This past February, Alabama Chanin partnered with the team at Bluprint, an online community of makers who offer projects, craft ideas, and courses on dozens of topics. Our online class, Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Appliqué, Beading, and Embroidery, has provided us with a new way to interact with our fellow makers and has given us the opportunity to share just a few of the techniques that we teach in our Workshops.
We have talked before about the concept of online learning and how the Internet is making education opportunities that were once expensive and inconvenient cheaper and more accessible. Enrolling in online courses takes geography out of the equation. It is no longer essential to sit in a physical classroom with other participants. You don’t have to plan your life around when classes are scheduled. Online classes, like our Bluprint course, allow you the opportunity to learn the same stitches and techniques as someone on the other side of the country, or the world.
At Alabama Chanin, we’re proud of our online classes. When we talk about MAKESHIFT and the goals we are working toward, you hear us talk about bringing together makers and users, crafters and designers, designers and manufacturers, and facilitating those relationships to the benefit of everyone. This Bluprint class, added to our Workshops and Studio Books, allows us another opportunity to make some of those connections by open sourcing our methods, patterns, and techniques. The positive response we continue to receive from this online course and our other Creativebug classes tells us we are on the right track. We are sharing information, establishing new relationships, and seeing growth and innovation as a result. We are also seeing communities grow among those who enroll in our courses. Ideas and relationships are forming around this open-source platform, taking on a life of their own and regenerating all over the country. Needless to say, we want to see this online movement continue.
Students in the class applaud the comfortable pace and say the Bluprint platform is easy to use. Through classmate interaction and direct access to the Alabama Chanin team, students are able to communicate with one another and receive support through direct question and answer with our knowledgeable staff.
While the Vogue pattern we use in the class has been challenging for some, those who were initially intimidated are saying they are put at ease by the laid back format and their ability to review sections as many times as needed, plus ask questions and receive prompt responses. We have received many positive comments for not choosing a basic style garment for the course, but rather opting for something that will be a special piece in each student’s wardrobe. Students who usually sew only using machines have been surprised to find they really enjoy hand work. It has also been rewarding to us when students say the course has prompted them to reconsider their own wardrobe choices, make more of their clothing, and shop more consciously.
The possibilities for available content with online learning are incredible; the reach of these courses is boundless. We want to make more connections with you, hear more about your experiences with this course and online learning, and, most importantly, see what you are creating, producing, and imagining.