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Saturday, 16 August 2014

All Hail AllFreeSewing!

Having recently waxed poetic about Craftsy.com (speaking of which, check out my new Craftsy page, where I will keep you abreast of all current and past promos and sales), today I want to talk about how wonderful and fabulous AllFreeSewing.com is.

AllFreeSewing is yet another highly recommended resource for sewing enthusiasts, whether beginner or experienced. It's an extremely organized place to browse and lose all track of time as you flick from one cool and creative project to the next. I first encountered the site when I was looking for free purse organizer patterns. (And wouldn't you know, a purse organizer pattern ended up being my first submission to them!)

A #1 moment for me at AllFreeSewing.com...
Project categories run the gamut from Accessories to Wedding and Bridal. When you browse a category, you can sort the results by most popular, most recent, or alphabetically (and of course, there is also that ego-stroking "What's Hot" list).

If you sign up for the Sewing it Up newsletter, you'll get regular emails (they say three times a week, but I swear I've been getting them on an almost daily basis) featuring projects centered around a theme. It's not my usual practice to sign up to receive more email, but I must say that I've come to appreciate the newsletter as an efficient way to stay on top of what interests me, without taking up too much time.

The AllFreeSewing site itself is primarily a directory of external links. In some cases, that can be a recipe for disaster. However, the folks who run the site and the editors who vet the submissions do an excellent job of ensuring that what's there is supposed to be there. What this means is that if you submit something for inclusion at AllFreeSewing, your link is not going to be added automatically or immediately. An editor takes a look at what you've offered and writes up a summary of the project before it magically appears under one of the many sewing categories on the site.

In addition to the project links submitted by crafters, the editors at AllFreeSewing also put together eBook (i.e., PDF) downloads and tips and tutorials (such as "Sewing Machine Maintenance"). Apparently they also welcome submissions of video and Word doc based tutorials.

Among the site's other resources are a sewing store (a place to get sewing and crafting supplies), reviews of sewing-related products and books, and ongoing giveaway/contests that run every two weeks. You can enter those daily and if you blab about them on your social media sites, you'll earn additional entries.

They have also very recently started up a new blog called Seams and Scissors. Content will be combination quilting/sewing, so you may want to check out this link to see how you can best navigate all of the info that will accumulate over time.

If I have any criticism of AllFreeSewing, it's that the project submission process is not "above the fold" on their home page. The Submit Pattern link (which I don't even think was there when I submitted my first tutorial) is actually along the bottom menu. To add a project, you'll need to fill out this form with your particulars (description of what you are submitting along with the direct link):

AllFreeSewing submission form...
Let me close with this thought: if you submit a project to AllFreeSewing and it gets featured in their newsletter, you can expect a lot of additional traffic to your site. (As of this writing, allfreesewing.com is the number one source of traffic to my blog.)

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2015: They are finally "above the fold"! AllFreeSewing has been updating its site over the past many months and now have a Share Your Project link on their menu, making it so much easier to submit your free sewing tutorials. That screenshot above is now no more, replaced with a spiffy new interface that collects your pertinent project info.

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