|Cynthia Guffey's Women's Shirt Class, more info here|
I'm intrigued! I was literally just telling my husband that I wish I could find a teacher with a class like this only minutes before I opened my email and saw this. If you go to the class description on the Martha Pullen website here you can view the course outline and watch a brief video about it as well.
I know these online classes are all the rage now, but I've never taken one before. I did purchase a Craftsy online class once about quilting with rulers on a domestic sewing machine, but I only watched the first lesson and never had time to actually go and attempt to DO what I watched the instructor do in the video. Not the end of the world; I saved the link and I plan to go back to it when I have time and have a project at the quilting stage (right now I'm piecing and appliqueing several different things but nothing is ready to quilt).
But that ruler class was priced similarly to a paperback quilting book, maybe $20 or so. This online shirt making class costs a whopping $279, which seems like a lot of money for a class where you are watching videos online but not getting any individual instructor feedback on your work. Even if I watched every lesson and reinforced what I was trying to learn by actually making my own shirt along with the lessons (and this is a big if, based on my track record from the ruler quilting class), what if I run into a problem and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong? If this was a local class with a dozen students and Cynthia was going to be right there with us, walking around the room and giving feedback on what we were doing as we were sewing, I would sign up in a heartbeat. There are nine "sessions" to the class, and if I took a nine-week class that cost $31 per session, that would feel reasonable.
|Original Edition (the one I have)|
Have any of you taken online sewing classes, and if so, did you like the format and would you do it again? I'm imagining that these online classes are a lot like the old VHS tapes we used to be able to buy. I remember that when I was learning to hand quilt, I read Roxanne McElroy's That Perfect Stitch book but also bought and watched the accompanying VHS tape (now available as a DVD here). I liked the combination of seeing the video of the rocking hand movements involved in the quilting stitch, with the book as a reference to quickly locate information as I needed it. But it wasn't until I actually took a class with Dierdre McElroy in person that everything clicked, when she observed me quilting and told me that my thimble was too big. Since it was a Roxanne thimble and she had them for sale at the quilt show, she exchanged my thimble for the correct size on the spot and it was smooth sailing from then on out. I think she also gave me some useful feedback about how tightly I was hooping my quilt.
The updated DVD tutorial video of That Perfect Stitch is about two hours long, and it retails for $38. The shirt making class has nine sessions, probably at least 30 minutes each, so maybe the class is a total of 4-5 hours worth of videos. Even if you adjust for the shirt class offering more than twice as much instruction time, it's still outrageously more expensive than the quilting DVD, especially since the Martha Pullen company is not incurring the costs of actually manufacturing and distributing DVDs of the video content, since it's all online. The course description says that students can "access the courses any time, anywhere, from computer, smart phone or tablet" and that there is "no set class time... courses structured to fit around your schedule." All this is true of a DVD, but I would have an actual, physical DVD rather than a link to an online account somewhere. A DVD I can put with other DVDs in my sewing room and find it again easily 6 years from now. I am notorious for forgetting my login information and passwords for all of my numerous online accounts, and 6 years from now I would probably remember that I had paid for an online shirt making class that I was supposed to have access to "any time, anywhere," but if I didn't remember the instructor's name, the name of the web site I bought it from, or any other specifics, it would be nearly impossible to locate and access the course again online. Then there's the possibility that the Martha Pullen company might go out of business or discontinue their online classes, and the content might be removed from the web altogether when I tried to access it again in the future.
Obviously, an in-person nine week class would be ideal, but the sewing stores near me only offer quilting classes or very basic beginner sewing classes, like making a pillowcase or an apron.
What do you think, folks? Has anyone taken a class like this, and how did you like it? Is there a better one out there for me that you would recommend instead of this one? I have taken in-person pattern alteration classes and I feel confident there. What I need help with the most is the construction process from start to finish and all of the sewing techniques (like sleeve insertion, collars, cuffs, shirttail hems) that are specific to sewing a garment rather than something I would have encountered in quilting or home dec sewing. Watching the video description of Cynthia Guffey's class, what is most appealing to me is that she says that there appears to be a lot of hand work involved and she says that she does not teach "shortcuts," but foolproof methods for achieving superior results the first time. That's the way I want to learn to sew.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!