This site isn't about learning how to sew; I assume you already have some sewing skills. It's essential to know how a garment goes together before you begin drafting a pattern.
On the other hand, when you put the time and effort into designing and drafting your own patterns, and creating your own unique fashions, why not put your best efforts into stitching the garment, too?
You might be able to take a sewing class at your local high school or trade school, but they are getting harder and harder to find.If you'd like to improve your sewing skills, I've listed some classes, all available from Craftsy, that are a tremendous help.
Although I've been sewing for more than 50 years and have spent my life in the costume and apparel industries, I've taken some of these classes myself, and found them to be very useful. There's always another way to approach a problem and you never stop learning! I highly recommend Craftsy classes. They are well laid out, and the video format is as close as you can get to a hands-on course.
Craftsy classes can be a bit pricey, but if you simply sign up for their site, you'll get emails with discounts and sales on a regular basis. They have 20% off specials all the time - just sign up and wait for the next sale!
- 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know - Gail Yellen - If you're self-taught as a seamstress (I was taught by my mother and sewed for several years before taking my first class in Home Ec), this class will help refine basic skills. A must for fully understanding how a garment is constructed.
Many of the classes, below, cover the same information, but in more detail.
- Sew Smarter: 30 Professional Techniques - This class offers tips and techniques for stitching on difficult fabrics, handling tricky construction techniques, and using the proper presser foot to help get the best results.
- Underneath It All with Linda Lee - Interfacing, linings, and interlinings are the structure and support of a well-made garment. Learn what they are and how to use them to make your clothing look truly professional.
- Craftsy Mastering Zipper Techniques Class - Zippers can be a bit scary, but once you know how to set them, it's a piece of cake. Don't limit yourself to buttons or pull-over-the-head tops - learn to set a zipper! And this one is FREE!!
(If you're a crafter or cook, Craftsy has free classes on topics ranging from making the perfect pizza to building cabinets. Here's the full list of Craftsy free mini classes to choose from)
- Beginner Serging - Sergers are the easiest, quickest way to sew knits - but some people are intimidated by the machine. This course will guide you through the threading (NOT as complicated as it looks!) and use of this wonderful machine.
- Creative Closures: 8 Unique Techniques, with Marsha McClintock - Make your garment truly unique with a creative closure - from buttonholes hidden in a seam to appliqued tabs and exposed zippers, these details can take your designs to the next level!
- Designing Details: Pockets with Kenneth King - Another way of customizing your clothing design is with the creative use of pockets. Every garment should have a pocket!! But you can do so much more than just adding a patch pocket - you'll even learn how to sew a double welt!
- Craftsy Decorative Seams: Techniques and Finishes Class - More design inspiration! Just adding decorative detail to your seams makes your designs outstanding. Learn how topstitching, piping, and other decorative seaming techniques can help define your design.
Craftsy has many, many more classes available, but this is a good selection of what they have to offer. Browse their site and find something that will help YOU achieve a great garment!
And if you're a cook or a quilter, there are classes for that, too!
Once you've purchased a class, you'll have lifetime access. You can take the class at your own pace and go back and review whenever you like. But be warned - I've bought several classes that I haven't even started yet; it can be addicting!
Make sure you have the tools you need to start drafting your patterns, and let's start!
The "nice to have" tools: