What is it about this craft that has taken your fancy? Are you keen to develop a skill that you can make money from (for example, making cushion covers or creating felt toys to sell on eBay or Etsy) or are you only looking to become more handy around the house (for instance, being able to sew buttons back on your shirts or taking up trouser legs that are too long)?

Regardless of why you want to learn to sew, you should know that there are various industries, household crafts and textile arts that make use of sewing. So before you take the next step and look at signing up for sewing lessons, take a glance at the brief history of sewing provided below and the different categories that you might like to focus your attention on.

A History Of Sewing

Sewing is a craft that involves attaching or fastening fabrics to other textiles using stitches created with a needle and thread. The first reported use of the term was in the 14th century.

It is believed that Stone Age humans sewed clothing (often made from animal skin and fur) using needles made from bone, ivory or antler and thread that would have come from parts of an animal's body, like veins, for example.

Back then, of course, all sewing would have been done by hand. In fact, it wasn't until the 19th century that the sewing machine was invented and that sewn product could be produced on a much bigger scale. The 2oth century saw a rise in technology, and we began to see the mass production of items like clothing.

Sewing would originally have been done by hand using animal products as needles and thread.
The first sewing machine was invented in the 19th century and has led to many more advanced versions over the years. Photo on Visualhunt

That said, hand sewing is still seen as a skill and is practised around the world.

The Use of Sewing

Sewing is often associated with clothing and household linens, but it is also used in a variety of industries like bookbinding, shoemaking, and sailmaking. Sewing is particularly popular in the manufacturing of sporting goods like badged football shirts or other sponsored sportswear.

Thinking Of Taking Sewing Courses?

Many beginners choose to take sewing classes to speed up the learning process, but it is not just newbies that benefit from some sewing tuition.

A sewing instructor can be very useful in helping experienced craftsmen and women to expand on their skills. Just think, rather than using someone else's sewing patterns to work from, you could gain enough confidence to actually design your own and be the true brains behind your creation!

That said, if you are a complete novice or someone who is an expert in dressmaking but wants to turn their attention to soft sewing furnishing, then there is a class out there for you. Research acquired by the Craft Hobby Association indicates that more than 4 million people do sewing in connection to their home and that the same number of hobbyists dabble in dressmaking.

With so many different uses for the craft, you need to ask yourself what it is you want to learn to sew for, how you'd like to learn the skill and what budget you have to spend on developing your skill.

What You Might Learn With Sewing Lessons

Firstly you need to figure out what exactly you want to take away from your sewing lessons.

Are you looking to save money by refashioning some of your old clothes in place of buying a new summer wardrobe? Are you looking to repair some old bags or items of clothing belonging to the kids that you never got around to doing because you weren't sure how best to approach the tasks? Or, might you be keen to create goods that you could sell like felt toys for toddlers or patchwork quilts for newborn babies?

Be sure to think about what you intend to take away from sewing lessons before signing up to a class.
What do you want to learn to sew for? Photo on VisualHunt

No matter which path you choose to go down, you are likely to want to know how to set up and use a sewing machine.

Even if you don't have a top of the range sewing machine at home (the mini sewing machines on the market are great for first-timers who are playing around with the craft as a hobby), you can still benefit from being taught how to use a sewing machine correctly: i.e. how to thread it, which needle to use, what the foot pedal is used for and, of course, sewing machine safety.

Other areas of the craft that you might be able to learn more about, depending on the workshop you attend, are:

Repair Work

Do you have a pair of trousers lying around that you simply can't wear anymore because a button is missing? Or do you have a shirt that has lost a button and is now too inappropriately low to wear out and about? You can save yourself the hassle of going out and replacing them by just repairing them, to make them as good as new.

A basic sewing class will inform you how to go about these general household tasks and will advise which equipment to use (you can easily get by for a while with just a small sewing kit like those you get inside a Christmas cracker!). For bigger projects like re-fastening a piece of leather to a trainer, you may need to use a stronger needle and thicker thread.


As we all know, fashions come back around. Who would have thought that oversized denim jackets from the 80s and 90s would make their appearance again this decade? While the well-worn look is very in, you may not be too pleased walking around with holes in your jacket so learning to sew could help you with that matter.

However, you may also like to jazz up your old statement piece, and we all know that embroidery is a big trend this season! Using your newfound skills, you could attach sequins, badges, fringes and more to your denim jacket or try your hand at embellishing it with an embroidery design.


When it comes to embroidery, a lot of skill is required. That is why there are so many businesses now offering courses in this area of the craft (not to mention because of how popular embroidery is in fashion too).

An embroidery class at sewing school will often teach you to follow patterns while also teaching you how to use a special sewing and embroidery machine. Embroidery can be seen in almost every textile nowadays, whether it's cushions, bedding, bags, slipper shoes, shirts, blouses, t-shirts, jeans, trousers, shirts, jackets or coats.


Beginner quilting has always been quite a popular form of sewing for hobbyists, and the craft is particularly popular when it comes to children's rooms. You could set up an Etsy shop selling your handmade quilted blankets (with the offer of personalisation another big selling point, hint hint) and begin raking in cash from new parents or people looking for an extra special gift to offer at a baby shower or following the birth of a child.

Of course, quilting isn't just for kids. Many people associate quilting fabric like reversible quilted throws for beds as luxury items and will, therefore, pay for these high-quality bed linen pieces.

Dressmaking (lingerie)

Dressmaking is quite a broad subject and isn't restricted to just dresses. Back in the day, women wore dresses day in day out which is where the term derives from but dressmaking in today's world covers the production of all clothing, whether for men or women, boys or girls. Why not try something quite original and sign up for a course that teaches you how to design, measure up and then make women's lingerie?

Soft Furnishing

Buying ready-made soft furnishings like cushion covers and curtains can be very expensive. That is why learning to sew in this area of the craft can not only help you to cut down on your spending, but it can also enable you to make products for your home that are what you want.

There is no need to compromise on fabric, size or design when you can effectively design and create your own! What's more, you may have an old pair of curtains that would be perfect for a window if it weren't for their length. If you have the skill, you can take up such textiles and make them fit in with your space and decor.

Toy Making

Finally, crafts have become a popular hobby for students and stay at home mums who have access to online shops. It's a great way of getting some income from the comfort of your own home, and all you need to do to market them is to upload some images on Instagram and attract a following. With classes, you can learn the basics in making dolls, stuffed or cuddly animals, felt mobiles for babies' rooms, and much more.

Handmade products are very sought after.
Get your unique kids' creations seen by setting up an Etsy shop. Photo credit: ♕ Lilla Coelho on Visualhunt

Learn To Sew At a Sewing Workshop Near You

It doesn't matter where you are based, you can find a range of suitable sewing classes for all levels across the country, in cities like London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Glasgow.

What's more, if you can't find the class you want in your local village hall, you can easily access a variety of courses or tutorials online.

We will consider the best institutes to practise sewing in most of the UK's major cities.

Learning How to Sew in London

Since London is the UK's largest city and has a reputation for style, there are many distinguished places where Londoners can learn how to sew with some of the world's best seamstresses and tailors. The following are some of the best institutes in the Greater London area where everyone can become a sewing master:

  • Sew it With Love: offering a wide range of sewing classes adapted for all distinct types of learners, the Sew it With Love sewing school might be the best option available in the city of London. Beginners may find introductory courses on how to sew a tote bag, how to sew a pyjama set, or how to use a sewing machine. While on the other hand, more advanced learners analyse topics such as pattern cutting and sewing pieces of clothing. All of the classes conducted by Sew it With Love boast fantastic reviews from previous students and are affordably priced at less than £100 an hour.
  • Savile Row Academy: for those who want to specialise in learning more about tailoring, the Savile Row Academy is a renowned tailoring school which was founded by Andrew Ramroop OBE, Master Tailor and Director of Maurice Sedwell. The objective of the academy was to protect, enhance and develop the value of bespoke tailoring by passing on their high standards to new trainees. Located on Savile Row, this academy offers distinct courses of the highest quality to all types of learners.

Sewing Workshops in Manchester

Sewing is a very practical art that should be learnt by all types of students. The following are the most highly recommended places in the city of Manchester to take up the art of sewing:

  • Ministry of Craft: the Ministry of Craft, which is situated on Lever Street in Manchester, is a company offering sewing and craft workshops for all abilities. It is important to state that evening and weekend workshops are available in Manchester's northern quarter, and Chorlton and pricing vary from around £25 to £85 depending on the nature of the course, the course length and the level. Courses cover areas such as making alterations and adjustments, attaching zippers, making a tote bag, decorating fabric with embellishments, taking hems up, quilting, making a quilted duvet, learning to crochet, repairing worn jeans, and sewing buttons back onto blouses. Visit their website to learn more today!
  • Stitched Up: with their headquarters in Chorlton, Stitched Up offers a range of workshops, parties, and educational events to suit a variety of ages. You can attend a class to help you repair old clothes, find a course that helps you to transform lifeless garments into something new and exciting or you can simply be enlightened as to how to use your sewing machine confidently. Stitched Up also holds a Swaps and Sales event which encourages an eco-friendly way of refreshing your wardrobe.

Sewing Classes in Leeds

Sewing is more than just an activity practised by grandmothers and seamstresses; it is a very beneficial task that distracts the mind from mundane actions and improves self-worth after brilliant confections have been crafted. The following is the best sewing institute in the Leeds area to learn more about the basics of sewing:

  • The Sewing Sessions: offering fantastic sewing workshops in a more relaxed setting, the Sewing Sessions school is one of the best in the city of Leeds. Workshops are available on Saturdays as well as Evening Classes for those who work during the week. From beginners sewing classes to skilled dressmaking, you can learn how to sew in a day or develop your skill further across many sessions; book a lesson today!

Lessons About How to Sew in Birmingham

Birmingham is a major UK city located in England's West Midlands. Brummies are spoiled for choice since they live in a region that has a lot of further education classes where useful skills can be acquired effortlessly. The following is the best sewing institute located in the Greater Birmingham region:

  • Guthrie & Ghani: the informational workshops offered at Guthrie & Ghani are designed for all types of learning levels: such as complete beginners, those looking to refresh their skills, those wanting to learn how to make clothes, and those who want to use their sewing machine better to freshen up their home effectively. Check out their website to find the best sewing classes or workshop for you!

Sewing Lessons in Glasgow

Glaswegians are like citizens in many other UK cities. How so? They enjoy learning new skills and abilities, such as foreign languages or sewing. The following are the best two schools to learn more about sewing in Glasgow:

  • Sew Confident: a sewing studio located in Glasgow's West End that offers a wide range of supplies and classes for all levels. At Sew Confident, you will find beginner's sewing classes, hand embroidery class, bumbag class, quilting for beginners, how to make underwear and lingerie class, animal accessory class or curtains and blinds class. Don't just take our word for it, visit their website to learn more ASAP!
  • The Stitchery: a business run from two studios at private residences in Charing Cross and Woodlands, the Stitchery offers a vast range of workshops such as making jeans, fitting, making shirts or making a jacket. The Stitchery also provides private tuition helping you to master the techniques involved in making your unique textile pieces. You can book a consultation to discuss your desired learning outcomes.

Find a sewing course London.

Finding Places to Learn How to Sew in Edinburgh

In some UK areas, the basics of sewing are taught in the last years of secondary school in home economics class.

Government-run education centres have the goal of preparing students with various and useful household skills.

Nevertheless, it is essential to state that sewing lessons at public schools are a thing of the past. In recent years, home economics courses have been scrapped by the UK Education System to make room for other classes such as foreign languages.

Therefore, many citizens of Edinburgh may ask, is it still possible to learn how to sew outside the home and in an educational setting?

Without further delay, the following are the best places in Edinburgh to attend sewing classes:

  • The Edinburgh Sewcial Club: let's start by saying that not only the name is brilliant at The Edinburgh Sewcial Club but also the courses and instructors. Located on 151 London Road in studio 5.10, the Edinburgh Sewcial Club opened in 2014 and offered courses in dressmaking, sewing, and other textile crafts to people of all ages. More information about courses and workshops can be found by visiting their informative website or Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest pages. Upcoming classes may take place in the evening, on the weekend, or at other times most convenient for the learners.
  • Red Thread Studio: according to many past learners, some of the best sewing and dressmaking classes offered in the Edinburgh are available at the Red Thread Studio. Since the school opened in 2013, more than 1500 diligent learners have attended sewing courses at different times and distinct learning levels. The instructors' unparalleled expertise and engaging teaching methods contribute to an excellent learning experience; who knew learning how to sew could be so fun?

Sewing Sessions in Belfast

The usefulness of learning how to sew cannot be disputed. However, the appeal of acquiring the skill of sewing may not convince all to learn how to thread a needle.

Nevertheless, some may ask, where can I attend sewing classes in the Belfast area? 

Have no fear, Superprof is here to save the day! Without further ado, the following are the best places to learn more about sewing in the city of Belfast:

  • Colour and Cloth: regarded by many as the best place to learn more about sewing in the town of Belfast, the Colour and Cloth studio is a fantastic place offering various classes such as beginner sewing, dressmaking, and cushion creating. Also, for those who desire to learn what they want when they want, there is the option of private tuition classes at only £30 per hour. Check out their fantastic website to read client reviews, class schedules, and essential information as to what should be included in a sewing kit.
  • Magpie Belfast: after receiving many five-star ratings from satisfied clients on their Facebook page, Magpie Belfast is a highly recommended sewing studio in the Belfast area. Classes such as basic sewing course for adults, basic sewing taster class, sewing classes for kids, and a sewing masterclass are offered at affordable prices for all budgets. Check out their Facebook page to read essential information.

Locating a Sewing School in Nottingham

Possessing similar sewing techniques at an advanced level is no easy feat; much time and practice are required to handle a thread and needle with style. 

Consequently, individuals learning how to sew must be able to possess the ability of correctly choosing the right needle to get the job done efficiently. Furthermore, many hand stitching techniques such as the whip stitch, the catch stitch, the basting stitch, the running stitch, and the backstitch must be acquired to mend or fix clothes and create beautiful designs adequately.

Where can these techniques be taught? 

Easy, at highly recommended sewing schools in the Nottingham area. The following are the best Nottingham-based institutions to learn more about the basics of sewing:

  • The Craft Studio: boasting a reputation for excellence and located on 60 Derby Road, The Craft Studio has over 70 five-star reviews on Google from satisfied customers and clients. This craft/fabric store offers classes and workshops to equip interested students with all the basics of dressmaking, quilting, embroidery, and sewing skills. Some of the distinct sewing classes offered include the beginners sewing taster session, the five-week sewing for fun lessons, the introduction to patchwork, knitting, crocheting, and home interior classes. Check out their highly recommended site to learn more about fees and when classes start.
  • The Sherwood Textile Workshop: located in the Sherwood area of Nottingham, The Sherwood Textile Workshop was established in 2006 and has since been operated by owner Karen Taylor; what a fantastic surname for someone interested in sewing! Specialised courses are offered in a wide variety of sewing based topics such as bag making, crocheting, knitting, embroidery, and dressmaking, to name a few. Since tutors operate many of the sewing courses from Wea college and Nottingham college, the prices are incredibly affordable to ensure that those from low-income households can learn sewing.

Finding the Best Sewing Tutors in Cardiff

Sewing can be compared to art, and as is the case with any artwork, the artist must become skilled in his domain to truly create something worthwhile, a masterpiece.

Therefore, to become a skilled artist or a sewist, aspiring dressmakers and tailors must learn various hand stitching techniques to fabricate beautiful and admirable creations.

Therefore, to learn additional information about your new sewing machine, attending a sewing class in Cardiff is a brilliant idea that should not be ignored. The following are the best institutions offering sewing lessons in the region of Cardiff:

  • The Little Sewing Works: located in a studio in Williams Way, The Little Sewing Works is the most highly recommended sewing school in Cardiff. There are distinct workshops offered in a wide variety of areas such as beginners sewing, sewing clothes for babies and kids, intro to knitting, essential dressmaking, and an introduction to the sewing machine. Don't forget to scroll through the informative blog to learn more about sewing topics when visiting their website.
  • Rooftop Atelier Sewing School: located in Barry, a town near Cardiff, the Rooftop Atelier Sewing School is a highly recommended place to learn more about the basics of sewing. This school focuses on teaching classes but also offers fabrics, materials, and trimmings to choose from in their sewing haberdashery. Also, an additional bonus of the Rooftop Atelier is that clients have the possibility of reserving some time in a workshop to practise their newly acquired skills with professional equipment. Want to find out more information about classes? Check out their website.

Find sewing classes London.

Learn How To Sew Wih A Superprof Tutor

Furthermore, you might like to take your learning at your own pace and acquire the help of a personal tutor with expertise in your desired area of sewing.

At Superprof, you'll find instructors who can either give you tips and advice by email with pictures or by having a one-to-one lesson on Skype or Facetime.

Need a Sewing teacher?

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Laura is a Francophile with a passion for literature and linguistics. She also loves skiing, cooking and painting.