Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Confession

The topic of today's confession: Spatial Ability!

I consider myself to be pretty average in spatial ability. I am not particularly good at it, but I don't completely suck either. To me, sewing calls on the ability to visualize things spatially in your mind. Just last week I mentioned that I have trouble flipping pants pieces into the proper position after I stitch the crotch seam. I typically have to use trial and error to get them aligned correctly to stitch the inseams and/or outer seams.

This week I have been working on the "baby bubble" pattern and it is reversible - it's only the second reversible outfit that I have ever made and I find that I really have to concentrate to mentally "see" how it is going to come together. (I hope to have some pictures for you this weekend.)

What do you think? Do you have good spatial skills? Do you think good spatial skills help you with your sewing? Have your spatial skills gotten better through your sewing? Are there other fundamental cognitive abilities that you think are important to sewing?

Oh, any thoughts on the right answer to the above problem that I snagged off the internet? ;)

My "Friday Confession" series will be on temporary hiatus while we celebrate Christmas and the start of the New Year. My wish for all of you is a new year blessed with love, laughter, good health, prosperity and lots and lots of sewing! :)


Zep said...

Are you getting as much rain there as we're getting here?

It only takes me a few minutes to process the order of the seams with most things. I look at the pattern pieces to figure it out. Sometimes I get it wrong and have to glance at the pictures to see what they intended - then I change it :)

I've found we are on many different levels as far as how we gain knowledge. Some people by words, others by pictures. Until you know the order of the seams and terminology it could be difficult for someone to read the pattern instructions. And no one learns over night. It takes time to learn the wonderful art of sewing.

Enjoy your sewing moments this holiday season. I think we should all take a break from the "internets" :) Be good to yourself!

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

Spatial Ability...First, I have to stop laughing :) I actually changed my major from Mechanical Engineering to Electrical because I couldn't "see" how the create the part from a hunk of metal.

Having said that, I'm still learning to sew so I need a combination of words and pictures to put the patterns together.

mamafitz said...

i do pretty good spatially. i'm better with pictures than words.

oh, and i say the answer is A.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, I never thought about it much. I think in words, work with words, and so I tend to not think about if I can think in 3D from 2D. I know when I was a kid I failed that test, and today I tend to think in a mirror image from most people (I'm left handed).

Now having said that, I can visualize a garment in fabric I want to use from a line drawing, and I can deconstruct what I see in my head in the reverse, so I suppose I have okay spatial skills. I tend to call it "imagination" (of which I have that in spades) and I think it's more important then anything else, since sewing is a skill you can learn, the creative process to it is harder to teach.

There are few things in sewing I really need directions for (and many other things) when making things, either words or pictures that I couldn't figure it out for myself, it's just easier sometimes to have them. I figured it was logic skill not spatial skill.

So answering them in order: Do Ihave them? I suppose mine are okay. Does it help with sewing? I'm sure it does. Have they gotten better? Only because I know what the pieces really look like now, but I've always been able to look at a garment and tell you how many pieces are required and the general shape to them. Other abilities: Logic, imagination and perseverance. The answer is A.

gwensews said...

Spatial ability. Hummmm. I can most often construct a garment by just looking at the pieces, but I also like some words to accompany the picture if possible. For me, I don't think there's any natural ability, but something that has come with experience.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Summerset said...

I think it absolutely helps. If you're good at puzzles, then you'll probably do fine sewing. I have no problem figuring out how something was made - I even like to figure out alternative ways.

BTW, I'm pretty sure the answer to the puzzle is letter A.

Uta said...

Happy New Year to you!
I think I'm a bit spatially challenged. I have no trouble with two dimensions, and I have good orientation e.g. in a strange city, but I need a lot of help when a third dimension is involved... Since I sew with Burda patterns, that means a lot of "thinking it through", "sleeping on it", and ripping apart. But I'm a firm believer that everything can be learned, so I may become an engineer yet! That said, I'm also pretty sure it's "A".
Other skills: Patience, perseverence, fine motor skills. And "designing" abilities: Being able to imagine the garment in relation to the body/proportions, the fabric, the color.
Reading the comments, I'm amazed at other sewer's spatial abilities! I can't imagine constructing a garment after just looking at it!

patsijean said...

I am going for A. I don't have much trouble with spacial ability but I am not the best by any means. I often go through sewing puzzles at night while waiting to go to sleep. It often helps. Kathleen of Fashion Incubator Often posts sewing puzzles of the "How did they do that?" kind.