I recently was working on a skirt pattern. It's quite involved and it took me almost 3 days work to sew the skirt and along the way to make the tutorial video and take all the step by step photos. Then I had to edit the video and turn the photos into a step by step tutorial.
Except disaster – I had left my camera on macro and although things had looked sharp in the little screen, when I uploaded them to my computer, every single photo was blurry. Every single one – 3 days of work – grrrrr.
It's a busy time of year, I was struggling to find the time to do it all over again. So that got me to thinking – did people really want step by step photo instructions these days, or did people prefer to watch a video tutorial? I always prefer video myself so I decided to ask in one of the sewing groups I am a member of and I was really surprised at the strong opinions. Almost everyone said they either disliked sewing videos, or said they never watched them for one reason or another. They were all very clear – they certainly wouldn't use a pattern that only had a video tutorial. It seems full written and photo instructions -were essential and video was just a time-wasting nuisance.
I was surprised, but it does show that sometimes what one person prefers, many others prefer the opposite.
It's a lot of work for me to create some of these patterns and tutorials and I would hate to be wasting my time and your time with instructions or videos that you aren't interested in. So it's time for a readers poll.
Let me know what you think below…
And if you really do think my video are rubbish, I'm happy to receive your suggestions for improvement. Try not to be too cutting with your remarks!
Debby ,you are a talented seamstress ” Sew” kind of you to share you gift with us!!
Deby your instructions and pictures are brilliant and I find them excellent for sewing something that I have some concept about. The videos are great for learning a completely new technique or showing finer detail if I’m stuck on something. I’ve only watched a few of your videos as I don’t have much time to sit and watch with an active toddler….but I thoroughly enjoyed them. You have a lovely manner and a real skill for explaining and teaching clearly. And I love your accent!! 🙂 I like the option for both.
As with some of the other women, I usually go with the pattern and pics, I watch the video to get an idea of what is should look like. And to the person that don’t like the videos, should just not watch them simple as all that.
I prefer both video and PDFs written instructions. Depending on who is doing the videos. Some people on YouTube are clearly not people friendly and shouldn’t be making videos, but most are good and very helpful.
I’m new to sewing and I love watching videos. The written instructions are, at times, hard for me to understand and follow. The videos make it soooooooooooooo much easier ; )
I use written instructions most because of the location of my sewing machine. I can’t use videos while sewing.
I prefer the pdf written and illustrations. I have found that many times “one word” can make a difference in the result. I like to reread when something is not working correctly. The videos inspire me at times and I have seen some that allow you to print the instructions also. However if I had to chose it would be the printable pdf and illustrations. Thank you, I am new and enjoy your site very much.
I think your videos are very clear and concise and find them very useful, but I also want the written instructions. That’s just how I learn better.
I really appreciate the videos as a companion to detailed written instructions with photos. It is nice to see the process of a project coming together step by step. Sometimes seeing the process is just the nudge I need to get me motivated to try a new pattern if it has a technique that I might not be too familiar with or if the written instructions left wondering about any of the steps.
I very much like instructions with pictures to clearly see what is to be done. I watch videos to get an overview or to focus on a particular problem area. But when all is said and done, I rely on written instructions when I go to make anything. Pictures are a definite plus for indy patterns and I’ve found many through your site and others.
Personally, I prefer videos. They allow me to quickly find what it is I’m trying to do and get it done then move on without trying to figure out what on earth the designer is attempting to say or describe. If videos were not so popular, Youtube and Craftsy wouldn’t be as big as they are today. The thing that really irritates me when it comes to tutes or written patterns are lousy pattern writers. I don’t want to spend a hour trying to figure out what on earth the designer was trying to say. So many just have no technical writing skills. Anyone who is going to start writing patterns or tutes would benefit greatly from a technical writing course!!!! This became a huge problem recently in a sew-along I was hosting in one of my fb sewing groups. The pattern was so horribly written that many of us ended up doing our own thing or following a different designers instructions instead. Luckily, most of us are experienced sewists and could figure much of it out but the newbies really struggled along. So, definitely videos for me so I can get on with it!
I’m with MJD above. As a beginner who really needs her hand holding, it’s only because I have the instructions and step by step pics as well as being able to watch how you did it that I am sewing at all. I wouldn’t have the confidence (or the budget) to go to a class, so the wealth of backup that you provide makes all the difference. Please keep it up. I appreciate it’s a lot of work for you, but spread across the number of times I refer to the video (watch it through, repeat, freeze frame, go over it again, etc etc) they must be getting a lot of viewings! Surely I can’t be the only one…
Debbie, like many others have already said you do a wonderful job with both the videos and the photos with written instructions. As a visual learner, I appreciate the step by step videos with the step by step photos and instructions. I usually watch the video first and then use the photos and step by step instructions to keep me on track. I appreciate the sheer volume of work this creates for you, but for me it makes the difference between a successful project and a “sew, sew” project. Thank you for your efforts.
I generally prefer illustrated instructions over videos.
I like the videos except that they are data hungry and I’m on mobile data. I wait until I’m in a free wifi area and then watch the videos. Being a very visual person I find that the videos are extremely helpful.
Love the videos. Am a visual learner, and like to watch the videos and then I can follow the pattern. Videos and patterns both great.
I too agree with Wendy. I really like your photo instructions and usually watch the video too. I know you put a lot of time and effort into these and I appreciate it. I think you do a great job with clearly written instructions, the step by step pictures and your videos. Thanks so much!
Thanks Jane, very kind of you. I’ll be really interested in the feedback on what options people prefer.
Couldn’t agree more! Thank you, Deby!
I prefer pdf with picture instructions. It is easier to save and refer to pdf files anytime I want. I can leave to do other things and continue where I left later on.
Of course with video I can do the same but it takes more time and a bit troublesome to jump from one scene to another. In addition, in video i need to listen to the instruction. I found that it easier to read than to listen. Sometimes, a picture describe everything. I don’t even have to read.
As I usually refer to my hobby activities at night after work, i can’t put the volume in video too high as it will disturb others. Earphones – I don’t like them. After a while it hurts my ear.
I hope you will continue with pictorial and pdf instructions.
All the best.
Those are some really good points.
I have to admit that I rarely watch videos. Not just on your site, but in general. I much prefer written instructions and images. But I agree that a video is helpful for some of the trickier parts where perhaps a still image wouldn’t really fully explain the process. (And thanks for all that you do! Love this site and your patterns 🙂 )
Thanks very much Erin. I may decide to shorten some videos in future to just cover the more difficult parts, unless its a project aimed at beginners. We’ll se what eveyrone says in the poll.
I usually watch the video first. However, written instructions and pictures are a lot easier to take to my machine with me. I would hate to see the videos go though. I enjoy watching and listening to them and you explain things very well.
I love your patterns. I agree with Wendy Shepard. I use the pattern and the pictures and usually only go to the video when something isn’t clear. I’d say just video the intricate sections. I had to go to the video for the tucks in the Give me a Shrug Top. Thanks for all you do!
Your instructions and digital images are so beautifully done that they are perfect for using immediately or downloading for later. Sometimes it takes too long to find what I want in a video, and I don’t have that problems with written instructions and images. Videos have their advantages, but I much prefer written instructions and images as long as they have clarity, and yours definitely have clarity and are easy to understand. Thanks for all the hard work.