Friday, October 16, 2015

craftsy class reviews - october 16, 2015

I purchased the Craftsy all access pass for the month of October, so each Friday, throughout the month, I will be reviewing various Craftsy classes.  If you have any classes you would like me to watch and review, please leave a comment on this post, and I will try to add the class to next week's review :)  I included the current class prices in the review, but the classes regularly go on sale if you feel the regular price is too high.  This week's list is pretty short because I just didn't have time to watch too many of the videos.

*** This post contains affiliate links.  If you prefer not to click through affiliate links, then just search for the class name in Craftsy.  But please remember that there is fabric out there calling my name!  It doesn't cost you anything to click on the link, and it will bring me happiness, or fabric, which is pretty much the same thing ;) ***

Patternmaking for Knits: Essential Slopers with Judy Jackson - $49.99, regularly $69.99
  • Using a dress form to create knit slopers for both tops and bottoms
  • Materials Included: supply list, woven to knit adjustment guide, written instructions for creating a knit sleeve sloper, blank sleeve sloper measurement chart, adjustment for boxy tops, neckline trim guide, written instructions for creating a knit pants sloper, blank pants sloper measurement chart, written instructions for creating a leggings sloper, black leggings sloper measurement chart
  • The first lesson includes knit basics and adapting woven patterns for knits
  • The next lesson is how to create a knit sloper using a dress form.  I didn't particularly find this useful since (1) I don't have a dress form and (2) I really don't want to have to make or buy one to create a knit sloper
  • The rest of the the lesson for sleeves and top variations are based on the draped sloper created in the earlier lesson, so I didn't have much use for those either.  However, if you have already have a bodice sloper from another class, these lessons would be beneficial
  • Lesson five discusses neckline finishes which is useful for finishing any pattern.  It's fairly basic, but nice if you haven't worked with knits much in the past
  • Lesson six adapts a woven pants pattern for knits.  I'm having trouble believing that this could work well unless you have the perfect woven pattern, but, for the sake of honesty, I have to admit that I haven't actually tried it.  The lesson then continues with drafting a knit sloper from scratch which I would think would be a better alternative
  • The final lesson uses the pants sloper from the previous lesson to create a leggings sloper
  • The class is listed as advanced, but I can't fathom why.  It seems that Craftsy lists every pattern drafting class as advanced as a default.  It's actually a fairly basic pattern drafting class since it uses very few measurements and minimal calculations.  Plus knits are pretty forgiving so even if the drafting isn't perfect, the end product will most likely still fit

Pant Fitting Techniques with Sandra Betzina - $24.99, regularly $49.99
  • Modifying a pants pattern to fit various shapes
  • Materials Included: supply list, blank body measurement charts, blank pattern alteration sheet, big 4 and Burda size charts, diagrams with various pant rise illustrations
  • Includes Vogue 2948
  • Sandra Betzina is perhaps the most unorganized teacher I have ever seen.  She spends quite a bit of time finding the correct supplies (they apparently hide a lot) and trying to figure out which pattern piece she is working on. She apologizes about it a lot
  • I'm not sure if anything in this class is useful since I didn't care enough to follow along and try her techniques
  • The pattern and techniques seem geared towards fuller mom-type figures.  Much of the information and fitting techniques focus on fitting a large tummy (her word, not mine)
  • Oddly enough, when she stopped focusing on the patterns and just talked to people about a fitting issue, she sounded quite knowledgeable.  I wish she taught the entire class like that
  • I'm not going to lie.  I didn't bother to finish this class.  There are so many good classes out there that I didn't want to spend my time on a class I wasn't going to use anyway

Adjust the Bust: The complete Guide with Kathleen Cheetham - $34.99, regularly $49.99
  • Guide to making bust alterations on flat patterns.  I wouldn't call it complete since it doesn't address rotating the fullness into a different dart and does not even discuss shoulder darts, waist darts, or neck darts which are alternatives ways of accommodating a full bust
  • Materials Included: supply list, blank measurement chart, and practice worksheets for various dart manipulations
  • Includes instructions for both full and small bust adjustments for no-dart tops, side dart tops, and princess seamed tops
  • This class is listed as intermediate, but I see no reason why a beginner couldn't follow along and make the pattern modifications.  I consider this to be a nice introduction to bust adjustments.  I didn't learn anything new, but if you haven't done bust alterations in the past, I would recommend this course as a great starting point

Pant Construction Techniques: In the Details with David Page Coffin - $34.99, regularly $49.99
  • Uses professional tailoring techniques to construct a pair of men's pants
  • Materials Included: supplies and notions list, resources and suppliers, construction order diagrams, sample patterns for several types of pockets
  • Demonstrates tailoring techniques used to finish men's pants, but fully adaptable to tailored woman's or children's clothing as well
  • Includes instructions for inseam pockets, slash pockets (several variations), single welt pockets (straight and curved), zipper fly, several waistband variations, and finishing details
  • Does not address fitting; purely a class on construction - great companion class to Suzy Furrer's Pants Sloper class
  • This class is taught differently than many other classes.  It doesn't necessarily focus on process as much as technique.  He addresses each technique as he goes regardless of how it relates to the final product, which I prefer.  If I want to know how to finish a welt pocket but don't care about inserting a zipper, it's easy to find the lesson I need without a bunch of unnecessary information.
  • This class is listed as intermediate, and it's one of the few classes I've watched that actually deserves that rating.  Too many of the classes rated as intermediate are actually fairly beginner classes.  This class assumes you already knows how to sew and can construct a garment from start to finish.  It's intended to perfect techniques, not teach them.
  • I would love to find more classes like this!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

craftingcon: adventures in space guest post

I'm posting over on CraftingCon today as part of the Adventures in Space.   Fly on over there at warp speed (just a little Star Trek humor!) to see Mae's space tee.  Here's a hint: it was inspired by a recent NASA press release :)

Blue stripe - Megaroos Designs Fabric on Facebook
Charcoal knit (cuffs, hood, applique) - Joann's
Red knit (binding, applique) - Joann's

Friday, October 9, 2015

craftsy class reviews - october 9, 2015

I purchased the Craftsy all access pass for the month of October, so each Friday, throughout the month, I will be reviewing various Craftsy classes.  If you have any classes you would like me to watch and review, please leave a comment on this post, and I will try to add the class to next week's review :)  I included the current class prices in the review, but the classes regularly go on sale if you feel the regular price is too high.

*** This post contains affiliate links.  If you prefer not to click through affiliate links, then just search for the class name in Craftsy.  But please remember that there is fabric out there calling my name!  It doesn't cost you anything to click on the link, and it will bring me happiness, or fabric, which is pretty much the same thing ;) ***

Sewing Designer Jeans with Angela Wolf - $24.99 on sale, regularly $49.99
  • Very nice finishing techniques
  • Includes a fairly basic resource list for purchasing patterns and denim sewing supplies
  • Complete jeans construction including altering patterns for fit, step by step sewing instructions, and professional finishes
  • Adaptable to any jeans pattern
  • Techniques for distressing jeans, including how to test the denim before distressing 
  • Rated as an intermediate class by Craftsy, although I believe a confident beginner could follow along without a problem.  It's very thorough and loaded with tips specific to denim

Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper with Suzy Furrer - $69.99
  • This is my favorite Craftsy class - I will be purchasing it once my all access pass expires at the end of October
  • Materials included: supply list, both a blank and a sample completed measurement chart, reference charts for drafting, a sample moulage, and a sample sloper
  • Directions on how to measure a real person and draft a moulage (no ease bodice) and a basic bodice sloper for both wovens and knits.  The sloper does not include sleeves
  • Even if you don't plan to make your own patterns, personalized slopers serve a purpose.  If you use your sloper and compare it to a pattern you wish to sew, you can often make many fitting changes before sewing the first muslin
  • There is some math involved, and the drafting is somewhat complicated, so patience may be required
  • This is listed as an advanced class, and I believe that is accurate.  Having some existing knowledge of the purpose of specific pattern components such as darts would be helpful

Patternmaking + Design: Creative Sleeves with Suzy Furrer - $34.99 on sale, regularly $69.99
  • This class in an extension of the bodice sloper class
  • Materials included: supply list, measurement chart (includes tips on how to measure,) sleeve diagram, blank pattern record chart, information about ease for different garments, complete written instruction for the entire class to use as a reference.  This alone is worth the price of the class
  • Includes step by step instructions for drafting a sleeve from body measurements
  • Includes basic fitting variations for tops, jackets and coats and how to adjust a bodice sloper for a sleeve
  • Requires a basic bodice sloper
  • Includes the following sleeves - basic, tailored, two-piece, sleeve with vent, short & 3/4 length, puffed, mutton leg, bell, cap, petal, sleeve with placket and cuff, sleeve linings, and knit sleeves
  • Advanced class just like the bodice sloper class

Patternmaking + Design: Creative Darts and Seam Lines with Suzy Furrer - $44.99 on sale, regularly $69.99
  • This class is also an extension of the bodice sloper class 
  • Materials included: supply list, written directions for the basics of both front and back dart manipulation
  • An entire class about dart manipulation - I don't think people give darts the credit they deserve.  A perfectly fitted dart will give a pattern a professional finish
  • Includes instructions for drafting the following darts: center front, armhole, french, diamond, y-dart, neckline gathers, horizontal waist gathers, bust gathers, curved shoulder darts, cowl neck
  • Includes the following seam lines: princess seams, empire line, babydoll line, a-line, swing line, double breasted line
  • Includes instructions for manipulating back darts as well
  • Requires a basic bodice sloper
  • Advanced class
  • With this class, you can create pretty much any bodice style you desire
  • Even if you don't plan to make a bodice sloper, this information in this class could be used for altering the darts (or adding if they don't already exist) on existing patterns for a better, personalized fit

Plus-Size Pattern Fitting and Design with Barbara Deckert - $24.99 on sale, regularly $49.99
  • Although I'm not technically plus sized, I always have to make full bicep and full bust adjustments on patterns, so I took this class anyway and found many of the tips and techniques useful for any size 
  • Materials included: blank measurement chart, ease chart, blank size adjustment charts, five different shape fashion figures, written construction tips and techniques for reference, fabric recommendations, supply list and resources, tool list, reference book list 
  • Includes a sewing pattern - Vogue 8815
  • This class is geared toward modifying the fit on an existing pattern, not drafting from scratch
  • Addresses the basics of designing such as proportion and line
  • Has instructions for a couple of options for making your own custom dress form
  • Discusses measurements, ease and choosing the appropriate pattern size
  • Addresses the changes needed for adjusting a flat pattern to fit a plus sized woman
  • Includes: adjusting for length and width, bust adjustments, and figure variations such as a rounded back, full arms, and a rounded abdomen or backside.  In other words, the figure variations that most women have!
  • Goes through basting a garment and fitting a garment on a dress form and/or person
  • Lesson 11 includes variations of the pattern included with the class (Vogue 8815) showing how once the pattern modifications are finished, the pattern can be used for several garments
  • Craftsy lists the class as intermediate which seems accurate

Sew Better, Sew Faster: Advanced Industry Techniques with Janet Pray - $29.99 on sale, regularly $59.99
  • Includes many tips for making sewing faster with professional results
  • Materials included: supply list and resources, seam allowance reference
  • Janet Pray is extremely knowledgeable and you can tell as you watch her sew throughout the class 
  • Includes a nice resource list for the items used in the class
  • Includes pattern cutting and preservation, sewing without pins, tips about interfacing, zipper insertion, waistbands, machine and bound button holes, seams, and hems
  • I love the bound buttonhole method.  I will use it from now on
  • The rest of the information was not new to me, but would be very useful to someone who is comfortable sewing but is not familiar with more advance techniques
  • Rated as intermediate by Craftsy, although the knowledge in this class would be useful to a beginner too

Fast Track Fitting with Joi Mahon - $29.99 on sale, regularly $44.99
  • Another class addressing modifying a flat pattern for fit using body measurements before making a muslin
  • Materials included: supply list, blank measurement worksheets
  • Includes fit pattern - Vogue 1004
  • Addresses vertical and horizontal adjustments for both upper and lower body
  • Also includes instructions for modifying sleeve fit
  • Labeled as a beginner class, although it doesn't really seem any different than the intermediate classes, with the exception of being less thorough
  • This class is really focused on using measurement to modify a pattern, but doesn't address fitting issues.  For example, if you make changes, but something is still off, there is not any information to help you figure out what changes need to be made next.  I don't think the beginner that this class is for would have the knowledge to get a perfect fitting pattern after taking this class

Sew Smarter: 30 Professional Techniques with Katrina Walker - $59.99
  • Materials included: supply and resource list, basic capelet pattern with instructions, 28 page fabric guide and swatch notebook
  • Love, love, love the interfaced facing technique in lesson 5! 
  • Some of the techniques seem somewhat cumbersome, especially for a beginner who is not comfortable handling various fabrics, but are great for someone who is comfortable with basic sewing and looking to improve skills and finishes.  On the flip side, the techniques are not exactly ground breaking, so this class might not be a good fit for someone who has been sewing for a while and has been exposed to more advanced sewing in the past.  I would consider it to be an intermediate class, which agrees with Craftsy's rating
  • Covers zippers, various seams, darts, gathers, sewing corners and curves, facings, ironing/pressing, choosing fabrics/patterns, topstitching, and hemming
  • Not a fan of the fact that she sews from both sides of the fabric when topstitching.  I know not every machine is like mine, but my top thread and bobbin thread look different when sewn, so I always topstitch from the right side
  • I had to watch at 1.5x speed because she talks quite slowly, but that's just personal preference

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

another capsule sudoku ... this time for me

I finally finished figuring out my fall capsule wardrobe sudoku!  When I say finally, I mean finally ... I started working on it in August, but it kept getting pushed aside for other things.  And I technically shouldn't use the word finished since I still don't know what patterns I am using for two of the tops and a couple of the others may change.  But if I wait until I'm truly finished, no one would get to see it until January ;)  And I probably wouldn't get around to sewing it until next fall!

Pattern Links (left to right starting on top row):

 Things I still need to purchase:
  • Patterns - SBCC Gibson Blouse, Simplicity 2150, Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers, Burda Blazer (I'm not 100% sure on any of these)
  • Fabric - black pinstripe, black wide wale corduroy, B&W buffalo plaid, Coral knit
  • Shoes - Ankle boots (both pairs or something similar); I hate shopping for shoes because I have odd feet and it's really hard to find stuff that fits, so I've been putting this off.

Patterns I'm still considering (or alternate patterns):
  • Floral top - StyleArc Tiffany Blouse, StyleArc Suzie's Sister Top, Burda v-neck blouse, Burda satin blouse
  • B&W buffalo plaid top - StyleArc Camilla Blouse, Sewaholic Granville, Grainline Archer, Liesl & Co Gallery Tunic (with a few modifications to the placket and back)
  • Simplicity 2150 -I'm looking at View A, but first I need to figure out if it will work with my fabric choice.  I also like McCall's 7199, so there is another option.
  • SBCC Gibson Blouse - Although I like the look of this blouse, it's not something I would normally wear, so I'm still on the fence about it.
  • Sewaholid Thurlow Trousers - I haven't looked for anything else yet because I'm not sure exactly what pants style I want.  I'll probably wait until a make a few of the other pieces
  • Burda Blazer - This is a plus sized pattern, and although a few parts of me are plus sized (specifically arms and hips) my shoulders and ribcage most definitely are not.  So I'm not sure if this pattern will work for me.  I might have better luck adding width the the appropriate parts of a different pattern.

Obviously, I still have a lot to do!  And I've barely even started sewing ... so far all I've done is cut out the Waffle Marmalade pattern and finished sewing the Closet Case Ginger jeans in denim which I shared here.  I still have to write an official review post, but I love them and wear them almost every single day.  Quite possibly because they are the only pants I own that fit and are comfortable ;)  I really need to start sewing!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mae's fall capsule sudoku (with pattern links)

While I was taking a short break from sewing for myself, I decided to spend a few minutes working on something a little more fun (i.e. requires less fitting and pattern alterations!)  Here's my sudoku for Mae's capsule wardrobe.  She honestly has enough clothes this year thanks to hand-me-downs, but I love sewing for her, so too bad, she getting more clothes ;)

Pattern Links (left to right starting on top row):
 - Ottobre 4/2013 No.20, LouBee Hosh Pants, Ottobre 4/2015 No.11
 - Puperita Dragon Vest, Made Kid Shorts, Ottobre 4/2015 No.7
 - Jennuine Designs Dressage Leggings, CTW Izzy Top, Hey June Greenpoint Cardigan
 - Cropped sweatshirt (self drafted), Sis Boom Ethan, Ottobre 4/2015 No.9

I tried to use mostly fabrics and patterns that I already own, combined with shoes that Mae already has, to keep as a low cost capsule.  The only things I need to purchase are the plaid for the Ethan shirt, the fur for the Puperita vest, and the black boots which I was planning to purchase anyway.  I have no idea when I will actually get around to sewing everything, but hopefully I will be able to get started next week.  And since Mae doesn't truly need any of it, I'm not too worried about finishing within any particular time frame.  It's nice sometimes to just be able to sew for fun!

Sudoku resources if you want to make your own:
  • Free Notion - Printable Sudoku with some info on how to fill it in (this was my inspiration for creating both my own and Mae's sudoku)
  • Sue Sews (So-So) - This was the inspiration for the Free Notion printable.  It is geared towards fashion and not sewing, but it's still helpful
  • Melly Sews - Another printable with slightly different categories.  It was developed for the Pattern Anthology Unbiased collection, but it could be modified for any patterns. As I was reading the post, I realized you have to sign up for an email list to get the free printable, so that may not appeal to everyone (i.e. me! I don't sign up for newsletters that I don't want just for a freebie)