Stretch your dollar by sewing!

HOUSTON Women of all backgrounds and ages are learning how to sew in order to help stretch their dollar.

In a full class of eager women, each is learning the long lost art of sewing.

"I am a workaholic," first time sewer Tina Noel said. "I don't cook. I don't clean. I just work."

But now Noel sews. She's one of many who have recently taken up the skill to avoid trips to the tailors.

"I have hemmed 20 pairs of pants already," Noel said.

Noel says altering every season gets expensive. Pant hems cost on average $12, a skirt hem about $15, and fixing sleeves on a suit jacket is $25. Linda Hayes with the House of Sewing in Pearland has seen a boom in her business from women who want to save money.

"We are teaching a whole new generation how to sew," Hayes said.

It's the same way at Sew Crafty in the Heights where Sarah Gabbart teaches.

But what are the details of getting started, and how much does it cost?

The first key, experts say, is to take lessons. Generally, there is no experience required!

For $135, beginners can take four two-and-a-half hour weekly sessions at either Sew Crafty or House of Sewing. Tuition includes supplies and fabric. If someone is not sure about a long term commitment, but still wants to learn the basics, Sew Crafty offers a two hour class for $40.

"We do an 'Intro to Sewing' class and how to use your machine," Gabbart said.

At Joann Fabrics and Crafts in Webster, the store is offering a two-and-a-half hour "Sewing 101" class for $30.

"It includes the materials, the sewing machine and when you get done, you get to take home what you completed," Joann Fabrics and Crafts representative James Herron said.

Free lessons are included for those who buy a sewing machine at Joann Fabrics and Crafts. For Noel, her new hobby is not only fun but a huge savings in her clothing budget.

"It completely paid off for me," she said.

Keep in mind, buying a sewing machine isn't absolutely necessary. Sewing schools like Sew Crafty and Sew Contempo both offer use of their machines for on-site rental. At Sew Crafty it costs $5 per hour while Sew Contempo offers their machines for $25 per day. The fee does not include any instruction.

Instructors at Houston area sewing schools say they are filling up their classrooms with first-time sewers. Schools offer lessons for beginners, experts, and children. For more information, contact the company directly:

House of Sewing
5740 Broadway Street
Suite 110
Pearland, TX 77581
Phone: 281-485-9898

Sew Crafty Houston
3210 White Oak
Houston, Texas 77007
(713) 863-1144

Sew Contempo
18203 Egret Bay Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77058
6302 Highway 6, Ste. S
Missouri City, Texas 77459

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Larger Superstore
Baybrook Village
1529A W Bay Area Blvd
Webster, Texas 77598
(281) 338-6238

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