Our Pattern difficulty rating helps you choose a pattern that is right for your skill level.
Beginner and Advanced Beginner are aimed at helping those new to sewing achieve success in their sewing projects whilst learning basic techniques and form good sewing habits. Intermediate and Advanced difficulty patterns have increased detail and feature more complex designs and techniques.
Want to know if a pattern is right for your skill level? Use our guide below:
You've had a few introductory sewing lessons either at school or from a more experienced sewer and are keen to sew something that you can actually wear or use! You know how to thread a sewing machine and sew a straight line but not much more. This may be the first time you've used a pattern, but we have videos and instructions that will help you along the way. When you have sewn most of the patterns in our Beginners range you will have mastered most of the basic sewing techniques.and be ready to move to Advanced Beginner projects.
You will be ready to move to the next level when you can:
- follow & understand basic pattern markings & instructions
- confidently sew curves & straight lines
confidently bag out
You understand pattern markings, can confidently follow pattern instructions, sew a straight and curved seam. You are ready to learn about darts and practice adding fastenings (buttons, zips, velcro & domes), and progress to inserting pockets and waistbands into garments. You are also ready to start sewing knits and garments with a little stretch.
You will be ready to move to intermediate level when you can:
- confidently sew buttonholes, zips and bias binding.
- understand a variety of seam finishes and when to use them
- confidently add embellishments to garments (decorated pockets, patches and decorative linings).
You enjoy making your own clothing and sometimes make changes to a pattern to get your desired effect (like lengthening or shortening a hem or narrowing a waist by bringing in a side seam or increasing a dart). You want to learn more about how to get a really great fit and become confident achieving some finer details like welt pockets.
You will be ready to move to the advanced level when you can:
- adjust a pattern to get a perfect fit or personalize the style (eg: change a straight hem to a curved or A-Symmetrical one, change a straight leg pant to a boot leg).
- refine your sewing techniques to ensure a professional finish (button holes and zips look professional as do seam finishes, hems and top stitching)
- comfortably sew collars, use interfacing, sew pleats
- comfortably sew a large variety of fabrics and understand their nuances (silks, satins, chiffons and lycra).
You are obsessed and your idea of bliss is spending unlimited hours in a fabric shop selling designer fabric ends. You may even be making your own patterns and will confidently tackle tricky projects (like tailored jackets and pants). Whilst you are largely unguided, we still hope to provide you with inspiration and access to patterns you keep coming back to because they make for a versatile wardrobe, some of which you can knock up within an hour or two.