Friday, February 20, 2015

Learning from people, a richer, more personal experience

In a way, I am one of those people who long for the way things used to be. When you wanted to learn something, you had to find someone who knew what they were doing and was willing to teach you. My mom was a great sewing teacher, and she was probably a great cooking teacher too, judging from my sister's prowess in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I was not her best culinary student.  You could always tell when I made the salad, they said, because every tomato, every cucumber, every onion was a different size and shape.  This is why I am so head-over-heels in love with Craftsy cooking classes. They literally bring me into the kitchen to spend time with people who love to cook and who love to teach all of the little tricks and secrets that make perfect results. (I can even cut veges into uniform sizes and shapes now - my mom will be so proud.)  If you are like me, and you feel like you have a pretty good handle on sewing, but your kitchen skills could use some honing. Here are some free Craftsy cooking classes for you to try. If you haven't experienced Craftsy yet, I think you will find it takes you back to a time when we all learned from people in a richer way than you can on you tube.

I took the Asian Wrap and Roll class on Wednesday night, and Thursday night we had an amazing, hands-on, everyone helps, feast. The Vietnamese salad wraps are my favorite, and the peanut sauce recipe (which Gabrielle made) is the best I have ever tasted.  Caleb is happy we know how to make our own sushi now too. I truly enjoyed spending time with the instructor, Jaden Hair, in the kitchen. To be able to turn around and teach all of this to my own kids the next evening was priceless.

If the kitchen is your area of strength, and you really need more help with the sewing, I have some fun freebies for you too. A free pillow sewing guide - you will find the link for free sewing classes there too. The classes really do give you that experience of being in the studio with the instructor and getting to know them as you learn.  I love that you can ask questions and interact with the instructors.
Craftsy's motto is, Learn it, Make it!  I am happy to be a part of that. I hope you will be too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Scaling down to illustrate the pattern

Recently, one of the Facebook groups to which I belong had a conversation about pattern illustrations. I was very surprised to learn that most of the gals in that particular group of garment sewing PDF pattern lovers prefer photographs over drawings. I was about to put out my Infinigan pattern with drawings. Instead, I opted for photos. What made it possible was printing my pattern at 1/2 size and making the mini version photographing as I went. Getting the whole garment in each shot was easy and no one would know the difference. I have frequently made half sized bags to try out ideas faster and with less fabric. I never thought to make a half sized garment, but now I am hooked. I will be doing this more to play with design ideas and then to photograph pattern instructions.  You can see my mini sweater pinned on the bulletin board above and next to 8.5 x 11 paper. When you print a pattern 1/2 size, you are really getting about 1/4 because it cuts the length by 1/2 and the width by half. It is not a substitute for grading. This wasn't made to fit anyone. Babies certainly don't have the same proportions as adults, so don't think about printing PDF patterns at 50% to make them for your little ones, LOL. Here is the infinity cardigan pattern listing. If you got the free tutorial you will notice that the pattern is vastly different. The tutorial version is really a hack, but the full pattern is a proper garment.  I can't wait to see the versions other people are making right now. The photos show 3 of the sweaters I have made. You know it's quick and easy if I make 4 or 5 of something without turning it over to Alice.