PDP Exclusives by Rebecca

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Brooke Van Gory Guide to crafting resources on the Internet

This is the last post in the sewing series that Brooke is going to do. We already have covered where the best tutorials are, how to get fabric and materials, and what the best products are. Brooke is self-taught, and you can be too! With a little help from some friends. ;)

Alright, I am going to admit it. I once sucked at sewing. My husband likes to bring up the example of a time when I attempted to sew a bowling-style purse. It was HORRIFIC, and he KEPT is to mock me for about 2 years. But I learned, and it took a TON of trial and error. So far, I have shown you all a bunch of tools and tips on how to get yourself started, but this last step is crucial. Not only will it help you in times of need, and panic, but it also will empower you to become more comfortable with yourself as a crafter.

Crafting communities have been around forever. Back in the day, sewing and crafting guilds were formed, so that artisans and trades-folk could share tools and materials. Things have evolved since them, and there is a plethora of places where you can not only find like-minded crafters like yourself, but where you can go when you need help. Picture this: You are in the middle of installing your FIRST ever zipper. OH CRAP! What is GOING ON HERE!??!!?  How did this happen! It didn't cover this in the 40 tutorials I saw on how to do this zipper! This is AWFUL!!!! How amazing would it be to have a "teacher" who is skilled in the craft you are attempting available to give you some pointers?

Artisan sites are how I really got into sewing as more then a hobby. They are what gave me the drive to become better at my trade, and to strive to perfect my techniques. Craftster is a well known site, that has thousands of  artisans and seamstresses on the forums, ready to toss a quick pointer to you, or to discuss techniques, or materials. They also have a very comprehensive tutorial section, as well. I love Craftster, but sometimes, I feel a bit lost in there. It is BIG!

Attack of the Craft is another amazing site full of crafters. Now, I am going to be a bit biased here, hang with me for a second. I am good friends with the owners of AToC, they are individually some of the best artists I know, and have been doing it for years. Now, that being said, from an OUTSIDERS point of view, well, who better to run a DIY forum? The artists in this forum are a collection of the best of the best of the DIY community, mixed with novice artisans. I have been associated with this group for a long time, even before AToC was a reality, and there is not a single member that would not hold out a helping hand to a new crafter with questions. If you honestly asked me how I got to where I am today with Brooke Van Gory Designs, it is because of these artists. Their friendships are the backbone of who I am as an artist today. They also have a shop option within the forum, for new artists to sort of "test the waters" if you are not ready to jump into Etsy or Artfire!

Livejournal is another site that gets a lot of traffic in the DIY community. There are groups dedicated to pretty much any sort of DIY activity you can think of! If you do a little searching, you will find groups dedicated to tee reconstruction, sewing tutorials, resin techniques, ect.

I know there are some other sites that are popular, but those are the ones that got me the most help. And believe me, you are going to need it. Who else but another crafter will be around for you at 2am on a Tuesday night when you just botched a buttonhole? Sewing is a magical world, full of endless possibilities, and these communities are the door that helps make that world SPARKLE!!!!

Brooke is the owner and seamstress at Brooke Van Gory Designs. She lives in The Chicago suburbs with her two kiddos, and her rock star husband! You can shop BVG here, and follow her on Google+ here.


  1. Awww thanks for the sweet comments about AotC. We love you, too, Brookers :D

  2. I so have to agree with Brooke, and I'm not even a crafter!

  3. The amount of people I've met through AOTC.. Well, three of you are right here ^