New Site is LIVE! Update Your Feed!

I am delighted this fine Friday to announce that my new site is up and live and fabulous!
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This is one of those projects that was months in the making, with lots of in-the-car-drive-time daydreaming about what elements would work best, how the site would work as a whole, where different parts belonged, what things were NOT working on the old site, what domain name to utilize, what the look and feel of Whipstitch ought to be post-fabric-shop, and what my goals and hopes are moving forward. I think the new site–which you can find at whip-stitch.com–really does all the things I hoped it would do, and it’s lovely to look at!  After all the dreaming and sketching, though, this has only taken a few quick weeks to whip into shape and get ready to share with you–a true labor of obsession love.

When you arrive at the landing page, you’ll find an enormous slider highlighting current blog series, current e-courses, major sections of the site to help you find your way around, and plenty of goodies. There’s a new nav bar at the top, using verbs that I think point more to my goal with Whipstitch. My mission has always been to lead people to passionately love sewing, and I think over the past seven (!!) years I have found that using strong action verbs is one of the best ways to do that.
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The new menu encourages you explore classes–online and in person–to sew up a pattern or a tutorial, to watch video via YouTube or the new Video Sewing Glossary (more on that in a sec), to read the blog or one of my books or one of the other amazing sewing resources out on the interwebs, and to connect with others through in-person meet-ups and virtual interactions.
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The heart of the site is still the blog, which has all the same content migrated over, but with a fully revised sidebar and links and goodies to explore. (When you update your reader, you’ll update to whip-stitch.com and that will feed all the blog posts in for you, just FYI.) The new blog interface has a much wider column for larger images, a fantastic search function, easy access to social media links (in case you want to check up on me on Instagram), and some new outside links that I think you’ll love.
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All the content that has been here for years and years is WAYYYY better organized and collated than it has been–when I started to put together the concepts for the new site a few months ago, I went ahead and made the Quilt Gallery, and I was shocked by how many quilts I’ve made in the past 18 months. So I don’t know why I was surprised when I put together the Garment Gallery and saw that I have dozens and dozens of finished garment projects (and I’m still not convinced I didn’t miss one or two). Don’t get me started on the tutorials–I had FIVE on the old site. FIVE! And now it’s clear that there is closer to 50. Eeek!
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One of the key parts of the new site I am MOST excited about is the launch of the Video Sewing Glossary. This baby has been in the back of my head for ages, and one day I just decided to DO IT. Somehow I find it hard to believe that no one has create a comprehensive, one-stop glossary of sewing terms using video to illustrate the meaning and use of each term, but I can’t find one anywhere on the web, and I’m tickled to have the chance to take the reins in designing and implementing that resource for the community as a whole. We’re starting with just about a dozen terms, and I’m releasing six new terms each week over the coming months–with a couple contests and surprises mixed in there.  Keep your eyes on it–lots more to see!
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All my patterns have been better organized, too, so that you’ll be able to find patterns to purchase plus free patterns, which really have been lurking in the corners for a while if you didn’t know where to look. It has been exciting and fun, seriously, to go back through the 700+ posts I’ve written over the years and think back to where I was and what I was doing and how many babies I had when each one was put together. And such a motivating gut check to see how far I’ve come and to review what I thought Whipstitch would be when I started out versus where I think it’s going to go. I feel humbled and grateful for the time I’ve had to build this site, and am really, really excited about what comes next.
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Part of that change in direction led me to create some new off-site resources, too. One is the Amazon store you’ll see in the sidebar; since I no longer sell sewing supplies retail, I get a lot (a LOT) of questions about where to get fabric and notions. I’ve built an Amazon store to lead you to the tools and books that I use the most and love most deeply, to make it easier for you to find them. I’m also working with a spare handful of fabric shops whom I whole-heartedly endorse for their selection, professionalism and speedy shipping–those are in the sidebar, too. Plus, you’ll find a WHOLE NEW Flickr group! The old Flickr group, Whipstitch Fabrics, didn’t quite make sense, since…well…I don’t sell fabric any longer. Because of the nature of how the group was created, I don’t get to change the web address, so it seemed to make sense to create a new group and move images over there!  If you’re already a member of the old group, please do take the time to migrate your images over and join the new group so we can all peek in and see what you’re sewing!

I hope you all love the new look and feel of Whipstitch as much as I do, and that you’ll update your readers and come along with me.  (As a sidenote, did you know that Feedly allows you to comment directly from your reader, in a way that Google Reader never did?  Just click the “preview” text up in the upper right corner of the post window when you’re reading, and you can comment right in the screen, rather than clicking all the way over!)  I have so many more irons in the fire, with sketches and diagrams and things up my sleeve, and I am finding that–as I’d hoped–closing the shop has allowed me to sharpen my focus and drill down on the ways in which I’m best able to contribute and support this amazing online sewing community, as well as fulfill my own creative needs and offer more of myself to my family and the folks I care about most.  Thank you, seriously, all of you, for making this site meaningful and possible–and here’s to another seven great years!

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