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Published October 25th 2011
You're about to leave the house but just as you close the door, you notice that the button on your cardigan has slipped off. What do you do? You don't know how to sew, but I bet that right about now you wish you did, just so that you wouldn't need to inconvenience yourself with an alterations or tailoring shop.
Not to worry, there are avenues around being challenged with the needle and thread. You can quite easily learn to sew at whatever level required. Whether you're learning to sew on that very first button or designing your next formal dress, there are courses available for your skillset and level.
It's important to determine your level. If you've really never held a needle in your life, it's better to be honest and take a beginner's course. There's nothing wrong with it as over time, your skills will improve and you can progress to creating unique garments that nobody in the world owns. If you're a beginner, you could try your luck with numerous institutions.
If you're after something thorough with a small class size of only three with lots of individual attention, you will want to try the beginner's course at Bernadette Doherty. For a grand total of $475, you'll attend a two hour class every week for eight weeks. Here you will learn basic sewing techniques such as seams, darts, gathering, hems, waistbands, zips and hand sewing skills. You'll also learn how to use a sewing machine, how to read and understand a commercial pattern, how to layout and cut your fabric and select appropriate fabrics. You'll actually end up making a basic garment and then work on your own projects as the course continues. As your sewing skills improve, you might want to try a general sewing course. There are also special courses available for high school students.
For those of you who like to get things over and done with quickly and intensely, there are courses available for you as well. If you don't like the idea of stretching the acquisition of your new skills over several weeks, you should consider embarking on your sewing journey at the Sydney Community College. Their intense Sew Simple courses (parts 1& 2) teach you the absolute basics over 2 six hour sessions each. Priced at $205, you're going to learn basic sewing skills as well as the sewing lingo and machinery. You'll also likely to make some new friends as you learn to sew.
If you really don't like socialising and want a teacher all for yourself, you will want to try Sewing Lessons Manly / Northern Beaches. This company actually comes to you, even if you live somewhere like the Eastern Suburbs. You don't need to stick to class timetables or anything of the sort. Just book a lesson and everything is provided for you. A 1 hour private lesson in your home costs $45 and a 2 hour private lesson costs $70. Although it's a tad pricier than group lessons, you can make anything you like and you don't have to leave your house. The lessons are customised to your needs; it doesn't matter if you're a beginner or an experienced seamstress or tailor.
Now that you have a snapshot of what's out there, why not learn to sew? It's a skillset that will save you time and money throughout your whole life. Many people find sewing relaxing and you can make a bunch of new friends from it. If you're particularly into fashion, the idea of making something which nobody else in the world owns is likely to appeal to you. It really is all in your hands. Oh and yes boys, this skill would indeed be useful for you to learn too.