For many, many years I did not sew. I come from long lines of sewing ancestry. Where everyone on one side of my family sewed, Mother, Uncle, Grandmother, Grandfather, and Great Grandmother, everyone sewed in some form or fashion. I learned the very basics before I was 10 and was given my first sewing machine (Black Beauty herself, my Singer 99K). But years went by that I didn't sew. Then the internet, FaceBook and YOUTUBE! I inherited a serger which frustrated me at first but after a video, blog tutorial and skimming the manual I learned the basics pretty quick. I then moved onto sewing knits, again video, blog, and pdf patterns with tutorials. Then I saw someone looking for pattern testers, that is where I had to dive in. I signed up thinking I wouldn't get picked, but I did. So I sewed and I ended up trying things I normally wouldn't try on my own. Now I apply all the time. This last test really pushed my capabilities and expanded them!
The Puffin Vest by Gracious Threads. It is a woven with a zipper, lined, detachable hood, and is completely reversible! Now I mostly sew knits, and this took me out of my comfort zone. Not only did it have me basting and quilting the fabric to make the pattern pieces (although you could just buy quilted material to use) but it also had me attaching a collar piece. With knits you just stretch and sew it always fits perfect. Low and behold though the pattern went together like a breeze, everything fit perfect like a puzzle! Then the zipper, burrito method. I had used this method not too long ago for hiding a seam on some undies. Using the burrito method on the vest was very well described, but hard to wrap my head around. Jessica from Gracious Threads to the RESCUE! She made a video tutorial! It is worth the few minutes to watch because this method means the vest can be fully reversible!.
The Puffin Vest is classified as an Intermediate/Advanced Pattern; I never would have attempted reading that. But I should have! And so should you! Start with beginners and work your way up. Ash Katchem didn't succeed at catching Pokemon's by not trying. Don't let your own thoughts and definitions of a word like "advanced" stop you from trying. Dive in, face the challenge head on! It is the only way to learn and grow and become a PokeMaster! or um a Sewing Master ;)