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- 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.
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 $120. 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 include a Virtual Summer Top workshop (you’ll make a chic fabric and elastic top for around $95) and Virtual Knit Jumpsuit class (roughly $250), 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.
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.
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 two-week free trial period. A Basic Membership tier is about $1 per month, and the Premium Membership costs around $15 per month.
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 & Fitting (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 70 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 $25 per month, though you’ll be able to save around $60 with an annual subscription, which costs roughly $240 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.
How We Chose the Best Online Sewing Classes
To select the best online sewing classes, we evaluated a variety of factors. Most importantly, we wanted to provide a gamut of classes that speak to the various building blocks of the craft. Sewing for beginners, draping, and pattern-making are key to establishing your sewing skills, which is why we chose to spotlight Anita by Design’s Learn to Sew Series, as well as Garment Construction: Introduction to Draping and Pattern Drafting on Skillshare.
We also wanted to include courses that are more specialized, such as menswear (The English Tailor) or upholstery (Kim’s Upholstery), to pique your interest after you’ve gained a grasp of the fundamentals. Last of all, approachability was a key factor. All of the offerings on this list were created by experienced sewers and instructors who are experts in their respective areas and are able to communicate technique and execution in a way that would be simple enough and beneficial to an at-home audience.