You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy fabric, and that’s pretty close.
~ Unknown ~
From wanting to learn how to embroider to learning how to follow or design patterns and start making clothes, either for yourself or to sell, there are numerous reasons to take sewing lessons.
With movies like The Dressmaker inspiring thousands of people, there's been a rise in interest in learning how to sew — both as a hobby or to make some extra cash.
If you have a sewing machine at home that you don't really know how to use, or a pile of garment fabric you bought on a whim, it may be time to get yourself off to sewing classes, or even find a private sewing tutor to help you start those projects.
The question is — should you enrol in face-to-face lessons or try online sewing classes?
What if you're a complete beginner who really needs to start with the basics?
It's okay — we have plenty of suggestions and great tips to help you discover the best option for you.
Where to Find Sewing Tutorials in Australia
Is there a growing pile of sewing projects waiting for your attention?
Do you want to start working in the fashion industry, perhaps in fashion design, or just make some extra cash selling your craft projects at the local markets?
It doesn't matter what your reason is for wanting to learn how to sew, the point is to find a great sewing class or online sewing tutorials that are pitched at the best level for you.
Owning a sewing machine and buying a few easy looking patterns is not going to cut it — sewing is much more involved and requires more skill than just knowing how to thread the needle on your machine and cut out a pattern.
There is a huge range of sewing lessons taken by different types of sewing teachers:
- people trained in fashion design
- students who are currently training or have recently trained in fashion and design
- people with other qualifications who have retrained to work in the fashion industry
- self-taught sewing and fashion enthusiasts.
Sewing teachers may work privately, at a school, in TAFE courses or online.
The types of classes you can choose from may include:
- fashion design courses
- lessons in sewing basics
- machine sewing lessons
- hand sewing classes
- quilting, knitting or embroidery skills classes
- garment design and clothes making lessons.
All skills focus areas have sewing classes for beginners as well as advanced level courses. They may be online or in-person and can run on a casual basis for one night a week over a month, or be a year-long course, depending on the level and the objective.
The type of course you choose — online or face-to-face — will depend on your goals as well as your schedule.
The Advantage of Online Sewing Lessons
Everyone is busy and you might find that online sewing classes offer up the best option for you — particularly if you have a couple of projects that have to be done.
Choosing the Best Online Course Option for You
Online sewing classes? Learn to sew video tutorials? Private tutorials? Where do I start looking?
Relax. Take your time to check the information here and on the internet. Look at the different options:
- video content and step by step lessons online.
- blogs about sewing
- Zoom tutorials.
An online 'learn to sew' video is great. Not only are they often free but they cover a huge range of content, techniques and skills and you can replay them as often as you need.
You can find an online video that will help you learn just about anything:
- Making and using patterns
- Parts of a sewing machine and their functions
- Properties of different types of fabric and the best fabric to use for each garment
- The best stitch types and step by step guides on how to sew with them
Video tutorials basically answer every question you can think of — for free.
Finding a good sewing blog can also be a great supplement to your learning. Craft, design and sewing bloggers provide information about fashion trends, fabric styles, pattern making and easy to follow instructions on how to sew everything from clothes to cute craft items. Each step is clearly written down and accompanied by photos as well as tips and design techniques.
Lessons and tutorials on Zoom are great for sewing students who need the personal feedback offered by in-person classes, but who may not be able to travel or access them. During the tutorials, your course tutor can see what you're doing and also demonstrate the techniques.
As mentioned, online video tutorials and sewing blogs are usually free to access but students who need a more personalised approach should expect to pay an average of $25 an hour for a Superprof tutor. Naturally, this cost has a considerable range depending on the tutor's experience, location, classes offered and qualifications.
Where Can You Find Sewing Classes for Beginners?
Even beginners usually have a clear goal — anything from hemming their clothes to making a special garment from scratch. There are plenty of face-to-face sewing classes for beginners but you should also check out the online video options, especially the video content on YouTube where you'll find more than one YouTube sewing channel.
Each YouTube channel listed below is highly recommended for sewing beginners and students looking for DIY sewing lessons, craft projects and tips on different techniques and stitch work:
- Crafty Gemini
- Professor Pincushion
- Made to Sew
- Annika's YouTube Sewing Channel
- So Sew Easy.
Once you've found a great YouTube channel or online video content, you'll also be looking to purchase the equipment you need. When it comes to quality equipment at an affordable price, you can't go past Choice magazine to help you out with product knowledge and recommendations.
Benefits of In-Person Sewing Classes
Sewing Lessons in a Private Workshop Setting
If in-person lessons are more your style, look around for a sewing studio or even a sewing circle. These are great places to find group sewing workshops or sewing classes for beginners and offer opportunities to:
- discuss your projects with other sewers
- attend specialised workshops
- get tips from other participants
- learn the basics (stitch work, hand sewing, machine sewing) in a supportive environment
- troubleshoot any problems you are having and get help.
Some sewing circles are free or just charge a one-off joining fee. Workshops vary in price depending on who they're being run by and where. An informal workshop in your sewing circle may be free.
Find a Private Tutor to Teach You How to Sew
If you know you learn best with one-on-one, in-person support, a private tutor is going to be perfect for you. Not only can you get individual help but your tutor can tailor each of your lessons to directly meet your goals. A few things your tutor can help you with include:
- learning and practising the basics when it comes to techniques and specialised skills
- advising you on supplies (needles, thread, fabric, buttons) and the best place to get them
- showing you how to use your sewing machine or overlocker
- assisting you with making clothing or adapting patterns to create that one-off garment.
There are over 800 tutors on the Superprof platform ready to help you learn how to sew. Our tutors offer a range of classes, including individual lessons, classes for adults, lessons for children, group classes and tailored one-on-one tutorials.
Most Superprof tutors offer their first hour for free. This is a great opportunity to talk about your learning goals, discuss what you want to learn and achieve and get to know the tutor. This free hour also provides the tutors with the information they need to put together an individualised learning program to meet your needs.
At any time, while you're working with a private tutor, you can change your goals. The beauty of private tutorials is their flexibility.
Sewers and crafters almost have their own language. Here are a few terms to get you started.
A hand or machine stitch that temporarily holds fabric in place prior to sewing.
Distance between the stitch line and the raw edge of the fabric.
Stretchy fabric that will unravel but won't fray.
One of the techniques used for shaping a garment.
Are you ready to learn how to sew?
Find a tutorial, online video series or private class, take your needle and thread and start your creative journey.
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