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by Erin on March 20, 2008

ebay item 8305987417

I've been looking around a bit for patterns that I think would be easier, if not easy, for beginners. Being a beginner at sewing is a delicate thing: you want to make something that won't frustrate you beyond the bounds of human tolerance, but at the same time, you want to make something that you actually WANT to wear. As I said, delicate.

This is one of those patterns that I think would be good for a beginner (it's up right now at Miss Helene's.) It's interesting without being complicated.

Here are some of my criteria for an "easy" pattern:

– no set-in sleeves
– simple darts (and not too many of 'em)
– full skirt (to obviate hip/butt fitting issues; also, full skirts are more fun and harder to buy in stores)
– pockets (duh)

If I were a beginning sewist making this for the first time, I'd do it in a big wild floral; that would make it easier to hide any bobbles in that front skirt seam. (A very textured fabric, like piqué, might work for that, too.) If I were feeling brave, I'd do a contrasting/coordinating yoke and pockets, as seen here. Maybe I'd do the yoke in black or white, if I were worried about the possibility of a bright unflattering color near my face (which, obviously, I never am, but I hear tell some people are).

Now the only thing that makes this pattern NOT ideal for beginners is that it's an unprinted pattern — your only guidance to what piece is what would be teeny perforations on the pattern tissue. If I were starting out with this, if possible, I'd either find someone who has sewn A LOT to help me pin the pattern and cut it out, or I'd spend a good solid two hours checking and double-checking my layout to make sure I had it right. Two hours spent at the beginning often saves triple that at the end. (And prevents the project from being a "wadder" — something you wad up and throw in the trash!)

What other criteria would you suggest for "beginner" vintage patterns?

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