"To be creative, you need to get over the fear of failure."
By teaching sewing classes for beginners, intermediates, or experts, you can help your students express their creativity and learn to sew. You could even organise a basic sewing workshop for a couple hours or so.
More and more Brits are taking up creative activities like cooking, baking, DIY, etc. Even though more and more people are learning to sew, it’s still one of the least popular crafts.
Fortunately, in this article, Superprof has some advice for aspiring sewing tutors on how to teach.
Should You Invest in Sewing Equipment?
Sewing machine, serger, zips, haberdashery, scissors, etc. As a beginner, when you start sewing, there are a few things you’ll need to buy. That rusty old needle in your old sewing kit isn't going to cut it. If you're serious about learning how to sew, you're going to need to invest in some proper sewing supplies.
If you’re already an expert, it’s likely that you’ll already own everything you need. However, your students might not have invested in everything yet because they’re not sure if this is something they’re going to keep doing in the long run.
When it comes to creative workshops, you’ll have to consider providing the material to your students.
Let’s start with sewing machines since they are quite the investment for students. You should consider bringing yours and advising students on the best sewing machine for them in terms of their level and budget. Singer is a great brand offering sewing machines at different prices.
If you want to learn to embroider, tailor, or make a hem, you’ll also need:
- Tape measure
- Sewing patterns
- Fusible interlining
- Accessories for customising garments
Learning to sew also requires a lot of commitment from your students, too. Firstly, you should:
- Work with offcuts while they learn how to use a sewing machine.
- Find cheaper materials as they learn.
- Offer a “material fee” to encourage students to buy materials that they want to work with.
Show them different techniques such as bias or doing French seams. You could show them how easy it is to sew on a button. Teach them, step by step, about doing up clothes so they can start making their own made-to-measure clothes. You can also recommend useful books to them that they can use to teach themselves certain things when you’re not there.
To help your students progress, you have to focus on your teaching methods and adapt them to your students’ needs.
You can also help students by teaching as part of a sewing group.
Find out more about teaching sewing at schools here.
How Do You Teach a Sewing Course?
You can also offer group classes or private sewing tutorials (including online)on tailor-made clothing or the basics of sewing. You could offer kids classes during the summer holidays or parent-and-child classes to get families started with sewing, embroidery, or simple sewing projects. You may also like to teach in a school.
What Should a Private Sewing Tutorial Be Like?
There are plenty of different types of sewing classes. There are also different types of sewing workshops covering the following topics:
- Introductions to sewing simple items in order to learn the basics: phone or glasses cases, sewing kits, scarves, etc.
- Baby clothes and accessories
- Children’s clothes
- Women’s clothes
- Men’s clothes
- Upholstery and furnishing
- Recycling: Turning cushion covers into dresses, patching up holes in cloves, turning adults clothes into children’s clothes, making old jeans into a bag, etc.
- Sewing techniques
- Special events: Halloween, Easter, Christmas, baby showers, hen parties, etc.
- Bags, hats, accessories, etc.
Knowing how to sew can be useful from the second you learn how to do it. Students can say goodbye to ready-to-wear clothes by making their own tunic and decorating their own fashion accessory or garment in small group classes or in one-on-one tutoring jobs.
If you’re offering group classes, you should make sure you have invested in a sewing machine or have access to a sewing workshop that can lend you the machines.
How Long Does a Private Sewing Tutorial Last?
Most tutors offer sewing classes that last between two and three hours. It’s difficult to get enough done in just an hour. You also need to take into account the time it’ll take you to travel to your lesson and back since this time will add up. If you’re going to travel to the lesson, make it worth the trip by teaching for at least 2 hours.
How Much Should You Charge for a Sewing Tutorial?
This will vary on the type of tutorials you offer. Generally, sewing tutorials can cost anywhere between £15and £50 per hour.
However, as we said before, this will vary a lot, especially when it comes to how much material the tutor provides. You can add a “materials fee” onto your hourly rate if you have to bring expensive materials to the lesson or provide students with needles that they get to keep at the end of the lesson.
This fee could also cover renting a sewing machine or the cost of the fabric you give to the student. This might be £5 for using a sewing machine or closer to £20 if you’ve bought the student all their materials.
Of course, you need to make sure that your hourly rate also covers your travel costs. It might be worth increasing the cost if you have to travel further than a certain distance.
Finally, your rates will also change depending on your experience and your student’s level. It might be more costly to teach higher levels.
To encourage repeat business, you should offer discounts for students who book several lessons at once.
You could also offer your services in a fashion school.
Where Can You Find Students Who Want to Learn How to Sew?
If you want to teach private sewing tutorials, you’re going to need students!
Word of Mouth
There are plenty of options for you. Start by asking close friends and family members and speak to everyone you know. Maybe one of your cousins or friends knows somebody looking to learn how to sew. In any case, they might mention that you’re offering private sewing tutorials the next time something like that comes up in conversation.
Make sure you use social media for your new endeavour. Have a look around for nearby sewing groups on Facebook. There might also be a sewing message board where you could offer your classes. You could even post pictures of some of the stuff you’ve made to encourage potential students.
Why not create a Facebook page or Instagram account to share your creations?
Show people what you’re capable of and advertise your services as a private sewing tutor. You could then make yourself a website and show off some of your products and services. This could act as a show window. If you want to sell stuff, you’ll need to make an e-commerce site.
Sign Up to Superprof!
Don’t forget that there are potential students on Superprof, too! You can choose your rates and how you want to teach (private tutorials, group classes, face-to-face, or over webcam).
There are plenty of tutors already signed up around the country and their rates vary up and down the country. However, they also vary depending on the tutor's experience, the type of tutorials that they're offering, how much they have to travel, and the equipment they provide.
You can also decide whether or not you want to offer your first hour for free. Consider completing your profile so that potential students know everything they need to about you. Once you start teaching, make sure to ask your students to leave a review of you as their teacher.
Why not consider offering sewing tutorials via webcam?
Private Sewing Tutorials Definitions
When you first start sewing, there’s a lot of terms you’ll need to learn. To help your students, make sure you explain what a lot of these words mean.
What Is Bias?
When material is cut on the bias, this means that it’s been cut at a 45-degree angle to give it more stretch. It’s often used to finish off the edges of garments.
What Is Interfacing?
Interfacing is used to make materials more rigid (like the edges of hats, collars, etc.) or more solid (snaps, edges of pockets, etc.). Generally, this can be done using fusible interlining or interfacing.