Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What I'm Watching: Craftsy Mini-Classes

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There's a bit of a twist to this week. Instead of sharing a book I'm reading, I'll be talking about what I'm watching to improve my sewing skills. Hey, we all learn in different ways, and sometimes you can only get so far with written instructions!

Since signing up with Craftsy (it's free to join!) I've taken a few different classes. I love that they're always adding new topics, and that a bunch of them are free. I definitely recommend the course about zippers. When I was working on my Simplicity 1879 shorts I posted about yesterday, I was terrified of having another disaster like with my green and white dress. After watching the Craftsy video and following the steps, I not only put in a great looking lapped zipper, I wasn't scared anymore, and now I have the confidence to tackle other patterns with zippers.


I also recently went through Sewing Machine 911:


I'm not sure why it's called "911" when "101" is probably more accurate! The first portion is all about the parts of a sewing machine and how it works. I would have LOVED to watch this lesson when I first got my machine, instead of reading my manual over and over! There was even a portion about vintage machines, which I enjoyed watching just for fun. The second section is about troubleshooting, and there is a cheat sheet with the course materials for figuring out common troubles.

The last portion is about maintenance. Now that I've had my Brother for a year, it's definitely time for some heavy duty cleaning. And maybe I'll even stop blowing into my machine like the instructor recommends :)

The best part about these classes is the Craftsy app. I can pull it up on my iPad, turn on a lesson, and watch it while I cook dinner, or while I'm cutting out patterns. It's easy to knock out a couple quick lessons and feel more prepared for whatever sewing obstacle I have. With the zipper class, I could take my iPad into my sewing room and watch each step one at a time. There's even a 30 second repeat button if you need to quickly see something again. Whether you watch on a mobile device or a computer, you can interact with other students and take video notes.

There's more to Craftsy than classes, there are patterns and user projects as well. Visit their blog on Fridays for free patterns too!

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