Wiki How-To and Contest!

So, while I wasn't really paying attention, you all have added nearly SEVEN HUNDRED patterns to the Vintage Sewing Patterns Wiki! That is, frankly, awesome.

Even more awesome is that Janet at Lanetz Living has offered a $100 gift certificate for a wiki contest! (UPDATE: Rita at Cemetarian has offered a $50 gift certificate for 2nd place!)

So here's how the wiki contest is going to work — I'd love to get EVEN MORE PATTERNS into the wiki, because the bigger it is, the more useful it will be. So let's aim for 3000 patterns by midnight, Central Time, Jan 1, 2008. If we hit that goal, I'll select ONE pattern page randomly from all those created and reward the creator with that spiffy Lanetz Living gift certificate!

Obviously, the more patterns you upload, the greater your chances of winning …

Quite a few people have emailed me, saying that they have a lot of patterns they'd like to add to the wiki, but they don't know how and they're worried about messing things up. To which I say: it's a wiki! Don't worry too much about messing things up. Wikis are both fluid and resilient; anything you "break" can be fixed in a matter of moments. But if you're still worried (or if you're not a "let's go in and mess around and see what happens" kind of person), here's a little quick how-to on adding pages and patterns to the wiki.

The first thing you should do, if at all possible, is log in. (It's okay to edit anonymously, but for practical reasons, I can't award the prize to Anonymous. You're in it for purely altruistic reasons if you edit anonymously.)

After you login in, create a page! A page starts with a pattern, and a pattern starts with a number. To start a new page for a new pattern, use this box:

sewing patterns wiki box

This is the box on the Home page, on the lower left. If you use this box, then the page headers/dividers (Links to reviews/blog posts, Sources/Vendors, Gallery, and Wishlist) will show up on the page automatically.

Type your pattern name and number (e.g., Vogue 5380) into the box. That will start a new page called "Vogue 5380". If there is ANOTHER pattern already entered that has the same manufacturer and number, and yours is different, call it "Vogue 5380 A" (B, C, etc.).

Don't put extra information into the page name, like a date or a description. Just the pattern maker and number. Some early patterns didn't list makers, so you can just use a number (or call them Newspaper Pattern).

Now your new page should open! Then you can add an image. Look for the link that says "Insert Image". If you don't see the link, you're probably not logged in. Only logged-in users can upload an image. On my page it looks like this:

sewing patterns wiki box

Clicking this will give you a "Browse" box — find the pattern image on your computer and click on it. Then upload it.

You will then get an option box to choose whether to upload a thumbnail (small) image, or a full-size. Unless your image is HUGE, off the screen huge, please upload the full-size. Caption it with the pattern name and number:

sewing patterns wiki box

Your page should reload and you'll see these tags inserted on the page for the pattern image:

[[Image:Vogue5380.jpg|Vogue 5380]]

If you are linking to a page on your blog or your site, you can paste that link in under the "= Links to reviews/blog posts =" or "= Sources/Vendors =" lines. (If you are so inclined, you can link to any page where I've written about a pattern — to find it, Google ["Pattern Number"], which should turn up any pages on my site where that pattern is referenced.)

Now you're nearly done! All that's left is to add any notes or categories. If you feel like typing in the notes from the pattern ("Simplicity Pattern 1732 … This includes; 3 variations of this smart slim skirt. View 1 has high rise, shaped waistline and suspenders. View 2 boasts top-stitching and tab detailed pleat at left front. View 3 features a back kick pleat and tab trim at hipline.") go ahead!

You can also add categories: Some good ones for any pattern include the pattern manufacturer (Vogue), the year or decade if known (1950s, 1954), what kind of garment it is (dresses, jackets), any design features (pockets, collars), etc. Remember that the point of categories is to make "buckets" to sort patterns with. So if you'd like to be able to see a list of all patterns in the wiki that have french cuffs, you have to TAG all the patterns in the wiki that have french cuffs! [Not all categories are worthwhile: some bad categories would be "date of upload" (because it's in the history of the page), your name (ditto), "I like this" (not a useful category for OTHER people), etc.]

Then just hit SAVE and you're done! You made a pattern page! Right now uploading a new pattern takes me about three minutes. Depending on your internet connection, size of your pattern image files, and how many other people are uploading, you might take a teeny bit longer.

You might be asking "I'd love to help, but I don't really have a lot of pattern images … what can I do?" Lots! You can add categories, you can 'tidy' pages that don't have the right headers, and you can visit the list of sellers on the home page and upload their images! (If you do that, download the images to your hard drive first — otherwise you can't find them when you Browse — and be sure to link the seller's page to the wiki page.)

Go upload patterns, have fun, and figure out how you're going to spend that $100 at Lanetz Living. I'm not eligible to win, of course, but if I were, I'd probably start with this one (the one on the left)!

17 thoughts on “Wiki How-To and Contest!

  1. You weren’t supposed to look at how many we’ve added yet, Erin.. it was a surprise! :D3,000? *pant pant pant* guess I better get my nose down to the scanner and get back to uploading!


  2. I’ve been having fun adding patterns to the wiki and, of course, browsing and drooling over all of the ones I don’t own. So, 3,000 entries by Jan 1. Wow! I’m with jen (momspatterns)…better get that scanner humming!


  3. I have been adding as fast as I can, but my poor laptop had to go to the computer hospital for a week, that slowed me down a bit. But I wanted to thank the folks who have done some editing on a few of my entries, but I can figure how to reach them, clicking on their names keeps bringing me to blank pages. Is there a secret handshake? More to come, but 3,000? That might send the little laptop back to the hospital! TinaWhat-I-Found


  4. Hi Erin – Maybe we can extend the deadline to Jan. 10th or something arbitrary. I have so much sewing to do by Christmas I don’t know when I’ll have time to scan!I finished my first vintage dress last week! It was fun and VERY different, I’ll get a photo and a blog up about it eventually.I also just came across this website – seems a relavant link to the wiki and your blog, have you seen this before?


  5. Ooh, $100 @ LL – what pretty things could be acquired…I’ve done 10-15 already from my personal stash, and have about that many more to do once I get the chance to take another round of photos. It’s a lot of fun, actually, and it’s going to be a great resource.


  6. Hello –This is unrelated to the Wiki — which is awesome — but I have a question that I really need answered (Christmas is coming…) and couldn’t think of where else to turn.My mother would like to hand-embroider a tablecloth. Not cross-stitch, and not by machine. I’m having trouble finding this online — I can find things to machine embroider, and I can find people selling tablecloths that they have hand embroidered, but nothing for her to do. Do people have advice?Thanks so much!Emily


  7. Erin- Could you sticky the contest (and a link to this post) on the right hand side of your website? I’d love to contribute, but I have to complete some projects this week and get my husband to connect the scanner. (I just counted… I have 18 paper-carton boxes of commercial patterns. Eek!)


  8. Emily,There are a number of iron-on transfers available that might be helpful for your mom. The three I’m pasting below may not quite fit the aesthteic she’s going for, but the idea is the same. Basically, a good place to start is finding a package of iron-on transfers that she likes, then ironing them onto the tablecloth, then “tracing” over the lines with embroidery floss. Kits usually come with instructions and diagrams of stitches. Your local craft shop will probably have some kits in their embroidery section. Check out these below:


  9. Erin,I am playing around with this and you mention “If you are linking to a page on your blog or your site, you can paste that link in under the “= Links to reviews/blog posts =” or “= Sources/Vendors =” lines.”Do we have to manually enter that in? I notice on yours it has the edit over on the side and when I put in the code it does not work. 😦


  10. Let me just say I *love* this idea. I can’t believe no one’s done it before!A recent issue with a vintage reprint pattern leads me to ask: Will there ever be an additional category for the Wiki for modern reprints? Due to copyright we probably couldn’t put as much info on those entries, but things like actual bust/waist/hip measurements, comparisons to the original patterns, etc. could help.


  11. Egads, I haven’t been linking any of mine to actual items for sale.. I did THINK about it but thought it might be frustrating for peeps to click a link only to find it’s sold..I’ll check back to see if you have any luck, Janet!


  12. Hey Jen,Your probably right. :)I won’t mess with it. I think this will be such a great pattern rescource. I want to list more but short staffed and having to do my job plus more….. boo hoo!!Good news is that it was pretty easy to do.Hugs,Janet


  13. I had already put “Adding pattern entries” on my Uberlist for 2008. I’d love a deadline past Jan. 1 due to the high volume of Christmas crafting I have left!


  14. This is an awesome project. I know a few of the pattern sellers at MSMO are participating. Thanks for doing this!Lora,Main Street Mall Online


  15. I’m finally getting it figured out, I think. A week in Mexico with no running water messed with my brain! This is a wonderful resource — talk about eye candy!


  16. Contest Schmontest. My inner cataloger says go-go gadget-wiki!Thanks for this info. I have a handful to add just cos I like databases and stuff.


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