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How do you figure out your sewing skill levels?
ahrizel
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ahrizel
Beginner
Member since 4/22/12
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Date: 12/13/12 11:41 AM

I'm a beginner, but the skills are slowly improving and I can see the day-in the distant future-when I won't be a rank beginner. So how do you figure out the skill levels we use on PR? What skills would make me a advanced beginner? I realize to a fair degree that they are arbitrary designations, but I'm curious as to how people figure out where they rank. I'm not concerned that I have all the skills people think I need-these are self designated levels based on our own opinions. But what skills do you think put you past the beginner level? I wish they had a novice level-for those that have never sewn before. That way when folks see a question from someone with that level they know how to respond correctly. We're all guilty of presuming knowledge that everyone should know. I'm particularly guilty of acronym overuse and I really should know better. I'm curious to see everyone's answers, but I realize everyone will have different opinions, which is fine. Not trying to start a debate, just trying to figure out what I need to learn next.
Mary

DonnaH
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DonnaH
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 10/1/03
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Date: 12/13/12 12:59 PM

Well, I know I'm not a beginner - since I've been sewing most of my life. I even got paid for sewing at one point in my life (in college my big work-study job was in the costume shop).

But I look at the level I see in others, and the level of tools/materials I use, and I know I'm NOT an advanced seamstress. I'm not even 100% sure what level I gave myself (I'll look when this posts) LOL!

It's funny really, because there are things I find easy (gathering is one that comes up a lot) that other people find really hard, but then the same person does something else w/out thinking about it that I struggle with.

In the last year or so I've tried several techniques and finishes that I never did before, and probably wouldn't have it it weren't for this site.

GlButterfly

GlButterfly
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 8/28/08
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In reply to ahrizel <<


Date: 12/13/12 1:32 PM

Novice = Beginner.

This topic comes up at least once or twice a year. If you do a search for "sewing levels" or 'sewing skills" you should find a lot of info there.

Keep sewing and having fun.

------
That's Gl = for Gloria, not G. I.

lgrande
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lgrande  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
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Date: 12/13/12 1:44 PM

Well, I, for one, think there should be a level between 'advanced beginner' and 'intermediate'.
I've been sewing since 4-H when I was in junior high school and that was a long time ago. However, I don't do really difficult projects and a lot of my sewing has been on-and-off-again.
I do some quilting, some simple garments, a liitle home-dec and am just learning machine embroidery. I sew strictly for the enjoyment of it. And, now that I'm retired, I spend much more time on my hobby than ever before...I love learning new skills.
But, I have a hard time calling myself intermediate as I think those people are much more advanced than I, but again I certainly am not a beginner. I guess it shouldn't really matter but I'd like to have a term that better defines my abilities.

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
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In reply to GlButterfly <<
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Date: 12/13/12 2:16 PM

Quote: GlButterfly
This topic comes up at least once or twice a year. If you do a search for "sewing levels" or 'sewing skills" you should find a lot of info there.

Somewhere on PR there is actually a list! I know, because I've read it in a couple of these very threads! I couldn't find that, but here's our most recent 8-page discussion on this topic.

Before I joined PR, I decided I was intermediate based on my reaction to a pattern's suggested skill level. It said, "For intermediate sewers," and I said, "That's me!" Then I sat down and thought about *why* I put myself in that category, and to me, being intermediate meant that I was accomplished enough to be willing to try ANY pattern or project, even if I'd never done it before. As a beginner, I might have looked at a pattern and said, "Oh, it has ______ (fill in the blank); I don't know how to do that; that's too advanced for me." Now I see a step and know I have enough experience to build on to attempt any new skill. An "advanced" seamstress, IMO, would already be able to do all those things in her sleep.

So for me it's less about which specific skills you may have done (I've never put in a zipper but I drape and draft my own patterns)... and more about how you feel when approaching a project.

------
~Gem in the prairie

tinflutterby
tinflutterby  Friend of PR
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California USA
Member since 8/9/11
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<
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Date: 12/14/12 1:13 AM

I agree with you that intermediate means

Quote:
I was accomplished enough to be willing to try ANY pattern or project, even if I'd never done it before.
I would add that advanced may also be limited. Perhaps you do formal wear in your sleep but might not be so skilled at tailored jackets or swimwear. There are many different fields and most of us are not expertly skilled at all of them although we could accomplish a creditable garment if we wanted to and could solve most of our problems some way. However research saves a multitude of ripped seams even for experts.
PattyE
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PattyE  Friend of PR
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In reply to tinflutterby <<
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Date: 12/14/12 9:51 AM

I see it differently I guess. I don't know that willingness to try a pattern determines your level. Someone who just started sewing can be willing to try any pattern. I don't believe that would make them an intermediate sewist.
I think the mastery of skills determine the level. If someone has been sewing for 30 years but never made much more than pillowcases, I think they would still be considered some level of beginner. I don't know. LOL
That said, it really doesn't matter what level you choose for yourself here IMO. It's just so nice to have such a large group of sewing people who always have an answer to whatever issue you're having.

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/14/12 10:04 AM

I, for one, don't care. Put whatever you think you want to - I used not to put it at all, but then in an "upgrade" to the site, I found I was forced to put something in there, and really, Intermediate has such elastic parameters that I chose it.There is nothing that pertains to that here anyway - it isn't an academic site, and you don't have to have "credentials." HAPPY SEWING!!!!

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

SquishSews
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SquishSews  Friend of PR
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 12/14/12 10:19 AM

Hmm, that would have made me an intermediate from day 1 - I always try anything. I fail a lot, but I learn a lot too.... ;-)

But I consider myself more advance beginner - I know some stuff, but I know how little I know, if that makes sense.

ahrizel
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ahrizel
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Date: 12/14/12 11:49 AM

I was reading some of the posts from previous threads on this issue-interesting reading The postings about the beginner contest in particular were useful. It's funny, I definitely consider myself a beginner, but I've done several of the items on the intermediate list! Not multiple times, but still... I may have to put myself in the advanced beginner category in the not distant future. If they do this contest again I would have to enter the advanced beginner category, even to my own judgement. But the ratings are definitely subjective, which they would have to be. I would love to see a beginner contest again, I feel completely outclassed in the contests I've entered so far. But reading some of these old threads helped give me some ideas of the skills I really need to work one-darts, zippers and fitting for just a few examples.
Mary

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