For a long time, the art of making clothing at home using personal sewing machines was falling by the wayside. Thankfully, more and more people are picking up their needles and thread, even people like George Clooney.
It might be surprising to know that many people, men and women alike, find this ancient craft to be interesting and fulfilling. The practice has so many benefits, like being a therapeutic and creative outlet.
Mending, upcycling and creating our own garments also allows us to lessen our effects on the environment by taking us out of the cycle of fast fashion.
Lovers of DIY will start to notice that any piece of material can be measured, cut and, with a sitch or two, turned into something completely different.
For example, fashioning a quilt out of leftover fabrics is an interesting and fun project with a very small cost required. By learning some practical skills, you can really start to create interesting new things!
Becoming an experienced sewist takes time, patience, plenty of work and a little assistance. You'll first need to master simple techniques, like using a different stitch for different parts of your garment.
But, once you've spent a little time working with machines, learning about dressmaking and studying how to put different patterns together, you can truly bring any of your ideas to life.
Students in Adelaide have plenty of choices if they'd like to pursue sewing classes, from formal fashion and textiles qualifications to short classes that focus on fashion and couture or DIY projects for your home.
Before looking at where you can find a teacher in Adelaide, let's look at some different types of courses you can try...
Dressmaking to Embroidery: Different Types of Sewing Classes
People who are not so experienced in the art of sewing might be surprised to learn that there is a large range of classes you can take to add skills to your repertoire.
Some are for absolute beginners who can barely use a tape measure, and others help students develop specialist abilities, like how to pin and cut fabric at a professional level.
Classes for Absolute Beginners
If you've never even made a stitch either by hand or with a machine, then this is the type of class you should be taking. These lessons focus on the basics of the sewing machine, patterns and fabric.
To start, you could take single classes that focus on getting to know your machine, like the one offered by All Make Sewing in Stirling, SA.
These classes will take you through the different parts of your sewing machine and how to use it. You'll cover things like threading, winding the bobbin and setting the features needed for different types of projects.
You'll look at basic techniques like sewing in a straight line (easier said than done), putting in zips and the uses of each stitch, like finishing seams with a zig-zag stitch.
Most schools also give assistance in learning how to read and understand a pattern. They'll teach you things like how to use a tape measure properly and make fit adjustments.
Students will master how to pin and cut fabric, and some sessions may even include sessions on using an overlocker for finishing garments.
Most of these longer sessions can take around 8 weeks, 2 or 3 hours a week, although times and schedules will vary.
Once you've mastered the basic abilities you need, you'll be able to make any garment and can continue your studies with a more specialist class.
Specialist Classes You Can Try
If you have a particular project in mind that you'd like to get some assistance with or you just want to continue learning about this fascinating craft, there are plenty of different options.
These sessions continue on from what you've studied in beginner classes but aim to teach more advanced techniques from sewing with darts, creating collars for shirts and more.
If you're interested in going further with your dressmaking abilities in a practical way, this could be a great choice. Afterwards, you'll be able to make any garment you like to a much high standard!
A lot of patience is needed in these sessions, as you'll be learning how to work with delicate fabrics like chiffon and silk to sew a dress, skirts, pants etc. to an extremely high standard.
Garments at this level usually require lots of time and detailed work, so these lessons are best for students who are really committed to their learning.
Topics covered include corsets and boning, godets, dresses with hidden support and more, which can enable students to make clothing as complex as a wedding dress!
For those more interested in suiting and businesswear, you can try this class. Study everything from creating and assembling a collar and pockets to fitting jackets and shirts perfectly.
Most people will get the pattern for a new project from a book or a website, but if you want an extra challenge you can try designing one yourself to fit your ideas.
These lessons teach about creating personal blocks that you can keep for different projects and use them to make clothing from magazine pictures and other sources.
No matter which class you try, you'll also need to have certain equipment that you can take to class each week...
Equipment For Each Lesson
Most schools are 'BYO' meaning you'll have to take everything you need for your project to their workshop or studio. The important equipment you'll probably need is:
- Basic Sewing Kit (pins, needles, scissors, tape, pencils, bobbins)
- The pattern for your project (from a book or on the web)
- Fabric (make sure to get the right amount)
- Threads for sewing that match your fabric
- Notebook and Pen
At some schools, it is also necessary that students take their own machine, so make sure to check if the class you're interested in is BYO or not.
Finding the Perfect Sewing Workshop for You in Adelaide
So know that we know what you can learn and what you need to bring, we have to add one more question... where can I learn to sew?
Being a smaller city, Adelaide doesn't have quite the same range of DIY schools where you can study this craft, but there are still some great options that offer sessions at a relatively small cost.
Some schools in Adelaide include:
- TAFE SA
- The Sewing School
- Julie Couzner
- All Make Sewing
- Adelaide Sewing Centre
But how to choose between these and any other school or workshop you may see? Well, the key is to make sure the school fits in with your sewing goals.
You can consider these ideas to help with your search:
- Focus: Is there are a specialist area you want to focus on? From embroidery to quilt making, you'll need to find a school where you can study the abilities you're interested in.
- Level: Think about what skill level you want your class to be at. There's no point enquiring about a couture-level course if don't know anything about how to sew.
- Location: It's important to look for a school near your house, as you'll have to lug quite a lot of equipment around with you.
- Your schedule: Consider how much free time you have to put towards learning to sew, both in lessons and outside. You'll need to practice consistently to really improve.
- Budget: Cost can be a deciding factor when choosing the right school. How much are you willing to pay per hour to study this craft?
If you really consider and make some notes about these ideas before you start your search, it can really aid in narrowing down the options, so that you can make the right choice for you.
And, if you have trouble finding schools that offer what you're looking for, contact a private tutor instead.
You can easily look for and contact a tutor on Superprof.com. The benefits of private teaching are pretty simple: you're in control of your learning.
Because you're the only student in the class, the teacher can make a learning plan that considers your goals and objectives, resources and current abilities.
If you're only interested in certain aspects of sewing, they can plan lessons that fit your interests, and that way you'll be completely sure that you'll learn exactly what you want.
Private teaching can also be more convenient as teachers can often come to your house, or you can go to theirs. Organise your first session with a tutor to see the benefits!
You don't live in Adelaide? Here are other articles on sewing classes across Australia:
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