This post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see schedule of all posts, click here! This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. Today’s post is from Joanna of Tutinella. Please check out Joanna on her blog!
Hey Guys! Welcome to my review of Annie Unrein’s ‘Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers‘ class available on Craftsy. Sara – thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of Craftsy Month on your blog.
Let me jump right in! The class has two projects to make, and as with all Craftsy classes, you have access to downloadable materials with sewing instructions, and full list of supplies needed for each project.
Whilst I understand that these PDF files are merely an accompaniment to the whole class, I’d love to see something more pleasing to an eye. There is only text and minimalistic diagrams on how to cut pieces of fabric from main/lining fabric. I just think I got lazy (I hope there or more of us like that) and I am simply used to typical PDF patterns with pictures, and was just expecting something else. Having said that, I appreciate that the aim of Craftsy platform is to focus more on the video aspect, so the document works perfectly if you pair it with videos.
Since I love making lists, I will use this format to explain how I worked with the class:
- read all documents available under ‘Materials’ tab first and print them – both documents have handy tick boxes to cross out the piece you have already cut out from main fabric, lining, etc
- cut labels from the last page of each document if you wish – I opted for post-its instead – I just have too many of them, and since I love stationery I had to use them up to buy new ones! 🙂
- watch all lessons first, for both projects!
- make notes while watching each lesson – it is very simple, and a very useful tool, you simply have to start typing the comment and click on ‘Add note’ button; each note will be then visible on the progress bar, and indicated by N in a white oval shape, just as you see on Google Maps when you are tracing distance between place A and B:
You can also view comments from the main menu, by clicking on ‘Notes’ section. Here are some of mine:
- prepare all fabrics, cut them, fuse with interfacing, quilt, iron etc
- play video as you are working on each step of the project, and stop when necessary – I think it is the perfect method for your first bag you make, and then you should be able to handle the project with PDFs only
I was wondering what the difficulty level of this class is, and I would say it is somewhere around intermediate, or for beginners who like challenges. There is no instruction how to sew in the final bit of binding which is OK with me, but I think it would be useful for beginners.
When considering which project to make, I asked myself two questions: do I have enough Soft&Stable (it is not that popular in the UK, and I’ve never seen it in Northern Ireland where I live, so because of the price, I think twice before using it) and is there something I have not done before in any of them? I did work with zippered vinyl pockets before, and made my own bias tape on many occasions, but I never attached zipper on a curve so I decided to challenge myself with the hanging cosmetic bag first!
Annie is explaining everything very clearly, taking time to show each step. I must say that I skipped through certain elements, and just fast forwarded to the bit I was interested in and I had to go back (more on that later on), so do not be like me and watch everything, just adding notes as you go. I think it is better to take your time with sewing rather than regret that we did not pay enough attention, and screw up a lovely project!
What is like very much about the class is that you have access to it forever – it never expires, and you can access it on many various devices – tablet, mobile, and laptop. You can also interact with your virtual classmates and the instructor, posting pictures, or leaving comments when you are stuck at some point, and people will give you guidance – is not that amazing?! I also learned a couple of tricks with making handles, and as you guys may know, I am really into sewing bags, so these will come in handy!I just won’t tell you exactly what they were, as I think it is telling too much. I also know now how to attach zipper on a curve, and something in my guts is telling me I will be using and abusing this method!
One thing that I thought could have been improved would be to create one lesson with common hints/instructions that are used in both projects. To give you an example – initially I only wanted to make the hanging cosmetic bag, so I watched Lesson 1 (Introduction) and then skipped to Lesson 5. I quickly realised that a few elements needed in the bag were also needed for the first bag, and all instructions were covered in Lesson 2 to 4, e.g. bias binding or working with vinyl pockets and attaching zippers to them. Therefore Annie often mentioned that ‘it was explained previously’, so I had to go back and watch all classes first, to feel comfortable working on the hanging bag. As I mentioned, I theoretically knew how to do these but I did not want to take any chances, so decided to go back and watch everything from A to Z.
I opted for girly fabric and paired it with red polka dot pattern to make the bag. I am making it for a friend who will be house sitting when we go on holidays, and as she travels a lot I thought she could use a new practical cosmetic bag no one else has! I will be also using gold d-rings and sliders, and I am hoping the final product will look very professional.
For all of you who are considering making the bag, but are not sure if Soft&Stable can be substituted with something else – the short answer is yes. I do it all the time, using a lot of 505 fabric adhesive, fusible interfacing and fleece + stiff fabric. I also use headboard foam from time to time, but both of these options won’t give you the same effect. They are heavier, and have different density.
Quilting is taking me a lot of time, but I did not want to rush the process. I decided to use simple straight lines at 45 degrees, as free motion quilting was too risky for me – if I have to correct anything, needle marks are clearly visible on red polka dot fabric, so I am sticking with the safe option this time.
I must say that I really like the class, and I cannot wait until my bag is finished so that I can make the ‘Everything in its Place’ bag with small adjustments – I want to use it for storing finished quilt blocks.
I hope you find this review helpful!