“Dressing is a way of life” - Yves Saint Laurent
This quote, from one of the world’s greatest fashion designers, succinctly summarises what it is to make clothes.
Yves Saint Laurent, whose name was often shortened to YSL, showed that fashion is difficult in terms of both creativity and technique.
While women still remain the main recipients of sewing tutorials, it’s still worth asking the question for everyone: how do you choose the right sewing courses?
You’ll know by the end of this article!
The Rates for Sewing Tutorials in the UK
Before we talk about the rates, you should know that sewing tutorials are for everyone, not just women. It's a common misconception that women are the only ones who learn to sew.
Anyone can learn to thread a needle, make a seam, and start doing their own basic sewing projects like making a tote bag or pillowcase, or adding zippers to bags.
The main thing you have to think about when choosing your sewing or embroidery tutorial is what your goals are:
- Do you want to just learn to sew?
- Do you want to make a career out of it?
- Are you interesting in hand sewing or machine sewing?
- Do you want to make your own creative wardrobe?
- Do you want to learn how to make a hem or sew on a button?
- Do you want to make a wedding dress for the big day?
In addition to these criteria, the cost of sewing classes will also vary according to:
- The town where you’re getting your private tutorials (London, other large cities, or a small town)
- The type of tutorial you’re getting (knitting, sewing, making clothes, etc.)
- The length and frequency of the lessons (throughout the year, evening classes, at the weekend)
- The tutor’s experience and reputation (a former fashion designer or a student who’s just graduated, etc.)
- Whether you have your own sewing machine or a sewing kit or whether the tutor provides the materials.
It’ll hardly be surprising to learn that the prices tend to be higher in London where the cost of living in higher. Elsewhere there are fewer tutors but lower prices. Of course, online tutorials are cheaper than face-to-face tutorials or classes in a sewing group.
The level of the class (beginner, intermediate, advanced), how much you know about sewing already, or what you want out of your courses can vary the price of your sewing classes.
My favourite workshops were the ones where I learn the basics of sewing, what all the words meant and the important equipment and materials you need. By the end, I was no longer a beginner.
Where Can You Find the Perfect Sewing Tutor?
You need to do more than just choose the perfect sewing machine, you need to also choose the teacher whose advice and approach will help you achieve your goals. That’s why choosing your teacher isn’t a decision you can take lightly.
The first thing you need to do is decide what your objectives are:
- Would you prefer a traditional approach to learning to sew or embroider?
- Do you want to learn how to make furnishings or upholstery (like a cushion cover, for example)?
- Are you looking to perfect your sewing techniques or learn new ones like cross stitch or crochet?
Then, you need to have a look around at the places where you can find tutors or teachers. Places such as:
- Fashion schools
- Private workshops
- Sewing groups
- Private sewing tutors
What makes the perfect sewing teacher? Is it a teacher with a recognised qualification in fashion design? Not really... Finding your perfect sewing teacher depends on a large number of different factors such as:
- Your budget
- How long you have to learn
- Where you live
- How flexible your schedule is
- Whether your goals line up with the tutor’s own personal experience
Thinking about these criteria is a good place to start as it’ll help you narrow down your options and find the right sewing teacher.
I didn’t really know how to sew before I decided to learn. My mother helped by a bit by giving me a book on sewing for dummies (I particularly enjoyed the sections on scrapbooking and patchwork). Now I’m the one who fixes her clothes, added a zip to her bag, and customises her clothes and accessories!
Can You Learn Sew Online?
This is a question you’ll start asking yourself once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential teachers: Where can you have sewing tutorials?
While most tutors and teachers will be found in schools and workshops, there are two other solutions for those who want to learn how to sew:
You probably don’t have a serger, cover stitch machine, or a presser foot. It’s also unlikely that a tutor would bring all these things to your house.
Don’t forget that if you opt for online tutorials, you’re going to have to get these things yourself.
The advantage of learning to sew at home is that even an absolute beginner can be taught how to thread a needle, knit, redo the stitches on a garment, quilting, or just a few sewing basics.
While you can find a basic sewing class or workshop, some people prefer the relaxed nature of beginner sewing tutorials and learning a new skill in a familiar environment like their own home.
To give you a few ideas, here are some of the best YouTube channels for those wanting to learn how to sew:
This is a good channel for beginners. In fact, this is the main focus of the channel. If you’re an absolute novice, looking for a bag pattern or information on stylish projects, or wanting to make a summer dress, this is the place to go!
ThreadBanger is one of the most popular YouTube channels. It takes a modern approach to sewing. This isn’t the kind of channel that your grandma would enjoy. That said, there are plenty of great videos for everyone on this channel.
This is a channel that’s worth checking out once you’ve got to grips with sewing as there are plenty of advanced sewing techniques explained in great detail. However, the delivery is very clear and the methods are explained step-by-step so you might be checking out this channel sooner than you think. If you’re looking for tutorials on embroidery, embellishment, ruffles, or pleats, this is the place to go!
There are plenty of videos on a variety of arts and crafts.
I loved going online and getting online classes from my favourite creator, Anna. She taught me how to sew a long time ago with an old mechanical sewing machine. She was full of tips and tricks, advice on the type of fabric to use and where you can get free patterns... I could do all this from the comfort of my living room.
Choose Your Sewing Teacher Based on Their Experience
Everyone knows that if you want to learn how to sew, you’ll probably need a decent sewing machine, thread, and some sewing patterns.
Isn’t there something missing?
Your teacher, of course!
Regardless of whether they have their own sewing blog or are offering some really interesting tutorials, you need to make sure they’re experienced.
It’s more complicated than that, though. Your level will dictate the kind of tutor you’ll need. You should learn more about their background:
- A newly-qualified teacher who’s just got their degree.
- An experienced teacher with experience both in teaching and in the industry.
- A private tutor who may be both of the above or neither of them.
Your goal is to find a teacher whose experience lines up with your own objectives. A newly-qualified teacher could easily teach you the basics of sewing whereas you might need someone with more experience if your goals are more ambitious. Experienced teachers will have a better understanding of how to get into fashion schools, what the exams entail, what's going on in the industry and how to get into it.
A private tutor’s role is simple: they need to offer tailored classes to their students based on what they’re trying to learn. As a student, you have a lot more control. You can establish your goals and your tutor will put together a custom learning plan for you.
So get your sewing supplies ready!