Hello, my name is Elizabeth…

and I am a beginner.   Yes, this is an admission.  I don’t like thinking of myself as a beginner at anything (let’s just ignore the title of this blog, shall we?).  To spend an eternity in the beginner stage sounds like my version of hell on earth.  Let me tell you though, I feel like it’s been an eternity since I’ve been in the beginner sewist stage.  So I’ll let you do the math and figure out where I am right now.  Are you visualizing flames and pointy beards?  Then, yes, you guessed correctly — I’m in beginner sewing hell.  I know enough to toss around words like “sloper” and “single fold bias tape,” but not enough to actually trace out a Burda pattern or even sew one. 

Yes, I am admitting to something else — I haven’t traced out the Burda top yet.  I went so far as taking the pattern pages out of the magazine, looking at the pattern and reading the instructions.  And became stuck.  Warning: this next part is going to sound like I’m mentally impaired!  I couldn’t figure out one of the pattern pieces.  It didn’t have a title, and seemed to have three places where an arm could go.  It just didn’t make any sense to me at all.  So I looked to the instructions for edification, but none was found.  Because as we all know, Burda instructions are few and far between.  ARGH.  Nothing makes you feel dumber than reading plain English and not understanding it.  Nothing!

My friend Victoria keeps sending me subtle messages (like writing in bold capital letters) to use Simplicity patterns.  I think she may have mentioned this tip 2 or 3 (ok, really about 40) times.  Apparently Simplicity and Kwik Sew patterns have more and better written instructions than some other pattern companies and are geared for really stupid people like me beginner sewists.  Heather from Luckylibbet suggested this Kwik Sew top as a close alternative to the Burda one:

Kwik Sew 3603

Kwik Sew 3603

I think I am going to “listen” to all the hints I’ve been getting (thanks for being persistent Victoria!) and start with this Kwik Sew pattern and some other Simplicity patterns that I have been researching on PatternReview before I get into more difficult pattern companies like Burda.  

I guess it all just boils down to wanting to bite off more than I can chew.  Hello, my name is Elizabeth and I have beginneritis.  Symptoms include:

  • delusional belief in personal sewing prowess
  • the urge to make really complicated things way beyond the scope of said prowess
  • the urge for perfection from day 1
  • delusional belief that no wadders will occur

Do you notice the trend in delusional thinking here?  I am sure there are more symptoms, but those are the top ones of which I could think.  Thanks to Victoria, I now have an Rx for this pesky illness: a steady diet of simple patterns, a la  Simplicity, Kwik Sew or Very Easy Vogue. 

And so my more advanced sewing friends, I will put in an order for new, simpler patterns tonight and adjust my sewing goals to my actual current skill set.

Until next time, happy sewing!


3 responses to “Hello, my name is Elizabeth…

  1. The reason we’re being persistent in getting you to pick different patterns is because we truly want you to SUCCEED. I’ve been sewing for (gasp!) 40 years, off and on, and I’ve seen too many beginners get incredibly frustrated and just quit. It takes time and patience to really learn how to sew, especially when you’re working and parenting, so fitting in the time becomes difficult.

    You’re doing all the right things, though – taking classes and asking a ton of questions.

    Keep it up and you’ll make something terrific – and within the next two months, guaranteed!

  2. Thanks! I need the pep talk. Even though most garment sewists hate home dec, I think I am going to do a home dec project and another special project (subject of another soon to be post) to cleanse my palate and while I wait for my patterns to arrive.

    Thanks again for the “perspective”!

  3. You are such a wise lady.

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