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When you sew your first pattern it can be labeled "easy", but then you open it up and it is anything but "easy".

This class will help you break down everything that is in a pattern. To cover the wide range of patterns available, we'll review vintage, modern and downloadable PDF patterns.

You will NOT cut out pattern pieces or make a project in this class but will learn about the language and nuances of sewing patterns.

To learn more about digital PDF patterns and how to use them, check out the How to Use a PDF Pattern class. If you like, you can sign up for both of these classes and combine them into one, 3-hour class.


What You'll Learn

  • Pattern numbers
  • Line drawings
  • Consider style variations
  • Check for all pattern sizes included
  • Fabric suggestions
  • Notions needed
  • Fabric amount
  • Finished garment measurements
  • Cutting correct size
  • Finding correct size
  • Measurements (bust for tops/dresses, hip for pants, waist for skirt)
  • Pattern pieces
  • Pattern placement on material
  • Grainline
  • Cut on fold
  • Cut mirrored
  • Notches
  • Darts
  • Pleats
  • Marks
  • Pinning fabric to pattern
  • Directional fabric
  • Plaids/stripes
  • Right Sides Together (RST) / Wrong Sides Together (WST)
  • Legends
  • Pinning for sewing
  • Cut
  • Ironing pattern
  • Grading



This class is for the absolute beginner with no experience or someone who wants a refresher on the tools or techniques learned in this class.

Tools & Supplies

  • Pattern examples will be shown
  • You don't need your sewing machine
  • Have something to take notes, lots of information will be covered


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Private Class

Instructor-led private sewing class scheduled at a time that is best for you.

Number of Students
See discounted price for multiple students

Live Video Chat
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Public Class

To provide a personalized experience and accommodate busy schedules I primarily teach private sewing classes and this class does not currently have any public dates available, but you can request it as a private sewing class.
See registration details below.


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Private Classes/Lessons

Discounts are available when you sign-up multiple people for private classes or personalized lessons so get friends or family members together too. Select the number of students above to see the discounted price per person.

Online Sewing Classes

Not sure if online lessons are right for you?

I developed a unique online learning experience to make it as close as possible to being in person. I make the same project along with you and show you the actions from multiple cameras as I guide you step by step. Learn more or contact me to schedule a demo to show you what it's like.



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2 hours
One, 2-hour session

About the Instructor

Vanessa has been teaching children and adults for over 20 years. In addition to offering beginner to advanced sewing lessons she is an instructor in the Fashion Design Program at Austin Community College. Previously, Vanessa was an instructor at The Stitch Lab where she taught intro and specialty sewing classes, gave private lessons, hosted parties, and ran summer camps.

Vanessa is a full-time designer and seamstress working with clients on a wide variety of custom sewing and product development projects for fashion, wearable tech, decor, accessories and soft goods that keep her current with the latest sewing trends and technologies. She is also a machine service technician and has detailed knowledge of a wide range of sewing machines that enables her to personalize sewing lessons for the types of machines students are using.


Most of my sewing classes are taught as private classes, one on one or in groups, that are scheduled when you want.

New Registrations Temporarily Closed
Thanks for your interest in taking sewing lessons with me!
Due to extremely high demand I am currently not available to take on more students. When open spots become available I will re-open registration.
If you would like to be notified when registration is available please subscribe to the Ronkita Design newsletter.