Discoveries of a novice: Essential websites

If you’re new to sewing, and online (the latter of which you presumably are if you’re reading this), then you’re probably trying to figure out which websites are the most useful for a newbie. Well, there are lots of great sewing websites I’ve both found and that have been recommended to me. I’ve listed five below that are free and that I reckon are invaluable as a resource/tool to learn and gain inspiration from:

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PatternReview.com: This huge website looks pretty old-fashioned when you first arrive at it, but don’t be fooled by appearances. There is a megaton of information hidden away in its vast archives. Presumably this is one of the reasons it hasn’t been jazzed up – it would be a gargantuan task to export all that data. Anyway, this is my first pitstop when I want to check out a pattern I’m not sure about. Odds are that at least a few people will have made it before (particularly if it’s a Big Four pattern) and you can get plenty of inspiration from those posts. The reviews also give you great tips on sizing and hints for any pattern you’re planning to sew up. There are a ton of other areas: tips, a pattern store, forums for help and advice, to name but a few. It’s a stalwart of the home sewing world.

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Burdastyle.com: This is another huge mine of information and is a fantastic place to ask questions and get advice. In addition, there is a lot of information on sewing techniques here, usually with nice explanatory visuals to help you through your conundrum. They have lots of sewalongs and also more in-depth courses if you’re interested in, say, drafting, for example. I haven’t used Burdastyle as extensively as PatternReview, but I find I am logging onto it more often now as I’m past the very beginner-beginner stage and learning/refining new techniques.

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The Foldline: This is a fairly new UK-based site and so is still being populated to some extent, but I think it’s a great place to go to for indie pattern info, particularly. Where patternreview has the big company patterns covered, The Foldline is where I often go to check out new indie releases. It’s a very user-friendly site and there are some nice sections, such as the one focused on the UK Sewing Bee series, which I love (naturally)! 🙂

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Colette Patterns is actually technically a pattern company headed by Sarai Mitnick. The company drafts and sells a range of to-die-for patterns, but the main reason it’s on my list is for all the other information it provides and how it does so. For my money, Colette is one of the best resources out there for explaining things in a clear way, with good illustrative pictures. In addition, Colette now has its sideline/sister project that is Seamwork Magazine. They release the magazine once a month for free and it has loads of interesting, informative articles for sewists of any level. If you actually subscribe for the paltry fee of $6 a month you also get two patterns each month. These are designed to be made in three hours or less and are excellent value – for beginners especially. I’ve been a subscriber since the beginning and haven’t regretted it for a second. Oh yes, and there’s also Seamwork Radio – a series of sewing-related podcasts, which are well worth a listen to. Sarai and her team certainly keep themselves busy!!!

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Bloglovin: Alright, so this is not a site as much as it is a blog aggregator and it is especially good on the phone using the Bloglovin app. From what I can tell, there’s been a bit of a trend for some experienced sewists to not be writing blog pieces so often and instead using Instagram or such on a more frequent basis. I totally understand the time/output issue and blog posts do take quite some effort. Having said that, I think the tide is slightly reversing and I say Yayyy!, because: the blog is the novice sewist’s best friend. I have learnt SO much just by perusing other people’s makes and tips. There are so many great blogs out there and kind, generous people. Bloglovin is my blog feed of choice. It’s not perfect, but I haven’t found anything else to which you can add new blogs so quickly, which is so easy to read and file the stories you wish to keep, without bugging you with notifications or updates. It’s great! I am also on Bloglovin so you can follow me there under Belle Citadel if you’d like! 🙂

What about you? Any great sites you like that I’ve missed? Do let me know! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Discoveries of a novice: Essential websites

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