Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easy is as Easy Does


Most experienced sewistas would agree that this pattern is EASY. But are all easy patterns equally easy?

Wouldn't you agree that collars, lapels and set in sleeves are slightly less easy than the peasant style blouse above?
Would a beginner find sewing this knit top easy? Or that skirt in the recommended charmeuse?
I very much doubt it. There needs to be a better way to indicate difficulty to the sewing public. My grandmother always told me that nothing was difficult; there were only different levels of attention required. Some patterns are labeled Advanced.
Ralph Rucci, for example, or Koos. But if you read their instructions, you'd see that nothing is that difficult; they just have extra steps to get precise results. Go slow, take your time, you'll be fine.
Instead I propose that they scrap all this EASY/INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED nonsense and give patterns ratings that mean something.For example:
Instead of easy, how about DISTRACTED you can assemble this with child interruptions, while on the phone.
Or PANIC Suitable for last minute sewing before formal occasions.
Instead of INTERMEDIATE, they would instead say: RELAXED Relax and take your time, because this ain't gonna be finished tonight anyway.
And as for the advanced patterns, when you try to add them to your cart, the website will ask - Are you sure? This has buttonholes, set in sleeves and gathering - don't say we didn't warn you! So maybe we'd call those FEELING LUCKY. ...no wait, we'd call them DIRTY HARRY's, in honor of Harry saying, "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

7 comments:

Myra said...

I love your descriptions. Almost all patterns say easy, which is really stupid, IMO. The vintage ones crack me up, too, "Easy to Make", "Simple". The Jiffy ones were really pretty easy, I guess, but otherwise... And I have never made the walkaway, but to say you could make it in the am for later in the day??? Shouldn't you let that skirt hang for 24 hours?

sewing spots said...

So true! I love the idea of redoing all the pattern labels.

Beangirl. said...

you are my new hero.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me smile today. I needed that. I always enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work!

Venus de Hilo said...

Love the idea of a rating system based on the level of inattention the project can weather, and/or if it's suitable for last-minute, in-a-rush slapdashism. Or can/should it be attempted in the evening, after a glass of wine...

Karen in VA said...

Love your rating system...maybe add little wine glasses for the number you'll want to drink while making said pattern.....

The Slapdash Sewist said...

The labels are rather ridiculous and generally do not reflect the amount of time a project will take. I think that is a more accurate measure of difficulty! As Myra says, I've made the walkaway dress. With hundreds of yards of bias tape (slight exaggeration) is not something I can sew in a morning!