This past February, Alabama Chanin partnered with the team at Craftsy, 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 Craftsy 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 Craftsy 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 Craftsy 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.

P.S.: If you purchase your class from the links on our website, we will earn a small commission from the product purchased through that link. This commission supports our business and helps us stock our 100% organic fabrics, pay our employees a living wage, and allows our teams to continue to design and create the products that you love. What might seem like a small gesture can go a long way for our business, so thank you.

21 comments on “CRAFTSY CLASS (A RECAP)

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  1. Moushka

    Thanks for highlighting your Craftsy class, Natalie. I haven’t finished my jacket yet but I absolutely loved the class and learned so much! It was definitely money well spent. I’m working on a corset top and skirt now from ASS+D and enjoying every minute of it. Just seeing you “love your thread” and watching how you handle the fabric and stnecilling taught me even more than your excellent books did. Alabama Studio Sewing + Design is a gorgeous book that made me fall in love with your work. I recommend it completely. Combined with your fabulous Craftsy class, the two are the next best thing to doing a workshop with you in person. Thank you for sharing your talent, passion and experience with us. We need more people like you in the world!

    1. Grace

      Ditto! I’m also working on an embroidered corset top, loving every stitch and enjoying the process. The craftsy class did teach me a bit that that books did not. The instructions are all there in print, but there definitely something added by visual and auditory learning.

    2. pattiebelle

      Agreed! I am in the class and loving every minute of it. The questions from other students and the discussion board are also beneficial. I love seeing all the different projects everyone is working on. I’m starting out on smaller things as well (the corset top) before I attempt the fabulous coat. Great pattern choice!

      Hand sewing for me is a mindfulness practice in a life filled with electronic devices. I, too, would love to do an in person workshop, but life and time don’t currently allow for it. I was thrilled when I found the Craftsy class. Thank you so much for making it. 🙂

  2. Shelly

    I could not resist this class. I began my slow design journey about a year ago when I happened upon Alabama Chanin. I am drawn to the esthetic qualities and wanted to learn to create my own finished pieces. I purchased Natalie’s latest book and started out taking baby steps by practicing the stitches, and sewing small items like the Moleskin book cover and bandana. I was taught to embroider at a very young age and learned to machine sew as well. My greatest accomplishment was my Vogue pattern linen dress that I completed and wore in my senior picture. I didn’t sew for myself much after that. Now that I am 60, this project brings me back to sewing and hand work again and I know that once I complete my jacket, I will be able to accomplish any AC project. Thank you Natalie, for making your time and talent accessible to so many. Without this platform, I would not have had the courage to attempt such a project on my own.

  3. Susan

    I am also taking the class, although I am stuck right now. I can’t decide what color to make my coat. So I am dithering around and deciding on one color one day, and a different color the next.

    I have been sewing for a long time, and have sewn several pieces out of the AC books, but since I have two children and find it VERY difficult to get away (I keep thinking I am going to ask for a class for a gift at some point), this class was a great alternative.

    I did not expect to get much more out of the class than what I learned in the books, but I have to say I have already learned new things from the class and I am only up to the cutting out point. I stopped there until I could decide what color to make my coat. Now I am also stuck because it is summer, and the living may be easy for my kids, but not so much for me. ( I kid a little, because I have a great life!) However, I am busy running my daughter to camps, and getting my son to his many, many soccer practices. I just tell myself whenever I feel the need for quiet, that I will have more quiet than I ever wanted in 8 years and enjoy the noise and chaos while it lasts!

    This class is well worth it even if you are a veteran sewer. Thanks for the great class

  4. Carol

    I loved the class……so well done…..I have all 3 books, but it was wonderful to listen and watch Natalie. The class was set up so excellently and easy to understand. And you can revisit it every time you want to….Very inspiring……..It is so worth taking the class, even if you do not want to make the jacket. So instructional in the techniques used at AC……xo

  5. Sylvia snell

    Many thanks to Natalie Chanin and the whole Craftsy for offering this class! It has changed my sewing! I absolutely love the handwork to be done making these projects and I also love the cotton jersey fabric! As many before have said, “I would live in IT alone!” If possible, what comfort!! It would be just the best!
    I have all the books, reread and reread them over and over again, and glean another kernel of useful information every time! The class on Crafts was wonderful….the Creativebug was a little abbreviated, but I love that red dress sooo much it was worth every penny tow atch it again and again!
    I would love MORE! Patterns, book( I know it was not easy writing the 3 already out!) and anything to do with the sewing process of the cotton jersey fabric! I know I am not alone in my infatuation with all things AC!! Thank you for all you have given us, the home sewists, as we anxiously await “MORE”!!

  6. Maria

    I loved this Craftsy class with Natalie. I made an unembellished version of the coat first because I know how long it takes to do the embroidery and I wanted to check fit/size etc before committing to the embroidered version. I love how everyone can post the pictures of their projects on Craftsy but the best part was if I had a question, I would post it and Natalie would get back to me within a day or two. You also get feedback/questions from the other students which is fun. I am so grateful to Natalie/Alabama Chanin for opensourcing and sharing – she’s the best. I still remember the goldenrod corduroy vest I made in freshman year home economics class and wondering why we had to make something so hideous. I only had to wait 30 years to make something attractive that I actually wanted to wear. I love this jacket pattern – its really flattering. I would never have picked it out of Vogue and made it out of cotton jersey by hand – once again, the genius of Natalie.

  7. Elise

    I have signed up for the class and am excited to start it after reading all these glowing comments. I was also thinking of signing up for the Applique class through Creativebug but was not sure if it was a duplication of what is presented in the Craftsy class. Has anyone signed up for both?

    1. Judy

      HI! I have signed up for all the courses Natalie has produced for CreativeBug, the craftsy course and, a few months ago actually was fortunate enough to attend a weekend workshop in Florence, Alabama with her and her talented staff. I would highly recommend the creative bug platform. Money WELL spent!!! Creative bug has a different approach, a bit more detail and it would be hard to choose. All that being said, Natalie’s creative bug offerings really have the basics well defined. Good luck!!!

  8. Marijke

    I own and have read all three books, but the Craftsy class still added new information. Seeing you demonstrate the techniques and talk about them really helped! I have not yet started the jacket. I had already started working on a dress using the facets stencil for the bodice. Trying to find time to finish the dress!
    Thanks for the class. It was really helpful to see all the techniques demonstrated.

  9. Amy Thompson

    I am very happy I signed up for this course. I have many more hours to go on my embellished version of the jacket and would not have begun such an ambitious project alone.
    The interactivity is what I needed~ Thank you, Natalie!

  10. Erika

    I love reading that so many AC fans are working on this jacket…I have been making most of the essential pieces and a few embellished pieces and really want to make the coat in just the medium wt jersey…no embellishment.
    My question is::::: is the coat only double layered on the lapels / collar? I have the pattern but have not signed up for the Craftsy class…is it possible to make the coat by following the instructions in the pattern or did Natalie alter the assembly beyond the pattern instructions….??? Any info would be much appreciated…

    1. Alabama

      The entire coat is double-layer. You can follow the instructions in the Vogue pattern and make the coat without the class, as long as you are familiar with our construction techniques.

  11. Anne Dixon

    Any chance that your Craftsy class will become available again? I just discovered Craftsy and have purchased two of your books.

    1. Alabama

      Hi Anne,

      The Vogue pattern associated with the Craftsy class was discontinued, which is why the Craftsy class is now unavailable. We apologize—but hope you can find inspiring projects from our Studio Book Series. We also offer DIY Kits that are prepared for you to make yourself. They are a part of The School of Making (along with many more things to explore):

  12. Amanda

    Love all the AC books and video classes too! I am in love with this red jacket – does anyone know where/ who the pattern (actual cut) of the jacket is by? IS it an AC pattern that I have missed!!! Desperate for an answer! 🙂

  13. Alabama

    Hi Amanda,

    This is a Vogue pattern that is, unfortunately, discontinued (which is why the Craftsy class is now unavailable).

  14. Amanda Thon

    Thanks for letting me know! Very cool of you to ease my search in finding the pattern! Thank you! You guys are the best!

  15. Beth

    Hi. From the comments I see that this red coat is a vogue pattern that is out of print. Can you tell me what the Vogue pattern number is? I want to hunt for it and see if I can find it anywhere online :). Thank you!

    Oh and I love Natalie’s crafts class and am in the middle of my Magdalena swing skirt. Thanks again.

    1. Alabama

      So glad to hear you enjoy the classes, Beth.
      This pattern is Vogue pattern #1263. Best of luck on your pattern-hunting!