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Focus interview on Sewing World, with editor Wendy Gardiner

Wendy Gardiner is editor of Sewing World, a monthly magazine for people who sew, or want to sew, by machine.

Here, Gardiner tells us about the Sewing World ‘club’, how she’d love to present her own sewing-based TV show and interview Gok Wan and Twiggy.

Sewing World is published by Worcestershire-based Traplet Publications.

About the publication:

Tell us a bit about Sewing World:
Sewing World is a monthly magazine for people who sew, or want to sew with a sewing machine. It covers all aspects of sewing from dressmaking to crafts, soft furnishings and textile art.

How do you differ from other magazines?
Sewing World is an independent title, not aligned to any pattern brand etc, so that all the editorial can be unbiased, and of course, cover all brands of patterns, sewing machines and haberdashery. It is the only sewing title to have a mix of techniques, how-tos and projects on such a wide variety of sewing.

Describe a typical reader for us:
Our typical reader is aged between 30-65, loves to sew, is willing and wishes to try new techniques and learn new skills. Most will have at least one sewing machine, if not two or three! Most will rate themselves as having ‘intermediate’ sewing ability. They have ferocious appetite for new projects, news and new techniques. They love to belong to our ‘club’ which is how we think of Sewing World.

What stories are you most interested in covering in the publication?
We include news of new products and items that are useful to sewers. We write profiles and articles on experts in the sewing field, or people who have made a career in sewing in some way. We also write reports on events and shops that will interest people who sew.

How does the editorial process run?
We commission articles and features from our known writers. We also get sent ideas and if we like them, we will commission an article, providing style sheet and terms. We also have a colour scheme and theme for each issue. We work 3-4 months in advance of publication.

How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
The basic content is decided early on when we set the themes for the year. It then evolves as the year unfolds, and we get reader response to what has been included. Front covers are also chosen to go with the theme, season and colour scheme. They are always something that can be made by machine.

Do you produce a features list?
Yes, we have a list of themes, with colour schemes and copy dates.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs?
Yes, those that are in the sewing industry.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Anything to do with sewing by machine.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Email me with some information.

Do you have a PR pet hate?
Yes – I hate attachments with all the pertinent information! I get so many emails and I don’t open attachments from unknown sources. Image size can also be an issue. In the first instance, these should be low res and always JPEGS so that the files are not too big – which just jams up my machine.

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
As it is a monthly magazine, any time – remembering we work 3-4 months in advance.

About you:

What do you write about?
Anything to do with sewing by machine. I am currently editor of Sewing World magazine, Britain’s leading sewing magazine as well as author of many sewing books, writer and presenter of five dvds/videos on sewing. I write many articles and am passionate about getting more people to sew and to encourage young people that it is a fun, affordable hobby. With the recent interest in customising garments (Twiggy and Gok Wan’s TV programmes) we are finding more people are keen to have a go and it really can be easy! I co-manage a website for sewing too, ( which is a resource site with sewing tips, techniques, projects, how-tos and more.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
For me it was probably working with Cheryl Baker on a sewing video. I wrote the script and was part of the production. The aim was for an expert to teach Cheryl to sew, showing how easy it could be done. It was fun and set me off on writing and presenting videos/dvds myself.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
Interview today’s ‘stars’ such as Gok Wan and Twiggy who is having a revival. I’d also like to do a regular column in a daily newspaper – sharing fun tips on making it yourself.

What do you love about your work?
The variety and diversity. Although it is all about sewing, there are always new ways to try a technique, and of course, new patterns and new fabrics to work with. I also love the people – everyone is so friendly and love to share their hobby and skills.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
My Father always told me I could do anything I wanted to. He also told me to believe in myself. Also the American CEO of one of my first employers told me to be positive always, don’t say ‘I think it is great, good or ok’. Instead be positive, know it – say ‘It is great’. It is amazing the difference it makes to how people respond to you when you come across as very positive!

I’d love to have a go at…
Get on TV presenting a sewing programme to show that it is fun, affordable and can be fast! Also flying! I’ve always wanted to fly. I’d also like to climb a huge mountain or do some other life changing experience but at the moment, family comes first. However, there’s still time!

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag or blogs on your screen?
At night I read novels, and have just finished a Robert Ludlum book. Magazines tend to be other stitch titles, fashion magazines and Media magazines.

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[img|jpg|Wendy Gardiner and Sewing World]