On Qualifications

People often ask me about what qualifications I have to be a pattern designer. They are interested in whether I had formal schooling in … business startups… fashion design… website design… photography… or any of the other hats I wear nowadays.

OK, most people aren’t quite that blunt when they ask. They generally veil their question a little more discreetly… but no matter how they ask it, it’s a fair question with a very simple answer:

I have none….. Absolutely NONE!

Based on my resume (below), there’s absolutely NO reason I should be doing much of anything that I’m doing now.

  • I have a BS degree in Chemistry which included one computer course, involving the use of keypunch cards… that’s right… keypunch cards! (those of you born after 1975 might need to google this)
  • I took ONE writing course in college & made a C. I never took another….
  • The first time I ever even sat in front of a computer was when the City installed one in my office in 1998. At the time, it was NOT a welcomed sight because in typical government fashion, I received no training…  nothing…. not one course. They just told me to start using it and assumed I’d know how. I struggled with it for a month before I realized it was connected to a network. Up until that time, I had never even seen a website….
  • Although I’ve had a lifelong love of sewing, my efforts were limited to clothing and home decorating items until 2003, when I made my first accessory item. It was a wallet from a commercial pattern….and it was so poorly written and the results were so awful, I KNEW I could do better!

All This to Say….

1- No matter what your age, FORGET about what you’re actually qualified to do. It’s means nothing.

2- Every day that you wake up is a perfect day to learn something new.

3- If I can craft a livelihood in a field that I had absolutely NO prior qualifications for, so can  YOU!

4- If you have, or when you do find something that you LOVE to work at, you should be grateful, VERY grateful, each and every day! Whether you’re a religious person or not, you should pause every morning and say, “REALLY? I get to do THIS?”

And now, it’s YOUR turn!

Are you in the process of learning anything new? And what would you like to learn next?

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  1. Lillian on June 14, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Than you for sharing – perhaps there will be some who will venture out on their own by reading your inspiring post! Love your purse patterns – they are the best!

    • Kat on June 14, 2021 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks Lillian- I hope that happens! πŸ™‚

  2. Beth on June 14, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Your mention of the wallet you made once reminded me of my wallet story. One evening when we were packing to go on vacation, I realized that our little girl didn’t have a wallet to carry her money in. So I sat down and made one from scratch. Years later her first son also wanted one which I made from some tractor fabric. The children liked their wallets, but I would have starved if I’d needed to make a living making wallets! LOL

    Your story is inspiring!

    • Kat on June 14, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks Beth! Thank goodness I dont depend on this business in order to eat or I’m afraid we would have starved this past year! Its been rough!

      • Beth on June 15, 2021 at 12:46 pm

        I’m so glad you could hang onto your business until things pick up again. I’m hoping this year will help make up for last year!

        • Kat on June 15, 2021 at 7:49 pm

          me too! πŸ˜€

  3. Dawn King on June 14, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    I love this! It’s so inspiring!

    • Kat on June 14, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks Dawn!

  4. Marion Pool on June 15, 2021 at 5:00 am

    I am in the process of making a Laura Heine collage wall hanging. I have always loved making collages(I made dozens in college)so I thought this would be the perfect project. A big collage using my favorite medium, fabric! But, it’s a new skill and it’s kinda hard! I am almost finished and I have enjoyed the process.

    • Kat on June 15, 2021 at 5:30 am

      That’s so interesting. I’d love to see a picture of it when you are done! πŸ™‚

  5. Mary on June 15, 2021 at 5:28 am

    I love this post! I am a retired registered nurse, but always loved music and wanted to learn to play an instrument. I may never perform on a stage, but I am enjoying learning and playing my music on the stage of life! Apologies to my husband and cats! Its never too late to follow your dreams!

    • Kat on June 15, 2021 at 7:48 pm

      I think thats great. I taught myself to play clarinet in my 40s and like you, I’ll never qualify for the symphony but I play at church and in community orchestras and enjoy it VERY much! Keep up the hard work! πŸ™‚

  6. Kim on June 15, 2021 at 5:34 am

    I loved reading your story! You go girl! and encouraging others, wonderful. Congratulations!

  7. Mea on July 15, 2021 at 3:48 am

    As a lifelong lover of learning, I used to have a ton of hobbies (jewelry making, basketweaving, flint knapping, crochet, painting, sketching, gardening, hiking, etc.) but then rheumatoid arthritis came to stay and I stopped being able to do those hobbies.

    I had a lousy teacher in middle school Home Ec class which completely turned me off of sewing, so I didn’t gravitate towards it. However, I was going crazy not being able to be creative. So, I tried sewing 8 years ago.

    I discovered I have an innate knack for it. Can’t read a pattern for my life (although I do intend to learn and have even gotten some Studio Kat patterns for when that time comes because I live the designs) so draft my own patterns using pictures I see on the internet (learning how to do that is a hobby unto itself!) I have since made several historically accurate historical garments, reupholstered a couple of chairs, made some quilts, some bags, and now I’m learning thread painting. I can only sew 20-30 minutes at a time, so each project takes a long time, but it’s so satisfying when it’s done and everyone needs a sense of accomplishment on occasion.

    I love sewing because, no matter how much you learn there’s still so much more to learn, and do, and try .

    • Kat on July 15, 2021 at 6:30 am

      I’s so glad you’ve found a way to still be creative. It takes determination sometimes doesnt it! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚