With the demand for fashion becoming ever more conscious of the harsh realities behind popular products, more people are turning towards creative ways of dressing. Sewing can often be a great way to get in touch with your artistic side while skipping the negative environmental impact.
Here's everything you need to know about what taking up the hobby will cost you!
The Origins of Sewing
The world of sewing can come with a lot of confusing jargon: a serger or embroider machine, appliques, and free-motion sewing – learning how to thread can be complicated.
The important thing to keep in mind on your sewer or quilter journey is to that knowing your zippers from your buttonhole can be more than just a fun exercise in linguistics. Learning how to sew can be empowering in ways many other hobbies aren’t.
Running through the history of sewing can give you the insight you’ll need to start searching for sewing classes regardless of what you want to accomplish or your skill level. Looking at your tote bag, your knit fabric blanket and baby lock hem – sewing and the seamstress behind the products you own are essential to our daily lives.
From dressmaking to tailoring, you’re bound to see a Janome or Bernina sewing machine being wielded by an expert sewer.
In order to start delving into the costs involved with sewing, from the basic skills to serging and embellishment, you can start by determining the reason why you’d like to take up the craft. The motivation behind your sewing projects will ultimately be the deciding factor in how big your supply list will be and how much you’ll have to shell out for it.
In order to help you identify your reasons for sewing, here are three of the most common levels that people can choose to pursue this craft:
- Hobby sewing;
- Making clothes, household items, and the occasional alteration;
- Sewing for a living.
Understanding what level you’ll fall under will help you find the types of classes that will best suit your needs. There are a couple of options you can take advantage of when learning how to sew.
Setting aside material costs, you will also have to determine what kind of budget you have for the classes you will take. Depending on how much you’d like to spend, you can:
- Take classes with a professional;
- Learn sewing through online adult classes or kids classes;
- Teach yourself at home for free.
If you’re interested in learning more about specific prices, make sure to check out this guide on the costs you can expect for sewing classes across the country.
Sewing Projects: What Will it Cost You?
After determining what type of class you are interested in at the level you’re at, the next step in your sewing journey will have to be deciding what materials you will buy. From muslin and bias tape to fusible and stabilizer fabric – the number of materials on the market for sewers to buy are infinite.
While embarking on projects involving machine embroidery or making a drawstring bag can be fun, having the project you’d like to complete in mind will not be sufficient enough to get you through a shopping trip to the crafts store.
In order to avoid unnecessary spending, make sure you prioritize understanding the level of sewing you’d like to reach. Beginner or occasional sewers will not need to attain as many supplies upfront as those who are in it for the long-haul.
Here are some basic supplies you can get regardless of if you’re working on patchwork, hand embroidery and more:
- Various colors and sizes of needle and thread;
- Fabric scissors;
- Seam Ripper;
- Rotary cutter;
- Sewing machine.
If you’ve never picked up a needle but want to get crafty, it is possible to start learning how to sew without any materials. There are plenty of free, online tutorials such as the one found on Stitch Sisters that can help you get your feet wet.
Their 18-part tutorial shows you the basics of starting to sew with a sewing machine, made so that you can follow along with or without the materials used in the videos.
If you’re sure you want to dive into the sewing world and want to get started making an invisible zipper, table runner or cotton flannel – getting the right materials will be imperative for your success. Make sure to check out this guide if you’re interested in learning more about the prices of the materials involved at each level, as well as what you can expect to pay for sewing classes.
Learning Hand Sewing or Machine Sewing Online or In Class
Whether you’re mending the waistband on old pajama pants or want to make a drawstring and zipper pouch, choosing a class to learn how to sew can get frustrating. Whether you’re looking for refresher adult classes or want to find needlework kids classes, sewing classes can either be accomplished in online or in-person classes.
Before deciding what kind of projects you’d like your class to tackle, make sure to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of taking classes online or in a classroom.
Online Sewing Courses
The days of learning exclusively in a classroom are long gone and there’s no better proof of that than the world of garment construction. The internet has democratized fashion design in ways that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago. This, however, can be a double-edged sword for even the most experienced sewer.
The sheer amount of guides and tutorials available online can definitely be overwhelming for those with no experience. Here are some tips on how to navigate through the maze of online sewing classes.
There are two major possibilities for online sewing classes: those that are free and those that you’ll have to pay for. The first step in determining if online sewing classes are right for you is to identify how much room you’ll have in your budget for sewing courses.
While taking courses for free online can be found for both children and adults on topics as varied as how to make doll clothes and a personalized pillowcase to the complexities of utilizing cotton fabric, the degree to which you’ll be able to learn can get limited.
If you’re contemplating taking online, paid courses, understand that these courses can be especially useful for those who enjoy learning at their own pace or for those who can’t fit traditional sewing classes into their busy schedule.
In-Person Sewing Classes
Taking sewing classes in-person can have major benefits as well. Along with allowing you to gain confidence with the guidance of skilled professionals, you’ll be able to accomplish things like making your own sampler to utilizing LilyPad pieces with conductive thread.
In-person classes are perfect for those who know that they learn best following a set schedule or are best motivated to continue a project by being guided through it regularly. While in-person classes can sometimes be more expensive than taking classes online, they can sometimes offer more variety in the things they teach.
Finding a Sewing Teacher for All Levels
From the straight stitch to the zig-zag, finding the right professor to teach you all the basic stitches can be a difficult feat to accomplish without knowing what to look for.
Now that you’ve thought more about the level you’d like to reach in sewing, as well as the type of class you’d like to take, you should start thinking about the qualities you want in a sewing professor.
From helping you troubleshoot problems with a cutting machine or a presser foot from helping you decide what you’ll need from the fabric shop, your sewing teacher should be open to giving you recommendations, help and creative advice.
Whether you’re making pleats or drapery, there are three things you should take into account when deciding on what professor is right for you:
While there are some other characteristics that you can look for in sewing teachers, depending on what you would like to accomplish as an artist, these are the three qualities you should prioritize in your search for the perfect sewing professor.
Tips and Resources for Sewing for Beginners
Sewing professionals everywhere have been at whatever stage you happen to be in your sewing journey. While it may seem hard to believe, any issue you’re having has probably already been solved and documented on the many, diverse sewing forums and guides online. Here are some you shouldn’t miss:
- The Spruce Craft’s Sewing Tips
- The DIY Dreamer’s Sewing 101