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 Burda and Craftsy classes. They are well laid out, and the video format is as close as you can get to a hands-on course.
- Introduction to Sewing: Pattern Basics with Denise Wild - Before you can sew, you need to cut the pattern. This course helps you to understand how patterns work - reading the markings, understanding how to lay it out, following the written instructions, etc. Knowing how commercial patterns work will help you when you design your OWN patterns, too!
- 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!
- Easy-Sew Pajama Pants On-Demand Course at BurdaStyle Academy - A great course for beginners - and it includes a free pajama pant pattern!
- Introduction to Sewing: Learn the Fundamentals of Garment Sewing with Denise Wild at BurdaStyle Academy - This was the most popular class at Burda Academy, and for good reason. You'll start with 2 very simple projects to learn basic sewing techniques. Then you'll learn how to cut and sew a simple skirt - including pattern alterations!
- 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.
- Sew Smarter: 30 Professional Techniques - A bit more advanced, 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.
- 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.
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: