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writing a pattern review for this site
What makes a great pattern review?
marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/29/12 11:14 AM

Hi everyone, I participate in a variety of sewing communities online and each has its own way of describing a project. Some sites focus on design, others on styling, and still others on celebrating learning. I also blog about my sewing and read lots of other blogs. As I have become more competent in my sewing, I've tended to go to separate sites for different information.

I'm interested in what you think a great pattern review needs for the gallery here. I'll start: I come to the PR gallery to get information about a pattern I want to try. I love to see pictures of the garment on a model, but if not, that's okay. I also like to read about how the pattern comes together-if there are problems in the instructions or the drafting of the pattern. Finally, information about the fit is essential for me.

What about others? What do you look for in an interesting and great review?

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my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
The more I learn, the less I know.

marjoriekh
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marjoriekh
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Date: 3/29/12 12:07 PM

Aside from a descriptive photo or photos, that really show(s) how the garment looks (preferably also from the back), I particularly appreciate specific information about sizing.

I like to know which size was cut, whether it is the sewist's usual size in that pattern brand, how well the given measurements for the cut size correspond to his/her actual body measurements, and what fit changes were made in cutting and sewing. I can tell a lot about how much work it will be for me to fit a pattern, and how it's likely to look on me, from this.

Here's an example of what I would find really helpful sizing information:
I cut a 14, which is the usual size I cut in Vogue. My body measurements correspond better to a 16 (using high bust measurement), but after checking the flat pattern measurements I determined that the 14 was the right size. I often will grade out to a 16 below the waist, but there was so much ease in this skirt I didn't need to. (I did make my usual 1 inch FBA -- I'm a D cup -- and then ended up taking the bodice side seams in 1/8 inch above the waist.)

ETA: Marec, this is an excellent idea for a thread. Maybe there have been previous ones, but I haven't seen them.
-- Edited on 3/29/12 12:08 PM --

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marjoriekh

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/29/12 12:28 PM

There have been other threads. Mostly I appreciate the fact that people are taking the time to write the best review they can, and I wouldn't impose any other guidelines than the template already in place, and the good will of the poster to give us the best idea possible of the outcome - taking the necessary time isn't always easy, and the volunteer posters usually do a good job. The reviews that are too skimpy and just that, and nothing one can do about that.

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

marjoriekh
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marjoriekh
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In reply to Mufffet <<


Date: 3/29/12 12:33 PM

Oops! -- I didn't mean to be implying that I'm not grateful for all the information that PR members take the time to post here. Not at all! Every bit is appreciated. This is an invaluable site for me.

Just wanted to put in my 2 cents about what I think makes a particularly helpful review for me.

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marjoriekh

petro
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Date: 3/29/12 12:52 PM

It is a good idea for a thread. I just don't know how to answer it though. Sometimes I really like a lot of info on construction, sometimes its too much. Sizing and alterations is the big one, but that's hard to assess without knowing the person's actual measurements and height. Hiccups with the pattern or instructions are useful - I love having a photo of the pattern pieces if the style is in any way unusual - say the seams are in an unconventional place or there's some complicated draping, wrap around or twists. I think the little anecdotes that sometimes pop in are nice too, because often I'm reading the reviews like a magazine. I really appreciate it when someone finds the time to explain how they got to grips with a construction element which is badly explained e.g. bwoffish .

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http://patternpandemonium.wordpress.com/

mrsohly
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In reply to Mufffet <<


Date: 3/29/12 1:27 PM

This is still a good topic for those of us who are newish and hesitate to review because we don't know what we have to add; or what would be helpful. It can be daunting looking through all the old threads to find out what people like or don't like.

So I still say it's a good topic.

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Kathy O.
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else. ~Charles Dickens

marec
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Date: 3/29/12 1:49 PM

I am totally happy that others want to discuss this. It does help those who are new, and those who have not written reviews, to read a current thread about what people like. Notice I said "like", not expect.

I had not thought about pattern pieces but that is true also. Some patterns are also laid out in a way that makes cutting out a challenge. So, that is also good info to keep in mind if i am planning to review something.

What else? Anyone have other ideas, thoughts or feedback?

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my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
The more I learn, the less I know.

heathergwo
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Date: 3/29/12 2:44 PM

Thanks for the question.

What I REALLY like is details about problems with instructions. Or tricky steps. I often get stuck on a particular area in a pattern and I turn to these reviews to find some help. Usually I don't find help, but occassionally I do and that's always a big bonus for me!

Next would be fit/sizing issues. Again, it's only helpful if they include what size they are and how it differed from what the pattern says. For example, "the pattern says finished measurements for this size should be 40.5", but when I finished this size, it was really only 38"". Or something like that which will help future makers not make the same mistake!

Generally I like a detailed review, but don't go into every single step. Sometimes it's hard to find that balance between enough/too much, but some people are really good at it and it's really nice & helpful when you find those kinds of reviews.

Pictures are also important. I will often skip reviews entirely if there is no picture attached. And personally, I like more pics than just 1.

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Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

LauraTS
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Date: 3/29/12 2:46 PM

I try to include sizing and alterations info in my reviews, but everything is relative to your own size and figure variations so I don't know how useful it is, actually.

Details on how they followed or didn't the instructions are very handy, as well as any changes they made to the design and how and why.

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I've moved! Visit my new sewing blog at http://chiralcraft.wordpress.com

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talesofawannabe
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talesofawannabe
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Date: 3/29/12 5:44 PM

Very nice post! The more details the better. I don't like one word answers for every single question.

I also find it helpful if the reviewer adds their height if they adjusted the length. ( Though I am probably guilty of not always adding this.) I find that the length shown on the envelope is not always what length it will end up on you.

I don't even click reviews that don't have a picture. I like to see what you made!

I love reading pattern reviews though!

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http://talesofawannabeseamstress.blogspot.com/

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