One Pattern Many Looks

I’ve taken several Craftsy Classes. One I started but did not finished. Two I haven’t started (purchased during a very good sale).  I’ve added lots of classes to my wish list, but as I learn about the Craftsy format, I delete more and more. The first classes I took were definitely “meh” variety.  The information was good, but could have been presented as a free blog post with maybe an open sew along. Definitely not woth the cost but I hesitated to ask for a refund. I knew Craftsy was just getting going and while I was unimpressed, others (several of whom I admire greatly) couldn’t get enough of Craftsy.  I refuse to pay $50 for an online class.  I won’t buy a book for that price.  When I received an offer to purchase this class for $35, I hesitated. I will pay $30 for a book. But it’s a book I’ve had a chance to thumb through and determine if it’s an hour’s worth of entertainment or something that I will use over and over. I actually don’t really like the video format.  My short term memory needs a little assistance. So if i want to remember the information in a video, I need to stop the video and make notes and sketches.  With a book, I slap a post it note on the page. With an ebook, I make a bookmark. But, I really would like to fit one pants pattern and be able to adapt it to a multiple of styles. That’s not as easy as it sounds.  I’ve tried.  Even what seemed so minor, adjusting a pants leg width 1″, didn’t turn out well.   I’d love to know the secret tweeks the designers use to change pant shapes and adapt for different fabrics.  I’d really like to know.  So with Craftsy’s guarantee in mind (love it or refund it), I purchased and started viewing “One Pattern, Many Looks: Pants” by Kathy Ruddy.

This is the first Craftsy Course I can truly rave about.  First off Kathy is very personable. She comes across the screen as knowledgeable, experienced and down to earth.   She is able to full describe the task at hand so that you understand.  The visuals help, but I think I could figure out what to do with just the text.  I was very enaged with  this class, I wanted to go on and on.  Let me give you a  recap

Lesson 1 Meet Kathy Ruddy:  Doesn’t add any important knowledge. Kathy introduces herself gives a autobiography and encourages you to download the course materials.

Lesson 2 Creating the Pattern Block:  The class needs a basic pant pattern with a waistline at the natural waist, no pockets and slacks legs (i.e. neither belled or severely tapered.) Kathy recommends a Vogue pattern, but acknowledging that maybe you don’t want to run out and buy a pattern, describes what to look for and then takes the time to show you how to convert your existing pattern into a pattern that will work as basic.  Upside is that you don’t have to buy a new pattern.  I felt it was a little extra instruction, a bonus.  She is reverse-engineering these patterns and explaining how the shape was created.  It’s food for thought.  I filed it away as information to create that kind of shape when my basic pattern fits.  I am BTW using the Eureka Pant from Fit for Art Patterns in conjunction with the class.  I chose this pattern because I just purchased it and it does fit the standard for a basic block.

Lesson 3 Refining the Fit:  Not every figure  variation is covered, but she does a good job of covering the major differences and is the 2nd source I’ve seen describe the dropped rear. It’s a common physical difference rarely recognized by designers or manufactures ,  and the reason all my pants crotches are scooped in the back creating.  Of great interest to me personally was the change for removing excess ease directly under my rear and removing the twist which sometimes happens in legs.  Can’t wait to try these solutions. It is important to solve your individual fitting challenges before going onto the following lessons.

Lesson 4 Leg Design changes:  Finally I know why my leg changes don’t work.  Every thing I’ve read said to take the same amount from the inseam and side seam.  Kathy gives two rules for how to remove/add ease and tells you how and where to true the new lines.   Then she helps you realign the straight of grain.  She illustrates the process with a striped fabric. She  makes such sense that I’m eager to try her method.

Lesson 5 Faced Waists and Hidden Zippers:  Confession time I skipped through the hidden zipper segment.  I used those 30-40 years ago when they first came out and I was incapable of sewing a  nice zipper installation.  I’ve solved my zipper issue.  I don’t really want people staring at my clothing wondering how do I get in and out of that thing. So hidden zippers are not of interest to me and I don’t have a single one in my stash.  However I watched the Faced Waists twice.  This is a look I love.  I was fascinated by how the facing changed shape using two easy clips and over-lapping the dart legs.  I think I understand now and can make a faced waistband for all the varieties of waistband heights that I like to wear.

Lesson 6 Elastic Waist:  Kathy has an easy way to install elastic that doesn’t involve pulling elastic through a casing.  I’ve seen this technique in the past but didn’t like to use it.   All elastic does not have the same stretch and it seems that all waistlines don’t have the same circumference even when I’m making the same size but different patterns.  Kathy’s method overcomes both of these issues.  I’m curious enough to give her procedure a try but being me, I’ll be using large removable stitching.

Lesson 7 Adding a Zipper:  I didn’t want to write myself any notes.  I’m not impressed with zipper guards — that extra piece of fabric behind the jeans zipper.  My tender skin is always protected from zipper teeth with underwear.  I don’t have a burning desire to copy exactly ALL designer details.  I don’t need to make you feel like I’m rich enough to purchase Chanel or Valentino etc etc.  If there was a display near me, I’d go and see the work of these famous designers and I’d probably learn something. But for my everyday, casual life I don’t need a extra step to install a good zipper.  YMMV

Lesson 8 Slashed Pockets:  Loved this lesson.  The course materials include the “slash” Kathy uses.  It is curved and she explains why.  This is one of several pockets she talks about in the course. Since I both love and need pockets, I was especially attentive.

Lesson 9: Back Yoke and Patch Pockets: Another fascinating lesson.  Kathy takes the basic pant and shows how to make the yoke that you want.  It’s wonderful to see it change shape (similar to the waist facing)  She also uses this lesson to show how to copy RTW details to include placement.  Kathy encourages snoop shopping. Even praises the designer for the effort they go to in creating their garments. As she says, they’ve invested a lot of time to get these details right. Why not learn from them?  She shares a neat pocket copied from RTW even including the shape in the course materials.

Lesson 10 Welt Pockets:  These are special tailoring details we all love. Kathy shares a procedure that is easy enough for a beginner. You do need a special supply:  tear away stabilizer.  You might be able to use paper.  I’m fortunate to have a stash of embroidery supplies so I’m all set to try her method.


As I work with the information Kathy Ruddy provided, I will be referring back to this post or Craftsy. I thought it only fair that instead of, out the blue, writing  Kathy Ruddy this and Kathy Ruddy that,  it would be a good idea to post this evaluation. Again it is the first Craftsy Course that I can rave about and think I will use the majority of the material presented.


10 thoughts on “One Pattern Many Looks”

  1. I seem to have managed to get all my Craftsy courses when they have been ‘on sale’. Some I have been very happy with, but might not have felt quite so good had I paid the full price.
    I like the video format – but if you aren’t online (or are away from home for any reason and still want to know) it would be easier with a printed format.

    1. The few courses I bought at “full price” were nder $20. They were good for becoming acquainted with Craftsy but nothing I felt helped or inspired me personally. OTOH, I might recommend some of the very same courses to a brand new sewist. BTW, if you come across with a good discount code, please let me know. There are still courses I’d like to try but not at full price. Thanks for your input. It is so good to know I’m not alone.

  2. This was a great review. Thanks for going in to such detail. I was having trouble deciding whether or not I would buy this class. Now, based on your information, I’m pretty sure I will. I’m going to use my Sure Fit Design pants block as my starting point.

    1. Thanks Kelly. To often the reviews on Craftsy don’t give me enough detail. Good luck with your SureFit block. Hope to see your creations soon.

  3. Thanks for your review. If you can learn something new about pants fitting from it, that’s a stellar recommendation. I too have had a mixed reaction to Craftsy classes–the first one I tried was half-price, and I loved it–Janet Pray demonstrating the Islander sewing method on a casual jacket, price including one of her expensive patterns. I learned a lot. I’ve had a couple of other good ones, on sale, but I’ve had a couple that disappointed. I asked for my money back on one of them, and got a refund almost immediately. It wasn’t a bad course, but it was on full bust adjustments, and I didn’t learn anything new. The other, well, maybe I’ll eventually get some good out of it.

    It’s made me very skeptical of the class descriptions.

    1. I agree that the class descriptions just aren’t enough. I take issue with the reviews as well. I don’t care how wonderful you thought the instructor was, I want to know what you learned. I’ve also seen replies to a negative review but could not find the original negative comment. I’ve heard that Craftsy deletes negative comments. If so, that’s disappointing. Knowing that a class is really basic would steer me away but isn’t that better than giving me a refund and having a disappointed customer who is reluctant to purchase another class?

    2. I agree. Part of excellent sales is finding the right solution for the customer. It’s not like you’re reluctant to purchase a class at all, it’s just you want to find the right one.

  4. Bev, thanks for the review. I think I’ll get the class. You’ve sold me. I’ve just redone a pattern and taken in the same amount on both outseam and inseam. I’ll let you know how that works out. I’ve taken classes with Kathy Rudy and really liked what she had to say. Will hope Cratsy has a sale soon. I’ll be “babysitting” DD as she’s having her left knee replaced Friday. Good time to watch a class. Thanks again for taking time to post this review. I really appreciate it.

    1. Nice to hear from you. I hope you find the class as informative and interesting as I did. It will help keep you busy while babysitting.

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