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Anybody know of continuing ed. classes a

MOMPEA1 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello everyone. I’m a former RN that used to sew in my free time and now that I no longer work-MS put an end to that-I find I have a lot more time to sew. Does anybody know of a place where I could take instruction to put that finishing polish on my garments? I sew mainly for myself, my daughter and my home, but I’m looking for somewhere that I can take a week or two of classes that would specialize in tailoring garments, teaching the “tricks of the trade” that put the finishing touch on clothes, fitting the garments more professionally…I think you get the idea. Anybody know of anyplace like what I’m describing? I am able to travel. Maybe an institute that offers a 2 week course on fitting skirts, getting shoulder pads to look right and not like they did in the 80s. I think you get the idea.

Thanks in advance!



  1. kayl | | #1

    Two teachers of tailoring I'd love to take a class from:

    Cecelia Podolak, up in British Columbia, teaches "old fashioned" hand

    tailoring -- meticulous techniques, lovely handwork, good teacher from

    the short lectures I've attended with her at sewing shows. Has an

    excellent video on pressing, btw, which can make mediocre sewing

    sing, and good sewing look like grand opera. <g>

    She doesn't have a website that I know of, but look here:



    Judy Barlup, in Seattle, teaches "Japanese tailoring"... taking

    methods and supplies from the Japanese ready to wear industry, she

    uses interfacings and pressing and some interesting machine sewing

    techniques to build a tailored garment in less time. She has a

    set of videos on her techniques from which I've learned a lot.

    Another excellent teacher, and a very sweet lady -- she's always

    one of the first people I have to talk to at a sewing show.

    Judy's website: http://www.uniquetechniques.com

    Both of these ladies have the advantage for you that they're in cool-climate areas. You might also consider attending some of the

    sewing shows around, looking for the person/people you'd like to

    study with. Both Cecelia and Judy are at the Puyallup expo every

    year, fwiw: http://www.sewexpo.com

    Kay Lancaster [email protected]

  2. HeartFire | | #2


    Look into your local community college, sometimes they have continuing ed classes with tailoring etc.

    1. MOMPEA1 | | #5

      I looked into the community ed and the community colleges-the colleges offered me a job! No luck there.

      Michigan seems to be a barren state devoid of design and tailoring facilities. I did find a class offered by one company..the class is upstairs, I'm in a wheelchair and they don't have an elevator. Boo!

      I have used VCR tapes in the past, but I find there's always one little issue that I don't quite get and it's so frustrating to not have someone to ask.

      I'll keep looking. I have looked for classes in the back of Threads, but health issues come into play. I'll ultimately find what I'm looking for.

      Thanks for the suggestions.


      1. kayl | | #6

        Re: VCR tapes... I don't know if you've seen Judy Barlup's Japanese

        Tailoring videos, but I'm sure she'd answer any questions that you

        might have after viewing them. She's often to be found on the quiltropolis "tailorit" mail list, as well as through her website.


        1. Gwynna | | #7

          Well, since this is offering  a variety of possibilities I'd suggest  PatternReview.Com.  This is the first time I have ever paid to subscribe to any site and am I ever delighted I did so.  Any question-every answer, and from experts and interested lurkers alike. 

      2. louise | | #8

        Dear Mom

        Other than Threads magazine, which is spotty at best now,  there is an excellent resource that fills your needs.  It's a book.

        Couture Sewing Techniques, by Claire Sheaffer.  It has everything you want to know and good instructions and images.  It is my bible.  She has another one,called fashion in detail or something like that.  It's not worth buying, mostly showing RTW tips and tricks, but it is a good bet as a library loan.  Also, surprisingly enough the Singer sewing series is very good.  They break their books down into categories (lingerie, fleece, shirts etc. so you can pick and choose which to buy).  Once you have a copy  of Couture Sewing in your hot little hands, start checking out books on fashion detail from your library.  Most will offer one or two extra tips, making them good library bets rather than purchasing. 

        Threads has featured three different books on fashion in detail in their book review sections over the years, often the collections are drawn from the "hidden" inventory at the Victoria and Albert museum.  The photos are luscious and are good enough to let you see how real hand sewn garments were created.  This raises your comfort factor by about 1000x.  For people with mobility problems libraries are a godsend.  Here in my home town, the library will get books from across the province at least, as their databases are all interconnected.

        If you have a good bookseller in your town, they can make searching and acquiring obscure titles easy as 1-2-3.  If you don't I can give you a reference from here, they search and mail order all over the world.

        Good luck, happy sewing


        Edited 10/24/2004 12:10 pm ET by Louise

  3. suesew | | #3

    Try reading the ads in the back of sewing magazines like Threads or Sew News. The kind of classes you are looking for are often listed there.

  4. cafms | | #4

    Check with the Cooperative Extension Service in your county.  Some states have a group called Master Clothing Volunteers who teach classes on various topics.  The Extension Service may also know of any sewing guilds in the area.  You should be able to find the Extension Service listed in the phone book under state or county offices. It is usually located  in the county seat of the county and under the guidance of one of the universities in the state.  I know there are MCV's in Mississippi, Texas, and Kentucky.  

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