Subversive Sewer

{January 28, 2010}   Pattern Review Rant

I’ve been stewing about this for a couple years now.  Call me a crybaby for all I care, but I’m gonna say it.  To my knowledge, I’ve posted more reviews than anyone else on Pattern Review.  And I’ve gotten no recognition or sign of appreciation.  I know, I’m an adult and shouldn’t need that, but I also think that by contributing that much one should receive a thank you.  Last year they started the “Pattern Review Awards” and had a category for most prolific reviewer.  They had some algorithm so that newer members would get an equal chance to win it.  That’s bullshit.  Needless to say, I didn’t win.  I guess writing 300-some reviews is not prolific enough.

I’ve been a member since 2003, and a paying one for a majority of that time, too.  I’ve contributed a hell of a lot.  Granted, I’m no expert, but I don’t think you need to be one to be valuable.  I feel very slighted, to the point that I’m going to reconsider being so faithful in reviewing every pattern I make.  If people want to see what I make, they can read my blog.

It’s also not the same community it was a few years back.  I really felt like I belonged.  Maybe it’s just gotten too big, maybe it’s because most of the people I liked so much are gone.  Who knows.

I’ll end things on a positive note.  I’ve gotten some very nice and thoughtful comments on my recent posts, and I appreciate it.  I ordered a used copy of Fitting Finesse from Amazon, and look forward to its arrival!


Sue says:

I’m sorry to hear that. It certainly takes a lot of time and thoughtfulness to write reviews on everything you sew. Perhaps people don’t realize this, I know that I didn’t when I first became a member of PR. Unfortunately as communities become bigger it does become less close or else little ‘sub-groups’ are created to keep an original group together.
I, for one, love reading your blog and I’ve added you to my Google Reader so I always get to read your posts.

violet says:

Is it something to do with how you post your project photos? I don’t bother posting reviews any more because I wasn’t getting any comments. But, apart from my first 2, I have tended to just link to my blog post instead of posting the photo itself, and this meant that if you’re in PR and select Project GAllery, then the review doesn’t even appear.

Sue is probably right about the sub-groups too.

mamafitz says:

it’s not the same anymore, is it? i rarely review anything i sew anymore (not that i’ve been sewing a whole bunch anyway lately), and the boards are kinda boring. honestly, i rarely even read the reviews. i found out the other day i’m member #47 there, and i don’t think any of the old-timers are really around anymore.

i am totally addicted to ravelry, though. 🙂

Gigi says:

I was one of the very first members and it hasn’t been the same in years, which is why I left. I find blogging a lot more satisfying, frankly. I enjoy reading about your sewing and fitting journey even though I don’t always comment. 🙂

Yes, PR has changed as it’s gotten bigger. I’m still a member of another, smaller online sewing group where I pretty much know everybody (and have met a few, too).

Bunny says:

I also think PR is so large that is really is hard to have some sort of conections. I frequent other smaller boards as well as blog. I think many who were big contributors to PR have the blogging venue more rewarding. You get to know much better a like minded group of wonderful sewists, like yourself, and visit their blogging homes every time they post. I follow you to. But I must confess, if I am thinking of a new pattern to try, it is straight to PR to check out the reviews. I still review on PR but haven’t done my last few garments.

I do think the picture posting on PR could be greatly improved. It is just too dang complicated to a newbie. I remember the frustration. I really wish they could take photos directly off the computer. I also don’t think it is right that if you don’t do a gallery photo, your review just disappears in cyberland.

But most of all, CONGRATULATIONS on 300 reviews. That is just incredible and you get my admiration. Great job! But you know, if you don’t feel like doing it any more, just don’t. Life is too short spending time doing something you don’t feel passionate about. And I give you a big thank you from I am sure the many who have read those reviews and benefited from your knowledge and experience….Bunny

Alexandra says:

I just came across your review for the HP good times dress (which I’ve bought but have been too afraid to make up).

I’ve been a free member of patternreview for about 4-5 years but haven’t really posted much or ever really felt a part of the community. The problem really is that since ravelry has come onto the scene it is more user friendly and easy to navigate and overall just prettier. Heck it’s even free to all users! If patternreivew could upgrade to something like that I would be very happy and probably a more devoted user.

I definitly appreciate having PR there when I’m starting a project, and I’ll make sure to comment more, but half the time it’s so much later than the reivew was actually posted.

Tammy says:

I used to be a paying member of PR but haven’t been for over a year. I do look at the forums occasionally but they have been overtaken by ranters and whiners or those that do nothing but brag on their gifted children. Ack. I also think that the “cream of the crop” get the pats on the backs and while yes, I like to read about the expert sewers experiences with a pattern, I think there are more of us out there (like you and like me) who struggle with our sewing on occasion. We aren’t experts and just want to learn more about fitting and fabric selection, etc. I don’t feel that is encouraged but kind of looked down upon when our garment isn’t always top-notch. Honestly, I think I’ve learned more from the sewing blogs out there and appreciate that they can go into great detail, and usually do.

I did a few reviews once upon a time but it was too complicated of a process and I just don’t have time to do that. Winding down, I think you should just continue with your blog, post your reviews and ask for comments. Seems to me most people that comment here have been kind and helpful to you.

subversivesewer says:

Thanks all. I really enjoy reading your comments.

Kathi says:

I find myself not writing reviews because it is so cumbersome to do the pictures and work with it. I can’t imagine writing over 300 reviews! I am impressed!

angie.a says:

Girl, you’re preaching to the choir!! I did not renew my sub as a “Friends of PR” member for the first time in several years, and I’ve been a member since January 2003! It’s not the same and I don’t even care if I review anymore to tell the truth. I think what happened is probably a microcosm of what happens in the real world…certain members become “very important people” for whatever reason, and the sheep line up to follow. It’s difficult to even get 10 comments on a review these days, yet ill-fitting garment reviews with approximately 42 words total from certain members will have 42 comments in a day. That’s just a popularity contest, and I’m not interested! Boggles the mind.

Thanks for the SB issues offer! I’d love them!! Here’s my email. I’ve apparently lost yours. 🙂
angieamos7 at gmail dot com

subversivesewer says:

I noticed that too! Someone will write a review that’s barely over the 100 word minimum and it’ll get rated ‘very helpful’ and have a bunch of comments! It pretty amounts to bragging. NOT helpful!

Fran Giacobbe says:

Very interesting blog..very honestly written. I had not really thought much about how PR has changed but you all make interesting points. I rarely review ( Fran G ) as it is somewhat time consuming and I recognize what you are saying about favorites. I agree with what you all say about blog reading..I personally do not have a blog and appreciate the time spent by those who do. Lots of food for thought here!

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