The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Are you easy? (joke in in poor taste, I couldn't help myself, sorry)


I saw a really good question on Tilly and the Buttons that is a question I have been asking myself recently. In a nutshell, when are you no longer a beginner?


I just love patterns that have "easy" or "beginner" written on them (even better: very easy). But recently I bought a couple of "average" or "less easy" Vintage Vogue patterns. I haven't got the guts to try them though. 


Of course, proper vintage patterns often have no "level" on them at all. So, my questions are:


What level sewer are you?

How do you know? What skills do you think constitute intermediate / beginner / advanced?

Does the level of a pattern influence you?

Do you think having a level on patterns is actually discouraging (ie you might have tried a pattern until you "knew" it was above your level)?

Do you think this sort of labelling is helpful?


Thanks for your thoughts xx

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I'm somewhere in the intermediate range--I draft all my own patterns, as I get bored and frustrated with construction really quickly if I don't completely understand why I'm doing everything I'm doing.  I've been tackling the complicated stuff one pattern at a time--attaching a gathered waistband, patch pockets, baby-hemming necklines, inserting sleeves--and I always get this thrill of satisfaction when I successfully pull off something I've never done before.  I sew as much for the challenge as for the finished garment, so it's not much fun for me to go back to stuff I already know how to do.

draft your own patterns? I call that advanced Jessie! I have so much to learn....

I actually started doing it as a teenager because I didn't understand pattern instructions!  I got way too frustrated way too quickly, so I just started cutting out half-circles and fitting them together into skirts.  I understand a lot more than I did then about grain, bias, construction details--everything, essentially--but I love the drafting part almost as much as the sewing now.  It's like physical origami--and given the chance to entirely customize everything about a garment, why not take it? 


I mostly like to make simple things; I drafted this top and pencil skirt, and I just finished a pair of high-waisted trousers but haven't had a chance to photograph them yet.   It's not as hard as it looks, given a good book to guide you!  Pamela Stringer's "Pattern Drafting for Dressmaking" is my new favorite.  :)

Great blog Jessie, and I like your style, "simple" hah! You are one talented woman.

I think I'm an advance beginner. I know I'm not intermediate and certainly not advanced.


I stay away from patterns with a lot of pieces, it just makes me crazy. It's a weird personal thing I guess.


I really like to make the outside and inside equally good and would not hesitate to make something twice to improve upon it, or maybe even three times (ugh). That's just how I am, I always want to do better.


I'm sure I need to push myself to the next level and slowly I will…so I guess I'm kinda easy! Well, you know…

advanced beginner? ha ha ha ha ha who are you kidding Cathe? Not me! Your things are gorgeous! And advanced too I am betting....

firstly, i am highly enamored of your post title. i'm easy like sunday morning.


let's see. i think i'm intermediate, but throw a vogue pattern at me and i'm in playschool.


i guess knowing certain terms builds my confidence... facing, french seams, blind hems... also being able to make a pattern without looking at the directions (if they're missing or just bad!)


the pattern cover is all i need. when i get it home and am in the middle of it, i'll sometimes realize what horror level of skill i've brought into the house...


see above; i don't read very well. pictures are preeteee.


kind of? but not really. for instance, i've seen cathe's work. she is TOTALLY lying.

Totally lying ha! I need all the help I can get and an easy pattern is complete happiness-so I'm sticking to it, a well rounded beginner my friend!

Yep, I think Cathe is lying too, and I think there is a whiff of the fibber from you too Oona b ;0)


Your things make me swoon, plus making patterns without directions is no easy feat. I'm putting you in the advanced but naughty corner, with Cathe.

I   totally agree on both ladies...

Good question! ^^ I'd say between beginner and intermediate 'cause I made some garments you wouldn't consider as "easy" but I'm not advanced because I lack some techniques. However, as I'm a little crazy, I tend to disconnect my brain when I really want to sew something that really caught my eye and seems difficult to me! "I wanna do this, I don't care! Let's try!" Haha! I must admit that when the mention "very esay" appears, it does make me a lot more confident!! ^^ But I only choose the patterns I love regardless of the level ('cause I'm crazy, but I already said that!).

I think that labelling something as "intemediate" or "advanced" is a little discouraging in fact! But I have faith in my crazyness... However I still have anxiety attacks when it comes to corsets!!! :D

I really like your crazy ideas! Please don't stop!


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