Is there an official word for “fear of patterns”?
One of my New Year’s resolutions is “Use my sewing machine for something other than sewing squares and triangles together and quilting them with straight lines.” I not only want to experiment with free-motion quilting; I also want to learn to sew bags and clothes and other practical items.
I’ve always done things a bit backwards. You’d think I would have learned to sew a simple bag before I learned to sew an entire quilt, but alas.
The first project I wanted to tackle was a case for my Kindle. I only paid $99 for it, but I couldn’t find a cover I liked for less than $40. I knew I could make something that I liked for much less than that. All I really want is a padded, zippered pouch, which probably sounds super easy to seasoned seamstresses, but I’ve never worked with patterns or zippers or interfacing (unless batting counts as interfacing … does it?) I decided it would be best to use a pattern for my first project instead of trying to wing it.
My first hurdle was finding a pattern that I liked. There are a million on the Internet, but none that were exactly what I wanted. I took a look at the pattern selection at my local Joann Fabrics store, and I didn’t find anything there — not even a simple zippered pouch. What I did find was an adorable purse pattern (pictured at the top-right of this post), and I knew I could make it work as a Kindle case and for carrying other things, too. (You can get the pattern yourself here.)
Unfortunately, after opening up the pattern and looking at the thing, I realized that choosing a pattern was the easiest part. The thing is written in a totally different language. I suddenly had a flashback to the last time I resolved to sew a pattern, and I remembered why I gave up like a big quitter. Sigh.
This time I’m determined to suck it up and just do it, but I’m wondering if it would be better to start with a simpler tutorial for a zippered pouch. Maybe something like this with some firm interfacing for padding?
I did find this sort of useful guide to sewing with patterns, but I can’t help but feel intimidated and confused when I look at all the lines and instructions and try to figure out how everything is going to line up and where to sew and bah.
I’m really a smart person, I promise. Just bad at following visual instructions, I guess.
Do you have any tips or resources for a first time pattern sewer? It would be much appreciated.