In the last couple of years, sewing is getting new and enthusiastic interest from kids and teens, so much so that starting a sewing classes business is becoming a cool idea! We've written a lot before sewing for profit, sewing and selling and how to transform your sewing passion into something profitable. Here's what I think is another great sewing business idea.
There is no doubt that the growing interest in sewing amongst young people is enhanced by the popularity of the long-running Project Runway TV show, a popular reality TV show where new and promising designers compete by designing and creating their own clothes. There is also a growing trend in turning old clothing into teen accessories like tote bags and the like. Plus if you've been browsing the internet lately, you will likely notice that there's a subculture online that is dedicated to sewing and people are linking their sewing projects to their Facebook pages; there's a lot of interest in sewist's blogs too. The takeover of Information Technology has definitely helped to make sewing cool, accessible and popular today.
So what do you need to start offering sewing classes?
This is a relatively new business idea. While there are plenty of online classes such as at Craftsy and Creativelive, these lack the personalized approach that I have in mind. I think sewing is best learned in a one-on-one or small group environment with coaching and customization if required. This is how we've been learning (and teaching) for thousands of years. It is certainly how I, and probably you, learned how to sew.
With an initial capital outlay of $2,000 – $10,000, you can get the ball rolling. Sewing classes can be a home based business and can also be operated part-time. The potential income is estimated to be between 25 to 35 US dollars per hour and this rate could still go up.
You can market your sewing class using traditional means of advertising as well as online. To start with a small capital outlay, you can also go into a joint venture with a local fabric store and offer sewing classes in the evenings and weekends with them. An added advantage here is that you can profit from the store’s existing customer base. Additional revenue can also be generated by selling patterns and other sewing notions to your students.
Sewing Classes Success Story
Here’s a success story in Minneapolis that I want to share with you: Miss Gianopoulos, who's offered sewing classes for a number of years, has seen such an increase in the number of kids and teens in her class that she decided to open a school vacation camp called Sewtropolis. Her sewing classes are now available to all ages and skill levels. She is also selling patterns, notions, and fabrics to her students. Originally intended for adults, she found out that kids and teenagers are highly interested in learning how to sew as a creative outlet.
For sewing students aged eight and above, they should have the patience to work on sewing projects and know how to use a sewing machine. Students are also allowed to rent time on a sewing machine at the rate of $5 per hour if they don’t have a sewing machine at home.
Gianopolous has also noticed that math skills and sewing go together because sewing needs careful attention to detail and it also involves measurements and fractions. This means enrolling children in sewing class will also increase their knowledge in mathematics and problem-solving.
How to make people interested in sewing:
Success in business means you are fulfilling some kind of need in the market. There is a need for people to become autonomous in their finances and in the use of their time.
Curiosity killed the cat or so the saying goes. I know how to sew but every time I see someone in a shop or a fabric store making something, I stop to watch. I am fascinated by the number of people that do the same. Like me, many find that there is always something new to learn or a better easier way to do things. So volunteering your time to teach a demonstration class will pay up in time.
Schools in your district are a wealth of potential customers. After school activities keep kids busy until mom comes home giving children a great way to hone their hand-eye coordination and improving their attention span.
Community service support groups:
Nothing is more attractive to people than to share a common hobby, and sewing allows a great opportunity to talk whilst doing something creative. It's also a great way to conduct a class tailored to many different skills levels. Approaching your council for space availability rules an regulations would be a very practical way to utilize underused resources.
As we have written about before, sewing helps fight depression, so it would certainly be in the interest of your community to help get people sewing!
Since time immemorial the church premises have been a point of gathering for town's people to come together and many churches enjoy the privilege of open spaces and an empty hall in which you can accommodate a sewing class, talk to you local parishioner for more information.
Project Based Sewing Clubs at Your Home:
There is really nothing more exciting for a sewer than to get together with other sewers sharing a common goal. We know many groups who have used our popular Conference Tote Bag Pattern Sew-Along as the basis of their first group project. We certainly encourage that as long as each participant gets their own log-in and account.
Also, while it is impossible to sew, text and post in social media at the same time, you can be sure that our young generation is still very much interested in learning the old-fashioned art of sewing. Believe it or not, even they get tired of sitting on their phones all day!
I hope this gives you some ideas and motivation to start your own sewing classes business. Good luck and do let us know how you go in the comments below.
Although I’m not teaching at the moment, I did teach Kids Can Sew for 10 years in the 90’s. My students ranged in age from 6 to whatever. One of my students started taking classes when she was 6 years old and continued until she was 13. It was such a joy to watch her grow – physically and creatively. Boys took the classes as well as girls; kids as well as adults. I taught in local sewing machine stores that were inside fabric stores. One of many advantages to having your classes in a machine store is that they provided machines that were easy for the students to use and that were in good working order. I got many students just by someone walking by and noticing the kids sewing. Next thing I knew someone was signing up their child or grandchild. The advantage to the store is that many parents purchased machines for their child. At my peak, I taught 75 kids per week – 5 in a class. I charged $20 per one hour class payable monthly.
I’m unable to teach that many at a tine now. So, I teach individual classes that are catered to what the student wants to learn. I love sharing my knowledge of sewing with others. Sewing has been a hobby and a profession to me. It’s one thing that has been a constant in my life (for the past 58 years).
I love your article, and you blog. Been following it for some time now. By the way: I’ve been teaching kids as young as 6 all the way through adults of all ages for the past 6 years. My business started in my basement, and I would travel to homes, community centers, libraries and colleges to gain exposure. I moved the business from my home to a retail space and am now in my third year here. In addition to classes for kids, teens, adults & seniors I also offer birthday parties and programs for scouts & home school groups. These are other ways to share you sewing passion and expose kids to sewing.
What about a sewing retreat in Dungog!!!
Hi Fiona, You know what? let me organise it. What a great Idea!
I just spent the weekend teaching my girlfriends how to sew little bags. It was so fun! I am a former theatre teacher so I’ve used my skills for MANY years. Thank you for this article! I also believe all kids needs to learn because of the skills involved.
Right on Debbi, keep on teaching it is a gift so few have including me.
I was asked yesterday to teach a 11 year old girl this summer and a friend of mine offered to let me use a class room in her art gallery. I like the idea of a class for 8+ and was thinking to max it at 4 kids. I don’t know where to start w projects. I know I’d like to focus on a bit of handwork and the first class will be on terminology, tools and getting to know the machine. What kind of projects would you start with and would it be 1 project or maybe 2?
Awesome Idea !!!
I have less than two years to retire and I talk about teaching sewing when that time comes. I have taught several women to sew but my first student was my most challenging… She ,were she a grade school child now, would be called ADHD. Since I had a child exactly like her, teaching her seemed very natural. She is now an outstanding quilter. Sewing with clothing pattrns was not her thing but giving her a love of using her hands to create beautiful things was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. That was 24years ago. Teaching is part of my current job so I’m hoping my teaching skills daily and it makes me look forward to the next phase of my life
Dear Beth, I am so happy about your new journey, it is a privilege to be able to teach and few are privileged enough to enjoy what they do. So happy you are happy keep on inspiring. Good Luck in your next phase.
What kind of credentials do you need for teaching sewing?
Hi Cathy, I can’t answer for your specific location. If you’re in the US, I guess it would technically be a local or state thing, but my sense is it should not be a regulated profession. So potentially no credential required.
Thank you Mayra. I do live in the US, in Georgia. I will check into it.
Good luck with it Cathy and kind regards.
I have had fantastic luck in the past teaching homeschooling students sewing classes. You have the that they can schedule classes during the day if needed and are used to being very well behaved and can focus on a project much easier than some students can. Also remember homeschooling groups when you are cleaning out your closet of fabric and scraps that you want to get rid of because sending a huge bag to a group of homeschooling students creates a frenzy of excitement and happiness.
Teaching is so satisfying!!! I energizes me. There is a big demand for child classes. I have a full series on How to Run Your Own Summer Sewing Camp and it can be adapted for after school classes as well.
Hi Ana, thanks for sharing. You seem to have developed a great program there for summer sewing camps. Congrats!
Excellent article. I have been teaching sewing lessons to children, teens and adults for a few years. I have recently found that kids and parents are so over booked with activities that they ask me to come to them. I have become the “Traveling Sewing Instructor”. I pack up my machine and projects into a pull-along file crate and “travel” to them. I try to schedule classes in the same area to save on time and gas. Sometime even literally finishing one class and going next door to the next. Word-of-mouth has been my best advertising method.
Wow! That sounds fantastic. Congratulations on coming up with that formula to cope with modern schedules.
If you are a traveling teacher, what is a fair price to charge?