Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Knitriffic Blogs: Amy Thomas/Almond Rock, & Free Gifts!

Today we have an interview with one of our favourite bloggers and Editor of Love Sewing magazine Amy Thomas.

Tell us a bit about yourself...
I live in Yorkshire with my partner and our silly kitty Chewbacca (“Chewie” for short). Because I’m crazy about my job I commute to Stockport everyday to be Editor of Love Sewing magazine. I’ve been in publishing for 10 years now and used to work on legal books for solicitors and barristers… tax law is very dry to edit, trust me! 

What inspired you to start sewing? 
When I was in my 20s I sort of took a look at my life and realised I didn’t have any decent hobbies! Through Leeds City College I found an adult education course for 10 weeks of dressmaking lessons. Once I finished that first dress I didn’t look back and when May came around I thought why not use the Me Made May challenge to build my handmade wardrobe.

Where did the Almond Rock name come from?
It’s a bit of a silly joke. I like to tease my other half that he’s from London - the idea being anything below Yorkshire is classed as Southern. This involves me doing terrible cockney accents and rhyming slang to make him laugh. Almond Rock is slang for frock, which made me giggle so I thought why not make that the blog name!

How did you become involved with Love Sewing?
I was happily working away on my legal titles and saw an advert reposted by The Sewing Directory for the role. It was the perfect way to combine my publishing expertise with my sewing and thankfully the team here agreed.

Can you tell us about a typical day as Editor of Love Sewing?
The month is sort of split into two halves. Two weeks of the month I’m planning issues roughly 3-6 months ahead, commissioning designers, going out to meet people from the industry, and attending photoshoots. The other two weeks are spent putting together a specific issue. 
I work with my team to edit and lay out every page, ensuring accurate step by steps and the best imagery. We check everything three times with myself, an art editor and a sub editor signing off that we’re happy. 
We have a big book that contains a draft of each page so we can stay on top of the order, colours and accuracy of the content. It’s very intense on press day as we have a firm deadline with the printers that can’t be missed so everything has to be wrapped up in time!


What are your plans for the future?
The magazine is doing amazing right now, people are really responding to the new look and the patterns we’re picking. I’m currently planning Christmas. I’m also putting together ideas for special editions on specific themes or with extra special gifts. In my spare time I’m planning my wedding dress, which I need to make before July 2018. I’ll be attending a couture workshop with Alison Smith MBE and will start making samples this year to help me get ready for the real thing.

What inspires you/what would you describe as your design aesthetic?
Personally I’m a big lover of 1940s and 50s silhouettes and favour bright colourful prints but through my work I get to explore modern prints and style in garments for the magazine.

What is your favourite thing about sewing?
I love the zen-like quiet zone I manage to get into when I’m working. When the sun is shining in and I’ve got a cup of tea and the machine is whirring, it’s blissful.

What is your least favourite thing about sewing or your biggest challenge?
I HATE unpicking. Especially black thread on black fabric! But other than that there’s a real fight or flight moment when your toiles don’t seem to be working and you have to build up the energy to try and get the fit right on another go. Usually I get so stubborn I refuse to let a pattern beat me.

What are your favourite Girl Charlee fabrics at the moment?


Almond rock simplicity 1606 sew over itWho do you look up to in the sewing community?
Oh everyone! I love indulging in other people’s blogs because I can live vicariously through styles or fabrics that wouldn’t suit me. There are so many clever, brave beginners out there trying new things and of course talented and funny makers who continue to push themselves further. I’ve been very grateful to make lots of friends through sewing who I actually socialise with outside of our hobby. One day I do hope to meet more of the industry specialists overseas like Susan Khalje and Kenneth King who I find really inspiring.

Do you have any other hobbies/passions?
I’ve recently gotten into embroidery, which has been a wonderful revelation into having a portable hobby. I also love gin and think it’s fabulously compatible with a handmade wardrobe!
Thanks Amy!  You can see the wonderful Almond Rock blog HERE, and subscribe to Love Sewing Magazine HERE.

If you'd like to be featured in either our Customer Spotlight or Knittriffic Blogs features please email sales@girlcharlee.co.uk, we love sharing your stories!
Our badges and tote bags have proven very popular at the shows we have attended, so we have decided that for all orders for the rest of July, we will be giving them away as free gifts with every order placed online!

If your order is over £50 you will receive all 5 badge designs plus our tote bag, if your order is £25-£50 you will receive all 5 badges, if your order is below £25 you will receive a badge.

There's no code required, just place your order at girlcharlee.co.uk and your free gift(s) will be added automatically. 

Badge colours will vary, but you will receive 1 of each design.


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Happy Sewing!
~ Mark & The Girl Charlee Team

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