You don’t have to become a seamstress or into dressmaking in order to know the difference between a serger and embroidery machine.

From learning how to thread to make your own tote bag, becoming a master in the basics of sewing can enable you to produce your own apparel or household items in a sustainable way.

This guide will help you understand the ins and outs of choosing the right sewing class for your skill level.

needles and pincushion
Get to know the basics in sewing and sewing supplies! (Photo credit: Lisa Woakes via Unplash)

Start Learning to Sew is No Experience Necessary

You don’t need to be familiar with a bobbin or a Bernina in order to start sewing. Understanding that sewing includes everyone from a quilter to a high fashion designer can enable you to start learning the basic skills of sewing you’ll need to make it your hobby, be that casual or full-time.

From the buttonhole and zippers on your clothes to the knit fabric and appliques on your furniture, sewing is a ubiquitous part of our lives and can be learned by anyone!

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Beginners’ Sewing Supplies

As a beginner, you won’t really need to concern yourself with supplies at all levels. For example, you probably won’t need materials such as a stabilizer or fusible fabric, appliques and a table runner. Instead, beginner sewers should focus on the essentials they’ll need to start mending their waistband or making a pajama. Here are some of the supplies you’ll need:

  •       Different sizes of needles and threads;
  •       Rotary cutter;
  •       Bias tape;
  •       Seam ripper;
  •       Rulers;
  •       Thimble.

If you’re interested in getting supplies at this level, make sure to check out your local crafts supplies or preferred online shops for sewing kits. At this level, you can find basic kits running from 2 to 15 dollars. If you want to learn the basics on a sewing machine, this can cost from 100 to 600 dollars.

Are Sewing Lessons Right for You?

Now that you understand the basics about what sewing is and what types of tools are involved at various skill levels, you should now take the time to identify whether or not sewing lessons with professionals will be right for you.

Whether you’re looking to gain hand embroidery skills or want to make your own patchwork pillowcase, here are a few tips to help you determine what classes are perfect for you.

Basic Sewing Courses

Being a beginner in any craft can be an intimidating place to be. If you want to tap into your crafty and creative side but aren’t sure you can pull it off on your own, taking beginner’s sewing courses can be a great starting point.

Whether you want to make your own pajama pants or want to make your own drawstring bag using cotton fabric, taking courses can be a perfect way to gain confidence both using your supplies and trying out new sewing concepts.

At the beginner’s level, you will need little to no supplies in order to learn the rudimentary concepts behind sewing. Whether you just want to start out with a needle and thread or if you’d like to start practicing on sewing machines, taking sewing courses with professionals can help you learn at the perfect pace.

At Eventbrite, you will be able to find sewing events and lessons in every city across the US. While the platform does list sewing events for those with higher skill levels, the sewing workshops on the site are geared towards beginners.

With prices ranging from free to 50 dollars, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of beginner’s workshops with sewing professionals ranging from making your own tote bag to the learning basics of sewing machines.

sewing straight lines with a sewing machine
Attaining an excellent command of a sewing machine takes time (Photo credit: J Williams via Unplash)

Intermediate Sewing

If you’re looking for a refresher course on how to wield tools on your supply list, such as a presser foot or cutting machine, taking adult classes for sewing can be the best place to start. At this level, you will be interested in more advanced concepts in sewing involving a more in-depth perspective on accessory and garment construction.

From making an occasional alteration to making your own cotton flannel, the intermediate sewer can have projects as diverse as their mind can imagine.

Course Horse is a great platform for those looking for sewing guidance at the intermediate level. While they do offer great courses for beginners, these lessons are geared more towards those interested in intricate needlework, fashion design, embellishment, and machine embroidery.

Displaying listings in 14 major cities across the country, the prices on Course Horse vary between 15 to 100 dollars and can last from one to a couple of hours long.

Sewing for Advanced Levels

Whether you want to make your own sampler, use LilyPad pieces with conductive thread or want to make your own drapery, advanced sewers will be able to make a variety of different apparel and household items.

At this level, you’re in it for the long haul and finding courses that mach these long-term goals is just a click away.

With over 8 million tutors, Superprof offers you a community of tutors available for in-person and online training in sewing for an average price of 21 dollars per session. Finding a tutor that can help you troubleshoot more advanced sewing problems, such as making an invisible zipper or making your own muslin dress can be easy and empowering.

If you’re looking for other types of sewing classes, such as kids classes for making doll clothes or quilting courses for seniors, make sure to check out your local crafts stores. Chains such as Michael's and Joann’s, for example, offer courses for all skill levels in a variety of different crafts such as knitting, crocheting, and sewing.

Learn to Sew with Online Lessons or at Home

If you have absolutely no experience or simply want to learn how to sew with flexible hours, learning online or teaching yourself can be a great solution. Whether you need help learning basic stitching, such as a zig-zag or straight stitch, or want to make your own pleats and a zipper pouch, finding a sewing guide online can come at an affordable price.

Online Sewing Courses

Don’t run to the fabric shop just yet! Before diving into the world of online sewing courses, you should understand some of the advantages, as well as the disadvantages, of learning how to sew online.

Taking sewing courses online is perfect for those looking to avoid some of the heftier price tags in traditional sewing lessons with professionals in person. It can also pose an advantage for those looking to learn but have a highly packed or unique schedule, as online courses can be viewed at any hour and paused for any reason.

One major disadvantage of taking sewing classes online is that you won’t exactly be able to get answers to your questions immediately. For those who are looking for complete guidance through the sewing process, in-person courses are probably the way to go.

That being said, one of the best ways to learn sewing online is to take courses from Bluprint. Offering around 200 lessons covering a variety of different topics, such as making haute-couture dresses to basic sewing machine stitching, you’ll be able to tap into lessons from the beginner to the advanced level.

Ranging from about 10 to 50 dollars per course, whose duration can be anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple of hours long - those wanting to create a course tailored to their skill level and interests will benefit the most from this style of learning.

ins and outs of threading
Learn to make your own suit or dress pattern in sewing classes (Photo credit: Amirali Mirhashe via Unplash)

Learn to Sew Online for Free

If you want to learn how to sew but aren’t exactly ready to start investing in some of the more expensive serging or embroidery machinery, starting with online guides can be the perfect way to go. One of the best lessons to start with is the Stitch Sisters’ eighteen part lesson on the basics of sewing.

Completely free and available whenever you need, this course will walk you through the basics of sewing while having the option to buy the materials used in the videos or not. If you find that straight lines and seams just aren’t your thing, at the very least you tried something new for free!

For those looking for more complex lessons for free, check out Sew Guide’s “A Guide to Learn How to Sew.” This guide goes in-depth on 100 different topics, ranging from different types of collars to how to sew with silk.

If you want to want to learn more complex sewing topics for free or if you simply learn best by teaching yourself, this guide is the perfect place to start learning new sewing skills.

For more basic sewing tips and tricks, make sure to check out this guide on everything to learn about sewing courses and materials.

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Danica