NOTE: I gave Seamwork a second look in December 2021: Is Seamwork Worth It? Seamwork changed a lot since I first reviewed it in 2017, and I figured, to be fair, it was time to explore its offerings again.
The Seamwork Manila leggings were the tipping point. The leggings wrapped uncomfortably around my calves. The print on the fabric, stripes and flowers, distorted comically. Worst of all, the seams threatened to tear.
It was the pattern. I sewed the correct size in the correct fabric. I used the correct stitch type, seam allowance, etc. The subpar outcome was on Seamwork, not me.
I cropped the leggings and canceled my Seamwork magazine subscription.
About Seamwork magazine
In case you’re not familiar, Seamwork is a monthly online sewing magazine produced by indie pattern company Colette. The magazine is free, but when you pay for a subscription, you get credits for sewing patterns, which can be used on Seamwork patterns or Colette patterns.
The pitch for Seamwork patterns is that they can be sewn in an afternoon and are designed to be worn together. Seamwork reports on its membership page that it has more than 8,000 subscribers.
RELATED: Is Seamwork Worth It?
By the numbers: My life with Seamwork sewing pattern magazine
Before I explain my resignation as a Seamwork subscriber, I’m gonna lay some numbers on you.
2014 – When I subscribed to Seamwork. I signed on from the first issue in December 2014!
29 – Issues to which I was subscribed.
6 – Cost in U.S. dollars per month of my subscription.
61 – Seamwork patterns, including bags, a bra, blouses, and more.
6 – Seamwork sewing patterns I’ve completed.
33 – Seamwork/Colette items (including one ebook) I downloaded to use up my sewing pattern credits.
I didn’t realize Seamwork had that many patterns out! That’s quite the collection.
RELATED: Browse My Seamwork Patterns Makes
3 reasons why I canceled my Seamwork magazine subscription
1.) It was keeping me from trying other pattern designers.
I’m participating in Project #SewMyStyle this year (here are my makes from January, February, March, and April), and I’ve had a wonderful time sewing patterns from other designers. #SewMyStyle made me realize I’m missing out by not spreading around my sewing budget.
Each pattern designer has a unique aesthetic and method to building a product. Eventually I’d like to design my own patterns, and it’s important to have lots of different user experiences from which to draw. For example, Named layers its PDF pattern pieces. The benefit of this is that you print off and tape together fewer pages. I LOVE this, because I trace all my patterns and printing/cutting/taping is my least-favorite sewing chore. I wouldn’t have found out about Named’s PDF patterns if I hadn’t sewn the Saunio cardigan for #SewMyStyle — because I already had similar (in function) patterns from Seamwork.
2.) I have quality concerns with Seamwork patterns.
Of the six Seamwork patterns I’ve completed, I’ve had major fitting issues with two of them. That’s a poor experience with one-third of their products I’ve touched. The sizing on the Nantucket shorts was off (I measured a straight size 4 and the shorts were too snug), and the calves in the Manila leggings were too tight — and I do not have wide calves. For a pattern designed for super-stretchy fabric to be that off… well, something was not drafted correctly. What’s more, the front-fly zipper instructions for the Weston shorts were not great.
My feeling is that production of Seamwork patterns and the magazine often is rushed and not as thorough as it could be. I spot copy editing errors in every issue (granted, I’m a former editor, so these things stick out to me), and fitting issues suggest patterns that haven’t been properly tested (or pattern blocks that haven’t been properly tested). I know, from firsthand experience, how tough it is to pull together a publication like a magazine. It’s a big undertaking, and mistakes happen. I can’t speak, though, to producing a sewing pattern.
As a sidebar, I truly try to offer constructive criticism when I write sewing pattern reviews. I talk about opportunities for improvement vs. blanket statements about inferiority. (If you follow the links above about each pattern, you’ll see what I mean. I go into detail about how things could be better.) I know pattern designers want sewists to have an awesome experience with their patterns, so I think it’s important that I highlight weaknesses as well as strengths. My suggestions come from a place of admiration and encouragement, because the world needs more of both.
3.) I wasn’t using what I was paying for.
This is the most obvious reason — I wasn’t sewing the patterns. Six patterns in two-and-a-half years means they weren’t resonating with me.
That’s not saying Seamwork designs weird stuff; it’s more that I didn’t see the patterns working in my wardrobe and in my life. And that’s OK. When you make something, not everyone is going to be down with it. Not everyone is down with Sie macht. I say if you’re not down, move on until you find something that speaks to you.
So, you might be like, “If Seamwork patterns don’t resonate with you, why did you download 33 of them?” Fair question.
I downloaded the patterns because I refuse to leave money on the table. If you don’t use up credits before you cancel, they’re gone.
I picked patterns likely to have fewer fitting issues. For example, Valencia and Madrid are bags. Bristol is a skirt with an elastic waistband. Almada is a kimono-style robe. There were a few patterns that resonated with me — Sonya, Neenah, Mesa, and more — and I downloaded those, too. Hey, in the future, there could be other Seamwork patterns that also catch my eye; this way, I can buy them à la carte.
I don’t hate Colette/Seamwork — honest!
This has been kind of a downer of a blog post, and I don’t want to end it on a sour note. Colette doesn’t deserve that.
Colette does a lot of stuff well. For example, I recently wrapped Wardrobe Architect, which I think was designed by Colette with love and a lot of thought, and it helped me plan a capsule wardrobe to sew. I can’t wait for the next season of Seamwork Radio; Colette founder Sarai is a natural when it comes to podcasting. Seamwork gets great contributors, including sewing blogger Lauren Taylor (aka Lladybird) and Closet Case Patterns designer/blogger Heather Lou. I also like Seamwork’s Swatch Service feature, where the mag prices out and links to fabric that works for each issue’s sewing patterns.
Sewists have a lot of options when it comes to patterns, which is great, because there are lots of different sewists out there! The best thing you can do is keep experimenting and challenging yourself — and encouraging each other.
Over to you: If you’re a Seamwork subscriber, what do you like best about the magazine? If you’re not, why haven’t you subscribed? What other sewing magazines with patterns do you like? Please sound off in comments. Thanks!
P.S. Here are all the Seamwork patterns I’ve reviewed:
Seamwork Olso review: At ease in a classic cardigan
Revealed: Retro Reno and Dakota swimsuit
Becoming a (Manila) leggings person for Project #SewMyStyle
Seamwork shorts sewing pattern: These ain’t Nantucket Reds
Shorts pattern review: High-waisted Seamwork Weston
P.P.S. Here’s my Wardrobe Architect series:
Wardrobe Architect Part 1: Getting personal about wardrobe planning
Wardrobe Architect Part 2: My silhouettes, colors, and beauty
Wardrobe Architect Part 3: Sewing a capsule wardrobe
I read the Seamwork magazine every month, but I’ve only paid for one issue… that’s two credits for my $6, and I’ve collected two free patterns along the way. I chose the Laura wrap skirt, which I will likely lengthen, and the Florence Bra for my two credits. Sometime back, Colette/Seamwork offered the York top as a freebie and they are currently offering the Kenedy dress free to new subscribers.
Most of the patterns don’t resonate with me for one reason or another, which is why I don’t continuously pay for each issue, but I think I might be able to alter some of them to better suit my style… so I’ll probably purchase an issue now and then as well as snapping what freebies they may offer. I’m thinking shorten the Kenedy dress to tunic length and use the flutter sleeve option or design my own sleeve to go with it. The cap sleeve that comes with the Kenedy is definitely NOT my style.
I think Seamwork is a great way to start building your pattern collection… but I do think it’s important to expand your horizons by trying other designers. I say if there’s a Seamwork design that catches your eye, snatch it up! When I was using up my Seamwork credits, I also grabbed the Florence bra. I see that as being pretty easy to fit AND super cute.
Hi Erin! This is a very astute review of the Seamwork membership. I came to many of the same conclusions after a couple of months of membership. I couldn’t get excited about the selection and the fitting was a big problem. I only wish I’d read your review first!
Thanks, Tasha! I wish I could report that I was in love with more Seamwork patterns, but they’re just not doing it for me. Coupled with the fitting issues… well, we need a break from each other.
Did you see that Seamwork released a jeans pattern? Their patterns are supposed to be sewn in an afternoon. I don’t know if I’d be able to sew jeans in an afternoon. How about you?
Yes, I did see the new jeans pattern. I am pretty slow, in general. I don’t think I could finish them in an afternoon either. Also, I’m not too excited about the fit on the model.
Agreed – there’s something off about the fit on the model. Too generous in the waist and high hip, maybe? Sometimes I think, though, that I’m so used to skinny jeans that I expect all pants to fit that way. Not good.
I’m a subscriber and I’m curious how the person in the previous comment gets to read it for free.
I have not made any of the patterns yet. I actually like to read the copy and then get inspired by the different people they highlight. I sort of wish they had an actual hard copy version.I would probably be willing to pay more just to get a hard copy (and I don’t want to print it out…. I want an actual glossy magazine type of thing that comes in the mail). I hate sitting at my desk reading through the magazine. I also don’t like printing out the patterns and having to tape them together. I much prefer to email them to my printer shop. They print them out on poster sizes. much better for me and it’s just $1.25 or so.
I wasn’t a fan of the jean fit either. I feel like if they can’t make a model look good in the item, being professionals, then I certainly won’t be able to do a better job. I agree that I chose to download the patterns that didn’t have too much sizing to deal with. I downloaded the bags and stretchy waist skirt, for example.
I might keep on for another few months because I have so many credits and I’m just not into a lot of the designs and don’t want to let my credits go.
Hey, Sherri! Thanks for reading! Anyone can read Seamwork for free; it’s the patterns credits you buy.
It’s crazy how divisive digital products are! I’m a paper girl (I used to work in newspapers), but I like the immediacy of digital mags and PDF patterns. I have taken lately to buying printed patterns, because I find trimming and taping PDF patterns a drag. And because I trace all my patterns, I’d rather not add another step. There’s a premium for printed patterns, but my time is valuable, too.
This is a helpful blog post. Thank you for explaining your reasons very clearly. Like Sherri commented above, I prefer a magazine as well as I find flipping and dog earing pages inspiring. Although you can read through the free issues, I think at some point it asks you to sign up. I’m looking for a subscription where I can learn more about sewing culture and patterns (especially fabrics and where to buy and all of that). I would also want my money’s worth and would feel frustrated if the patterns I did try didn’t turn out well due to pattern error than user error.
Thanks for reading, Neeli!
Do you want a sewing magazine that has patterns in it? You might like BurdaStyle. Threads magazine is AMAZING for techniques. Sew News is similar to Threads, but it trends toward a younger audience. Mimi G.’s magazine, Sew Sew Def, has patterns and more style stuff. Suzy, published in the U.K., is a paper-only mag, but it doesn’t have sewing patterns.
You might have fun in a sewing group on Facebook. I’m in The Self-Sewn Wardrobe group (it’s 10,000 members strong), and you easily can ask the group about patterns, techniques, and where to source fabric.
I haven’t been subscribed all that long but I totally dig the service and the patteens so far. There’s something about the straightforwardness and compatibility with my somewhat conservative, classic style and love of bold prints that just works for me. I also love how so many of the patterns have such a wide size range, and I far prefer the tedium of printing and taping to the irritation of woeking with flimsy pattern paper. I also like that I can easily print and reprint if I want to get a different size overall or even just one piece in a different size, like a waistband. Even following measurements, I tend to be cusp between plus and regular sizing, so this means I don’t risk buying a pattern that I simply can’t fit. Hoping to make the Crepe dress soon, and another wrap skirt. I really loved the Patsy skirt and am actually making my fourth. I cut out Akita, but haven’t started assembly yet. Lots to do!
Hi, Laura! Thanks for reading! I’m glad you’re enjoying Seamwork and that the patterns are working for you. It feels fabulous to find a pattern co. that works for your body.
The Akita is one of the patterns that I downloaded. I’m VERY intrigued by the single pattern piece.
I’m in the same boat as most of you, I’m not in love with every pattern they release. I downloaded every issue for free, but have subscribed since I discovered them 6 months ago. I see my subscription as paying for content – a lot of work goes into writing, researching and planning, and at $6 a month, it’s cheaper than any hard copy magazine we could buy in Australia
Maaike, you’re so right! Thank you for bringing up the cost of production. Making a magazine is A LOT of work (speaking from experience as an ex-print journalist).
I can understand why you would cancel your subscription. When I subscribed after the first issue, I knew there would have to be problems in pattern production at some point, but I knew that I would stay subscribed to this even if I never sewed a single garment. Heres why:
1, I knew some of the women on the team. Not personally, but after going to school in Portland, OR where Colette is based, I had seen them at sewing events and local stores. I felt thrilled that my community had produced such a novel concept that was so fresh for the sewing world.
2. I have been a part of a growing business. Sometimes it is hard to put out a product that you are truly proud of, and nothing is more crushing than disappointing your customers when you put yourself so personally into the product.
3. If anything, I support small business. I think about how much money I spend every month at starbucks and target and $6 seems like a tiny price to pay in comparison to support something so cool that bolsters the industry I love.
Anyway, like I said, I can fully understand and back the decision to no longer subscribe to a service that doesn’t serve your needs. But your post is defamatory in nature and it hurts me to see people in such a wonderful community tear others down. There are better ways to communicate dissatisfaction with something than a flashy blog post.
Hi, Elise! Thanks for reading, and thanks for your thoughtful comment.
I disagree with your assessment of my post. I am in no way trying to tear down Seamwork. I am offering constructive criticism of its product, and constructive criticism helps a business improve. How else can Team Seamwork know its opportunities for improvement? Staying silent on products that aren’t working does Seamwork’s brand a disservice; products that fall short erode customer confidence. Seamwork has a responsibility to listen to its customers.
I let Seamwork know about this post and other blog posts I’ve written about their products. The team is welcome to comment on my thoughts, and I welcome their two cents. Seamwork/Colette is a woman-owned business that I admire, and I want Sarai & Co. (and all small biz in the sewing community) to crush it. But I want everyone to bring their A Game, too.
Thanks again for your reply. Your thoughts are valued here!
In most jurisdictions, it’s only defamation if the allegations are false. True statements and personal opinions can’t be defamatory (in most jurisdictions).
I for one am happy Erin provides honest reviews in her ‘flashy blog’! If all reviews are glowing reviews, they are all equally useless.
Thanks for sounding off, BQ! I appreciate hearing your take. 😀
I like many of the styles in Seamwork. I suppose basics appeal to me. I’ve made a few of the patterns and yeah, I spend some time on tissie fitting, but i do that with any pattern.
Hi, thanks for reading! I’m glad the Seamwork patterns have been working for you. Sounds like you’ve got a good muslining process, too. Something everything should strive for.
I am a Seamwork subscriber, and have not actually sewn yet (blush). I’ve seen the critiques of the patterns. The magazine went through a sea-change sometime last year, I think, and seems to have reevaluated their editorial. I hung on through that, and am enjoying the magazine.
They have also changed their policy on pattern purchase — if it’s not downloaded, you can return it.
I really enjoyed your post and look forward to reading more of your blog!
I found the post to be thoughtful and well-balanced, actually.
Finally, typos drive me insane.
Hey, Matti – thanks for reading. I’m glad you find value with Seamwork and have stuck with it. It sounds like three Coletteists have been hard at work to improve their product, and my hat tips to them for that!
Oh I agree! I’ve given them not just one or two chances, and the sizes where always off except for the Dana bra.
And please don’t bother with Bristol, the front pocket pouches up and makes you look pregnant. Thanks for your insights!
I’m sorry you had trouble with Seamwork patterns, too. Thanks for reading.
Thanks so much for this review. Until now, I’d been thinking it must be me! I have so many Seamwork credits at this point, but keep hoping I’ll be able to figure out which patterns don’t have the horrendous fit issues I’ve found with the couple of patterns I’ve tried so far. I will have to check out your reviews of other Seamwork patterns, but I wish someone would compile a list of ones to avoid!
I, too, want them to succeed, but so many of the fit problems I’ve encountered are so glaring… it makes me so mad to waste all of that time and effort!
Ugh, Susie, I feel you so hard! 🙁 It’s such a bummer. I think researching tags for different Seamwork patterns on Instagram might be your best bet to figure out which garments are better than others. You also could aim for relaxed designs with minimal fitting or maybe skirts, where you only have to fit the waist. Good luck!
I also recommend letting Seamwork know when you have issues. They need to hear about this stuff.
Good ideas- thanks so much, Erin!
No problem! LMK what happens!
I know this is an older post but I just came across it while searching for Seamwork reviews and I had to comment and thank you! I’ve made a couple items now and I agree that there were some headscratching elements – like that weird curved front horizontal seam on the Georgia dress that makes it bow out awkwardly across the bust. Thank you for a very well-explained and constructive review. It’s reassuring to know that it’s not just me!
Hey, Claudia! Thanks for reading. I’m sorry you’ve also had a tough time with Seamwork patterns. I love this business model, and I like so many of the designs… but high likelihood of fitting woes has me scared. Maybe I’ll give them another shot one of these days.
Have you tried reaching out to Seamwork via socials for guidance? They’re usually pretty responsive. Maybe they can help?
I agree with the earlier reviewer who was disappointed not in the honest opinion but in the “flashy blog” style of the post. It’s balanced. However the presentation is snarky and insulting. I enjoy the magazine and I’m going to to try some patterns. I’ve certainly found some pattern lines where I had to do a lot more work to get a good fit than others, and because of that I tended to migrate away from those lines, figuring that they just weren’t suited for my particular body. Part of the point of making your own clothes is to work on fitting issues. If you have had some bad outcomes, it is a lot more generous to say “they just didn’t work for me” and give the benefit of the doubt to the designer.
Overall though, its a shame that your review is one of the first that comes up when I type “Seamwork” into Google, and the opposite of what I, a fairly new sewist, have come to expect of the sewing community at large. Seamwork’s creator has done something really incredible with her magazine and I will happily pay the cost of the subscription to gain knowledge and inspiration from the magazine even if not a single pattern works out for me.
Hi, Kate! Thanks for reading and for sharing your two cents. You bring up a lot of good points.
I agree that Seamwork has done an incredible thing with the mag and patterns. It’s a brilliant business model for which I have a ton of respect. And I REALLY REALLY hope that you, as a new sewist, get what you need out anything you buy from Seamwork. The more sewing experience you gain, the better you will become at identifying what works for you in terms of sewing patterns and products. It’s a process.
I’ve gotta ask: As a newbie stitcher, what patterns/products/resources have rocked your world (in a good way)?
This is an older blog post but I was tempted to reply because this comes up so high in Google when you search “Seamwork reviews”. I have bought the annual subscription and have been content so far. I got it for 90$ so that makes it 7.50$ / month for unlimited patterns and extra hacks. Not too shabby!
I love their tutorials and articles and the UX of the website is amazing. You can even auto-return a pattern you haven’t downloaded and get your credit back immediately (instead of emailing a customer service that can take a week to respond, like with some indie companies I have tried). I’d definitely recommend Seamwork for a plus-size beginner who hasn’t built a pattern library of basics yet. I like their misses/curvy sizing and I guess because I’m fat with a protruding belly, the boxy and looser fits work really well for my body type. I used to buy Big Five patterns when I was younger and they worked well at that time but then again I had a size 0 mannequin frame that seemed to match exactly the blocks they use. For example the (recommenced here in the comments) Burda has been notoriously horrible for plus-sized folks, their drafting for bigger bodies is just… fail. It seems like they are forced to jump on the inclusive sizing bandwagon without actually putting in the work, so I wouldn’t recommend them.
Seamwork is great for well matching basics or building a capsule wardrobe (they even have ready designed capsule editions in the magazine) but if you want to make pants as a plus-size sewist, nothing beats the drafting of Cashmerette! They really understand the plus-size fit and are top of the industry in my opinion. I have made like bazillion Ames jeans already and the apple/pear fit makes the whole fitting process much less tedious. The downsize is that Cashemerette patterns are on the more expensive side, although not that more expensive than most independent pattern companies. I guess I’m just a jerk for not wanting to pay 15$ for very single simple basics pattern (like t-shirts or other very simple tops, elastic waist A-line skirt etc…) and this is where Seamwork steps in nicely. Maybe they have fixed their patterns but I haven’t yet found any grave errors in the patterns or instructions.
Hi! Thanks for reading! I’m glad you’re having a good experience with Seamwork. It seems to me, as someone who does not sew plus-sized garments (so take my opinion for what it’s worth), that getting a plus-sized range right is a challenge. I think Seamwork and Cashmerette (and other curvy sewists) would LOOOOVE to hear your take on what’s working for you – and what could be better. Maybe you’d be a good pattern tester!
Thanks for this review, there are some interesting points here.
I’m disappointed, though, to see someone publicly encouraging others to share patterns which have been paid for. I don’t know where you are, but certainly in the UK it’s regarded as bad practice to give away patterns unless they were free to start with. Designers need to make a living (even if you’re having fit issues with their patterns!). Please rethink this. Thank you 🙂
Hi, Helen! Thanks for reading, and for bringing this to my attention.
I took out the paragraph you mentioned. You are right, and the post didn’t lose anything from deleting it.
I’m an aspiring pattern designer, and I want all designers to be compensated for their work.
Thanks so much for this review. I recently subscribed to Seamwork and there are things about it I really love. I like that you get access to the community and the odd tutorial as well as the patterns and magazine. I thoroughly enjoyed Design Your wardrobe and thought it was such a great idea. I also find my subscription very affordable …
So I am sad to say that I am also thinking of cancelling my subscription. I have made two garments so far.
Dorian shorts – they were a size too big – 5 – 6 centimetres of positive ease were not factored into the finished garment size. Is that normal?
Lito dress – I found the sizing very confusing but eventually cut out the pattern but there were issues with the fit of the sleeves.
I am still relatively new to sewing and I was absolutely crushed when my projects were not working out. I thought there was something wrong with me. perhaps someone with more experience will find it easier but I need patterns that will help me build my confidence.
Hi, Michelle! Thanks for reading. I’m sorry your experience with Seamwork has been mixed. That’s too bad, especially as a new sewist who needs to build her confidence.
IMO, it’s odd to not include positive ease into a finished garment size. I suggest measuring the pattern pieces to learn the true finished garment dimensions. You can do this by measuring from seam allowance to seam allowance across pattern pieces; DO NOT measure from edge to edge.
For example, if you wanted to know the finished hip circumference of a pair of shorts, you’d measure across the widest part of the front and back pattern pieces, from SA to SA. Then you’d double that number because you have to make TWO legs for the shorts (and you’ve only measured one leg). Then you compare the finished hip measurement against YOUR hip measurement to decide if there’s enough ease. Does this make sense?
If I’ve never sewn a pattern before, I research it on Instagram and PatternReview.com. I want to know what other sewists said about it – stuff they thought was good, less good, and otherwise. I want to see a pattern on other bodies and know if there are errors to be aware of. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of other sewists on IG posts, blog posts, or pattern reviews (just like you did with me!). Sewists want to help! And I know Seamwork wants to help, too! Hit them up with questions and feedback.
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! You’re learning a challenging craft! You’re so smart and so ambitious! You’re making custom clothing for your strong, awesome body; how cool is that!?! Keep going. We got you! Dude, I’ve been sewing for more than a decade and I still make mistakes allll the time. Take your time, and don’t take it too seriously. When I have moments during my sewing practice when I’m not having fun, I stop. It’s not like I’m going naked if I don’t sew my clothes; I can go to the mall and find something for my backside. I don’t need the added anxiety of getting down on myself for a project that’s going sideways.
Anyhoo, I hope this was helpful! Please comment whenever you have something on your mind! <3
Dear Erin, I for one really appreciate the women on the Seamwork team, especially their educational videos and invitations to share in online discussions of certain projects.
I am sure a leggings pattern, having little to negative ease, is not going to fit without adjustments. Your fabric might be off grain, too.
I don’t think they are making false claims or publishing untested patterns. Sewing is hard, don’t denigrate a service which genuinely provides easy patterns and supportive material. Make trials before you sew a garment, and reflect more before publish a snarky article like this. I think your personal opinions are fine, but you were unnecessarily flippant.
Hi, Elizabeth. Thanks for reading and for taking time to comment. I appreciate your thoughts.
I think Seamwork has a remarkable suite of educational products, and many (most?) of them are free. I’m constantly blown away by Sarai and company’s quality output. And they’ve been doing this for YEARS! Whoa. And I admire Seamwork’s business model, too.
At this point years later, I don’t recall if I made a muslin of the leggings. You’re right – a muslin would have helped ID fitting issues. ALSO – hadn’t thought about the knit being off grain.
I think I was respectful and fair with my assessment of Seamwork and with other Seamwork/Colette products (I’ve written A LOT about the biz). As I said in the Seamwork post, I think it’s important to highlight weaknesses as well as strengths. My suggestions come from a place of admiration and encouragement, because the world needs more of both. You said I sounded flip, but in my head, I promise you that wasn’t my tone. (In my brain, I was fairly earnest!)
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, and I hope you keep chiming in here and on other sewcial media. Feedback is good.
I subscribed to Seamwork last July and it has been great for me. I am a beginner, so taking the classes offered has helped me improve my skills so much! I am not crazy about the things I made in the classes, but I did the classes anyway so I could learn–and it has been so valuable. The clarity and thoroughness of the class make learning really easy. I have spatial issues ? I can’t conceptualize forms in 3-D. I don’t know if that’s a real thing, but this teaching helps me put things together in ways that make sense. I’m a teacher and I really appreciate good teaching when I see it. Another thing I enjoy about Seamwork is the community of people posting their creations and cheering each other on. On my account I set goals and I find it very motivating to be checking them off. I’ve asked some questions in the chat discussions and members and staff have been extremely generous about answering. As someone who was insecure about starting sewing, I must say that Seamwork has been a great investment, mainly because of the classes and community. I’ve made some online friends, which seems odd, but it’s true. I really enjoy Seamwork and I recommend it.
Hi, Carol! Thanks for reading. I’m SO GLAD you’re having a great experience with Seamwork. I didn’t know about the classes until you left your comment. V. cool.
I started following when they were just Collette back then, woah, she really took the sewing community by storm everyone was sewing her patterns. They were interesting and unique and also a lot harder than what she is putting out now in Seamwork. They had a distinct vintage look, and I don’t think people are into that as much anymore. Since , her newer patterns I find are much to much basic, really really basic. I can see it’s great as a first sew, but soon, at least I, prefer to try something more unique and original. Which also pushes you to learn new techniques etc. I subscribe to Burdastyle. I’m very happy, with the magazine. I collect the issues and find that years later I can still go through them and find patterns I really want to make. Most issues also have one designer contributing a pattern, and these can be amazing , once Lagarfeld was the contributor and also they’ll feature one vintage pattern from their old issues which also are so very cool plus kids stuff , crafts and even mens patterns occasionally aside from the current patterns, so yep I’m pretty much a fan. I understand how hard putting out something like a pattern magazine must be . Burda has had decades to perfect its patterns, and output so I get it I totally commend Sarai for what she does, but at the end of the day, I buy what is most useful to me.
Hi, Ines! Thanks for your reply. Yeah, Colette/Seamwork has change A LOT since its first patterns came out in the 2000s. You still can see some of the old Colette stuff in the Seamwork catalog, and it’s quite different from Seamwork’s current aesthetic.
I like your article I’ve been a seam work subscriber on and off for a few years now and agree with most of what you say.
I don’t think they draft their patterns for different styles I think they let the computer do the work for them. I’m not a tailor my mom was and taught me some tricks along the way so I’ve always customized patterns to fit my “unique” size issues. I’ve noticed some of their patterns need more help than others.
I usually up my subscription when I see a pattern I like and then cancel again the next month. lately, I’ve noticed there aren’t many variations in their patterns. They have really been just the same thing with maybe a different dart here and there, changing out the sleeve or widening the leg or tapering it in. It’s kind of boring. When I was first looking at them they were a little cutting edge but still home sewer level. this is just plain Jane stuff.
Granted with all their patterns you can really interchange any of the parts and pieces and come up with thousands of looks. I really wish their designers would go a little more out side the box.
Hi, Cheralee. Thanks for reading.
I can see what you’re saying RE: lack of variation. I think Seamwork has a particular brand look (that must work for them) and they stick to it.
If you like this article, be sure to read the follow-up piece: Is Seamwork Worth It?
I so want to love Seamwork, the ideology is fantastic but the patterns and styling don’t inspire me to make them and I feel disappointed each month with the pattern releases. I thought it was just me with fit issues, that the block they use is too different to my shape, I get so frustrated trying to correct the fit I just put it into a UFO pile! I need to use up my many credits, download what might work then also sadly cancel.
Hi, thanks for reading! I’m sorry Seamwork hasn’t been working for you. 🙁
Don’t know if you saw it, but I work a follow-up article to this piece: Is Seamwork Worth It?
You might be interested in checking it out.