This was my first and only Online Craftsy class. Previously I had tried on on-line training class and been very disappointed.
This time, thankfully, I was very pleased.
The instructor is Alison Smith who has just been interviewed by Rachel at House of Pinheiro.
She is from the North of England, and I found her very reassuring. Here is a highly competent seamstress who is also an effective teacher. She tells you succinctly what you need to know. There are no mistakes. The facts appear on the screen (eg stitch length), although they disappear a bit too fast.
The series covers all the aspects of sewing with lace and I learnt a great deal. Unlike many of the free tutorials that I have watched to date the timing is spot on. Not so fast you have to keep re-running it, or so slow that you go and make a cup of tea which the teacher laboriously films herself sewing a really long seam.
The lace making course covers everything from choosing the right lace, what to back it with, how to insert a zip, applique, putting an overlay on, hems and necklines. It is comprehensive and I found the tips useful as someone who is more or less a beginner with lace. If you are a complete expert artist, like Mary Funt, then this probably is not advanced enough. In fact Mary mentioned that it is a bit too machine-dependent, and that is probably true. It would be fun to mould lace with handstitching rather than trying to make it adapt so that it can be sewn up like most other fabrics, but I think there are two different issues here. For a day time skirt it is probably ideal to machine stitch it. For a wedding dress or a very nice cocktail dress the techniques would ideally be more advanced. Equally it depends on the cost of your ingredients. If it is a polyester or viscose or cotton lace that is a different ball game to using silk, or very expensive Chantilly laces.
I watched the episodes more or less back to front, absorbing the information as it is presented. Once you have bought the course you can rewatch it, something denied to those buying the Burda course I invested in.
There is a chance for a dialogue with Alison, but the reaction time is fairly sedate and I didn’t really have any penetrating questions.
Overall I thought it was a good course. Overall I thought it was expensive. Is it better than a book, to see someone actually doing the job rather than reading about it and trying for yourself? I suppose it is. I am much more familiar with learning from people in class rooms which is probably my prefered method of learning, which seems both highly personal and immediate. The course costs around £20, with say five hours of material. For £200 I can spend three hours a week for 10 to 12 weeks, with a tutor. And if I need to go back to check something I find books good enough.
I may try another one – sewing with sheers has been recommended by Gail. But I have signed up for more draping on the stand, starting in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait!
What is your prefered style of learning?