Your opinions are in and noted

Readers survey

When my husband came home from work and saw me sat at the computer wiping away tears, he thought something terrible had happened.  I had to explain that I was reading comments left on the readers survey and I had been really touched by some of the lovely things you said and it made me feel a bit weepy.  You are a wonderful bunch and you make this site a joy to write for.

Thank you to everyone who completed responses in the Future of So Sew Easy survey.  There were more than 180 responses – thank you to each and every one of you that took a few minutes away from your sewing room to let me know exactly what you think.

So Sew Easy readers survey results.

The results and feedback were anonymous so you were free to let me know what you really think without me tracking you down and either sending you flowers or a stink-bomb in the mail!  And it was really surprising – very different results from the comments that had been left on the Facebook page earlier when I had asked what you wanted to see – almost a complete turn around.  I think maybe the Facebook followers and the newsletter followers both like different projects – interesting!

Here is what you said:

Survey-2

Looks like some of you have been around for a long time, maybe even as long as I have.  If you were one of the early readers, and encouraged me as I learned to sew with your feedback and comments – thank you.

Survey-3

survey-4

From the look of my stats, most people who have been reading for a while now, are probably members of the weekly newsletter, and click through to read articles they are interested in once a week, on Sunday.  Sorry if the site is slow when you come – Sunday is always very busy with the most page views of the week.  I’ve recently upgraded the site hosting so hopefully you should find it more reliable going forward.  No one mentioned the site was horribly slow, so that’s good to hear.

survey-5

I was surprised to see so many readers in the intermediate and above category.  As a beginner really myself, offering very basic patterns and tutorials, I was sure I appealed only to those who were quite new to sewing.  But even the most advanced sewer can enjoy sewing a simple pattern from time to time. Not every project we do has to be War and Peace!  If I had to answer for myself, I think I’d go with the confident beginner to hobbiest category.

Now on to the meaty bits — >

Survey-6

Not surprisingly, the free sewing patterns were the most popular part of the site, along with basic sewing tutorials and sewing bags.  In this survey, apparently contrary to the post on Facebook, sewing of other things such as the mug rugs and other crafty items were less popular, but still loved by nearly 50% of those answering.

The Make It Yours bag sewing contest wasn’t very popular with a lot of you – sorry about that!  Perhaps I over did it with all the posts.  And of course the paid-for sewing patterns also don’t appeal to quite a few – not to worry, there will still be plenty of free patterns and content that hopefully you will all love.

The future –>

Survey-7

A pretty broad spread of answers, with at least one third of readers interested in even the bottom topic.  Quick to sew or weekend projects, and especially clothes and bags are popular.  If they only use small amounts of fabric, even better.  Tips and techniques – as I learn them, I’ll share.

How do you rate the site?  Well, again a broad range, some votes in every score from 1 through to 10.  Thankfully, most were above 5. But then I suppose if you didn’t like it, you would probably not answered the survey in the first place so the result with a bit skewed!  Average result – 8 out of 10   🙂

Your comments, just a sample.  Thank you to everyone who left words of encouragement and helpful pointers for improvement.

  • I love the inclusive feel of the site, safe for beginners! Your tutorials are good, cover the basics without getting in too deep.
  • I understand your desire to meet the needs of your readers, but don’t loose who you are and why you started your blog. Your blog drew me because of your personality, interest in organizations like Kiva, and my desire to learn to sew clothing better and see how you improved your skills.
  • I like the openness and clean look of your site and content. The tutorials I’ve seen are very clear and easy to follow. I really enjoy reading about your sewing journey…keep it up
  • I love your site! Your tutorials are always clear and concise, patterns are relatively easy to fit and you provide additional info to make the whole project come together quickly.
  • I travel a lot, so constantly on the looks out for small projects.
  • I manage a fabric store in MI and had a customer come in with your little cosmetic bag. Loved it! She gave me your site, I went home, downloaded the pattern and made the cutest little bag! I will display at the store with directions to your site 🙂
  • More ideas for sewing for men would be nice
  • Would love to see something for larger women.
  •  I like the real reviews you do on the Craftsy classes. It helps me decide if the content is right for my needs.
  • The one thing I would change is the header at the top of your site. You live in such a beautiful place, I would love to see changing photos of you against a local background there
  • Do you have pattern testers or proof readers? I have only made one of your freebie, but saw several typos, so perhaps that should be addressed. Nothing personal, we all make them, but it just made me wonder if people test your paid for patterns before you sell them?
  • I really enjoy sewing smaller things that I can give as gifts.
  •  The only suggestion is that the crux of your site is narrowed on the screen and a lot going on at the same time. It visually can be challenging at times, especially with the advertisements
  • I don’t sew clothes. I’m more into easy, fast and unique sewing and crafting projects.
  • I am an experienced seamstress, however I am also teaching my 10 year old granddaughter to sew. For this reason I appreciate both extremes of difficulty.
  • I have gotten a lot out of the bias tape tutorial. I would love to see some more patterns as simple as the make it yours clutch, so easy! Any tips about how to better organize sewing stuff would be great, also what do you normally do to de-stress from difficult projects besides walking away?
  • I love your site and how you focus on things you like. I know you want to please your audiance but please don’t turn into another blog that forgets where they came from. While teacher gifts and things would be fine for some, I love how you focus on clothing that you like.
  • Have always loved the site, however, printing large patterns require lots of paper and ink…..maybe focus on smaller patterns.
  • Believe it or not, for me, it’s nice to read posts not all about overly-cutesy kids wearing overly-cutesy clothing from overly-cutesy fabrics.
  • Other than being a little bit cluttered and sometimes hard to navigate, everything about this site is better than any of the others I’ve gone to and I prefer it. The content is as close to ideal as I’ve found.
  • I like your blog. Don’t get in a hurry to make too many changes. Unless, of course you want to make everything free. Then I could afford it!!

So in summary, I took away these points:

  • keep on with – free sewing patterns, especially for women’s clothing, quick to sew projects
  • less of -the very simple things for beginners
  • you like – clothes, weekend and 1 hour projects, some reviews, scrap busters
  • you don’t like – projects that are the same as you can find on a lot of other crafty sites, the paid-for patterns, sewing for kids.
  • I should – be myself and carry on doing what I love!
  • I shouldn’t – change a thing (for the most part)

Obviously I can’t please every person every time, but I can see now the variety and type of projects and posts you are all interested in and I’ll be doing my best to feature the sort of content I know you want to read, while still staying within my own areas of interest and sharing the things I am working on.

Upcoming features

I’ve got quite a lot of content planned in the sewing for babies and children theme, simply because I have 3 friends who are expecting, and I’ll be sewing a lot for them.  But don’t worry, there will still be lots of other content too if that’s not your thing.  And in July there is a big feature on sewing for Christmas that isn’t anything about clothes – again, this might not interest all of you, but bear with me, ride it out and normal service will resume afterwards with some more patterns and such.  I’m also making a quilt, slowly but surely, or at least I plan to start soon – again, don’t worry, I’m not turning this into a quilting site.  Just a little bit of everything that reflects my own eclectic tastes and what I’m working on ‘in real life’.

Readers Questions – a regular feature?

One thing I did notice, is that I can’t help everybody.  Some of you have very far reaching and wide areas of interest, and of course, not all of them can be covered here.  But I don’t want your questions to go unanswered.

What if….we were to introduce a readers question feature?  Say once a month, I could post some request or question from readers that I wasn’t able to answer or cover, and you could all post your suggestions in the comments?  Would that be of interest?  Sharing the sewing knowledge?

Let me know what you think about that – and if there is some interest, I’ll set up a page where you can submit your questions to be answered.

A REALLY BIG Thank you

Thank you again, to everyone who answered, and to everyone who reads my newsletter, visits every week and leaves me comments.  Especially big thanks to all of you who share my content, write about my pattern and pin my patterns and tutorials.  It’s helped me grow and reach a wider audience which helps me in turn to devote more time to writing content you want to read.

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22 Responses to Your opinions are in and noted

  1. Diane Cullum says:

    It was very interesting to see what others put on your survey; thanks for sharing that! I too, like the idea of posting a question on your site. I’m so glad you won’t be making huge changes. Your site is the only one I read regularly! There’s just something about it that is comfortable to me and the most interesting articles and projects. Go you! 🙂

  2. Paula says:

    I think this site is great love the free patterns and you has so much to give, I have asked questions and you gave me answers. Also I paid for the patterns and it is worth it , love they way you try to help, finally starting to put together the wear every wear dress, had to bring it down quite a bit to 35 inches. don’t let face book people worry you. I love you site since I found it patterns are great and keep up what your doing.

  3. 'Angela Howse says:

    Hi Deby I missed your survey too. Samoa called and I answered 😉 I think your idea of questions and including readers’ answers is a great idea. I would love you to do a blog on how to use prints effectively. I love prints. I have metres and metres of beautiful bold and colourful prints but I don’t know how to choose a pattern that will best suit the print. I see the fabric, fall in love with it and once home it sits in a bag. Such a waste!
    I love your blog and always come away with something ranging from inspiration to a technique. Thank you.

    • Deby Coles says:

      I’ve been to Samoa too – to one of the outer islands, Savaii. Loved it! I was looking to buy a business there, but in the end, it was just too remote for me living out on Savaii. I know what you mean about using prints. I bought a couple of nice border prints intending to make a skirt, now I’m not brave enough to use them, not sure what sort of pattern would suit them best. I’ll give it some thought – good idea for an article, thank you.

  4. sjmcclelland says:

    I did respond to the survey – thanks very much for reporting back on the results. It’s interesting to see what other readers thought about your blog. I like the idea of a monthly question. Although I haven’t bought one of your patterns (yet), I hope you continue to put out paid patterns – they are unique in terms of what else is on the market. For example, your cowl neck shirt is one of the nicest ones, including from the big pattern makers.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Blush – thank you very much. That Cowl Neck top pattern is still probably my favorite, and I grab it to wear out in the evenings a lot. But I’ve got a skirt pattern coming out soon, just finishing up in testing that might just take over my top spot. I can’t stop twirling and swinging my hips when I wear it!

  5. Nancy says:

    I am an experienced sewer who stills enjoy your blog. I like the look of your patterns. I see some common misconceptions regarding beginners v. experienced sewers. Not every designer can sew. Not every sewer, sewist, seamstress, dressmaker, etc. can design from scratch. All sewers, sewist, seamstress, etc. can and do put their own spin on whatever they are creating by the fabric, thread, and notion choices they make. What truly separates the beginners from the more experienced are the little details- finishing and pressing the seams, topstitching, and pressing of the final garment. An easy pattern can look vastly different from homemade to handmade because of those little pesky details.

  6. cindieb says:

    I have recently started sewing again after 20 years. I have been making curtains for our motor home, but found your site and love it. I missed the survey, but agree with others, don’t quit the paid patterns, you are too talented to give away everything! I will continue reading your blog and as I get more daring to sew clothes I will be using your patterns! Thanks….

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thanks Cindie. I encourage you to give some of the clothes patterns a try. I often design for knit fabrics so there are no fancy zippers etc and getting a reasonable fit is easier if you are fairly new to sewing clothes. There are lots of free ones to try your hand at before you feel ready to pay for one too.

  7. Melody Savoian says:

    I really enjoy your emails. I’m very excited about your newest dress. I love that it doesn’t have zippers or buttons and that it can be either dressy or casual. Although I have made some clothes, my confidence is in quilting. I really want to improve my clothing skills. I enjoy your quicker projects too (like mug rugs). Thank you.

  8. I missed your survey, too, thanks to Blogger and my Ever Disappearing Reading List. Fought with them about that for quite some time, and missed so much. So much…but reading some of the snippets above, one in particular was probably exactly what I would have commented myself…about the overly-cutesy stuff, LOL. And I agree, don’t quit the paid patterns, unless your passion for drafting and selling them peters out. We all need to make money at our craft somehow, when you’re in the public eye.

  9. Ginger says:

    Love the idea of a monthly question.
    Don’t quit the paid patterns. While everyone loves something for free, you need to pay your bills. 🙂 And in the scheme of pdf patterns, yours are super cheap! The Easy Breezy Blouse is on my wish list and as soon as I finish sewing the things I have cut, I’ll be buying and making it.

    • Angela says:

      Ginger, my feelings exactly. Who doesn’t like freebies – but, there is a LOT of work going on to run this site, and having some paid patterns helps keep things moving along seems more than reasonable. They really aren’t expensive, not when some indies charge almost $20 for a pattern. That is one reason I joined the pattern-of-the-month club, to support what this site is doing.

      • Deby Coles says:

        Thank you Angela. I really appreciate the support from you and the other club members. It is ‘work’ even though its enjoyable work, and there are expenses to cover, but I’m still committed to making sewing ideas available to everyone and that still means free patterns as well as the paid ones.

  10. Lori says:

    Thank you Deby for keeping us informed about your survey. I enjoy your newsletter and clothing patterns, and the views that come with your photos is fantastic….Maybe one time you can let us know how you came to live where you are and some of the difficulities of finding material, fabric, sewing supplies etc…..perhaps you can start a I use this because I could not find that or what online shopping details you look for…Again thanks for your newsletter…..

    • Deby Coles says:

      Those are some great ideas Lori. Thank you. I’ll certainly think about adding in some more personal info about life on an island from time to time. Maybe the sewing shop would let me do a video !

  11. Sharon Cadman says:

    Fabulous! So pleased it was a positive and worthwhile experience! I am a terrible lurker, i will read lots and lots and not comment (must try harder).

    I love your blog and all it has to offer, i am always recommending it and have made the cosmetics bag too!

    I like the idea of a monthly question, sort of like what problem can you solve for the readers?

    As always lovely work and lovely to hear from you 🙂

    • Deby Coles says:

      Hi Sharon, its OK to lurk. I do the same on a lot of sites I read too. There is only so much time in the day! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the articles. Thanks for dropping in !

  12. Kayleen says:

    I missed the survey (some how life keeps happening outside my sewing space). I want to thank you for being YOU and please do stay true to yourself in this space. If you don’t you won’t be happy longterm, and I’d like to see you here for a very long time. Thank you for the free patterns, it opens a world of opportunity for me to learn.
    Kayleen (hobbyist, moving to intermediate)

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