I have grown in every way, as I believe anyone who sews does. Sewing is a never ending learning experience and it is very important to keep your humbleness: it doesn't matter how long you've been sewing, if you are a professional or not; there's always something new to learn. When you start thinking you know everything, you stop taking interest in learning new techniques and look down at others because you believe you're better than them and deserve to be more successful, then you should stop and think again why you sew. With the Internet and social networks it is very easy to start comparing yourself to others, especially if they are more successful than you. Well, for me it is not about comparing myself to others, I don't see myself as a competitor for success. I see myself as someone who loves sewing and most of all I love sharing my experience and motivate others.
Most of us praise the importance of sewing a test garment and I can't say I disagree. What bothers me sometimes is making a test garment without even assessing the pattern first. A pattern should be measured and those measures should be compared to the body measurements. You can alter the pattern and correct it before the test garment is cut, and sometimes if the garment is not over complicated in terms of proportions, with enough method and experience you can skip the test garment all together.
My advice to beginners is keep trying and be proud of your makes, even if they are not perfect. With each project you'll get better at it. I'm not saying to overlook mistakes; you should definitely learn from them. Be proud of your improvements. My advice to those of us who have been on the road for many years: don't ever stop feeling amazed with the act of creating, even if what you see is not perfect. Look at things from the bright side and feel happy about what you do.
Tany Leite - Aveiro, Portugal