Online Class

20 Things to Know Before You Sew

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Get set up for success before you even sit down at your machine! Learn essential preparation techniques that will produce better results in every sewing project.

Skill Level


What You Get

  • 7 Streaming HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers to student questions from instructor, Janet Pray
  • Closed captioning available (web only)

How it works

  • Once you purchase, find your class in your class library.
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find downloadable class resources in the class viewer.


Start every sewing project on the right note! Join former director of the National Sewing Council Janet Pray, and find out how you can prepare yourself for success before the sewing even begins. During class, Janet will guide you through picking the perfect pattern for your skill level and teach you what you need to know to choose the right fabric. Then, you'll learn how to use a sewing pattern, whether you're working with a tissue-paper pattern or a printable PDF. You'll also discover the best ways to work with your grain line, the easiest way to cut fabric, and great tricks to line up pockets and sleeves. Plus, Janet will show you how to mark your fabric like a pro!

Lesson Breakdown

1. Understanding the Pattern Envelope
Meet sewing expert Janet Pray. Janet will walk you through the process of how to select the best pattern for your level of sewing skill as she demystifies the information printed on the back of the pattern envelope. She'll also review the basics of measuring and how to select the proper pattern size.
2. Choosing Fabrics & Linings
3. Preparing & Storing Patterns
4. Pattern Layout
5. Cutting & Interfacing
6. Marking
7. Understanding Muslins

Taught by

Janet Pray
Janet Pray
Janet Pray is the owner of Islander Sewing Systems, which offers patterns and instruction for industrial sewing techniques. She's also the founder and president of The American Sewing Expo, the largest independent sewing expo in the United States. Janet served as the executive director of the National Sewing Council for three years, and she is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals.

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