- Best Overall: The New York Sewing Center
- Best for Beginners: Anita by Design
- Best Introduction to Pattern Making: Skillshare - Pattern Drafting
- Best Menswear and Accessories: The English Tailor
- Best Introduction to Draping: Skillshare - Garment Construction, Introduction to Draping
- Best Upholstery How-Tos: Kim’s Upholstery
- Best Sewing Hacks: Annika Victoria’s Sewing Hacks, Reviews, and Tricks
Best Overall: The New York Sewing Center
Located in New York City’s Garment District, The New York Sewing Center has long been an authority on sewing education. Now, the center has taken its instruction to the digital realm, with a variety of classes, workshops, and private lessons offered online through Zoom or FaceTime. The uniqueness and wide variety of choices in classes that the New York Sewing Center offers put them in the top slot.
If a one-on-one private lesson is what you’re after, you can learn at your own pace courtesy of an instructor at a cost of around $60. The company is also flexible—if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can receive lessons in hand sewing, embroidering, or knitting. The New York Sewing Center team can also help you find a machine that matches what you’re looking for.
You can also sign up for an online workshop. Offerings are constantly changing and updating. Past classes include Virtual Summer Top workshop (you’ll make a chic fabric and elastic top ) and Virtual Knit Jumpsuit class roughly ($275) , during which you’ll create your own soft, stretchy, and stylish jumpsuit (pattern included). The New York Sewing Center has classes designed for all levels, including kids. They can sign up for a Virtual Fashion Summer Camp (about $375), learn how to make a skirt and scrunchie outfit, and more.
Prices vary depending on which class you choose, and they can last anywhere from one hour, a full day, or even 2 to 3 hours per week for up to six weeks to complete.
Best for Beginners: Anita by Design
If you’re completely new to sewing, it’s best to set yourself up on a strong foundation. On her YouTube channel, Anita by Design offers free, step-by-step sewing tutorials and sew-along videos targeted specifically for beginners. Anita will give you a crash course on the basics of garment construction.
The series begins with a breakdown of the supplies you’ll need to get started, and then moves on to projects that will have you learning and perfecting beginner-level techniques in no time. It’s important to follow the videos in order, as they build upon the skills learned in the previous demonstrations. The videos run from a handful of minutes to about two hours for each lesson.
With Anita’s guidance, you’ll be able to complete a circle skirt, maxi skirt, straight skirt, T-Shirt, and shirtdress over the course of the 14-part series. Her teaching style is clear, precise, slow-moving, and designed for those who haven’t used a sewing machine before, so you won’t feel rushed or like you can’t keep up.
Additionally, once you master the basics, Anita occasionally publishes intermediate-level tutorials for more experienced sewers, so you can take on a new challenge.
Best Introduction to Pattern Making: Skillshare - Pattern Drafting
Getting an education in pattern construction will help you further understand how garments come to life. Hyden Yoo, the instructor of this course, is the creator of his own eponymous fashion label, and his mens- and womenswear have been featured in publications such as GQ, Elle, Details, WWD, Nylon, and W.
In this Skillshare class, Yoo outlines how important the paper pattern is in garment production. The class is designed for beginners and will teach you a simple, four-step process for pattern drafting: measurement (taking proper measurements to build a pattern), detailing (creating different collar types), materials (choosing materials for the optimal fit), and finally, paper drafting (actually drafting the paper pattern).
You’ll complete the lessons by creating a pattern for one of the workhorses of anyone’s wardrobe—the classic T-Shirt. If you don’t have a Skillshare membership yet, you’ll be able to take the class for free during the platform’s 30 day free trial period. A Basic Membership is free with limited access. The Premium Membership costs $32 per month, or about $170 annually.
Best Menswear and Accessories: The English Tailor
Mastering tailoring—and getting the right fit—is a skill most sewers work hard to finesse. Perfecting tailored garments may seem intimidating, and though this YouTube channel offers tutorials for both mens- and womenswear, The English Tailor (created by longtime sewer Michael Coates) has a series of free videos geared to guide you through the somewhat tricky process of creating staple pieces in a men’s wardrobe.
You can start with Coates' Beginners Sewing Course or choose one of the individual garment courses that teach you how to make tailored trousers, a tailored jacket, button-down shirts, and a waistcoat. You can also get a demonstration on how to make your own jeans.
In addition to actual garments, The English Tailor has a variety of videos focused on tips and tricks to help your sewing practice, advising on the best fabric, scissors, thread, sewing feet, pressing techniques, and more to expand and refine your technique. And to complement the jacket, trousers, and shirts you’ve made, you can also create your own bowties and cravats.
Best Introduction to Draping: Skillshare - Garment Construction, Introduction to Draping
Educated at Parsons School of Design in New York City and Central Saint Martins in London, Anya Ayoung Chee is a fashion designer hailing from Trinidad and Tobago. Not only did she nab the top spot in the ninth season of Project Runway, but she also shares her expert skills as a teacher on Skillshare.
Chee has since gained a reputation for her flowing, easy looks—and there’s probably no one better to teach you how to master draping. Her class will take you through the entire process of draping your own draped dress, so you can hit the ground running designing and constructing your own clothes. Draping is a basic technique—but also a critical garment construction skill that will solidify your skill set.
Complemented with video instruction, the course is segmented into Preparation (understanding the tools and materials you’ll need to get started draping), Fabrics (knowing what to look for), Draping (how to pin and mark a muslin pattern to make your desired shape), Cutting (how to cut a muslin pattern), and the Final Look (transferring your pattern from muslin to fabric).
The pricing is the same as the aforementioned Skillshare course on this list.
Best Upholstery How-Tos: Kim’s Upholstery
Updating furniture items in your home with a quick fabric makeover will not only give them a much-needed refresh, but it will also elevate your space. Founded by Kimberley Chagnon, Kim’s Upholstery is an online destination where you can learn to upholster online on your own time.
While Chagnon has a variety of free upholstery tutorials available on her YouTube channel, becoming a member of her site will give you unlimited access to her in-depth upholstery training classes and archive, as well as a community of fellow upholstery peers. Plus, you can access Kim’s Upholstery classes on any device, whenever you’re free.
With over 90 classes and new content released regularly, there is a vast variety of projects you can choose from. Chagnon will walk you through each step of the process, whether it’s making cushion covers, upholstering a vintage barrel chair, slipcovering chairs and loveseats, replacing springs, or something else. The price to become a member is about $49 per month, though you’ll be able to save around $98 with an annual subscription, which costs roughly $490 per year.
Best Sewing Hacks: Annika Victoria’s Sewing Hacks, Reviews, and Tricks
Annika Victoria describes herself as an “amateur sewist who is trying to make her own wardrobe.”
With over 770,000 subscribers on YouTube, she has a wealth of free video tutorials explaining how to DIY your own clothing and accessories—from bralettes to onesies and even a dog sweater. But her series on Sewing Hacks is full of tips and tricks for anyone looking to sharpen their sewing skills.
Starting with 8 Sewing Essentials You Can't Live Without, you’ll get an explainer of some of the key tools to save time and make your beginner sewing experience go smoother (such a rotary cutter, a bodkin, hemming tape, and more). Victoria also reviews the process of using a handheld sewing machine and shares 7 Ways to Save Money When You Start Sewing, full of DIY hacks that will help you make your new sewing hobby a little more economical.
Additionally, Victoria also shares some easy-to-pull-off technique hacks, such as how to shirr fabric and how to instantly pleat and ruffle. If you're looking to learn some sewing tips and save money, it's worth jumping in to watch these free videos, they each only take up around 10 minutes of your time.
Do I Need to Have Any Sewing Knowledge Before Taking an Online Sewing Class?
Any level of dabbling in the craft or a general idea of sewing fundamentals is definitely an asset to taking an online sewing class. But if you’re truly new to sewing, we have a breadth of classes truly suited to the beginner level. Set yourself up by mastering the building blocks with Anita by Design’s Learn to Sew series.
What Will an Online Sewing Class Teach Me?
Online sewing courses will teach you the ins and outs of sewing on a macro and micro level. Anita by Design’s YouTube channel offers free, step-by-step sewing tutorials on the basics of garment construction. Skillshare’s Introduction to Pattern Making will give you the tools to start drafting paper patterns for garments. The English Tailor takes on the tricky skill of tailoring. And Skillshare’s Garment Construction: Introduction to Draping course will teach you all you need to know about the art of the drape and the role it plays in garment construction.
What Materials Will I Need for an Online Sewing Class?
The classes you decide to take will dictate the materials you’ll need for each course's dedicated projects. Anita by Design’s YouTube channel has a crash course in the materials and tools you’ll need in your general sewing arsenal.
How Much Do Online Sewing Classes Cost?
The classes we’ve curated address a variety of price points. Anita by Design’s YouTube channel; Annika Victoria’s Sewing Hacks, Reviews, and Tricks; and the courses from the English Tailor are all available to stream on YouTube for free. The classes from Skillshare are also a budget-friendly option; a premium membership costs around $15 per month, and you can access classes at no cost with a free trial. For a more expert-oriented class, you can receive one-on-one instruction from The New York Sewing Center for $120 per hour. Or for Kim’s Upholstery classes, the member price is about $25 per month, though you’ll be able to save around $60 with an annual subscription, which is roughly $240 per year.
To find the best online sewing classes, we looked at a number of different options on the internet to narrow it down. Each one was evaluated using the same factors, like the variety of courses provided, type of learning platform, skill level required, and projects offered. Some students prefer self-paced classes while others enjoy step-by-step workshops. There are courses available—including free videos and tutorials—that will work for almost anyone.