Discover the Best Embroidery Classes in Chicago
Embroidery is the art of using a needle and thread to create beautiful patterns on various textiles such as clothing, pillows, blankets, bags, placemats, cloth napkins, and other items. There are a variety of techniques used in hand embroidery including crewel work, needlepoint, quilting, and cross-stitch embroidery. Handmade embroidery has a long and ancient history – one of the oldest surviving embroidered pieces was found at the tomb of the famous Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun.
Founded in 1890 as the first embroidery company in Chicago, The Chicago Embroidery Company once crafted popular items for home decorations, clothing, and accessories and continues to exist as a manufacturer of embroidered emblems and patches. Today, embroidery can be done by computerized machines, but the art of hand-stitched embroidery abides as a relaxing and creative craft that produces unique pieces of art. Supplies and tools needed for hand embroidery include a hoop that holds your textile taut as you stitch, various needles, scissors, fabric, and embroidery floss or other types of thread.
Why You Should Learn Embroidery in Chicago
Embroidery is a fun and relatively easy skill to learn, as well as a tremendous stress-reducing hobby. Also, learning how to embroider will allow you to produce beautiful one-of-a-kind textiles for yourself and as unique gifts for loved ones. As you develop your skills, you can challenge yourself by using advanced embroidery techniques to create more intricately designed pieces.
Many embroiderers have found ways to profit from their one-of-a-kind projects by selling items on websites like Etsy and Amazon Handmade. Craft fairs are another fun way to show and sell your embroidery. Chicago is home to a number of annual arts and crafts fairs that are perfect for showcasing and selling your embroidered pieces. For example, Renegade Chicago, a popular arts and crafts fair in Andersonville on the north side of Chicago, features handmade pieces from hundreds of craft designers and artists. Craft fairs are a fun way to interact with other artisans while displaying and selling your art.
Learning embroidery also gives you the opportunity to connect with other embroiderers through local clubs and national organizations. You may be able to find local embroidery clubs through Facebook Groups or your local library. There are also online clubs, such as The Deer's Embroidery Legacy, that allow members to access a large library of designs for an annual fee.
Established in New York in 1958, The Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA) is a national organization with the mission to foster the art of needlework by promoting the exchange of ideas and high standards of quality in embroidery. With over 240 chapters across the US and Canada, the EGA provides its members access to local meetings, workshops, and exhibitions, as well as embroidery projects and other educational resources. The Windy City Chapter – formed in 1981 and consisting of over 30 members – holds meetings at the Logan Square Library in Chicago and has a variety of programs such as lectures, projects, demonstrations, field trips, and community projects.
In-Person Embroidery Classes & Schools in Chicago
Taking an embroidery class in person is a great hands-on way to learn all you need to know about creating embroidered masterpieces. Learning from an expert instructor will help you develop your knowledge and further your skills in hopes of becoming a master at your craft.
Linda Z's Sewing Center in Arlington Heights offers many embroidery and sewing classes to Chicago-area residents. Serving the area since 1967, Linda Z's offers classes taught by trained experts for all ages, skill levels, and interests, as well as on-site repair service for clothing or other textiles.
Those interested in learning embroidery can take the 2-Day Hands-On "Embroidery TNT" Workshop offered at Linda Z's for all skill levels. In this two-day class, students 18 and older will learn tips and techniques from Floriani (a well-known embroidery brand) Educator Judy Fredenburgh. Participants will learn tips and techniques such as iridescent applique, quilting in the hoop, toweling, and auto-embroidery and receive materials for four unique projects. They will also be provided with free Floriani Creative Express embroidery software and access to a collection of professionally digitized designs and project files. Sewing machines are provided for class use.
Linda Z's Sewing Center also offers Embroidering, Designing & Crafting, a one-day workshop for all skill levels ages 18 and older. In this seven-hour class, participants will use a new Brother XP3 Luminaire machine to create a project using the creative capabilities in My Design Center – a design creation tool by Brother that transforms your illustrations into an embroidery pattern. Students will work in pairs (two to a machine) as they learn how to edit their designs in the machine's software and create custom designs for their projects.
Individuals struggling with keeping their fabric from moving or puckering while they embroider can book Stabilizer Plus at Linda Z's. In this 90-minute class for all skill levels, participants will learn which stabilizer (a tool used to hold your fabric taut) works best for a variety of textiles such as cotton, denim, knits, linen, silk, satin, nylon, tulle, wool, and the list goes on. Learn valuable embroidery knowledge at a cost of $10 for this class.
Linda Z's also offers the quilting class, All Things Juki Longarm, for those interested in learning more about Robotic Quilting. Participants in this two-hour class will learn about and get hands-on experience with a Juki longarm quilting machine. Taught by a Juki representative, students will have a chance to get acquainted with the machine before choosing to buy it for their own homes and have all their questions answered by an expert.
In West Town, Chicago, Sew Anastasia offers Streetwear Sewing, a six-session course for all skill levels. In this sewing workshop, participants will learn how to design and sew classic streetwear and athleisure clothing. Working on a new piece each week, students will create joggers, a t-shirt, a hoodie, casual shorts, a beanie, and a classic crewneck sweatshirt. Students will sew their pieces using sergers, straight and cover stitches, and embroidery machines. All materials are provided in the class including patterns, fabrics, and additional sewing supplies.
Sew Anastasia is owned and operated by Anastasia Chatzka, a Chicago-based fashion designer with over 20 years of sewing and design experience. Sewing classes are offered at her studio where she designs and films content for her YouTube channel, Sew Anastasia.
Sew Anastasia also offers various open studio sessions such as the 3-Hour Sewing Open Studio on Wednesday nights. This six-week open studio workshop allows students to work on their own projects at their own pace with an expert nearby if they have questions or need assistance. Individuals of all skill levels can also choose to attend the open studio six-week sessions on Monday nights, Sundays, or Thursday nights. The studio has sewing machines, sergers, embroidery machines, dress forms, and a large cutting table for students to use. Bring your own basic supplies such as patterns, fabric, thread, a seam ripper, a ruler, scissors, thread snips, and a rotary cutter.
For another sewing class, students can book Sewing Skills: Beginner offered by the TLD Design Center & Gallery in Westmont. In this three-session class for ages 10 and older, beginner sewers will learn the basic skills required for creating fashion, fiber art, and textile design projects. Students will sew a decorative travel pillow as they learn techniques such as how to sew corners and curves. Use of sewing machines and materials are provided, including fabric and stuffing for the pillow. Founded by award-winning artist and educator Tammy L. Deck in 1993, TLD Design Center & Gallery offers creative art classes for all skill levels and art supplies for purchase in a wide variety of mediums and disciplines.
Virtual Embroidery Classes & Schools
While in-person embroidery classes are often taught in a creative arts studio, craft store, or community center, virtual classes can be taken from anywhere with an Internet connection. Online embroidery classes allow you to ask questions and receive feedback in real-time from the comfort of your own home or other workspace of your choosing. If you cannot find an embroidery class nearby, you may be able to find an online class that will save you the commute. The drawback to taking an online embroidery class, however, is that you likely will have to provide your own materials and equipment.
Even if you cannot find an online embroidery class, you may be able to find something similar that will teach you comparable skills. For instance, the New York Sewing Center offers Sewing 101: Basics, a virtual class for beginners ages 10 and older. In this four-session class, students will learn about sewing terminology and equipment, how to read a pattern, how to choose the right fabric, how to set a zipper, how to identify fabric grain lines, and over six types of stitches and seam finishes that can be completed with a sewing machine. Projects completed during class include a drawstring bag, zippered pouch, and a skirt or drawstring pants from a commercial pattern. Students should provide their own supplies for which a list will be given on the first day of class.
Individuals interested in an online sewing class can also book Home Sewing Bootcamp offered by Santa Monica College. In this five-session beginner-friendly course, students will complete projects using their own home sewing machine. Participants will learn the fundamentals of using a sewing machine such as winding the bobbin, threading, changing the needle, balancing tension, stitching, and clean finishing different seams. They will also gain the skills for basic clothing construction such as how to apply interfacing, sew curves, use various seam allowances, and professionally press your garment. Two projects completed during class include a tote bag and a pair of drawstring shorts or pants. Individuals must have access to a sewing machine at home in order to participate in this virtual class.
The 92nd Street Y offers Crochet for Beginners, a six-session online course for adults ages 18 and older. In this workshop, students will learn the basics of crochet as they create a cell phone pouch and a stitch sampler scarf. The skills learned in this class can be applied to a variety of projects such as scarves, hats, blankets, and bags. See the course description for a full list of supplies needed to participate.
To learn a fiber art similar to crochet, individuals can book Knitting for Beginners also offered by the 92nd Street Y. In this eight-session course for ages 18 and older, students will learn the fundamentals of knitting such as commonly-used stitches, how to start and finish a project, and pattern reading. Participants will learn how to knit projects that may include a stitch sampler scarf or a cell phone pouch. For a full list of supplies, see the course description.
Private Group Embroidery Classes in Chicago
If you are looking for a fun team-building event for your business or organization, CourseHorse has live online group classes they can deliver to you. CourseHorse offers private group embroidery classes for Chicago as a unique and enjoyable way to build camaraderie and inspire creativity in your group.
In Virtual Modern Embroidery Art, your group will bond as they learn how to turn plain fabric into something unique and beautiful. In this two-hour class for up to 500 people, participants will learn the basics of hand embroidery including how to prep your hoop, select the best thread, and start and finish your project. An expert instructor will teach the class basic embroidery stitches as well as beautiful floral stitches that include woven wheel roses, french knots, fishbone leaves, and stem stitches. No previous skills are necessary and all materials will be shipped to each participant including three embroidery hoops, a tote bag, colorful threads, patterns, and needles.
Fiber art enthusiasts can also book CourseHorse's Virtual Tapestry Loom Weaving, a two-hour class for groups of up to 500 people. Participants in this beginner-friendly class will learn about the trendy art of tapestry weaving as they design and create their own woven wall hangings. Individuals will create their own loom that they can continue to use for future projects and will learn how to set up the thread, weave various stitches, add fringes, and use a variety of fiber weights and textures. In the end, participants will have a beautifully hand-constructed tapestry to hang on their walls. All materials are shipped to each participant including three types of yarn, a dowel, and a loom.
Groups looking for a fun low-pressure creative class can book the Virtual Macramé Workshop offered by CourseHorse. In this one-hour class for groups of up to 500 people, participants will learn about macramé – the art of tying knots to create unique textiles, believed to have originated with 13th-century Arab weavers. Guided by an expert instructor, individuals will learn how to tie knots in cords to create beautiful hanging planters for their homes. All materials will be shipped to participants including enough cord to make three hanging planters.
Can't get enough of macramé? Groups can also book Virtual Macramé Moon Dream Catcher, a 90-minute class for up to 100 people. In this beginner-friendly class, participants will learn how to create an eye-catching moon-shaped dreamcatcher to hang in their homes. A relaxing, low-pressure activity, macramé consists of tying knots to make beautifully patterned textiles. Groups in this workshop will tie knots onto a crescent frame and incorporate beads to create a unique dreamcatcher to display or give as a gift. All materials are included and shipped in advance.
There are several benefits to booking with CourseHorse, including not having to pay booking fees and receiving a confirmation within 24 hours of booking. Moreover, if you are unsure of how many people will be attending the class, CourseHorse makes it easy to change your group size after booking. The expert instructors also provide a fun, engaging, and professional experience for your group. While their default is Zoom, CourseHorse can make accommodations for other video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, and Webex.