I’ve been getting questions about my new “difficulty scale,” which I’ve been including on my latest patterns and in the revisions of my older patterns. So I thought it wouldn’t hurt to re-post a detailed description of what each level entails. If you’re confused by any of the terms I’m using, The Sewing Dictionary is a fantastic tool to use in conjunction with this overview, to help you broaden your sewing vocabulary.
So without further ado, here’s an explanation of my difficulty scale:
Super EASY! = This sewing tutorial and/or pattern uses little or no actual sewing. It may require the use of felt fabric, which doesn’t need to be hemmed. It may use traditional glue, safety pins, or hot glue. If any sewing is involved, it will be a straight stitch only. You will need to know how to print my patterns for super easy projects, but these projects are for absolute beginners, little kids who are learning to sew, and those folks who don’t like to sew at all.
Kind-of Easy = This sewing tutorial and/or pattern will require knowledge of all of the above, plus some of the concepts bulleted below too…
- How to hem a garment using the whipstitch
- How to do a straight stitch
- How to pass elastic through a casing (that tutorial is coming soon)
- How to finger-press
- How to thread a needle
- How to tie a knot using a needle and thread
About Average = This sewing tutorial and/or pattern will require knowledge of all of the above bulleted items, in addition to any of the following
- How to sew snaps on fabric
- How to press seams open, using a hot iron
- How to gather fabric
- How to hem a garment using a double-fold hem
- How to do a backstitch
- How to send elastic through a casing
- How to baste
- How to attach notions like lace, rick rack, or ribbon as a basic trim or decoration
- How to make darts
- How to clip a curved seam
- How to sew a facing or yoke into a garment
- How to invert the narrow part of a garment using chopsticks or a bamboo knitting needle
- How to cut fabric with a directional pattern or nap
- How to make pockets
Somewhat Advanced: This sewing tutorial and/or pattern will require knowledge of all of the above bulleted items, plus a few more concepts like…
- How to line a garment
- How to use bias tape, piping, or ribbon as a decorative edge or binding
- How to sew pleats
- How to sew a zipper into a garment
- How to make a buttonhole stitch
- How to cover a button with fabric
- How to sew a hook and eye closure to a garment
- How to use an interfacing
Very Advanced: This sewing tutorial and/or pattern will require knowledge of all of the above bulleted items, plus some additional concepts like…
- How to alter a pattern
- How to do embroidery or applique
- How to apply rings (like D-rings) or gromettes to a garment
- How to apply epaulettes to a garment
I’d like to begin re-posting all of the sewing patterns that I’ve created, using this difficulty level chart, but I know that most of you visit this website because I offer so many NEW patterns. So I’ll re-visit my older patterns gradually over time, posting new patterns intermittently to keep everyone excited about the new patterns that will be available every other week or so.
Please continue to show your appreciation for my free patterns and tutorials by liking them on Facebook, pinning them on Pinterest, and/or tweeting about them. This will help spread the word that my FREE printable sewing patterns and tutorials for doll clothes exist. I also encourage you to add my YouTube channel’s videos to your playlists.
Feel free to leave comments below. Which of the sewing concepts listed above would you like me to create new tutorials for? I’m anxious to receive your requests!
Need help printing my patterns? This link offers a tutorial showing you how to download and print my FREE patterns using Google Docs. (For the older print-a-pattern tutorial, which uses Microsoft Word, click here.)
Please note: you must enlarge my patterns to fit a full-sized piece of American computer paper (8.5 x 11 inches or 216 x 279 mm) without margins, before printing. These designs use a scant 1/4 inch seam (4 mm to be exact).
If you’re wondering why I make patterns and videos without charging a fee, please visit the “Chelly’s Books” page, and that should explain my general motivations. My patterns are now available through “Creative Commons Attribution.” This means that I created my patterns (and therefore I own rights to them), but I’m willing to share them with everyone who will tell people about my website.
Here are some helpful ways to tell the world about my patterns:
- You can pin them on Pinterest.
- You can like them on Facebook.
- You can tweet about them.
- Use any other form of social media that appeals to you!
Are you new to sewing? I’ve got a playlist of tutorials for the beginning sewists on my YouTube channel. It includes video tutorials showing you how to do a basic straight stitch when sewing by hand, how to use the whipstitch to hem a garment, how to sew on snaps, and even how to design your own doll clothes patterns, for those who are new to design and alterations.
In case you haven’t heard, I have actually designed some commercial patterns for Lammily LLC. They have some new dolls in their line, including a new male doll, so you might want to visit the Lammily website to see what they’ve got going on.