When a recent email came across for a bargain offer from Craftsy on the class of my choice, one of those "we want you back as a friend" offers, I bit. I perused all the selections. So many options........A few things played into my choice. First, I feel a real bagapalooza coming on after my last bag. You know I have garments lined up but there is no pressing need for those. Also, bag making is such fun. There are technical challenges to be enjoyed, no fit issues, and an opportunity to utilize some of the wildest prints and surface embellishments out there. Doesn't get much better than that! Then I started thinking, like I never ever do, that I should maybe start making bags for Christmas gifts, NOW. So unlike me, but it's a great excuse to switch gears a bit creatively. Throw in that I am entranced with all the hardware now available for making professional looking bags and here was my choice: The Mix and Match Clutch Bag Technique course with Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags. NAYY, BTW!
I've never been really good at clutch style bags. One of the big issues is the top flap not having a snug fit on the inside of the bag and then the innards sort of peek out. Well, with the class I learned tricks that prevent that and I truly haven't seen it in any of the samples made by others taking the class. To me a clutch bag is like a well fitting blazer. It really needs to have inner engineering to make it look effortless when worn/used and those skills are taught in this class.
You all know I have been making bags since before the millennium, cough, cough, and then some. I can honestly tell you I learned much new in this class that I can't wait to put into action. Janelle MacKay's method for installing pocket zippers is like none I've seen elsewhere and gives a beautiful finish. She also introduces various foams to the process which was a giant light bulb moment for me. Her method for getting the best installation of the foam again is like nothing I've seen elsewhere and the results are beautiful. MacKay clearly explains why various interfacings / foam combos are or are not the best idea. In the past I've used fusible fleece and decor bond combined usually. Her foam / interfacing method gives much superior results to that and I am itching to have at it.
MacKay teaches how to install the various types of hardware and how to adjust your pattern to accommodate the varieties. I always thought that was some proprietary secret of really cool bag makers but she shares her knowledge generously. The patterns for all the bags you see above are included with the class as well as excellent written instructions in a PDF format. The cutting layouts are clear and well illustrated. Her style of teaching is clear and straightforward. Her voice and tone are pleasant on the ears and she is totally on focus with no extraneous distracting mannerisms or unnecessary words. Her knowledge is vast, experience obvious and all generously shared. One of the things that has really impressed me and has greatly set her apart from many others who teach and design is her generosity. She allows and encourages the use of her patterns, with credit of course, for those who wish to sell them, just no mass production. This generosity of knowledge, skill and spirit is only matched by her professional demeanor. The knowledge in this class is supported by a FB presence in her Emmaline Bag group and her NCW Addicts group where here generosity, encouragement and skill shine.
I've taken several Craftsy classes at this point, most of which have been quite good. This class is among the best. If you have ever wanted to make a professional looking clutch bag, expand your bag making skills to other styles of bags and learn from the best in a clear, enjoyable class, this one's for you. I highly recommend. Again, I have no affiliations here........Bunny