Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Technology Part 2 and a Few Sew-y Things

First, a big thanks to all of you who chimed in on Friday's technology post. It seems like, to a greater or lesser degree we're all in the same boat. So, here's my take on things.

Well, I decided to put my tax return toward a few upgrades. My phone and camera were nearing the ends of their lifespans; both have been repaired more than once. So, I'm now the owner of a very clever phone. Really, this makes a lot of sense given how much I travel for work. I'll be able to get email on the go and also blog from the road. And if yesterday's post is any indication, it takes very not bad pictures! That said, I'll be replacing my camera, too. Phin has narrowed it down to 2 or 3 choices and will be buying shortly.

Sigh. I am not a Mac user, and there are days when I feel like Apple has all the cool toys (Skitch, GIMP...). My next computer will be a Mac. But for now I'm going to have to figure out which photo editor I want to use and also sort out my Flickr situation. I'll let you know how it goes with the photo editors. Once I 1-have a new camera and 2-figure out what photo editor to use, I'll try to add a pretty banner to my blog.

That www thing 
PR vs BS - Sometimes it's nice to know that we agree, in general.  It seems like we all think PatternReview is a great resource. I visit PR whenever I'm planning a project and want to get the low-down on a pattern I'm considering. We also seem to agree on BurdaStyle being, um, frustrating. Honestly, the two things that really kill me are that people don't say what pattern they used and that people sell clothing. In both cases, I find myself clicking on a project to see what pattern was used only to get either no answer or learn that it's basically an advertisement for their clothing/sewing business. Moving forward I think I'll only add Burda projects there, and mostly stick with PR. 

Pinterest. Ah, Pinterest. We're all addicted, it seems. Here's where you can find me: http://pinterest.com/cliobklyn

Tumblr. Some of us thought we needed it, but no one seems to know why. Nuf said. LOL

And some Sew-y tThings
Did anyone else catch that McCall's has acquired KwikSew Patterns? You can now buy KS patterns on the BMV website. I haven't really used very many KS patterns so don't really have an opinion, although my very first garment - an elastic waist a-line skirt - was KwikSew.   Do you have any thoughts or experience with KS patterns?

Also, I wanted to sing the praises of Fashion Sewing Supply. After reading the tip that Pam posted on her blog about using fusible weft interfacing as stay tape, I decided to give it a try.  So, I ordered a bunch of weft which arrived on Friday.  Not only does the tip work out beautifully and easily, but in my order there was a note saying that, since the interfacing would be going on sale soon, they had cut my order extra generously. How's that for customer service?

OK, I'm done with the housekeeping posts. Next up will be the finished diaper bag reveal, my colorblock dress and new knit socks! Stay tuned!

(PS - Update at 4:25pm - Would you believe that about 30 minutes after posting this, my computer was infected with something called a blaster worm? Technology. Sheesh. Clearly my desk ninja did not do his job.)


Karin said...

Just thinking about PR vs BS.

BS looks slick, but I can't figure it out, and I am not keen on rating people's sewing projects. Also, while Burda mag has some sophisticated patterns, a lot of the projects on BS are on the crafts-y side. Which is OK, but not my thing. I've felt guilty, opened an account there, and posted a few Burda mag projects. I'd love it if their site was a place to discuss hints and tips on Burda's patterns, but, it is not.
PR looks a bit frumpy and dumpy, but it has what I am after. I can navigate it easily, and other sewers opinions on patterns that I am considering are invaluable. So many helpful hints and tips, pattern instruction errata, and just a heads up when a pattern runs big or small or has too much ease, etc.
For me PR is the hands down winner. I'll keep giving Burda a luke warm try, but it seems to be more for beginner sewers, crafters and vintage enthusiasts than for fashion sewers.

Clio said...

Karin - EXACTLY!! That's the way I see it, too.

T. Sedai said...

I too am frustrated with all the advertisements in the Burda project pages! To me, Burda should be interested in selling Burda, and showcase projects made using Burda Patterns (or free patterns people want to post to Burda website for download). Let all the people who want to sell bags and crafts go to Etsy.

While I quite like PR now, I do have to say it was really really confusing to me when I first got there, and I do think some things could be streamlined/improved/etc. But all in all I spend more time there than BurdaStyle.

As for KwikSew - I also noticed the McCall's acquisition. I have KwikSew patterns, but mostly they are leotard/skating costume patterns, as KwikSew was the only pattern company that sold skating patterns in stores in the US (I have since found Jalie and other online sources, but when I was starting out this was the only option I knew about). The KwikSew patterns are really nice - heavy paper, all sizes in one envelope, they even print the patterns with color coded sizes. They are NEVER on sale, and hard to find as they are not carried at Joann's or Hancock's (at least not where I am). So far everything I have made from them has turned out nice, but their patterns do tend to be on the simple side. The instructions are very good though. I am wondering what this change in ownership will do for the brand - will it be more available in the big craft stores? Will they go to thin tissue paper like the other brands? Will they change their fairly accurate sizing to include huge amounts of Big4 ease? I hope they keep their large selection of athletic wear patterns. They fill a niche left wide open by others of the Big4, and it would be sad if they stopped carrying these patterns.

Clio said...

@ T. Sedai - Exactly! I just don't really understand what the connection between BurdaStyle and the magazine is. And I wonder the same things about KS. I don't buy their patterns for the same set of reasons. But that could change.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person not on Tumblr, PinInterest, Facebook and Twitter. I just have limited time and I can either spend it on the computer or sewing. I choose sewing and sewing blogs where I'm inspired and it encourages me to sew.

As for the phone thing, I really don't want an android phone because I have an iPad, an iPod and I'm so connected wherever I go already that I just don't understand why my phone can't just be a phone. However, I know I'm in the minority especially since it's getting harder and harder to purchase just a cellphone.

As for KwikSew, BMV didn't change Marfy or any of the other pattern companies that they sell on their site so I don't think they will mess with KwikSew. I've tried a pattern or two of theirs years ago and didn't get a good result but it could have been operator error. Now that they are carried on BMV I will probably buy one or two and test them to see how they work for me now.

Dressed2atee said...

First time visiting your site! Very nice. I use KwikSew's dance wear patterns often and love them. I usually trace them off since they are printed on rather stiff paper. Which is good for making the same multiple costumes.

I have an Ipad2 and an Ipod, when my Samsung dies I probably get an Iphone. My little Samsung is so tough, I have done everything but drive over it and it keeps on ticking!! LOL

katherine h said...

I have used Kwiksew for dancewear, swimwear and lingerie. I like their patterns and the instructions are good.

Catherine Daze said...

I'd missed the KwikSew thing. I hear their patterns are really good so I hope they don't change!

BTW you can get GIMP for Windows (and Linux) - in fact I use it on Windows at home. It's overkill for most things but I'm glad of it from time to time.

Clio said...

Well, I can't wait to see everyone try KwikSew a bit more. I guess we'll all see how it changes and whether BMV will now offer sales on their patterns.

@ Catherine Daze - Oh! Thanks. I'll have to check out GIMP then.

LinB said...

Love love love KwikSew patterns. First found them when I lived in the Midwest, from whence they originated (Minnesota, I think.) Used them for adorable baby clothes, then girl-sized things, now swimwear and their incredibly-well-drafted bra patterns. Also some favorite blouses. KwikSew prints more men/boy patterns than do many other companies. Yes, they are on heavy paper, but the size lines are printed in obviously different colors, with THICK lines that are easy to see through tracing paper. And there are many, many sizes in each pattern -- they used to be the only company who did that, across their entire line. Am abivalent about whether BMV will change them for the worse. Better availability may occur.

Clio said...

Actually, come to think of it I think I've done a few things for Phin that were KS. So, yeah, I've noticed that they offer more for men/boys than the other brands.