Front, Back and Side View Pictures: A Wee Rant

Back in the day when blogging was the main form of sharing our sewing, there was one unspoken rule: Every post must contain front, back and side photos! How else is a person to know how the pattern really fits? But now that many people share on Instagram more than blogs, we often don’t see the full 360° view. I think it is time to change that!

Whether you mix your photos in a collage, as I usually do, or feature them individually, I think it is so important to include all angles. I also try to stand straight and relaxed, so that I’m not distorting the fit with a hand on my hip etc. Are they the cutest pictures ever? Nope, but I hope they are useful.

In particular, back and side shots can really reveal when the fit is off, like with the teal ponte dress above. Looks fine from the front, but there are hidden problems behind!

One way to share a full view is the #iamnot2d hashtag on Instagram started by @minimalistmachinist . It basically involves videoing yourself turning in a circle. (She was also on Love to Sew recently, but I haven’t listened yet.) I’m going to start using the hashtag myself when I post front, back and side photos.

So here’s the point of my wee rant: Let’s remind the community that seeing clothes from all angles is necessary when offering any kind of review. Show the good, the back and the ugly, even if you hide it in an Instagram slideshow after all your cute pictures!

Anyone else share this pet peeve of mine? I’m curious too what other features of blogging get lost on Instagram – close ups of details, detail about fit adjustments, or other things, perhaps?

UPDATE: I wrote a follow-up to this post which you can read here.


23 thoughts on “Front, Back and Side View Pictures: A Wee Rant

  1. I definitely agree, but now I’m going to sound my age. Sometimes ”fit” problems with dresses can be solved with a slip. If you aren’t wearing one and you have on tights especially(!), simply adding that garment fixes the riding up and/or clinging.

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    1. You speak the truth!!!! And remind me I need to buy some larger slips, because the one I was wearing under that teal dress wasn’t doing a damned thing! 😆

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  2. I totally agree. That’s so helpful for those of us that carry some weight in the bottom half. If the back and side views are missing there is no way to know if that item would work well for my body type. Thanks for this Gillian. And I also agree with the slip underneath comment.

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  3. I’m honestly torn on this. I definitely appreciate it when I get to see makes from all angles – especially from the side, since I have quite a protruding belly and that factors heavily into what I make – and yet, my own blog is full of front-on single images. It’s not even been a year since I started taking photos of myself at all, though, so maybe what’s keeping me from taking that next step is body confidence. Something I have to think about, I guess. I appreciate that you always show all sides of a garment – it takes the guesswork out of figuring out how something might look on me.

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    1. It’s ok to go at your own pace! Maybe you’ll find back view pictures a little easier? I admit I don’t love my own side views. But I’m so used to posting them now that I just do it anyway.

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  4. A variety of views does show off the features of the pattern too – what’s the neckline like at the back? What’s going on with the tie at the side? So I do appreciate seeing different angles.

    When I blog I like to show a few views, and not always static shots either. Not sure I like to show off my side view – never flattering in my experience!

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      1. Yes! I was just appreciating in the Calder pants launch that you and Shannon from Rare Device both shared side and back views. So helpful for imagining how it might fit on me!

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  5. I very much appreciate sewists who’s photos include back and side views. My tummy is generous and booty is somewhat flat, so I find the side views especially helpful in choosing patterns. I find that I tend to have unrealistic expectations about how a garment will look on my body, so the 360 views are very helpful. Also, a shoutout to Rare Devise for including seated views!

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  6. Very good point, and well worth a rant 🙄. Much fashion photography, including for patterns, aims at hiding features. I thought the whole point of sewers sharing was to show things honestly, not to get more likes by looking “better”

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  7. This has always bothered me, especially when someone is showing long pants / trousers. A flat front waistband can look great but turn around and see the poochiness (technical term) from an elastic back waistband. A person’s hip to waist ratio makes a huge difference in the rear view so it’s nice to see the same pattern on all shapes and sizes. Turn around people!

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  8. I always try to post front and back views, but I hadn’t thought to do a side view-I’ll have to start adding one. I recently made a pair of pants with a seam towards the back and I couldn’t tell if it was suppose to fit the way it did or if it was just wonky on me. I still don’t know because after a hashtag search I could only find front views or “stylized” back views. I wish everyone would jump on this movement!

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  9. I was thinking this week about how much I learned about seam finishes and other techniques to make my sewing neater and better quality from reading blogs – I’ve stopped using my own blog and joined the Instagram crew largely because I have much less time now I’m working, but that’s one thing we rarely see over there. Also I learned a lot about fit adjustments I think?
    Part of why I personally use IG differently is that I started my blog without telling anyone, so for a long time it was followed only by sewing folk, whereas my IG is an approximately equal split of crafters and people from my real life who I tend to assume aren’t interested in guts and the like.

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    1. I agree with Rowena. On Instagram, though I try and keep it sewing related, I have some local people/family following. Which it shouldn’t matter if they see unflattering photos of me, but that is the self confidence speaking. Someone I follow posted a photo and then caption, and below the caption wrote `sewing details’ which I thought was a good idea. Not that I have been posting sewing much lately. But when I do I will do that, and put side and back views or a video. Great rant Gillian!

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  10. I like blogs. That’s a bold faced lie. I love them! I have learned so much from them too, which I just don’t get from Instagram. I’ve researched patterns I’m making or thinking of making. I’ve solved so many problems (or prevented them) and probably saved lots of money and heartache along the way. So please keep on blogging, and showing all the views!

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  11. Totally agreed about the importance of pictures from a variety of angles.

    My specific rant: Sleeves. Especially in woven fabrics: they look lovely, but can the wearer lift their arms? And if not, is this a pattern drawback, or a fitting issue, or a choice to sacrifice range of motion in favour of aesthetics?

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  12. I love blogs and instagram for pictures of various patterns on different bodies. And yes, having those 3 views are so crucial in making decisions. Also, what I always want and rarely see are photos of the armsycthe on sleeveless garments. Knowing if it’s too low and a bra will peek out is a crucial piece of information. Thanks for your very polite rant on this subject!

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