Good News For People Who Love Sewing!

You may have heard the good news that Sew News is joining with Janet Pray of Islander Sewing Systems to bring a wonderful new program to a larger audience. I wanted to spend a some time in this newsletter talking about this class and certification courses in general.

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Janet prepping for her video shoot in Golden

Whenever I post about our new certification course I get replies about the cost and how ‘so and so’ has classes for $19.99 or ‘You can find that on You-Tube for free’ and so on. The truth is that true certification courses are quite a bit different than your average free You-Tube video.

Let’s check out the differences and why you might be interested in Janet Pray’s Islander Sewing System Certification Course.

The Cost

This course is 500.00. There, I said it. Yes, it’s a lot of money. (Full disclosure here, that does not include supplies. You can purchase a separate supply kit but it is not mandatory.) Yes, you can watch lots of videos for free on YouTube.

But, this is a certification course. Meaning that after completing the course you’ll be able to teach this system on your own. You can make money off of your passion for sewing. You’ll be certified to do so under the Islander Sewing System. All instructors of the Islander Sewing System must go through a certification process.In the past, if you wanted to be a certified instructor of the Islander Sewing System it meant traveling to Michigan to do so. Or, locating an instructor and taking the course somewhere else closer to you.

Now, you can get the same great course and take it all while in your own home.


I’ve seen popular sewing bloggers conduct a ‘sewing weekend’ where they make one garment and one garment only for the price of $500. That does not include hotel accommodations, transportation costs, supplies, etc. Sure, you may leave having had a wonderful time and hopefully learned something new and helpful – but you’re not certified to teach. The online Islander Sewing Systems Certification Course is not one day or even a weekend.

The entire course is 6 weeks long and can be taken anywhere, anytime using your computer, tablet or even your smartphone. There is no set time, courses are structured to fit your schedule. That’s the beauty of online learning; you can do it almost anywhere at any time.

The Course

Islander Sewing System was developed by Margaret Islander. In 2001, Janet Pray, a long time student and devotee of ISS, acquired the Islander School of Fashion Arts. Over the years the course has evolved to fit the changing needs of the people who want to take it. First offering direct instruction, then text books and now online virtual learning. Potential students ask why making a shirt is the first project.

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The answer is simple. A shirt is complex! It has several components to it: buttons, collars, pockets, flat felled seams, mitering, darts and tucks. You’ll be working with multiple body parts: sleeves, arms, chest, back and so on. Shirts offer a lot to learn.

In this course you’ll also learn how to insert zippers, waistbands and more. One of the hallmarks of the ISS is learning garment industry sewing techniques.

  • You’ll learn how to sew without pins or basting.
  • You’ll learn to use different seam allowances and why these work better for the home seamstress.
  • You’ll learn how to accurately cut, marking tips and how to manage difficult fabrics.

What I find the most intriguing is the tips and all  industrial sewing techniques and how to use them in your home sewing. For a full outline of the course please head to Craft Online University.

The Instructor

There are many Islander Sewing System instructors out in the sewing world. Some have earned their certification and taught others. Many have used the course to better themselves as seamstresses, producing professional, quality garments faster. With this certification course you will be taught by Janet Pray.

Janet Pray 300 Good News For People Who Love Sewing!She will walk you through the entire system in her fun and engaging way. You’ll be able to access Janet for 6 weeks to answer your questions and for feedback.Additionally, Janet knows how to sew and has spent most of her life sewing and preaching about all it’s virtues ( and frustrations!).

Janet is the President of the American Sewing Expo, served as the Executive Director of the National Sewing Council and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Association of Sewing & Design Professionals in 2012. Janet has been around for a long time, she has been sewing for just as long.

With this course you are not getting a 30-minute video, but 6 weeks of education from a well-respected sewing instructor and sewing community leader. If you’re interested in certification programs do the research and ask these questions:

  • How long are the classes?
  • What is the course outline?
  • Who is the instructor?
  • Does the instructor have the qualifications to teach the subject?
  • What can be done with the certification once it’s finished?
  • Will I have any support once I’ve completed the course?

I hope this helps in separating the wheat from the chaff in regards to short sewing videos and a 6-week certification program.But, I need to hear from you. We offer these types of programs based on what our readers have expressed interest in.

So, here’s your chance, let me know what you think. Have you ever taken a certification course? What did you like about it? Are you familiar with the Islander Sewing System and Janet Pray? Do you like online learning? What types of topics would you like to see? Let me know in the comments section below.

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 Good News For People Who Love Sewing!

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
This entry was posted in Videos & Online Learning and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Good News For People Who Love Sewing!

  1. Renee says:

    How is it determined that you have sewn the assigned garments to certification standards?
    Are there exams to show that you know the theory’s etc for certification?
    Do you recieve certification simply by purchasing the program?
    Do students recieve an actual certificate?
    Later as an instructor, is there a curriculum to follow/use?
    These questions were not addressed in this solicitation. I need more information.
    Thank you

  2. Kristine says:

    After spending the weekend at the Sewcial sewing retreat, I’m all fired up to get more people sewing! I’d very much like to become a certified Islander instructor, but… what is the time requirement for the online course? Aside from watching the videos, how much time will I need to sew and construct the “homework assignments”? Will this online opportunity come again soon (when I have the chance to save up the course fee)?

  3. grandmakk01 says:

    I have been going to the sewing expo for the last five years or so and I love it! I have also been interested in taking this class for several years, but on a fixed income so it’s kind of hard. I was able to take an online course in Dressmaking and Design from Penn -Foster in 2012 because I was able to make monthly payments. Maybe I should make myself monthly payments till I get the $500 together. Always love to learn more.

  4. Jenny Gaus says:

    I purchased a Janet Pray online class and loved it. Her tips made the project easy and fun. I go to the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI every year with my friends. Love it!!!! The only certification classes I have taken were in nursing. I was very proud of the certificate and it did allow me to advance my career. I’m not able to become an Islander teacher at this time but I always love sewing information. I can’t imagine her program not being ultra valuable to any sewing people. She’s great!

    • Jill says:

      Lovely to hear. We love Janet and think she does such a great service to new and veteran seamstresses and those that love to sew.