Did you know that learning anything new is good for your brain? Cognitive ageing slows down, new connections are formed, the pleasure centre is stimulated, you become a better problem solver, and mental wellbeing is improved.
Key to all this is finding a new skill that you enjoy. Something that requires manual dexterity as well as mental effort is the holy grail. Enter sewing!
I’m overdue some new sewing learning experiences. I haven’t gone on a sewing course in ages, and want to explore options. I’ve been scouting out courses such as this – a whole course on collars!
If you’re also thinking of indulging in a spot of learning, The Foldline has a UK regional round up. Alternatively, here is my own selection of sewing teaching that I’ve experienced first hand.
I’ve done two Intermediate courses here, albeit several years ago. Morley College is an adult education centre in south London and very near the excellent Imperial War Museum if you fancy folding in a visit! Relatively reasonable fees, but don’t come to this college expecting cupcakes and bunting. This is a higher education establishment of over 120 years of age and it shows! Personally, I find the institutional vibe and aged linoleum rather reassuring – it reminds me of my school days. You can find the full sewing prospectus here.
Sew Over It
I’ve done a couple of their classes and really recommend them. All the teachers are carefully selected (my favourite is Julie). I made the red lace dress at a Sew Over It class and can’t recommend enough. Oh, and the cake! There’s always really good cake.
Central Saint Martins
I attended a pattern drafting course at Central Saint Martins ages ago, but I’ll be honest – it was expensive, draining after a long day at the office and as a part-time evening student I felt a little far down the pecking order. Still, the venue in Kings Cross is amazing!
This is as good as it gets. Bespoke attention, just for you. I’ve only indulged in this once with Beth of Sunny Gal Studio. It’s great, but intense – for both teacher and pupil – so I recommend a very focussed project, realistic goals and breaks to rest your brain and body. Other than that, I also recommend good food, good gossip and good fabric!
With Beth’s guidance, I learnt lessons I’ll never forget and made an entire 1960s vintage dress suit from Simplicity 4934.
Sew With Friends
This can be a great way of learning – sharing knowledge! I’ve had so much fun over the years, sewing with friends. All you need is a shared space and sewing machines. Maybe some wine…
Online is the ultimate in convenient, always-available home learning, though I do miss being around other people when I choose to be a sewing student. There’s also a danger of stockpiling video lessons that you then never access – a common issue with online home learning.
So, learning is a good thing – we can agree on that. Carving out time to learn is another matter. What I used to love about my sewing classes is that they forced me to step away from the day job and do something for myself. Now, if only I can learn that as a freelancer. Do you have any tips on that?