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Do you have a growth mindset when it comes to sewing? Katie’s post here really resonates for anyone who struggles with setbacks, disappointments and sewing mistakes. Whether you are designing a pattern, testing a pattern, sewing up a pattern, or even just photographing it — Katie shows how having a growth mindset is a key component to finding progress in the face of setbacks. Let’s all learn and grow as we sew! 

growth mindset

How to keep a growth mindset in sewing


Sloane Season is here!

It’s September and that means that Sloane Sweater Season is upon us!  Today only, you can get both the kids and ladies Sloane Sweater pattern for $5.  Click HERE to get this great deal! (And I really appreciate you supporting my affiliate link – which costs you nothing!)   This is a fantastic pattern to have in your library – I find myself turning to it again and again.  There are two silhouette shapes included.  

View A: high/low shirttail hem with a slimmer silhouette


polyester linen knub from Sly Fox Fabrics


double brushed polyester from Raspberry Creek Fabrics


View B: standard pullover with a more relaxed fit and a banded bottom  


Cotton Spandex French Terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics


Grey and Yellow Sweatshirting from Raspberry Creek Fabrics


Sloane is Packed with Options!

There are also options included for a hood, front and back yoke, kangaroo pocket, and elbow patches.  All of these can be mixed and matched to create the perfect cool weather top.  






Cotton Spandex French Terry





And the kids version (HERE) works well for both boys and girls! 


But Sloane isn’t the only focus of this post….

Having a growth mindset in our sewing journey

While I’m sharing loads of Sloane inspiration for you, and even a few simple variations, this post isn’t about hacks.


I actually want to talk about having a growth mindset in our sewing journey.  Kind of random, right?! 


In a creative journey, it’s something that I believe is so important to understand.  My kids are the ones who have taught me the most about having a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset.  It is a focus at their school and I noticed suddenly they were saying things like, “Mistakes help you grow!” and “I can’t do this yet, but I’m going to keep trying.”  It was making a huge difference in the way they approached their school work.  I started thinking about it in relation to sewing and realized how much it could help all of us!  With the help of my elementary school aged children, we created this table to define the two.


  • Making mistakes will help me get better.  
  • If I make a mistake I must not be good enough.  
  • Encourage yourself
    • “I might not be there yet, but if I work hard, I can get there.”
  • Discourage yourself
    • I can’t do this so I shouldn’t even try.”
  • I can do hard things if I push myself
  • This is too hard so I’m going to quit.
  • I’m going to keep working at this and I’ll improve.
  • If I can’t do this now, I’ll never be able to do it.  

As I look back, I can see that making mistakes has helped me become a better sewist. 


Having a growth mindset can be hard

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always have a growth mindset in mind when I’m frustrated with a sewing project. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been sewing so long that I shouldn’t make mistakes!  Just a couple of weeks ago I serged on a neckband backwards.  What?!?  I should totally know better.  However, I’ve noticed that I’ve been just a little more careful with the neckbands I’ve put on lately and they actually look better!  As I look back, I can see that making mistakes has helped me become a better sewist.  I can still remember the first time I made a full circle chiffon skirt.  I hemmed it immediately and by the time I went to wear it to my junior prom, the skirt had stretched all over the place!  That “failure” taught me about fabrics and fibers and grainlines and I haven’t made that mistake again. Now I know to let it hang before hemming!  

Sloane + Growth Mindset

So what does a growth mindset and the Sloane Sweater have in common?  The Sloane Sweater holds a special place in my heart because of an experience I had. This example is a reminder to me of what having a growth mindset means.  Around three years ago, I had just been introduced to the world of PDF patterns and joined the Love Notions Facebook group.  I saw a post advertising a “tester call” and thought I’d give it a shot.  I was thrilled to be accepted to my first pattern test for the Girls Sloane.  As a former sewing teacher, I was confident and so excited to delve into the pattern.  I made my daughter a cute top she loved.  I had a lot of fun testing the pattern and was looking forward to more. 


My first ever Love Notions make!



An opportunity for growth mindset

I tested a couple more patterns and then I got kicked out of the testing group.  Okay, so maybe that’s a little harsh.  I got an email saying they were cleaning up the group, I had been removed, and to feel free to apply for future tests.  To be honest, I was SO disappointed and thought maybe I wasn’t good enough.  I realized I had two choices- I could let it get me down, or I could keep trying and improving myself and if the opportunity came to test again, I would be ready!  Basically I could have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.  The next test came along and I had to talk myself into applying.  I was so afraid of failure!  However, because of the experience I had with “failure”, I worked really hard to do my best work.  I made an effort to learn a bit more about photography and take some better pictures.  I looked for what I could learn from the other testers instead of thinking I knew it all because of my background.  Having a growth mindset gave me a totally different experience and made me a better sewist.  



A Growth Mindset is the Way to Keep Moving Forward

I believe that a growth mindset can help all of us, no matter if you are just starting your sewing journey, or if you have been sewing for decades!  That’s the beauty of it- it’s YOUR journey and no matter where you are on it, a growth mindset is the way to keep moving forward.    



This is made from a cotton/lycra Jersey from Minerva.


Sloane Hacks

I can’t write a Love Notions blog post and not include a couple minor hacks!  There are just so many fun ways to change it up!  While these are shown on the child’s version, they can be done on the ladies version as well.  

Sloane Split Hem

To get a split hem, instead of cutting your bottom band on the fold, cut two pieces, adding ¼” along the fold line.  Fold each band piece right sides together and sew ¼” down each side.  Turn right side out and attach band piece on the front, and one on the back – matching the center and side seams and stretching to fit.  At the side seams, the two band pieces should butt up against each other.  

sloane sloane


Sloane Faux Piping

Cut a strip of your coordinating fabric 1” wide.  Fold wrong sides together and press.  Place the piping between the layers when you sew your yoke to the front and back.  

sloane sloane


For more ideas on ways to change up the Sloane Hoodie you can check out my blog post HERE.


sloane sloane


The Sloane Sweater is a great pattern to go with as you embark on your growth mindset journey!  With all the options, you can start very basic and go up from there.  Hopefully you can find some inspiration here and continue on with a Growth Mindset! 

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Author Tessa

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Rebecca says:

    What a great article! It is true, our mindset is key when looking at our pursuits. Thanks for sharing – and I love all your Sloane makes!

  • Ann B Foutch says:

    This encouraged me to have a “growth mindset.” I have been busy and I really like to sew as well as I need some clothing! Going to have to figure out how to carve out some time for me to sew some clothing!

  • S Hart says:

    This is a great reminder for me, both for the way I talk to myself and the way I talk with my daughter. And I love all your Sloane makes and hacks.

    Thanks for a wonderful post!

  • Aly says:

    Love this post! Normally I’m good with sewing, I’ve been sewing for 49 years but every once in a while I’ll do something and it’s a total face palm move. I hope you don’t mind but I took a screenshot of the growth/fixed mindset to put on my wall. Life is always filled with great lessons. Thank you! P.S getting the Sloane today! Can’t wait to play!

  • gailmotil says:

    Loved this!

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