Discover the Best Sewing Classes in Chicago
Sewing is a popular craft that can be done by hand or with a sewing machine. When sewing, you use a sewing needle and thread to fasten fabric or objects together. Sewing dates to the Paleolithic period, when people were stitching together animal hides to use as clothing or for shelter. As time passed, more sophisticated sewing methods developed. Sewing also became a means of repairing damaged or frayed clothing.
With the Industrial Revolution came the invention of the sewing machine. No longer did people have to sew by hand. These machines became more affordable during the 20th century, and the demand for sewing patterns grew. However, as ready-made clothing became widely available, sewing in Western countries was relegated to a hobby or cottage industry.
Those who live in Chicago might be familiar with the exhibitions in the city that have used sewing as a form of activism. If you’re interested in the connection between quilting and activism or would like to create another type of sewing project that speaks to social issues, there are resources within the city that can help you get started.
Why You Should Learn Sewing in Chicago
There are several benefits to learning how to sew, from mental to physical. Sewing for fun is a great stress reliever. When you’re sewing, you must pay close attention to the work your hands are doing. This allows you to focus solely on sewing, blocking out other distractions and thoughts that might be on your mind. Sewing also encourages creative thinking and productivity. Planning a sewing project requires you to think about how it should look as well as any necessary measurements.
Mingling with other sewers provides a way to meet new people and socialize. There are sewing clubs and organizations in the Chicago area that you can join. Sewing clubs and organizations will typically hold workshops and events that new and experienced sewers can join.
Sewing also improves your attention to detail and hand-eye coordination. Sewing requires constant movement of the hands and fingers, which your eyes and brain will need to keep track of. These constant movements also improve the nimbleness of your fingers and can loosen the joints in them. This is especially beneficial to people who suffer from arthritis in their hands.
In-Person Sewing Classes & Schools in Chicago
There are in-person sewing classes offered in the Chicago area that can teach you the basics of sewing as well as more advanced sewing techniques. In-person classes can provide you with hands-on instruction by an expert instructor. Taking an in-person class also allows you to meet and socialize with others interested in learning how to sew.
Sewing requires a few basic materials like sewing needles, thread, and scissors. Machine sewing requires that you have and can operate a sewing machine. While some sewing classes will provide the necessary materials, others will ask that you bring your own. Several sewing classes in the Chicago area are available on CourseHorse.
Sew Anastasia, a studio located in West Town, offers sewing classes for a range of skill levels. In their Sewing 101: Basics class, you’ll learn how to use a sewing machine, basic stitches, and fundamental sewing techniques. This beginner-level class is led by an instructor who’ll walk you through techniques step-by-step in a small group, before letting you work independently at your sewing station. You’ll be able to ask your instructor for advice as you work on your sample binder of seam and technique samples.
Advanced students are welcome to take Sew Anastasia’s Sewing 102: Garment Sewing class. Over the course of this six-week class, you’ll cut and sew a garment in your size. Your instructor will go over grain lines with you and how to prepare fabric for cutting and sewing. At the end of the six weeks, you’ll walk away with a wearable project. Sew Anastasia also offers classes that focus on how to create specific garments, like t-shirts and dresses.
Linda Z’s Sewing Studio, located in Arlington Heights, offers a beginner-level sewing class that will provide you with an overview of sewing. Your instructor will demonstrate how to use sewing tools and give you hands-on demonstrations of sewing techniques and patterns. You’ll be responsible for bringing supplies to this class, so feel free to reach out beforehand to ask about what supplies you’ll need for the first session.
Anyone working on a sewing project that needs some guidance can stop by Sew Design Studio’s (North Side) open studio hours. A professional can help you work out how to get past roadblocks in your project and teach you new sewing skills.
Virtual Sewing Classes & Schools
If you can’t make it to a sewing class in Chicago but would still like to learn how to sew, consider taking a virtual sewing class. Virtual sewing classes eliminate the need to commute because they’re remote. This means that you can take them from the comfort of your own home or office. If you sign up for a virtual sewing class, be sure to check out the supply list provided by the instructor. In-person classes may provide you with some or all necessary materials, but online classes will typically require you to procure all supplies.
The New York Sewing Center hosts a Sewing 101: Basics class that will walk you through all the fundamentals of sewing. You’ll learn about terminology and equipment, how to read a commercial pattern, and how to choose the right fabric. If you’re especially interested in pattern making, they also offer beginner and intermediate-level classes that will teach you how to make patterns for different types of garments.
Santa Monica College hosts a virtual sewing boot camp. Over the course of the boot camp, you’ll work on a series of project-based exercises to help you learn how to use a sewing machine. You must own a sewing machine to take this class.
Crocheting and knitting are other crafts that you may find similar to sewing. Crocheting uses a hook to interlock yarn, thread, or other materials. Knitting involves creating stitches by interlacing loops of yarn. If you’re interested in learning these crafts, the 92nd Street Y offers Crochet for Beginners and Knitting for Beginners.
Private Group Sewing Classes in Chicago
Are you interested in booking a sewing class for your organization as a fun team-building event? CourseHorse has private group sewing classes for groups in Chicago that they can deliver to you.
Reach out to CourseHorse through the contact form on their website to find out about what sewing classes they offer that will fit your group’s needs and goals. You’ll be able to find out about the group sizes that they accommodate in their sewing classes. If you’d like to book a class but don’t have a finalized headcount, CourseHorse will allow you to book your class with the minimum group size and update them with a finalized count before the class takes place. They can also offer you a 20-minute demo of a class for a fee of $100. This will let you figure out if the class is the right fit for your group before booking.
CourseHorse does not charge booking fees and allows free cancellations up to two weeks before your class is scheduled. If you need to reschedule your class less than 48 hours before it will take place, you’ll be charged a $150 rescheduling fee. CourseHorse classes may be taken using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, or WebEx, although Zoom is the recommended platform.
CourseHorse has other private group craft classes that may interest you. Macramé is the art of knotting together fabric and other textiles. If this interests your group, you may be interested in CourseHorse’s virtual Macramé workshop.