Should you sign up for Seamwork? Probably not, but you need to read this article all the way through to see why. Here is a quick summary if you’re short on time.
There are better websites online that do the same thing. Seamwork’s site itself isn’t so bad and there are some redeeming qualities, but their customer support doesn’t even reply to you. I emailed them a question over a month ago and still haven’t received a reply. How is that for customer service?
Instead, I’d recommend signing up for Craftsy. They’re much better at customer service and have higher quality options to choose from.
What is Seamwork?
Seamwork is a website and subscription service dedicated to sewing your own clothes. From the website, you can read many articles on everything from sewing tips and techniques, to fabrics, wardrobe style, and the creative mindset. You can also browse through their pattern collections, to see if they are the type of clothing you would be interested in sewing for yourself.
Seamwork has a quick quiz for new members, so they can get an idea of your sewing skill level and what type of patterns/clothing you like the best. Based on your answers, they can recommend patterns and tutorials that might best fit your interests. This feature can be especially helpful for beginners who aren’t used to picking out patterns.
There’s one problem big problem though. Seamwork simply isn’t the best site for patterns or classes. Their customer service is extremely lacking. When you compare Seamwork to Craftsy, it’s just not that close.
How Much Does A Seamwork Subscription Cost?
Seamwork has two subscription options. If you want to be billed once a month with no annual commitment, the cost is $16 per month. This pricing is in line with all other programs of this sort.
The Unlimited plan is billed annually (once a year), and costs $15 per month, with automatic renewal each year.
The difference between the two plans is that with the monthly plan you get to download two sewing patterns each month, and the annual plan allows you to download an unlimited number of sewing patterns each month. With the annual plan only being $12 more, this seems like a good value at first glance. Still, I’d recommend another service because you simply get more for the money.
If you decide you want to cancel your membership for either plan, you can do so easily before your next billing cycle. You’ll get to keep any patterns you have already downloaded.
However, Seamwork doesn’t refund any unused time on a membership. For example, if you paid for an annual plan but want to cancel after six months, the cancellation won’t go into effect until your yearly membership has expired.
They won’t cancel your membership immediately and refund six months’ worth of membership back to you. If you’re unsure if a long-term Seamwork membership is right for you, paying monthly might be a better choice.
I don’t see this as a really bad thing overall because it’s standard practice.
What Is Included In A Seamwork Membership?
Here is a list of what is included in a Seamwork membership, along with the estimated value Seamwork describes for each item:
Access to the Seamwork Library of over 200 sewing patterns; valued at a total $3,200.00. This estimated value is based on each pattern having a price of $16.
That’s a reasonable individual price for most clothing patterns. However, a monthly membership only gives you access to two patterns per month. The yearly membership allows you to download as many patterns as you like at any time.
Monthly sew-a-long classes; valued at $1,176. Sew-a-long classes are great for anyone who is a visual learner, or for anyone at the beginning level of sewing. The value of these classes was based on each class, regardless of duration or difficulty, having a price of $49.
Support from the Seamwork Team, and access to the Seamwork Online Community; valued at “priceless”. Seamwork has an online community where members can chat, ask questions, and share sewing tips. Additionally, members of the Seamwork web team monitor the online community, and they can be reached via email with any questions or concerns. According to the website, they answer all emails within 24 hours. Here’s the thing though. They haven’t replied to me and it’s been over a month!
In addition to the listed items already mentioned, Seamwork is currently advertising the following “bonus” items included with membership:
Over 60 pattern bonus variations; valued at $496. The Seamwork website describes these as downloadable pattern pieces to get a whole new look from their patterns.
Something to keep in mind is that usually when you purchase sewing patterns from a fabric store, pattern variations (different necklines, sleeve styles, skirt lengths, etc.) are often included with the pattern, and not something you would pay extra money for.
“Design Your Wardrobe 3-Week Program”; valued at $299. This is a 3-week course that runs twice a year. The objective of this course is to plan an entire season of sewing. You can participate with other Seamwork members, or try a self-paced version. This course could be useful if you want to create an extensive wardrobe of clothing items that you can mix and match for different looks.
Discounts at many independent fabric shops; estimated value of $10-$200.
This is a nice bonus for Seamwork members, as independent fabric shops offer fun and unique material that often isn’t available anywhere else. Keep in mind that the fabrics in these shops are usually more expensive than fabric sold in larger stores.
If you’re sewing on a budget, it’s a good idea to compare prices between independent shops and national fabric/craft store chains. Even with a discount at an independent store, you might be able to buy nice fabric for your project for a cheaper price at a larger fabric store.
“Define Your Style” worksheets; valued at $19. These worksheets are a fun idea to help plan what type of clothes you like to wear, and what you plan to sew for yourself. Any craft projects are more enjoyable when your thoughts are organized.
This all sounds good and well but you can get much more for the money at Craftsy.
Seamwork Pattern Reviews
Seamwork was started by Sarai Mitnick, the founder/creator of Colette Patterns. In 2014, she closed down her paper pattern business and started the Seamwork website, which focuses not only on patterns but also on sewing knowledge and community.
Most of the patterns on Seamwork are for basic wardrobe pieces that can be worn together for a variety of stylish looks. With a little planning, this can be a great way to create a stylish custom wardrobe for yourself.
However, because they are “basic” pieces, some of the patterns almost look like variations of previously released patterns.
The clothing styles on the Seamwork website aren’t as varied as you might find elsewhere.
Many online reviewers have reported consistent sizing issues with their patterns. Couple this with the fact that their customer support hasn’t even emailed me back in over a month and you’re sure to have a nightmare on your hands.
The patterns seem to require many fit adjustments, even from experienced sewers. Many have said that the pattern fits are “boxy” and “loose”. Some minor adjustments is always to be expected when sewing your own garments, though.
Based on the sizing issues that are reported and no responses from their customer support, I’m left having to recommend that you don’t join Seamwork but join another program instead that I’ve reviewed as well.
Is Seamwork Worth The Cost?
If you add up the value of everything included in a Seamwork membership, it comes to a total of over $5,200. Of course, you only get that full value amount if you utilize every pattern, every class, and consistently use the discounts at independent fabric stores.
Some of their given valuations for what a membership includes seem pretty inflated.
For example, adding a dollar amount for pattern variations is odd when you consider that many patterns usually include variations.
A class that has 6-8 lessons has the same dollar value as a class with only 1-2 lessons, according to their website.
So, is Seamwork worth the money? Their membership price isn’t unreasonable if you like their patterns, and don’t mind that you may have to make quite a few sizing adjustments.
Fortunately, you can browse through pictures of their pattern choices to see if they look appealing. The classes range from easy, quick projects to more complex patterns, and there are many free tutorial articles on the website.
If a Seamwork membership looks like something you would possibly enjoy, you might think it could be a good idea to try a month-to-month membership at first. That way, you could cancel if you decide it just isn’t for you…
Well, you’d be right. You could risk it but luckily you read this review first and know you probably shouldn’t. If you really want patterns and sewing classes then you can’t go wrong with Craftsy instead of Seamwork.
While Seamwork is popular with some users, there are other online sewing resources where you’ll get a better value for the money you spend, especially if you’re a beginner.
For example, Craftsy.com offers sewing patterns and classes that can be accessed through their membership, or purchased individually if you aren’t a member.
The sewing classes offered on their site are not only for clothing items but also for accessories and decorative items. Their classes cover a wide range of topics from the basics of how to use a sewing machine to drafting your own sewing patterns.24