Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sew Much Easier

  • Digital music - check
  • Digital books - check
  • Digital magazines - check

There is no doubt at all that I am quite converted to the online world - I am rarely offline, between my tablet, my phone, my laptop and even my new Android camera! More and more I am turning to online shopping, online storage and online resources.

However, even I am surprised at how much even my crafting has become easier because of the internet. Of course, I have been part of the online scrapbooking community for a long time. Even my knitting and crochet has started to have a greater online presence - Ravelry is not only a great way to find project ideas and patterns, but also a way to record works in progress and completed and the yarns, patterns and tools used. I actually avoid patterns now that I can't have as a PDF and refer to on my tablet - the one exception being the Baby Surprise Jacket, circa 1968, the pattern of which is not available in that format.

But I never imagined my sewing could be revolutionised in the same way. I have discussed before the long break in my sewing passion, only reignited recently due to the impending granddaughter.But you would have thought not much could change - purchase paper pattern plus fabric at the shop, cut out tissue paper pattern, cut out fabric, try to refold pattern pieces without losing a crutial part and fit back into envelope for future use.

But now? Sorry Butterick, McCall, Simplicity and all the others - but you aren't in the loop for me anymore. Now I surf Pinterest for patterns and tutorials, which I either download free (thanks!) or buy for a small price from Etsy sellers (thanks again!). And I store these on a "board" for easy reference when planning projects.  I need only print out the pieces I need on my home printer, stick the pages together with tape and cut out the template. Far more robust than tissue, I can store them easily in a display book and use them over and over - and print a replacement or different size as often as I wish. And the instructions, usually with colour step-by-step photos, I don't print at all. I store them in Evernote and view them on my tablet, which takes up little room and plays me background music (via Spotify!) at the same time.

Then I found the answer to my quest for a Ravelry-like home for my sewing projects - My Sewing Circle! Now, I can keep a record of patterns, fabric, notions etc, just like my yarn projects. And so I remember what bits and pieces I might need to pick up when I do venture into Spotlight or Lincraft, I cut and paste the requirements directly into my shopping list app - Out of Milk! No more standing in the store trying to recall what sized elastic I needed!

I still buy some fabric in-store - Lincraft are currently having a 50% off sale - but I also buy it online, as I do with some yarn. And it isn't from some off-shore conglomerate: I shop at Australian small businesses who run online shops in addition to, or in place of, bricks and mortar stores. With efficient delivery, I often get my delivery the next day!

So, yet another hurdle has fallen. I still use paper and ink to print the pattern pieces, obviously, but until I can feed the fabric in one end of a machine and get cut pieces out the other, that is the only paper I am using!

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