Here I am again, with the second post on my part of the Canada Cups blog tour, this time featuring my review of the Craftsy class featuring corset maker Linda Sparks, Custom Corsets: Bones, Casings and Busks.
I was rather excited about this class, for 2 reasons in particular: 1. Linda is from Ontario, Canada and it's great when I see instructors from my adopted country being represented. 2. I was hoping it would give me the design freedom that the Essential Techniques class didn't get to cover.
For this review, I decided to make an underbust corset and incorporate some of Linda's techniques. For this I decided to totally trash the free T-Shirt that the lovely folks at Craftsy had sent me for reviewing their classes. Don't get me wrong, I was very appreciative of the gift, but a round neck tee with a large logo on a short woman with a huge bust... well, that was never going to look good. So I decided to up-cycle!
In the interest of fairness, I'll review Linda's class in the same way that I reviewed Alison's Essential Techniques class:
Linda is soft spoken, reassuring and calm in the presentation of her lessons. She tells you when things are going to get tricky, but to bear with her a and I really appreciated that it was okay to be very confused at times! It always became clear in the end.
Once again, in the interest of fairness, I am using Beverly Johnson's Freedom Corset pattern, but this time I'm constructing an underbust. That's another feature of this pattern - you can choose between overbust, underbust and 2 ways to create your back panels for your grommets.
The class is broken down into separate lessons, covering busks, bones and casings. Each lesson is then subdivided to tackle one specific element of these at a time. It's ideal for jumping between techniques.
The lessons are short, no longer than 20 minutes, and while this was fine for most lessons I felt some would have benefitted from being a little longer, as it was clear from the start that Linda has a lot to share.
You'll remember from Part 1, that neither Kayleigh nor I was a big fan of Alison Smith's preferred method for adding the stud side of the busk. I preferred Linda's method which removes the risk of mis-aligned front panels.
Where we loved Alison's modesty panel at the back, we equally loved Linda's placket at the front.
As I had decided to carve up my Craftsy T-shirt, I decided to ask Linda how she would go about stabilizing the fabric for this. Her response was quick and helpful. I think Craftsy must have all their instructor's electronically tagged so that they respond immediately to questions as I've yet to find a class where I've had to wait long for a response.
I'd also recommend reading other people's questions because they provide great inspiration for your own work. A question on D-Rings caught my eye, and I immediately knew I had to have them!
The Technical Stuff
Here I'm a bit disappointed in Craftsy. Poor Linda got a dull grey set, with only her mannequin to dress it up, she didn't even get a chair! I've seen some beautiful Craftsy sets and while it doesn't affect the quality of the instruction, it felt as though they had put Linda in the corner.
There was also some clattering in the background of one of the lessons where clearly someone had dropped something. Linda only glanced over briefly and kept going, undeterred, but really I wouldn't have expected this.
Kudos to Craftsy for bringing us this second corsetry class with additional skills and techniques to learn. It's well worth having if you've made your first and want to change things up a little. I used the invisible busk and faux piped casings on this corset.
Linda is a great teacher who clearly wants to share lots more so please Craftsy, get her down for another class!
I for one want to learn all about hip gores and cording, changing the pattern for higher backs, and how to resolve challenges such as horizontal lines in the panels and how to combat back fat overflow.
Even if you haven't made your first corset before, I really recommend you get both classes as they complement each other, showing you alternative techniques to do the same thing in some cases. If you are a confident sewer then you'll easily be able to incorporate some of Linda's techniques in your first corset.
So, here's my finished item. My Craftsy Underbust, complete with D-Rings and scissors so the wearer can always be prepared to sew!
Tomorrow is the final day of the Relay, so be sure to head on over to the Fairy Bra Mother's blog to find links to all the other amazing reviews that have appeared as part of the tour.