PatternReview.com (PR) is an amazing resource! The community of sewists has come together to build a terrific place to look for information, and today I want to share a few ways I have used the site to find information and inspiration for my current (flat) sewing projects. (Please note that images/screenshots are used with permission from PR founder, Deepika. Thank you!)
How to search the site
If you are looking for a specific term (such as “mastectomy”), use the search box in the upper right hand corner of the homepage (where the aqua star is on the screen shot). Think about a variety of terms to search because the search widget is looking for the exact term you put in.
Your results page will look different depending on if you search for a pattern or other items. If you search for a pattern, at the top of the search results page, you will see number of ways to refine your search, which could be helpful. At the bottom of the results page, you will see links to patterns or forum posts that match your search terms. Here’s an example where I searched for “archer” and now I can narrow or refine the results by selecting dress, rating, body shape of the reviewer, etc.-
I have looked at the forum threads for mastectomy sewing, and they are very helpful and supportive. I encourage you to post a question for any sewing issue that you might have if you’d like some advice. (As a point of information, there are PR members who sew for a post-mastectomy, unreconstructed body, and a majority of the ones I’ve seen use prosthetic breasts.)
Additionally, if you are looking for a pattern with a specific feature, such as shoulder gathers, you can search for it using the search box as illustrated above or post to a forum for suggestions.
Using Pattern Reviews
Another way I use the site on a regular basis is to look at pattern reviews of a specific pattern on a variety of body shapes. From that information and a technical drawing, I can usually figure out if a pattern will work for me.
Also, I can use the search function if I want to see what a Grainline Archer dress looks like on people who say they have a rectangle body. I can click on a variety of reviews to see what sewists have to say about the pattern and how their projects went.
You can also find a member who has a similar body shape to yours and look at all of the items they have sewn. While few “flatties” are posting there, there are women who are small chested who post and can give you ideas of what a pattern may look like on you.
How do you use Pattern Review? Please add any tips you have in a comment!