Are in-person sewing classes going the way of the Dodo? And if you are asking, “What’s a Dodo?” then you actually have the idea. There are a tremendous number of learning opportunities online, from blogs, to webinars, to videos, to vlogs, to online sewing education providers… I think it’s marvelous. I love the fact that I can sit down at my computer at any time of day or night and take a class on just about any sewing subject, often for a reasonable sum.
But the key words for me there are “at my computer.” My computer cannot look at terrible thread nest that just occurred at my sewing machine at 2am and help me figure out
a) how to fix it
b) how to avoid it happening again.
If I want to really improve my skills both rapidly and to an exceptional degree, there are three things I require. First, I need to learn the skill; second, I need to practice the skill; and third, I need feedback on my skill. Computers, books, and teachers can all give me the first two, but the last one can only be found with a local human teacher. Yes, it’s true that I do not need feedback on every skill I learn – many are relatively simple to learn by myself – but there are skills and troubleshooting that are much more efficient and effective when another experienced teacher can look at your work and help you out.
And what about our social needs? I don’t know about you, but I find my interactions with friends decreasing each year. I feel I don’t have time, and even when I find time, my friends don’t have time to get together. But a sewing class allows you to get together with other like-minded people and enjoy your hobby together. Awesome!
Although I love the online community and opportunities for learning, I am sad to see the decline in the number of students taking sewing classes in local dealerships and fabric shops. Is this really what we want? No more quilting bees? No more touching fabrics and looking closely at another person’s excellently sewn hem in order to learn from her (him)?
I’d love to hear your opinion. What do you look for in a sewing class? Do you ever take in-person classes in your community? Do you learn exclusively online? How important is it to you to develop your skills to a high standard? Do you just want to complete the project? What kinds of classes draw your attention?
I wish you a very beautiful new year full of sewing opportunities of all shapes, sizes, textures, and techniques!