How do you use online sewing resources?

Hi everyone, and a belated happy holiday to you all!

I was having a Twitter conversation with the darling Sarah, asking for advice on an online forum for sewing, similar to what Ravelry is for knitters and crocheters. She came up with some great suggestions, like My Sewing Circle, and the forums at The Sew Weekly and The Coletterie.

Violet Trundle sewing with a Singer sewing machine at her home in Hughenden, ca. 1925

A more traditional approach to learning a craft (Source).

My absolute favorite function on Ravelry however, is the advanced pattern search. I use it all the time, and it´s sooo convenient.  All the big knitting and crochet pattern companies and designers are represented, as well as indie designers and yarn distributors. The patterns search options are endless, and you can filter as much or as little as you´d like.

Imagine having this type of feature for sewing? Where you could for example enter fabric, yardage and garment type, and add specific design details, then hit search. And up comes all alternatives from both big and small pattern companies and other members projects. Wouldn´t that be fantastic?

The online sewing resource I use the absolute most is Pattern Review. It might seem a little overwhelming at first, as it has so many different functions, but I like the fact that I can go there and see what other people have made with the pattern I´m considering and what their experiences were. From time to time, the community at BurdaStyle can give similar help, but in my experience, the reviews aren´t as thorough as those at PR. I also use Pinterest as a place to keep all the tutorials I stumble across on blogs and web pages.

Now, onto the actual topic. How do you guys make use of online sewing resources? I know I have my way of searching, but we all work differently, and I´d love to learn about how you use the Internets for this. Do you have any other sources you could recommend? Are you satisfied with what is available, or are there any other search methods or resources you are missing in the sewing community?

Have a happy New Year celebration!

No Comments

  1. Andrea on 30/12/2011 at 15:34

    I mostly use Internet resources to find as many photos of the completed pattern/project as I can. This is how I’m most inspired (or put off) to make something, and I enjoy seeing how different people interpret the same pattern. PatternReview has been helpful for more technical details about construction or design changes, but it bothers me that you can only upload one photo of the project, and you can’t easily scroll through all photos by different members at once. So, BurdaStyle has a better interface for that, and I also like Flickr groups. I can go to the Simplicity pattern group page ( and search for a specific pattern number to see all the related photos. Since it just includes Flickr members, it’s not as extensive of a search but the photo quality tends to be better.

    I honestly don’t know what other resources are available. I’ll be interested to hear what other people say!

    • Sølvi on 31/12/2011 at 13:57

      I agree with you about the design of PR, it´s not optimal for pictures – I don´t need Flickr nearly as much as I should for pattern search, for some reason I forget about it, but it really is a good source for pics. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Sarah on 30/12/2011 at 16:35

    I love the advanced pattern feature at Ravelry, too. Fabulous! It would be marvellous to have something similar for the sewing community. Pattern Review is thorough, but I don’t really use it.

    • Sølvi on 31/12/2011 at 13:59

      Yup, Ravelrys pattern search is perfect – I don´t use the forums much neither at Ravelry nor PR.

  3. Sarah on 30/12/2011 at 16:35

    Oh, forgot to say, thanks so much for your lovely compliment and link! 🙂

  4. StephC on 31/12/2011 at 05:50

    I have wished for a sewing resource like Ravelry since forever.

    I use pattern review less and less… It’s cumbersome and there’s a strong anti-blogger attitude on the blogs… PR is a little bit in love with itself if you know what I mean…

    Mostly, I just keep my eyes open for stuff on other blogs, books, movies, etc that I like and go from there though I know that’s not always easy to do.

    I’m getting more into Sew Weekly, it seems to have a little of the Ravelry feeling to it. Maybe in the future they’ll be able to expand into the kind of cross-referencing that makes Ravelry so exceptional and a hub for all kinds of knitters.

    • Sølvi on 31/12/2011 at 14:02

      I don´t use the boards on PR, but I think I get what you mean. Books and movies are great references too, I agree!

  5. StephC on 31/12/2011 at 05:51

    *strong anti-blogger attitude on the boards… Sorry.

  6. Debbie on 31/12/2011 at 07:32

    I only use Pattern Review occasionally and am a burda member but haven’t used that much recently either. I find Flickr useful and if I am planning on sewing a particular pattern I will see if there are any examples or groups on flickr and I find that quite good inspiration. I don’t know why but I find the layout of Sew Weekly confusing and I have never been able to get to grips with it!
    I agree a sewing type of Ravelry would be great. I am a new ravelry user and just getting to find my way around. x

    • Sølvi on 31/12/2011 at 14:04

      I have been confused by the SW layout as well, Debbie – and haven´t been patient enough to try and understand it, I guess;-). I will for sure start to use Flickr more for pattern searches!

  7. Gabrielle on 01/01/2012 at 11:59

    I use Pattern Review quite a bit to see what others have done with a pattern, and from there often find extra photos of the sewn garment in the reviewer’s flickr account or blog. I also do a lot of internet image searches. I find the BurdaStyle site really hard to search. I sometimes search for particular things on pinterest but it’s too distracting! There are also submitted (I think) images and blog links for more recent patterns at Vogue’s facebook page – I always forget to look here though.

    • Sølvi on 01/01/2012 at 20:08

      Ah, Facebook – I hadn´t even though of that either! I´m very ambivalent to it, so that´s probably why, but I guess it´s worth checking it out! :-

  8. Sigrid on 01/01/2012 at 20:02

    I agree. . . Nothing compare to Ravelry. PR seems to be the most comprehensive site, but I have to admit that the poor visuals make it really unappealing for me and Burda is just such a massive mixed bag that it doesn’t seem to generate a community. I love the Self Stitched months when everyone is posting on Flikr because it is so easy to scroll through a lot of projects and leave comments without having to sign in. (This is how i found most of my bloggin buddies.) Maybe we could try to create more of a year-round presence there and have some guidelines for tagging photos???

    • Sølvi on 01/01/2012 at 20:11

      I agree with you about the layout of PR. I love the idea of a more year-round Flickr usage with better tagging – I love how sarai is encouraging people to tag pics in the Colette group, and if all Flickr pools were better organized it would be fantastic. Great idea, Sigrid! 🙂

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.