Everything that can go wrong

I have made every mistake possible on the quilted pillow shams.  I have cut fabric incorrectly (to the tune of needing to get more fabric), I have miscalculated (and have lost time because the miscalculations were for the purpose of correcting the aforementioned incorrect cuts), I have made rookie mistakes in the sewing (we won’t even go there), and yet somehow I have come up with two pillow shams that are exactly the same size.

Fortunately, I learned from the mistakes and can apply those lessons to the next round of trying out the design.  It will take longer, but that’s what happens in the design process.

Which brings me to an important point:  Handmade is neither fast nor easy.  Yes, there are patterns with only a few simple pieces, but that doesn’t mean everyone ends up with a masterpiece.  Patterns marked “fast” or “easy” or anything of the sort are going to be faster and easier for the people who are well practiced at the craft.  Whether it’s sewing or knitting or any other thing, beginners will need to take extra time for reading the instructions thoroughly and for fixing the inevitable errors.  I’ve just put six hours of work into something that is presentable but not ready to be the prototype for a finished pattern, and I’ve got a lot of hours of sewing logged.

And that brings me to another important point:  Pay the designer for the pattern.  It takes time and energy (and mistakes and reworking), to work out a design and then to write out the steps with diagrams (and then to rewrite and redraw), and none of that counts the cost of the materials.  If you can afford to purchase the yarn, the fabric, and/or everything else you need to work the design — even if you’re shopping for the lowest cost materials you can find — then you can afford to pay for the pattern.