The Evolution Of A Skill: Learning To Sew With Patterns

The first article of clothing I made for my daughter using a sewing machine was a circle skirt. We’ll call it the gateway project.

I put a few pics up on Facebook because it was so cute, she loved it, and I was so proud. I mentioned in the caption of my post how I really wanted to sew her a dress but was a bit intimated by commercial patterns. Anyone else out there feel that way? Patterns just looked to me like I would need some kind of engineering degree to make my way through them. A few friends suggested some dress styles that were easy and didn’t require a pattern, like a pillowcase dress.

Okay, pillowcase dress. Check. (Excuse all the headless pics. It’s a decision our family has made not to post pictures of the kids’ faces on a public blog). The time was drawing near. If I was going to get serious about sewing, I was going to need to learn to use a pattern. Easter was a little more than a month away so the perfect opportunity to conquer this fear. I scoured the Internet for “easy” patterns but it seemed that every pattern I found under that category also “looked” easy and I didn’t like that. I wanted this dress to be special. Finally, I stumbled upon 5berries on Etsy. Folks, if you are afraid of patterns but really want to learn to sew for kids, this is the place for you! The clothes are adorable and many of the patterns come with picture tutorials. The one I chose was called the “Olivia” dress pattern. I knew as soon as I saw it that this was the one because I would have purchased that style dress for my daughter in the store.

I let my daughter pick out her own choice of fabrics. I started to suspect that may have been a mistake when she chose the combination of insanely pink with sparkles and insanely purple with polka dots seen here:

My husband confirmed my suspicions when he saw the fabric she chose and asked if we were dressing her as a clown for Easter but the deed had been done. Fabric and pattern had been purchased and I had to move forward. After prewashing, ironing, and one Skype session with my sister-in-law on proper cutting of the fabric, I was rolling. I couldn’t stop! Watching the fabric take shape and become this beautiful dress was propelling me forward. We had an Easter dress well before Easter. And my fears have been conquered.



As you can see, in the top picture there is an extra hem band. I felt like the dress was a bit too short for her and added the extra band at the bottom before she wore it out of the house. I wish I had taken pictures of the process but I didn’t have a blog at the time. Next one will show steps in the process for sure.

I need to mention that I am not in any way affiliated with 5berries other than as a very satisfied customer. I cannot wait to use more of their patterns and feel confident taking on other patterns as well after the solid foundation I got using theirs. If you, too, are a bit intimated by patterns like I was, I highly suggest you head over to their Etsy page and check them out. Oh, and look, the fabrics look great together! Turns out my daughter has pretty good fashion sense!

Do you prefer to use patterns or sew projects without them?  What are some of your favorite patterns to use?

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20 Comments on The Evolution Of A Skill: Learning To Sew With Patterns

  1. Elizabeth
    April 12, 2015 at 8:54 PM (3 years ago)

    I love sewing from patterns as well as crafting from instructions. I love that I can adjust length for my leggy children without clothes falling off of them (which is really why I started sewing in earnest). I love watching flat pieces of fabric become beautiful shapes. I LOVE to sew! My favorite? Oh, too many. But I am hunting a copy of Simplicity C2019 for you. I will trace this one a thousand times and she will wear two more versions of it. Such a cute and simple peasant dress. I searched for two years for a pattern in this design. Now to find it again :)

  2. notimefordiy
    April 12, 2015 at 9:00 PM (3 years ago)

    Oooh, you know I had to Google that immediately and found an image of it. It is so sweet! Definitely want to do that one!

  3. Stephanelli
    April 13, 2015 at 12:05 AM (3 years ago)

    I use patterns sometimes and no patterns other times. Depends what I’m sewing! For things that require accuracy and might go wrong I use a pattern (most recently for a tunic dress top), but for circle skirts and cloaks I don’t normally use a pattern!
    Very lovely dress though. I like the extra band at the bottom where you extended the hem!

    • notimefordiy
      April 13, 2015 at 12:20 AM (3 years ago)

      Thanks, Stephanelli! When I first saw how short the dress turned out to be on her I worried that having to alter it in some way would cause problems for me but it turned out to be a simple and cute solution and I liked it better with the extra band!

  4. Marina
    April 13, 2015 at 8:37 AM (3 years ago)

    It looks so great!! I wish I have more talent for this..

    • notimefordiy
      April 13, 2015 at 10:02 AM (3 years ago)

      Thank you, Marina! Glad toy stopped by my blog!

  5. swood97Shirley
    April 13, 2015 at 2:47 PM (3 years ago)

    I’m new to sewing myself. I have purchased some patterns which is a reflection of my ambition. I’m busy mastering pillow covers right now but have a pillowcase dress on my near to-do list. Yours are lovely. Stopping by from Snickerdoodle Sunday. Would love for you to share with us at Merry Monday.

    • notimefordiy
      April 13, 2015 at 2:50 PM (3 years ago)

      Be careful, if you have a slightly addictive personality like me, you will get in too deep and never want to stop sewing! I have been enjoying it so much. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I will head on over to Merry Monday to link up!

  6. Rose K.
    April 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM (2 years ago)

    Thank you for visiting my blog! I enjoyed watching the evolution of your sewing skills 😀 That’s more than I could do lol. Have an awesome weekend!

    • notimefordiy
      April 18, 2015 at 2:56 PM (2 years ago)

      Glad you enjoyed it, Rose! Thanks for stopping by my blog, also!

  7. Amanda
    April 18, 2015 at 10:20 PM (2 years ago)

    I’ve had a sewing machine for years, but hardly ever use it. I can do simple things, like pillowcases, hemming, etc. I used a pattern once to make an apron, and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to figure out. You’ve inspired me to start hunting some more patterns! Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!
    Amanda recently posted…My Favorite Things Weekend RoundupMy Profile

    • notimefordiy
      April 18, 2015 at 10:55 PM (2 years ago)

      Once you get the hang of it, it really isn’t that hard, is it? I say that knowing full well there are levels of difficulty with different patterns but still I think it is one of those things a lot of people think is harder than it really is. Hope you find a great pattern! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • notimefordiy
      April 20, 2015 at 12:48 AM (2 years ago)

      Thank you! I have had a few people tell me the same thing about patterns now so it’s good to know I wasn’t the only one in that boat, but definitely glad to have found one that worked for her Easter dress. I wish I was comfortable putting my kids’ pictures up (because with their faces, the pictures would be exponentially better!) but I just don’t think it’s the right thing at this point. Glad to know I’m not the only one who feels that way, too. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  8. Lissette
    April 20, 2015 at 1:50 PM (2 years ago)

    I’m one of those girls who would spend summers at grandmas house crafting up a storm. Sewing clothes on the sewing machine for my Barbies was part of the crafting, and it’s only grown since then. I love to sew, but with my 1 year old running around the house I can’t seem to get to do it anymore.

    That dress came out FABULOUS! Congrats! I’m sure you’ll be seeing up a storm now that you’re confidence has been built.
    Lissette recently posted…Life Before BabyMy Profile

    • notimefordiy
      April 20, 2015 at 1:56 PM (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Lissette! I so wish I had gotten into sewing when I was younger, but I was so focused on music at the time that I didn’t let myself branch out into much else. Glad I am getting that opportunity now, although, I’m with you, the kids definitely make it a challenge! I often feel like it is taking twelve times longer than it should to get any project done!

  9. Kristen from The Road to Domestication
    April 21, 2015 at 2:40 PM (2 years ago)

    I think you have quite a knack for this! Wow! I would LOVE to learn to sew…but I would need a VERY patient tutor. I’m no good at all trying to teach my own self…trust me. I’ve tried LOL Thanks so much for taking the time to link up over at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again this Friday! Feel free to bring a friend :)

    • notimefordiy
      April 21, 2015 at 3:14 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Kristen! YouTube videos are about as patient as they get for me! LOL! I spent way too much time on YouTube trying to learn to sew but it is a pretty handy little resource. Thank you for stopping by and commenting and thanks for hosting the #HomeMatterParty! It’s great to have a place to share!

  10. Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
    April 21, 2015 at 6:10 PM (2 years ago)

    That’s darling! :) I bet she *loves* it, having picked the fabrics herself.

    I used to sew most of my kids’ clothes when my bigs were littles. I’ve not sewn much the past few years, but yesterday realized that my 4 year old needed denim shorts, and after not liking what I saw on, went in the sewing room and made her a pair!
    Shecki @ Greatly Blessed recently posted…New Dial Products for Kids #giveawayMy Profile

    • notimefordiy
      April 21, 2015 at 6:14 PM (2 years ago)

      Isn’t it great to be able to do that?! I’ve told people it feels like a superpower being able to sew now! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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