I succumbed to the recent 50% off sale at Craftsy. I purchased 2 classes and have already complete this one, Sewing Knits That Fit with instructor Dyanne Marte.
I didn’t see a rating on this class i.e. beginner, advanced etc. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a rating on Craftsy courses. Maybe I’m not looking in the right place. Also it seems to me that Craftsy has slightly redesigned their format. I had a difficult time finding the Questions and Answers section which can be more informative than the course itself . Personally, I think I would rate this as advanced beginner. You need to know how to sew and in particular the settings, tools and how to use them that knits require. Dyanne focuses the class not on sewing skills but fitting knit fabrics. She does point out differences between knits and wovens. Her fitting approach is unlike Sandra Betzina or Palmer and Pletsch. It is more of a draping approach than pattern drafting/alterations. Frankly, it’s probably what we really do. She encourages the use of the basting stitch and while recommending narrower seam allowances than used on wovens, Dyanne uses 1/2″ side seam allowances to help with fitting. The classes focuses on tricky areas like the gaping of armscyes and necklines or waistlines that droop to the hips. The last section is completely about after-the-fact fixes i.e. after you’ve sewn this together and found a problem. That same section includes a nice discussion on the various elastics and how to use them in knits. I was hoping for formulas like 30% stretch fabric needs to be 1/8″ shorter and 50% should be 1/2″ yada yada. But Dyanne maintains that you need to do what works for the individual fabric as well as what works on your body. At one point she creates a wonky curved side seam just below the armscye. She insists this is not wrong. Because each body is different and each knit acts differently, alterations need to be what they need to be. The goal is to create a smooth, comfortable fit. Whatever it takes is what it takes and is right.
I’ve now learned that everyone should be able to preview a summery of each lesson. So it’s not necessary for me to list lesson by lesson as I’ve done with my prior course reviews. I enjoyed Dyanne’s presentation. She boasts 16-years in RTW and fashion. Her wardrobe certainly shows it and I think her vocabulary is excellent. (Admittedly, that’s one of my bugaboos i.e. self-appointed experts who don’t know the subject terminology.) I can easily recommend this to class to someone just starting to work with knits. For myself, I was glad I purchased it at half-price. While the information is good, I didn’t learn a single thing new. Had I paid the full price, I would have been disappointed. I’m taking nothing away from this class. I don’t have notes of things I want to try or guidelines that I should follow. No interesting tricks that would make my sewing easier, faster or better. It is a good class, but not for me. I want to repeat that I enjoyed the class. $24 is the max I pay for movie DVDs and so is right in line for what I would pay to watch an entertaining movie at home. I liked that she picked a topic and stuck too it. She’s not flighty (My last Sandra Betzina class is going to be my last Sandra Betzina class forever). Dyanne is fairly well-organized. She shuffled samples only once. I also thought her explanations were fine, although I see from the Q&A that others may be confused. Perhaps that has something to do with skill level. From what I can see, Dyanne answers questions pretty quickly. Her approach to fitting is genuinely different. She stresses that you must have a fitting partner. I’m out in the middle of cornfields. There are a few quilters out here but that’s it. Help is not and will not be available. I have to substitute a camera and tripod with critiques done at the PC. However, I’m a minority. I’d say, if you struggle with fitting knits, get your fitting partner over some weekend and the two of you watch the course together. The pants fitting is especially well done. Stars? I’d give the course 4 ****.