I like magazines.
Just ask Mr Hoppo Bumpo. He will confirm that our house is crammed with them. Drives him to distraction, it does. There are piles on tables, on shelves, in cupboards and under the bed. Couldn't possibly throw anything away. Who knows when you might be wanting to find that special article again sometime?
I think it all started when I was a student and worked in a newsagency. At first the odd fashion mag would catch my eye. Spend where you earn, they say. So I'd take a little reading material home. But as time went by my interests diversified. I started to read more widely. There were magazines about cooking, politics, travel, music, children's clothes, world affairs and poetry to be had. I started to put the magazines aside to buy at the end of the week. I couldn't afford them until pay day. Then I needed to buy the magazine holders to organise them all in. Expensive. Never mind "spend where you earn" - I was starting to finance the whole newsagency operation.
I would like to think my habit is more restrained these day, but I cheerfully confess to loving cooking and sewing magazines. The problem is that its the promise of the unread magazine that thrills me most. The glossy, smooth cover and the possibility of the exciting contents. I love the pursuit of the "ah-ha" moment; the life-changing article. Sadly, after reading cover to cover, I'm often disappointed.
And so it has been with a particular sewing mag that I have continued to faithfully purchase. In recent months I have found Australian Stitches a bit too nanna-ish. Too much focus on editorial comments, ads, make-overs and daggy things I'd never make - and not enough technical information. That is, until I opened my new copy yesterday.
I was delighted to find two treasures written by Martyn Smith. Blissful Bonding is a terrific introduction to the use of interfacing. It discusses types of interfacing as well as techniques, problems and pitfalls in attaching it. Who ever knew that it was the massive blast of steam from your iron during the bonding process, that causes fusible interfacing to come off in the wash? Or that you should only ever use white interfacing (not black or grey) to back red fabric?
The second article Getting The Point covers sewing machine needles. I particularly like the accompanying chart, which is a good ready-reckoner for matching a machine needle to your project. The only thing it lacked perhaps, was a little explanation about how the needle sizing system works. But I did adore the accompanying illustration showing a little embroidered pin cushion; neatly segmented and labelled for each type of machine needle. Of course, if you were following the article's instructions to the letter, you'd never be sticking a needle into that particular cushion. The needle would be in the bin, as soon as you'd finished a project. Yeah, right!
All great stuff. Go out and buy Australian Stitches Vol.16 No.4 and read the articles. Then do what I do and stash it atop 45 other magazines .... just in case you need it again ...
June 24, 2008
I like magazines.