Let’s talk about sewing websites. I’ve been a member of Ravelry since Beta. I think we can all agree, they do an outstanding job of facilitating a knitting (and crochet community). Kudos Ravelry. Sewers are frustrated that the same service doesn’t exist for us.
The most obvious contender is Pattern Review. It’s been around longer than Ravelry and has a huge data base. It’s the first place I turn when I hope to find some information about a pattern I might sew. However, I’m sure I’m not the first to say, it isn’t very attractive and I find it difficult to navigate.
The While She Naps podcast did an interesting interview of Deepika Prakash, the founder. She began the site long ago, in some ancient coding language. She had the foresight to build a social sewing site before Ravelry, or even Facebook. That is probably part of the problem. I know that updating an old website with a lot of data is an overwhelming task.
Apparently it has had a facelift in the last year, but I didn’t notice. She considered doing a total site revamp but said that when she tested it with users, they didn’t like it. I think that was a mistake. Change can be difficult but I think it is much needed.
Launched in the autumn and is UK based. It has an attractive interface. There was an initial flurry of activity, as UK sewers hoped this would be our Ravelry. However, that seems to have died down, as it hasn’t been that easy to find or make reviews or socialise with other sewers. At least, that is my experience.
They are obviously working very hard to get it established, but somehow it hasn’t been a great way to connect with people. One thing I feel very frustrated about, is that the founders are not crowd sourcing the uploads of patterns. You can only review patterns that they have uploaded. Their choices are not mine, and so most of my sewing has been from patterns that I can’t find or make reviews of. The only pattern I was able to review, was the Washi Dress. Their interests seem skewed to the young sewer. That will probably change in time. I wonder if they may have launched it a little prematurely.
If you are on The Fold Line, I am Juju, become my friend. Maybe we can help them to grow.
Textillia is based in Canada and just celebrated it’s 6 month anniversary. It has a very attractive interface. I see a lot of it’s founder, Ariane, on social media; she seems to be working really hard. I have only recently joined Textillia, but I’m loving it!
Textillia is croud sourcing the uploading of fabrics and patterns to the site. I uploaded the Pilvi coat to see how it worked. It was very comprehensive. Unfortunately, as my images were scanned from the book, they had to delete them, for copyright reasons. But Ariane let me know this, which was nice. It was a little difficult to select the picture I wanted to use for the main image, it would be nice if this were drag and drop, but overall it was very easy.
I also added my first review to Textillia, of the Pilvi coat I had just uploaded. The review looks really good. Better, even than on Ravelry, dare I say. I’m spending more time on this site, commenting on other peoples makes and I will be loading more of my own over time. I don’t think I will load my fabric to it. I use Evernote for that. But maybe I’ll switch over.
I am also Juju on Textillia (the advantage of getting in early, is you get to use your own name). Please befriend me if you’re on the site. It would be nice to see it grow.
You can also see I added a badge to my sidebar. They didn’t have any on the site so I requested one and they made it for me by the next day. I find, Ariane, the founder, very approachable.
Can only one site survive? I don’t know. Are there any other sites that you use to connect with sewers? I guess I haven’t included Instagram, Flickr or blogs. Do people still use Flickr or is Instagram coming to replace it? I haven’t been on in it in some time.
Please let me know what social media you are using to connect with other sewers and any other thoughts on the subject.