Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pattern difficulty... or "Things to know" (Part 7)

This is the seventh entry of the Things to know series...

My work has become much more deliberate, purposeful, intentional... and so, fewer garments have been made lately. That's okay, though. It is probably part of the "maturing" process, and the best things last for years, anyway.

There is a Japanese philosophy called "kaizen", which is about doing all things in tiny steps to achieve your goals. It is a beautiful process for the creative person, and one I highly recommend it for anyone who is having trouble slowing down, and/or keeping all of their balls in the air. (I read a wonderful book that inspired me to implement the strategies in my own life... "One Small Step..." -- if interested, you'll find the book's full datils on my Amazon slide show to the right).

Another thing that will help you if you have any time, attention span or frustration factor concerns, is to choose your patterns according to difficulty ratings. I don't know how many of you look at the difficulty ratings when you choose your sewing patterns, but there is a method to the madness (for Butterick, McCall's and Vogue, at least). Some of the reasoning is obvious, and some less obvious... I will help to demystify them for you now...

Very Easy:
The easiest and quickest patterns to sew. Perfect for the beginner or experienced sewer with limited time available. Most patterns have only five main pieces. Easy to sew fabrics are recommended.

More details than the Very Easy category. Perfect for those with limited sewing knowledge or little time. Expect a wider variety of sewing procedures. Some fitting knowledge required.

Perfect for those with more time or sewing experience. Challenging construction details, more fitting and inner construction: interfacing, lining and underlining. More variety of fabrics - from stretch to synthetic leathers and suedes.

Perfect for those who like the challenge of fine couture techniques. Expect intricate shaping, hidden construction details, fine touches of hand sewing, and more. These patterns use the widest variety of fabrics.

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1 comment:

  1. I also suggest to my students that they actually take out the instruction sheets and look on the front page for the schematic that shows the pattern pieces. If there are 2 million tiny little pattern pieces....well, that could be a difficult pattern!