As I mentioned briefly in a previous post, I’ve been home for the past several weeks, recuperating from a work related wrist injury. I sew for my day job, in a manufacturing position, and I imagine that my type of injury (tendonitis, and a ganglion cyst that can suddenly double in size if I sew certain things) is fairly common in that field.
So what does a sewist do when she has a bunch of free time, but can’t use her wrist? She takes online sewing classes from Craftsy, and reviews them for you!
Here are the classes that I’ve taken so far, in chronological order:
Sewing Studio with Diana Rupp This is a good basic class, for people who are new to sewing. I’m not new to sewing, but I’m new to teaching, and I signed up for this class because I wanted to see what sort of information is given to beginner students. Diana Rupp is great on camera, comfortable and personable. She gives a lot of great information, not just on the projects she’s teaching, but on sewing in general.
Machine Basics with Amy Alan Again, not a class I needed for myself, I just wanted to see how it was taught (I later found a huge pile of online resources for teaching beginner sewing classes, but this was where I started). Also, it’s free. This is a good class for those of you who have a sewing machine that you keep hidden in a closet because you’re afraid to use it. Amy shows you how to thread your machine, do a few stitches, and fix the more basic problems that pop up.
Mastering Zipper Techniques with Sunni Standing For those of you who don’t know, Sunni Standing has a sewing blog called A Fashionable Stitch. It’s a blog that I have bookmarked, and have been reading semi-regularly for a while now. I took this class because I wanted to see how other people install lapped zippers, and I’m happy to say that there were very few surprises (if there had been a bunch of surprises, I would’ve had to reteach myself how to sew zippers, is what I’m saying)! If zippers scare you, you should take this class. Again, a free class.
Tailoring Ready-to-Wear with Angela Wolf This one’s damn good. Not a free class, but it’s full of useful alteration tidbits, and Angela Wolf has a great on-camera personality. I enjoyed this class the most out of all the Craftsy classes I took.
40 Techniques Every sewer Should Know with Gail Yellen I haven’t really given this one a fair shake yet. I found it mildly interesting, in a Sunday afternoon PBS sort of way, but then some pattern drafting classes became available, and I haven’t been back to this class since. I am looking forward to the sleeves segment, though.
Patternmaking Basics: The Skirt Sloper and Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper with Suzy Furrer I’m pretty sure I squealed a little when these classes became available. It was before my Patternmaking for Fashion Design book arrived, and these two classes were on sale if you bought them together. I bought them mostly for the bodice sloper class, as I’d been having some trouble with my go-to instructions for bodice drafting (I’ve used the Burdastyle bodice tutorial many times now, and still have problems with how some of the instructions are laid out, so I wanted to figure out how to simplify the instructions without losing any necessary information). However, Suzy goes into a whole extra step with bodice drafting. Something called a moulage, which is basically drafting the entire bodice sloper without ease, and then drafting it all over again with ease. No thanks. I’m sure it’s useful, especially if you’re interested in learning couture techniques, and I’m happy to have the information available for if I ever want to make a moulage before I make a sloper, but I just feel like it’s an unnecessary step for most sewers. Call me rustic.
Another issue I was having with the bodice class was where she places your waist measurement – touching the belly button, rather than up at your natural waist! The hell I’m gonna do that! I’ll look like a box if I make a dress from those measurements. Aside from that, the classes are still useful if you can get a deal on both of them, otherwise I’d stick with just the skirt sloper class if I were you (unless you really want to do a moulage followed by a sloper – and no, it’s not more foolproof than other bodice slopers, you still have to tweak and alter as necessary).
Overall, I would highly recommend Craftsy classes. They’re inexpensive, informative, and you get to keep the classes for as long as your Craftsy account exists. Oh, also: Craftsy is not paying my to say any of this.