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Sewalongs – a few questions

By Susan | Comments: 18 | August 7, 2014


I had a lot of fun doing the sewalongs for the knickers during Everyone deserves pretty Knickers week.

It also taught me a lot. How to take photos to show the techniques, what fabrics work (or don’t work) and the need to actually be able to see the stitching.

However I don’t want to just rely on what I think is a good solution. So I’m going to throw some questions out there and hope that you all have some time to pop a quick comment on the blog so I can combine my ideas with your ideas and come up with a good solution.

  • do you like sewalongs?
  • if a sewalong was posted in one go would that be good? or do you prefer stage by stage?
  • for faster projects is it better to be a step a day and finish within only a few days or one step per week over a few weeks?
  • do you mind if your blog reader has sewalong posts in it or would you prefer them in a separate stream you can choose to subscribe to?
  • white backgrounds for photos or it doesn’t matter?
  • does contrast coloured thread make you break out in hives or is it better to see the details with?

Is there anything I’ve missed out? Seriously throw your ideas out there, sewalongs are for you so I want to make sure I come up with the system that suits you the most.

Thanks for taking the time to comment and help come up with a solution!


  • Jess
    August 7, 2014

    I’ve really enjoyed the sew-a-longs that I’ve participated in. I prefer it to be over a few days. Background color doesn’t make a difference. Contrasting thread can be great on tricky steps. I only go to blogs when they’re posted on FB.

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 8, 2014

      Thanks Jess, interesting that you like the posts coming up on FB. My facebook page is such a mish mash I can never find anything? But very good to know and all the posts do end up on the measure Twice Cut Once FB page so that’s good.

  • Fabric Tragic
    August 7, 2014

    It’s so great you’re surveying your readers! I think sewalongs are great, but should never be a replacement for excellent instructions within the pattern. For short projects I think it’s probably more efficient for both the designer and the sewist to condense it to one or two posts. If a project is more involved then having one or two a week is more reasonable… I don’t care if the posts come up in my reader – if I’m not making the project or interested in the steps then I skip it. Contrast thread is totally sensible for a sewalong, as is plain fabric. I think the main focus of a sewalong should be demonstrating the potentially trickier parts of the project, rather than necessarily completely handholding, unless your project is specifically aimed at absolute beginners. Hope that helps!

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 8, 2014

      Thank you! That helps so much!

      I cringe at contrast thread but it was difficult to photograph some of the steps in the knickers sewalongs as the thread matched too well.

  • Stephanie
    August 8, 2014

    Hey Susan

    I love a sewalong, just not good at sticking with them though..

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 8, 2014


      I like have them to refer back to if it’s needed but am always too busy to fit them in at the specific time!

  • Alex
    August 8, 2014

    I like how you have made a menu item so all the sewalong posts are in one place – great to refer back to for people like me who find it hard to keep up with sewalongs (life always seems to get in the way!). I like contrasting thread so I can see details and how things are constructed. As for background, contrast between the background and garment should be good. As for frequency, I’ll leave that to the more productive sewers out there!

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 8, 2014

      Thanks! I’m working on a new page for the sewalongs which will be hopefully even neater and more organised than the current one so I’m hoping that will make it easy for people to come back to in their own time?

  • Melanie
    August 8, 2014

    I think if the project is simple then a short sew-a-long is great. If the “simple” project has a tricky step (like the elastic for the undies) then I like this tricky step to be it’s own post.

    It’s you break the “fabric choices” into a separate post as that is helpful.

    Background for photos is irrelevant to me BUT I need to be able to clearly see the thread on/in the fabric. Black fabric + black thread – not helpful at all!

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 8, 2014

      That’s all good information to have. Thank you!

  • Helen // Grosgrain Green
    August 8, 2014

    I agree with most people above. Frequency doesn’t matter, as I rarely follow along “live”. To be able to find the posts easily is therefore a must. Posts specifically dedicated to trickier parts are useful, as that’s what I tend to refer to. I’m happy for them to be in my Bloglovin feed – I will skip them if not interested, or might even read them to gain tips, evenif I’m not even making the garment. Ability to see the stitching is a must, so plain fabric, and if necessary, contrast stitching please! Contrast background too, although it doesn’t need to be white. Hope that helps!

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 9, 2014

      he he I skip the posts in bloglovin too! At least using a reader like that makes it easy to skip along.

      Easily seen stitching seems to be the number 1 request too so I will definitely be trying to do something with that for the next sewalong.

  • Bec
    August 8, 2014

    I LOVE sewalongs. But i never do them in “real time”. So it wouldn’t matter for me at what rate they’re posted online. I love having them to refer to. I’ve just completed your Darcy Shorts (great pattern!! will try for some pics this weekend) and thought your instructions were great. But I love that with a sew along, if you get stuck at any point your can look up to get a pictorial reference especially (e.g., just to see something in real life, maybe even from a few different angles, makes all the difference). It just makes things better. Definitely not as a replacement to the instructions which of course you’ll keep as long as the pattern, but for that first time you make up the pattern its good to have those pics to go with them.

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 9, 2014

      good to see someone firmly in the Love of sewalongs camp.

      Also so happy you liked the Darcy Shorts!

      It seems plenty of people like having the photos to refer to and a page that is easy to come back and find afterwards as too often we are too busy to do the sewalong in real time.

  • Talitha
    August 8, 2014

    Hi! I loooove sewalongs I’m brazilian and my english is hum…meh!!! 🙂 so sewalong helps me to understand how to do the things when google translate fails! (And he fails a lot!). What is nice: Contrasting thread and solid fabric or a subtle print. A page for the sewalong! I prefer read all the posts and then start sewing, so its great if is easy to find them after ;).
    Thanks for your lovely blog!

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 9, 2014

      Your English is wonderful! I agree, sometimes a photo is so much easier to understand and a page to find the sewalongs on after is so helpful.

  • Kirsty
    August 9, 2014

    Hi Susan, sometimes I sew along and sometimes I come back to it after the event because I’m not ready or don’t have the pattern etc. I quite like bite size chunks that maybe equate to 30 mins sewing. Happy for coloured thread.. it’s especially helpful for tricky bits. Oh and sometimes videos help. 🙂 Pauline Alice has been doing a few with last few sewalongs.

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 11, 2014

      I hadn’t even thought of videos! Ones with excessive cat noise in them would be fine, yes? She is being extra noisy at my suggestion she might be on film!

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Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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