Whether you want to make a pillowcase that matches your pajama pants or want to make a ballgown out of cotton fabric, sewing can serve as a creative outlet of expression in ways many other hobbies can’t. However, starting out on your sewing journey can seem overwhelming - which is why choosing the right instructor and method can be vital regardless of your level. Walking you through the different options available on the market, this guide will help you decide what type of sewing class and teacher is best for you!

supplies from the fabric shop
Picking out fabric that you love is an essential step to making your own clothes (Photo credit: Volha Flaxeco via Unplash)

Can I Learn to Sew Without a Sewing Machine?

If you know what a serger machine like a Janome or Bernina model does or what a bobbin is, chances are you’re familiar with how to thread using a sewing or embroidery machine. The good news is, you don’t have to be a seamstress or big fashion brand to sew, let alone own a sewing machine. Whether you’re into dressmaking, want to make a tote bag or mend a buttonhole, the world of kit fabric and free-motion sewing isn’t exclusive to those with the machinery. If you’re interested in learning to sew with just a needle and thread, learn some of the basic stitches such as:

  • Baby lock;
  • Straight stitch;
  • Straight-line;
  • Zigzag.

Following a guide online like the Stitch Sister’s Sewing 101 tutorial for free or a class taught by a sewing professional can help you progress from basic sewing skills to using zippers, appliques, and muslin.

Sewing Supplies: Costs and Shops

If you’re interested in learning about the cost of sewing at different levels, make sure to check out some guides on recommended supply lists and more. Here are some of the basic materials you’ll need to get familiar with regardless of whether you own a sewing machine or not:

  •       Rotary cutter;
  •       Bias tape;
  •       Serging machine;
  •       Stabilizer or fusible fabric;
  •       Seam ripper;
  •       Rulers.

While more advanced sewers might need to buy more expensive materials, getting started with sewing can be done with a basic sewing kit that is sold in many crafts stores for 2 to 15 dollars.

basic sewing seams and stitches
Learn to use your sewing machine like a pro with the help of a sewing class (Photo credit: Edgardo Lagmay via Unplash)

Make the Most of Your Sewing Tools with Sewing Classes

Want to start your own hand embroidery project or work on the patchwork quilt blanket you took up years ago? Taking a sewing class can be a rewarding experience for those looking to get a refresher on the skills they already know as well as beginner’s who need guidance on sewing’s basic skills. Here are some of the courses you can take with professionals that can show you how to get crafty with more than just a needle and thread.

Qualities to Look for In a Professor

Regardless of what skill level you’re at, finding a teacher who can support your goals and objectives should be your priority when searching for sewing classes. While it’s up to you to determine the reasons you’d like to start sewing, it should be up to the professor to create a safe and professional environment in which you can do so. If you’re interested in taking in-person sewing courses, you should take the following into account:

  • Price;
  • Availability;
  • Experience.

Unfortunately, price is often a make-or-break selling point for most people. Fortunately, there are a diverse number of sewing classes for an equally varied range of prices that can be found online and in your local community. Before looking for a professor, make sure to establish a price range that is the most sustainable for your budget. The availability of the professor or course will be the next most important factor to consider when choosing a sewing teacher. If you have a tight working schedule or a very impacted social schedule, taking up an in-person sewing class will probably not work in your favor. On the other hand, finding a professor who has a set course schedule can be perfect for those who need to plan their weeks ahead of time. The last factor to take into account while looking for a sewing teacher is the level of experience they have. While more experienced teachers will be great for those looking to learn complex sewing techniques, newly seasoned sewing teachers will be great for those who are interested in a collaborative working environment.

Gain Confidence with Beginner’s Courses

If you’re interested in taking classes with a professor at the beginner level, browse for courses that will teach you the basics in sewing using just needlework or how to do basic stitches on a sewing machine, such as a straight stitch. Beginner sewers should check out Eventbrite, which lists events and lessons across the US. The sewing workshops on this platform, while they can deal with sewing concepts such as machine embroidery or alteration, are mainly geared towards beginners. If you’re interested in learning the basics of using a serger or cutting machine or simply want to participate in the occasional, “make your own” style workshop then check out the events listed on the website. The prices of each event vary but are either free or can reach up to 50 dollars.

Expand Your Project and Supply List with Intermediate Classes

If you’re interested in learning more about things like making an invisible zipper, crafting your own sampler and the basic concepts of fashion design, you should search for intermediate level classes in your area. These professors will likely have years of experience under their belt and will be willing to teach you everything from how to change a presser foot to what kinds of materials you should buy at the fabric shop. At the intermediate level, you can go ahead and search for classes on platforms like Course Horse. Listing courses in 14 cities around the country, you’ll be able to find sewing lessons ranging from making your own tote bag to how to use LilyPad pieces with conductive thread. From making pleats to finishing drapery, intermediate level courses will allow you to take more risks with your creative vision and you should prioritize finding a professor who can help you along the way. The duration of the courses listed on this website range from half an hour to occurring weekly. This variety can also be reflected in the prices, which range, on average, from 15 to 100 dollars.

different thread sizes and colors
Materials come in all shapes and sizes, get some advice on what to buy from a sewing professional (Photo credit: Jean Philippe via Unplash)

Make Sewing a Career with Adult Classes

If you have a passion for sewing and are curious as to what strategies or techniques you can implement that will enable you to make this craft into your career, taking classes with an expert may be in your best interest. From tailoring the waistband on people’s jeans to adding a zipper pouch onto jackets – being able to personalize garments is an art that can be both empowering and lucrative. Finding an experienced sewer can come at a higher price tag than those who teach at the beginner stages. However, being able to work with a sewing professional can often mean getting major insight into the world of garment construction. If you’re interested in finding a sewing expert, check out Superprof. With a community of over 8 million tutors throughout the world available in person or online, you’ll be able to tap into one of the largest tutoring forces in the world in order to reach your sewing goals. The average session duration for tutors on this platform is an hour and the average price for a session is 21 dollars.

Kids Classes: From Doll Clothes to Pencil Cases

If you think your child might be interested in taking sewing courses, don’t hesitate to ask your local crafts store if they offer any workshops on things like making a drawstring bag, totes or more. Finding the right sewing teacher for your child can be overwhelming as ensuring a safe and comfortable environment is imperative. For this reason, crafts stores often allow parents to join the workshops they offer and can be a fun bonding experience for you and your family. Make sure to check out popular chains as well such as Michael’s and Joann’s as these stores often produce arts and crafts events for adults and children with little to no experience. The added benefit to these types of workshops is that they are often at free or at low costs. You can also tap into the staff’s expertise and get their recommendations for what kinds of materials you can buy for your children.

Learn to Sew by Teaching Yourself

If you learn best by teaching yourself how to accomplish a task, make sure you go through the pros and cons of getting sewing classes in-person versus online. One of the best tools you’ll have if you’re looking for basic sewing patterns and resources will be found online.

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