If you're just learning how to sew or looking to advance your skills, sewing lessons are a great option. But how can you find the right courses for you? Here are some suggestions:
Local independent fabric stores and sewing machine dealers: Your best option when looking for sewing lessons locally is an independent fabric store or a sewing machine dealer. One of the stores in my city offers classes every day of the week, from pajama pants to pattern making. They even have a bathing suit class! As an added bonus, I've found these classes are a great way to make new friends (all while supporting a local business!). Even if the store doesn't offer classes themselves, they probably know of someone in the area that could offer you a private lesson, or your request might inspire them to start offering sewing lessons!
Big box craft stores like JoAnn's: Craft stores like JoAnn's frequently offer sewing courses in person. The downside is that they don't offer a huge variety of classes. However, the classes are affordable (even more so if you catch a sale or promotion), and are a good place to start if you are a beginner and your city is lacking in other fabric stores.
School: If you're in high school or enrolled in college courses, don't forget to check to see what sewing courses your school offers, if any. I took a textiles class as an elective in high school. Not only was it far more interesting than the rest of my classes, I learned many sewing skills and techniques that I still use. Even if you are not enrolled in college courses, you may still be able to take a class as a non-degree seeking student, so it's worth it to see what is available. This is most likely the costliest option, however!
Blogs and online courses: Don't discount what you can learn from sewing blogs like this one. There are many, many tutorials online that can help you learn various sewing skills. The downside is that it might take you awhile to wade through all the results on Google to find what you're looking for, and if you still can't quite figure out how to get it right, you don't have anyone to answer your questions or help you out. Plus, many people find it easier to learn something in person. But assuming you have a computer and an Internet connection, this option is free! In your spin around the blogosphere, you might also find sewing courses like Home Ec, taught by bloggers who enjoy sewing. These courses are pretty affordable, but again, won't offer live support if you run into a problem.
Craftsy: Of course, a great option for sewing lessons is to take one of the many Craftsy online sewing courses. When you enroll in a Craftsy course, you'll get access to video lessons (that never expire) so you can move through the course at your own pace and a money back guarantee (something you're not likely to find with other sewing lesson options!). One of my favorite features of Craftsy classes is being able to see the finished projects of other students in the class. There are plenty of classes for beginners and advanced sewists alike. Plus, you can take them anywhere in the world and learn directly from the best instructors!
Have you taken sewing lessons or enrolled in sewing courses? What did you enjoy about them?