Learn to Sew Your Clothes: Intro to Sewing

Intro to Sewing

For complete beginners who want to sew their own clothes

Want to learn how to sew but don’t know where to start? Sew Liberated’s professional online course, Intro to Sewing, is designed for complete novices.

The course covers ALL the information and skills you’ll need to know to begin your new creative hobby: a rundown of tools and supplies, how to operate your sewing machine, how to source the right fabrics, and how to work with sewing patterns.

sewing machine in crystal ball

If you want to learn to sew, but want to do it right … you’ll love Intro to Sewing. You’ll get the professional instruction you deserve and begin your sewing adventure on the right foot, saving you so much frustration down the road. These often-overlooked foundational skills are the key to a lifetime of sewing (and wardrobe) happiness.

Meg wears a black, sleeveless dress over a colorful handknit sweater. She is sitting next to her sewing machine and holding scissors in her hand.

In this thorough, warm, and supportive online course – designed to feel like a multi-week in-person class – you will gain the skills and confidence you need to begin sewing your own clothes.

Watch (and re-watch) the 6+ hours of video instruction at any time – your course access never expires.

what you’ll learn

Get to Know Your Sewing Machine

What kind of machine should I get? How do I use it? What in the world is a bobbin? And how do I troubleshoot wonky stitching and jumbled-up thread? You’ll know all these answers and more by the end of this module – you’ll be a competent sewing machine operator!

Your Basic Sewing Toolkit

A list of every tool and supply you’ll need to begin, as well as why you’ll need them.

Tips for Setting Up Your Sewing Space

Tour Meg’s beautiful home sewing studio and learn how she creates a cozy environment that is both useful and peaceful – no matter the size of your space. 

All About Fabric

What’s the difference between wovens, knits, rayons, linens, cottons, etc.? What type should I look for? By the end of our virtual field trip to Mulberry Silks in Carrboro, North Carolina, you’ll feel confident in your ability to choose the right fabric for your first project.

How to Use Sewing Patterns

Learn how to read a sewing pattern info sheet, how to take your measurements and choose your size, how to cut your pattern sheets, and much more.

All that plus:

  • Exclusive discounts at our favorite fabric shops
  • Insider tips + insights
  • Lifetime membership in our online course community

This course is step one of our Learn to Sew Your Clothes learning path, a series designed to accompany you as you level up your sewing skills, from beginner to advanced.

Hear what our Learn to Sew students are saying:


I feel the need to let you know that, while I am not new to sewing, I was never confident enough to sew clothing for myself until I discovered Sew Liberated. You and your crew are the reason I made all of my clothing this summer and discovered an amazing community not only in the Sew Liberated gang but in so many of your suggestions. I am a different sewist these days and I wanted to say thank you!

Sharon DiCrosta

I love that the instructions are so clear and detailed and that they are presented in a relaxed and engaging way. Add in the fact that you can ask questions and get feedback from the community and members of the Sew Liberated team and you have the perfect sewing course!


This is a wonderful platform and the community is simply amazing! I am so grateful to be a part of it! I really love the way the lessons have been set up and I'm really loving that I can easily go back to a section and re-watch it just in case I missed something.


Shaerie is one of the best teachers I have come across, and I have taken A LOT OF CLASSES!


For rookies like me, the companion course to the Studio Tunic pattern is essential. The [course's] lighting and camera work are exceptional. The cast is superior: Shaerie is articulate and concise. Sophia is focused and calm. Together they're a congenial team. I learned so much from this excellent video course.


I'm really proud of how far I've come! I'm also so proud of my classmates, whom I've been meeting via Sew Liberated's (non-social-media) groups pages, and it's been so nice to connect with other people who are also experiencing the learning process and sharing their own perspectives and questions.

Thu Ngo

I wasn't sure what to expect from the Learn To Sew Your Clothes Course, but already after the first modules I have gotten information that is invaluable. Simple things that as a self-taught sewer no one ever told me. I look forward to going deeper into the course, and with the knowledge I have gained so far to finally being able to work WITH my sewing machine instead of AGAINST it!

Ann V.

I have tried to learn pattern drafting from books, and have taken pattern drafting courses at community college, but not until Sew Liberated courses have I felt confident that I'm learning the concepts. Honestly, these are absolutely the best courses anywhere! Great designers, great teachers, and great website. You all rock!


Learning how to sew my own clothes has been a longtime goal of mine, but to be honest, I was a bit intimidated by it, and had no idea how to start.

I'm enrolled for the entire sequence of courses. It truly was beginner-friendly. I really appreciate the self-paced video format that included Sophia, also a beginner sewist, learning right along with us.

Thu Ngo

Thanks for all your hard work, loving this platform hidden away from all the ads and gimmicks of social media. I typically tend to be a mostly silent observer on social media and often forget to engage or share, but your platform really makes me want to join in.

Emmiline L.

I can't even tell you how much I have enjoyed your courses! My sister and I did the Studio Tunic together and now we are waiting impatiently for the Hinterland. Thank you so much for all your inspiration!

Lisa Hamilton

I looove your learning how to sew course! When watching the video, I feel like I'm in a room with a couple of friends who are teaching me to sew. When I'm sewing I am just blissed out and so happy to be doing something I've always wanted to do. I am sooo grateful for this opportunity and community and thoughtful teaching. You're not just designing good patterns, you're making sewists!

Kristin Koons

The method of instruction - following the trajectory of an instructor teaching an actual student - makes it very easy to follow and understand. And having the community of other people in the class is an added bonus - a place to ask questions and get support. I could not be happier with my experience so far!


I just took the Beyond Sewing Basics course, which I loved! Shaerie is one of the best teachers I have ever seen and one of the reasons I signed up for the course.


I want to express how much I am enjoying the Learn to Sew courses. Shaerie is such a clear and fun instructor who answers even the most basic of questions. I learned something new in all the Learn to Sew courses. I also love Judith's super positive support in the chats in the course community.

Stephanie E

Fit & Sew Pants and Saremy

My big goal this year is to learn to sew pants. The pants fitting course has been fantastic for me, partly because of the thorough video instruction, but Saremy’s support in the forum is a game-changer. I feel as though she is sitting next to me, fitting my muslin right on my body. It’s hard to believe she is doing all of this virtually through me sharing photos and her sending me feedback, recommendations, and personalized video demos of what I’m to do. I am not only learning the how-to of pants fitting, but she is making it possible for me to actually understand why I’m doing it. Thank you so much, Saremy!

Tracy Arney

The course is absolutely incredible, and a true labor of love. It SHOWS! My husband is in cinematography, and I was so excited to show him the production value alone - you are doing an amazing job. It's like a masterclass - seriously! I know how much work, coordination, hours and hours of filming and edits, care and attention go into each and every fiber of this course (I work for a company that does online courses.) Please know how magical you have made this for us all.

Melanie T.
Sophia, our Learn to Sew Your Clothes student, sewed her first practice seam ever!

Which Learn to Sew course is right for me?

We have courses for sewists of all levels, from complete beginner to advanced.

Unsure about where to begin? Our Guided Placement for Sewists (GPS) will locate your perfect starting point on the Learn to Sew Your Clothes pathway.

Who is it for?

This course is perfect for the complete novice. Maybe you have wanted to sew your own clothes for years, but didn’t know where to start. You can start here. We will start out slow, and answer all your questions along the way. Sewing can feel overwhelming, and societal pressure often makes you think you need to learn something quickly and make a whole wardrobe fast … but this will only add to our stress and decrease your enjoyment of the process.

But we here at Sew Liberated have a different view – we want to not only teach you the best way to sew, but we want to help you ENJOY sewing as a slow hobby – something that fills your cup rather than depleting it. This course presents the essential information in an approachable, often witty way, with an instructor and fellow student who feel like friends. Together, we will help you overcome the fear of learning something new as an adult. You can, and will, learn to sew your own clothes … and you’ll love every minute of the process.

Shaerie Mead
Meet the team
Shaerie Mead
your instructor

Teaching people how to sew their own clothes is Shaerie Mead’s jam, and she’s been doing it for decades.

In addition to being a patternmaker and designer of her clothing line, Iona, she owned the much-loved Sew LA, a workshop space where she taught hundreds and hundreds of folks how to sew.

Shaerie’s clear, detailed, and approachable teaching style will put you at ease and deliver so many “ah-ha!” moments. She really gets how beginners learn, and she’s got your back.

“Shaerie is one of the best teachers I have come across, and I have taken A LOT OF CLASSES!” – Karen
your teacher, Shaerie Mead
Meg McElwee
Meet the team
Meg McElwee
your other instructor

There’s little Meg loves more than bringing mindfulness and a little bit of humor to the practice of sewing.

She brings her background as a progressive educator to the design and back end of the Learn to Sew Your Clothes series, and can’t wait to pop into the lessons here and there to inject her expertise in sewing and creative styling.

Click here to learn more about Meg, the founder of Sew Liberated.

Meg McElwee, Learn to Sew Your Clothes instructor
Sophia Kiser
Meet the team
Sophia Kiser
your fellow student

You won’t be alone on your journey! You’ll learn by watching upbeat and intrepid Sophia learn to sew.

She’ll ask all the important beginner questions that are on your mind. Thanks to Sophia’s candid learning curve, you’ll realize that everyone makes little mistakes, and it’s ok! Mistakes are simply the way we hone new skills.

You’ll be delighted to observe Sophia blossom as a sewist as the lessons progress, right alongside you.

“I’ve spent hours and hours with Shaerie and Sophia. (I have taken every single class!) Sophia has grace, enthusiasm and a wonderful sense of humor.” – Lisa
Sophia Kiser, student in Learn to Sew Your Clothes
Sew Liberated
Meet the team
Sew Liberated
your trusted sewing pattern company

One of the first independent sewing pattern companies, Sew Liberated has been doing this since 2007. But we aren’t just informed by needle and thread. Meg has a Masters in Education, and brings her knowledge and passion for how people learn to everything that Sew Liberated produces: from beautifully clear instructions to designing learning journeys.

Combined, Meg and Shaerie have over 50 years of experience in both sewing and sewing education.

Course participants also have access to the boundless knowledge of Sew Liberated’s professional patternmaker and fitting whiz, Judith, in the online course community.

Meg and Judith, in the Learn to Sew Your Clothes community
Shaerie Mead
Meg McElwee
Sophia Kiser
Sew Liberated, your trusted sewing pattern company
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learn to sew with friends

Join over 1500 students who have experienced the warmth and connection of Sew Liberated’s online course communities.

Your course includes membership in our online support group, hosted on our own website. No Facebook necessary.

Get encouragement and answers to all your questions suggestions as you learn to sew. And, most importantly, find new friends who totally get your passion!

Meg and Ashley are wearing deep teal Lichen dusters and are giving each other a hug while they smile at the camera.


When can I start, and how much does it cost? 

You can start right away! The cost is $79, which includes access to the Learn to Sew community group.

Will my course materials expire? Do I get lifetime access?

With your purchase you get lifetime access to the course videos, other materials, and membership in the private Learn to Sew support group.

What level of sewist should take this course?

This course is designed for the complete novice. You needn’t have ever used a sewing machine before. We will take you through all the steps of beginning to sew, with tips on choosing a machine, which types of fabrics to start with, and what other tools you will need, as well as how to operate and care for a basic sewing machine.

Do I need a machine and tools to get started?

To take Intro to Sewing, you DO NOT need a machine or any tools. In the course, you’ll learn what to look for, what to avoid, and where to source your basic sewing toolkit, and how to buy fabric, among other considerations.

What if I know how to use my machine, but don’t know anything about sewing clothes?

This class is still an excellent choice to begin with. While it is likely you will know the machine basics, Intro to Sewing also focuses on garment sewing basics, such as stitch types, choosing garment fabrics, reading sewing patterns, and more. If you are a very experienced quilter but new to sewing garments, you could also hop into Sewing Basics 1, if you prefer. If you are undecided, please reach out to us via email, support@sewliberated.com and we can help figure out the combination that will work best for you.

Have other questions?