DVD Class

Startup Library: Sewing (DVD + Streaming)


Item: W0168Q


Ready to explore a new craft? Learn to sew with author, designer and sewing expert Sara Alm in this comprehensive beginner’s class. Sara will guide you through all the basics, from essential tools and materials to choosing patterns, cutting and marking fabric and so much more. You’ll make a simple tote bag and stylish dress — even if you’ve never sewn before — and acquire a full set of garment-making skills that you can apply to any project. Your sewing journey is just getting started!

* Important Pattern Information

The dress sewing pattern on which this class is partially based — McCall’s 7120 —is not included with your purchase.

NOTE: If you’d like to purchase only the DVD for this class, you may do so through this link. (Please note, any class PDF materials are not on the DVD itself. You must have streaming access to download those materials associated with the class.)

Supplies Needed

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Class Sessions

What You Need: Essentials (11:40)
Meet author, designer and sewing expert Sara Alm and begin class by going over a few essential tools, including a sewing machine, good fabric shears and an iron.

What You Need: Patterns (15:05)
Sara shows you how to select the perfect beginner-friendly sewing pattern, measure for your correct size and, using McCall’s dress pattern 7120 (not included with your class), read a paper pattern envelope. She’ll also discuss the pros and cons of downloadable PDF patterns.

What You Need: Fabrics (11:08)
Find out how to buy fabric like a pro! In this lesson, Sara shares the best types of fabrics to use for beginners, as well as the more challenging ones, before explaining how fabric is measured in width and length.

What You Need: Interfacing (10:39)
Underneath it all, interfacing supports fabric and keeps it stable in areas such as necklines and armholes. With so many varieties to choose from, Sara helps you drill down to just what you need. She even shares tips for successfully adhering fusible interfacing to fabric with a steam iron, an essential sewing skill.

What You Need: Notions (14:12)
See how to choose thread and other essential smaller tools, including pins, needles and a seam ripper. Sara also covers twill tape for tote bag handles, and other trims and closures you might find useful as you continue to sew.

Practice: Machine Threading & Operating (19:21)
Ready to start operating your sewing machine? First, wind a bobbin, thread the machine, load the bobbin, insert a needle and attach a presser foot. Then, select a straight stitch, set the stitch length, and let ‘er run as you practice stitching straight lines, pivots, curves and backstitching on no-risk paper.

Practice: Stitches & Seams (16:12)
Learn to pin, sew and press accurate, beautiful seams as Sara explains seam allowance, an essential concept for successful sewing. You’ll also learn three options for easily finishing the raw edges of the seam allowance. And if you make a mistake, not to worry! You’ll learn how to use a seam ripper to remove errors.

Method: Grain Line & Pattern Layout (15:16)
Once you’ve pretreated your fabric, you’re ready to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric for cutting, arranging them for the most efficient use of your cloth. Sara walks you through reading the pattern layout diagrams and aligning the all-important grain line, found on each pattern piece.

Method: Cutting & Marking (12:15)
It’s important to cut the pattern pieces out smoothly and accurately. Using the tote bag class project as an example, Sara shows you how to cut with fabric shears. Then discover various techniques to trace the dart markings and transfer other key symbols from the pattern to the fabric.

Make It: Tote Bag Part 1 (21:04)
Now, put your newly learned techniques to use by sewing your first project: a tote bag! After a quick recap of the cutting and marking process, start your bag by preparing and stitching the pocket to the front. Then add shaping to the bottom of the front and back with darts.

Make It: Tote Bag Part 2 (24:06)
Complete your tote bag by sewing the front and back together using the “right sides together” sewing rule. After that, turn and topstitch the raw edge and add the straps. Sara even throws in a couple of fun variations for you to try!

Make It: Easy Dress: Working With the Pattern (47:42)
Build on your stitching skills by sewing your first garment: an easy scoop-neck dress with shaped hem. Sara discusses pattern vocabulary, pattern layouts, how to select the pieces you need, customize a multi-size pattern, and how and why you may want to trace the pattern pieces onto fresh paper before moving on.

Make It: Easy Dress: Darts, Shoulder Seams & Neckline Facing (15:16)
Continue working on your dress as Sara reviews the construction process and gets you started sewing bust darts and shoulder seams. Next, you’ll prepare the neckline facing by sewing its shoulder seams and clean-finishing the edge.

Make It: Easy Dress: Attaching the Neckline Facing (27:54)
Give your dress a professional look by creating a well-sewn facing, or finished edge turned to the inside. Follow Sara’s step-by-step instructions to stitch the prepared neckline facing to the dress, trim and clip the seam, and understitch it before securing the facing to the shoulder seams with a few hand stitches.

Make It: Easy Dress: Side Seams, Pockets & Armhole Facings (31:19)
Side-seam pockets are easy to add when you’ve transferred the markings accurately. After stitching the pockets to the front and back of your dress, stitch the side seams, finish the seams, and press them. Afterwards, sew the armhole facings to the dress with the methods you learned in the previous lesson, and you’re almost done!

Make It: Easy Dress: Hem & Belt (16:40)
Complete your dress by machine sewing a shaped narrow hem. Sara will guide you through accurate preparation, stitching and pressing for terrific results, as well as show you how to hand-stitch a hem for future projects. Then complete your dress with a fabric belt using Sara’s easy method.

What’s Next: Future Projects & Zipper How-To (18:34)
Sara ends class by offering some ideas for future projects. Then relax and watch as she demonstrates inserting a center slot zipper to help you tackle your next project, whether a skirt or dress, with confidence!

Your Instructor

Sara Alm

Sara Alm started sewing dresses at age 6, and she’s never looked back. After graduating from the Apparel Arts patternmaking program in 2005, Sara work has worked as a patternmaker, designer and sewing instructor at Apparel Arts. She also shares her passion for garment-making by teaching sewing and fashion to at-risk teenage girls. Sara recently launched a line of women’s activewear and is the author of “Designing Clothes With the Flat Pattern Method” and co-author of “Famous Frocks.”

Bonus Materials

Class Materials


How will I receive my DVD class?
Your DVD will be shipped in the mail using the address you provide at checkout. Your purchase also includes access to a streaming version of the class and downloadable PDF class materials. After your purchase, you can find your streaming class and your PDF class materials by logging into your Craftsy account using the user name and password you established.

How do I access the companion materials for my DVD class?
Come to Craftsy.com and log into your account using the username and password you set up when establishing your Craftsy account or purchasing your DVD. In your “My Account” area, select the “Classes” content. On this page, you’ll see all classes you’ve purchased from Craftsy. Simply select the desired class from your content list, and you’ll be presented with your selected class page. From the class page you can easily view, download or print the companion class materials, which are in the “Bonus Materials” tab on the class page. You can log in any time, and download or print the companion materials as many times as you like. Companion class materials are not shipped in the mail with your DVD, and must be accessed on Craftsy.com.

How do I stream my class on Craftsy.com?
Come to Craftsy.com and log into your account using the username and password you set up when establishing your Craftsy account or purchasing your DVD. In your “My Account” content, select the desired class. Stream the video on-demand from the class page any time you like; your viewing access is unlimited. You can stream your class from any computer, tablet or mobile device with Internet access.

Do I have to purchase a Craftsy Membership to get my class?
No, you do not. Every DVD purchased on Craftsy.com includes both the physical DVD in the mail and unlimited on-demand streaming access at Craftsy.com. These benefits are yours with or without a Craftsy membership.

Are DVDs included in a Craftsy Membership?
No, they are not. DVDs can only be purchased on an individual basis and are not included in Craftsy memberships. For non-members, DVDs are a flexible way to purchase only the classes you love best. For members, DVDs are a great choice to build an at-home library you can keep forever and enjoy any time, with or without Internet access.

Do you ship internationally?
Yes, we do ship most physical products, including DVDs, to several International destinations. In addition to the USA and Canada, we ship to Australia, Brazil, India, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and most Western European countries. If you live outside these countries, you can still purchase digital items including memberships, individual streaming classes, and pattern downloads.

Do your DVDs work on international players?
Yes, our DVDs should be compatible with any DVD player in use today. All our videos have been created with all current Region Codes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8). If you have trouble viewing a DVD purchased from Craftsy.com, please contact Customer Service.

What is your return policy?
We want to be sure you’re satisfied. If you have trouble playing your DVD, if the content is not correctly presented on the DVD, or you are dissatisfied with the content of your class, we will work with you. Contact Craftsy customer service via email or phone. Upon your request, and upon your return of the DVD to us, we will refund your purchase price or send you another DVD to replace a damaged or incorrect DVD, whichever is your preference. If you do receive a full refund, your streaming video class will also be removed from your Craftsy account, so on-demand video access will no longer be available to you.