Friday, September 19, 2014

New Craftsy Favorites and a Big Sale.

It has been only a few weeks since my last Craftsy class review and there are already several new classes that I really liked. Since it is again a Big Fall Sale on Craftsy (you get up to 50% off) I thought I'd share a few thoughts on those classes I liked.

Some classes are less than 30% off. Don't purchase them right away. Craftsy offers you an additional 33% off for one class in an email you receive after your initial purchase. This offer is not valid during a sale, so it's worth waiting until the sale is over and purchasing the class with a smaller discount then. 


SEWING

Steffani Lincecum did it again. She released another great tailoring class, this time it is Coatmaking techniques.

Inside Vogue Patterns: Coatmaking Techniques is currently at 40% off, which is quite a good deal for an advanced level class. Again, even though you are sewing a VoguePatterns coat, techniques are applicable to any coat you want to make. She teaches classic and couture-level techniques and uses a lot of hand stitching. Great sewing class, and, if I am not mistaken, it is the only coatmaking class on Craftsy

Her other classes, all of which I recommend, are

Classic Tailoring: The Blazer 
Pattern Drafting from Ready-To-Wear (51% off)
Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z (FREE)


PATTERNMAKING

If you are looking a comprehensive patternmaking class, Suzy Furrer's classes are the best I have taken. The series is a patternmaking encyclopedia, very well presented and organized. When taking this class you need to remember that it is not a fitting class, but a step-by-step instruction. Once you have a fitting sloper, you can draft a great variety of garments after taking these classes.

As in her earlier Craftsy classes, Suzy Furrer mostly follows her book: Building Patterns: The Architecture of Women's Clothing, which, by the way, has suddenly become extremely expensive. It is an out-of print book, and is on Amazon starting at $175. Crazy... It is nice to have it as a reference, but there is so much duplication between the book and the class that you can live without the former. In addition, if you ever purchased Kenneth King's CDs, available on his website and on PatternReview.com, you will find that the drafting method is the same. I must say, however, that Kenneth King has also an Advanced Sleeve chapter as a separate CD (a PDF file, which is mostly text accompanied with images), which you can purchase to compliment Suzy Furrer's class. He has more interesting sleeve variations there.

Patternmaking and Design: Collars & Closures (43% off)
Collars & Closures are for me the most frequent pattern alterations. I often change collar shape or replace one collar with another. You can read about the topics covered in the class in the lesson plan, and, of course, it doesn't include everything. However you get about a dozen different collar variations as well as instructions how to draft matching closures.

Patternmaking and Design: Creative Sleeves (43% off) - The sleeve class starts with sleeve slopers, and then goes on to basic sleeve variations (short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, bell sleeve, cap sleeve and more). She covers plackets, pleats, cuffs and vents. There is also a lesson on drop shoulder sleeve, which experiences a comeback in fashion. I found that the pace is good, and even though Suzy Furrer's teaching is quite dry, but it is very clear and organized . I'd recommend purchasing this class sooner, because many instructors tend to respond faster and more willingly within the first few months after the release.

EMBROIDERY

I am so happy to see new hand embroidery classes added on Craftsy. As usual, the projects in both classes are rather craftsy for me, so I am taking them to learn stitches and some new techniques, and using boards to ask questions related to fabric handling or other technique-specific issues.

Embroidering Texture and Dimension by Hand (25% off) with Sue Spargo

Embroidery with Ribbon (33% off) with Mary Jo Hiney

You can do amazing things with texture. Look at the Fall 2014 collection by Dolce & Gabbana. One look after another incorporating embroidery and appliqué, creating texture by mixing fabrics ...


In future, I hope, Craftsy will offer a beading embroidery class, and have some garment embroidery specials.


OTHER FUN CLASSES

I really liked the idea of being able make my own sewing organizers, so I enrolled in Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers. There is not much to review here - two projects accomplished in the class are an organizer bag and a cosmetic bag. I've seen organizer bag tutorials on the web, but I so much prefer to follow the process either as a video, or in a class. Here is the opportunity )

Fun Techniques with Fabric Paints. I haven't signed up for this class, but it looks really fun for those who like to experiment with creating new fabrics. Stamping, stenciling and direct painting are the techniques taught in the class... Now, typing it, I am considering enrolling. It reminded me of the art of the Cypriot mantilarides who printed headscarves. You can see some of those scarves below, the picture was taken in a local museum in Nicosia. The moulds were made from the wood of olive or oak trees, with some finer designs. The colors were made from a mixture of plant and animal dies. The fabric - cotton mouseline. I will post about mantilarides in a separate post, here I just wanted to share some inspiration images. Maybe making a me-made scarf for holiday season? ... and look at those pretty crocheted trims...



Hand Applique Made Easy (33% off) A year ago I wanted to recreate this blouse by Temperley London, but I was just lost with the appliqué.



I didn't want to do it by machine, since it produces a rather stiff edging, but now I am taking this class and hopefully it will help me accomplish something similar in the near future. The class works on a sampler quilt, but the techniques could be applied to a garment and delicate fabrics. Since it is a relatively new class, and Mimi Dietrich, the instructor, is still available to answer questions.

That's it for my favorite class reviews, readers. I hope you'll enjoy these classes too.


10 comments:

  1. I bought both the collars and sleeves classes and have been through about half of the sleeve class. I agree that she's a tad dry, but she is very clear and answers questions promptly. I have Kenneth King's cds on these topics all printed out so I'll take your advice and follow along. I change collars or want to a lot and this should be very helpful for my sewing.

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  2. How interesting about the coat making class; Kenneth King's 'Carefree fly-front coat' is a good basic course with some neat tricks. Are you going to review any more of the techniques on the Alison Smith courses?

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    1. I will look at Alison Smith classes - thanks for the suggestion )

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  3. One can buy Suzy Furrer's book from her website - $55 plus 3.99 S&H, for anyone interested.
    http://www.apparel-arts.com/building-patterns/

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  4. Thanks for reviewing these! I've got a few coats to make this year, so I'm really interested in the coatmaking class!

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  5. I ordered both the Coatmaking Class as well as the hand embroidery class during the sale. I am very excited about the coatmaking class! I too am taking the hand embroidery class so if I wish to embellish a garment I can do so confidently. Craftsy classes have helped increase my sewing knowledge and highly recommend them.

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