“Fabrics doesn't make exquisite dresses, it is the stitches.”
Whether you agree or not, sewing is once again becoming a popular pastime again for both men and women alike.
While many probably think of it as something only their grandma does, shows, like the Great British Sewing Bee, have helped make the hobby more popular in recent years.
So whether you just want to learn how to sew your buttons back on, some basic sewing techniques, how to thread a needle, or have much bigger sewing projects in mind, it’s time to take sewing lessons!
In this article, we’ll help you work out how much it should cost and what factors will influence the price you pay for each tutorial.
Who Can Sew?
Whether you’re a beginner or already know how to use a sewing machine, anyone can learn at their own pace. Some might want to:
- Get a career making clothes.
- Make and customise their own wardrobe.
- Do everyday tasks like fixing holes in garments or sewing a button back on.
- Complete a personal project like decorating a wedding dress, for example.
While anyone can learn how to sew, there’s one very important condition: Whether you’re starting from scratch or improving your skills, you’re going to need the right equipment. This means you’ll have to invest in some of the following things:
- A sewing machine (the Singer brand is one of the most common and certain models come highly recommended for beginners).
- An embroidery machine
- A serger
- Sewing patterns
- A sewing kit with a needle, thread, and scissors
- A sewing book
There are plenty of books on sewing for dummies (some with that very title) which can help you get to grips with some of the basics before you move onto more advanced techniques.
Of course, sewing comes into play in various different careers and parts of our daily lives:
- Furnishings: cushion covers, upholstery, etc.
- Wardrobes: made-to-measure clothes, suits, costumes.
- Haute Couture: High-end fashion designers, etc.
Now that you know you can get sewing tutorials, you just have to work out how much they cost.
The Average Price of Sewing Tutorials in the UK
The best way to learn to sew is with someone who’s passionate about it like a fashion designer or a seamstress. Whether it’s their full-time job or just a hobby, they’ll teach you the basics including how to use a sewing machine in your projects.
Of course, they won’t do this for free. Your tutor’s rates will depend on a number of factors:
- Where the lessons take place (big cities, towns, villages, etc.)
- The type of tutorial (lessons for adults, children, groups, online lessons or one-on-one private tutorials)
- The length of the lesson
- How frequently the lessons are
- The type of materials provided (do you have to bring your own equipment, for example?)
In the UK, prices generally follow these rules. Due to the cost of the living, sewing classes London are generally more expensive than other cities that are cheaper to live in. In smaller cities, like Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Glasgow, the average cost of tutorials tends to be lower.
While these prices are just averages, you should keep in mind that the rates will also vary according to the tutor's experience, qualifications, the exact type of sewing they teach, when and how often you get your classes, etc.
Of course, you can reduce the cost of your lessons by:
- Attending group classes
- Looking for deals on sites like Groupon, for example.
- Negotiating discounts
Sewing classes are also becoming more popular because people are becoming more interested in doing things for themselves and nurturing their creativity. This is why a lot of designers have decided to turn towards teaching others their craft.
Learning to Sew with Professionals
Learning to sew as part of a fashion school or within the fashion industry is great because you’ll have professionals there helping you. Better yet, some schools even offer a variety of workshops like:
- Workshops for teens
- Adult classes or child classes
- Summer workshops
- Beginners’ classes
- Creative workshops
They also have classes on more specific things like:
- Thematic workshops (haute couture, carnival, etc.)
- Sewing circles where you can discuss your creations
- Made-to-measure workshops
- Fashion design with dressmakers’ mannequins
You should know that the world of fashion will pretty much always require someone who can sew. Not just anyone can make their own made-to-measure clothing or start repairing damaged garments without a few tips and advice. This is where the professionals in schools, those who’ve usually worked in the industry, can help you.
Again, their services come at a price. Their rates will depend on more than just where they live. Generally:
- A private tutorial can range between £15 and £50 per hour on average.
- Workshops are usually cheaper than private tutorials as there are more students.
- You can expect to pay a few hundred pounds for an intensive course which includes many hours of tuition.
You can also save money by asking for group rates or student discounts. The cheaper, the better, right?
“I offer an introduction to sewing for small groups as well as private tutorials on customising clothes” explains Émilia, a private tutor who offers her first hour of tutoring for free.
Private Sewing Tutorials
Whether you want to master cross stitch or just improve your sewing skills, asking a private tutor to help you is a great place to start. They can also teach you all about embroidery, how to use your sewing machine, or how to sew by hand.
The main advantage of these classes is that they can take place whenever both of you are free and willing to learn. You can get private tutorials during the day, in the evening, at the weekend, etc. Again, the rates will vary depending on the type of tutorial, the materials that the tutor provides, and how often your lessons are. The most common types of tutorials include:
- The average price for an embroidery tutorial in London is £36 per hour.
- Fashion design averages £46 per hour.
- Knitting costs £37 per hour on average.
These types of tutorials are generally available for all levels and your tutor will adapt to your strengths and weaknesses. This can help you regularly improve regardless of whether you’re doing just simple things or complicated projects.
On Superprof, you can find plenty of tutors willing to travel to you in order to teach you how to sew, knit, or do embroidery. So what are you waiting for?
Are you sick of asking your mum to sew on a button when it falls off?
Why not learn to do it yourself with a few sewing tutorials?
You’ll soon see that it’s much easier than you thought! A lot of people move on to making their own clothes after that.
More on Sewing Tutorials
The History of Sewing
While sewing has existed for years, it wasn’t until the 19th century that it was formalised as a trade due to a high demand for it during wars.
Over time, the trade developed and it became one of the first jobs for women at the start of the 20th century.
While it’s still a vocation that’s dominated by women, there are more and more men making their way into the industry.
Even though you probably still think of sewing as something that's quite old-fashioned, a lot of research and development goes into the industry both for fashion and technology and you'll be quite surprised at just how technical it can get!
So What Does a Sewing Class Include?
Sewing classes can include a number of things such as:
- Quilting or creating a patchwork
- Working with fusible interlining or interfacing
- Stitching a garment back together
- Creating a hem or a seam on a dress or a skirt
- Learning to add a zipper or buttons
- Knitting, embroidery, embellishment, etc.
- Creating items with a sewing pattern
- Beginner sewing projects like creating a pillowcase or a tote bag
Don't forget that when you're not in class, you can always read blogs for inspiration and tips, watch videos to refine those tricky techniques, and even get online sewing classes if there aren't any private tutors near you.
Find a sewing course near you: if you live in Glasgow, simply google for "sewing classes Glasgow" to find hundreds of workshops.
There are plenty of different methods and techniques to learn, too. Just don’t lose your temper when your thread gets tangled!