Get to know our Editor, 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 compared to sewing, 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.

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 a few months ahead. 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.

Who 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. Our columnists are all wonderful and full of knowledge, so other than them, 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 taken up 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!

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