- Join the American Sewing Guild (ASG). Plenty of educational opportunities + SEWING SISTERS!! From their web site: ” ASG is a membership organization that welcomes sewing enthusiasts of all skill levels and from many different walks of life. Chapters are located in cities all across the country and members meet monthly to learn new sewing skills, network with others who share an interest in sewing and participate in community service sewing projects…” Disclaimer: I belong to ASG and think it is the best thing since sliced bread.
- Start a local chapter of ASG if one doesn’t exist in your locale. It is a good bet there are others-you-have-yet-to-meet who are itching to connect with sewing enthusiasts such as yourself.
- Read a book. O.M.G. There are so many awesome sewing books that will help you improve your skills. Check out my recommended sewing books short list - but definitely do not stop there. Go to the library first, and then go nuts on Amazon. Or garage sales.
- Follow sewing blogs. There are “sew many” awesome blogs out there for children’s clothing, quilting, bags, adult garments—you name it, you are likely to find a blog about it.
- Watch videos. There is a YouTube video on how to do EVERYTHING, amiright? Threads offers a selection of free videos, and BurdaStyle.com also offers tutorials with videos. What other sites do you like for online sewing video help?
- Sign up for an online class. Just to name two, Craftsy.com and PatternReview.com both offer online classes (most for a fee).
- Watch a sewing techniques DVD. There are piles of sewing DVDs available from my local library. Have you checked your library’s collection? Of course there are plenty of purchasing opportunities as well.
- Go to a sewing meetup. If you aren’t familiar with meetups, they are a quick and easy way to find people with similar interests. Search for “sewing” meetups in your area, or start one yourself!
- Join a sewing site. Some of the biggies are PatternReview.com, BurdaStyle.com, and Artisan’s Square (Stitcher’s Guild). Join discussions in these online forums and you will find piles of folks who generously give of their time and sewing talents.
- Practice. Don’t be discouraged if your invisible zipper doesn’t look perfect the first time! The first time you jumped in a swimming pool you weren’t able to swim a pool length with perfect crawl stroke form, either. Get a pile of scrap fabric, and start working on your techniques. If you put an invisible zipper in 10 times I’m pretty sure the 10th will be better than the first.
- Buy accessory presser/feet or tools that will help make tricky jobs easier. If you read my blog at all, you know I LOVE my presser feet. I probably buy too many, but I am supporting my local dealer/economy. Start with those sewing jobs you know you do frequently. Always topstitching something? Buy an edgestitch foot. Like to make blue jeans? Buy a jeans foot. Always put invisible zippers in your skirts? Buy an invisible zipper foot (and I DON’T mean the generic package of crappy plastic parts from the fabric store!). Can’t get enough pintucked, heirloom dresses for little girls? Buy a pintuck foot. You get the idea.
- Find a mentor/coach/private instructor in your neighborhood. Sewists are among the most generous people I know, and most will gladly spend time helping you with a specific problem or general questions about sewing. Most of us nerds WELCOME the opportunity to talk with other interested sewists, and our families will THANK YOU for diverting some of the sewing talk elsewhere.