40 sewing techniques class and Craftsy giveaway!

For my latest collaboration post with Craftsy, I took the class 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know with Gail Yellen. This is really an in-depth class, chock full of little details! Both from the main topics she covers, and as she chats while going through the class. Which is something I secretly (okay, not so secretly) like–gleaning extra little tips in the in-between moments.

40 Techniques every sewer should know

The class covers pressing, stitching, curves and corners, interfacing, bindings, sleeves, and closures. And it’s meaty. Really meaty. The shortest section is almost 20 minutes and the longest is an hour. This is definitely a class to take a chunk at a time, but it’s worth it! Seriously, this class covers so much. I could pretty much say, “Open a sewing book, and if there’s a topic listed, Gail probably covers some part of it.”

Lots of good basic tips like pressing seams with a seam roll, grading seam allowances, stay stitching, and marking fabric for adding closures. She also covers a ton of more intermediate/advanced topics, like inside and outside corners with bias binding, princess seams, flat constructed jacket sleeves, and block fusing. And there’s even tips that can apply to other areas of sewing, too. For instance, she discusses Ease Plus, one particular method of easing in a sleeve (one of several she covers), but it’s also a great method for easing a hem, and is a technique I know about from a couple of my vintage sewing books.

One of the tips I’m glad Gail covers is something I recently discovered on my own, but wish I’d realized it sooner. Much, much sooner. I’ve always kind of groaned about topstitching or edgestitching as I cringed at the thought of trying to keep my line straight. Because I wasn’t using a foot with a guide. Hello, lightbulb moment! Gail shrewdly points out that it doesn’t really matter what the original purpose of the foot is… blind hem, topstitching, whatever. If it has a guide, you can use it.

edgestitch foot

And use it, I do. All the time. Every time I sit down to use it, I actually kind of laugh at myself a little bit. Because look how nice that stitching is now. Okay, still not always perfect, but 500% better, I can assure you.


I appreciate that the class covers tips all over the sewing map. And even when it’s an area with which you’re familiar, it doesn’t mean there’s not something new to learn or contemplate. Here’s two great examples:

First, before I watched the class, I had just finished up a project with a bias binding applied to the neckline instead of a facing. During the class I managed to pick up a couple of ideas to make it even easier on myself, which I applied to my next project on the binding at the top of the patch pockets. (You’ll see this dress soon!)


Second, on curved seams with facings, Gail grades the seams with pinking shears. And I’ve never thought to try that! I started being more of a close cutter, then changed my ways to clipping more and grading a bit less after reading a post of Marie‘s where her close trimming led to a hole (sorry, can’t seem to find her exact post!). And now I’d like to try out Gail’s method of pinking and grading.

40 Techniques class - grading curvesSource: 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know, copyright © Craftsy

I really like that with so many tips and suggestions, you can start to see how things can apply to other areas of your sewing, too! And I enjoyed watching Gail sew. It’s a long class as I mentioned, so there’s lots of opportunity to just watch a pro in action. I find that can be a good way to pick up unspoken tips, too. Several times I watched her clip a curve or edge that was already serged. In my own head, I’d worked that out to be a no-no, so I appreciated seeing Gail do it!

If you’re looking for a class that provides a nice set of tips over so many areas of sewing, I’d recommend 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know. No one specific topic is more than a few minutes, so it’s great to either watch in sequence or to cherry pick what you’d like to learn about.  Of course not every tip can apply to every project, but I love to have more options in my arsenal.

After all, you can never learn enough about a topic you love, right??

Enter the giveaway!

Hey, now one lucky winner will get a FREE copy of 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know, thanks to Craftsy!

Here’s how to enter. It’s easy:

There’s one entry per person. The giveaway will close on Wednesday, June 4th at 1pm Central Time. Craftsy will randomly draw a winning entry and contact the winner. So get your entry in. Good luck!

(This is a sponsored post with Craftsy, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.)

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Golly, 9 Comments!

  • I picked this one up when it was $10 but have yet to delve into it. In my mind it’s a “eat your vegetables” class, really good for you but not as fun as something covering a specific project. You may have given me the push yo finally start watching.


    • The perfect description :))
      I have this class on my wishlist, but I still have a few more to watch before, I just keep postponing this one.


  • I’ve already picked up this class too, but have been afraid to delve into it, but OMG– just the top stitching/edgestitching info you showed here is GENIUS. I’m going to have to get brave and actually have a look at the class tonight. Thanks!


  • Love that my two fav’s, you and Craftsy are teamed up 😉 I can’t wait to see the new dress. I love your taste in fabrics I have total dress envy!


  • I so appreciate this review! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on the verge of buying this class only to back out because I never knew if the info covered would benefit me or be things I already knew about, you know? Now I know – I need this class! lol. I’ve got me fingers crossed!


  • Marie Derobertis May 28, 2014 at 6:41pm

    Hi Tasha,

    I purchased this class too! it was the first class I bought from Craftsy, and I’ve watched a couple of sessions so far. It’s very good, easy to follow, and Gail explains things so even I can understand!


  • I don’t think I can enter the giveaway because I’m a freelance employee of Craftsy but I’ve definitely had that class on my wishlist for a while now! I’m glad you found it really useful and informative, and even learned some new techniques. Sounds like a worthwhile class for sure!


  • Ooh sign me up. Thanks for the review, it sounds really good and covers a lot of ground.


  • […] binding technique was one I mentioned in my post on the Craftsy 40 Techniques class. I also matched up the print, which is something I’ve come […]


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