|About three weeks ago I decided I wanted to learn how to sew and immediately decided to take a class. I am a very hands on person, I don't learn particularly well just from books and I find it very easy to give up once I'm stuck. I did a Google search and came up with Stitch Lounge. I loved their website and their young approach to sewing, so I signed up for the Uber Sewing Basics I class. It is supposed to teach you everything you need to know to use a sewing machine.
Their classes are very small, I had 5 women between 20 and 30 years old in mine. The downside of that is I had to wait about 3 weeks for a class with spaces available. The beginner's class was 2.5 hours long and cost $50. There were two instructors, one of which seemed like she'd been teaching it a long time and one who seemed to be learning how to present the information, but is obviously very experienced with sewing.
The first hour or so was spent learning the very basics: what the sewing machine is doing that is different than hand stitching,what the stitch should look like, tension, the different parts of the machine, how to wind a bobbin, how to thread it, different types of fabric (knit and woven), different parts of the fabric (grain, bias, selvage, etc), and a lot more really basic stuff. They demonstrated on three different machines - an older Pfaff, a newer Janome, and a computerized Janome.
After the knowledge section we all sat down at a machine to apply what we learned. We wound the bobbin then threaded the machine correctly 4 times. Then they gave us a square of fabric and showed us how to backtack and sew a straight seam. We did that on all four sides of the fabric.
Next they gave us two squares of fabric to make a tiny pillow (with no stuffing), placing right side to right side, backtacking, sewing a straight seam then pivoting around three corners. Then we turned it right side out and topstitched.
That was pretty much the extent of the class. You also receive a 1.5 hour studio time card good for whenever they are open and don't have a class going on.
So, my feelings about the class were positive. I thought the instructors were informative and encouraging. One thing I will say is this class is definitely for beginners. I WAS a complete beginner, but in my three week waiting time I found Pattern Review and started reading lots of books about sewing. Up until the part of getting to the machine I already knew everything they were saying. If you have ever sewn on a sewing machine before then don't take this class. This isn't their fault and I knew this would probably happen, but I couldn't help myself. I still feel like I've gotten something valuable from it and the 1.5 hour studio time makes it worth it. The instructor said the next step is any of their classes that are for advanced beginners.
One tip would be to stake out which machine you want to use. Do you want a machine that is similar to one you have at home, one you want to buy, or would you prefer to get experience with something different?