summer clothes. Dragonfly Fabrics are here to help with their great range of summer dressmaking fabrics. They are offering 2 winners their choice of fabric to get you started on your summer sewing projects:

Prize - 1.5 meters of their chosen fabric from Spring/Summer fabrics Children's or Women's collection or Anna Maria Horner Voile for each winner.

To enter this competition please visit the Dragonfly Fabrics website and then tell us which spring/summer fabric or Anna Maria Horner voile you want to win. **If you cannot use the entry form (we are having server problems at the moment) please e-mail your answer, name, address and e-mail to **

For a second chance to win you can pop over to the Sew Curvy blog and enter there too, we will be picking a winner from each site.


Plus if you can’t wait to get your hands on some of Dragonfly Fabric’s beautiful fabrics we have a special discount code for you – 15% off if you enter Spring at the checkout (expires 22ndMay).

Dragonfly fabrics

Terms & Conditions

This competition is being run through The Sewing Directory & on Sew Curvy blog, a winner will be chosen at random from each site. You can enter on both sites and have 2 entries in the draw. All entries must be received by 6pm GMT Tuesday 15th May 2012. Prizes can only be shipped to an address in UK or Ireland.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Beware of this publishing company

I’ve thought long and hard about whether to do this, and how to do it but I’ve decided that this needs to be said and sewists and quilters need to be warned about a certain media company.   A few weeks ago I was sent a link to Ravelry (a fab knitting forum, do check it out) where there were thousands of posts about All Craft Media (previously KAL Media) who publish Sew Hip, Modern Quilting, Knit, Inside Crochet and Handmade Living amongst other magazines.

These posts were from people who had written for ACM’s magazines and not received payment, in some cases after many months of chasing, not had their samples returned and subscribers who were not receiving their issues or receiving them several weeks late.   They were also coming across problems trying to get a response from ACM with e-mails not being replied to, calls not being answered or returned.   To view the posts click on this link, you need to sign up to a free account to view them but it only takes 2 minutes.

Ravelry is a knitting forum so most these posts related to the knitting and crochet magazines so I thought perhaps the sewing magazines weren’t affected.  To be honest with you I was really hoping they weren’t as I have promoted them in the past through my site whilst unaware of what was happening.  Then last week many members of the sewing community were sent an e-mail from Sew Hip’s editor Wendy Gardiner (now ex-editor) saying that she has resigned after not being paid for several months, and that the tech editor for Sew Hip was in the same situation.  She also said that she was aware many of Sew Hip’s contributors were not being paid either and she could not commission more people knowing that.
I then started to hear that people contributing to Modern Quilting were also still waitingfor payment and returns of samples, as well as subscribers wanting to know where issue 2 was (due in April).  There's a new post from one of Modern Quilting's contributers here  I felt morally obligated to alert people to these issues, especially as I had promoted this company in the past, it’s only fair to talk about the bad points as well as the good.   If you would like more information about the problems people have been experiencing with ACM I would refer you to the latter part of this blog post.  They have done such a great summary I won’t repeat it here, pop over and take a look through.  Also there’s lots of useful links over on the Sew Happy Geek blog and a post about a contributor's experience here.

I would hasten to add please don’t let this put you off working with sewing or craft magazines, there are many magazines out there who give great customer service, pay their contributors promptly and return samples to designers.   I write for Sewing World Magazine on a regular basis and they have been a pleasure to deal with, and I’m sure many of you have worked with other publishers without problem. 
Perhaps you could take the time to comment below and let us know about your experiences with ACM and other publishers to help people make an informed decision about who to work with in the future.  Let’s turn this negative into a positive and spread the word about which companies are good to work with and which ones to avoid.  To save everyone having to learn the lesson the hard way.

BREAKING NEWS - since adding this post this morning it has been announced on Ravelry that All Craft Media went into administration today.  There is speculation that another company is already up and running in the name of Handmade Living Magazine Ltd registered to Kerrie's father a week before the administration was announced so there may be an attempt to continue trading under a new name.

UPDATE 21st MAY Please see our new blog post to find out who has bought the magazines.

For anyone who is still owed money,has not had samples back or has a current subscription with ACM the administrator's details are below. 

Alistair Holt-Thomas

FRP Advisory
10 Furnival Street

Tel: +44 (0)20 3005 4000
Fax: +44 (0)20 3005 4400

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Have you got the Dress Factor?

I'm afraid we don't have Simon Cowell for you but we do have an amazing new design competition with free fabric for all the finalists and the top prize of a Janome MC5900QC (rrp. £799)!  The runners ups get £50 vouchers for Abakhan Fabrics.

To enter we want you to submit a design for a summer garment, bag or accessory.

For full details and terms & conditions  please click here.
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