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Class Reviews > 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know

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Posted by: Fictionfan
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About Fictionfan star
VT United States
Member since: 5/19/06
Reviews: 35 (classes: 2)
Body Type:
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 14 people
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Posted on: 1/22/14 10:22 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 26 people   
Web site/URL: photo
Class Description from the website:
Learn to read between the lines of any sewing pattern as instructor Gail Yellen teaches you 40 essential techniques that every sewer should know!
The secret is in the details! Join instructor Gail Yellen as she shares her best tips and tricks to refine your sewing skills. With Gail's key finishing techniques, you will make garments that drape and lay beautifully. Learn to sew more efficiently, successfully and creatively as you create professional stitches, gorgeous bindings and tailored-looking buttonholes and zippers that will transform your garments from homemade to stylish. You’ll learn insider's tips for making set-in and flat-constructed sleeves that fit beautifully and add an elegant line to the shoulder.

My review:
This is an online class with forever, anytime access to the video lessons, limited by your internet speed and the time you have to watch the lessons. The craftsy platform provides for interaction with the instructor via posted questions, note taking with marking the lesson at the time you wrote the note so you can go back to see something again. The course materials (only a couple pages for this class) are pdfs that you can read in your browser or download to your computer.

I have been sewing for nearly all of my life. I do know my way around sewing equipment and techniques for the most part. I know that my iron is perhaps the most important sewing equipment I have after my sewing machine. I hesitated to buy this class because I wasn't sure I'd learn much, but I noticed that this has a 5/5 star review from the participants. How many times do you see a 100%, no one dissatisfied? There is always at least one grump who has to be negative, isn't there? 5/5 stars, all positive. Okay, it's a new class so there aren't hundreds of reviews, but ALL of them are glowing. It was on sale, so I decided to see what she thought the 40 techniques were.

This class is really, really, really good! She gives very clear explanations and quick--but not too quick!--demonstrations of the way to do a lot of the things that
--the patterns won't tell you (because you are supposed to know already),
--that the books can't really describe well (because there is a motion involved in getting it just right),
--that a sewing teacher might have been able to show you if s/he knows the tricks (but how many people have that luxury these days?).
Nothing is belabored or repeated too much.
The demonstrations aren't rushed. It always annoys me when an instructor will show something with one essential part that is rushed and unclear, so that I want to go frame by frame to see exactly what the heck s/he did. Or they say they'll come back after they've done off-camera the one thing you really need to know. That does not happen in this class. The video is clear.

There are actually 41 things she covers. I've picked up many of the techniques over the years though trial and error, but may not have understood why I ended up doing things the way she shows (sort of). Many of the notions, like the clapper and point press and pinking shears, I have and have used, but not as effectively as she recommends they be used. For example, I've never used pinking shears to grade the seam allowances of facing seams. Never occurred to me, never saw an image that would give me that Aha! moment, never heard anyone say it before Gail, and it seems so obvious now why you'd want to do it! I use pinking shears and cutters for exactly that same reason everywhere else, who did I not think of doing it when I grade my seams? Doh!

Topics covered:
1) Pressing matters (about 25 minutes, after she introduced herself and the class) covers importance of, techniques, and tools for pressing and why it matters that you press as you go. Arguably the most important basic skill set of the class, which is probably why she put it first.
2) Stitch Perfect (29 min) staystitching, understitching, topstitching, specialty threads
3) Curves and Corners (27 min) Sewing, grading, pressing, clipping curves and corners
4) Interfacing Tips (17+ min) choosing, fusing, and block-fusing; staying seams.
5) Beautiful Bindings (almost 50 min) 6 topics
6) Sleeves Made Simple (43 min) 7 topics covering easing, set-in, flat construction, sleeve heads
7) Getting Closure (53 min) zippers, marking, buttons, buttonholes
8) Bonus tip (#41, 5 min) sewing circles and curves

1) You are very likely to learn something that will make a huge difference in the finished projects you sew and press. If a class can be a Must Have, this one is a MUST HAVE.
2) The instructor is Gail Yellen. Honestly, I'd never heard of her before, but I wish I had. I would take a class with her again in a heartbeat now that I've watched this class. She deserves the 5/5 rating everyone has given her.
3) It's available to you anytime you want. There's a money-back guarantee, too, so no real risk.

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Steffie said... (3/22/14 8:06 PM) Reply
Excellent class - I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. I enjoy watching Craftsy lessons on the iPad while I ride my stationary bike.
RoseOK said... (2/17/14 6:49 PM) Reply
Thanks for the review. This class is on my wish list. I guess I will have to buy it now and watch it.
kevinsews said... (1/27/14 9:10 AM) Reply
Thank you for the review. I too bought this class because i always feel that good fundamentals can make a HUGE difference in the end. Now i just need to find the time to sit down and watch it.
Adaire said... (1/23/14 9:41 AM) Reply
I bought this class and although I have been sewing for years, I am learning and reinforcing a lot of little things. This is a super class for everybody and the video photography is excellent. I asked a question and got a very good immediate reply. Totally recommend to all levels of sewers.
ghijsmom said... (1/23/14 9:40 AM) Reply
I agree with you. I have this class and it's great!
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