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How Do I Choose the Best Sewing Courses?

By Tara Barnett
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Choosing the best sewing courses depends on why you want to learn how to sew as well as how far you can travel for the lessons. There are many different programs for learning how to sew specific types of objects, such as garments or quilts. In addition to craft-level classes, there are also sewing courses designed for people who wish to become involved with sewing professionally as designers or in other textile-related positions. For most people involved in sewing at a craft level, a local fabric store that offers sewing classes will be the best option. Professionals, on the other hand, would be better served by looking at prestigious schools of arts and design.

Learning the basics of sewing through a class can be a great way to pick up a new hobby, and almost any local sewing school will be sufficient for this purpose. For adults, the very basics of sewing are typically quick to learn, so most sewing courses focus on creating a finished project. Picking the best beginning sewing courses, then, depends on what type of sewing project you would like to complete.

More advanced courses are also often offered through local sewing stores, but for crafters bordering on professional levels of skill, a local art school may be a better place to look for classes. In many areas, sewing is regarded not as a functional activity but as a creative process, and art schools often teach more than the mere mechanics of following a pattern. While most people are not able to travel far for their crafts, most major cities have a community college or art school that offers this type of course. In addition to physically located classes, it is also possible to find sewing courses of this type online, although these do not often have the same resources as a class in a school.

Professional-level sewing courses are another matter entirely, and while a local school is excellent for crafters, a professional may be burdened by the need for prestige. The prestige of the school and its instructors is very important for a person's potential future career. Building a strong portfolio and the potential for networking are key, and ensuring that the courses will lead to an appropriate degree is essential.

It is important to consider several technical aspects of any class when choosing the best sewing courses. For example, you must consider whether you are expected to bring your sewing machine to the classroom or if a machine will be provided. People who do not have much room to work at home might be served well by a course that offers lab time. It is also important to consider the cost of the class, including the additional cost of materials. When learning to sew, it is a good idea to minimize investments until you are sure you enjoy the craft.

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Discussion Comments
By Rotergirl — On Jun 18, 2014

I need to learn to do alterations. I'd love to be able to do that as a side business. It can be very lucrative to be able to alter garments, especially things like prom dresses and wedding gowns. People who can do that can just about name their fees for this work.

I'll have to look around and see if any colleges in my area offer these kinds of classes. I can sew, but I want to learn alterations, which is a different beast.

By Pippinwhite — On Jun 18, 2014

Many community education programs also teach beginning and intermediate sewing and these are usually pretty good. If a local community college has tech classes in subjects like "garment construction," it might be worth the tuition to take these, if you're really serious about making a lot of your own clothes.

These are the classes where you can learn the little tricks of the trade, like using interfacing, lining, darts and princess seams. Some intermediate classes might teach the basics of this, but a garment construction class will also teach how to make tailored garments and do alterations.

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