I saw someone recommending the League of Adventurous Dressmakers course a few weeks ago and decided to give it a try. To be honest I wasn’t sure if it was way too advanced for me, especially after I had joined and saw a few (very experienced) names I recognised in the group. Having partaken of two months’ worth of lessons now though, I can say that I think it would be useful for just about anyone who wants to tighten up their skills. For someone like me, it’s probably a case of trying a few of the techniques on offer and working through the others at some point in the future or slowly through the month, multiple times; for someone with chops, maybe it’s more about trying something different or honing in and working on a technique or feature you haven’t given enough time before, or perhaps hate doing normally.
The lessons are monthly (it’s a subscription based programme) and you receive an email alerting you to the release when they’re ready. They comprise of some very detailed printout notes, explanatory videos and a pattern for the monthly project. These projects are quite specific and really hone in on practicing the technique you’re learning about. The first month was all about making collars and there are three different main techniques to try out, all with detailed videos and notes. I gave technique A a shot and it went… okay. But I already know a few things I didn’t execute very well, so I’m going to go back, watch the videos again and make another one or two collars at least. I plan to make a shirtdress soon and working on just the collar and collar stand is such a great way of learning this skill. I would never have done this normally!
The second month’s lesson is all about seam finishing and seams in general. This is great for me as I’d been “meaning” to practice a few seam finishes myself for ages, but something else always got in the way. For me, the detailed tutorial on the likes of the French seam, Hong Kong seam and flat fell seam are great, but there are many more techniques to look at for the more experienced sewist if you’re already a dab hand at these ones. I whipped up this skirt from a simple pattern that’s provided and tried out French seams. It was great and they look all nice and neat (and wrinkly in this photo)!
There is ample chance to ask questions on each topic and Deborah Moebes of Whipstitch, the instructor and founder of the league, gives timely, detailed feedback and encouragement from what I’ve seen so far. In addition, there’s a private Facebook group, Instagram hashtag and a Pinterest board with a gazillion useful pins. I believe there are also monthly live chats although I haven’t taken part in one so far.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be getting some really useful practice during the year on this course and if it sounds like something you might be interested in, you only have a few days left to join. Membership can only be taken up until the end of February and then you would have to wait until 2017, if I understand correctly. The link is at the top of this piece if you fancy checking it out! Bye for now!