What is Craftine
Craftine is a sewing subscription box which is delivered every other month. The box includes 2 sewing patterns, fabric, notions, and a sweetie at a cost of £29.90 (at time of writing) per box.
You can view the Craftine website at www.craftinebox.co.uk
Grumpy Mum’s Review
I was quite excited to learn about this box as ever since trying Sew A Little Secret last year, I’ve been saying that someone should create a sewing subscription box for dressmaking. Well here it is and it’s not half bad!
When it arrived, the subscription box looked pretty and professional, which is always a bonus with a subscription box as half of the fun is getting a treat in the post. Inside the box didn’t disappoint either. Arguably the make or break part item in the box is the fabric. After all, even if you hate the pattern choices, you could still use the fabric for something else. The June box included one piece of linen and one piece of cotton jersey and they both looked and felt amazing. The cotton jersey had an unusual floral print, while the soft linen was a lovely natural taupe. Both did well in the pre-wash although the linen did shrink a little.
The next most important item in the box is the patterns. Craftine has recently upgraded their offering to include 2 rather than 1. I think this is a fantastic idea as it means that there is much less chance that you will receive a box and not like the patter. It also means that you get an additional pattern to make by yourself if you want to.
In the June box the patters included a knee length summer dress, or a stretch top and wrap skirt. As we were in the middle of a heat wave when I received the box, I chose to make the dress, although in hind sight I should have probably made the skirt and top (because of my figure) and will probably do so at a later date. The patterns range in size from 6-20, and I was disappointed to see that my measurements were a couple of inches larger than the largest measurements.
As an aside, pattern sizes and shop bought sizes are usually very different. Pattern sizes are true to the original average measurements taken in the 1950’s. Shop bought sizes are known as vanity sizes as although they usually still use the 1950’s scale the size numbers have crept over time because they discovered that women felt better buying a size 12 than a size 18 and were more likely to buy clothes if they were happy!The result is that someone buying a size 14 in a shop could easily need as size 18 or 20 on a paper pattern. I’m a size 18 at the moment so it’s not surprising that the size 20 was too small.
As garment measurements aren’t provided on the instructions, I chose to measure the pattern myself and discovered that they had a very generous amount of ease. As a result I was able to make the dress fit by just adding a tiny bit to each side seam, in hind sight, I could have probably gotten away without even doing that.
My box also contained a very odd little sugar candy inside a plastic shell. This wasn’t to my taste so unfortunately it ended in the bin.
When I sat down to make the dress I noticed two things immediately. Firstly that I would need to trace the pattern pieces as they are printed overlapping. This wasn’t a problem as I had been taught to always do this anyway and the patterns were colour coded to make it easier to identify the line to be traced. The second thing was that there were no instructions in the box. This was much more of a problem but after riffling through the items that were in the box I found a code to download the instructions, which you then either need to print yourself or read on screen.
Once found the instructions were simple enough and had lots of helpful progress photos, however I would say that the way they are written was a bit of a let down. Craftine is a French company and the instructions have obviously been translated from French to English. Unfortunately this has been done quite poorly. They are readable, but poor grammar, awkward sentences, and some rather random or just plain odd word choices, make them quite difficult to understand. Luckily the pattern was fairly straightforward and the progress photos told you everything you needed to know.
Once I’d got to grips with the instructions, constructing the dress was fairly easy. Even for someone who hasn’t sewn for years and has never followed a commercial pattern. Getting the dress blocks onto the linen was a bit of a struggle due to fabric shrinkage, but I did have a lot of left over jersey to play with, which I’m very happy about.
The Craftine box does contain all of the notions you will need, but this doesn’t unfortunately include thread, so unless you’re lucky enough to have a extensive selection of colours, you may need to buy some separately. Luckily I was able to get away with white.
My finished dress is well designed, and fairly well made even if I do say so myself. While it might not be a design I would have chosen to make on my own, I did have fun making it and have a very usable garment at the end of the experience… along with about half a meter of spare jersey to add to my tiny stash.
Who would the Craftine box appeal to
I think the Craftine box would appeal to a wide variety of people including beginners who want to try dressmaking but don’t know where to start, Intermediates who lack confidence, and experienced dressmakers who want a fun project to play with.
What did I love:
- The whole box is well thought out and skilfully executed;
- The fabrics are of a good quality and well matched;
- You receive 2 patterns doubling your chances of receiving something you’ll love;
- The items in the June box were easily worth the £29.90 price.
What I would improve:
- Having thread supplied would add convenience;
- I would have liked shrinkage to have been considered where the linen was concerned;
- Employing a translator or editor who has English as their first language would dramatically improve the instruction sheet;
- I received a lot of feedback from dressmakers who would love a box like this but knew the size 20 would be too small so I would either, add a few more sizes to the pattern, offer the boxes in two size groups (6-16 and 18 – 28 perhaps), or add instructions for scaling up the pattern to the box.
I absolutely loved the Cratine box and thoroughly enjoyed making my dress. While I did end up making something that I wouldn’t typically wear, I was pleasantly surprised by it and I learnt a lot of new skills in the process. If you are just starting to learn dressmaking or if you’re a little nervous I would highly recommend this box as it would give you the opportunity to learn “on the job” while having the comfort of working with a kit instead of being out there on your own, staring at fabric in confusion.
If you’re a more experienced dressmaker, then I would say this box is more of a novelty, but perfect for a little bi-monthly treat!
Craftine have very kindly provided not one but two of their subscription boxes for this giveaway. If you would like to be in with a chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter box below. You only need to complete one of the actions but the more actions you complete, the more entries you’ll get into the prize draw!
At the end of the giveaway, two people will be chosen at random to receive their very own Craftine box.
Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour!
Terms and Conditions
- All prizes will be shipped directly from Craftine UK.
- I will share the winners email address, and delivery address with Craftine once the competition is finished. Please note that by entering the competition you agree to these details being shared.
- All entrance details will be deleted once the competition is complete. These details will never be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners details as outlined above.
- The prize on offer is one Craftine subscription box, no monetary alternative is available.
- Anyone found using multiple accounts to gain extra entries will be disqualified.
- If you enter by following an account, you must still be following when the winners are drawn. Anyone unfollowing before this point will be disqualified.
- Winners will be drawn at random within 7 days of the end of the giveaway and notified within 14 days.
- Competition open to UK entrants only.