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Sewing Smarter Using PR
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Deepika  Friend of PR
Went to PR Weekend!

Massachusetts USA
Member since 11/28/01
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Date: 12/4/08 3:30 PM

With the current economy being what it is, and the busy life style we're all leading how does one find time for sewing? Here are my five ideas for using PR to SEW SMARTER!

* Use the new advanced search to pick patterns to sew. Read reviews and comments to figure out if the pattern will work for you. If you're going to spend the time making something why not make sure that it's going to work?
* Don't have time to spend on the site? Use the daily digest to scan and read selective reviews.
* Ask questions on the PR Message boards. Don't be shy. Let PR members help you.
* Save your patterns in your online pattern catalog. All the patterns in your catalog are also linked to reviews, so it's even easier to find reviews.
* Finally, buy patterns from PR and PR merchants. Not only are you getting a great deal, but by shopping here, you're also helping small businesses.

Share your tips on how you use PR to SEW Smarter and at the end of this month we'll select one lucky poster for a surprize prize!

- Deepika

Member since 6/18/03
Posts: 2143
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 12/5/08 1:25 AM

Wow, so many ways I use PR but they're so second nature that I don't even think about them. Hm.

- Good sewing starts with a good sewing machine. Don't buy without looking over the reviews! Too often we go cheap and wind up spending half the sewing time just getting the dratted machine to work.

- Get tips from the sewing geniuses here on how to keep your machine in tip-top shape. Like above, a happy machine means more sewing time, less frustrations!

I guess I'm on a machine kick at the moment. :)

"Never underestimate the power of the right dress!" - drsue
"Hyu gots to know how to sveet tok de costumers, dollink" - Girl Genius, 11-24-08

Member since 10/11/02
Posts: 844
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 12/5/08 1:43 AM

Hmm, Patternreview, how do I use thee? let me count the ways....

Here's a couple I've used recently:
- Use the Knowledgebase to find that technique that you just 'know' you've seen somewhere

- Use the Review gallery to check out new patterns and be wonderfully inspired (then buy the patterns from PR as Deepika said)

- use that Wish list to make a focussed shopping list

Dunedin, New Zealand

marec  Friend of PR
Arizona USA
Member since 5/11/08
Posts: 5585
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 12/5/08 9:12 AM

Time and money: I don't have enough of either! So, I love to read along with those who are sewing and posting in wardrobe contests, even though I don't have time to participate. Looking at what others sew to build a wardrobe helps me to SWAP (sew with a plan). PR can help also in learning what fabrics will work with a pattern and how each new fabric might add to a developing wardrobe. Using the gallery, and the message boards, and the knowledge base can help you, as it has me, to make some pieces that work together.

my blog:
Stylish 60-

Re Becca
Re Becca
Went to PR Weekend!

Member since 9/12/05
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Skill: Intermediate
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In reply to KitnRose
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Date: 12/5/08 10:06 AM

Oh gosh, PR saves me money because I sew better and I actually love what I make!

PR has saved me so much money because I don't buy as many dud patterns. On the other hand, I have been introduced to better fabric sources (EOS) and better pattern sources so I buy more patterns and fabric than I will ever use so, it probably evens out in the end. I even buy more patterns from the big 4 because they put such DORKY photos on the envelope that I wouldn't be caught dead, but somebody somewhere saw the hidden potential and i just had to have it.


Damn the muslin, full speed ahead!

Lucy in Virginia
Lucy in Virginia  Friend of PR
Virginia USA
Member since 12/20/07
Posts: 275
Skill: Advanced Beginner
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In reply to Deepika
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Date: 12/5/08 10:12 AM

I find PatternReview to be its own continuous daily sewing class. I have learned so much about sewing, fabrics, etc. in the one year since I've joined. The site has resolved many past sewing fears for me and successfully gotten me back into sewing. Here are the ways PatternReview has helped/inspired me to sew:

++I've signing up for online classes--wow what a deal! The classes are cheap, online, and you have a printable textbook you can refer back to for life!

++I've read reviews of what people are sewing--I love seeing pictures of people's creations and reading about the problems and solutions to their sewing challenges. So many people include mini-tutorials in their reviews, its almost like a never-ending sewing class to read the reviews.

Plus, I never knew a pattern could be misdrafted or present so many fitting problems (always thought it was something I was doing wrong) and that body-shape can make or break a pattern for you. Now I never sew a pattern without first searching PR to see what pearls of wisdom fellow PR-ers have to say about it.

And its so idea-inspiring to see the fabrics, embellishments, and alterations everyone makes. The alterations people make to patterns have taught me so much that I no longer look at a pattern as just the line drawing but the potential for alteration, too.

++I constantly use the Pattern Catalog and Wish List to manage my ever burgeoning supply. Who wants to buy a duplicate pattern or forget about something you've read a really great review of? And I love the "Favorites" feature. I just click that little option every time I read some tip, technique or review that I know I want to remember or use later.

++Much the same to say for the tips, message boards, machine reviews, etc.

++I joined a contest and am looking forward to joining more. How fun and motivating it is to join others all trying to do the same thing, then compare pictures and read everyone's adventures doing it!

++I have found many new merchants from whom to buy fabric. I love high quality fabrics I find from (previously mail-order) and now online fabric stores. But I've also found sources for unusual fabric (like outdoor wear). I'm constantly looking for more sources (and deals); and PR is the answer.

++I love patterns and will try anything. PR has introduced me to so many different pattern companies that I never knew existed.

++And of course, after reading a review of a really great pattern, I am so guilty of clicking on that little "Buy if from PR" link! How convenient!

Total Stash at end of 2013 -- about 750 yards.
2014 Total Items Sewn -- 1
2014 Total Stash Used -- 2.5
2014 Total Items Embroidered -- 2
2014 Goal: Sew 1 garment per month. Less stash at end of 2014 than at end of 2013.

Machines: Babylock Ellisimo; Viking Platinum 770; Brother 900D
Serger: Baby Lock Evolve

Patti B
Patti B  Friend of PR
Member since 9/29/02
Posts: 2656
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 12/5/08 10:31 AM

PR is simply an integral part of my sewing life, often in ways I don't even notice. WWPRR? [What Would Pattern Review Recommend]

One 'smarter' thing I do is to use PR as my personal sewing journal. I print my reviews and keep them with the pattern for future sewing so my notes about possible alterations or variations will be easily available the next time. I think I should probably keep them in a notebook instead but haven't made that transition yet. And, like many others, I print especially helpful reviews for patterns I own but haven't sewn.


R-r-r-ripping my way to fitting success

tourist  Friend of PR
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
Posts: 6746
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 12/5/08 11:08 AM

PR is a daily reminder to me that I can and should be sewing. Even if I don't sew every day, spending time here reminds me of projects I have on the go, ideas for new ones and encouragement to try things that might have daunted me in the past. PR is my version of the Nike "just do it!" ad.

------ to follow the progress on my next ballgown.


Arizona USA
Member since 12/11/06
Posts: 55
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 12/5/08 1:38 PM

PR has helped me in "sew" many ways!
` Sewing machine reviews: Saved me both in time and money deciding what SM and Emb. machine to purchase. Now I want a coverstitch!
` Knowledge Base: Learned many new sewing tips and techniques. And have learned new computer skills.
` Pattern review: Discovered Ottobre patterns and received encouragement on how to trace.
`Message Board- Always get answers to my questions. Everyone is so helpful, friendly, and supportive.
`Inspiration: I get inspired everyday reading others posts and reviews.
` PR discounts
`Pattern and Fabric sources: I discovered better fabric sources that just JoAnn's
`Sewing classes: Plan on taking my first online class to improve skills.

I love PR. Debbie


Mufffet  Friend of PR
Vermont USA
Member since 8/14/05
Posts: 13385
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 12/5/08 1:59 PM

PR has revved up my sewing skills, as well as my interest. There are a lot of new comers here, and to me, the very best part of PR is that it allows sewers with experience to enable beginners to not only increase their skill base, but to feel encouraged in their efforts.

There are so many garment sewers out there sewing alone. Not any more the community of sewing ladies I was lucky enough to have around me as a child and growing up. Then everyone knew these skills, or at least many many women did. And I knew a few sewing men as well.

- PR has helped me learn new ways of doing things I hadn't known about

- PR has introduced me to several really good online friends with shared interests.

- PR has been supportive in my sewing machine frenzies...

- PR has made me think out of my box many times, and encouraged me with help when a project has gone bad.

- PR has a wealth of information on that first page, and an efficient search capability which has solved many a problem for me.

-PR, well...I am addicted. Every day I check the first page, read the message boards, and every day I find things to further my obsession with sewing. I will never be a great seamstress, but I sure have fun, and I love to help others to spread the love of sewing abroad in the world!
-- Edited on 12/5/08 2:01 PM --

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

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