Sewing and crafting classes online

Have you heard about Craftsy? If not, be sure to read on. If you have, I hope you’ve had a chance to take one of their wonderful, reasonably priced courses, especially since once you buy a course, you can watch the videos as many times as you want over any time frame. Learn in the comfort of your own home at your own speed. Not only that, but they have free classes you can download to try before you buy.  They also have apps for your tablets and handheld devices so you can learn anywhere.

My favorite way to watch video courses is to watch them all the way through first, then go to my sewing machine and try things out, referencing the video along the way. You may have a different style, which is why these courses are so wonderful; they fit everyone’s learning style in some fashion.

The downside to independent learning, of course, is the lack of social interaction, either with your fellow classmates or with a teacher from whom you would like feedback on that seam you just sewed. Craftsy and YouTube and other sites like this will never completely replace the classes offered by qualified teachers at your local dealerships and sewing machine shops, but they sure expand the range of who can learn and when, making them a fabulous resource!

Go ahead, jump in! The water’s fine! Sewing, cake decorating, knitting, and on and on and on…

Here is what Craftsy has to say about itself:

What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Why should I take a class online?
Online education isn’t just for schools and universities anymore. Craftsy courses provide you the convenience of a world-class instructor in your home, whenever you want to learn. Online education, no matter what subject, is a great alternative to in-person classes for a number of reasons.

With many online learning opportunities being on-demand, you are able to learn at your own pace, anytime. Online learning is a fantastic alternative to in-store craft classes for people with busy schedules or who have difficulty leaving the house. It also allows you to watch a troubling section over-and-over again, so you can see exactly how a technique is carried out, or refer back to your class for relevant concepts before beginning any new projects.

Free Sewing Apps for iPhone

If you search “sewing” in iTunes you come up with quite a list of sewing apps.  Some of my favorites are:

SewingKitLT, which is a free version of SewingKit.  It gives you a chance to try it out and see how much you like it.  This is where you can store information about your fabrics, patterns, projects, and measurements for people.  A great all-around app.

Jalie Sewing Patterns is great, if you already like Jalie sewing patterns and want to keep track of which ones you already have and which you would like to get.

The Jo-Ann app provides coupons, so even if you don’t use anything else in the app, it’s worth having.  Michaels has a similar app, but so far I have only found that in their stores using a QR reader, and on their website, but not in iTunes.

QuiltingCalc is simple, but if you quilt a lot, it’s a handy little tool to take with you to the store. FabricConverter is similar, in that it has very limited use, but it’s handy if you have to convert yardages for various fabric widths.

The Pfaff Embroidery Art and Husqvarna Viking Color It were not worth the space they took up on my phone, in my opinion.  I took them off soon after I installed them.  I thought they were pretty worthless as apps to carry with me.

I have not used iSewingRoom Lite, but at the moment the reviews mostly say it does not save.  It sounds like a nice app, so I hope its developers work on the free version, work out the bugs, and resubmit it.  Then it will probably be handy to have.

There are also a couple of apps for thread management, which might help you, depending on the kind of information you seek about thread. Superior Threads has the Thread Selection Guide and How Much Thread, which helps you figure out how much thread you will need for a quilting project. Aurofil’s app is more about inspiration and advertising than interactive help.

On the embroidery side, a hand embroidery app I’ve downloaded and liked is Judith Montano’s Embroidery and Crazy Quilt Stitch Guide – Free Version.  It has lovely diagrams, instructions, and even videos for many of the most popular hand embroidery stitches.

Planet Embroidery is a surprising app that will digitize text for you and send it to your e-mail account.  That’s powerful!

ProDigitizing won’t do the digitizing for you, but they will give you a cost estimate for digitizing designs.

So, if you are new to iPhone or have not thought to use it for your sewing yet, take a look around.  It’s a very handy sewing and embroidery tool.



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