I went to the gym today where there is a poster reminding us all to “Keep Your Training Progressive”. Meaning? To keep changing your exercise routine by adding new exercises and increasing the difficulty of existing ones. The way to push your body to increase strength and fitness.
Now, I’ve written in the past about the similarities between exercise and sewing (stay with me, you’ll be surprised) and it was while chatting with two of my students today (Assuntina and Lizzie) that I realised this progressive approach also applies to your sewing.
Assuntina asked me what sort of project she should tackle next to keep improving her new found sewing skills (so far in classes she’s made cushions, my A-line skirt and my shift dress – all great successes, which have provided the encouragement and motivation for Assuntina to want to learn more). Lizzie has taken this progressive approach to her sewing since she started with me as a complete beginner last year. She started with my A-line skirt, has had a go at a dress sewing pattern, made my pull-on shift dress, had a go at knits with my cowl neck dress and drapey cardi and recently took on the key challenge of making a shirt and made a fantastic job of it. She’s now making loose covers for a chair!
If you choose a sewing teacher with lots of experience in the areas in which you’re interested (be that home sewing, dressmaking or craft sewing), you’re going to progress too, but if your teacher doesn’t have much experience you’re never going to move beyond the basics.
Here are some ideas for a progressive approach to sewing your own clothes: