Archived Q&A and Reviews
Sewing Lessons for Adults
Sewing Lessons for Kids & Teens
Sewing Lessons for Adults
Hi! Can anybody recommend a fun sewing class for (adult) beginners? Or maybe even a workshop for mums? My daughter is only 7, so a bit young to use a sewing machine, I guess, but I imagine she could do the fabric cutting etc? It would be fun to learn it together. Thanks! hoping to learn sewing
Check out Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley. They have several great sewing classes: http://www.stonemountainfabric.com/sewing-classes.htm Sew fun
Hi, I've taken the intro sewing class at Piedmont Adult School w/Kate Ruddle. It was really fun and after one 6-week class, I can follow patterns and complete projects on my own. http://piedmontadultschool.org/c_homemaking.aspx
There are also lots of different types of classes offered at Sew Images on Piedmont Ave, including children's sewing classes. I've never taken any here yet, but hope to someday. http://www.sewimages.com/main.php?_form_action=class_list
Joann fabrics also offers a variety of sewing classes - there is one in El Cerrito. http://www.joann.com/static/education/classes/current_2150.p df Have fun! melissa
Contact Marianne Henri, mjhenri [at] att.net or (510)525-6436. She does afterschool sewing classes & vacation/summer camps. My daughters loved her program when they were younger. Her studio is in Albany, near Toot Sweets on Gilman. She is lovely & has a cozy studio which is chock full of fabric, patterns, accessories, etc. All the friends we have sent to her love her as well. Rebecca
I am a self-taught sewer and a crappy one at that. I love to sew, but need help with my technique. I'm looking for an easy-going beginner-ish class in the east bay. I am aware of the classes at Stone Mountain Daughter in Berkeley, but wondered if anyone had additional recommendations. I would be especially interested in any classes at the local adult ed schools, since they tend to be more reasonably priced. Thanks!
I can't speak to the cost relative to other classes but there is a wonderful new business called ''Sew Now'' in Lafayette just off of Mt. Diablo Blvd. My daughter's Girl Scout class had an introduction to sewing class that was great. The machines were extremely easy to use and there were 8 to 10 available. The store has floor to ceiling windows on 2 sides out of 4 so there is lots of natural light. There were alot of classes offered and the owner was very nice. She might even have introductory pricing as it is a new business. Signed: Not a sewer
Go to www.tinkersworkshop.org (they are in the process of changing their name to Waterside Workshops) where they list beginning sewing workshops that sound really fun. I haven't gone yet but hope to go. Julie
''Better Living Through Sewing'', taught by Diana Stasko in both her home and at the Crucible are great to start. She's down to earth, patient, and a bit on the alternative side (NOT the home ec teacher type i avoided and therfore never learned how to sew). check out her website. lyn
I have always had a passion for sewing but never pursude it. Where can I learn how to sew locally? Anyone out there who is willing to teach for a reasonable price?
Check out Stonemountain and Daughter on Shattuck near Dwight in Berkeley (http://www.stonemountainfabric.com). My friend took sewing classes there and liked it. Also, I saw some classes in progress there once and it looked great. The website has information on classes.
I took a basic machine sewing class at Stone Mountain and Daughter on Shattuck in Berkeley. My instructor was Alice Elliot, and we made drawstring pants from a purchased pattern - covering some minor fitting adjustments and different hems. I enjoyed the class and would recommend it as a good intro. They also offer more specialized classes as well. http://www.stonemountainfabric.com/pages/sewingschool.html juno
I would love to learn how to sew & make my own designs and just received a wonderful machine for my b-day. My husband travels so frequently which makes it very hard for me to sign up for an evening or afternoon class. I would love to take some private lessons with someone who could come to my house. Is there anyone like that out there? designer wanabe
You could try Janet Manning in Berkeley at 510.845.3058 or 847.6234. She would come to your house for lessons. Janet is a talented seamstress and super nice woman. She also has a great sense of style but isn't so hip as to be intimidating. She is launching a pattern business but does things on the side like this. Elizabeth
I am considering taking beginning sewing classes at Sew Images on Piedmont Ave. Wondered if anyone has taken their classes and could comment on the instruction they received. Thanks! Erin
I took a beginning sewing class at Sew Images last spring (15 months ago) and loved it. I had never used a sewing machine before and the beginning clas really got me going. Cecilia was fun and patient, with very clear instructions. A few thoughts: choose your first project with some thought - it should have elements you'll find challenging but manageable. I wanted to know how to do sleeves and a whole dress. Others wanted to know how to do a lined skirt. I liked how she gave you the freedom to choose your own project. You need to have time to work on your project at home, otherwise you won't really benefit from the class. And you need your own machine - it doesn't have to be fancy (mine is a 1960s Singer). Cecilia will try to sell you a fancy new one (that is, after all, her main business), but she's very understanding if you want to use your old one to get your feet on the ground. good luck and have fun! Mary Ann
Can anyone recommend adult sewing classes for a beginner? Thank you very much Julie
There are classes offered at a place on Piedmont Avenue in North Oakland but I don't know much about them. Just this weekend I went to Stone Mountain and Daughter Company and pickup their brochure. They are on Shattuck just south of Dwight Way. Their classes look great and I think I'm going to take a class there to brush up on my ancient sewing skills. They also offered a wide array of dates/days of the week, etc. Also many classes. Samantha
Two places come to mind: The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco has lots of sewing classes, for beginners and up through advanced sewers. Very interesting people teach there, and the classes tend to be excellent and unusual. However, it is a long way to travel. In the Berkeley, check with Stonemountain and Daughters fabric store on Shattuck at Dwight. They have a list of classes. Have fun! Carolyn
Stonemountain and Daughter offers great sewing classes for beginners. Danielle
For clothing, Stone Mountain & Daughter, on Shattuck. For quilting, New Pieces on Solano. Heather
I enjoyed a couple of beginning sewing classes that I took at StoneMountain and Daughters in Berkeley on Shattuck Avenue (just south of Dwight on the west side of the street).
Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco Elysse
I've really enjoyed the beginning sewing classes at the Emeryville JoAnn Fabrics. I took the class three times and emerged with three wearable pieces of clothing. The instructor, Pat, is a dynamo. She takes you from pattern and fabric selection to finishing the project in five weeks. A great non-frustrating way to learn how to sew. It's probably still on Tuesday nights. Have fun! Shirley
Some places to check for sewing classes are: Joanne's Fabrics (previously called New York Fabrics) in Emeryville, New Pieces on Solano Ave., Poppy's Fabrics, and Stonemountain Daughters. These places either have sewing classes or would know of private parties who offer them.
Updated (June 2003): Barbara Allen teaches sewing lessons in her home studio in the Oakland Hills for girls third grade through high school. Maximum class size is six students. Each student is provided her own machine and tools. Three twelve week sessions are taught during the school year. In class patterns are provided, which are used along with the teacher's small line of sewing patterns that can be viewed at www.brownpaperpatterns.com. For more information call 510-655-9496.
Sewing Lessons for Children & Teens
Looking for a class for my daughter, weekends or after school. She's mainly interested in machine sewing. Kind, patient teachers a plus. We're in Oakland but willing to travel. Resisting all sew/so puns
Camp Couture, is a small, personalized sewing camp in San Francisco. The sessions are three days, 10:00-3:00, and the students learn basic design and sewing skills, including use of a sewing machine (either yours or one here). By the end of the three days students will have designed and sewn a beautiful, original skirt or book bag. Camp days are flexible and are open to 2-4 students, age 8- 12. If you are interested, find a friend, pick the days that work for you and book a session. Camp sessions are available from June 18th-August 17th. Anna Slotterback, instructor: Anna just finished her 1st year at the Theater School at DePaul University in Chicago where she is studying Costume Design and Technology. She has been an assistant costumer at SF Arts Ed for 3 years. This is her second year running Camp Couture. Julie
A fantastic sewing teacher in Albany is: Marianne Henri Sew Much Fun mjhenri [at] att.net My 11 year old went to her sewing camp and came back with a bunch of stuff she had made, both machine and hand sewing. Marianne has a great workshop and the kids have a wonderful time. K.
We love, love, love our sewing teacher, Laura Raboff. She hosts small groups of kids, usually girls I guess, in her home and introduces them to the fun of fabric. Our 11-y-o daughter has made clothes, quilts, dolls, bags, doll clothes, collages, etc using sewing machines and by hand in her groups, starting back when she was 8 or so. Even though I have lots of experience sewing, it seemed to be easier for our daughter to learn from Laura and within the group. Laura is warm, patient and creative and has scads of experience as an art teacher at Prospect Sierra. Laura guides the kids through projects of their own choosing and gives them a healthy snack as well. Our daughter was willing to get all her homework done ahead of time each week to be allowed to continue with the sewing classes during the school year. She also hosts camps during school breaks and during the summer. I can't say enough good about her. Her email is laura.raboff [at] gmail.com
Fashionista Jennifer Serr teaches a few different sewing classes for girls 8 & up, as well as 1 week summer camp sessions from June through August at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda. There's more info here: http://www.rhythmix.org/content/classSewing.html http://www.rhythmix.org/camps.html
Marianne Henri is wonderful. She is in Berkeley, or maybe it's Albany, off Gilman, near Toot Sweets & the BART tracks. My daughters loved her summer & afterschool classes when they were younger. You can email her at mjhenri [at] att.net. fan of Marianne's Sew Much Fun
Are there any sewing camps in the summer for 6 year-olds? Nancy
I have it on good authority, actually from Moses and Judy - that Park Day Summer Camp will have sewing again this year and the theme will be sewing PJs. My 7 year old daughter (6 last summer) had a blast. She learned how to cut fabric, hand stitch and use a sewing machine. She felt competent and enjoyed what she made. They have 3/4 and full day sessions. Happy Park Day Summer Camp Mom
My 8-year-old daughter is interested in sewing and I think she would enjoy a hand- sewing class before a machine-sewing class. I can only find machine-sewing classes though. Anyone know of a hand-sewing class for children? Deanna
Just saw an announcement for a Kids' Hand Sewing class at Stone Mountain. The July one has passed, but there's another listed for Aug. 22 from 10:30 to 1:30. 2518 Shattuck. 845-6106. stonemountainfabric.com hope it works!
Can anyone recommend a sewing class for my 7-year-old (in or near Berkeley)? She's very interested, but my own knowledge is minimal. Thanks so much! Marilyn
My daughters took sewing classes at Stone Mountain and Daughter on Shattuck in Berkeley and they really liked it. It was a 4 day, 3 hour hour class during the summer. I am not sure what they have throughout the year or how young they take children for their classes, but I recommend checking it out. They have a web site.
I also have a seven-year old daughter who wants to take sewing classes. I asked at Stone Mountain & Daughter about lessons for her a few months ago. They were pretty discouraging about starting her at that age. It seemed to be, at least in part, a size issue (she is small for her age). They weren't sure she'd be able to operate a sewing machine safely until she was a little taller and her arms a little longer.
However, my sister and I took classes at Singer when I was a child growing up in New York. She was about 6 and I was about 9. We were the only kids in an adult class, and we did OK. So I'm not sure if SM's expressed concern is their actual concern, or if they just don't really offer classes for younger children and don't feel comfortable including them in classes for older people. Lisa
Marianne Henri runs Sew Much Fun which my middle school daughter has greatly enjoyed the last few years. Marianne has week long sessions during school vacations and in the summer. I don't know if she has on-going classes or if she works with kids as young as 7.
There is a summer sewing class being offered by Marianne Henri in her home this summer. I need to find somewhere for my 13-yr old to be for a couple of weeks, and sewing is a life skill I feel she could get some use from. She isn't particularly interested in sewing per se, but loves doing crafts and working with her hands. Can anyone vouch for this teacher? anyone used her for a week of serwing camp? Any other ideas for last two weeks of July for activities for my daughter so I can work those weeks before taking off in August for the family vacation??
Marianne's class was wonderful for both my gals. At ages 11 1/2 & 9 they were absolutely engrossed with their week with Marianne last summer. They learned a lot about sewing, fabric and were positively charged about creating their own designs after class ended. Marianne was a pleasure to deal with and the kids really enjoyed learning from her. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me. Tree
The Tinkers Workshop holds weekly sewing classes for beginners and workshop for those experienced at sewing. It is located at 1337 Channing-between San pablo and Sacramento. Phone is 644-2577- call ahead to make sure it's on. judith