If someone you knew loved to sew, but had no idea there were resources, blogs and free information available online, what would you be most excited to tell them about? What’s the best part about the online sewing world?
I’m scheduled to present at the annual Home Ec teacher’s conference in Vancouver next week. My talk is called ‘The Online World of Sewing.’ The goal is for sewing teachers to learn what’s available online, and leave with a list of resources and information for their students.
I’m immersed in the online sewing world, so I forget that not everyone knows what’s out there. Sometimes I meet people who’ve never heard of PatternReview, or Burdastyle, or Craftsy – or that people are writing and reading sewing blogs! As I prepare for the talk, I thought I’d gather ideas on what you think is most awesome about the online world of sewing. (Am I missing something? Perhaps, and it would be great to give the teachers as much info as possible!)
Four things I think are awesome:
Independent Pattern Companies. I’m biased as I own a sewing pattern business, but I think sewing with patterns you really like will lead to more people enjoying sewing as a hobby. From a high school student’s perspective, the styling of indie patterns may be more appealing, like Colette’s beautiful images, Grainline’s modern cool styling and Papercut’s fresh, youthful look. There’s so many options to choose from. It’s never been easier to find patterns that get you excited to sew.
Variety of Sewing Blogs. There are so many sewing blogs now all over the world. It’s easy to find someone whose style you like, with a similar lifestyle, or an entertaining writing style. High school is a time of self-discovery and self-expression, making it the perfect time to experiment with sewing. When I was in high school, sewing gave me the freedom to create anything I wanted to wear. From glitter tube tops to wide-wale corduroy 70’s trousers, I could try out different looks and practice sewing skills.
Different Learning Formats. Platforms like Craftsy offer video classes if you prefer to learn from videos. Blog tutorials feature photos of fabric in action, sketched diagrams or even computer-drawn diagrams. Magazines offer tablet versions of their issues. Whatever your preferred method of learning, the information is out there! There’s a lot of free content too, which is great for classrooms on a limited budget.
Connectedness. What’s also awesome is how the online sewing world brings people together. If you love to sew, but don’t have sewing friends, you can ‘meet’ other people who also love sewing. Community blogs like the Curvy Sewing Collective and WeSewRetro bring people together who love sewing and have something else in common. It’s easy to find other people’s finished versions of a pattern on blogs and PatternReview. People are kind and generous, and share sewing tutorials, tips and demonstrations on their blogs.
The big challenge is filtering out what’s good and useful (and accurate!) among all the noise on the internet. Sometimes the best information doesn’t come with the prettiest photography, and vice versa. I’m not sure how to best explain that in the presentation – how to know if a tutorial is any good before following it – but I’ll find a way.
In your mind, what’s awesome about the online sewing world? What online resources and websites do you feel have the best information on sewing? Is there anything you wish had existed when you were in high school?