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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How I Would Use a "Sewing Ravelry"

In my very first blog post, I wrote about a few possible reasons for why I think there is no "Ravelry for sewing". This time, I want to tell you what I personally would use such a site for.

To put this into the right context, I first need to tell you more about myself. I'm really just a sewing beginner, I've sewn only a handful of garments and they are, on average, pretty simple and definitely not well-crafted - I simply lack the practice to get my seams straight and I think there's a good deal of sewing tricks or best practices that I simply haven't learned about yet. Sewing is for me a craft about which I keep thinking... "how awesome would it be to be able to make clothes for me that look good and fit".

Despite being just a beginner, I already have a small fabric and notions stash (it fits in two large drawers, so compared to some other stashes, it's really pretty small). It seems to me that it's pretty easy to fall in love with a fabric in the fabric store or at a fair. Ordering smallish packages of wholesale notions is also a lot of fun. Despite the really quite tiny size of my stash I already had trouble remembering where I placed a particular fabric - I had to rummage through both drawers to find it at the bottom. Sounds like I could maybe use a Ravelry-like stash to organize my stuff, at least if my stash keeps growing.

Actually, I like a lot how Ravelry lets independent designers sell patterns through the site. One thing I don't like about fashion in the real world is how someone else decides what I'm supposed to like. So, what I would love to have is a place where people can ask for patterns to be made - some kind of "Wanted Board" where people can post descriptions and drawings of garments they would love to wear. Independent designers could look at the Wanted Board to get inspiration for new patterns and they could be sure that there are people interested in buying what they're creating.

If I were looking for a "V-neck dress with a ruffled A-line ankle-length skirt", I could actually find it in the pattern database, by selecting a bunch of easy-to-use filters. This would be a huge improvement over the current way to search patterns - which seems to revolve around browsing a ton of pages, or asking the experienced crowd in forums for their pattern suggestions. To me, the ability to find the right pattern with much less hassle sounds like one of the biggest uses of a "Sewing Ravelry". I might be missing some clever way to find patterns online, though. Do I?

One particular thing that I like about Ravelry is how knowledgeable and genuinely nice the people on there are. It's really a place that breathes kindness, somehow. The whole site doesn't make me feel as if there is someone trying to sell me something I don't want or need right around the corner. Does this sound strange to you? It feels safe to post on the forums - and there's a lot of useful discussions on there. Also, a lot of people seem to have interesting blogs.

So, I think I could personally use such a site to
  1. organize my stash (maybe, I'm not 100% sure)
  2. get designers to make patterns for my dress ideas
  3. buy patterns directly from their designers
  4. find patterns more easily
  5. lurk in the forums and read blog posts to learn more about sewing
If you think you need a Ravelry-like site for sewing, what would you use it for?

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