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Class Reviews > Ease Makes It Fit!

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Posted by: LaurieEm
Friend of PR

About LaurieEm
Member since: 10/4/03
Reviews: 12 (classes: 2)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 4/25/06 3:53 PM
Rating: star
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 14 people   
Web site/URL: photo
This is an update to the review of the "Ease Makes it Fit!" class of, hosted on 6/20/06

I wrote my initial review about 2/3 of the way through the multiweek class. At the time I still hoped the content would improve as we got to the more advanced lessons. It didn't. The technical issues recurred, and seem to be perennial, if the personal messages I have received from other students are any indication. Though they say that they are working on the technical problems.

I want to "say something nice" and it is a little difficult. I would be saying that they truly want students to be happy, or they wouldn't offer the money-back guarantee. Except, so far I have tried in vain through email, phone, and PM, to even get a response to my inquiries. (Edit July 13, 2006-- I've given up on getting my money back. The new refund policies are more restrictive, and I truly wish they had not been so liberal before. I wouldn't have taken this class and wasted my time. I've decided that if I combine the class material and the free material I have benefitted from I will call it close enough to even to surrender. I need to move on. I wouldn't blackball this site, but I personally will never use it again.)

The advice I would give to those looking to take classes on this site is that there is probably a much greater chance of a good experience if you are taking a class that has hands-on work involved. If on Mon-Wed-Fri you are told to modify a design and sew it up, then you'll be busy and learning all week. You would be able to post pictures and discuss results with other students, all adding to the experience. In the case of a more theoretical course like this, the pace is so slow as to be torture, and the "discussions" don't include interactions with the teacher. There were probably two dozen students who never posted anything, except at the beginning when they introduced themselves and talked about their hopes for the class. (Unmet, IMO.) It is still true that Heather is a good writer, and an expert in sewing.

The few exercises that could have been valuable really required something you might not have - a closet of clothes that fit you well, in different styles and fabrics, from which to chart your preferences. There were no suggestions on how to improvise if you don't have this. Maybe it could have been listed as a prerequisite!

I did pipe up with my frustration, expressing that I had hoped I'd be learning to fine-tune the fit of clothes regarding ease. I was told that EVERY lesson had to do with fit, but that we weren't really studying specific garments. I think this is exactly what was wrong. It is in the specifics that the problems arise. What a waste. Fortunately, I'm taking a much better class here on PatternReview. It's restoring my joy.

Here is the original review dated 4/25/06

I'm a little reluctant to write a negative review, especially on a class from someone I have admired so much. Heather Claus is very skilled, a good writer, and very generous with her knowledge. The free classes offered on her website are great. Yet this class on ease is not at all what I expected. I can't bring myself to give this a thumbs down, but what a disappointment. This was my first paid class at this website. I've taken well over a dozen paid online courses, and before this, I had only encountered one dud.

What are my beefs? Some are merely technical and can be fixed: unreliable website, slow loading, etc. And the feeling nobody is monitoring the forums, as questions go unanswered. A bigger problem is with the pace and content. There are 26 "lessons." Three times a week they post a single page (or two) of material that is just not special and not nearly enough content to feel you're gaining knowledge. The discussion questions don't foster much interaction. How many times would you be willing to read a tiny amount of material that literally insults your intelligence, and then answer, in writing, "What is your experience with this?" I feel like I'm in fourth grade, with a lazy teacher who keeps leaving the room.

Now, the class isn't over yet, but we're more than a month into it. Anyone who would be motivated to pay for a course specifically on ease should have known this stuff before. Utterly bored with the basics, I'd been very anxious to see the most recent lessons - when we finally get to the practical stuff. Then they finally were posted, and I was again shocked at how limited the information was that they contained. I thought I'd be learning how to adjust my patterns' ease, relating to fit. This has never even been touched, and we are at lesson 16.

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LaurieEm said... (8/30/07 1:21 PM) Reply
Sewing Gal, I wouldn't hold my breath. There are some fresher comments here:
LaurieEm said... (8/30/07 1:20 PM) Reply
Sewing Gal, I wouldn't hold my breath. There are some fresher comments here: [url][/url]
Sewing Gal said... (8/30/07 0:05 AM) Reply
Does anyone know if Heather still has her site up and running? As of 8-07, the site does not come up any longer. I have e-mailed and called with NO RESPONSE to two telephone calls. I had taken several course with her.
Judy Wentz said... (10/13/06 6:44 PM) Reply
FYI This is October 13...keep getting notices about more momma didn't raise no dummies...I tried to contact her via the email listed on her email to me....doesn't work..Am I surprised? By the way, I never got a refund either. I would warn anyone thinking to take a class from her, to think again.
moushka said... (10/1/06 10:29 AM) Reply
What a shame to hear the problems you are all having with this site and Heather's lessons. I took a class from her last year on organizing your sewing space and it was terrific. I learned lots of really useful strategies for getting my sewing clutter under control. Questions were answered and there was lots of chat. Liana was in the class with me. I know I should review it but until I actually get all the suggestions implemented (interrupted by dd's wedding), I thought I should wait. Sure hope things improve or Heather will be out of business.
Lori in MN said... (9/8/06 6:14 PM) Reply
Their address is: See It Sew It Incorporated 14 Henderson St , Wrightsville Beach , NC , 28480 This is based on their Corporation filings... Also - it appers that the web server is down again - See It Sew It AND Style Upgrade are both down... 9/9/06 - See It Sew It appears to be back up (but most forums have not been updates, some in several weeks), however, style upgrade is still not responding.
Nancy Peters said... (9/3/06 3:24 PM) Reply
I am so glad to read this review. I signed up for the Style UpGrade course. My lessons have become erratic and I just don't receive them. They came to a screaching halt August 8th (supposed to get one once a week) I have been told the computer system story also. Now I am not even getting a response. I am so angry and frustrated. As for the money back, I am sure if you have the orginal receipt with the terms on it, those will be the rules that apply to you. I hope I don't end up going that route. The course isn't bad, just not worth the $100 cost.
LaurieEm said... (7/17/06 11:53 PM) Reply
As I said in the text above, I have given up on getting my money back.
Barbara R said... (7/7/06 7:55 PM) Reply
Well it looks like the site is back up, phones are working, apologies for unresponsiveness are posted, etc. So I sent yet another customer service email requesting a refund. Maybe three's the charm.
Barbara R said... (7/6/06 6:55 PM) Reply
OK this is my last post on this subject. I need to go take some deep breaths. I found my credit card charge - yay! And I posted a query on the Threads bulletin boards asking for help contacting Heather. So... we'll see what happens next.
Barbara R said... (7/6/06 6:47 PM) Reply
It's unclear in my prior message, but the url for making a complaint is:
Barbara R said... (7/6/06 6:36 PM) Reply
Ditto on the phone numbers and email not working. Read this before going to the BBB: I had to create a new record since it wasn't already there. I named the company "See it Sew it," so you should all do the same. I gave address as "online" and zip as 28301 (based on area code 910). I also noted this in my report, which is especially galling: I just realized the refund policy currently posted on the web site differs from the one in the email receipt I received, which stated: "If you are not absolutely thrilled with our classes, just contact us within one year and we'll refund 100% of your purchase price, or offer you an online credit for other products and service worth 110% of your purchase price." If you go to the refund site now, it says refunds are pro-rated based on the number of classes you attended (unless this is your first class). The web site also says you have to request the refund by the last day of the class, not "within a year" as the email indicated. This gets worse by the minute!! Annoyingly, I can't find out how I paid for this class! I thought I used my usual credit card, in which case I could dispute the charge, but it's not there. So I guess I'm just out $45.
Judy Wentz said... (7/5/06 5:07 PM) Reply
I am venting again. Heather's email bounces, phones have been disconnected. At least that has been my experience today. How does one deal with the BBB? It looked rather overwhelming when I looked online last night>
Judy Wentz said... (7/4/06 9:38 PM) Reply
I will go on record to say that I have requested a refund multiple times and have not received it. I want it because it was money, but also for the principal of the thing. She should not advertise the refund if she is not willing to give it.
Barbara R said... (7/3/06 1:28 PM) Reply
I have requested a refund twice and still no reply. I will make one more request and then will report Heather to the BBB, and suggest that others do the same. This is a serious step but I am really angry and disappointed. This is no way to run a business.
LaurieEm said... (6/28/06 1:04 AM) Reply
Okay, folks, I just have to ask - has anyone, ever, gotten their money back based on the moneyback guarantee? Please send a personal message if you don't want to post here.
Barbara R said... (6/8/06 1:21 PM) Reply
I just reviewed the final lessons and review and my disappointment remains. I just requested a refund. Maybe someone here at PR would like to put on a class on this topic! I would still like to learn "all about ease."
Judy Wentz said... (5/26/06 9:42 PM) Reply
In my opinion, it never got better. Truly I think that it got worse. I will not take another sewing class from her. Still waiting for my refund.
LaurieEm said... (5/10/06 0:21 AM) Reply
Thank you, all, for making me feel that I'm not all alone. More later; I am hoping it will improve.
Miss Fairchild said... (5/9/06 9:45 PM) Reply
I'm disappointed too! I've taken two classes with Heather and she was spectacular! I wonder what happened?
Barbara R said... (5/3/06 0:36 AM) Reply
Sad to say, I feel the same way. I was so excited about this class, and I haven't learned a single thing. The current lessons are on how to add ease to a pattern (what looks like actually changing the style of the pattern to me, not adding ease). I wanted to learn how to determine what I needed to do to alter a pattern based on the fabric I wanted to make it out of. So if I made pants that fit out of, say, corduroy and then wanted to make them out of, say, cotton with 2% lycra, how should I alter the pattern? That knowledge remains a pipedream. I think I will request a refund as well.
Judy Wentz said... (4/28/06 7:57 PM) Reply
I agree whole heartedly. I have been extremely disappointed and have asked for a refund.
Leslie in Austin said... (4/26/06 11:11 PM) Reply
I'm in the class too and am glad to discover I'm not the only one feeling such disappointment. I had such high hopes and I keep hoping it will get better, but I'm glad there's a money-back guarantee.
missyT said... (4/26/06 6:59 PM) Reply
I am taking the same course. Where is the teacher?? I was able to get a response to an important question by calling her (it cost me a bit too). I am very disappointed in this class and every two days (when the next class is posted) I think it is going to get better. Why ask questions if she is not going to answer them? How are we going to learn. Thank you so much for posting this. I did not have the guts! Maybe this will help others. I am so sad about this. I was so excited to take the class. Not excited now!
BillieJean said... (4/26/06 6:04 AM) Reply
I've had these same feelings about some (not all) of her classes. I think she leaves the teaching to the students (they learn from each other rather than her.) As for the unreliable website, this has been going on for about 3 years now. Why can't she get that right?
LaurieEm said... (4/25/06 11:08 PM) Reply
I will update this review at the end of the class.
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