Disclaimer: I am a Craftsy affiliate and I received this class for no cost. This is my honest review.I recently had the opportunity to take a Craftsy class and after perusing through the titles and reading about classes that interested me, I decided to take Barbara Deckert’s Plus-Size Pattern Fitting & Design. This was my first Craftsy class and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I am more of a book reader when it comes to sewing and I often watch YouTube videos if I get stumped or need a refresher. I always thought that Craftsy classes were a bit too expensive, but then I had the opportunity to take one and I was pleasantly surprised how informative it was. Plus, you get a pattern with your class! It’s a lot like taking a class in person, but I can do it while in my nightgown and laying in bed! 🙂
As this was my first Craftsy class, I wasn’t sure what I would get out of it and/or how worthwhile it would be for me. I was a bit confused by what level of sewist was suggested to take this class as well. Although I am more of an advanced sewist myself, I enjoy reading sewing books that are geared towards beginners and intermediates as I find that there are always different ways to do things and with sewing — just as with any other genre — you can never know too much! I figured this was a good opportunity to watch an expert do some sewing!
First off, what I enjoy about Craftsy classes is that most of them are taught by esteemed experts in their fields. These are people (like Susan Khalje and Alison Smith) that I would gladly pay a good amount of money to attend a workshop with, but instead, I can pay a more minimal amount and watch them on my tablet whenever it’s convenient. Barbara Deckert is the author of Sewing for Plus Sizes: Creating Clothes that Fit and Flatter. I have yet to read this book, but I’m thinking that I should definitely add it to my Amazon wishlist! She’s a plus size woman herself and is a vault of knowledge when it comes to fitting curvy bodies.
This class is more of an advanced beginner/intermediate class, so most of it was a refresher course for me. I did enjoy her lesson on croquis and how she talked about body shapes. I am still not completely certain what “shape” my own body is. According to my measurements, I am more of a pear shape and according to Ms. Deckert’s croquis, I am either a pear or “Madame Peanut.” With this class, you get a lot of informative instruction materials, plus a very involved measurement chart, worksheets and croquis so you can attain the perfect fit.
Ms. Deckert went through the process of making a paper tape dress form as well, which was really nice to see someone do that rather than just reading about it and looking at photos. She also padded an existing dress form (which was oddly similar to my measurements) and used that form to show pattern fitting.
It was also nice to see an expert do pattern grading! She used a dressmaker’s ruler (of which I should really get one!) and used a mash between the shift and the slash and spread approach. She shows you how to do a number of adjustments for curvy figures including bust, arms, back, belly, etc. You can get pretty much everything you need to know about getting the perfect fit for your shape from this class.
One of the things that I really liked hearing was how she often reiterated how sewing is not rocket science — it is just sewing! If the line you drew or the cut you made are not perfect — don’t worry about it! You can fix it later! Don’t stress to make everything perfect when you’re adjusting patterns or cutting out your fabric. It can all be made good when you sew it.
It was also refreshing to hear her thoughts on making a muslin. If you read a lot of sewing blogs, you hear all the time about how you need to make a muslin first! Well… I’ve been sewing nearly all of my life and the only time I make a muslin is when I’m working with expensive fabric, making an advanced pattern or working with techniques that are new to me. Ms. Deckert has the same thoughts and also feels that it’s a waste of time to make a muslin. Instead, she bastes all of her pieces together in fashion fabric and makes adjustments from there. The only time she doesn’t do that and makes a muslin instead are for my reasons above or when she is making a lot of figure adjustments. That is good knowledge from an expert seamstress!
What I learned the most from this class was about pants fitting. That’s a new territory for me as I have not made any pants other than pajama pants and shorts. I also rarely wear pants and wear dresses and skirts 99% of the time, so I guess that’s why I have not strayed too far into pants territory. However, I have in my sewing room the Colette Clover pants pattern along with some dark indigo stretch denim I picked up in Nebraska this summer, and I’m going to venture into the unknown. This is definitely a project that will require a muslin as I don’t want to eff up my fashion fabric!
All in all, I enjoyed taking this class and would recommend it highly to someone who wants to learn more about fitting curvy bodies. It’s an informative class and even if you’re more advanced, you’ll come away with some knowledge. Just be aware that it’s not exactly a “young, hip” fashion sewing class, but one that involves the basics and a lot of info to achieve the perfect fit. I also loved how in the last lesson how she altered the pattern in varying ways which I definitely would have never thought of, even though it wasn’t exactly my taste or style. Very interesting!
Also, if you’re interested in taking a Craftsy class, as an affiliate, I’m happy to share this special discount on some of their best selling classes, which are now 50% off through this link: 50% Sewing, Knitting and Quilting Classes
I actually also just purchased Susan Khalje’s Online Couture Dress Class which I have been wanting to take for a while. I have been a fan of hers for some time and her book: Bridal Couture: Fine Sewing Techniques for Wedding Gowns and Evening Wear is pretty much my couture dress bible. I used it quite extensively when making my own wedding gown and if you can find a copy of it — buy it!!! I’ve always wanted to attend one of her workshops, but they are quite pricey, so I hope to find this class to be a good alternative. It’s on sale for $29.99 right now, so you can’t beat that! I really didn’t expect to be purchasing a Craftsy class right now, but this one was on my wish list and I didn’t want to pass up a super deal. I will let you know what I think about that one when I’m finished taking it. 🙂
And another pattern giveaway…
BTW: With Barbara Deckert’s Plus-Size Pattern Fitting & Design class, I received this pattern Vogue 8815. I will likely never make it as I don’t think I really like peplum tops on me (I’ve made two and I never wear them…). This pattern is new and uncut and in size 16-24. If you’d like this pattern, let me know and I will send it to you!!! 🙂 The first to comment and tell me that they’d like it will get it. I will ship internationally.This pattern is a Best of 2012 on Pattern Review and looks sooooo much cuter in examples I’ve seen on Pattern Review.