Archive for the ‘sundry messages’ category

Download Craftsy/Bluprint classes

June 13, 2020

The new Craftsy site has opened.
So happily this post is just of historic interest.

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Big graunches and groans that Bluprint/Craftsy is closing down.

One of the problems with the Craftsy business model has been the huge team of professionals making the shows. So each class takes $000s to develop.   Compare to one-man-band teaching sites which film themselves using fixed camera angles and do their own editing.  Maybe some DIY effects, but it is more financially sustainable.  Creative Bug celebrates this DIY style as a sign of their overall attitudes.

Another problem with high teaching costs in this industry is there are so many good free sources of information. It’s difficult to build a big business with many staff if helpfulness is your only income stream, as people can usually go elsewhere. 
I’ve noticed some UK companies doing much to develop customer loyalty by providing extra free services during this virus-shutdown-time.

There must be dozens of on-line tutorials on every possible sewing technique, with hugely variable quality. And different people prefer different styles of presentation. I link to ones which work well for my preferred sewing quality and learning style, in my Aim for Quality blog. I’ve found there is no one source which is good for everything.

Although Craftsy/Bluprint has never been unique as a source of good information, you may want to download your classes so you don’t loose your ‘lifetime access’ to much good material.
I’ve been through an extended and convoluted process before finding something that works to do the downloading.

What doesn’t work

The download app at Bluprint-Craftsy only works for iOS/ Android (instructions here).
So what about downloading the videos to a laptop/desktop, especially a Mac ?

For those of you who are interested in using VLC to download the videos, here are the instructions for Windows.
I don’t use Windows so don’t know how well it works.

I tried several video download apps that are supposed to run on a Mac, but most of them only download YouTube. Here’s a list of the top 10 download tools for Mac – well, they do run on a Mac but they don’t download Bluprint/Craftsy.

So, many attempts and failures – including some mind boggling options needing you to go down into the depths of code, which is not one of my strengths.
Here is an example from someone who has kindly taken the trouble to sort out how to do it.
I found some instructions about installing curl on a Mac.

Allavsoft for downloading videos

Setting up the software

At last and happily, AndSewForth at Stitcher’s Guild posted about Allavsoft, which works for both Windows and Mac.
$20 for one month, not a big investment – I already had enough GB of free storage. You also need an .mp4 player. On my Mac, QuickTime does that.

Allavsoft’s instructions
Sewmodernbags instructions (more detailed)

Best first to buy and then contact Allavsoft, giving the receipt and your Bluprint a/c information, for personalisation before downloading the software.
The software downloaded from the link in the email you get from Allavsoft is the personalised version which works for downloading Bluprint videos.

Allavsoft have to manually set up the software to your Bluprint account, and not surprisingly they are very busy at the moment, so expect to wait some hours before being able to download, install, and use the software.

The instructions don’t mention it, but if you need to re-install the software, do un-install the existing version first, otherwise it just defaults to ‘Token Invalid’ again !
I worried whether I would use up my download limit, but I think if you did that while trying to sort out a version that worked you would have a valid reason for demanding more.

Downloading the videos

Using that software and the Sewmodernbags instructions, I have downloaded my class videos, I’m very happy to say.
I chose 50 of my classes to download (206 GB). 420 download files in all.
I haven’t got the fastest internet service, and it took about 12-1/2 hours.
I downloaded to my hard disk, and backed up on an external disk (about 3 hours).

On my desktop Mac, the only thing different from the Sewmodernbags instructions was that it set up a download folder : Movies > Allavsoft.

Allavsoft downloaded the files for each lesson into this folder.
There are 3 files for each lesson : the .mp4 video, an .srt file of the subtitles, and a .vtt transcript of the voice-over. Each file is labelled with the class number, lesson number, and lesson title.
So on my Mac in this folder after the download there was a list of 420 files sorted by class number and lesson number.

If you are using Windows, I suggest you set up a special folder instead of downloading to your desktop. See the Sewmodernbags Step 3 for where to change the ‘Save to’ to your own folder.

You do just get the class videos, not the support framework provided by Bluprint – index/menu, Q/A, etc.

Sewmodernbags has instructions at the end about what to do if the download is interrupted – looks as if it’s best not to quit Allavsoft until the download is finished.

When downloading – use the time remaining, at the bottom of the download window, only as a very general guide. It jumps to and fro – it went up to 6 days at one point for me. . .

If you change your mind and want to download some more classes, the Sewmodernbags instructions tell you how to download a single class (also see next section below). You can also download a single lesson, as each lesson has a different url.

Though you can no longer buy a class you’re sorry you missed !  The deadline for that passed before I knew it could be possible to download. . .

Do I have to say that I’m not affiliated to Allavsoft ? There may be other apps for Mac which do the job as well, but I haven’t come across them, and it was a great relief to find something that works. (See the Comments for more options for Windows.)

Sorting the videos into classes

As each lesson is downloaded separately, when the downloading is finished you need to sort out what you’ve got – see Sewmodernbags Step 7. 
Hmm – sorting 420 files into 50 classes.
Perhaps it would be less trouble overall to download one class at a time, rather than all in one go. That is a possible option as each class has its own url.
Sewmodernbags Step 4 screenshot – paste the url for an individual class here rather than the url for your whole class library. Then it will just download that class and you can take a pause before working on the next one.

Downloading each class separately needs more attention during the download process but less sorting out afterwards.
Fortunately on a Mac, items in a folder are listed in numeric order, so they’re easy to link together.

Support materials

Video download software does only download the videos. There are also .pdf written instructions, supplies lists and sometimes patterns associated with each class. I downloaded most of them when I first got a class, but I need to go through those as I find I haven’t got them all and some have been updated.
Download direct from the Bluprint site.
There’s a button labelled ‘Resources’ above the left side menu for each class. This time just touching the button for an item starts the download ! Though it just downloads to your browser. I need to transfer the file to a .pdf reader to save it as a .pdf.
There are still links to buying patterns and materials but they don’t work any more.

Good Luck for carrying out a hefty task, but it does mean you can retain your investment in these classes.

And do it soon – Bluprint have not announced when they are going to shut down completely, but expect it to be months not years.

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A Change in Direction

November 16, 2013

I’ve noticed many blogs have a natural life span.
I’ve recently begun wondering if I was repeating myself.
What I wasn’t at all expecting is that I’ve quite suddenly stopped having a head full of ideas about what to say here.

Not that I’ve stopped having ideas but they’re about other things !

So I’ve decided to stop posting here. A good time to stop, with the holiday period coming up.
I may post occasionally when I feel strongly about something. But at the moment anyway, posts won’t appear regularly.

I’m hoping to do more sewing – but for some reason I feel no inclination to blog about it. And happily many people write such good blogs on that.

A four-year commitment, that’s pretty amazing !

Many thanks to you all for your interest.
I’ve found it very rewarding to see how many of you wanted to visit here and see what I had to say.
I’m planning to leave it all available in the hope it continues to be useful for reference.
My most visited posts are ones written several years ago anyway !

Best Wishes to you all, and Many Thanks for your encouragement.

Enjoy sewing lovely life-enhancing clothes.

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

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November 2013

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e-Book initiative

April 20, 2013

😀 Whee – hee 😀

Last weekend someone took the 450,000th view of my posts.

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Thank you for your interest.

In celebration, here’s a new idea – combining small groups of posts that go well together, and putting them in e-book form so they’re easy to access.

Here’s the first, on Wardrobe Planning.

e-book on wardrobe planning.pdf

A pdf in US letter size, which prints okay on A4 too.
Formatted for reading in print.
Of course the links only work when you read it on-line, but they do work from Adobe Reader.

It includes the posts on :
Your personal wardrobe plan.
Building a wardrobe in small groups.
The power of the boring.

😀 😀 😀 Thanks to you for your interest. 😀 😀 😀

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Your favourites in 2012

January 5, 2013

WordPress keeps quite detailed stats, so I know a lot about your favourite content here during the last year. (No, they don’t keep a note of who visits what !)

People do tend to explore when they get here. Most days the number of ‘visits’ is more than twice the number of ‘visitors’.

WordPress themselves, in their annual report to me, said: “About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 200,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 4 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!”

Hey 😀 😀 😀 Thank You

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Favourite posts over the year

The various posts listing North American independent pattern designers, including
North American independent pattern designers update
together got over 40 visits a day.

Taken together, the two basic posts on pattern making
Pattern making – the formal route
Pattern making – easier fitting shell
come next. Over 35 visits a day to one or other of them.

Next top post was the one on
Choosing and changing necklines.
Over 20 visits to that every day.

And the post on the
Cheongsam dress
got over 15 visits a day.

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Most visits in first week of posting

Building a wardrobe in small groups

The weekend this was posted, my blog got more than 1000 visits on both Saturday and Sunday for the first time.
And more than 5000 visits over the week.

– – –

The posts you made most comments on

Many useful comments on
Nine Body Shapes.
People suggested other body shape schemes which work better for them.

I particularly enjoyed the comments on
Style interest from accessories rather than clothes.
I think it’s very helpful to hear people describe their own wardrobe choices.

– – –

Links you followed

Some of the links in
Choosing and changing necklines.
Sadly the links I gave nearly 3 years ago are very out of date. Do a general search for ‘neckline’ to get some good possibilities.

The Vivienne Files

Nancy Nix-Rice wardrobe advice
The list of links to her newsletters is no longer on her site, so it’s worth signing up to receive them.

The top blogs you went on to were :
Stitches and Seams (Debbie Cook)
Ruthie Sews

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Patterns you wanted to know more about

Happily the BMV sites have reverted to their previous url style, so my old links are working again.

Most of the pattern links in my posts are just followed up when the post is new, but there’s a few that several people look at each week throughout the year.

Not surprising, the McCall’s 2718 fitting shell with 5 cup sizes was popular.


Many people with more than B cup size find it best to buy this pattern by chest (upper bust) size, so the pattern fits your frame.
BMV chest size table here.

Many wardrobe patterns were popular, particularly a couple of soft styled ones which are now out of print.

Butterick 5472 cascade jacket wardrobe has been one of your top patterns ever since I first mentioned it.


Another was Butterick 5045, now also oop (includes a soft vest).


These wardrobes were only slightly less popular :

Butterick 5760 is a useful group of basic classics.


I used an intermediate style wardrobe, McCall’s 6519, as an example when talking about co-ordinates.


For lovers of vintage there’s Simplicity 2154, a Jackie O style wardrobe.


Peplums got a lot of attention. The most popular pattern was for a coat : McCall’s 6442.


These were only a little less popular :

A basic top, Vogue 8815 was also one of the most reviewed patterns at Pattern Review in 2012.


And a stunning jacket from Chado Ralph Rucci, Vogue 1269 (with dress).


The most popular pattern of the year was a cheongsam dress, now discontinued – New Look 6812.
New Look 6203 is similar, now only a download pattern.


And a simple shift dress, Butterick 5211.


None of my favourite ‘layering tops’ was a much visited pattern – ah well 😀

For a basic casual dartless top, the Burda Style self-drafted block got most attention.

– – –

How about making a whole wardrobe from these patterns 😀
They cover everything from business through casual to dressy, classic to soft or flamboyant, with fitting help along the way.

Anything here that you missed and would be interested to look at ?

Prefer to look at more trendy styles ? YouLookFab reviews her fashion best and worst of 2012.

Two key quotes from her :
“• Most Important Part of a Style Journey: To have fun along the way. 
• Best Thing About Our Bodies: They are never wrong. Clothes can be wrong, but our bodies are always right.” 

😀 😀 Say the same about your style 😀 😀

😀 😀 😀 😀 Happy New Year 😀 😀 😀 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available January 2013

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