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 soooooooooo agree.. I run off the horricks dress. and it scared the stew out of me.. I called it the "horrow" dress.hahhahha.. and it is still sitting in my sewing room in sheets of paper.. and I just know,it is headed for the garbage..

   Anyone who could make that beautiful dress................can do anything.. Now who is kidding who?????

 I think we are ALL in the same boat... we can if we want to and we can find the time to...[wow ..that was a mouthful,ha]

  Charolette..this has been  a fun topic...enjoying...

Thanks Judy and Charlotte, I would love to take the credit but I did mostly make that dress at my dress-making class with a proper person to supervise!


I agree though, when I take my time my success rate improves. I need a combination of a target to meet and enough time to do it!

oh I'm so easy!!! ha ha ha. well thats what I concider myself, although like Diane if I love it have time then a bit of a challenge has to be good.

I think you have made some lovely lovely things this year Charlotte, trousers as well, AND sleeves! You are not as easy as you think ;0)


This is something I've been thinking about myself lately and I still don't really know the answer to it. Not sure if I ever will... One thing is for sure, I'm not a beginner any more.

I never ever pay attention to the pattern label, if I like the actual garment I'll have a crack at it (The pattern lies anyway!!)  I guess I'm adventurous when it comes to sewing, because I'll jump into something without thinking how difficult it will be because I want the end result, Henry VIII style tunic for example! Horrid thing and probably a gizzilion times out of my actual level at the time but I took the challenge and learned something from it.  I tend to just go for it since failing is better than not even trying, and you learn from that too.



Looks like you are not easy at all then Kirsty, Henry VIII tunic? I'm not even asking what you want that for young lady ;0) Hope it worked out well! Photos very necessaire.... hoping for a matching codpiece

Haha Charlotte, it wasn't for me so no matching codpiece I'm afraid, how's a matching hat instead? :p It's the one I told you about at the meet, many a needle broken on this damned thing :)

I'm sad there is no codpiece but that is a fine looking tunic and no mistake, that hat is very impressive too ;0)


I am super impressed, you are definitely not easy! xx

I am often rather put off by patterns that say "easy".  Not because I'm the bee's knees or anything, but it seems like stuff labelled "easy" is often a code-word for "shapeless and not well-drafted". Maybe this isn't always the case, but it's happened to me often enough to put me off. For example I recently made a vest for my daughter from a "very easy" pattern. It was definitely easy---two pieces, using the same pieces for exterior and lining. No facings, no lining pieces. Yes, it was simple, but a garment from a pattern like that is always going to look a little crude, with the lining peeping out (no matter how you understitch or topstitch). I'd rather have a few more, properly adjusted, pattern pieces to keep track of, and get a much better result (with much less fiddling---which to me is the hard part).

At this point I'd label myself an intermediate (or advanced intermediate ;) ) stitcher, but I got here only by fearlessly (and sometimes foolishly ;) ) tackling things that weren't labelled easy. 


Obviously some patterns will always be easy---it doesn't get much simpler than a knit tee-shirt pattern. And I have nothing against those. But I'd rather make a garment whose pattern matches the sophistication required for the style, regardless of whether that makes it easy or "advanced". 

That's how I feel--why choose an easy pattern only to spend hours trying to make it look half-decent?  I'd rather take the time to research the construction techniques, work out how to do it properly, and spend a little longer on the details so the finished garment is something I'll actually wear.
well put Jessie!
That's a really good point Tanit-Isis, something for me to think about. I think you make some very good points, very encouraging for me to try something a bit more challenging!


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