Guest post – Researching your next project
Before I start any kind of sewing project I always like to do a bit of research first to get ideas and inspiration for the fabric or pattern I am using. In the past I might have used a sketchbook or cut out pictures from magazines, but now I can do this all online. There are so many sources of inspiration on the internet; from the fashion pages of online newpapers, blogs, look books from your favourite shops. There also are some amazing free resources available to catalogue ideas and images.
I am a big fan of Flickr, the photo sharing website where you will find a huge number of dressmakers and crafters busy sharing photos of their creations for everyone to see. Sew Hip has their group here and M is for make‘s group is here. There are groups on Flickr for anything and everything, but favourites of mine include the Colette Patterns group, Japanese patterns on adults and Echino fabric group. A group can provide you with a large resource of people who have made or are wearing a pattern you may be thinking of making. I have found this really useful when thinking about fabric choices or whether a particular style would suit me.
Also in Flickr, you also can create personal galleries. So for example, I have created one for the Rooibos dress by Colette Patterns and collected inspiring images I have found on Flickr and put them together in one gallery.
I mentioned blogs, these are an amazing resource for finding more about particular fabrics, pattern reviews, dressmaking ideas. Many blogs also host sew-alongs for particular patterns which can be incredibly helpful for answering any questions you may have when using a pattern for the first time. I hosted a Japanese pattern book sew along, and take a look at Gertie’s blog for several great sew alongs, but also loads of dressmaking ideas including the daily dress.
You may also find that your favourite fabric or craft supplies website has a gallery of creations to inspire you. In the M is for make gallery you can see lots of lovely things that people have made – hopefully there is something there to spark an idea!
A very powerful way of creating a virtual moodboard is on Pinterest. You can collect images from various websites onto different ‘boards’ on Pinterest. So I have one for clothes ideas, and whenever I see an inspiring image on the internet I can add it to one of my boards on Pinterest and it will store the picture there along with others. The great thing about Pinterest (other than it being totally addictive!) is that you can follow other people and if you like their images, pin them to your own boards.
With all of these amazing resources available, it would be easy to spend all your time researching rather than sewing. And there is no denying that sometimes, a good sketchbook of ideas and torn out pictures cannot be beaten, but however you do your research just make sure you leave some time to sew!