Master The Art of Sewing

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Update 10/19/22

At Master the Art of Sewing, we have a few classes underway, with a few more to come before we break for the December holidays.

Coming up:

Jen Stern of will be teaching a one session remote class for those who have sergers, but lack the background or practice to use them with confidence.

Break your Serger out of the Box, 10/25, 5:30 - 7:30PM. Register soon to receive the workbook and list of fabric samples to have on hand!

Register here.

Jane Headley will lead a 4 week class in making the Nell Cape (Style Arc pattern), again with makers’ modifications to individualize the end products. This hybrid class starts on 11/10 and concludes on 12/08/22. Come in person or take it from the comfort of your home.

Register here for remote, and here for in person.

Jen Stern will take us through the 3 week process of making “The Shacket,” using Jen’s pattern, which is included in the cost of the class, PDF version. (Jen considers this to be a shirtmaking 101 class. Hard copies of the pattern are available at $15 each. Class runs for 3 weeks, beginning 11/01, ending on 11/15. This shirt will make a great holiday gift! Register to receive pattern, instruction booklet and fabric recommendations.

Register here.


Our current 9 week couture class, taught by Jane Headley, Master Seamstress, is “Funk up the French Jacket.” Most of the 10 participants have made the classic French Jacket in the past, so they have applied their muslin patterns to another garment, making modifications on the basic FJ style.

Some of us are making coats, another is making a vest. Some are adding center front and sleeve vent zippers while others are making buttonholes using a new technique that Jane has presented as an option. Some of us will add collars and are looking at different styles to suit the maker’s preference. As usual, an array of trims are being made, purchased, adapted, to further individualize these garments.

The fabrics are lofty and lovely, not necessarily boucles. Linings have personalities of their own, typically silks, but again, maker’s choice.

I am looking forward to sharing photos in the near future as we have reached class #7 of 9.

This is a hybrid class, allowing for in person attendance at West Side Sewing Studio, as well as remote attendance with participants in Maine, New Hampshire and Alaska. Zoom recordings and instructional videos are shared with all participants following our classes, for the purpose of review, enabling opportunities to review as new techniques are practiced.

Also underway - Learn to Sew I and Learn to Sew II, 4 week in-person classes intended to get the aspiring sewist going - they learn to operate sewing machines, the basics of construction, while making specific projects. These classes are taught by Barbara Hendricks and Meg Goulart.

We are currently working on the class line up for the Winter and Spring of 2023.

Feel free to pass this info on to others, and email me with any questions.


Update 8/08/22

Hello on this Summer Weekend,

It’s time for an update, as I post classes for Season III, Fall of 2022.

Our Fall lineup of classes includes 6 at this point, although we may be adding some workshops as the weeks pass.

Back by demand, and with a twist, Jane Headley will be offering “Funk up the French Jacket,” so participants can really make it a signature piece! Read the description / register here: Funk up the French Jacket


Jen Stern will take new serger owners through an intro to using the machine in “Break Your Serger out of the Box,” a fully remote one session class, complete with workbook. Read the description / register here: Break your Serger out of the Box

We will be making StyleArc’s Nell Cape, led by Jane Headley. This cape can be lined or unlined - it will be done before Christmas, so if not for you, maybe a gift for a favorite person.  Read the description / register here: Nell Cape


And, one more class that makes me think: “gift”….Jen Stern’s “The Shacket” (shirt jacket). The class fee includes the PDF pattern, or participants may purchase the pattern from
Read the description / register here: The Shacket


I am offering 2 sections of “Learn to Sew in September,” a starter class for interested adults - one on Thursday evenings and the other on Friday mornings. Read about the first 2 sections that were held this summer, below.

I expect that more classes / workshops will be offered, so I will touch base with you when they’re ready.

Teaching sewing skills has been a big part of Summer 2022 for me, passing on the basic skills that helped us all decide at some point that sewing is a skill that can pleasantly fill as much time as you decide to devote.

In June, West Side Sewing Studio was the site of a 4 week class capped at 4 participants. Those who own machines were welcomed to bring them and learn how to use them with greater confidence.

We covered many basics and made 3 projects which incorporated taught skills.

Given the number of requests for this class, it was repeated on 2 separate weekends in July. It was gratifying to spend time with these inspired sewists. We went from making a pincushion in class1, after learning about the anatomy of the sewing machine, to…….


……….a zippered pouch in class 2, to……


………pajama shorts / pants in classes 3 and 4.


It was also great to spend time teaching at the Sew Op in North Kingstown. Suzanne invited me to teach some of her summer camps. We made many items in the fully equipped and stocked store and studio.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the garments I made for my niece’s wedding. This event, the wedding of Kate and Lars, was a highpoint for all. I was so very pleased to make the flower girls’ dresses, with “Pansy” fabric from Apple Annie’s in Swansea - a cotton sateen / lycra blend. The ring bearer wore a matching vest and bow tie.

If you have 33 seconds more, maybe you will enjoy this:
Dancing Flower Girl.MOV

I also tried my hand at adding veiling to Kate's headpiece, channeling my grandmother, a milliner in the 1920’s.


With that accounting of my summertime thus far, I close this update and head for 2 weeks of vacation. I wish you all a happy and healthy end to the summer of 2022!


Update 6/29/22

I feel as though I am always marking time!

Season II of Master the Art of Sewing is complete, having provided great learning and garment enhancement opportunities for people who love to sew.

Our last classes of the season were “Make a Knit Dress,” taught by Jen Stern of,  AND “Couture Dress” which followed on the heels of “French Jacket” and “Lace Skirt,” all of which were taught by Jane Headley, Master Seamstress.


Jen’s class was offered remotely. She has mastered the abilities to manage sewing classes in this way, adding humor and kindness along the way. She posts class recordings for all participants to access as they make their way through the chosen projects.



Jane’s classes were all offered as Hybrid, and we had participants join from Alaska, NH, VA, CT, MA. The interactions among participants were ever so valuable, learning more about fabrics, fitting, techniques, and experiences of others. Instructional videos used in class are shared on the MAS YouTube channel for participants, as they perform their follow up work between classes. Lace Skirt and French Jacket photos are below in previous updates.

Couture Dress 2022 was a truly special experience, and some were ready for photos as class concluded on June 16.


Season III is coming. I hope you will consider joining us, whether in the studio or in your own home.

Have a wonderful and healthy summer.


Update 5/29/22

Changing it Up, (as we do with patterns, layouts, wardrobes, etc…..)

Coming to the end of the Season II classes on 6/16, Master the Art of Sewing is in planning for Fall 2022. In the meantime, I’m seeking ideas regarding classes that you would like to take and skills you’d like to develop in Season III. Feel free to email me at

I’ve been teaching a number of young, school-aged sewists at West Side Sewing Studio in Providence: They are full of wonder at the workings of sewing machines and how they can customize sewn items with their own preferences. A few choice photos:



What's next?

I’m teaching a 4 week Adult Beginner class at West Side Sewing Studio this summer - skills are reinforced with project work. This class will prepare the beginner to move on and use basic commercial patterns. The classes are capped at 5 participants, and 2 groups are already in place. Interested candidates can email me to be placed on a waiting list for the next class I schedule:

Suzanne Mancini at the Sew Op in N. Kingstown has invited me to join her and her staff in teaching summer camps this July and August - see the offerings that are sure to inspire here:


Let’s Stay in Touch -  I’ll provide one more Season II update as Couture dress concludes. 

As for Season III for Master the Art of Sewing, Fall 2022 classes will be announced in July. I'll be sure to let you know.

My sincere gratitude to all who have participated in Master the Art of Sewing classes! The past 2 years have been great learning with you, my fellow sewists, and learning from Instructors Jane Headley, Nancy Hoell, Jen Stern, Pam Leggett, Lynda Maynard, Naomi Lipsky, and Kenneth D. King.


Wishing you good health.

Thank you,



Update 5/09/22

What's new at Master the Art of Sewing?

It’s a good time for sure, to gather with like minded people and work on a custom sewing project, no matter where they are! We might be in the West Side Sewing Studio in Providence, while others join us from places at a distance.
Before reviewing the recent French Jacket class (Feb. to April, 2022), and taking a peek at the current Couture Dress and T-Shirt Dress classes, please read the following announcement about expansion in the array of classes offered. This new class will focus on the adult who is new to sewing:

Learn to Sew!
Learn Critical Sewing Skills in a friendly and supportive environment at West Side Sewing Studio, 27 Sims Ave, Providence, RI. 6/23, 6/30, 7/14, and 7/21, 6PM - 8:30
This class is a series of 4 weekly meetings (2.5 hours / class). Classes will meet on Thursday evenings in June and July.
The series is intended to teach the skills needed, in order to progress from a novice (or complete beginner) level to the point of being able to use basic sewing patterns to make garments or home goods... Read more here

Home Page Update Continued:

French Jacket 2022, instructed by Couture Seamstress Jane Headley, was a 9 week pleasure for everyone involved. We enjoyed the search for the “right” fabrics, the perfect trims, the best fit, and putting them all together to have our newly fashioned Chanel - like jackets and coats. In fact, some of us have decided to come together to make yet another take off on the classic Chanel...

Let us know if you’re interested in joining!

          From here....                                                      To here:


Supplies sourced from Apple Annie's, Swansea, MA


                             Here's Jeanne and Diane in their French jackets - lovely colors!                              


Sue's French Jacket / Coat - and the lining - amazzzzing!


Couture Dress 2022, again instructed by Jane Headley to the pleasure of in-class and remote participants, is well underway, with 3 of 9 weeks completed. Participants have secured their patterns, fabrics, and have refined the fit of the muslins which will serve as patterns for this custom dress. Here is a glimpse at what’s happening in this class:


It’s Fitting and Fixing Time! (In studio)


Note the use of the TV partnered with Zoom to convey in-studio activity to our classmates who are at a distance, and vice versa. Above, you see Diane in Alaska who is receiving valuable fitting instruction from Jane. 

Below, you will see the video image of Ginny’s fitting on the screen as it occurs in real time - “remote” participants like Diane benefit from the instruction in this way.

Jen Stern’s T-Shirt Dress Class - 1 of the 2 evening classes has taken place - participants received 2 of Jen’s dress patterns from which to choose. The first class helped participants choose the correct sizes according to measurements, and restyling various aspects of the patterns, e.g., necklines, flare of the skirt, waistline levels. It’s time to cut this week, and the second evening will be spent on construction. Pattern styles:

               Abby Dress                                              Anna Dress



Stay tuned, please, as we will be taking a break after June, and popping in with more offerings………………Have a healthy and enjoyable spring 2022.  As always, feel free to send questions and comments to:


Update 4/10/22

Upcoming Classes and Events

Custom Forms Event with Anna Taylor and Ben Greslick of

See description -

April 28th, by appt. only, 4 to 8PM

Last 2 Classes of Season II, Master the Art of Sewing:

1. Couture Dress - Jane Headley - Hybrid, Thursdays, 11AM - 1:30PM, 4/21 - 6/16

Do not wait - class is filling quickly - may not be available in 2022 / 2023
See class description here


2. You can Sew Knits - Make the T-Shirt Dress - Jen Stern Returns - Remote, Wednesdays, 5:30 - 8:00PM, 5/04 and 5/11
See class description here



Update 3/28/22

It’s past time for an update - what have we been doing in Master the Art of Sewing classes?


Some of our customers had recently completed beautifully tailored coats and jackets at the last writing / reporting. Some learned more about applying Kenneth D. King’s  faux fur techniques in the making of vests. 

Since then, we have had a great Lace Skirt class in January, all remote sessions, using beautiful Guipure laces, taught by couture seamstress, Jane Headley. This project was a super pleasant make, all within 5 weeks, and incredibly satisfying work, looking at the eye candy as we stitched. 

This was a hybrid class with participants in VA, CT, ME, and MA. The results are magnificent:


Taught by Jane Headley, French Jacket is always a winner, and this class, which started in February, is no exception. The participants are great seamstresses, pursuing their love of detail and style. This is a hybrid class (in studio and remote), and will be completed in April.

         Little French COAT!       


Perfect plaid matching!


Check out the lining……



March 10th and 11th found the studio full of sewists who took Pam Leggett’s “Pants Perfected” class. This 2 day in person workshop resulted in all participants having a well fitting pants pattern (which can be modified for different pant styles) and pants which were 90% complete. What a great vibe! 


Some of us learned and sewed with Jen Stern in a 3 hour “Make a Mini Knapsack” class on Saturday, March 19th. This was pure fun.  Participants had plans to modify their next bags to different sizes, lined versions, with pockets and zippers.  


Still to Come:

Couture Dress - Jane Headley - Hybrid, Thursdays, 11AM - 1:30PM, 4/21 - 6/16

See class description


You can Sew Knits - Make the T-Shirt Dress - Jen Stern - Remote, Wednesdays, 5:30 - 8:00PM, 5/04 and 5/11

See class description



Please feel free to send questions to Barbara at



Update 1/14/22

Good Morning on this January Friday,

I hope this update finds you in a comfortable situation as we make our way through January, 2022. 

I hope you’re thinking about what to sew next, or maybe that it’s time to finish up some unfinished projects? For me, it’s wrapping up our Classic Tailoring class, and moving into 2022, with the Lace Skirt class underway. 


Here are quickly approaching opportunities brought to you by Master the Art of Sewing:


  • 1. Make a Super Sportsbra: Kim Larcom, Astrosportswear Activewear Entrepreneur, Instructor

    REMOTE via Zoom -
    Thursdays, 2/03 - 2/17, 6:00 - 8:00PM

See the Super Sportsbra registration page

  • 2. French Jacket: Jane Headley, Couture Seamstress, Instructor

    Hybrid Model -
    Thursdays, 2/10 -  4/14 (This is a 9 week class with Mar. 10 off), 1:00 - 3:30PM

See the French Jacket registration page (in person, remote)

  • 3. Athletic Leisure Wear Series
    - Nancy Hoell

    Hybrid Model  - Thursdays, starting 3/10, 6:00 - 8:30PM

This is a 2 class series; take 1 or both

See the Athletic Leisure Wear registration page (in person, remote)

4. You Can Sew Knits - Make a Mini Knapsack: Jen Stern,

Remote via Zoom -
Saturday, March 19th, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

See the Mini Knapsack registration page


  • 5. Serging Specialty Fabrics - Nancy Hoell

    One session, in person, Friday, 4/15, 1:00 - 3:30

See the Serging Specialty Fabrics registration page


  • 6. Machine Embroidery -  Nancy Hoell 2 levels, 2 weeks each

    In person, Thursdays, starting 4/21, 6:00 - 8:30PM

This is a 2 class series; take 1 or both

See the Machine embroidery registration page

  • 7. Pam Leggett Returns to teach “Pants Perfected!”

    In person, 2 day workshop (public health issues will dictate)

Thursday  / Friday, Mar 10th and 11th, 9:00  -  5:00PM

See the Pants Perfected registration page


8. Couture Dress - Jane Headley  - Hybrid (In Person and Remote)

9 weeks Thursdays, 4/21 - 6/16, 11:00AM - 1:30 

See the Couture Dress registration page (in person, remote)

9. You Can Sew Knits - Make the T-Shirt Dress - Jen Stern,

Remote via Zoom - 3 Weeks ($90)
Thursdays, May 5th and 12th, 6:00 to 8:00PM 

See the T-Shirt Dress registration page


A few results from Classic Tailoring fall 2021:



Please send this message to others who may be interested. In-person participants must be “fully vaccinated” having had an original vaccination plus booster. 

Feel free to email any questions to Barbara at mastersewing2020@gmail. 

Thank you. Have a great weekend! 





NOTE: Class registration fees are non-refundable, unless your slot on the roster is filled by a waitlisted customer.




A minimum of 5 students is required to run a class, and class size will be limited to 10 to 12 participants, class dependent. Payments can be made via website, with debit/ credit cards and Venmo. 

All classes are priced at $35/ week; each class meets once weekly for 2.5 hours, unless otherwise stated.

*Master the Art of Sewing is a sole proprietorship, allowing for flexibility in many ways. Classes may be added at any point during the course of the year. Come back often to check for workshop offerings and addt-shirtitional class postings, based on customer interest.  

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