Inner Beauty: Editor’s Thoughts Behind the Notions Cover Story

by Ramona on July 23, 2012

This guest post is another in an on-going series from Notions Editor Anne Marie Soto. In case we all wonder how an editor comes up with amazing cover content for a publication, issue after issue, Anne Marie’s posts are a revelation!  Read on…


Being an enthusiastic editor and an avid sewer have some similarities. One is a tendency to hold onto bits and pieces that may be useful some day. As a sewer, I hold onto fabric scraps, buttons from discarded garments, patterns I never got around to making (no longer my size!) and more. As an editor, I clip articles and photos from newspapers, sewing publications, and fashion magazines, bookmark sites on my computer, save postings from my Yahoo! Sewing group, and more. So when my original idea for a cover story for the Summer issue of Notions just wasn’t gelling, I turned to my editor’s stash. There was a folder with photos from Nancy Prinzi’s 2011 ASG Creativity Contest entry. I had saved it because I loved the custom trim she created for her Chanel-style jacket. But on second view, what caught my eye was the lining with its prairie point piping and a pocket hidden inside the front facing. It started me thinking about how we could make the insides of our garments as pleasing as the outsides.

When I contacted Nancy, she told me that, although the pocket technique was her original idea, the prairie points were adapted from Kenneth King’s book, “Cool Couture.” A quick call to Kenneth and he assured me that he would be happy to share it with Notions’ readers. (You should know that, unlike other sewing publications, Notions has no budget for paying for articles. Every sewing expert who has contributed to Notions over the years has done so because they are kind, generous, and fans of ASG.) Next I turned to Susan Khalje who offered a discreet, elegant and practical couture solution to inner beauty. But I needed more. All of us have sewing girlfriends who help us out when we get stuck. Well I have “editorial girlfriends” who always seem to come through for me. This list includes Bobbi Bullard and Eve Kovacs. Bobbi came through with ideas for stenciling, stamping and spray dyeing to transform a ho-hum fabric into a stunning lining. Eve at first demurred, saying she didn’t do anything special for the insides of her wearable art garment. After giving it some thought, she came back with a technique that incorporates underlining and Hong Kong seam finishes without cutting all those strips for the bias binding. “But,” declared Eve, “everybody knows how to do that.” No, I assured her, “everybody” doesn’t! Eve’s technique is a modification of one taught by Sandra Betzina in her book, “Power Sewing Step-by-Step.”

And there we have it: a cover story that I hope will inspire you to give your garments equal TLC inside and out!

Anne Marie Soto, Editor, Notions


Thanks, Anne Marie!  So readers, any inner beauty sewing tricks up your proverbial or real sleeve?  Let us know in the comment section.  Have a picture to share? You know where to find me!


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Rose Marie July 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I first saw a beautiful inside to a jacket when Nancy Shriber presented a program for either an ASG Neighborhood group or G-Street Fabrics in Northern Virginia. She makes the inside of her jackets beautiful with stamping and dyeing techniques and includes a small “treasure” pocket. It has been a long time since since I saw the program but I remember some small scroll being placed in the pocket. I like the idea of having a beautiful inside.

Samina July 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Rose Marie, sounds beautiful and inspiring! Nancy Shriber’s work is always gorgeous. Thank you for your comment!

Bobbi Bullard July 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Hi Anne Marie,

It was a hoot doing this with you. If you only knew how many of my jackets have leopard charmeuse inside.

And… I have friends who dump, I mean give me their fabric that’s a little wild for their taste for me to use in my linings. (Are you out there Ms. Lahr?)

Marcia July 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I had to laugh at Bobbi Bullard’s reply, but it reminded me to look into my own stash to brighten up some of my “interiors” that are on the drawing board. I know Bobbi’s new book will help with creating more interesting garments both inside and out. I’m pre-ordering my copy today from her website Thanks again Anne Marie for a terrific article.

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