Do you want to take a course specifically aimed at teaching professional-level dressmaking skills? Or do you want to perfect your sewing skills and make your hobby into a profession?
If you are in to dressmaking or you are considering going into it, you will need to hone your skills to attract more clients. If there is something we all pay rapt attention to these days, it is our appearance.
Learning to Sew Professionally
Appearance, they say, is the seed for perception, and because no one wants to be perceived in the wrong way, they always want to dress well. Being a tailor, fashion designer, or one who is into dressmaking requires that you learn more skills to position you well in the market and make people trust their clothes with you.
Whichever one it is, learning is essential when it comes to being a professional at sewing. If you are a beginner, you need to learn to get better at dressmaking. If you are a professional, you still need to learn because fashion changes with time, and you have to be up to speed with the latest trend.
The internet is a very robust place for you to find different sewing courses to learn how to sew professionally. However, in choosing the best course or where to take such a course, some factors need to be considered. In this article, we shall be examining everything you need to know about the best sewing courses you can take to become a professional.
You will need to find a good tailoring or dressmaking school and sign up for a sewing course. There is a fair amount of choice out there - it all depends on where on you live, your age, your goals and your possibilities (both financially and time-wise).
Here are the different possibilities for learning how to sew on a professional level.
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Check out these books and tutorials to help you learn to sew.
Sewing Courses at Different Levels
As a person looking to take sewing courses, you should understand that these courses come at different levels. It appears this way to help anyone interested in dressmaking classes find courses that have been tailored to their specific needs.
There is the beginner level for those who are just starting their journey to become a tailor. Tailoring, just like every other field, has some foundational knowledge that everyone interested must learn about. Sewing courses at the beginner level open you up to the basics of dressmaking. While this is a good consideration for beginners, some intermediates can still consider going through this level to refresh their memories of the basics before proceeding to other levels.
There is an intermediate level, which is more advanced than the beginner level. Many people here have either progressed from the beginner’s level or already know about sewing. This is a fundamental level because many of the things that will help you in your tailoring career are learned at this stage, from understanding the needs of clients to ensuring that you deliver a great piece.
Another sewing course level that exists whether you are taking an online course or hiring a private tutor, is the professional level. Those at this level are expected already to have good knowledge about tailoring or dressmaking. Here, you will be exposed to different fashion trends and the best way to maximize these changes for profit.
Learning How to Sew On a Budget
One of the challenges you will experience making up your mind to learn how to sew is doing so on a budget. Enrolling in a tailoring school is a great idea but not one that many consider because of its high cost. So, if you can’t afford it, what then are the options that are available to you?
The first is to consider learning how to sew online, either following through on popular YouTube channels that offer tutorial videos or websites that can guide you. Several professionals on YouTube offer free subscription, access to videos and training to help you become a professional tailor.
Some websites provide online sewing classes to several individuals across the globe asides from these channels. While you will have to pay for these, they are not always as expensive as enrolling in a school. Also, you will get to be trained by professionals who may not necessarily be from your country.
However, if you are working on a very tight budget, the best option for you is Superprof. The platform is a vast one with several tailoring courses and tutors around you. All you need to do is register on the platform, and you can locate a private tutor near you. Not only is Superprof an affordable option, but it is also one of the best means of learning how to sew professionally.
Tailoring Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships
If your interest is in dressmaking and bespoke tailoring rather than design, you are better off looking for an apprenticeship.
Most require basic skills (L1 or L2 depending on the school or business offering the apprenticeship) in English and Maths (making and adjusting sewing patterns require basic maths skills) but not necessarily art levels or any previous sewing experience - most provide basic sewing lessons. Of course, if you can demonstrate that you know how to use a sewing machine and make bias tape or know basting and hemming, you will have a better chance when applying to lower-level apprenticeships.
There are two levels of apprenticeships:
- Intermediate (Level 2, equivalent to GCSE)
- Advanced (Level 3, equivalent to A-levels)
In some fields, you can go on to up to level 7, earning the equivalent of a Master’s degree in your field. The greatest advantage of an apprenticeship for learning how to sew professionally is the fact that it will cost you nothing - in fact, you will receive a small salary in return for your services to the firm, and there are various programmes to help apprentices with travel costs and room.
Apprenticeships in sewing careers include:
- Textile operative
- Sewing machinist
- Leather craft-worker
- Footwear manufacturing operative
- Pattern cutter
- Handicraft tailor
Training Courses and Pre-Apprenticeships to Learn to Sew
You have a better chance of being taken for an apprenticeship if you have some of the necessary sewing skills. You can, of course, take sewing classes at various private institutions or take a private sewing teacher to teach you how to use the overlock presser foot on your sewing machine.
But there are also various preparatory sewing courses for young people who want to become a tailor or dressmaker.
Durham College Canada offers a pre-apprenticeship course for 16-18 year-olds and for adults in bespoke tailoring. Working with Savile Row tailors, you can continue on to a full apprenticeship with Durham's College’s Intermediate and Advanced courses.
Would you like to know where to find free sewing patterns online? Living in Canada and want to start sewing your own clothes: search for "sewing classes Canada" and sew away.
If you continue with Durham College, you will be working with qualified fashion designers at the same time as you continue your lessons at the college.
You can also try the Academy of Fashion Design Home for apprenticeship programmes.
If you prefer not to take part in a programme, you can contact individual tailors and dressmakers with open apprenticeships.
That well of information for anyone searching for a job, Superprof blogs offers an overview of what sewing skills you might learn on the way to becoming a bespoke tailor or cutter - from sewing machine maintenance to doing a French seam to piping to the right basting stitches.
Discover the best sewing blogs for learning how to sew...
Before going for an apprenticeship in tailoring or even considering it, you have to understand that it has its pros and cons. considering both sides of your decision is very important. To help you do that, let’s consider some of these pros and cons.
The pros of apprenticeship in tailoring
- It exposes you to real-life tailoring experiences
One of the advantages of going for an apprenticeship in tailoring is that it exposes you to real-life experiences of how clothes are made and how they are amended. You will also learn how to deal with the personalities and needs of different clients.
- It helps you acquire new tailoring skills
There is a lot to learn from sewing courses and much more to learn from real-life experiences. By being an apprentice with a professional, you can learn basic hack and tricks that will help you learn more and save more.
- It enhances your dressmaking confidence
With tailoring or dressmaking, confidence is key, and as a beginner, you can build that confidence by learning as an apprentice. Here, you don’t have direct contact with clients, but you can learn from those who have developed your confidence till you start relating with clients directly.
The cons of apprenticeship in tailoring
- There will be a lot of pressure on you
One major challenge that an apprentice in tailoring face is the pressure they have to go through. Many times there is always a lot of work and less time to do them. With this comes a lot of pressure that you must be ready to deal with before sending in that application seeking to be an apprentice.
- Less pay or no pay at all
As an apprentice, you may get paid less than others or not even get paid at all. This challenge depends on where you are doing your apprenticeship and the role you are playing as an apprentice.
Sewing Internships to Find the Right Sewing Career for You
If you are uncertain if hemming pants, making sewing patterns, pinning and basting garments or matching fabrics is really the job for you, you can do an internship at a tailor’s or a fashion company. You will spend several weeks observing professionals and, ideally, learning a few sewing basics yourself. It’s the best way of finding out if becoming a dressmaker or home dec designer is really the right fit for you.
You can look for internships on general sites such as student job, or use one of the specialised portals such as Fashion United.
In addition, the Fold Line offers a list of companies regularly hiring or offering internships in the creative branch, including sites such as the Fashion and Textiles Museum in Toronto.
What You Should Know About Sewing Internships
Sewing internships are an excellent way to learn how to sew beyond just taking online courses. They offer you an opportunity to put into practice everything you have learned from online classes.
Practicing your tailoring skills or knowledge you have gotten from a source is the best-known way of improving at it. No doubt, you will make mistakes or find it difficult to produce some of the things you’ve learned at first, but you can learn from those mistakes and get better.
Several online and offline platforms offer sewing internships that you can apply for anytime. While there are sewing internships that will require your presence, the advent of technology has made it possible for these internships to be done online.
Registering for online sewing classes with Superprof can help you access some of the sewing internship opportunities that are always being advertised on the platform.
Online Sewing Courses
You might consider taking online sewing classes and getting a diploma through an Internet school. There are certainly online schools out there offering lessons in anything from simple sewing classes to online diplomas in Fashion Design or Dressmaking.
Would Online Sewing Classes Be A Better Option?
The question of whether or not online sewing classes is a better option is one that will come up when you are deciding to learn online. The truth is, it is impossible to generalize that everyone will find online sewing classes helpful. While it might help some to become professionals, it might not be helpful to others. To help you make the best decision, let us examine some of the pros and cons of online sewing classes.
The Pros of Learning How to Sew Online
- You can learn at your pace
By opting to learn how to sew online, you can move at your pace. While some learn quickly, others prefer to take their time to master the basics. Regardless of who you are, taking online classes will help you move at your pace and learn in the best way that suits you.
- You can learn from the comfort of your home
A little comfort while learning can help you learn better, especially if it has to do with sewing. If you are one of those who learn better in your home, than you will in a classroom with instructors, then online sewing classes are a great option.
- Easy management of learning material
By taking online classes, you can pause and repeat a particular lesson till you understand it. This might not be possible or easy if you are learning in a classroom because the instructor moves at a consistent pace that suits everybody and not just one person.
The cons of learning how to sew online
- Inability to get sewing tools
One of the challenges you will experience with tailoring courses online is getting the required tools and materials needed for the course. Most websites or learning channels serve an international audience, and a material used in teaching might not be available in your locality.
- You won’t be able to interact
Many online learning platforms for sewing are one-way channels. You are either online listening to the instructor or reading a piece written by them. Many times, it is difficult to interact and ask questions in real-time.
It’s a good idea to try and find a forum where you can ask people about their experiences with that particular online sewing academy. You will probably end up well able to handle machine quilting, sew cushions and fashion dresses and trousers, but if the school is not well-regarded and their diploma cannot get you a job in the UK, you might want to look at the options for a physical sewing school instead.
Learning to a professional tailor or dressmaker is very important, but how you go about it is a decision you will have to make yourself. You can choose to register in a school and be taught by an instructor or use one of the many online platforms that exist, one of which is Superprof.
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