CORRECTION: The above title should read, "Sewing and the Internet."
I often wonder what it would have been like to learn to sew before the Internet. How much harder it would have been!
Consider some of the ways the Internet has helped me since I bought my first sewing machine last May:
- It allowed me to explore countless sewing machine reviews, for both new and old machines, via websites like Amazon, Overstock, and Pattern Review.
- On You Tube, I found instructional videos that taught me how to thread a bobbin, pull up the bobbin thread, insert a zipper, etc.
- I was able to find patterns, both new and vintage, on sites like eBay and Etsy. I still don't know where they sell men's patterns in NYC!
- I found a vibrant sewing community on Pattern Review and it was there that I met my first sewing buddy, Brian (of Briansews).
- Before I'd ever heard about the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) bookstore, I was able to explore sewing books, and buy them inexpensively, on Amazon and Half.com.
- I was able to launch a sewing blog and connect with an even larger group of sewers.
But I also wonder what we've lost because of the Internet. These are primarily hunches; correct me if you think I'm wrong, peeps:
- With so many people having easy access to online fabric and notions stores, many local stores haven't been able to compete and have closed their doors.
- Ditto stores that sell sewing machines and or offer classes. Increasingly, people are comfortable making purchases online, and are likely to do so especially if they're offered a better price. Buying online also means for most people, not having to get into a car and drive.
- Being able to connect with sewers all over the world, we're less inclined to explore more local opportunities to connect with people who share our interest. We're no longer dependent on our neighbors and local community and might find ourselves less inclined to reach out to them.
I've mentioned Pattern Review as the site that has had the greatest impact on my sewing. It's great to know that if I have a sewing-related question, I can post it on the PR message board and more than likely have a response within an hour (and sometimes in just minutes!). Being able to post pattern reviews and receive feedback, as well as entering contests, has been enormously validating and motivating for me as well.
BurdaStyle is another popular online resource, though for me, it doesn't have as strong a sense of community as Pattern Review does; I've never really warmed up to it.
I know Threads is also a popular resource. But when there's something I need to know where I want visual instruction, I'm most likely to search You Tube. I have found countless videos there on all things sewing-related. It's so nice to be able to watch someone do a blind hem stitch than to read about it.
So how about you, peeps? How has the Internet affected your sewing? If you learned to sew before the Internet, were things very different for you then? Were you able to find other people who sewed? What are your favorite online resources?
Aside from all the good things the Internet has done for sewing, do you think it has had a negative impact in any way?
I'd love to hear what you think!