|This is where I really learned the nuts and bolts of sewing. I started with semi-private lessons with a friend (very reasonably priced, IMO) from step one: learning about our machines. Next we moved on to stitching straight lines, curves lines and corners on pre-copied lesson papers with various stitching lines we had to follow. After these were done (some as homework), Betty would go through them with us to show us our weak and strong points.
We were encouraged to learn all about our machines and what they could do, to use all the stitches and learn buttonholes. If not for that, I might still be avoiding them. I've made so many now that even though I'm no pro at sewing, I'm pretty confident about buttonholes. Next, we learned zippers and hems, including tapered pant hems.
Our first project was a pillow cover with piping made for purchased pillow forms. I still have mine! I decided to make throw pillows and my friend made floor cushions. Every step, from choosing the pattern to choosing fabric, making bias binding, covering the piping, options for styling, etc. to the finished product, we were walked through.
Next, we decided to make shift dresses with darts. This was also very complete in scope, with alterations and muslins before going on to the real thing. When we learned new skills, such as darts, she would teach us different ways to do it and let us choose the most comfortable for us. Every question was answered clearly, and reasoning for each new technique was given.
After this project, my friend moved and I continued with private lessons. I wanted to focus more on fashion sewing, so went on to make a vintage Advance Edith Head suit pattern with a blouse.
Having a teacher who really knew it backward and forward, and whose sewing was on a professional level, really helped when I ran into problems. I got so motivated during these lessons that I became permanently hooked on sewing.
I don't have even one criticism of this class, not even a tiny one.
The lessons are given in the back room of the store. I had not bought my sewing machine there, but that was not a problem. The teacher gave machine lessons to anyone who bought a machine. I paid for my machine lessons (and money well spent, it was) and, of course, for the technique lessons that followed. I did not feel pressured to buy anything there; in fact, when she told us about notions, she was careful to say what was necessary and what wasn't, and also where it could be bought besides their store.
I did later buy my serger there and do highly recommend the dealer, but that is irrelevant to this review, I suppose.
Oh, BTW, I took these lessons once a week for almost a year.