My project scorecard is a way for me to evaluate the project in a consistent way. I want to reduce the number of failed garments (we all make them!) and improve the quality/usability of each finished item. I try to be brutally honest with my ratings.
I’m not the type of blogger that tries to make out that everything I make is ‘better than sliced bread’. That’s either unrealistic or has a low benchmark.
My standard rating is for ‘middle of the road’, RTW standard and then adjusted up or down as necessary. An overall score of 50% or above suggests a successful project. To achieve the top rating in a category, there must truly be something special.
This is a sample of my project report card. Hover over the card to show the pattern details on the back.
Ink Splat Swimsuit
Overall Score: 76%
Fabric: Swimwear lycra, swim lining, lightweight powermesh
Cost: $25 ( $20 fabric, $5 elastic + thread).
Notes: Love the design of this pattern. Modified it slightly for extra coverage at the front neckline. Layout took some time to avoid ink splats/particular colours in the wrong places 🙂
An average of the scores shown on the front of the card. The pattern ratings are not taken into account, just the finished project. A score of 50 is normal, anything better is a bonus, while anything less is a failure.
In the example, which is one of my favourite garments, the overall rating is 76%. This reflects the some of the lower scores as it really only creates one outfit and has a short life span.
As assessment of how much the finished article appeals to me. Base rating is for an average garment that does it’s job. Bonus points if it has a bit of a ‘wow’ factor, exceptional fit, luxury fabric or just plain makes me happy to wear it. A low score would indicate that something didn’t quite work out, such as poor fabric or style choice, colours, fit etc
This is an estimate as to how many times that the item will be worn or used. It is a nod to the 30 wears campaign (from the movie The True Cost) that aims to reduce the impact of fast fashion, by asking yourself if you are really going to wear the items you buy.
In applying that to sewing, I’m trying to reduce the number of items that I make and never wear. I’ve had the most success with reducing fabric and pattern purchases, by asking that question ‘do I love this enough to wear it 30 times?’
At the project level, there is also the added complexity of matching fabric to pattern and of course fitting. Sometimes, things just don’t work out as planned, and looking at why it didn’t work is useful. It could be things like the wrong style or colour choice, poor quality materials or construction. I won’t love everything I make, but it’s good to learn from the duds.
The number 30 is fairly arbitrary too. For underwear or jeans, which are worn on a weekly basis, the target could be easily reached within a year. Seasonal items may take 2-3 years to get 30 wears. Speciality items, such as a Goretex jacket, may take 10-15 years to achieve 30 wears. That’s fine, if it is still wearable for that time.
|>50 wears||>35 wears||30 wears||<25 wears||<15 wears|
This refers to the sewing techniques and quality of the construction. “Normal” is that of RTW and “The Best” would be fully couture.
- “The Best” : Fully couture techniques; hand-stitched, sew-in interfacings, bound buttonholes etc
- “Better than RTW”: Some elements well done, such as French seams, sew-in interfacings, hand-sewn rolled hems etc. Also techniques used by high-end RTW.
- “RTW”: run of the mill stuff like overlocked seams, fusible interfacings, stitched hems etc
- “Non QA” : Usable but parts of the construction wouldn’t pass quality assurance for RTW. Eg puckered seam, uneven top-stitching
- Major Stuff up
A measure of how useful the garment is in the wardrobe by how many different outfits it will make. My aim is to have at least 5 different outfits from each garment I make.
How long with this item be usable for? The longer the better. There is a trade-off with how often the item is used and how soon it needs to be replaced.
|>10 years||5-10 years||3-4 years||1-2 years||< 1 year|
An estimate as to how long the garment will be able to be used without looking ‘dated’. The aim is to make items that will still be fashionably PC in order achieve their 30 wears/lifespan before they go out of style. This relates to the garment style, but also the fabric, colours, embellishments etc and also to my lifestyle.
|Timeless||Better than average or may be repurposed or reworked||Still wearable||May go out of style||Short term trend|
Pattern & Project Notes
Note: A rating of ‘Normal’ is not a bad score. The pattern will be well drafted, have adequate instructions and match the technical drawings and/or photo. I don’t assess fit, as that is more of a personal thing, unless there are glaring problems with the draft.
|Outstanding – truly!||Some aspects above average||Average||Minor issues that can be overcome||Avoid!|
Difficulty / Instructions
How easy is the pattern to sew together / the level of detail in the instructions
Is the pattern likely to be used only once and forgotten, or can other variations / hacks/ multiple views be made from it?
|Use >5 times||Use 2-3 times||One-off||Didn’t work this time||I wish I hadn’t|