/ / How to write a Super Sewing Tutorial {three must-have elements}

How to write a Super Sewing Tutorial {three must-have elements}


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I know this is a blog about sewing and not about blogging (there are plenty of those too). But I’m writing this post for all the people who submit their tutorials to me {using our submission page or simply by emailing me} and who are probably wondering why I never featured their tutorial or what they need to change so I will feature their tutorial. I can’t write back to everyone saying exactly why I didn’t choose to put you on my calendar, but I can share with you some tips to make your tutorials the best they can be. Maybe you’ve never written a sewing tutorial before and you’d like to try. Well, here’s a great place to start.

There are three things that make a sewing tutorial super. And what I mean by super is that people love it. They bookmark it. They come back to make it (and make it again). And they tell their friends. So here are the three things:

1. Subject Matter: something other people will want to sew

Is your tutorial for a super intricate toilet paper roll cover? Hmmmmm. Two problems there.

Super intricate: let’s face it. Most people surfing the sewing blogs want to make something fun and easy. There are times when we all want to try something that is a little more complicated and might take more than one sitting, but keep in mind that simple is usually better.

And toilet paper roll cover? It better be pretty darn awesome to convince a lot of people they want to make it. The best subjects for sewing tutorials are things that everybody needs and wants.

Reward your readers with a fast and easy way to make something they were just about to go out and buy. 

2. Execution: make sure you are sewing it the correct way and you provide everything they need to know


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Here we go… don’t take this the wrong way. Sew it at least once beforehand. Would you make it the same way again? What would you change to make it easier, simpler, cuter?

Then on your second (or third) try, take lots of pictures as you go. Show people the tricky parts especially. More on photography in must-have element 3.

If you are unsure of a certain sewing technique, make sure you learn the correct way before you show lots of people how to do it. Sewing has been around for a long time. There are, quite simply, correct ways to do things and these correct ways usually produce the prettiest, most consistent results. If your project requires sewists to do something (insert a zipper, sew a dart, trim a seam) in a way that is not technically the best way, explain why. Ask yourself if you are spoiling the execution of your project by trying to be different. Different is not always better… but it can be.

The second part of this is provide everything they need to know. Don’t just say ‘put in the zipper now.’ We want to see how you put in a zipper. There are lots of different ways to do it and we are curious about you! If your project requires pattern pieces, provide them or show how to draft them. Don’t make someone go out and get a pattern in order to make your tutorial.


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Reward your readers with the correct way to sew something and a new pattern if that is what your project calls for. They will love you for it.

3. Visual Appeal: be beautiful (I mean the blog… you can be in your pajamas)


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This is a difficult subject because having a beautiful blog seems to come easier to a few people then to the rest. People with a background or talent in graphic design definitely have a leg up on everyone else, but that doesn’t mean you can’t present your tutorial in a beautiful way. Here are a few tips…

Improve your photographs. We can all do this. Make your pictures nice and bright. Put your sewing machine by a window so you get lots of natural light. Try not to write your tutorial at night in a dark house (I know, when else will you be able to without rugrats in the photos… I know.) Take a photography class – online or in person.


Actual sewing tutorial photo from Zaaberrry.

Actual sewing tutorial photo from Zaaberrry.

Your final project photographs are especially important. Make them as beautiful and engaging as you can. These are what other websites (like SewCanShe) grab when we want to feature you. There have honestly been great tutorials that I would like to feature but I couldn’t find a single photo in it  that I wanted to put on my website. I want my site to be beautiful too!

Browse your favorite sewing blogs, noticing how they set up their photos and collages. See what props they might (or might not) use. Learn from others. Use tools like Picasa (free), Picmonkey (also free) and Photoshop to make your photos even better. If you are worried about someone stealing your great photo and taking credit, put a watermark on it with your blog name or web address. No one minds that, it promotes you too.


Photo from blue susan makes.

Photo from blue susan makes.

Use beautiful fabric. Save your ugly fabric (we all have it) for your practice versions, and use your very best for the tutorial. Let your project be so beautiful and inspiring we can’t wait to make it… even if it’s just a zipper pouch!

Reward your readers with something beautiful to look at. They might never make one of their own, but they might just come back to look at yours.

Okay now… I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more beautiful and super instructive sewing tutorials on the blogosphere… Be sure you submit all your best ones to me so I can feature them!


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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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6 Comments

  1. So glad you wrote this! So tired of getting pattern or tutes and reading over and saying to my self are you kidding me you don’t even know the basics in sewing. And the cheap black and white photos after i payed good money for it! For now i only buy pretested or one of the big 4 patterns, saves me money and frustration.

    Love reading your blog daily.

  2. Sharon Repici says:

    I so agree with Gina, nothing worse than to get excited about a tutorial only to have to research the right way to do something. Also, if you used any part of someone else’s idea, be gracious enough to link to it. Say you were inspired by their project, but you want to present it from another viewpoint.
    Slightly off topic, but when I pin tutorials or patterns on Pinterest, I try to go to the root source and pin from there if not what was presented on a board I’m following. I dislike when I see something awesome, follow the link, and end up on someone’s blog with only a passing mention of how they found the pattern somewhere else, without even a link. I get obsessed with finding the pattern and start doing searches until I find it or give up exhausted, wishing I hadn’t seen it in the first place. Caroline, you do such a great job of giving other artists credit, I just wish others would do the same thing.

  3. Sonja Loyd says:

    Thank you so much,I have waited for some easy instructional ideas,my biggest is getting the Photo practice!
    Can’t wait to get started.

  4. Kate Oszko says:

    Your post shows AND tells what’s needed. Beautifully done.

  5. This article was very helpful, Thank You! I recently started a blog on my website and just needed some examples of templates/format and I’m glad I found yours!

  6. Thank you very much for this wonderful article! My friend works as a writer, and she is also very interested in sewing. I think that she should write her own book about it, that’s why I think that this article will be very useful for her. Thank you for sharing such a useful and exciting type of content! I hope that soon my friend will write her first book about sewing.

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