Meet the team… Wendy, Editor

Meet your lovely editor, Wendy Gardiner.



Describe yourself in one sentence.
I am passionate about my family and sewing, am energetic, like to have lots of things on the go at once and am definitely a half full bottle!

What does a typical day involve for you?
Like many working mums, my day startswith chiving the kids to get up for school, putting washing on, emptying dishwasher and getting breakfast. I do the school run, clean the kitchen and then start the work day with dreaded emails from about 8.30 am. If I’m away for just one day, it can take a morning just to clear them. Then I’ll read and sub-edit projects, commission new projects for issues 4-6 months down the line and chase and check images. I’ll also work on organising the latest Creative Sewing Weekend, which I love as its a chance to share my passion for sewing with other like-minded people. Sometimse I get a sewing day, when I am making a project for Sew Hip or samples for a forthcoming TV show (on Create and Craft TV). I love my sewing time as I find it relaxing and theraputic – but sadly I usually have to do this at weekends. Of course, I also have to make notes on how the project can be made easier etc so it’s not pure relaxation! I take about 25 minutes for lunch so that I can nip out and collect my son from school, then back to work. I finish between 6.30 – 7pm and go straight on to cook the dinner. Once that is done, cleared away and the hassle that is homework is addressed (!), I can relax for an hour or two before bed.

Did anything surprise you about the magazine when you first started working on it?
No big surprises really although  many of the procedures are done differently to other magazines that I’ve edited. For instance, paginating the magazine before articles and projects have been submitted (although long since commissioned) seems strange as it’s a bit of a guess work as to how many pages to allocate per project etc. Of course, it’s not written in stone, so can be changed.

What’s the best and worst parts of your job? Honest!
Best parts – hearing from readers who love the magazine and contributors who enjoy working with us. Working at exhibitors and meeting people who share my love of sewing. Working in a field that I enjoy as a hobby too. I just love it. Worst parts – the amount of emails! I dread returning from holidays and finding shedloads to answer (this year it was over 1000 – it took a week). I’m also not keen on proof reading. I like seeing the articles and projects beautifully laid out, but by nature, proofs have to be dealt with pretty instantly – and always when you are busy with something else.

What is your workspace like?
Cluttered with piles and piles of files, papers and books. It looks a mess, but it’s an organised mess as I know where everything is. I also work on a PC with a large flat screen, and have an apple mac on the desk on which I do other work. I have two printers connected to my computers as I frequently print out two different projects at a time (I like paper copies although am getting better at just saving on computer). At the moment I am also surrounded by sewing machines (to be tested and a book written about them), a 1 metre pile of books to review, equipment, prizes and more for a forthcoming Creative Sewing Weekend, and of course, shelves stacked with patterns, threads, stabilisers, interfacings, magazines and reference books. My office is about 12 foot square, but the available floor space is about 2 foot!

What have you learnt about the rest of the Sew Hip team since being here? How much do you love your team?
We are a completely new team on Sew Hip, which is great. It was difficult to start with as none of us had any ‘history’ of the magazine and we had to find our way through a maze! However, we did gel very quickly. Vick (Deputy Ed) is a nag!! She keeps us on our toes with the schedule but we are proud of the fact that that we do keep to it every issue. She is also a great writer and I love her style. She is incredibly enthusiastic too, so although not yet an experienced sewist, she will be! Sarah is our technical editor, she checks all the projects and sub-edits them, making sure there are easy to follow diagrams where necessary. Sarah is a quieter colleague, but very competent and I love the fact that I know she always does a good job so I don’t have to worry. Cassie sells our advertising – without which we’d not have a magazine so she is very important too. Again she sews which is fabulous as she is always looking for advertisers that will be of benefit to our readers. Indeed, she loves to contribute occasional projects to the magazine as well. Again, finding an ad sales person who likes to sew is a dream come true! Finally of course, we have Kerrie, the managing director of the company who lets us get on with the job, occasionally offering encouragement or ideas. What better kind of MD could you wish for! How much do I love the team – I think together we are formidable and I love being part of it.

What’s something surprising about your job that you think readers would be interested to know?
Possibly how far in advance we work. I commission projects and articles six months in advance. As I write in September, we are finalising the December issue which comes out at end of Oct, but I’ve already got copy in for January issue and commissioned work for Feb, March and April next year too. Also sadly it is not a glamorous job at all! It is very interesting and varied, but working on a specialist title means working with a small team,so you do need to be willing and able to do almost everything. If that means cutting up fabric for subs gift packs, or parcelling up projects to be returned, scrabbling on the floor to sort out issues, schedules etc, then so be it.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Where do I see myself or where would I like to see myself!? I see myself with children at Uni, hopefully still editing magazines as I’ve done it all my working life and just love it. I’am also taking a teacher’s training course at the moment, so I might also be teaching at adult education (I teach privately at the moment). What I would love to be doing is a TV show on sewing and textiles. That is my dream.

What are you doing right this minute (apart from answering these questions).
Obviously sitting at my desk, answering emails of course! I am also just about to edit a couple of articles before writing to loads of expert tutors about teaching workshops at exhibitions (another aspect of my work).

Do you have anything exciting planned for the rest of the day (work and peronal-wise)?
Workwise, more articles and write up the nativity costumes project for issue 35. Tonight friends from South Africa are popping in to see us with their new baby which is great.
What’s your favourite wine?
Red, and more red! I like rioja, but anything fruity and red.

If Sew Hip was a pudding, what would it be and why?
A fresh fruit salad – because we are a fresh, colourful team and working on Sew Hip is sweet!


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