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Tips & Techniques > Tips for writing a good pattern review

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Posted by: Janime
Friend of PR

About Janime star
Member since: 7/10/06
Reviews: 17 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Beginner
Favored by: 2 people
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Posted on: 1/30/07 7:13 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 35 people   
Hello all,

I've was perusing the "What do you look for in a review" thread on the Pattern Reviews board earlier in the day and WOW; it's up to 14 pages long now.

Not but that it's chock full of interesting and humorous information. It's just a lot to read for someone who wants some advice, or maybe just a reminder, of what folks are looking for in reviews.

So I decided to summarize it all here for future reference.

Tips for writing a good pattern review:

- What you would like to see in a review. As we all have different body types, different skills, and different tastes, the consensus seems to be the more reviews the better.

- Pictures, pictures and more pictures. Some folks like seeing pictures of the garment on a person. Others like pictures of the garment hanging on a dress form. Most all greatly desire a look at the finished work, even if the pattern did not work out for you. That said, don't refrain from posting a review just because you don't have pictures. When people are looking for reviews of a specific pattern, they tend to want all they can get, pictures or no.

- All basic information using the outline (template) provided, or something similar. It's OK to provide links to additional information and details, but the the review should be able to stand on its own.

- Information about the fabric used, like what kind of fabric it is, how well it handled, where it was obtained, and how much it cost.

- Information on challenges faced, lessons learned, successes and failures.

- Information on the construction techniques and order used, especially if they differ from the pattern's instructions, or included embellishments.

- Information on the quality of the instructions and drafting.
Information on fitting and sizing, especially if you used a size that doesn't match your measurements, or you altered the pattern.

- If a pattern did not work for you, say why.

- For a personal touch, include the "story" of your garment. Who was it made for and why?

- Proofread your review before publishing it. Make sure the links work.

- Keep paragraphs relatively short and include white space (a blank line) in between them. (The template helps with this).
And with all that, keep reviews concise and to the point ;)

Additional review tips:
- In the course of time things change and get moved around. If you have older reviews, check them periodically to be sure that links still work.

- Not everyone is tech savvy and we are all busy, so sometimes links won't work for anyone except the reviewer, or the text will be all bolded. Please be patient with these. If possible, send a private message to the reviewer so they can clean it up. Alternatively, note the problem in the review comments.

- Feel free to update reviews as needed or desired.

- If at all possible, get pictures that are sharp and bright. Take special care with pictures of dark garments, as it is often difficult to see details in those.

- Do not hesitate to post a review of a pattern that already has reviews. These are not only desired, they are greatly appreciated.

Lastly and most importantly keep in mind that we all have different tastes, different ways of approaching things, and different reasons for reading and writing pattern reviews. There are going to be few reviews that fully meet the needs of everyone on the board. Our diversity is one of the things that makes this such a wonderful community.

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snowflake said... (9/5/15 12:43 PM) Reply
Thanks for the guidelines.
sew4real said... (9/1/11 7:06 PM) Reply
I am new to PR and have yet to post a review. This info will be helpful when the time comes. Thanks for taking time to do this.
denese said... (4/12/11 7:34 AM) Reply
why dont you have a format
CharityAK said... (11/9/07 9:43 PM) Reply
This is very helpful to me as a new board participant. Thanks so much for taking the time to summarize this information.
Janime said... (2/12/07 7:55 AM) Reply
Leora, I don't think there's consensus on this. But I'll take a stab and say that if it's essentially the same garment with a few changes, then update your existing review. But if you've done a different view altogether, a separate review might be in order.
Leora said... (2/11/07 1:30 PM) Reply
I'm back... what about sewing the pattern again after you've already reviewed it? What is the consensus, Add the new item to your existing review or write another review?
Leora said... (2/9/07 10:45 AM) Reply
Got me thinking. I generally don't review my work because someone else (or more likely lots of people) has/have already reviewed the pattern. Thanks for writing this!
meanjean said... (2/3/07 8:00 PM) Reply
These are great tips. Thanks for pointing out that people read reviews for different reasons and people write reviews for different reasons.
hat-and-bag-lady said... (2/2/07 7:29 PM) Reply
Thank you, Janime. I just joined PR today. I appreciate any help I can get with reviewing and learning what others might want.
OP Gal said... (1/31/07 7:57 PM) Reply
Thanks for condensing this. It's a big help.
candyo said... (1/31/07 6:20 PM) Reply
This sums it up nicely! Now we just need a "how to take a good photo" tip!
Chanelcat said... (1/31/07 5:26 PM) Reply
Thank you--I have not sent reviews because I didn't know what would be helpful.
MelissaB in WA said... (1/31/07 4:18 PM) Reply
excellent information - thank you!
slanden99 said... (1/31/07 3:54 PM) Reply
Thanks for putting this together for us
Janime said... (1/31/07 1:04 PM) Reply
Seamingly, I agree. I love reading the stories that go along with the details. But I also love the details too. I don't have easy access to sewing classes, so I'm learning everything from books, this wonderful community, my DMIL, and any other source I can find. So I'm greedy for the details! :) The reviews are an invaluable resource for me. Not only can I get an idea of how things will turn out, I can also see how people actually do things in real life.
CA Eisenhour said... (1/31/07 12:34 PM) Reply
Thanks for the summary. You have reminded me that I always leave out where I purchased my fabric and how much it costs!
Seamingly Simple said... (1/31/07 11:00 AM) Reply
Every sewinng project has a story and I appreciate those who chose to share their stories, even if the basic review template doesn't include this. Sometimes it is the stories rather than the pattern specifics that inspire me to take on a new sewing project.
krystalkaes said... (1/31/07 10:30 AM) Reply
Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this all down for us. I agree, it is very helpful.
SouthernStitch said... (1/31/07 9:45 AM) Reply
This is getting podcasted as soon as I catch up. Great summary.
Nancy K said... (1/31/07 8:15 AM) Reply
Thanks for summarizing those 14 pages. Good info.
PVA said... (1/30/07 10:18 PM) Reply
Thanks for this great review! Very well done, I definitely feel this is & will continue to be "very helpful"! (:big grin:)
AnneM said... (1/30/07 8:30 PM) Reply
Thank you for creating this reference!!! I so much agree, part of the fun of the reviews is how different they can be while still being helpful and/or inspirational.
CarolynGM said... (1/30/07 7:56 PM) Reply
What a great idea to summarize this information. Thank you so much for taking the time.
frame said... (1/30/07 7:42 PM) Reply
Great summary of 14 pages of comments. Thanks for doing this. :)
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