Consider the following:
1) Sometimes our projects don't turn out the way we'd hoped.
2) Often people can be satisfied with less than perfect results.
3) Sometimes what looks perfect to us doesn't look that way to others.
These statements all relate to the topic of online feedback. I've read a number of comments here lately about the kind (and quantity) of feedback some sewing bloggers get: too much, too positive given the quality of their work. I don't know the blogs in question (hopefully not mine), but I get the gist of what they're saying -- don't you?
If you write a sewing blog, or if you post your projects on sites like Pattern Review or Burdastyle, you open yourself up to potential negative criticism. My experience solely as a blog reader, however, is that comments sewers leave for other sewers tend to be positive. I believe most of us try to live by the maxims, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all", and "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Sometimes we want to say something nice because we like the person, or the project, or whatever; we want to be encouraging.
On the positive side, knowing my work is likely to be closely scrutinized makes me a much more meticulous sewer. You can trust that anything created at MPB Industries has been carefully tested by qualified staff in our vast MPB laboratories. Nothing is left to chance, and a great deal ends up on the cutting room floor.
|Too much flowered linen makes a grown man look like a 6 year old.|
|Ix-nay on the erchief-kay!|
|A dirndl skirt WILL make you look fat.|
Yes, there are times when I look at something someone has sewn and I'm aware of flaws in the sewing/fitting, etc. Unless it's the kind of post where they've made a muslin and are soliciting feedback, I don't think I would leave a negative comment, even a constructive one. If I thought my insight might be helpful and that they'd appreciate it, I might consider shooting them an email in private, but I never have.
I guess I just assume we're all doing our best and, ultimately, it doesn't really matter -- for most of us this is just a hobby and we're sewing for love. Then again, I post a lot of photos of works in progress and appreciate constructive criticism. I'd hate to think that there might be an obvious flaw in something I made and no one was willing to tell me about it. So I take a LOT of photos, scrutinize them carefully, and also get Michael's take.
I think one of the reasons sewers often tend to reflexively point out flaws in their work (even if you just gave them a compliment), is that we live in fear that someone will point out the flaw first. We want them to know that we know it's not perfect before they can say it. Am I wrong about this?
I also think that while we're clear about what we see as a flaw in someone else's project, we're not always clear about out motivation for telling them about it.
I'm wondering what you think.
If someone posts photos of something they made on their blog (or on a website like Pattern Review), are they fair game for any kind of feedback? If you saw something -- a fitting issue, for example -- you thought they might not be aware of, would you point it out to them?
What's your own level of comfort with criticism? Do you a) welcome it, b) press out every wrinkle and clip every loose thread to avoid it, c) try to learn from it regardless of how it's expressed; or d) never post any photos of anything you make ever?
How honest are you willing to be when giving online feedback?