A while back, Obsessive Beauty featured a sewing blog with several references for where aspiring designers could find inspiration, motivation, and instruction on how to sew. We suggested madebylex.com, a local blog by Alexis Meschi, who posts tutorials on how to make various things like clutches and T-shirts. We also suggested checking out books by Lotta Jansdotter, and visiting the now defunct Santa Cruz Crafter’s Studio.
Since then, we decided to go even more basic, and get to the bottom of things—Sewing 1A so to speak. And for those living in the Santa Cruz area, we’ve found a treasure in our midst—Judy’s Sewing Center on 41st Avenue in Capitola. Currently, this is the only place that we’ve been able to find in town that offers affordable sewing classes for all ages, and all skill sets. At $10 a class, you can sign up for a slew of classes taught by master seamstresses who don’t cut any corners, and won’t allow you to leave your work unfinished. You can learn how to read a pattern, make a pillowcase, create a purse, learn advanced skills, or simply learn how your sewing machine works. The options for learning are rather endless here, and the teachers are sweet, efficient, practical women who walk you through any project step by step. Plus, you can bring in unfinished projects that you need help with, and they will offer their expertise.
I know the basics of using my sewing machine, so I signed up for the Simply Sewing classes which meet the first three Tuesdays of every month from 6-9 p.m. Judy, the owner of the store, is the teacher. In our first class (which was only $10; you bring your own material and sewing machine), I learned how to make a gorgeous pillowcase. This week I’ll be making a pair of pajama pants, and next week I’ll make a tote bag. The pillowcase class was brilliant—Judy, with her keen eyes, surveys your work every step of the way, and if one thing isn’t lined up or pinned correctly, she’ll help you make the adjustments and explain what she’s doing.
The excuses of “I can’t sew,” or “I can’t read a pattern” are no longer necessary if you take some classes at Judy’s Sewing Center. This place is a gem in our town. And with such reasonable prices, it’s no surprise that every time I stop by the store, it’s hopping with seamstresses and shoppers.
Judy’s Sewing Center is at 1501 41st Ave., Suite J, Capitola, 464-8181, judyssewingcenter.com.