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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Skill levels ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Skill levels
What skills belong to what level of sewing?
Learn To Sew
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Learn To Sew  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/3/05 1:28 PM

I know we talked about this seveal months ago. These would be my guesses for how to guess your sewing skill level.

Please add to my list if you think of something I forgot!

A Beginner would not know very much about sewing. How to choose the correct size is a biggie. They would often get the wrong size and not know it. They would know how to read the envelope and maybe make an elastic waist skirt, lounge pants or pajama pants. (PJ tops are too advanced for a beginner.) They might not know much about fabrics.

For an Advanced Beginner, I would think that learning to sew a zipper is a skill that should now be developed. Clothes that do not fit correctly would fall into this catagory. You might be sewing elastic waist pants and wondering why they don't fit correctly. Blouses don't fit and you want to know what to do to make them fit. The student might be getting interested in learning how to alter about this time. Learning more about fabrics and trying new ones seems to have a lot of appeal about now. Choosing the correct size pattern is getting easier, but the student might still have the wrong size.

Intermediate sewing is a very broad catagory. I think it would include buttonholes and adjusting patterns. Just getting something to fit has to be a real thrill the first time. It might also include buying pattern making software and learning to make your own paterns. You want a stash really badly about now and buy lots of fabrics, just in case you find the *perfect* pattern!

Advanced sewing. You would have had many successes by this skill level. You enjoy sharing your knowledge. You might have begun a sewing business of your own. Maybe you don't want that headache! You would be able to just look at the pattern instructions and know how it should go together. You would know lots of shortcuts, how and when to do them. You would have lots of fabrics to choose from and no time to sew!

Where are you on the list of skills? Add to my list if you want. I'd love it.

I think once I have a fitting success, then I will change my profile to Intermediate. I am wondering if I am still an Advanced Beginner or if I have graduated to Intermediate yet?

Carol

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Zona
Zona
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Subject: fitting a protruding stomach Date: 10/3/05 2:35 PM

Can anyone tell me how to change my pattern to fit a protruding stomach? I am making a lined, button front vest for a man. The back fits beautifully (I've made a muslin), but the front is a good 3-4" from meeting comfortably. Thanks, Zona
-- Edited on 10/3/05 3:54 PM --
-- Edited on 10/3/05 3:58 PM --

PhyllisC
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In reply to Learn To Sew
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Date: 10/3/05 2:51 PM

Carol, I think you came up with a really good baseline!

I'd add these 2 technical skills in addition to the ones you mention:

Advanced Beginner - Can set in a sleeve in flat.

Intermediate - Can set a sewn sleeve into an armhole.

Also - for Advanced sewers, I'd say that alternative methods are not necessarily shortcuts - to be honest withou, sometimes they take longer - but I agree with you that an advanced sewer intuitively knows when to substitute one technique for another.


Phyllis
-- Edited on 10/3/05 3:59 PM --

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m2

m2
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Date: 10/3/05 4:41 PM

I'm also on the line between advanced beginner and intermediate. I am comfortable with pattern layout, zippers, buttonholes (especially now that I have a machine with a one-step buttonhole), following the directions in the pattern, checking a sewing book for an alternative if I don't like the method in the pattern, etc. For me I don't think I will consider myself intermediate until I've successfully tried some fitting techniques.

I think a lot of us are perfectionists and others would rate our skill a little more highly than we ourselves would.

Muria
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Muria
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Date: 10/3/05 6:20 PM

Without having any guidelines, I put myself at intermediate. I can pretty much piece together a basic garment without reading the instructions, but never really thought much about fit and altering patterns (suspect this has something to do with my mother's method of sewing. For years, she sewed things for me, and "made" it fit after sewing up the final garment, rather than alter the pattern itself). While I have some garments that I made that fit well, it has more to do with a good pattern than an attempt on my part to get it to fit (and in at least one case, generous design ease).

That being said, I do have enough experience in constructing garments to give advice to beginners. I've also done a lot of messing around with fabric, mostly for costumes, so I have a decent idea of what works to achieve some effects.

I probably won't bump myself up to advanced until I can reliably make garments that fit me and my daughter (including a FBA for me). I do have the butterick fitting shell, and a few Palmer/Pletsch patterns (plus FFRP), so maybe over the winter, I'll work on getting my fitting issues down.

By the way, a big thank you to all the advanced sewists out there who have given advice on the boards! Even when it's not advice specifically designed to help me, I've definitely had a few lightbulb moments just by reading the boards.

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Muria

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Gigi Louis
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Date: 10/3/05 6:25 PM

For advanced sewers, I'd add that they are:

*comfortable making any pattern
*don't need directions for all but the most unusual or complex designs (like some odd Issey Miyake origami-like design)
*have broad knowledge of fabrics and their qualities
*feel comfortable using fabrics not recommended on the pattern envelope
*have a broad knowledge of interfacings, underlinings, interlinings and linings and so are able to make decisions about which products to use for a particular style or fabric or to achieve a particular effect
*are proficient at pattern fitting and alteration

I agree with Phyllis. Methods used by an advanced sewer are generally *better* methods, not necessarily easier or faster.

I also think it's never to early to learn fitting. It's super easy to fit something like a skirt and move on from there.

GorgeousFabrics
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GorgeousFabrics
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Date: 10/3/05 6:44 PM

So the question for me is, what does it take to rate yourself Expert/Couture? I notice that even Kenneth King doesn't rank himself at that level. I use lots of couture techniques and can even teach many of them, but I frankly don't have the stones to cross that boundary and call myself "Expert".



Ann

Gigi Louis
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Date: 10/3/05 6:50 PM

Hmm. I make the occasional Epic Garment but wouldn't call myself an Expert/Couture sewer. A couture sewer would never use most of the techniques that I employ in my sewing room, lol.

els
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els
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In reply to GorgeousFabrics


Date: 10/3/05 6:52 PM

Hi Ann

Quote:
So the question for me is, what does it take to rate yourself Expert/Couture? I notice that even Kenneth King doesn't rank himself at that level. I use lots of couture techniques and can even teach many of them, but I frankly don't have the stones to cross that boundary and call myself "Expert".


I want to know that answer too.

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PhyllisC
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Date: 10/3/05 7:31 PM

Maybe we can use Georgene as the Expert/Couture baseline - she changed her rating only after long, sincere and grateful lobbying by the PR community.

So I guess I'm saying - when it comes to Expert/Couture - "Many are called - few are chosen."

Phyllis

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Sewing = Fashion
http://coudremode.com/

Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.

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