Learning how to sew and think about sewing doesn’t just make you able to build things from scratch and take them out into the world, it can also make you a better shopper for ready to wear in that you will know what to look for. In a lot of ways, even if you never sew another stitch after a sewing class, you should end up being more informed generally about construction and design.
This wrap dress Sylvia wore in is a good example. We initially thought it was something about the level of Banana Republic or maybe something she had made outside of class because of the way the patterns are placed and balanced – you can see the nice centering of the pattern in the back and the mirroring of the patterning left-to-right.
“I bought it for $20!”
Which just goes to show that if you look for balance and design you can find it where you least expect it.
This isn’t to say that the manufacturer planned out this balance and put thought into any of it – maybe they did and maybe they didn’t. It may just be a happy accident that this dress came out so well. But if you’ve cut patterned fabric and you have gone through the thought process of what things should look like then you have an intangible tool to use and can find the pearliest of pearls among… well… wait… this metaphor is a little too over the top, but you can find nice stuff where you may not expect it.
Don’t just think about pattern and layout as you cut and work through the project at hand on your tables at home; think about it when you are shopping, too.