What’s Awesome about the Online Sewing World?

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?

sewing blogging

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?

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51 Responses to What’s Awesome about the Online Sewing World?

  1. claudia October 14, 2015 at 6:18 am #

    An addition to all you’ve mentioned, I love online shopping! Where I live, the choice of fabric and notions is very small and things are expensive (like, USD 20 for basic cotton knits and lining fabrics, USD 70 and up for any silk), so I buy most of my stuff online. Also love etsy for special fabric and notions and vintage patterns.

  2. Annika October 14, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    Best thing easily is becoming friends with people that live 1000s of miles away from you. Getting to know their family through their blogs and really loving those friends. It only gets better when you actually get to meet some of them and are able to chat for hours with someone who is supposed to be a stranger, but so isn’t…

  3. Charlotte October 14, 2015 at 8:02 am #

    I agree with all of the above. I also think that just googling a pattern name & seeing images of the garment made up, plus links to blog posts by others who have made and noting their changes, etc. is so useful. Free patterns are another thing. I’m also really liking the pattern search function on thefoldline.com & when they enable the ability to save patterns to a queue I’ll be very happy:)

  4. Anne October 14, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    I have learned so much from Pattern Review and blogs! Another resource I use a lot is a private sewing group on Facebook. I always feel more comfortable posting questions to that rather than my blog or PR because the people have more or less been “screened.” So not only is it a more intimate atmosphere, but the responses tend to be more honest and of higher quality. With PR and blogs you often have to sift through a lot of well-intended but poor quality “advice.” When I’m evaluating the quality of a tutorial (or forum advice) I usually look for writing that is detailed yet succinct, explains “why” (and not just “how”) while guiding you through the process, has photos of a finished product that is to my liking, and is produced by someone with a decent amount of sewing experience. I also look for a certain amount of practicality, meaning if they recommend something that adds a lot in terms of time or cost they have a very good reason for it beyond “it is the couture way.”

    There seems to be a backlash lately against blog photography, with the insinuation that good quality sewing and good quality photography are mutually exclusive. It makes me cringe because I’ve come across plenty of shoddy tutorials with terrible photos, and plenty of great tutorials with wonderful photos!

  5. Sewer October 14, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    The access to professional-level education, advice, or observations is great and presents a standard to which home sewers should aspire.

    The University of Fashion

    Cutter and Tailor

    Made by Hand — The Great Sartorial Debate

    Fashion-Incubator

  6. Lyrique October 14, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Among other things, bloggers tend to post lists of their favorite blogs by others, and those are goldmines of information and links to other ideas. I’ve really appreciated visiting those bloglists, “meeting” new people, seeing beautiful work, trying new ideas. I had no idea there was such a world of needle enthusiasts out there until I started reading all those posts. I’ve learned so many kinds of needlework by visiting such posts, and I’m thrilled with what I learn. Not to mention, it’s so much fun to see needle enthusiasts from all around the world. We really do share so many things in common.

  7. Leigh October 14, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    You missed Artisan Square – a wonderful group that has challenges similar to Pattern Review. It’s a great resource. http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php

  8. Susan October 14, 2015 at 10:44 am #

    Sew-A-Longs is a great resource for figuring out a pattern. Not all patterns have one for each design but Indie companies are doing more and more of them. The big pattern companies are putting their toe in this area also.

    Also yahoo groups for sewing machines, serger, software or other sewing related big purchase. Once you narrow down your targeted machine you can get the real scoop on how people use the machine, problems that are occurring and how to use/fix your problem (or not if that is the case). There are model specific groups, vintage machines and general discussion groups. Great resource to make a decision that is right for you.

    American Sewing Guild has many tutorials and resources on their website. You can also join/start a local group to meet other sewists. They also have speakers and workshops from the sewing community. Many organize cost sensitive retreats to get away and sew and sew days where you can meet and sew with like kind minds. Great for working out tricky parts and learning techniques you hadn’t seen before. (Perhaps there is an equivalent in Canada?) ASG is a non-profit.

    There are tutorials to figure out how to use machine feet. Some feet are a mystery until you see how they are used. Great for improving the outcome of your sewing projects. Videos are available on how to maintain your machine on many manufacturers sites.

    So much more but will end here. Happy sewing!

    • Lindsay October 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

      Yes definitely point out to them the sewalongs on your website !

  9. Megan October 14, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    I agree with everything said so far, craftsy (which I totally adore as the classes are so professional and have hours of instruction), using the google image search for a pattern number to see what other people have made from that pattern, sewing blogs and I have to add Pinterest.

    There are sewing boards galore on Pinterest and I have several boards on there to keep track of patterns I want to sew, styles I like, my vintage patterns, etc. Then I get emails suggesting other pins I might like, which of course link back to blogs and tutorials, etc. It’s all a big surf-fest really!

    Oh, and Bloglovin is great for finding blogs you hadn’t heard of before. Just find a few you like, sign up, and then you get a daily email with the latest from similar blogs – I’ve hugely increased my blog subscriptions since signing up to Bloglovin!

    I hope you have a long slot for your talk, as you’ll honestly be able to talk about sewing and the internet for hours :-D

    • Tasia October 14, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      Only an hour! I’ll have to make every word count. :)

  10. nothylane October 14, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    I would add that the online sewing world offers a wellspring of support. Technology has acquired its own agenda and its own etiquette but the online sewing world is unique for being so polite and encouraging to others.

    I would also add in that it has given women voice in sewing, marketing, fashion and body image that is otherwise unparalleled. And while this rising up of the little guy is evident in everything on the internet, it is certainly evident in the online sewing world too. And women are no longer having to be catered to and put upon for body norms…instead we are offering up our own ideas and those are diverse and equity driven.

  11. Julie October 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    hi Tasia, Pinterest is my favorite to find inspiration, to discover new patterns, new fabrics dealers. As well as Instagram and its hashtag. And of course YouTube to help you understand a technic.

  12. Béa October 14, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    For me it has to be the connection with so many other sewers, wherever you might be in the world. Sewing is a pretty solitary occupation for much of the time, at least it is for me! None of my real life friends sew or knit or do anything crafty, so the internet provides me with my own circle of sewing bee buddies. People who will be just as excited as me when I’ve Made A Thing, and I can be just as excited when they’ve Made A Thing.

    The inspiration is also amazing. It’s sometimes scary how much inspiration there is out there. Images that spark off ideas, that fizz around in your brain and make it impossible to decide which thing you want to make next, because there are so many things in your Want To Make list…

  13. Gabrielle October 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    For me, the three that come to mind are inspiration, friendships and meet ups. Sewing blogs (and sewing Instagram feeds etc) provide a crazy amount of ideas and encouragement to make what you like, that you may not get from the people around you in real life (even if they do sew, their tastes may differ to yours). I think you’ve covered friendships when you talked about connectedness – but online friendships are so important! You may be isolated or lonely, you may not have close friends irl, but when you join the online community you can find your clan, wherever they are in the world. Meet ups are the absolute icing on the cake to being part of the online sewing community – solidifying existing online friendships, making new friends, and sewing for an event where you know the rest of the attendees will be intetested in what you made.

  14. Ellen St. Germain October 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    First, in spite of my last name, I don’t believe we’re related.
    The two best things about the online sewing world are the tutorials and resources. No matter what our problem is, you can google it and find a tutorial to help you out. And with the two largest sewing/craft stores dominating the market, it’s a great way to find better tools and fabrics and notions!
    People in the electronic sewing world are so generous with their tips and knowledge!

  15. Julie October 14, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    For me, the best part of the online sewing world is problem solving. As time progresses, fewer of us live near our mothers and grandmothers. That means not all of us have experienced sewists nearby to help us troubleshoot problems and learn new techniques. But the internet makes it easy to draw on the entire world’s wealth of sewing knowledge. I search google by pattern number before starting a project to research common pitfalls. I use video tutorials to learn new techniques. And I post questions on blogs like this where friendly bloggers and readers can debate and answer.

  16. Bec October 14, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    I agree with everything you’ve said, but the other thing for me is that the online world keeps me inspired, even when I don’t get a chance to do a lot of sewing. I have a two year old, work full time and am 6 months pregnant at the moment so it’s hard to find the time to pull out my sewing machine and work on things. But subscribing to sewing blogs and being a part of the online sewing world in some ways helps to make me feel like I’m still involved in sewing and reminds me every day of why I love it, even if I don’t get to do much actual sewing.

  17. Elena October 14, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    I love pinterest.com for inspiration, including ready-to-wear ideas, and links to sewing resources such as tutorials, supplies, and free patterns. kollabora.com is also a great place to check out what others here and around the world are working on or have sew. I also head to Youtube for tutorials and how-tos. I am amazed at how generous people are with their knowledge!

  18. Jen B October 14, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    I think the diversity of the online sewing world is awesome. There’s much more to it than blogs and resources for sewing clothes, quilts, and home projects. There’s even a Make-Your-Own-Gear (MYOG) community, which I discovered through my hobby of ultralight backpacking. MYOG is about making your own hammocks, tents, sleeping bags or quilts, coats, backpacks, etc. Even though the projects are much different from what we normally think of as a part of the “online sewing world,” at its core, it’s still a form of joining fabric by needle and thread. Plus, there are some awesome online stores that sell super high-tech fabrics (like Cuben fiber, which is textile science magic).

  19. Marg in Canada October 14, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

    Sewing is a lot cooler when you’re not learning it from books and patterns from the 80’s! It’s so much more inspiring to see all the modern styles, even learning it from a modern website :-) it’s easy to spend more time looking online than at my sewing machine!
    Also so many student-budget friendly ideas and resources on the internet- patterns, fabrics, and inspiration on how to refashion bargain finds $$

    • Kat from Germany October 26, 2015 at 4:17 am #

      I think this is the most important thing! Modern pattern, stylish things the students ACTUALLY love to show their friends!
      I also agree with pinterest and google image search for the pattern to see what others are making.
      To me this is something so special about online sewing community…. the hype on some patterns. Sometimes you see a pattern and think “Meeh, that design is not for me” and then you see what others are making and NEED the pattern asap :D

      Also what I love are the alteration possibilities and tutorials. And the fact that some pattern designers specialize on different body types that the big fours (yes, Tasia, I’m looking at you ;) )
      Online sewing is doing such a amount of good for body image… Like the Curvy Sewing Collective. Maybe you find time to mention this?

  20. Katryna October 14, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    I agree with your posts, especially the first two. If you can impart the brilliance of the online world of independent designers and bloggers. When I was sewing in high school I found it so hard to find designs that I liked and felt confident making and wearing around school. Plus the connection of like-minded peers online just can’t be beat!

  21. Mary October 15, 2015 at 12:28 am #

    I started sewing 50 years ago and was so lucky to be taught by someone, Lou Green, who knew how to knit, crochet, tat, hook rugs, quilt, and was a wonderful dressmaker. Not all are so lucky. What I find now is I’m inspired by the young women who are reinventing the sewing world and taking it to new places. Best of all is shopping on-line. I still miss Jennies Yardstick in Beaverton, Oregon but enjoy the chase of finding it on-line. Good luck.

  22. docksjö October 15, 2015 at 12:43 am #

    I apart form what you all ready said so free tutorials for any thing you might not know on youtube and blogs.

  23. Ann Watts October 15, 2015 at 1:01 am #

    i,ve just returned to the sewing world after years of absence, and I can’t believe the on line content. It’s fabulous, inspiring and indormative. I agree with all your comments, but I would also add that I LOVE seeing people making up and sharing versions of the same pattern ( usually Indie patterns) . This is really inspiring. It gives me ideas beyond my own immediate ones, inspires me to try patterns which I may otherwise have missed, and passes on tips for watch outs. I Pintrest so much around this area and find it invaluable

  24. Linda October 15, 2015 at 2:39 am #

    Great suggestions – all of the above! I like the connection with other sewing bloggers, seeing patterns made up in a variety of fabrics, sizes and hacks! This is an interesting post, I’ll be back to check out some of the new-to-me sites!

  25. Lizzie October 15, 2015 at 4:33 am #

    Wouldn’t it be fab if your home ec homework was to make a tutorial of a sewing technique to share with online friends. I imagine students would be so creative with some students doing photo tutorials, some video tutorials etc. There’s often no better way to learn a new skill or a tricky technique than teaching it to someone else

  26. Claudette October 15, 2015 at 4:59 am #

    Definitely inspiration, as others have said. I also find the internet invaluable for learning how to sew. I wasn’t taught to sew and have learnt as an adult, almost entirely via the internet. I have a couple of reference books but nothing beats online tutorials. Videos and blogs with lots of step-by-step photos with plenty of chatty instructions, tips and tricks more than make up for a lack of face-to-face teaching. Sewing is so three-dimensional, line drawings in books can’t really tell you how to do something; you have to actually see the technique being done. Good luck for your presentation!

  27. PsychicKathleen October 15, 2015 at 5:36 am #

    I have returned to sewing after a 40 yr hiatus! It’s been such a joy increased 10 fold by the plethora of online support, enthusiasm and just sheer information and inspiration. In only a year I’ve learned more that I could have possibly in 10 without online resources. I am already well familiar with technology so plugging that in with my return home to sewing has opened up my life in ways that’s so big I am at a loss to describe it! Certainly Carftsy, blogs, and of course I’m a fan and serious follower of Sewaholic (I live in Victoria and met you briefly at Gala Fabrics) and Colette. If you are a sewer and haven’t explored the online sewer’s world you are in for a life altering treat!

  28. Janome Gnome October 15, 2015 at 5:55 am #

    Sew a longs and tutorials. The barriers to sewing for the previous generation were basically being stuck on your own with a disaster and getting demoralised. Now, you get much more accessible help (frank English, at the tip of your fingers) and you’re never on your own. The disasters are still there, heaven knows, but I think we get through them and keep satisfied and motivated with our sewing more easily.

    It’s also great for people who live somewhere remote, are on a very tight budget or are sewing under other difficult circumstances. You can pretty much find something wonderful to do with whatever you have to hand in terms of fabric or other supplies. Even upcycling existing clothes for on a zero-budget can get you exciting results.

    You’re in good company …for us pear shapes, of course ;) … and it’s been mentioned before but the curvy sewing collective is a great example of getting together and not only refusing to be excluded, but making an absolute party of that network. I’m not even that curvy but I learn so much about fit and patterns and just plain enjoying your body and your clothes from them. Same for the makers of any given pattern, via social media, finding sewing friends in your area, having fun link ups through projects like Me Made Me and Kids Clothes Week and so on. All great fun, feeds very positively into the experience.

  29. Nikki October 15, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    For me the main appeals of the sewing blog world are inspiration and instruction.
    I love looking at the things that different people with different styles make. Just seeing how someone has combined a pattern with a beautiful fabric is so motivational. It inspires me to get into my sewing room and start my next project, whatever it may be. I also love hearing the story behind the dress and any setbacks they had. It makes me feel better when I mess up to realize it’s not the end of the world.
    Also I’ve learned so much about construction techniques from the blog world. I can usually always find a tidbit from a sewalong that applies to something I’m making, even if it’s a completely different pattern. There are blog posts I refer to again and again when I need refreshers.
    I hope that home ec teachers are able to inspire their students to get hooked on sewing as a cool form of self expression.

  30. Nicole October 15, 2015 at 6:47 am #

    PDF patterns! I grew up learning to sew from my Grandma with patterns you chose from a book, in the back of a Wal-Mart where you hoped you might find fabric you like. It’s no wonder it didn’t take as a hobby for a self-conscious 12-year-old. When I found Burdastyle after college, circa 2006, where I could buy more trendy styles, buy it on the spot at home and print it out, it’s no hyperbole to say it was life changing.

    Being able to see how patterns look on many different people before I make them is huge! Whether that’s designers like yourself who have flickr pools of completed projects; seeing photos on blogs; Instagram or just googling a pattern name/number–I can’t imagine not having that resource.

    • Sarah October 18, 2015 at 2:34 am #

      Yes! PDF’s blew my mind! And just learning how to fit using a multitude of online resources – when I was at school we made big four patterns and I had no clue what size to pick or that I could grade between sizes so I tended to make disasters!

  31. Carol C. October 15, 2015 at 7:09 am #

    I’m so glad you are spreading the word! I learned to sew in the 1970’s then recently started taking classes at my local college. Nothing had really changed. I found myself going to the same fabric store (not much choice in Eastern Canada), and leafing through the same pattern books as 40 years ago. I was in my third semester before I got well and truly stuck and thought ‘I can’t be the only person with this problem.’ I googled the pattern number and found Pattern Review. From there I found a sewing blogger who mentioned Sewaholic designs for pear-shaped women – wow! How did I not know there were independent patterns, sew-alongs, and all sorts of support online? As others have mentioned, if you don’t have friends who sew, it can sometimes be a lonely and frustrating pastime. The online world keeps me interested and excited about sewing. I’ll still do classes as my teacher is excellent, but am more confident now that I know help is just a few clicks away.

  32. Melanie October 15, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    I love being able to Google a pattern and see how it looks as made by other people: on their bodies, with their alterations or fabric choices. I also love that I can find tutorials on how to do things that my sewing books don’t give detailed enough instructions for.

  33. Hedda October 15, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    One aspect I love is that the online sewing world is international. I’ve learned so much about other cultures’ approach to sewing thanks to all the blogs and forums, things that simply aren’t a part of my inherited sewing culture. Look at Chinelo from season two of The great british sewing bee, it’s far away from the detailed instructions and careful piecing of an indie pattern, which again is a few miles away from my upbringing of tracing Burda magazines and learning by using logic to figure out their rather notorious instructions. (You have no idea how weird -and annoying- it was to me to use patterns with seam allowances included.)

    As for preferred resources: Pattern review is indispensable for machine research, and Craftsy makes so much high quality knowledge available to people like me who live at the ends of the earth, far away from anything resembling a sewing class.

  34. Ali October 15, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    I’m just finishing up a Masters degree in Information Science and one of our assignments was to create a resource guide on any topic that we wanted – and I decided to create a guide for those beginning sewing.

    As someone who’s been sewing for many years, it was amazing just how many resources are available for beginners that I was not aware of before doing this assignment. I forgot just how much there is to learn when you’re starting out. I’d be very happy to share this guide with anyone that might find it useful.

    • Carmen Garland October 19, 2015 at 11:23 am #

      Not a beginner, but I’d love to see what you did.

      Now figure out a way for us to make a living combining that specialty with sewing. I’d love it.

  35. Becky October 15, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Honestly, what I most wish had existed was affordable digital cameras, because then I’d have pictures of the clothes I sewed back then, aside from my prom and homecoming dresses! But I also would have been really excited about how easy it was to find step by step tutorials for more difficult techniques. I was pretty fearless in deciding what garments to make, but proper fitting and finishing were among the things that were hard to self-teach. Which is probably why I still feel like no better than an intermediate sewist, even though I’ve been sewing steadily for nearly 3/4 of my life.

  36. Mary October 15, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    What a great question for discussion! I’ve taught before, and here is how I’d begin

    Good morning everyone. How many of you can simply walk into a shop and buy anything that with your “size” on the label? I used to buy clothing a size larger than needed because of arm musculature. A friend has sloping shoulders, another friend has larger hips and a longer torso than average… A young man I met is very tall and slender, but can’t afford the big and tall shop… And so on.
    Thank God for the Internet, where you can get so much great advice on fitting for those quirks that make us, us!
    If you are determined to create your own patterns, there are sites that offer advice on drafting your own patterns from measurements. If you’d like to learn how to operate a sewing machine, here are a few sites that offer sound advice. Many people use the pattern review site to find people with similiar fitting issues and compare notes with them. It can be very helpful to see a style on someone your size and shape.
    To close, I’d have dollar bill sized papers with site information printed for the audience to put in their wallets and take home.

  37. alex October 15, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

    The online sewing community is a great place to be part of. First of I use it as an I inspiration place. I get to look at other people work and get idwas on what my next peoject is going to be Secondly, when you go to the store to buy a pattern you only see adrawing of the finished prodcut, but on the Internet you can actually see what the finished project looks like. This help me see if I want to buy the pattern I the first place. If I need help on a certain technique I just look it up on a blog. It’s also a great place for beginners.

  38. Bryony October 16, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    I think the resources that are available are so amazing in their variety, scope and generosity! It has made my sewing experience so much richer and less frustrating than it was 30 years ago.

    I wanted to second the commenters who mentioned Google searches as a valuable tool. In addition to searching patterns, I often search specific issues, like “pants fitting under butt wrinkles” or “sewing machine thread nest” and it’s amazing how easy it is to find answers on blogs, deep in forum threads, or in other resources.

  39. Heather October 16, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    I think the best part is the connectedness. Meeting people online that are across the world from you but sewing the same things and having similar experiences is so cool!

  40. Jan October 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    Online shopping for quality apparel fabric. The brick and mortar fabric stores near me only have quilting cotton and really terrible polyester apparel fabrics. Online I’ve purchased silk-cotton voile, rayon voile, swimsuit fabric, wool, and other lovely fabrics I could not have ever found locally.

    Google image searches on a pattern name. It’s great to see what patterns look like in different types of fabric. Pretty frequently, I’m not a huge fan of the sample or envelope illustration on a pattern (big 4 or indie, but big 4 in particular often hide a lovely design with questionable fabric choice), but then I see that pattern made up in a fabric that’s more my style on a blog and then decide that it’s an awesome pattern and I need to make it up.

  41. Janet October 20, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    So many things.

    My Mum (who taught me to sew) is in exactly this position. She’d never considered using the internet for sewing help until this year. She loves: pdf patterns – no more tracing, online fabric stores that send samples, pattern reviews online, and seeing photos of garments worn by people who look like her – rather than just the illustrations on the packet.

    I’m pretty much the same, but I also love sewalongs, reading the gory details of other people’s struggles with the garment I’m making, and also the targeted pattern companies (like Sewaholic) who design things for a particular set of people.

    The worst thing is probably the amount of time I can lose on my phone or my computer wandering around Pinterest, the blogosphere and online fabric shops. Not that it’s not fun, it just eats up all my free time!

  42. Jenny October 21, 2015 at 2:35 am #

    Hi Tasia, the thing that really opened my eyes to the potential of sewing was the Curvy Sewing Collective and in particular their gung-ho attitude to adjustments! I’d grown up with the idea that by sewing you could fit things to yourself exactly, but no idea as to how exactly to do that. That’s something that the internet is really helpful for. Also the internet exudes can-do attitude – for every experienced sewist IRL saying “Avoid jersey – it’s too difficult” there’s someone on the internet saying “Give it a go! – it’s not that hard!” along with a few tips, and generally they’re right. On top of that there’s some really useful tutorials – a brilliant one which I used recently was Colette’s fly-front tutorial. The other thing that’s changed my perspective is sewalongs – in particular your sewalong for the Minoru jacket, which made me realise it might be a good idea to take things slowly and do one chunk at a time, rather than getting excited and carried away, and carrying on until you’re making mistakes and your eyes hurt. With hindsight this seems obvious….

  43. Birdmommy October 21, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    One thing that may be of interest for younger people/students is that there are sewing groups ‘hidden away’ on a lot of different platforms. For example, Reddit has r/sewing and r/freepatterns. It’s a different type of community (compared to sewing blogs), but it can be very helpful and encouraging, especially for users already familiar with Reddit.

  44. Catherine October 22, 2015 at 6:08 am #

    For those wanting to organise their fabric stash & projects online, try Threadle.net.. (remember Sabine from your post about The Sewing Circle, Tasia, back in 2012?

    I hope it will be as big as Ravelry one day if all sewists are part of it as a huge sewing community. Right now everyone has their own blogs for garment sewing, why not under one roof? So far I have tried it on Android recently & it works great!

    Textillia.com is also coming soon..

    I definitely love the creative & social aspect of our online sewing community! :) despite the competition between Big 4 & indie patterns, the net has made the world a smaller place now & sewists are spoilt for choice. Lol

  45. Debbie October 22, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    I love Pattern Review because it gives so many different end results from the exact same pattern. It really helps to read about the tips others recommend when making up a pattern.

    The best resource I have found so far is Brooks Ann Camper. She has a great website where she runs through in lovely detail all the bespoke wedding outfits she makes for brides who want something unique. From reading this, plus the Curvy Sewing Collective, I enrolled on her skirt making course. It is the BEST course ever, with easy to follow video instructions and superb class interaction with the other students. All of her lessons include links to other useful sewing resources and blogs. I couldn’t sew anything to fit me properly before I enrolled but now I have a skirt block that fits perfectly and am onto my third skirt as a result!

  46. NJL November 29, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed the WeSewRetro website. Some very cool stuff there.

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