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Class Reviews > Easy Zippers - Islander Sewing Systems tm

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Posted by: TessKwiltz
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About TessKwiltz star
TX United States
Member since: 9/21/07
Reviews: 3 (classes: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 1 people
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Posted on: 7/27/09 2:34 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 2 people   
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Barbara Cruse is a certified Islander Sewing Systems instructor whose schedule includes classes at Sew Contempo in Houston, TX at both the Clear Lake and Missouri City stores.

Easy Zippers was an all-day class where she took us step-by-step through 5 different zipper insertion techniques: slot, lap, invisible, traditional fly and mock fly zipper. These are the same techniques covered in the Islander Easy Zippers DVD. Barbara followed the Islander techniques with the exception being for the invisible zipper she had us sew the seam beneath the zipper first - a variation she learned from Kenneth King.

Class materials that were provided included all the zippers and materials prepared for zipper insertion. Fabric was already interfaced and pieces cut out. We were provided step-by-step instructions to keep, but they were not illustrated.

Pluses: Barbara is an excellent teacher and walked us through each technique a step at a time so no one got lost. She would wait until everyone was caught up and answered any questions before going to the next step.

She used a video camera with a projector so most of the time we could see her demonstrating from our seats without having to hop up and down to see.

Minuses: Without the hand-out being illustrated I'm not sure how well I'll be able to remember all the steps for each method. But Barbara provided contact information and encouraged students to contact her if we have questions later.

I'm not sure if this is a minus, but the techniques assumed that the garment pieces are already cut out per the Islander sewing techniques. I'm not sure if the seam allowances will always be what the commercial patterns are marked for.

All in all a very positive experience. I'm very excited about zippers instead of intimidated.

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Marilyn in Ohio said... (1/28/10 2:50 PM) Reply
I have other Islander DVD's so I am glad to have this class (and DVD) reviewed for future purchases.
TessKwiltz said... (9/13/09 1:26 PM) Reply
Ryansmum, the difficulty is that some of the techniques were dependent on a certain seam allowance, which wouldn't necessarily be the seam allowance on the pattern, and if I am remembering correctly was usually less than 5/8". Barbara also teaches the Islander Industrial Shortcuts class which I am hoping to take and which would hopefully be complementary to the zipper class.
ryansmumAria said... (9/13/09 1:27 AM) Reply
As for commercial patterns and seam allowances... I always change the s/a to one inch by adding 3/8 of an inch at the zipper line which is easy enough to do. I think I learned that from Sandra Betzina. Use whatever number it is you are comfortable with with. I would love to take such a class but I would be sorely disappointed to not have handouts either. I don't understand that one.
Sue Metz said... (8/24/09 6:00 PM) Reply
I have also taken this class, and wish I could remember better some of the techniques. Barbara is a great teacher. The Islander sewing book they have you buy does not cover zippers thoroughly, and the handout was sparse indeed. I loved the invisible zipper method, but found Sandra Betzina's fly zipper much easier (it's in her pants pattern).
SG1 said... (7/28/09 9:54 AM) Reply
Wow, this sounds great! I live on the north side of Houston, and didn't know classes like this existed anywhere in the city. Thanks!
Nancy Anne said... (7/28/09 9:08 AM) Reply
Sounds like a great class! Be grateful you have access to such wonderful rescources- I live in Wichita Falls and we never get opportunities like this.
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