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March 07: Crafty Magazines Round-up!

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Written on March 2, 2007 11:32 PM

I adore craft magazines, and when Nancy, one of the fabulous co-editors here at getcrafty, suggested that I write a spring round-up for my column this month, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun! So here are five of my personal favorites in alphabetical order.

Full disclosure: I write for several of these publications, so this isn't exactly critical, scrupulously objective, hard-hitting journalism... but hey, that's probably not what you read this column for anyway, right? Right. On with the reviews!

Five of my favorite crafty magazines

Adorn: the crafty girl's guide to embellishing life (quarterly)
Adorn is the most charming, colorful magazine, full of fun, pretty projects to make and ideas to try. I really appreciate the mix of start-from-scratch and add-a-little-something tutorials, and the trends and themes they spotlight (like Japanese craft books) are right up my alley. It's also so cool that they include jewelry projects, gifts, and housewares along with embellishment and sewing ideas. Love the blog too (disclosure part 2: I regularly contribute to it, which you may have noticed!) and their current $9.99 subscription deal is killer.
My favorite section: "What inspires you?," found on the back page of every issue. Guest crafters and artists share their creative ideas, with plenty of photos.


CRAFT: transforming traditional crafts (quarterly)
CRAFT is an instant classic -- it looks and feels like a stylish book, with high-quality paper, few ads and lots of well-designed project, column, and feature pages to flip through. The range of techniques and genres is impressively diverse, and the time and complexity ratings on each project are much appreciated -- who wants to start something thinking it will take an hour and realizing, once you've made a huge mess, that it's more of a full weekend thing? Each issue is loosely themed, too: the current issue is "Creative Copies," and they take that concept in many interesting directions. Don't miss the blog for up-to-the-minute stuff to check out.
My favorite section: I love the regular columns, particularly Jean Railla's "Modern Crafting" take on DIY.


Cutting Edge: Sewing For Today (quarterly)
Cutting Edge covers all things sewing and fabric-related with an emphasis on the feminine. From party dresses to home decor, they show a range of styles, colors, and ideas to try. I loved the feature on Khaliah Ali and her new line of plus-sized patterns (many of which she models) in the current issue -- it's nice to see that the kind of handmade style sewers in smaller size ranges have always had access to is becoming more universal. And their site has a great "Stitcher's Notebook" page with helpful links to techniques like making buttonholes or hemming.
My favorite section: "Buy Retail, Add Detail" is always full of good ideas, with a different theme each time (this issue, it's "Picnic Chic").


ReadyMade: Instructions for Everyday Life (bimonthly)
ReadyMade always makes me wish I lived in a big, spacious loft filled with power tools instead of a small 1950s garden apartment filled with craft supplies. Oh well, I love reading it anyway. From short, interesting tidbits on events and websites not to be missed to large-scale projects requiring at least one trip to the hardware store, I always get plenty of ideas to try... or just think about. I always like the features on designers' homes and endeavors, like this issue's "O Eco Pioneers!" (three sustainable urban projects and their creators). The blog has intriguing ideas, too -- my favorite contributor there is Megan Reardon.
My favorite section: RECYCLE always offers a cool mix of green projects to make.


Sew Stylish: Basic Training to Unleash Your Creativity
Sew Stylish is a new sewing magazine spinning off from well-loved classic Threads, with a younger feel and a basics-meets-runway approach. I'm mostly self-taught as a seamstress, so I think it's great that they cover the essentials clearly and thoroughly, but include lots of stylish ideas and details to keep it interesting. This first issue is an excellent 101, while future issues promise to include more advanced concepts, projects, and features. And their blog has lots of handy sewing tips and resouces to bookmark.
My favorite section: Beginner-friendly "Start Sewing Projects," which include a style-y wide belt and a two-minute shrug this time.


A few other magazines I love that offer great crafty/design/creative projects and features in a more general mix are Blueprint, BUST, Domino, Dwell, Martha Stewart Living, Sunset, and Venus. And Nancy mentioned that she adores Selvedge, Burda, and Marie Claire Idees, too -- I must check those out! What are some of your favorites?

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Susan Beal really loves reading magazines!


Comments
comment by chase on March 10, 2007 8:52 AM:

do you-all read Burda in German, or....?
Great round-up, can't wait to start reading and being inspired. Thank you!

comment by Nancy Flynn on March 15, 2007 12:48 AM:

whee! i love this round-up! you've led me to my favorite crafty magazines, definitely.

oh--and in answer to chase-- Burda puts out an English language version of the magazine that you can get online and in some stores (better luck at independents than big chains, in my experience)