We Have Our Own Domain – AtlanticSewingGuild.ORG

After almost 300 posts over the past two years, over 33,000 views and 140 followers, we have decided our site deserved its own domain! ūüôā

If you look up in your address bar, you will see that the domain is no longer a WordPress domain, through which this site is based. Anybody continuing to use the old address, or any old links to our past posts, will have no problem accessing the same content. It will automatically redirect as if someone substituted the old domain with the new one for you.

Thank you to all those that have viewed, followed, commented and contributed in other ways in the past. We look forward to continuing to do so with you and others who will find us in the future!

We have an exciting year coming up in the Guild, including online content for those of you not able to join us in Halifax. We will do this our site here, and expanding social media presence that will allow for even more interaction. We will share that news within weeks when we are ready! I hope you’ll join us for the ride!

Minh, webmaster

National Sewing Circle Website

Beverly in the Guild wanted to share an online sewing resource with you all called the National Sewing Circle (nationalsewingcircle.com).

National Sewing Circle Screen Capture (click to enlarge)
National Sewing Circle Screen Capture (click to enlarge)

It is a site of sewing videos, with a blog, projects and things you can purchase. Some of the content is free, but some is for members only.

You can get a free newsletter emailed to you if you sign up that way, perhaps to find out more about things before deciding whether or not to commit to a membership.

For those of you looking for new online sewing resources, this site “seams” to be well worth a look! ūüôā

Thank you, Beverly!

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.

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.