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Class Reviews > Sew Better, Sew Faster with Janet Pray

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Posted by: mportuesisf

About mportuesisf star
CA United States
Member since: 1/8/12
Reviews: 7 (classes: 3)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 5 people
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Posted on: 7/22/13 11:54 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 5 people   Very Helpful by 41 people   
Web site/URL: photo
"Sew Better Sew Faster" Janet Pray takes you through the process of sewing an unlined jacket, complete with yoke, vents, collar, cuffs, patch pockets and welt pockets. What's special about the class are the techniques you use to construct the jacket.

Instead of using home sewing techniques, Janet shows you techniques that are used in garment factories, adapted for use on home sewing equipment. These techniques were designed for both efficiency and precision, and can not only save time on your projects but improve the quality of your work.

The class comes with the pattern "Jacket Express" from Islander Sewing Systems. You get advice for choosing the proper fabric, threads, and interfacing for the project, as well as additional tools, such as a clapper, that will help you produce a professional result. You will also get helpful advice for choosing "big ticket" hardware such as sewing machines and irons, from the perspective of professional garment construction.

For me, the most valuable part of the course is the session on sewing ergonomics. Janet shows you how to set up your machine to best control the fabric as you sew. She demonstrates techniques for holding fabric and manipulating it with both hands as it runs through the machine. The results are straight seams that line up without having to pin the pieces in advance. She also shows how to sew inside and outside curves, ease fabric pieces, and perform precision topstitching.

The bulk of the course leads you through the construction of the jacket, filled with plenty of hints and tips. You learn all kinds of interesting details such as the proper way to trim and clip fabric for curves, and also sew using the seam allowances that industry professionals use.

I thought this class was very helpful. Though some of the techniques work differently to what is presented in home sewing classes, I can definitely see how they are both effective and efficient.

Janet Pray is an excellent teacher. She is organized, speaks clearly, and is easy to follow. I didn't get lost or confused either with the explanations or the demonstrations.

If there was anything I didn't like about this class, it's that the supplied pattern is for a women's jacket. There isn't an equivalent pattern styled for men. So I probably won't be sewing this garment, even though the techniques will be useful for other projects.

I purchased "Sew Better Sew Faster" on sale at Craftsy, but it was worth more than I paid. I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their sewing skills, and I definitely plan to re-watch it soon.

Lesson 1 - Meet Janet Pray & Get Started
Choosing Fabric
Topstitching Threads
Choosing Intefacing
Tools & Tips

Lesson 2 - Preparing to Sew
Cutting out Fabric
Marking Pattern Pieces
Seam Allowances

Lesson 3 - Beginning Construction
Sewing Ergonomics
Sewing Without Pins
Sewing Curves
Starting the Jacket
Trimming & Clipping
Serging or Zigzagging

Lesson 4 - Topstitching
Topstitching Tips
Topstitching the Sleeve
Topstitching the Vent
Topstitching the Curved Flap
Clean-finishing the Facing
Attaching the Pocket Facing
Stitching the Back Yoke
Crimping the Upper Pocket
Pressing & Turning the Upper Pocket
Pressing the Yoke

Lesson 5 - Pockets & Shoulder Seams
Attaching the Upper Pocket
Marking for a Welt Pocket
Sewing the Welt
Attaching the Pocket Facing
Cutting & Turning the Pocket
Reinforcing the Welt Pocket
Attaching the Welt Pocket Bag
Upper Pocket Flap & Yoke
Sewing the Shoulder Seams

Lesson 6 - Completing Yoke & Sleeves
Why not Double Needles?
Single-Stitching the Welt
Hammering Seams
Inserting Sleeves Without Pins
Finishing the Welt Pocket Bag
Pressing with a Seam Stick
Topstitching the Side Seams

Lesson 7 - Cuffs, Collar & Facing
Cuff Introduction
Attaching the Cuff Facing
Attaching the Cuff
The Burrito Technique
Attaching the Collar
Attaching the Jacket Facing
Clipping & Pressing
Closing the Collar

Lesson 8 - Finishing the Jacket
Closing the Cuffs
Attaching the Facing
Final Topstitching
Buttons & Buttonholes

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Sewcoastal said... (10/30/13 2:40 PM) Reply
I couldn't agree more! Great class, great review ;) I wouldn't hesitate to take another course by Janet Pray.
leoniep said... (10/14/13 0:59 AM) Reply
Thanks for the detailed review. I've had my eye on this class, but haven't taken it because I didn't like the style of the jacket and probably wouldn't wear it. Reading your review, I'd probably learn a lot from making the jacket even if it doesn't become a wardrobe staple.
michelegirard said... (10/9/13 3:17 PM) Reply
I totally agree with your review. This class was terrific and Janet Pray is a wonderful teacher. I've taken other sewing Craftsy classes and I fell asleep watching the videos, not so with this one! I learned a lot and I sincerely think this is one of the best classes on the Craftsy website. I am sorry they didn't have an equivalent pattern for men though.
LaurieEm said... (9/9/13 10:02 AM) Reply
Thank you for this! I'm signing up today. I think I am going to try modifying it and making it for DH - I'll let you know how that goes.
threaddy said... (8/6/13 12:07 PM) Reply
I bought this class based on your review. thank you...I'll report back when I've taken it.
KathySews said... (8/5/13 7:49 AM) Reply
I have had my eye on that class. Very detailed review. I think you should suggest that Janet include a men's pattern alternative. She has men's patterns at Islander. Great suggestion to Craftsy
NancyZL said... (8/4/13 9:34 PM) Reply
Thanks for your review, will consider this one!
Tina Rathbone said... (7/28/13 6:50 PM) Reply
Thanks for this review. One of my favorite bloggers, Sunni at "A Fashionable Stitch," also gave this class a rave review. I was debating which class to take next and will definitely go with this one. I wish I could take Betzina's Bias ... but I agree so much with your view on her teaching abilities in your other review. I'm so sorry these classes don't offer alternate sections for Men's patterns/styles. I also enjoy sewing for my husband -- perhaps more, as he's easier to fit!
kevinsews said... (7/25/13 4:32 PM) Reply
You took the words right out of my mouth with this review. Great job!
Sonut said... (7/24/13 11:01 PM) Reply
I too agree that this is a very valuable class. M y pattern just arrived today and I hope to put it to use right away.
Barbara3 said... (7/23/13 4:57 PM) Reply
Thanks for this great review. Sounds like a very worthwhile class!
CindyBklyn said... (7/23/13 6:40 AM) Reply
Thank you for your very comprehensive review. I was thrilled to see Ms. Pray was teaching a class with Craftsy. More than 20 years ago I purchased all the videos from Islander Sewing, Margaret Islander. I, too, recommend this class. The wealth of information far outpaces the extremely modest price. All the best.
Marie67 said... (7/23/13 6:36 AM) Reply
Hello, and thank you for an excellent detailed review. Great timing as well, as I'd justed posted on a thread that there aren't any reviews of this class yet. I especially appreciate the detailed breakdown of what's covered in each lesson. It will go on my wishlist for the next sale. Many thanks again.
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