Do you like to sew but often get stuck and frustrated? Do you have a growing pile of unfinished projects you just can’t get to grips with, or do you just need a bit of inspiration and want to learn a new technique?
I’ve been sewing since I was wee, mainly taught by my mum and grandma, plus in home economics and textiles classes at school. But then I spent a good seven years not sewing and things got a little rusty. So I often have to look things up or learn more advanced techniques as my confidence grows and I tackle more difficult patterns.
That’s where this wonderful little thing called the internet comes in. Ta da!
Obviously, the quickest way of finding out something is googling it (and I don’t need to tell you how to do that), or checking out the many instructional videos on YouTube – there really is something for every question you have, right down to how to thread a needle.
And, of course, there are a multitude of great books I could recommend (that’s another post).
But when you find a good source of help online, it really is worth going back to it again and again. So I thought I’d share some of the sites I use on a regular basis for techniques, patterns and inspiration, including some good resources for beginners.
Cut Out + Keep
I LOVE this site. It’s a general crafty site, so doesn’t contain just sewing projects, but if you want to sew something small (think accessories, purses, plushies) and don’t know how, you’ll probably find a pattern or tutorial for it here. Some people use it to show off projects, and these can be great for inspiration, but others are really generous in taking the time to share exactly how they did it. Remember to be kind though and don’t use anyone’s patterns commercially unless they expressly say you can (this pretty much goes for all of these sites).
Red Velvet DIY Dress-Up
This sewing e-course from the ladies at Red Velvet is great for beginners, as it takes you step-by-step through completing easy (and very wearable) projects like hair bows, tote bags, purses, belts and some clothing. It’s also great as a refresher for anyone who hasn’t sewn for a while, or those who want quick projects to dip in and out of.
See Kate Sew
Kate’s a really talented seamstress who is brimming with the most creative ideas for clothing and accessories. She covers a lot of basic techniques on her blog, and even has a library full of them, plus free patterns including cute stuff for kiddos.
Adventures in Dressmaking
Suzannah is another seamstress with a great blog. Her ‘Sewing Circle’ posts are really useful, answering questions from readers on everything from ‘how tos’ to recreating popular trends and even matching dresses they’ve seen in films to commercial patterns. She’s like a sewing fairy godmother!
Collette patterns are so chic and stylish. If that’s not a good enough reason to love them then their sewing tips via the weekly ‘Snippets’ email delivered straight to your inbox will do the trick. They are unbelievably useful and I find myself referring back to them often.
Burda is a well-known make of pattern, but rather than just running a simple shop site like many other pattern manufacturers, Burda have created a community for sewers to share and create patterns, projects and tips, alongside the usual commercial patterns. The site is also regularly updated with patterns from the Burda magazine, so you’re guaranteed to find something on-trend. It’s a genuinely useful resource and a good place to meet other wannabe-seamstresses.
Fashion Sewing Blog
This blog and YouTube channel from fellow Manchester-lass Colleen G Lea are brilliant. She has instructional video for just about every fashion sewing technique you can think of, plus sew-alongs and advice on styling for different body shapes.
These are just a few of the sites I find helpful, but I’d love to hear where you go for sewing tips. Let me know in the comments.