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Susan Khalje Couture Sewing School Review

Last month I attended Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing School. I first heard about Susan’s classes when Melanie (a.k.a. Poppykettle) took her classes and blogged about them back in 2013. I’ve been fantasizing about taking one ever since. Though Susan is perhaps best know for her French Jacket classes (where each person sews a Chanel style jacket), her Couture Sewing School is a much more flexible class where each sewist brings her own, unique project and works on it over the course of the week. Since the description of the class is pretty much “show up and sew something” I thought it might interest others to hear a personal account of what the week was like. The first day we all had our muslins fit. It was quite interesting to see as each woman brought a very different project though a bit hard to learn by observing since there were so …

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Class Review: How to Set Up 10 Essential Poses on Creative Live

Since I have been working on improving my photo-taking skills, I find that sometimes my biggest hang-up for getting quality photos is that I look like a doofus in so many of the photos I take of myself. I still get seriously awkward in front of my camera lens sometimes (and waaaay more so when my husband tries to take photos for me, although I seem to be okay when my mom takes the photos – I have no idea why.) To help overcome this, I watched the CreativeLive class How to Set Up 10 Essential Poses by Lindsay Adler. The class walks through 10 basic poses (standing, sitting, laying, couples, etc.) with live models, talks about how to arrange the pose to best effect, and then how to make each pose look like it’s a variety of poses by changing small things such as arm or leg placement. It …

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Class Review: Bookkeeping for Crafters

I didn’t really believe that it was possible to make an online class about bookkeeping fun and entertaining, but Lauren Venell managed to do just that with her Creative Live class Bookkeeping for Crafters! I highly recommend this class for anyone that runs any sort of small business and doesn’t have experience with accounting – the “for Crafters” in the name of the class is a bit misleading since the information covered was 95% applicable to anyone with a small business. The information contained was exactly what I needed as I get serious about the bookkeeping part of running my own business, but the information would also be helpful for anyone that sells goods as a hobby as well. Not only did the class have great information, tt was also entertaining because Lauren is a fun and smart woman who sprinkled the class with hilarious anecdotes about the mistakes she …

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Craftsy Class Review: Basics of Digital Photography

Last year I got a nice DSLR and really worked on upping my photography game. As I’ve said, I’m proud of the progress I made and plan on to continue working on it. I took a photography class at the community college in high school and had a manual camera back then, but I had forgotten a lot because, hey, I’m 30, and high school was a while ago. To remind myself of what I swear I used to know about apertures, shutter speeds and those sorts of things, I took a class on Craftsy: Basics of Digital Photography with Rick Allred. If you’re wanting to get more familiar with manual settings on your camera, I highly recommend the class. The class is really focused on explaining the “exposure triangle” – ISO, shutter speed, aperture – what they are, how you control them, and how they affect exposure. The class …

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Burgundy Leather Clutch

Last week I went to another PopUp Britex. The first one I attended was about textiles. This one was a leather workshop, with Melissa Fleis, an SF  fashion designer known for being on Project Runway Season 10. It was at THE NWBLK, a gallery and workspace. I hadn’t been inside before, although I often ride past their big black warehouse door.  Being nosy, I peeped around a bit before the workshop started and saw some really interesting furniture and lighting in their display space. The workshop started with Melissa giving a bit of her background and a discussion of why she loves working with leather. She walked us through the the supplies available to us, and then gave a demonstration of cutting out a rectangle of fabric using a pattern, marking the leather, punching holes for stitching, and assembling a clutch. Britex supplied a lovely burgundy cow hide for us. They …

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The Amazings: Retro Hairstyles

Have you heard of the Amazings? I think they’re a pretty amazing company. They’re a UK based company with a mission – to keep knowledge alive by curating online classes where elders teach skills to new generations (that’s us!). “Our amazing elders earn as you learn.” I’ve been working my way through my first Amazing class – Retro Hair Dos with Michael. The production values on the Amazing classes could be more polished, but you really feel like you’re sitting down in the living room with the elder, having a conversation with them while they pass on their expertise. In Retro Hair Dos, Michael teaches how to do a 1930’s chignon, a 1950’s rockabilly, and a 1960’s Bardot hairstyle, all of which aren’t too complicated but have swoon-worthy results. I watched the 60 minutes of footage through twice, bought some hot rollers, and attempted to do the rockabilly style myself. …

Pant Construction Techniques Class Review

I’ve seen many sewing bloggers write that they intend to tackle trousers this year. Might I make a suggestion? Treat yourself to a Craftsy class by Sandra Betzina on Pant Construction Techniques. (If you’re not an expert on fitting pants, you might want to try her class on Pant Fitting first). The class is a wealth of information helpful for any pair of pants you might want to construct in the future, certainly not limited to the pattern that they send you with class registration. In fact, I sewed a pair of trousers while watching the class and found her construction techniques to be very helpful.