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Academy FAQs

Do I need to learn to sew to become a "Fashion Designer"?  How long does that (learning to sew) take?

While not every situation calls for expert sewing skills, an aspiring designer is almost always better off learning how to sew and how to sew as well as possible at that. You will get a lot farther faster and save yourself a lot of headaches as a clothing, costume, or accessory designer if you understand even just the basics of construction and sewing.

How long it takes you to build those skills really just depends on you and how much you practice. Like any skill, it is not something most people master overnight, but the more projects you do the more experience you gain. A dedicated sewist who starts as a beginner can reasonably expect to perform at the intermediate level within an 8-12 month period with regular practice and so on.

What can a student expect to learn in a typical class?

While Specific skills taught, and learned can vary from class to class depending on the project being demonstrated, in general a student will learn the skills needed to create any number of successful projects on a Home Sewing Machine. We offer lessons for a range of skill levels, with a particular focus on clothing, costume, gift, and accessory projects.

What ages do you currently teach?

Our regular classes and projects are most suitable to students who are 13 years of age and older.

We also have classes for younger students between the ages of 8-12 yrs old, in our" Youth Dept" category.

Do I need my own machine to take a sewing class?

No. We provide access to a studio sewing machine as part of the Class fee. If you have a home sewing machine you want to bring to class that is fine as well.

How do I determine my skill level?

Skill Level is a mix of ability, experience, and confidence. In other words the more you sew the better you get, so when determining your skill level start by assessing your experience, and then make judgements about your confidence.

New Beginner- is completely new, no experience and no ability, yet. Needs the bare basics training on how to operate and create with a Home Sewing Machine.

Experienced Beginner- is familiar with the basics of Home Sewing Machines and basic approach to beginner sewing projects and is ready to build and improve knowledge and ability.

Intermediate- Has basic sewing experience and feels confident with beginner projects. Wants to expand skills and practice more specialized techniques for use in clothing and costume construction

Advanced- Can follow and sew intermediate commercial sewing patterns and ready to work on bigger, mulitple step projects that require a larger investment of time and focus.

Challenging- Proficient home sewists ready to tackle dynamic clothing construction concepts like pattern manipulation and working with a combination of fabrics and sewing techniques to create elaborate projects with optimal results