This thread of thought came to me while I was leaving a comment for Brenda. (have you seen? She's written a sock book for Cabin Fever! Go see!)
Brenda had asked if I had to cut up my existing cardigans to get the pattern pieces for the new ones I've sewn. I didn't mostly because my Mom taught me well. In life, both of them taught me to be the person I am, and I can think of no better tribute to them than to be the best Me I can be.
But specifically, when it came to sewing - my Mom was the best teacher I ever had. She started showing me how to sew when I was about 8 years old, and always supported and believed in me. I took sewing in Home Ec all through school, and had to fight in high school to make something beyond the basic wrap around skirt. By that time, I was doing tailored pieces, so there was no way I was going to make a skirt style that I knew did nothing for me. The teacher actually wanted my mother to confirm that I could handle a more tailored item of clothing. To make a long story less tedious, I almost failed because the teacher did not believe I made what I did. (A slim fit dress with organza overdress for a wedding I was attending). (I was a jock in school, so slim fit dresses fit me better then than now...) My Mom actually came to the school to tell this teacher exactly what she thought of her and "yes, my daughter made the damn dress herself!" (I love my Mom.)
But the pattern drafting. Mom always says - find what looks good on you and use it. She often took existing items and modified them, using the best bits of each item. I learned to actually SEE a pattern, and know what parts of each piece needed to line up with the parts of the other pieces. So taking a sweater, and folding it in such a way as to see each piece is very easy for me. I admit, it's not easy for everyone, but then, not everyone has been sewing for 40 years, like I have.
I consider this both a blessing and a curse. The blessing part is obvious, but the curse? Seeing something I like, and having the first thought in my mind to be "Hmmm, I bet I could make that myself..." Sometimes, it's just easier and quicker to buy what you like!