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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Hahaha! Thank you! :) Too crazy to stop, it's already too late!! :D

What level sewer are you? I am an advanced beguinner

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

Beguinner is when you need the read the instructions many times, ask a lot of questions about how to do  "simple" things. Need a lot reasurance .

Intermidiate is someone that have more understanding on what patterns to choose  and can use certain fabrics better, can tackle more complicate designes and finishes.

Advance. Velvet, silk its a brezze, can cope with any pattern even without instuctions, dont read instrutions, can sew items quickly, have lots of types of finishes in knowlodge. Can easly teach someone

Does the level of a pattern influence you? no.

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)? Yes. I have bought advance patterns but havent used them.

Do you think this sort of labelling is helpful? Sometimes. Once i got a very comlicated pattern as it was label easy !


Rachel your last point is very good and it is that I am trying to figure out - I have had easy patterns I thougt quite tough....


you know... I don't think I've ever noticed the levels on the patterns!? I spent a good 3 years of my life learning how to draft patterns and sew... but I don't think I'll ever call myself advanced, because there are so many things that are easily forgotten when you don't do them regularly! I rarely follow the pattern instructions. Sometimes I read them.. but usually decide I know a better way (of course this sometimes bites me in the butt too). I was taught to sew like a factory assembly sometimes the methods in the patterns seem like the 'long way round'... and don't give the type of finish you'd see in RTW garments. I am pretty sure  that I can make anything... if I put my mind to it!... and that is the where the problem lies. I find I can talk myself out of making something very easily... 'it'll take too long' /' my machine won't cope with it' / 'I can't remember how to do that, so I'd have to look it up and I couldn't be bothered' etc. etc. ...I think I'd just call myself 'competent'.  my own excuses are what hold me back! Don't worry about levels people! You have instructions to follow and google to turn to when the instructions fail! You CAN make anything!
Casey that's exactly it, being able to resize a pattern, make it without following directions and having lovely internal seams! That would be my ultimate goal.
Well said you two.. thats what its all about..

 I have answered this already...but something else came to mind..[old age allows this !! ha].. As I told you.. I dont consider myself none of the  above ..just an enjoying sewer.. but.. as I have read all these comments..and have enjoyed them so much.. I thought  of the true  advanced sewer [or rather ,my  opinion]. our mothers and grandmothers generations. 

1- they never took  a sewing lesson in there  life

2- they took what ever scrap they could find to cloth themselves and their families [it was a necessity],they saved every left over scrap of old worn out clothes to patch for a new garment

3- They did not have the internet to google and find an answer to a problem

4- and some did not even have patterns ,in the earlier days.. my mother in law [who is 95 right now and has a great mind ],  always amazes  me. She was an excellent sewer.. But she never had patterns in the earlier days.. She would get the Sears Catalogue and pick out a dress..Get the fabric and cut it out.

     And  in the really early days.. they didnt even have sewing machines...only a thread and needle. These ladies were definitely  ADVANCED!

Well said Judy! I agree, I bow down to that generation! And that's just how they lived!

thats so true Judy.

I completely agree Judy, those women were amazing - perhaps we over rely on looking things up and should just try things without thinking about it quite so much, I do agree Casey, how hard can it be? (erm...)


But what I am mostly getting from this is that you ladies, who I know are advanced, I have seen what you have made, (wedding dresses are definitely advanced Judy!) you are all claiming to be much less able than you are - modest to the end (step forward Cathe and Judy, I'm looking at you two especially!)


I like the attitude that if you try you can do it, thanks Celine and Casey! I think I worry far too much, you are right, we should chose what we like.


I'm really enjoying reading all your thoughts x





You're welcome! ^^ I like to think that if I succeed it'll make my day (and even my week!) and if not, that's not so bad! I'll be a little mad at me and try to learn from my mistakes! So... I'll either be happy or wiser! That are 2 good reasons to keep trying whatever you wanna do! Hahahahaha!

I wouldn't say you are that easy Charlotte after all you made the Horricks dress and that was stunning! Just go for it but take your time, a weekly challenge is probally not the best way to start.


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