Saturday, July 9, 2011

FAQ About My Online Bombshell Dress Course

Thank you so much for your tremendous support and enthusiasm for my new online course, which I blogged about yesterday. I'm so happy to see the positive reaction, especially since I conceived the course with you all in mind. There were a lot of great questions asked yesterday, so I thought I would devote a special post to answering them.

How does the online course work? 

You can take the course anytime, on your schedule. It doesn't have a start or end date. There are more details about how it all works on the Craftsy website.

What is the discounted price for blog readers?

The cost for you awesome people is $29.99, and you must use this link to get that price.

Is the payment for the whole course?

Yep, the $29.99 gets you the entire video course, which includes 15 in-depth lessons.

How long will I be able to access the course?

Forever and ever! Once you buy it, you can log into the website and watch the lessons anytime, whenever you want, no expiration date.

What pattern does the course use?

This BurdaStyle pattern is included with the course, you don't have to buy it separately. I show you how to modify the pattern for a vintage look by eliminating the drapey bit at the waist, lengthening the skirt,  and adding removable straps (see picture below). However, if you're not keen on that pattern, you can use the instruction in the class to create any bustier-style dress.

The pattern doesn't come in my size!

The pattern goes up to a BurdaStyle Size 44, which isn't a great range, I know. But again, the course is mostly about techniques for strapless and bustier-style dresses, which can be adapted to any pattern. This Scissor Happy sarong dress pattern goes up to a bust 44", for instance. There are also a couple bustier style dresses available from Vogue right now, like V1227 and V1174.

I'm a beginning sewist, can I take this course?

This class has advanced techniques and is definitely geared to seamstresses with some garment construction experience. If you've made some basic dresses and feel ready to take it up a notch, you can definitely do this course. If you're still feeling a bit shaky with your skills, I would wait a while and make some simpler dresses to gain confidence before you dive in.

On the other side of that coin, if you're an experienced seamstress, this course will be still be great for you. I've taken skills that are hard to find all in one place--bust padding, waist stays, boning, underlining, and put them into one tidy video package.

This dress style isn't for me. Will you make a course with a different style?

I want to make more online courses, so please send any suggestions for subjects my way!

Okay, I think that's it for now. I will continue to update this post if more questions come in. Thanks again for your support, dear readers!


  1. Please offer a wiggle dress course! You know, the now-iconic Joan leaning against the doorway style? I am dying to conquer the knit wiggle dress.

  2. I love the dress, and I will absolutely be taking the course very soon! I just purchased the book "Couture Sewing Techniques" by Claire B. Shaeffer (Taunton Press), and I am RIVETED! I have been sewing for 25 years, and have a sewing blog of my own (teaching beginning sewing), but have never done this intense type of fitting and sewing, so your class is right up my alley!

    I am SO eager to take my own sewing skills up a few notches - Thanks, Gertie!

  3. I just watched the entire course (I like to know what I am getting into with a project before I start) and it is an invaluable resource! I cannot wait to make it! I am actually looking to use it as the basis for my wedding dress!

    I know there was a discussion before about trousers and I would love a trouser lesson! Maybe course that covers a 30s/40s high waist, wide leg trouser but also the Audrey Hepburn cigarette pant?

  4. Congratulations Gertie, I'm glad you're getting so much positive feedback because you deserve it. You've worked so hard and I think it really shows in these lessons - I can't wait to start my dress with my favorite teacher!

  5. How long is the price/course going to be available for? I know $30 isn't that much, but we had over $1000 of unexpected vet bills this month (silly hedgehog), and I can't really justify any extra spending until next month at the earliest.

    As for future lessons, I'm actually not much of a dress person, but I would be really interested in trouser/jeans or jacket/coat lessons.

  6. I asked in the earlier post about whether there are captions or subtitles for deaf/hard of hearing. Accessibility would be awesome. Otherwise, I can't justify buying it or any online course/videos if I can't understand/get the same information as those who can hear audio.

  7. craftbition, I'm checking on that right now! I should have an answer for you soon. I hope we can work something out.

    Bess, the course will always be available. And I hope to be able to offer the $30 price here for as long as possible.

  8. Thanks Gertie for the helpful answers!

    It seemed to me that people were obsessing a bit about the dress size and/or pattern suitability in yesterday's comments, as opposed to applying the concepts to the many other style/size options out there. But you took it all in stride and gave a constructive and thoughtful response.

    I am long past the age where I should consider wearing such a dress, but I am thrilled to take the course to learn new skills. If if I actually get a wearable dress for me or someone else out of it, then that's a wonderful bonus.

    Anyway, you are very patient, and that makes for a great teacher.

    Thanks again!

  9. I just love the idea of this course - but as you suggest, this particular dress wouldn't get much wear for me. I would love if you did courses covering the basic skirt shapes that you mentioned in the Sew Mama Sew post, a pencil skirt, dirndl, full circle, and basic a-line.

    xx S

  10. Hi Gertie,
    I just wanted to complement you on the wonderful job you have done with the online course. I have signed up and am really enjoying it! I signed up because I have been following your blog and was curious about the course. I'm familiar with the techniques already and the dress style is probably not suited to me but I read and watch everything I can about sewing. You're doing a fantastic job of presenting the information, I bet it is much harder to do than it looks! You make me want to sew that dress! Maybe I'll make it for my SIL.

  11. Gertie, I signed up for the course this morning and am loving it! I won't be able to start on my dress for a while due to lack of funds, but I'm really enjoying watching the lessons. You are a wonderful teacher!

  12. Fantastic! That answered all my questions. I was afraid I'd buy the course and my access would expire before I found the spare time to work my way through the whole project. No problem with that.

    I love this Craftsy thingee idea. Very cool. I'm glad you discovered it for us. Thanks.

  13. Wow, I am so taking this course!! Taking my sewing skills up a notch is exactly what I need. I can sew a dress perfectly by instructions, but fine-tuning the fit is THE most important part I'm lacking... Thanks for putting it together!

  14. oh and I also would love a course on pants fitting! As someone with a huge difference between hip and waist measurements, it always ends with me taking out so much fabric that the C/B seam chevrons and the side pockets no longer have room, and the pants don't necessarily resemble their original form...

  15. I love the dress and have signed up for the course. It has come at the perfect time for me so thank you. I am thrilled to have all of the special techniques covered in the one spot. I just wanted to say that the pattern sizing shouldn't really be an issue. I have a very large bust but the rest of me isn't so huge. A full bust adjustment can be done to help people with the bust sizing. thanks for putting the course together.

  16. What I absolutely love about this sewing class (okay, I love everything about it) is that the pattern can be downloaded. For someone who isn't in America and can only print out patterns, this is wonderfully convenient. I'm really learning a lot and I'm starting my muslin right now.

    Gertie, I would love for you to have a class that tackles dresses (wiggle, or with full skirts) with build in foundation garments, like you were talking about in earlier blog posts. That would be awesome. And please make the patterns downloadable too, just like in this class!

  17. It really is a great class. I have a lot of sewing experience yet I learned something new. This is a really great class and a steal. I have taken online knitting classes before and do have a basis for comparison. You rock, Gertie!

  18. Yeah! I just signed up! Thank you, Gertie! I am so excited.

  19. I just signed up, I'm so excited to learn fitting and tailoring techniques from a teacher on video! Thanks for making an in-depth course.
    I love the suggestion of trousers, and I'd also be interested in how to take a pattern from existing clothes - I'm sure we all have beautiful vintage pieces we'd love to recreate.

  20. I'm already on lesson 6, muslin almost done (before fitting which is one of my biggest fears!) Gertie, thank you for this excellent course. It is amazing and inspiring! So professional and easy to follow and packed with information! You learned so much in just a few years and you're a great instructor. For me it came at a perfect time - I'm attending a wedding in a week and don't have a dress yet :-)

  21. Gertie, my twin sister from Hong Kong bought this course for me. I've watched it to lesson 4. I've learned so much from muslin, thread tracing, notches, clips, to fitting. I can't wait to see all the lessons. I will use the skills to help my daughter with her sewing. Thank you,


  22. I am beyond excited to learn all of the techniques in this course. I have been sewing garments for 12 years but a lot of the more advanced, fiddly couture techniques have eluded me because I am such a visual learner. The little diagrams provided in most books just don't cut it for me.

    Thank you so much for sharing your hard earned knowledge in this format. I have already watched much of the series and finally feel like I can tackle a heavily constructed bodice. If that wasn't enough I have literally been obsessed with making an Alfred Shaheen style dress for YEARS! I cannot wait to get started, especially because I know it is going to be an amazing project.

    Now if you could do a video series on a classic hand-tailored jacket I would so be there :)

  23. I've checked out the links and the pattern over at scissorhappy - love love LOVE.

    Thank you for making this course happen and I'm excited with the class parameters! This girl is moving in a month or so but as always, must have a project to look forward to. What a fabulous thing I can revisit classes as often as desired and forever.

    I wish you buckets of good luck so this sort of program can keep coming our way!

  24. ~ * ♥ * ~

    I would love a shirt waist dress tutorial that uses a vintage pattern without markings just so I know what to do! But I do not know how practical that would be because of the whole not having multiple copies of the same pattern!

    Another idea is maybe a vintage reprint pattern? I would love a beginner vintage shirt waist dress course, as I have never sewn a dress before, but would really like to try. : )

    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

  25. Hi Gertie, I love the online course so far. I had intended to buy supplies today, but car troubles kept me at home. I might end up just ordering everything online... Anyway, I can't thank you enough for teaching this class. What I've seen so far has changed the way I think about my own sewing. I hope to apply your lessons to all of my future sewing. Thanks again.

  26. Yay! I just signed up. I am super excited :) Hopefully I can dig into this soon. I am out of the size range, so I am going to try to alter it myself, based on other patterns I have used. I just made a dress, and had to alter most of the pattern pieces myself...first time, and it worked well. I am just so excited to learn the techniques :)

    I also can't wait for your book! I was searching the blog for book info, but I couldn't find much...can you label posts about your book? Or give us a little summary of what's going on with it? I'm really excited for it!

    Also, as I am looking at the site, how awesome is it that we can all ask each other questions, etc? This will be the best resource ever! I normally end up taking out my vintage sewing books whenever I need help figuring out something. I can't wait!

  27. ps. I also agree with Stevie. Some cute clam diggers, or something, is my suggestion for another course.

  28. Thank you for stating that we can access for ever and ever, my time right now is seriously limited, and so I haven't even looked at the course, but if I can buy it now and then take it later I will click through - when I have a moment! Thank you, by the way, for online courses, it means I can take a class with you even though I'm in England:)

  29. Hi Gertie,

    Your class looks amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to produce it!

    Do you think this bustier dress could be adapted to be a vintage sarong bathing suit?

    It seems similar to :

    I never found the back of the pattern, so I'm not sure what kind of material vintage swimsuits were made of... I guess it's a stretchy sturdy woven fabric, using a zip closure?!? Could it be made with modern swimwear fabrics too?



  30. I'm so excited! i just signed up! i'm going to Korea for my brother's wedding and i'm gonna make this dress for it!

  31. I hope you will soon make a basic tutorial of aspiring sewist. Thanks!

  32. Thank you for the information. I'm definitely planning to take the course! It's great that you've done this so people who can't have a lesson with you for real can still learn with you. It seems I'll learn many interesting and more advanced techniques from your course, I can't wait!
    I didn't have the opportunity to register before now, so I wanted to do it this morning (I'm in France, it's the morning here) so that it would be done even if I can't take the course right now. But did the price just go up? When I click on the link it says $34.99... If so maybe you should let people know that the price is going up through time.

  33. Hi Gertie!
    I'm planning to take your course but I need to do some finacial planning.

    The Burda pattern tells you how much fabric, lining and boning tape to buy but it doesn't tell you how much ribbon is needed for zipper guard and waist stay. And nothing about what material I should by for bust padding and how much of it.

    Is it it possible to get info on this before I buy the course so I can do some calculations of the cost of the whole shebang?

  34. Hi, I would love to see a course for a winter coat! Like the vogue coat you made.. That would be great..

  35. i am so excited about this class, as I am a bridesmaid in a upcoming 1940's style wedding. I was looking everything over, and was I being naive to think i could make this a size 18/20 and fit my DDD's? )I am larger but curvy) I was full of confidence until i read other peoples comments on this issue. You say right in the advertisement you show how to adjust the pattern. Right? Thank-you for your answer.

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. oh no! I wanted to purchase the online course yesterday but had issue with my computer, I fixed the problem but I came today to purchase it and poof the offer has disapear!!
    Is the 29$ offer no longer available?

  38. Hi, Gertie
    I saw an earlier post where someone asked about help for the hearing impaired. My daughter is profoundly deaf and loves to sew. I also would love o see something available for the deaf who often love to craft. Thanks for caring.Your course looks fabulous. thanks,

  39. Gertie, I loved your course so much! It has taught me so much. You really should offer more of them... Next time, you could focus on tailoring, and make a tailleur (suit)...

  40. I'm taking the Sew Retro Perfect Fit Bombshell Dress course at Craftsy--but I often browse the new arrivals at and this morning, what do they have on there but this dress: Doesn't it look familiar! :-) Really enjoying the course so far. Looking forward to the finished result!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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