|Granny Squares by me|
The internet is a many splendoured thing, it is a treasure trove of knowledge, ideas and pictures of kittens. Through this blog and my website I sometimes get contacted about different things, some of which are related to my work and some not so much. Recently I was approached by Coats Crafts who asked if I would be interested in writing a review of their 'Make It Coats' site. It seemed like a reasonable request and as it is relevant to my area of work I felt happy to do so. I have not received anything from them and do not expect to so rest assured this review is my honest opinion and not endorsed or influenced by anyone or anything else.
|Make it Coats Screenshot|
The site is divided into different sections; discover, learn, share and product explorer and also has sections for different crafts (sewing and quilting, knitting, crochet and embroidery.) There are mood boards, projects and free patterns, articles and links to other sites-mainly crafty blogs. It has a nice, clean feel to the layout with lots of enticing pictures without being too cluttered.
At the side of the screen is a menu which allows you to filter results to make them more relevant, for example, if you are only interested in crocheted fashion items you can activate those filters and so bypass all the other bits. This is a really useful feature if you are looking for something specific or have a specific interest and if you want to see everything the menu is easy to dismiss. There are also other ways to filter results, such as choosing to see only tutorials in the learn section.
If you're looking for a bit of inspiration then start with the discover section which has a selection of mood boards and articles and features a range of projects. In the learn section there are a range of tutorials, varying from practical techniques to finished items, and articles to help with technical issues such as irregular stitches on your sewing machine.The share section features lists of events and blog articles about different designers/artists/makers, including some high profile names such as Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett.
|An embroidered owl by me|
Overall, the site is easy to navigate and has some nice projects and articles. As you would expect there are a lot of references and links to their products but the marketing is not too in your face and it is easy to filter out the bits you're not so bothered about. The free projects are nice but I haven't seen anything amazing or that you couldn't find elsewhere on the web, but this is a personal thing.
Where I think the site could be improved is in its interactivity; there are a lot of articles and projects but a user gallery in the share section, for example, would make me want to check the site a bit more often. As it is, I feel very much like I'm browsing a store and there are other places on the web I would go first for project ideas and inspiration. However, as I said at the start this is just my opinion and what I want out of a website and what other people want is likely to be quite different!