A Year of Site Usage

It’s been a year since our Guild has actively used this site. Being a public site, so have others! I thought I’d take a little time to share some things about our site usage in the past 12 months, some of which may surprise you!

Before the first Guild meeting this year, I will post some suggestions as to how I see this site could be more used to reflect all members’ activities rather than just some from those who have taken the plunge to learn how to post. For now, though, here is what went on with our site in the past 12 months.

Subscribers

These are the people who get notifications on our posts.

  • 21 get it by email (all from our Guild from a quick scan)
  • 40 get it through their blog reading lists, and from a quick scan, only one is from our Guild (Nancy)!
  • 61 total

Yes, there are pretty much twice as many followers of our blog who do not belong to our Guild! Thank you to those of you who do this! We are grateful for your support. I suspect this might be a surprise to many of our Guild members. ūüôā

Page Views

These are the number of views of posts (what a person writes) and pages (what you get clicking on the menus).

  • 5,500 page views
  • About 8 per day in 2012, 14 per day in 2013!
  • Busiest month was just this past August with 874 views.
  • Second busiest month was last September when we first introduced it to everyone.

We will have more content to make the site more valuable and interesting to users in the future. Also, because we have full posts on the Home Page, those reading from there who not register. That is, if you visit the home page, whether you read¬†zero, one or five articles, the stats don’t show what you read specifically in this manner. It only shows that you visited the Home Page. That’s fine. Some of our users wanted it that way. Just mentioning so people understand how things worked. As a result,¬†these are “minimum” counts. The real one is higher. How much higher is hard to say.

Most Viewed Pages

The most viewed pages were:

Home page / Archives 1,758
Classes 371
About 197
Challenges 127
Patterns and Reviews 60
Library: Couture and Tailoring 51
Library 50
Categories 45

The Home page is the easiest way to navigate around so it’s not surprisingly the most popular page. Great to see the Classes page getting a lot of attention, and not all of it was due to the interest in the latest batch of classes

I think it’s interesting that the Challenges page was third most popular after people finding out what we’re all about.

Most Viewed Posts

June 13th is Sewing Machine Day 109
Can the Tim Horton’s Drink Marker Be Used to Mark   Dark Fabric? 102
A Pattern for Collars (Simplicity 1727) 90
NIGHTWING Running Body Suit / Cosplay 79
Chanel Jacket Sew Along? 78
Fabricville’s September 2012 Sale (Sept 4 to 25) 76
Free Patterns from Allfreesewing.com 53
Is There Any Real Value to Cutting Ties Cross Grain? 49
My Grand Moff Costume at Hal-Con  49
√Āo D√†i Cheongsam¬†Q√≠p√°o?¬† 42
Fall 2012 Classes at Fabricville Cole Harbour 42
Machines and Dealers 42
2013-14 Guild Meeting Schedule 40
Class ‚ÄĒ Sew a Fully Lined¬†Jacket 40
Know Your Size from a… Body Scan? 38

Make what you will of this list but keep in mind, those who read articles just from the Home page do not show up here. I can contribute the following insights, though.

  • A lot of readership come from searches online. Any time there is something being written about where there is a surge in interest, whether an event like International Sewing Machine Day, or a niche audience like people wanting to learn how to make specific cosplays (costumes) like Grand Moff, or a specific pattern like Simplicity 1727,¬†there will be continual interest.
  • Posts specific to our Guild like the Meeting schedule is mostly due to our own members’ interest, like the new meeting schedule and jacket class.
  • The classes from 2012 post shows there’s definitely local interest for classes. Here’s hoping our new classes posts will attract a lot of attention from those seeking.
  • The remaining posts? You’ve got me. That’s how the universe rolled in the past 12 months. ūüôā

Search Terms Used to Find Our Site

A lot of people end up on our site through search results. Here were the most popular terms used that got people to our site.

atlantic   sewing guild 80
simplicity   1727 9
atlantic   sewing guild blog 9
shevon ¬† o’toole 8
grand   moff costume 7
buy   grand moff uniform 7
allfreesewing   miscellaneous projects 6
allfreesewing 5
nightwing   bodysuit 5
ao dai   christmas 4
chanel   jacket sew along 4
grand   moff pattern 4
qipao   pattern 4
husqvarna   sewing machine dealers in nova scotia 4

Great to know people are searching for us and found us. Beyond that, note what I said above regarding what gets views.

Top Referrers to Our Site

These are sites that directed the most traffic to our site. Here’s a complete shocker!

Search   Engines 978
dek-d.com/content/lifestyle/32166/ 92
Facebook 54
mail.live.com 46
WordPress.com Reader 25
jamiifoundation.org 21
avonportdiscountfabrics.com 21
digitalcitizen.ca 12
mail.yahoo.com 7

The Search Engines referral clear at the top isn’t surprising. What may perhaps be surprising is a Thai site that talked about International Sewing Day and referenced our post on it, which you saw previously had a high traffic volume. Lots of people read that post and clicked through, it would seem! Thing was they didn’t do it in a day or a week, because I didn’t recall seeing any odd traffic patterns in my daily monitoring of our site. They just kept at it since June!

Nice to also see the Jamii Foundation write-ups, and our listing with Avonport, resulted in traffic. Thanks to those people who put in the work to get us on there.

Hotmail links that people clicked on (Live.com) was responsible for some referrals, along with Yahoo emails, too. Those were most likely from our Guild emails to members, but I can’t be sure how much. My site had a few referrals, but it’s very few considering the traffic my site receives (about 3,000 views per day these days).

What Readers Clicked On Most

These are sites people clicked on via links on our site.

digitalcitizen.ca (Minh Tan’s blog) 149
sew-lady-sew.blogspot.ca (Tory’s blog) 57
theurbanpheasant.blogspot.com (Nancy’s blog) 53
allfreesewing.com 53
sewitnow.wordpress.com (SIN Group blog) 53
sewingontheedge.blogspot.ca (Barbara Emodi’s blog) 49
mccallpattern.mccall.com (McCall and associated patterns site) 28
atlanticfabrics.com (Atlantic Fabrics store) 22
Attachments we have in posts 20
pinterest.com (various Pinterest links) 20
stylearc.com.au (Style Arc patterns) 15
Facebook (our Guild Facebook page) 11

My site is only at the top because I repost sewing related content from there. I do that because should anything happen to this site, I will have my content on my site for my use.

It’s nice to see lots of people are clicking through on our members’ blogs among the top sites readers click on.

Which Threads Get Used Most and Least on a Serger?

I use a serger on which I switch threads, usually for colour, far more often than I like. I’ve never kept track of which spool I put where but have finally noticed some are thinner than others on how much thread remains on them. I mostly do just the general 4 thread serging with upper and lower loopers, then left and right needles.

I don’t think the threads feed through at the same rate, seeing how some threads criss-cross on a serged seam, and some just go straight. Can someone please tell me which threads get used the most, down to which the least, on a serger? I’m going to start rotating thick and thin spools every time I need to change threads so I can go through spools more evenly.

Thank you.

Pattern Printing at Staples

I have been thinking about creating patterns with software. Wild Ginger had been suggested to me by Nancy. I’m not there yet, but one deterrent had been the thought of having to print out things on letter or legal sized paper, then cutting them out and piecing them together with crop marks on each sheet to make a bigger pattern piece. Most pattern pieces would be this way so I’d be doing it a lot, if so. I know what that’s about, having been a graphic designer, and it’s NOT fun!

So today, I finally got out to a Staples store a block from where I live to see what their printing capacity was. Turns out, they could print things up to 36″ wide (with 24″ and a few other standard widths being the option). And they could print any length a pattern might use since it’s on a pretty long roll of paper. You could even upload it to a Staples copy and print site¬†(Canadian site),¬†in PDF format which Wild Ginger produces, and pick it up rather soon or after 2 hours for a discount! Talk about saving time and money of a plotter, essentially, rather than a printer!

Cost for black and white wide printing¬†is 49 cents a square foot if you can wait the 2 hours, 64 cents a square foot if you can’t. That would be the square footage of paper used, not of your pattern. So if you had a tie piece 6″ wide and 18″ long, for sake of an example, to make 0.75 square foot for your pattern.¬†If you printed only 1, you’d still be paying for 3 feet wide by 0.5 foot long or 1.5 square foot. Or 1 square foot if you printed on a 24″ roll (2′ x 0.5′).

Figure out square footage by taking width x length in inches, and dividing by 144. And for costs in your mind, basically think 2 square feet for a dollar (plus tax). It’s a pretty good deal!

There are two slight drawbacks to this process. First, I’m not sure Wild Ginger would allow you to make the most efficient use of paper by jamming your pieces optimally. I’m glad I have software to manipulate that with Adobe Illustrator. Second, Staples doesn’t print on soft paper like pattern paper. It’s a bit more like your office paper. Still, to be able to print my patterns somewhere close by at an affordable price, without having to wait at the store or come back for a second trip, is fantastic!

Now, where can I buy time cheaply to learn this Wild Ginger software? I’m starting a new job Monday where I have 3 courses in software I have to take already.

p.s. I’m sure other places provide this sort of service as well. Maybe they’re cheaper, maybe not. I haven’t done the full market research and won’t be given the Staples solutions works for me.

Sharing Your Fashion And Sewing Inspiration with Pinterest

Fashion is something a lot of us consume via magazines. You buy them, you read them, you save them, maybe you’ll cut pictures out of them to keep the bits you like or are inspired by. Some of us watch fashion shows and record them. A few a fortunate enough to be able to attend them and take pictures.That’s all good and fine, but it’s a bit hard to share, and even access if you’re not where you keep all this stuff. You’d have to lug with you wherever you go for that access, and that’s often not worth doing. How often have you done lugged your fashion or sewing inspiration “file” to show someone, or so you could have it, say, while you weren’t home but wanted to think about it? Not often, I’m guessing.

With the world becoming more digital and online, I’d like to share with you a more modern way to have access and share anything you’d like, with a focus on fashion and sewing here for the Guild. They are like “bookmarking” sites, where you can save what you see online, and keep it online. That way, as long as you have a computer with Internet access, generally not hard to find, you have access to it. Further, people can see it, if you so wish, any time they like. It’s all kind of like this site, but a lot simpler in that you “one-click” something you like and file it.

There are many sites for this sort of stuff. However, the most visual one and hottest one going is Pinterest. It’s like a digital bulletin board. You see. You pin. And maybe you file if you want to keep it organized cause for a lot of people, it’s gotten out of control, if you can believe it! It’s that simple, and if you want to see its effectiveness, below are some example links.

This first link is the fashion inspiration collection of a 3rd year Costumes Studies student at Dal. Peryn has this for her own reference, but to show others, since it is publicly viewable and searchable, what inspires her. There are some crazy stuff I¬†LOVE in that collection like the butterfly dresses! Some very useful stuff, too, like¬†the necklace length charts… and I don’t even wear necklaces!¬†But after I make what my Mom calls my pimping suit jacket, upon description to her, I just might!¬†Can you imagine if you could see the same sort of thing for some other guild members to know what inspires them? Or just inspire each other if we could collectively share what inspired us?

Peryn also has a coats and jackets file, stuff for her house file, some steampunk collection stuff, among others. You all can’t get away from steampunk long now since I started mentioning it last year, can you? ūüôā

As with anything, it takes a little effort to build and maintain. However, when you look at it, don’t you think it’s worth it? I think I’m going to get an account started now… and start building by “stealing” some of Peryn’s stuff!

Don’t worry. It’s not really “stealing”. I’m just taking some of Peryn’s inspiration and making a duplicate in my file. She’s not losing anything. And to be honest, if you’re not familiar with the economics and morality of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), when you “steal” someone’s stuff, it’s actually a compliment to them. You’re basically saying “I like it enough I’m going to add it to my stuff and propagate it to others”! It’s more like “approving” rather than “stealing”. Welcome to the new world order!

Once I get enough of my own content, probably some time early next year, I’ll do a post to share my Pinterest board with you. In the meanwhile, I hope some of you will give it a go, if you haven’t already, to share your Pinterest board with the rest of us! Leave a link as a comment if you have!