Preview the Fall 2011 Issue of Stitch!

Finding Your Inner Designer

Every sewist puts their personal design stamp on each project they sew, from the fabric and notion choices to fit alterations and embellishment. I'm so passionate about sewing because there is so much room for personalization. I look at every pattern as a baseline and challenge myself to add to it to make it my own.

Discovering the designer within was my inspiration for the new Fall issue of Stitch. The entire issue is devoted to approaching design challenges with confidence and sewing with a designer's eye. Here's a sneak peek of the highlights in the issue!

Pair of Owls by Heidi Boyd.
  Pair of Owls by Heidi Boyd.Slouch Bag by Cheryl Kuczek.

Slouch Bag by Cheryl Kuczek.

Gadget Messenger Bag by Kevin Kosbab.
  Gadget Messenger Bag by Kevin Kosbab.

Poetry Skirt by Katrin Vorbeck.

 Poetry Skirt by Katrin Vorbeck.

Hedgehog Pincushion and Tree-Stump Tape Measure by Heidi Boyd.

Hedgehog Pincushion and Tree-Stump Tape Measure by Heidi Boyd.






– Read our feature on Project Runway, written by Alissa Haight Carlton, one of the casting directors of the show. She gives you an inside look at the casting process and how the producers devise the weekly challenges, plus you'll catch up with your favorite past winners and contestants.

– Check out our profile on design triple-threat Wenlan Chia of Twinkle, who designs clothing, knitwear, and home accessories while also authoring sewing and knitting books featuring her downtown style.

– In our Seams Right technique feature, find out how the right seam or seam finish can give your project a professionally designed look.

– See how Amy Karol, author of the popular Angry Chicken blog, bends her own sewing rules on the path to achieving sewing bliss in our last-page essay.


Next, we have 38 projects, each one devised to address a design challenge with style. Check out our project themes:

Cocoon – here you'll find projects that use cozy fabrics with lots of fabulous texture, perfect for relaxing at home with the entire family. Learn to make a cozy bathrobe, luxurious velvet pillow, an adorable flannel scarf, textured stuffed animals, a dog bed, and more!

In the Bag – make a designer handbag featuring innovative construction, cool handles and straps, and notions and hardware. And check out our sidebar on bag construction tips and tricks for customizing your bag.

The Men's Room – sew projects men will really want, with clever design details and stylish construction. Make a fleece pullover, the ultimate computer geek-messenger bag, a toiletry kit with hardware embellishment, and more!

What's My Type – use typography as a design element for projects with graphic appeal. Featuring word-print fabrics, machine and hand embroidery, appliqué, and more, see how creative you can get with type in your sewing projects. 

Work +Space – get motivated to sew by surrounding yourself with custom projects in your sewing room. Personalize your creative work space with a unique sewing machine cover, graphic craft apron, custom pattern weights, decorative and practical wall pockets, creative pincushions, and more!


To give you a taste of the issue, check out these great tips from our feature profile designer, Wenlan Chia, that will get your design juices flowing!

Let Your Inner Designer Shine

Following these tips will get you out of any sewing rut and unleash your inner artist.

Know your customer. Whether you're creating a project for a friend or a family member or working to make your own designs to sell, always keep the end user in mind. You want your hard work to be loved.

Know yourself + your strengths. Find what you love to do and showcase your talents as best you can. If you know that you can sew amazing curved seams or that you're gifted in layering appliqués, figure out a way to highlight those points in your designs.

Always think outside the box. Truly challenge yourself to push your designs and your sewing as far as they can go. You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish and create when you don't let yourself settle for less.

Be open to challenges + criticisms. Take critiques as challenges to help you expand your sewing horizons and look at your work from a different perspective. It's a fact that not everyone is going to love everything you create, so it's important to stay positive and learn to grow from every situation.

Don't give up. Sometimes, when you're behind the sewing machine or at the cutting table, a project can seem so daunting that it may appear impossible. It's not. Don't give up. Instead, try to push through the problem. In the end, you'll learn more, and your sewing will improve by leaps and bounds.

Great advice! I guarantee the Fall issue will help you discover the designer within you!

Happy sewing,


Other sewing topics you may enjoy:


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