The modern media has created a revival of sewing, with shows such as Project Runway and characters like Gossip Girl's resident seamstress, Jenny Humphrey. Either way, many people are taking an interest to sewing, but before elaborate creations can be made, a person must first learn to sew. There are three main options to learn how to sew, and it is a matter of finding which one fits in both preference and budget:
The first option is to learn from a close friend or family member. This is an excellent choice because it allows the novice to move at their own pace and their own convenience. One on one attention is provided, and those who learn often gain a sense of pride during the learning process. The family member option is great for those who want to learn to use a machine, too, because the sewer can take it with them to practice at home, provided that the owner allows this. If you can find a family member or friend that can help you, that's great, but remember to offer reimbursement or at least a nice gift in exchange for their services.
The second option is to take a course at a local college. This is great because it is intensive and has multiple levels from beginning to advanced, and teaches a variety of techniques that may not be covered elsewhere. There are a few drawbacks, though. The first is that these courses cost money. The second is that the hours are inflexible, and if you miss a class, you will be seriously behind. The third drawback is that one on one attention is not possible. If you are okay with this and are even considering searching for career opportunities in the design field, this is the place for you. Nassau Community College offers several courses in apparel design if you are interested.
The third option was referred to in my previous article. Fabric stores often offer a myriad of classes on various sewing and crafting topics for those on various levels. These often do not cost as much as community college classes and are only held a handful of times at most. Some basic sewing skills, such as cutting a pattern, basic use of a sewing machine, and sewing a basic running stitch should be mastered before attempting a class, because these classes are often fast-paced. Also, you will probably have to provide your own materials, which can add to the total cost. Sewtime Creative Sewing Centers offer classes in their three locations (two on Long Island and one in Queens) almost every day of the week.
No matter which path you choose, remember that sewing is a journey, and that no matter how difficult the project is, the most important thing is to have fun!