Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's it all about Alfie?

    Freeneedle was first launched in 2007 and since then we've been constantly looking out for new and exciting sewing patterns and projects.

    We want to link to the very best sewing projects on the web and make it easy for sewing enthusiasts to find new ideas to try out. Over the years we've received much positive feedback, both from site owners who have thanked us for driving traffic to their sites and from users who just enjoy being able to find fun sewing patterns.

  • Are all the pages still available?

    We know how frustrating it can be to use a directory and find that page after page is no longer available and, for that reason, we check every link in our database every day. If a page is unavailable, it will be highlighted with a green bar. Unavailable links are checked again 12 hours later and, if still unavailable, the bar becomes amber. A check 12 hours later will turn the bar red if the page is still missing, before a final check 12 hours later removes missing pages from display.

    This system is fully automated and relies on other servers supplying a correct response code. Some servers do not return the correct response code meaning that we may continue to link to a page even though the original page is now missing. If you think that you have come across such a page, please click the Report a Link button (the exclamation mark) to let us know.

  • What if I know of a great project that isn't listed on Freeneedle?

    Please get in touch and let us know. We have a specific form for submitting project suggestions, so please do tell us about great sewing patterns that you know about.

  • And what if the great project is my own?

    We don't believe in false modesty here, so if you've put a free sewing pattern or project online that you're proud of, tell us all about it and we'll try to make a space for it on Freeneedle.

  • When I click a project to view it, the project page slides in rather than opening in a new page. Why?

    We wanted to make the user experience for Freeneedle users as smooth as possible and we think this makes it a very pleasant way for users to browse a few different projects quickly, while being able to save projects as favorites and make notes, all in one place. It also means that a user can Pin, Like or Tweet about the original page, even if the original page doesn't include social media sharing buttons.

    We've also included a link in the Freeneedle bar that users can click to go directly to the original page.

  • Does that have any negative implications for the site owner?

    Simply put, no it doesn't. If the page contains analytics code, that will track the visit just the same, clicked adverts will be registered to the site as usual, as will clicks on affiliate links. You could just think of Freeneedle as acting like a browser within a browser.

  • What about the Pinterest button that appears in the Freeneedle bar? Which page is pinned?

    The project page of course, because that is the page that users want to pin. Although the address bar shows a freeneedle.com url, the Pinterest buttons are generated at page load to pin the pages that we link to.

    Every day we see websites that, like Freeneedle, link to great craft projects and it never ceases to amaze us how many of these sites use Pin It buttons to encourage users to pin someone else's image that will link back to their own page. We think that is wrong and we will never do that.

    Just for clarity, if you use one of the buttons to pin a page, you will see that we do mention Freeneedle in the default description ('I love this project that I found while browsing on freeneedle.com'), but users can change or delete this text and, either way, the link will always go to the original project page.

  • Ok, so what about the Facebook Like button? Which page gets the Like?

    The project page of course, because that is the page that users want to Like. Sounds familiar doesn't it? As with the Pin It buttons, the Facebook like buttons that appear in the Freeneedle bar are generated at page load with the url of the original project pages. If a user likes the page, the buttons ensure that they Like the original page.

  • And there's nothing untoward about the Twitter button?

    While we mention Freeneedle in the default text that appears in the Twitter form, the original page url is included in that text also and a user can always delete any reference to Freeneedle and write their own message, which we'd imagine most users would.

  • Why do you use Facebook for users to sign in?

    Over the years we've had an ongoing battle with spam and we've previously removed some features from Freeneedle because they were abused by spammers.

    We hope that by using Facebook for signing in on Freeneedle, we will be less susceptible to spam from automated user sign ups which has at times caused real problems.

  • Why can't I use Twitter to sign in?

    Unfortunately Twitter place restrictions on the number of sign ins that can be processed within specific time periods. This could potentially lead to users being unable to sign in during busy periods and so we have reluctantly decided not to include the functionality on the live site.

  • What if I don't want my projects or pictures featured on Freeneedle?

    Many site owners have let us know that they're received noticeable traffic from Freeneedle, but if you'd rather we didn't link to your projects, please let us know and we'll promptly remove the links to your site. During the first five years, we only received two such requests and we complied with both requests as quickly as possible.

  • I've not given my permission for a thumbnail copy of my image to be used by Freeneedle. Will you remove it?

    In short, yes.

    We strongly believe that our usage of thumbnails on Freeneedle falls squarely within the US definition of fair use that applies to copyright works, a brief description of which can be viewed on Wikipedia.

    We would also hope that anyone who read our FAQs in full would accept that we aim to operate Freeneedle in a reasonable manner that will help to drive traffic and associated benefits to the sites that we highlight and link to.

    However, we will always respect the wishes of copyright owners and if we are using a thumbnail of one of your images and you would like us to remove the listing from Freeneedle, please get in touch to let us know and we'll comply promptly.

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