I have been sewing for longer than the internet. In the 1990s when the Internet first became a part of many of our lives, it had little impact on my sewing life. I loved both things, but they were quite separate.
Twenty years later, and these two worlds definitely overlap. Not as much as knitting and the lovely world of Ravelry, but the sewing community is starting to gather.
I was quite interested when someone from my online sewing community took a closer look at the online world of sewing. Amanda Lerum Faulkner of the SewPandiPatterns blog used Facebook and other social media to do a survey for a business class about who sews, why and their use of their use of the internet for sewing.
She received about 100 replies and from those replies, she saw some patterns. Some things despite the internet have not changed. The large majority of those who responded were women, most were between the ages of 25-44 and most had starting sewing before the age of twenty.
What I found interesting was what most people were sewing. From what I see online I would have thought quilts would have been hands down the winner, but although quilts are popular we are producing far more costumes and clothing than quilts. Amanda said since she sews historical costumes, the survey could be biased towards her peers. My guess is more of us enjoy photographing our quilts, so we see more of them. We are a little more shy about photographing our garments.
Amanda also quantified why we sew. Although economics and environmental reasons play a role, many found a more personal satisfaction from the craft.
Amanda also asked which sites do those who sew search for information and community. Pinterest was a clear number one with Etsy and Facebook close behind (this is my experience too)
One thing that surprised Amanda (and me once she pointed it out), "I think the thing that surprised me the most is how many responders said they use YouTube in relation to sewing. I have not really done that, it isn't the way I think about learning sewing. It is particularly popular among those in the 20's just learning to sew, these sewers essentially grew up with the internet and may not have someone to teach them the sewing techniques they want to learn"
How do people use the internet for sewing. Below are some of the more common reasons. I see myself in two of these. I love the inspiration, but also have to tune out the noise.
Thank you Amanda. This was a cool peak into how the community has evolved and is still evolving.