Bluprint Class Review: Couture Dressmaking Techniques and Couture Finishing Techniques

Bluprint Class Review: Couture Dressmaking Techniques and Couture Finishing Techniques

First up...I used these classes through Craftsy. It's now been taken over by Bluprint. Everything is still available, it's just under a different name. I have only dipped into the new platform but it seems to work the same...
So many people have recommended Craftsy for online classes that when they were on sale last, I had to have a go! I signed up for two classes by Alison Smith; Couture Dressmaking Techniques and Couture Finishing Techniques. I figured it was time I tried to improve what I was making, and was interested in the kinds of techniques that I could use to achieve a really professional finish to my handmade garments. If you are also thinking about spending more time on the quality of your makes, read on to find out more about these classes - I definitely recommend giving them a go.

The two classes have some similar content, like how to sew seams, but are quite different. Couture Dressmaking Techniques gives you the 'big picture' elements - understanding lining, construction (including darts, necklines, sleeves, boning) and sewing things like princess seams. Couture Finishing Techniques looks at the smaller details - hand stitching, finishing seams, inserting fasteners and hemming. Personally I think the two go very well together, and I couldn't pick one over the other for usefulness! If you hang on long enough, there are often half price offers around bank holidays so you can get both for the price of one if you time it right.

Bluprint Class Review: Couture Dressmaking Techniques and Couture Finishing Techniques

The tutor, Alison, is very experienced (she has an MBE!). I love her presentation style because you can hear the years she has spent on dressmaking in what she says. Each section is full of small tips that help make sewing easier and more accurate. I feel that the lessons are correctly paced, so that you don't miss anything and it's all explained clearly, but doesn't drag on. I have watched these just on their own as videos as well as using them alongside my making to take me through each step.  I found it interesting to learn more about dressmaking and construction for a range of garments, even if it wasn't relevant to anything I'm making right now. You can access lessons forever, online or like I do, using the mobile app. The materials for this class are sparse, but it's not really about worksheets so that didn't bother me.

My sewing has definitely changed as a result of watching these videos. I'm not as adverse to hand sewing as I was before and like adding that extra professional finish now. I've also learned different ways of achieving the same outcome, and think a bit differently about the patterns I'm making to consider if it will get me to the best possible finish. I have picked up the princess seams chapter on more than one occasion from my mobile app to help get it just right, as Alison give a lot more detail than any pattern does. I've also invested in a seam roll to make best use of the iron, instead of rushing through this step when I'm making (or missing it out altogether!). It has made a difference, in case you are wondering. I have to say I feel less worried about making garments for other people now. Beforehand I was worried how obvious it would be that it was made by me - there is a distinct difference between 'homemade' and 'handmade'!

Bluprint Class Review: Couture Dressmaking Techniques and Couture Finishing Techniques

The first project I used my new found skills on was a wool miniskirt; it uses left overs from my Rumana coat for a matching winter set. I added a waistband and lining using Alison's techniques. Normally I would never bother with a bias binding finish, but did here, and love how it works. (For some reason no matter how many times I've tried to photograph me wearing this skirt, the images always look awful! It must be something to do with all the grey going on, and the lack of light in winter time.)

I'm so glad I signed up to these classes. I won't be using these techniques on all my sewing but I certainly will when I want to make something really special.


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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