COVID-19 Update: Due to omicron’s rapid spread in our area I am suspending classes and lessons for the first two weeks of January, 2022. I hope to be back open again by January 18, 2022. 

All class credit purchased before the pandemic is still valid! If you have a package code, gift certificate code, make-up class credit, or other type of credit with me from before March 2020, I will still honor it. Many of the codes in my scheduling system automatically expired after one year and there isn’t an easy way for me to make a global fix in my software, but I can still look you up and fix the problem manually. So don’t be shy, email me! We will get it sorted out. 

Classes at my studio are all small groups (usually no more than four students), which makes it possible for me to dedicate personalized attention to each individual. Whether you are coming for some weekly creative “me-time” or just want to learn a useful skill, my studio is designed to give you a fulfilling learning experience. I strive to make the classroom vibe fun, focused, and comfortable so you feel welcome to ask questions and experiment with this age-old craft.

Garment sewing is my particular area of expertise, so most of my group classes area clothing-focused.  However, if you are interested in home decor or other items like handbags, invention prototypes, pet gear, etc. my private lessons would be a good way to go. Classes are organized into levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) but if you want help deciding your level feel free to contact me.

Level 1: Beginners 

These classes are designed for complete (or nearly complete) beginners. They are for people who have never used a sewing machine, or haven’t used one recently enough to feel comfortable knowing how to operate it.  You will learn the fundamentals of using a sewing machine, handling fabric, and sewing straight to complete simple projects. Classes in this category include:

If you’re interested in learning the basics of using a sewing machine to make simple projects , this is the place to begin! The adult beginner course introduces you to the sewing machine and guides you through process.  The course will take you through the following projects:

  • a simple drawstring bag
  • a pair of PJ shorts
  • a zipper pouch or throw pillow cover

All classes will take place at my studio. Sewing machines and basic equipment (scissors, pins, etc) are available for you to use if you do not yet have supplies of your own.

I now offer is this class in two formats: a three part evening class (two hours once a week for three weeks), or a full day crash course (9:30am-4:30pm with a lunch break). Both classes cover the same content and are the same number of total hours.   The class follows this sequence:

  • Part 1:  In the first class, you will learn how to thread and operate the sewing machine independently and be introduced to important sewing concepts such as how to pin your material, what a seam allowance is, different types of stitches and what they are used for, understanding right and wrong sides of fabric, and a few basics of construction. You will leave with your first project completed, a small lined drawstring bag. You do not need to bring anything with you to this class.
  • Part 2: We will start the class with a brief tutorial on different types of fabric and what makes materials easier or harder to work with. Then you will learn how to lay a pattern on fabric and cut out your second project, a pair of PJ shorts. You will understand more about how patterns need to be arranged on fabric, and will practice techniques you learned in the first class, building on them to try curved seams, hems, and inserting elastic.
  • Part 3 : We finish up shorts and work on your throw pillow or zipper pouch.
    • Full Day Option, Friday December 10, 9:30-4:30pm FULL – JOIN WAIT LIST
    • Three Part Evening Option,  Tuesdays 7:00-9:00pm, Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14 – FULL – JOIN WAIT LIST
    • Three Part Evening Option,  Tuesdays 7:00-9:00pm, January 11, 18, 25, 2022 – FULL – JOIN WAIT LIST
    • Three Part Evening Option,  Tuesdays 7:00-9:00pm, February 8, 15, 22, 2022 – FULL – JOIN WAIT LIST
    • FULL-DAY OPTIONS AND MARCH/APRIL CLASSES COMING SOON! Please email me if you’d like to be notified as soon as they are up. Due to the omicron wave I’ve delayed posting new classes but as soon as the situation has settled I will update my schedule.  
    • [/pane] Private lessons are available so that you can learn almost anything at your own pace. Click here for more details and booking options.

Level 2: Intermediate

These classes are designed for people who feel comfortable operating their sewing machine, but are still looking for guided instruction to expand their skills. Intermediate sewers have completed at least one garment and are ready to try new techniques and projects. Classes in this category include:

In these classes you can build your sewing skills by trying a pattern for a more challenging garment or new type of material. You will gain confidence as you learn additional techniques and keep practicing your sewing skills. Open Studios are is designed for those who have taken the Beginner Course or who have had some experience making garments independently or in other settings and would like to become more proficient. Because you choose what garment to work on, you can take as many or as few classes as often as you like as you work through new styles.

  • Class fee: is $40/class + supplies or purchase a package of 6 for $210 ($35/class). If you are using the package, purchase it first and then schedule your dates.
  • Max class size: 4 students
  • Prerequisites:  Beginner Course or knowledge of basic sewing machine operation
  • Schedule:

Intermediate Topical Workshops

May 2021 Update: At this time I do not have enough space  in my schedule to offer these workshops yet, but I hope to offer these again by late summer/fall.  please contact me and I will be in touch when they are available. 

Each season I offer workshops on topics that help students build skills in a specific area, such as sewing zippers confidently, hemming or mending clothing, sewing with knits, and more. Most workshops are two hours, with multiple workshops scheduled in a single day so that you can take more than one for an immersive experience. I also offer some day-long workshops too, such as the Sewing with Knits class.

Block printing is a fun and easy way to create your own textile designs, to create striking home decor, or to spice up something that needs a new life in your wardrobe.  In this 2.5-hour session, you will learn how to use tools, inks, and materials to create your own prints, and try your hand at making a small textile that can be turned into a zippered pouch or bag (later, at home, after the ink is dry… I’ll send you with instructions). I’ll show you examples of different blocks and walk you step by step through the process of carving your own design (or designs) on an easy-to-cut soft rubber block. You will have a chance to practice your techniques on a white twill fabric that is suitable for a small bag or pouch, and will be provided enough material to experiment, make mistakes, and have fun!

  • Class time: 1 session, 2.5 hours
  • Maximum class size: 4 people
  • Supplies required: none
  • Prerequisites:  none
  • Fee: $45 + $10 kit fee (4″ x 6″ rubber block, sturdy white twill fabric for printing, 11″ white zipper)
  • Schedule: TBD Please email me and let me know you have an interest. 
Learn the secrets for accurately copying pieces in your wardrobe that you love in this single session workshop. This class will cover techniques for creating a pattern from an existing garment, and you’ll also learn about properties of different fabrics and how this impacts the replicating process. After a demonstration and Q & A on the techniques and supplies used, you’ll work on making a pattern from a garment you bring with you. Don’t worry — no garments will be harmed or otherwise taken apart in the making of this pattern!
  • Class time: 1 session, 2 hours
  • Maximum class size: 4 people
  • Supplies required: Garment(s) you would like to learn how to copy, pen & paper for taking notes, or a smartphone/digital camera for taking pictures. Even though you will only have enough time to work on copying one item, it is good to bring multiple pieces so that I can help you choose the best one to start with, and explain how you might approach copying the others.
  • Prerequisites: Some experience with making clothes already (such as the Beginner Course, Intermediate Course, or self-taught garment construction) is highly recommended. You will be learning how to create an accurate pattern for a garment in this class but you won’t actually construct it during the class (that can take many more hours or cutting and sewing). It helps to have some background with understanding what a pattern is, what grainline is and why it’s important, and how pattern pieces connect to form an article of clothing so that you don’t feel lost in the class. For help constructing a garment that you have patterned in this class, you can alway attend an open studio.
  • Fee: $45
  • Schedule: TBD Please email me and let me know you have an interest.
Wonder what they’re doing on Project Runway with those dress forms and all that black tape? Using a dressform is an intuitive way to develop design concepts, create your first draft of patterns, and alter garments. In this two hour workshop, you will learn the basics principles of draping, exploring how dressforms are used, how to orient fabric on the form (both knits and wovens), techniques for manipulating the fabric to produce desired shapes, marking key measurement and style lines, and translating draped ideas to two-dimensional patterns. We’ll also discuss some of the key differences between the dressform and the human body, and what modifications need to be made to patterns created by the forms because of these differences. You won’t learn everything there is to know about draping in two hours (that can take years of practice!), but you will walk away from the class with an overview of the skills and techniques used so that you can explore this method in greater depth on your own or in future classes. We will also provide recommendations on sources for buying or making dressforms, and great books and videos for further learning. Note: The classes will be conducted using half-scale (miniature) forms in the workshop, but the concepts translate to forms of any size.
  • Class time: 1 session, 2 hours
  • Maximum class size: 4 people
  • Supplies required: None (everything included)
  • Prerequisites: To get the most from these class, it is highly recommended to have some experience making or altering garments so that you understand key vocabulary and concepts (for example, seam allowance, dart, gather, center front and back, etc).
  • Fee: $45
  • Schedule: TBD Please email me and let me know you have an interest. 
Learning how to hem your own pants and skirts—and fix holes or rips in clothes you love—can save a lot of money and heartache. In this single, 2-hour session, you will learn techniques for hemming clothing by hand and using the sewing machine, and we’ll also cover ways to mend items that may have ripped, torn, or become worn.

  • Class time: 1 session, 2 hours
  • Maximum class size: 4 people
  • Supplies required: Skirt or pair(s) of pants to hem; items with holes, rips, or tears to mend
  • Prerequisites:  Beginner Course or knowledge of basic sewing machine operation
  • Fee: $45
  • Schedule:
  • TBD – Please email me and let me know you have an interest. 
Finding clothes that fit — and in the colors and style we like — can be frustrating.  In this day-long workshop, you will get an introduction on how to measure and map out the parts of your upper body to create a simple pattern for a knitwear item, such as a top (with or without sleeves), tunic, or dress. We use simple and intuitive techniques for doing  this that I have developed working with students over the years, making the process fun and more accessible for beginners. In the morning, you will draft the pattern on paper, making decisions about elements such as your preferred neckline, sleeve style/length, how close or loose the garment should be, how long you would like it, etc. We will use a process learning more about the relationship between the three dimensional lines and curves of your body and how the translate into flat two-dimensional shapes on paper. After a brief lunch break, we’ll come back in the afternoon to cut the pattern out and sew the garment you have created. We should be able to complete all the major seaming in class, but some finishing such as hemming or adding a neck/arm band may be required on your own (which we will talk through if needed!) So that you have time to both make a pattern and sew a full garment, the class will focus on creating a basic and simple silhouette that fits you — no darts, pleats, gathers, ruffles, or other embellishments. However, we will discuss how you can add these in to a future piece, and how you can do fun things like color blocking or adding other seams, a cowl, etc, using the pattern you have created in the class. We will be working with a soft cotton ponte knit in grey or black (fabric is included in the class fee).  If you’ve never sewn with knits before, this is a very beginner-friendly, forgiving fabric that gives you a little wiggle-room for mistakes and still looks polished. It is used in casual wear but is also suitable for office/work garments.  The class will address some of the tricky aspects of working with knits, such as sewing, cutting, and finishing techniques, so that you can feel more confident and have the resources to make many more knit garments on your own. Topics covered:
  • Understanding how to measure and map you body to make a simple pattern
  • Laying out your fabric and cutting your pattern correctly
  • Understanding the types of stitches, needles, and thread to use when working with knits
  • Simple pattern modifications so that you can change necklines, sleeve length, hem length, and basic fit/shape
  • Prerequisites: This class is designed for students who have already had some experience with making garments or other items, and are looking to better understand how pattern making works.
  • Materials: The class fee includes all materials (two yards of ponte knit, thread, pattern making paper, marking tape, elastic). You do not need to bring anything with you.
  • Class Time: 10am-5:00pm with a break for lunch (bring your own lunch)
  • Maximum class size: 4 students Fee: $150 + $25 material fee (total $175) IMPORTANT NOTE: Because we are going to be measuring your body, please come wearing one layer that is very close fitting, like a fairly snug tank or t-shirt.
  • Schedule: TBD. Please email me and let me know you have an interest. 
Silk and wool are two natural fibers that have been beloved for centuries for their wide array of textures and applications in garment making. However, they can be intimidating to work with because they often require special treatments when sewing and pressing. In this discussion and demonstration, you will learn more about the properties of these fibers and how they can be handled to produce professional results. You will get to touch and feel many different weaves and types of silk and wool, and also have an opportunity to try sewing and pressing techniques hands-on. The class will cover:
  • Identifying different weaves of wool, including coating, twill, herringbone, gabardine, boucle, jersey and knits, and more
  • Learning about the various kinds of wool (for example, merino, cashmere, angora, etc) and how their properties influence fabrics
  • Understanding many of the common weaves and types of silk, how they differ, and ideal applications for garments
  • Learn how to safely press, steam, and care for these fabrics
  • Finishing techniques for delicate, thin, slippery, and otherwise tricky materials
  • What needles, thread, types of seams, and finishing techniques can be used with silk and wool to produce clean and durable results
  • Prerequisites: This class is designed for students who have already had some experience with making garments or other items, and are looking to expand their bag of tricks for working with silk and wool.
  • Materials: none required. If you have pieces of silk or wool in your stash that you’d like to ask about, or projects you have started (or wanted to start) please feel free to bring them for an individual consultation
  • Class Time: 2 hours
  • Maximum class size: 4 students
  • Fee: $45
  • Schedule: TBD – Please email me and let me know you have an interest. 
Leather is one of the oldest “fabrics” known to humankind, and it still holds a very important place in the fashion world today. In this two-hour introduction to working with leather, you will get to know leather better so that you can work more confidently with this material. The class will cover:
  • Different types and thicknesses of leather and how they are handled
  • Cutting techniques, including layout and planning for a project
  • Ways to machine-sew and hand-sew leather
  • Tools for sewing, cutting, and manipulating leather
  • Combining leather with other fabrics
  • Ways to stamp, imprint, and mold leather
  • Where to buy leather
  • Leather maintenance and care

You’ll have an opportunity to try the various techniques (sewing leather by machine, sewing leather by hand, stamping and imprinting, molding and shaping, etc) and try a few mini-projects to practice these skills. Mini-projects include a coin pouch with zipper, stamped key chain, and scissor sheath; you will be able to complete one or more of these projects in class, but will be able to watch the process for all.

  • Prerequisites: This class is designed for students who have already had some experience with making garments, accessories or other items but who may not have tried working with leather yet. To get the most from the class, I recommend that participants already have some familiarity with using a sewing machine and making an item using a pattern so that you will be able to grasp the terms and concepts mentioned in class.
  • Class Time: 2 hours
  • Maximum Class size: 4
  • Materials: None required. All materials for the mini-projects (zipper pouch, scissor sheath, stamped key chain ring) are included. You are welcome to bring in pieces of leather or examples of garments/accessories that you have questions about for individualized advice. Fee: $45
  • Schedule: I usually offer this class in the fall and/or winter. Please contact me if you’d like to be notified when I list the class again! 
Transform that zipper fear into zipper love! In this two-hour workshop, you’ll learn about different types of zippers and how they are used, and will practice installing an invisible zipper and a standard zipper to make a lined change purse/cosmetic bag.  We’ll also cover ways to shorten zippers, how to replace a zipper pull if it comes off, and what the differences are between invisible zippers, standard zippers, two-way zippers, and separating zippers.

  • Class time: 1 session, 2 hours
  • Maximum class size: 4 people
  • Supplies required: included in class fee
  • Prerequisites: Beginner Course or knowledge of basic sewing machine operation
  • Fee: $45
  • Schedule: TBD Please email me and let me know you have an interest.

Level 3: Advanced

At this time I recommend private lessons for advanced learners. You can also feel free to email me with questions about your interests or goals.

What if I want to become a fashion designer or get help preparing for fashion design school?

If you are interested in becoming a fashion designer, I recommend starting with a 1.5 hour private lesson so that you can share your ideas and I can help you understand the steps in the road ahead of you, whether that may be embarking on an entrepreneurial endeavor or preparing a portfolio for a fashion school. I operated a small production house in Washington, DC for almost three years and can work with you to explain the stages of product development, offer you resources for further learning, and help connect you with ways to begin production once you are ready.