Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)A while ago – I asked if any of you would be interested in my opinions regarding Craftsy and its classes. This episode goes into detail about why I like Craftsy so much and of course, my favorites (and not so favorites because you know I’m always forthright with you guys!)

We talk about the different classes I’ve taken and ‘why’, what I have learned from the garment classes (termed ‘sewing’ on Craftsy) as well as the quilting classes and even a few others.

In a Wall Street Journal article from January 2013, Ms. Lochhead says the money spent on Craftsy classes is insignificant considering she has invested several thousands of dollars on the appliances and tools her hobby requires. “This is my golf,” she says.

Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)In particular, I discussed that Sewing with Silks by Linda Lee (not Kristyne’s friend!) was a great class because she talked about tons of tips and techniques, filled with information about garments in general (and gadgets!) and the silk aspect was great but there is much more to the class then that alone. Basically, even if you aren’t interesting in sewing with silks – this class is worth every penny.

Because I liked it so much – I also enrolled in Linda Lee’s other classes, Sewing Fashion Knits–Beyond the Basics and her most recently added class, Underneath it All: Guide to Interfacings, Linings, and Facings. Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)Knits are quickly becoming available from our favorite quilting fabric producers! Yay! So I expect that the interest in sewing with Knits for our kids and ourselves will continue to expand. Knits are not scary guys — it is simply the applique of the garment world!Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)I can always learn more about Interfacings (no matter the application) and I liked learning when to line vs. when to add a facing to bodices and jackets, let’s say, and how to do either of them.

Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)

Plus Sized Sewing by Barbara Deckert was a great fitting/pattern alternation and design class – no matter what your size! She goes into tremendous detail regarding all sorts of fitting issues. From rounded shoulders (and waists!) to where seam lines should fall – she coves it all in a REALLY clear way. I think this class and Lynda Maynard’s class on fit are 2 of the very best on Craftsy.

Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)

The Couture Dress by Susan Khalje was one of my first classes and I loved it! I now realize that it was above my skill-set at the time, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and since Craftsy classes are your forever I plan on going back to it again and again once my skills improve.

What was above my skillset? Using a print that is directional, for one. She uses a beautiful (plaid/houdstooth) wool for the dress and shows how to make sure it all looks right when the pieces are sewn together. She also shows you how to take that print and manipulate for design. I am still considering waxed (instead of carbon) tracing paper after this class… Oh – and it was the first time I was introduced to the idea of making patterns using the SEWING line instead of the CUTTING line as a guide. Totally Wonderful Class!

Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)Tailoring Ready to Wear by Angela Wolf is the one that introduced me to Angela, and her style of teaching. I will say that she does gloss over some points {in the podcast, I spoke about some patterns being out of my league because they just say ‘stay the seam’ while others go into more instruction as to how to stay the seam… I think the same idea can be applied to her classes…) but over all – anything she has taught has been informational and entertaining.

I mostly wanted to take this class so that I can fit Max better. He’s a big bellied, big bummed boy (oh so delicious!) so requires a bigger size for that part of him (he also has difficulties dressing himself in the first place, so I try to make it as easy as possible for him) BUT, although he towers over class-mates, he isn’t as tall as he is ‘wide’ so all of his pants need to be shortened.

Considering he isn’t an easy model (directions like ‘stand up straight’ or ‘feet together’ usually requires me modeling it for him and with a handful of hem and a mouth full of pins – that’s easier said than done!) so this class was really helpful because I knew exactly where and what to measure the first time.

Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)

I really like Creative Serging with Angela Wolf. She gave me a ton of ideas to put my huskylock s25 (which can serger and coverstitch) to better use! As a matter of fact, after watching this class (and Beginner Serging with Amy Alan), I went to my local quilt shop where I had purchased my machine and took a class that applied the same things Angela taught directly to my own machine.  Without this class, I wouldn’t have even known what these machines are truly capable of, the different types of feet they use, and the difference between serging and coverstitching. It made the time I spent at the shop much more productive!

Note that she covers both serging and coverstitching. Not all sergers can coverstitch, therefore some students were a little disappointed that they couldn’t do everything taught, and rightly so, I think, because the title doesn’t mention the other type of stitch at all.

Angela also teaches Sewing Designer Jeans but I haven’t watched that one yet so I can’t comment here!

Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)Jean-ius by Kenneth D. King is about tracing off your own favorite pair of jeans to make a pattern from them without destroying those jeans in the process. Now… if only I owned a pair of jeans that love.. sigh… This class can really be applied to a lot of items though, and just watching Kenneth, learning his methods and listening to his explanations is a necessary step in my garment sewing education… at least I thought so!

Not discussed on the podcast but really great are Lynda Maynard’s classes. She has two, Sew the Perfect Fit and Sewing on the Edge Finishing Techniques.

Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)Sew the Perfect Fit was eye-opening in terms of what makes a piece of clothing ‘fit’ or not, aside from the obvious clues like your pants not zipping up! Lynda talks about finding ‘lines’ in the garment and deciding where they indicate poor fit or not. For example, a line between your shoulder blades indicates that the back has a problem (yeah, that’s obvious, but she’s a lot better at this than I am).

Lynda uses 3 (or was it 4?) different types of live models with different fit issues and adjusts the muslin on each of them AND transfers that measurement to her flat pattern. It’s awesome!

Craftsy Class Reviews on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog (episode 74)I’m still watching my way through Sewing On The Edge, but so far, so GREAT! If you recall, binding a quilt is still challenging for me, so learning any edge finishing technique is a coup! I love little details like lace on the edge of a skirt, or a bound t-shirt collar in a coordinating print.

You might think, holy cow, Allison – that’s a lot of Craftsy classes but as Mr. Scott, a co-founder said in the same Wall Street Journal article linked above, “When you’ve bought a sewing machine, the cost of failure is high so spending $20 to get better is a small investment” and I’m just going to go with that philosophy!

And what about Quilting Classes? I did review some on the podcast, and I want to review them here as well. But I’ve decided that this post is already long enough (I guess I’m long-winded everywhere!) and I will split the reviews between two posts.

For now, I will leave you with a few images – they are the ones that had me laughing so hard I couldn’t speak, Jarrod thought someone was hurting me, and tears were pouring down my face. Yes – that kind of laugh is the best kind of all:) Why laugh at these photos? You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out!

Havel's Scissors reviewed on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog

I am so tired of buying specialty scissors and then once they are out of the package, I have no idea what made them so special!Havel's Scissors reviewed on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog

Labels and Key tags to the rescue!Havel's Scissors reviewed on the Within A Quarter Inch Podcast and Blog

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