Skip to main content

Craftsy Series: Janet Pray's Sewing Faster (1)

This first post in intended to give an overview of this class, so is quite wordy as a result.

As with most of the other classes I watched on Etsy, I took some things away from this one as well. Here, it was mostly around sewing without pins. It also gave me the idea for the sleeves I mentioned in the previous post:

I guess you could say it's two extremes, right?

The class is packed with skills and techniques, which I will go through in future installments of reviewing this class. The correct use of clappers is one of the things I would mention. It also covers sewing without pins, when pins are needed, as well as which seam allowances won't be possible to press open.

Her style is a bit bossy at times, and I prefer the style of the tutors in some of the other classes more, but I didn't have a major issue with it. I also wasn't really watching this to make the jacket (I have too many of those) so I skimmed over most of the "do this then press this" bits.

The class has 8 lessons, the longest of which is on topstitching and lasts for 40 minutes! The other episodes follow the jacket's construction and are as follows:

Introduction & Getting Started (covers tools and whatnot)
Starting to Sew (cutting, pressing, interfacing, seam allowances)
Beginning Construction (sewing without pins, correct posture, sewing around curves, notching etc)
Topstitching (self explanatory really!)
Pockets & Shoulder Seams (construction)
Yoke & Sleeves (this is full of "how tos")
Cuffs, Collar & Facing (mostly construction, a few interesting tips)
Finishing (buttons etc)

The only annoyance with this class is directed at UK buyers and refers to the pattern included in the class. The pattern is not shipped from Craftsy, but from Mrs Pray's company: it is sent to the UK with an import label which has the actual pattern price from her website on it (as opposed to "included with the class"). The value is higher than the Royal Mail customs thresholds (and in fact close to 75% of what I paid for the class!) so beware UK buyers: you will need to fork out an extra 11 pounds or so (3 VAT + 8 Royal Mail fee) if you order this class, plus the annoyance of having to go to the post office. Needless to say, if I had known this is what was waiting at the post office, I wouldn't have bothered going to pick it up.

All in all, one of the interesting Craftsy classes, and absolutely packed with good information. I'd say this is more tailored towards the intermediate to advanced sewist but I'm sure that beginners will pick up valuable information as well!


  1. That's obscene about custom charges, most vendors know to indicate you shouldn't pay!

    Looking forward to hearing your views on the Lynda Maynard class, it's the only one I've paid for so am wondering what other people think.

    I've also put you up for a Liebster, so enjoy!

    1. The Lynda Maynard class is good, but you absolutely need a second person to help for the back issues. Sad, but true.

      I saw the liebster - I'll reply soon.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.

Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker


1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial…

Birds dress

Just another sheath dress from me today, from my TNT pattern. This one is all about the fabric:

I got this bird fabric from Plush Addict, and it seems to have been the last fabric purchase pre-baby (Cosmo - Nihonkai - Budgies On Oxford Cloth if you are interested), so didn't cut into it for a long time. In May, after finishing my coat, I finally took the plunge.

The pattern, as I said, was my TNT sheath pattern, pretty simple. The biggest challenge with this dress was fabric placement, I didn't want any weird bird cuts at seams, nor did I want any other sort of weird placement. 
As i had 2 meters of this fabric, I thought I should be able to get all that, so I spent a lot of time moving fabric pieces around, until I got it. I'm pretty happy with myself, the seams meld as much as possible, I'm particularly proud of the center back:

Construction wise, this dress has 6 darts and 5 seams, so it is all relatively straightforward. I stabilized the neckline and armholes with…

Vogue 1350: fitting and adjustments

I had another post prepared, but I thought I'd write this up now, even without pictures - before I forget what I did. :) I recently made Vogue 1350, if you follow me on instagram (@auxetically) you will have seen construction photos. This is a Rachel Comey pattern - I really like these patterns, they all turn out very well for me! Here is the line drawing for reference:

Despite the line drawing, this pattern is supposed to have a raised waist. I was very pleasantly surprised to see petite lines on the pattern sheet (yay). Here's my finished dress on the dress form:

I made a muslin of the bodice only, in size 14 - my measurements take me between 14 and 16 on a Vogue, but I had the pattern version with the 12-14, so 14 it was. Measurement wise, this dress was spot on - I had to make extra adjustments where I would have needed the bigger pattern size.

The petite line removed 1" out of the bodice, and 1" out of the skirt. I sewed the bodice muslin with the petite marking…