Being stuck at home isn’t easy, especially if you feel like you have nothing to do. One of the best ways to pass time is to try and learn a new skill. And thank god the internet exists, so we can to learn directly from our computers in the comfiness of our sweats in our living rooms.
Knowing how to sew on a button, patch a hole, and sew a hem are great skills that everyone should have in their arsenal. But also knowing how to create your own garments or upcycle clothes you already have is very beneficial. Sewing your own garments not only can allow you to express your own style more fully, it can spur creativity and transform your relationship with your body as you learn to make clothes that fit you properly.
Not only that, but from a sustainability standpoint sewing your clothes can allow you to upcycle old garments and fabrics (including old linens and sheets) that you might have laying around your house. And by creating your own clothing you create a stronger, more personal connection with your clothes, which often results in less consumption of clothes elsewhere and fewer garments you yourself are getting rid of.
So regardless of if you’re a total newbie at anything sewing related or if you know how to knit your own sweater like a pro, we created a list of the best sites for you to take online classes on how to make, sew, cut up, upcycle, and embellish your own clothing and accessories at home.
Did you know that you can make your own shoes at home? Neither did we. Amanda Overs launched I Can Make Shoes in 2010 with the goal to make shoemaking an ‘at-home’ craft that anyone can do. They offer two online courses: A Beginner’s Guide to Home Shoemaking and Simple Sandal Making. While their Beginner’s Guide course is quite pricey (£425), you will have the ability to make flats, heels, and sandals; have access to 45 shoemaking videos; and access to a wide array of resources, lists, and their online community. For a simpler project, their Simple Sandal Making course is only £110, including the patterns for 4 sandals and also access to some of the resources previously mentioned. Important note: these class prices do not include the price for materials.
Recommended Class: Simple Sandal Making
I’m pretty sure everyone has tried their hand at knitting or crocheting at some point in their life (don’t deny it). Wool and the Gang takes all those dreams you’ve had of knitting your own cardigan and makes it a possibility. Their kits range from $34-$321 and include everything from sweaters and cardigans to blankets to hats to bags. They are also separated by experience level, so you can choose a pattern at an appropriate difficulty level. Each kit comes with the proper amount of yarn to complete the project, and all kits are offered in a variety of yarn colors, so you can choose one that matches best with your style. And whether you’re a newbie and have no idea what a single stitch is or you’re more advanced and want to learn a new stitch, they have dozens of free tutorials to walk you through anything you might be having issues with.
Brit + Co offers a variety of classes on everything from Cake Decorating to Investing 101 to Text Effects in Illustrator. So if learning to make or alter your clothes isn’t your thing, Brit + Co has classes for many other creative endeavors. But if you are interested in a fashion DIY course, they have introductory classes on embroidery, crocheting, leatherworking, quilting, block printing, and sewing. Their classes are only 30-90 minutes in length, and are meant to provide you with the basics. Prices range from $9-$29 per class depending on length, and you will need to provide your own materials. They also offer a $10/ month all-access subscription for anyone interested in more than one project.
Closet Case Pattern’s courses are meant to give you an in-depth learning experience on how to sew. Even if you have never touched a sewing machine before in your life, their beginner’s course will teach you everything you need to know about handling your machine, as well as fitting, prepping patters, construction techniques, and more. For those who are a little more advanced in sewing, they also offer classes on creating your own pair of jeans, a blazer, and swimsuit. To truly help you learn the ins and outs of sewing and provide you with a comprehensive experience, each class is made of 11-13 lessons, including step-by-step videos showing you each stage of construction and how personalize your piece. You will need to source your own materials, but for only $59-$69 a class, you’re getting your bang for your buck.
Recommended Class: Learn How to Sew Clothing
Bluprint has a wide (and I mean wide) database of over 1,500 courses on cooking and baking, carpentry, sewing, home décor, and more. Some classes teach the techniques to make your own unique piece (e.g. Mastering Construction: Zippers & Waistbands) and some teach you to create a specific finished project (e.g. Sew the Velveteen Blazer). All but a select few classes are under $!00 and are broken up into several videos—about four to 15—whose lengths are dependent on the depth of the class. You will need to source your own materials for these classes and not all of them will provide you with a pattern.
Instructables is another site that has a wide database of classes in a variety of different crafts. But what sets Instructables apart from other sites is the fact that all their classes are free. Compared to other sites, Instructables’s classes are less structured and the amount and depth of instruction varies by class. Some classes include instructional videos to guide you through the project, and others only include step-by-step images. As you go through each class, you have the ability to add a tip or ask the author a question, should you discover something that works better or if you get stuck.
When in doubt, YouTube is possibly one of the best resources for all things DIY and tutorial-related. Just make sure to be specific with your search, as you don’t want to have to sift through hundreds of videos to find the one you were looking for. The length and the depth of instruction on the video will depend on the creator, so it may take some searching to find the right instructor for you. One benefit of YouTube videos is that the creators sometimes run into some sort of issues—which are often issues you might run into as well while learning—and provide solutions or ways to improvise. But no matter your project, there most likely is a YouTube video for it.