When I tell people, [about my sewing] they might laugh. -George Clooney
George Clooney isn't the only person to express this worry. Sewing is often seen as a pastime for older women, a job done by grandmothers in between quilting and embroidery.
But across Australia, more and more people, men and women alike, are starting to understand the benefits that can be gained by getting back to this simple art form.
The craft of sewing has been taken up by a new generation, led by TV shows that focus on art and craft or design and fashion like Project Runway and Ru Paul's Drage Race.
People in Melbourne, and Vic in general, are just as keen to pick up the skills involved in sewing, and they're in luck. From Fitzroy to St Kilda, there are many a class to try or teacher to learn from.
Before we get into finding the best teacher or course for you or your kids, let's look at some of the great benefits that can come from picking up that needle and thread.
Some Great Reasons to Start Sewing Lessons in Melbourne
Most students might be confused about the real benefits of taking a sewing course, thinking that classes might simply be limited to learning new skills. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some of the best reasons to start sewing classes today, whether you're a beginner or advanced student...
Take Some Me-Time
Beginners will quickly learn that the art of sewing, just like any other art, is very therapeutic as an activity, and, if you think about it, it's easy to see why.
Sewing is an activity that we usually do in silence and requires great focus. We tend to choose a light-filled, airy location so we are comfortable and can move away from distractions.
As we sew, we have to repeat the same action over and over at a steady pace for a long amount of time. The mind may wander a little, but for the most part, students are completely focused.
If you put all of these ideas together, sewing quickly starts to seem like another important mindfulness activity: meditation.
And just like meditating, whether you're making clothes from a pattern or finishing some embroidery on a bag, sewing can be an extremely calming activity.
You'll notice that you finish many of your workshops or classes with not only a sense of achievement and pride but of calm and serenity, which can have a significant impact on your emotional wellbeing.
By taking out these hours of me-time every week, students can really improve their mood, which can, in turn, affect all of the people around them.
Get Away From the Screen
In this era of working from home, ordering everything online instead of going to shops and streaming events instead of attending them, the reality is that we are all in front of a screen the majority of the time.
Even when we want to wind down and relax after lessons or work, we might put our phone down simply to pick up our computer and watch a TV show.
Many beginners start to sew, not because they want to get to an advanced level where they can start designing their own clothes even without patterns, but more because they simply want a hobby that doesn't involve a screen.
Sewing clothes and other objects is a great choice if you want to remind yourself that you don't need a screen to enjoy an activity.
This is an especially good idea for parents who are looking for a new hobby for their kids. There's a range of sewing materials that are specially made for kids, and their first kit could start them on their way to a new, screen-less hobby.
Gain Skills That are Practical and Creative
Of course, we can't deny that one of the key reasons many students decide to sit down at the sewing machine is their desire to get back in contact with a craft that was slowly being lost.
There is a range of interesting techniques that students can learn about as they become better acquainted with sewing and dressmaking.
The basics you can learn in beginners' workshops are things like the different settings on your machine, like speed, direction, type of stitch and more.
As students get more advanced, classes can move into overlocking or working with patterns to create different clothes.
Beginners will find that week by week, they'll start to feel more confident with their abilities and want to try more difficult techniques.
But these technical machine skills are just the path to a much more important ability: being able to get creative with fabric.
No matter how big or small a piece of fabric is, we can always do something to make it useful. Create a little pouch for your phone or turn a great piece of material into a set of curtains for your bedroom.
As a student becomes more and more skilled at the art of sewing, they will learn to see possibilities all around them for creating and upcycling different pieces.
Being able to express your creativity through art and design can be a very exciting thing!
Help the Environment
Our final reason for making the choice to contact a teacher and book your first sewing class this very week is simple: be a friend to our planet.
These days, trends change extremely quickly, and fashions can be different in just a few weeks. Fast fashion has had an extremely negative impact on the environment and people in its supply chain.
If you are able to work with a pattern to make, fix or completely change your garments, you can take yourself out of the fast fashion cycle.
You can still look create and wear some of the latest trends, but by using your own machine and thread, your pieces will be one-of-a-kind and much friendlier to our planet.
Many sewing schools run dressmaking workshops that specifically aim to tackle this problem, like the Gaye Abandon School of Sewing and Upcycling in Melbourne's inner west.
Schools like this one don't aim just to teach skills like embroidery or pattern making, but to change our mentality towards the clothes we make and buy.
Where to Look for Great Sewing Courses Melbourne
So the question remains if you want to start your beginner sewing classes in Melbourne, where should you look?
Well, a Google search should help you find every school, teacher and tutor in your area of Vic or Melbourne. But the question isn't so much where to look as to what to look for.
There are so many different types of courses, classes and workshops running from Fitzroy to Footscray that it can be easy for any beginner to not know how to make the best choice.
Well, the most important thing is that, whatever course you choose, it works with your goals and objectives for your sewing.
Here are a few aspects to consider before starting your search...
- Location: How far are you willing to travel for your lessons? If you live in South Melbourne, are you willing to travel to Fitzroy? Knowing this can greatly cut down your search.
- Course Level: If you have never touched a machine before, then you want an absolute beginner course, but someone who's already familiar with sewing could try and beginner plus or open-level class.
- Your schedule: How many hours a week are you available for classes? Will that change over the weeks? If you're not sure, you could start with some one-off workshops or events. Once you're motivated, you could then look into longer courses that run from, say, Oct-Nov or Jan-Feb.
- Course Focus: Once you've gotten past the beginner stages, you can make the choice to focus on specific areas of sewing from embroidery to patterns to dressmaking. If not, then you can just try a general class.
Considering these ideas before you start your search can definitely help find a great location for your lessons.
To help you on your way, here are some of our favourite schools in Melbourne, from Fitzroy to Brighton:
- Sew Good-Brighton
- Thread Den- Fitzroy
- The Gaye Abandon School of Sewing and Upcycling- Footscray
- Maree Pigdon-Mount Duneed
- Alchemy Fashion Sewing School- Northcote
Remember that, if you don't find a class that suits your life, you can always contact a Superprof tutor to book your first private sewing class!
Not in Melbourne? Don't get your threads twisted! Here are our other guides on finding sewing classes across Australia:
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