Sewing is a beautiful craft that not only gives students room to learn practical techniques and skills but also allows them to get their creative juices flowing session by session.
Though it's a practice that has gone back hundreds of years, unfortunately, dressmaking is becoming less common as a craft, especially amongst young people.
Fast fashion has made the need to understand basic elements of sewing less essential in our everyday lives, and it's not uncommon for people to have never picked up a needle and thread.
If you're looking for a craft where you can create a range of creative and practical projects, as well as lessen your own personal impact on the environment, then sewing could suit you well.
It's a skill that literally anyone can gain, as long as you're willing to learn during your school sessions and practice the different techniques over and over until you've mastered them.
Beginners in Sydney are in luck because there are many-a-school across the city centre and suburbs that offer affordable courses from Mon to Sat, Jan to Dec, where you will learn everything you need to know about fashion design and making your own clothing.
But before we get into our list of great classes to join, there are some aspects prospective students might want to consider...
It's easy to say that you want to get into the craft of sewing, but where to begin? The are plenty of classes across the Sydney city centre from Mon to Sat, but knowing which you should join isn't always a basic question.
There are some questions you can ask yourself to choose the right school workshop or class for you, like how much are you willing to spend on sessions and equipment?
What does your schedule look like and does the school offer classes that suit you?
If you're only free on Mon and Sat, you can't join a school that offers your course on a Tue and Thu. Maybe you want to start in Nov, but some school terms start in Oct?
Are you a total beginner or do you have some basic knowledge about using a sewing machine? If you do, are you looking to specialise in areas like fashion design, pattern making or suit tailoring?
We know that this is a long list of questions, but if you can answer them clearly, your search for schools and courses will become much easier and you can rest easy knowing you made the best choice for you.
Let's look at some of these different aspects in more detail...
Equipment You Will Need For Your Courses
Your mind might go straight to a sewing machine, but there is actually quite a long list of equipment that students might be asked to bring to a centre for a sewing workshop or class.
But let's start with the most important for any session: the machine. The first thing to know is that most studios provide machines for their students in the room, but there is the rare one that doesn't.
If you decide on a course where you need to provide your own, then not only will you have to buy your own sewing machine, but it will need to be portable so you can bring it to and from sessions.
The good news is that there are many sewing machines that range from affordable to quite expensive. For example, the cheapest machine on Spotlight.com costs just $129 incl. GST.
For beginners, you generally want one with basic features that's durable and easy to use.
Some good examples are the Singer Start 1304 made specifically for beginners or the Brother Innov-is NS80E, which has a handy LED display, both of which cost around $200 (incl. GST).
If you're looking to buy your first sewing machine, go into a store and ask the experts. They will spend some time to find one that's perfect for your total dressmaking and design needs.
Moving onto to other equipment you'll need for everything from dressmaking to taking notes to cutting fabric...
Schools will probably ask you to bring a limited amount of a certain fabric for different sessions or different patterns. For example, a class focusing on sewing techniques with stretch materials will require you to bring stretch fabrics like jerseys or satin.
Next on the list is bobbins. These are the little metal cylinders that hold the thread. If you have your own machine, it will come with a couple of these, but otherwise, you may need to bring them with you to classes.
Some other items you'll need will be:
- Machine needles,
- Measuring Tape,
- Fabric scissors,
- Quality Thread,
- Small Clippers,
- Garment patterns
- Notebooks, pens etc for taking notes.
Buying all of these products can get a little pricy, so make sure you include materials when you're taking notes on how much you're willing to spend on your sewing course.
Basic Types of Sewing Courses Sydney
Of course, not every sewing course is the same as another, so it's important to know exactly what you want from your sessions in order to make the right choice.
Some may require longer hours or take months to complete, whereas others may simply be an afternoon workshop or session that you can join as when it will suit you.
There are also different areas of sewing that students may decide to specialise in once they've mastered the basics.
Let's look at these different factors in more detail to find out which applies best to you...
Course Hours and Timetable
Learning to sew involves hours sitting in your room, practising and improving skills from cutting fabric to measuring bodies to fit patterns.
If you're a self-motivated person, then spending 2 hours every Sat in a session might be enough to get your creative juices flowing and motivate you to practice at home.
For others who need a little bit more oversight, you could consider a more intensive option. This could mean trying a course that only lasts one month, say all of Oct, but that has sessions of 3 hours every Tue, Thu and Sat.
This means you can get in plenty of practice over a short period of time and not lose focus or steam. Another option is a course that works with school terms.
An example could be the Couture Arts Fashion Academy in the Sydney centre, whose current term is running from the beginning of Oct, through Nov and finishing in Dec.
Their classes run Tue, Thu and Sat and you can choose between a 2.5 or 3.5-hour session.
To join one of these classes, you will have to commit to a certain amount of hours, to be paid in advance. For example, the 11-week evening dressmaking course costs $599 (incl. GST) for 27.5 hours of instruction.
For others who just want to have a little fun every now and then, a better choice may be to look for a workshop or session that's run once or twice a month on Sat afternoon.
You could try the 'Learn to Sew Stretch Fabric' course run by Sew Make Create which runs for 6 hours over two days.
Or something even more simple at Sydney Creative: Sewing for Beginners which runs from 3 hours and costs $120 (including fabric, machine hire and tools).
You might also want to look for a school that changes the courses they offer to match the seasons. It doesn't make much sense to sew a quilt in Oct, Nov or Dec!
Techniques and Skills to Focus on in your Course
Once you've taken all the notes and mastered all of the basic skills and techniques you'll need for your craft, you can try a course where you can create a specific garment or learn a particular technique.
Some possible specialist courses could include:
- Pattern making
- Suit tailoring
- Working with a range of fabric
It's important to remember that, if you're a total beginner, your skills will be slightly limited, so these types of sessions are best for students who have reached a certain level with their sewing techniques.
Where to Find Sewing Classes Near Me in Sydney
So now to answer the burning question... where to find all of these amazing classes we've been mentioning?
Well, of course, a quick Google search should be able to show you all of the schools in the Sydney city centre and in your area, but here's a list of some of our favourites to help you on your way:
- Sydney Community College
- Couture Arts Fashion Academy
- Sew Make Create
- Sydney Creative
- The Remnant Warehouse
- Tessuti Shop
Before spending hours looking for the best class, make sure to take some notes about what you want from your course, your timetable and your budget.
This will make the search a little more limited, but much more focused so you can quickly get out of your room and get sewing!
Not based in Sydney? Here are our guides on finding sewing classes in other cities:
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