Weekly Feature


6 Sewing Sites for the Hip Seamster

March 26, 2010
by Colleen Brondou
Both the up-and-coming DIY crafter with a shiny new sewing machine and the veteran seamstress who knows her way around the bias can always use some fresh ideas. The Web is bursting at the seams with sites to instruct, inform and inspire newbies and old hands alike in the various ways of putting needle to fabric.

ThreadBanger wants you to “forget about corporate stores, we’re here to help you create and find your own style!” A sample of video demos includes an edgy, postapocalyptic zipper shirt, a vintage dog bed, a crocheted neckline, curtains and lots of other DIY projects, some of which don’t even involve sewing; look under “Episodes.” Be sure to visit the blog and an active forum where you can show off your own creations, and get tips and advice.

Although BurdaStyle.com claims to be a “place for people who sew—with style,” you’ll find a surprising variety of interpretations of what style is. In other words, the projects found here aren’t as snooty as the site may suggest. “How Tos” offers step-by-step tutorials with photos, and “Creations” features photos of handmade projects, both submitted by site users. The blog discusses fashion designers, offers interviews with featured site members and covers practicalities like how to choose fabric and recycle old clothes.
Sadly, SavvySeams.com is “retired” so there won’t be any new content added to the site, but there’s plenty of old content to mine. The site promises “free sewing patterns with modern flair” and it delivers with patterns for simple accessories, items for the home such as oven mitts and throw pillows, and bags, purses and MP3 cases. The “Getting Started” section can help you do just that, and the “Techniques” section covers some basics like sewing a button with a thread shank and creating a double welt pocket.

Threads magazine isn’t edgy, hip or even necessarily stylish, but it gets down to the brass tacks of sewing. The magazine Web site provides no-nonsense advice on sewing basics, including how to choose the right fabrics, finishes and embellishments; and deal with such problems as skipped stitches and difficult fabrics. Don’t miss “20 Ways to Improve Your Sewing” for simple things you can do to add additional polish to your projects.

Fitzpatterns offers downloadable patterns that reflect a streetwise sensibility: think an off-the-shoulder dress befitting Debbie Harry, as well as short shorts, tube tops  and shrugs. Some patterns are available for free, others cost between $2–$3.

A newcomer on the scene, with an as-of-yet very spare Web site, Modern Seamster is a magazine that aims to “fill the need for a smarter, fresher, and more innovative sewing magazine.” Download a free PDF of the magazine’s premier issue online, and keep your fingers crossed that more content finds its way online soon: the magazine is chock full of advice from “Mrs. Pinkingshears”; sewing exercises for the beginner, intermediate and advanced seamster; how-tos on techniques and projects (make your own gladiator sandals!); and plenty of commentary on style, culture, fashion and more.

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