Front, Back and Side View Pictures: Listening and Learning

One of the joys of the sewing community is that when your privilege shows, people will tell you. And kindly and lovingly, that’s what people did for me yesterday!

So, a clarification on my rant yesterday about how including front, back and side photos is so important in pattern reviews on Instagram and blogs:

  • If you are able! If disability or mobility affects you or your photographer, taking any photos at all is an accomplishment.
  • If you are comfortable! My small fat privilege and general body-comfort didn’t prepare me for how upset or vulnerable posting pictures can make many people feel. You pointed this out in the blog comments and on Instagram. In particular, the larger fat community reminded me how viscerally people can react to their fat bodies. I never meant to imply that a duty to the community to show all angles should come before your own happiness and boundaries.
  • If you want to! Sometimes I’m SUCH A TEACHER! I have a tendency to write as commands when what I meant to do is open conversation. If you don’t want to post all angles for pattern reviews, by all means, don’t.

Now, I have to get ready for my work-from-home day, so I’ll leave it there. It is honestly a privilege to learn from you all, and I thank you for everyone who cheered me on yesterday or gave me a chance to learn!

19 thoughts on “Front, Back and Side View Pictures: Listening and Learning

  1. Wow, some people just need to relax, Gillian. You are doing great and just keep doing that! I look forward to your blog posts and like your attitude to clothing and body image.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. FYI I think it is a brilliant idea. And that dress and cardi look great on you!
    Keepem comin!
    Best regards

    14 apr. 2020 kl. 15:14 skrev Crafting A Rainbow <>:

    gilliancrafts posted: ” One of the joys of the sewing community is that when your privilege shows, people will tell you. And kindly and lovingly, that’s what people did for me yesterday! So, a clarification on my rant yesterday about how including front, back and side “


  3. You are far and away my favourite blogger and this is a great example of why. You are honest, opinionated, open, non judgemental, but the most important thing to me is that you have a sense of humour, and always choose to dwell on the positive rather than the negative. You acknowledge, hear and consider the negative/criticism/or just other people’s experience/feelings, but you never let it undermine you, or change your approach you always respond with an upbeat positive reaction. Great blog, and I love your cheerfulness (even when you have explained that you are not feeling cheerful due to either physical or mental health, nevertheless you create a cheerful blog, which to my mind is hugely important in maintaining cheerfulness in your readers. ) I bet you are a great teacher.
    Thanks for the blog! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I took as given that what you said was put forward was a suggestion, and that of course no one should do what makes them uncomfortable. My pronouncements are often misinterpreted in the same way.
    I think the more some people are willing to show pattern shots from all perspectives, the more people will be comfortable with their bodies. I know I’m guilty of not posting less flattering shots, and your previous post was encouragement to get over myself 🤪😅


    1. Oh don’t you worry, I don’t post my least flattering shots either, unless it’s to make a point! But I do find a variety of photos so useful, for anyone who wants/can share them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Gillian

    I didn’t see anything in your post yesterday that was commanding, offensive or out of order. I have always thought that anyone who is pattern testing should show front, back and side views of the garment, the more detailed the better. If not shown, how can we tell how the garment hangs and looks on a person our size. If a person is extremely self-conscious, why pattern test at all? I am a fat, one-legged (I have a prosthetic) athritic, wheelchair user, by the way and I would love to see a trouser that didn’t catch on the top edge of my ‘leg’ and ride up. Thanks for your posts, I love them x


  6. Thanks for being open to other voices in this conversation, Gillian. I try to take front/side/back photos but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to be active for that long. There’s been a fab push on IG to take seated photos to be more representative for wheelchair users – something I really must remember to do next time I’m taking garment pics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been thinking I need to add seated photos too! Easy enough to sit on the railing of my porch when I take photos there… or should I bring a chair out for a more wheel-chair-like pose? I’ll have to experiment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, it was almost all very politely done! I think people who know me online understood that I wasn’t being intentionally uncaring, but I did feel bad when people started reading things second hand and they felt really hurt. People sure can get ripped apart on the ‘net, but I hope that a quick backtrack smoothed it over. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I find front/back/side very helpful in evaluating fit, and love them when posted on pattern review or blogged. Very few bodies look like a runway model. I most like to see other ladies my size or similar, and appreciate everyone who is willing to share photos and fit commentary. Thanks for putting it out there.


  8. Sitting down photos would be a brilliant idea. I am not at all sensitive about being disabled or needing a prosthetic to walk. People are very soon offended nowadays about very little or nothing. I go to a local Folk Club (when we are not on lockdown) and there is one song about an old woman who has a wooden leg and plays it like a fiddle. The singer always pointedly looks at me and we all have a good laugh. Nobody is being cruel or insensitive. It would never have crossed my mind to be offended. I have learned to enjoy my life in spite of my difficulties and I refuse to be defined by having a disability.


    1. I’ve started doing sitting photos – you can tell me if I’ve got the angle/pose right to be useful! I love to image of you and the performer having a ball together during that song!


  9. You know, I didn’t take what you had initially written as anything other than a straight forward presentation of facts. It is useful to see the front, back and side when evaluating a pattern and deciding if it is something you want to invest time and resources into making! For me it goes without saying that people may have different points of view, face different limitations and have different comfort zones and I certainly never felt you were saying that all people have to include three views in their posts. That said, it kind of of makes me sad that you felt you needed to re-address and label what you had written as “letting your privilege show.” We all have our strengths our weaknesses, our triumphs and our challenges, our histories and our biases. I love to think we are moving forward to a point where diversity comes with the grace of celebrating the fact we can share thoughts, shortcomings, strengths and hurts with others and know they will celebrate, laugh and grieve with us simply because in the end we are all human beings. That said, you are a special person to take to heart criticism, even gracefully offered, and then to adjust your words to make sure that you are as inclusive as possible.


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