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.
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:
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.
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.
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 — >
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 –>
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.
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.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy