Podcast Episode #99: Ellen MarchJune 19, 2017 / byAbby / Categories : Feeds
On today’s episode of the While She Naps podcast we’re talking about sewing magazines and television with my guest, Ellen March.
Ellen March is the Community Content Director for the sewing division of F+W Media, including the Sew News, Creative Machine Embroidery, BurdaStyle, Sew Daily and Sew it All brands. She’s appeared on several television shows spreading her love of sewing, most notably Hallmark’s Marie Osmond Show and DIY Network’s Uncommon Threads, and she hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons.
Watch Ellen on Sew It All TV.
Ellen traces her career in the sewing media industry from stumbling upon a job description for a graphic designers at Sew News (she wasn’t a graphic designer, but applied for a job anyway) to pitching a PBS show, to overseeing a suite of sewing magazines and brands for F+W Media. One of the things that stands out about Ellen’s journey is her willingness to ask for the job she wants and her eagerness to take on new challenges. Her approach is very inspiring.
I ask Ellen to detail for us what exactly sewing magazines are looking right now. She explains how to write a good pitch (and what not to do) and why she feels that being published in a magazine is a worthwhile endeavor for designers. If you’d like to get on the contributors list for Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, be sure to listen because Ellen shares the email address you can write to.
Ellen is a breast cancer survivor and talks about that experience and how it’s shaped her approach to life as a working mom of three children.
And, of course, I ask Ellen to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Ellen recommends:
- the Husqvarna Viking Epic machine
- Named clothing patterns, especially the Alexandria Peg Trousers
- Cloud 9 barkcloth
This episode is sponsored by Sweetbriar Sisters. Sweetbriar Sisters is excited to announce their latest book, Hopeful Hatchlings! This sewing pattern collection includes nine different baby animals to hatch (and re-hatch!) from adorable zipper eggs. You can find Hopeful Hatchlings, along with a full collection of one of a kind toy patterns at SweetbriarSisters.com. Be sure to use coupon code ‘naps’ for 20% off your purchase of digital patterns (including the Hopeful Hatchlings eBook) from now until August 31.
You can listen to this episode by clicking on the green arrow below, or subscribe to the While She Naps podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher so you never miss an episode. If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it! Thank you so much.
This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at whileshenaps.com
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Hello! Lexy here, to bring you another lovely Sewing Space, where a crafter show us around their creative area. Today we have a sweet space in South Wales, belonging to a dressmakers who has an enviable 60s style handmade wardrobe – we love seeing her makes on Instagram. Let’s hear more from the lady herself…
Hello! I’m Jade, welcome to my little sewing sanctuary in sunny South Wales. I am relatively new to the realms of dressmaking and have only really been getting to know my way around a sewing machine for the past three years. By day I work in an office-based role in Bristol but by night can be found in my little sewing haven, musing over my next big make.
I have always been a creative individual and have enjoyed crafting from a young age. At university I studied Graphic Design, which instilled my admiration of beautiful craftsmanship and contemporary design. There was a time when I believed my love for fashion and textiles would be limited to high street trending ready-to-wear garments. Learning of the wonderful indie sewing makers movement really changed all of this for me and after pouring over many inspirational sewing blogs (including Tilly and the Buttons!), I wanted in! In the beginning I attended a brilliant beginners dressmaking class and learnt basic skills and techniques but soon realised that if I was going to take the next step I’d need to make some room at home to build upon these skills!
I started off sewing at home at my kitchen table but soon yearned for a larger space to store all of my dressmaking paraphernalia, which was growing at an alarming rate! Two thirds of my spare bedroom has thus been transformed to home a retro writing desk, some shelving, a storage trolley and a few trinkets to decorate. Overall I’d probably say that my space has a bit of a kitsch vibe about it while still being quite minimalistic. I try not to sprout out too much as the other the other third of the room is occupied by my rather understanding boyfriend who uses his space for his photography hobby, and our pet lizard (‘Lizzy’).
Quirky storage boxes and prettily patterned tins are a bit of a weak spot – I love a good storage solution! Not only do I find it quite therapeutic categorising all of my notions, tools, threads, patterns and fabric but I also find it much easier to pick up a project if I know where everything is. Working in the week means that sewing time is precious in the evenings and this is why having a dedicated sewing space is so great, as it saves time having to set things up and pack things away all of the time. I try and sew a few times a week but generally have more time to get stuck into a project over the weekend, usually with a nice cup of tea and some biccies.
I am a bit of a planner and like to make a mood board to help me decide how the final garment I am making might look – the idea stage is just as fun as the construction! In addition to our resident gecko I have two gorgeous little helpers who keep me company while making, Henry and Coco the Chihuahuas. Coco is a puppy and can often be seen running around the house having fun with rogue scraps or on occasions a snail (pin-free) pincushion!
I’m not much of a fabric hoarder and only really have two main stashes of fabric. Interestingly my stashes mainly comprise of patterned fabrics that I’ve had for a couple of years now before I discovered my fondness for plainer fabrics. I love interesting prints but soon realised that although the pieces I’d bought were really striking, often they wouldn’t be something that I would necessarily wear. Nowadays I tend to gravitate towards plain, bold coloured fabrics and sew them up straight away, so they don’t hang about for long!
As you can probably see I don’t have a great deal of space in my sewing area and unfortunately can’t quite squeeze in another desk for my overlocker. For this reason I hacked an Ikea footstool into an overlocking station by attaching a couple of tin trays, a few hooks and a lick of paint which now means that I can sew and overlock with ease – yay!
Although I am a fairly new sewist, dressmaking has been in my family for generations. My most treasured possession is my dressmaking scissors given to me by my lovely mum who was a fanatical dressmaker herself! My mum sadly passed a couple of years ago and every time I use these scissors to make a garment it gives me a warming sense of pride and connection.
My favourite guilty pleasure of all (even more so than fabric shopping!) is acquiring vintage sewing patterns. My pattern collection comprises of a few commercial patterns, lots of lovely indie patterns (notably Tilly and the Buttons of course) and my beloved, ever growing collection of vintage sewing patterns. Over the past couple of years I have been lucky enough to collect patterns from various decades including the 40s, 50s and 70s but my favourite decade of all has to be the swinging 60s! I love the futuristic undertones in the styling of many of the garments from this period paired with the flamboyant expressions of colour.
I think a wonderful thing about vintage sewing patterns is that they all have a story to tell and it is quite remarkable to think that they are still being enjoyed decades after they were first printed. I try to keep the most delicate patterns in cellophane sleeves, away from the sunlight to prevent them from aging any further and when it’s time to use a pattern, I tend to trace off all of the pieces onto tissue paper to try and preserve the original pattern pieces. Etsy and eBay are a vintage-pattern treasure trove but I have also found a couple of gems at vintage fairs…it can be a bit addictive though! The sky’s the limit… well, my spare room for now!
Thank you so much for letting me share my little sewing space with you!
Thank you for sharing your lovely space with us, Jade. We’d love to spend an afternoon sewing with you, especially if Henry and Coco are around to assist!
Fancy submitting your Sewing Space to be featured? Check out our submission guidelines. Wanna check out past Sewing Space Tours? Grab a cup of tea and get comfy, before delving into the archive.
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We are going to spend today doing all of the prep work so that we can start on our final Lander pants and shorts tomorrow. Before continuing though, I want to make a plea. If you are using precious fabric, or if you are making a lot of fit adjustments, PLEASE make a muslin first. Pants (especially crotches) are one of those things that are a bit trickier to fit. And a muslin just allows you to take more risks and get the fit right. OK, I warned you. Now we can continue. First we are going to talk about the most common fit adjustments you might want to make. It will not cover everything so if you want to go deeper I recommend the book Pants for Real People from Palmer and Pletsch. It’s a great one for your sewing library and it covers a lot fitting issues and how to solve them. Or, if you happen to be in the NYC area, I know that Workroom Social offers pants fitting classes using the methods from this book. Choosing Your Size Waist There are three measurements that you need to know when choosing which size to cut. You want […]read more