Learning to sew is a process that must begin at the beginning. Begin by learning to use a sewing machine -- it's the first, and maybe the most important step for the would-be sewer. Simple as it sounds, it's a step that too many skip, and then find themselves giving up in frustration. In my Get Started Sewing course, the student is shown how to use every feature on the machine before we begin sewing. Click on "Read more" to continue.
Using the appropriate needle and thread for the fabric, and project can make all the difference between failure and success. All beginner sewing courses should include a primer on needles and threads to guide the student through those purchases. Likewise, knowing the various characteristics of fabric, and how ignoring them will affect a garment is very important. And buying a pattern is not as simple as just choosing a style you like, in the size you would purchase off the rack. Choose a sewing course that covers fabric, and patterns.
Often times, in-store classes offered by major fabric and craft retailers come with a materials, and supplies list. Purchasing tools, supplies, and materials before you've even taken a class is expensive, and wasteful. Not only should a beginner class not require this, but the course should include demonstrations, and information on basic tools and supplies so that the student can make those purchases with a solid knowledge of what they're buying, and how they're going to use those tools. Remember that these big retailers are in the business of selling materials, and supplies. Unfortunately they don't seem to care much about building customer relationships.
An independent fabric store, sewing centers or studios that focus on training, or independent instructors are your best bet for finding a comprehensive course that will serve you better.
Most retail sewing machine shops offer training with the purchase of a machine. Don't confuse this training with sewing lessons, or basic training on how to use a sewing machine. The training that these retailers offer is machine specific -- they're going to show you how to get the most out of your new machine. In fact, I suggest taking a basic sewing class before purchasing a machine. A little bit of knowledge on your part will help the sales person help you find the machine that's right for you, and you'll get much more out of their machine training.
For sewing lessons in the Castro Valley, CA area go to: SewMimi.com