Where are you located?
Camp Couture is happy to announce a new store location!! We will continue classes in the 35 West 20th Ave location for another 4 weeks until the store renovations are complete. The new address will be
1628 Palm Avenue in San Mateo.
There is ample free parking & a new convenient location.
I’ve never sewn anything in my life or used a sewing machine ever!
Where do I start?
We recommend that you start with the Machine Intro Class to familiarize yourself with a sewing machine and how it works. You can then follow it up with a project-based class. Our most basic class is the Pajama Pant class. The Bag Class is a great class, too.
We recommend the following options as a course of study:
1. Sewing Machine Basics
2. Pajama Pants
3. Decorative pillow
4. Purses or bags
6. Skirt with darts and a zipper or an elastic waist
I do not know how to use my machine. Can you help me?
Yes. I would suggest a 1-2 hour private session on how to use your machine.
Why Attend The Camp Couture?
Small class size, limit of eight per class, use of modern, easy to use, sewing equipment, experienced instructor in all phases of sewing, be it home decor, accessories, or clothing. Classes for ages 7 to 70. Come find out how sewing is entertainingly educational!
I used to sew, but haven’t done so in a while. What class would you suggest?
Depending on what you remember, you might want to take the Machine Intro Class or sign up for a basic project class like the pajama making class.
What kinds of classes do you offer?
Baby Blankets & Clothing
Basic Hemming and Alterations
Computer bags, make up bags, purses and tote bag -
Home Decor Pillows
How to read a commercial pattern
Sewing Machine Basics
Sewing with patterns
Skirts with darts and a zipper or an elastic waist
Specialty techniques – zippers, buttonholes & pockets
Using a serger-
If your interests are not listed, please contact us in regard to your special interest and we will do our best to teach you what you want to learn.
I am good at sewing – what classes do you have that will challenge me?
Some of our more advanced classes include corset making & fine garment construction. All of these classes require that you have good solid sewing skills already under your belt, and involve more complicated construction methods and/or tailoring techniques. We also offer some basic pattern making classes for those of you who want to turn your sketches into reality.
I want to buy a pattern. Any suggestions?
In general, patterns labeled “easy,” “quick,” “2-hour,” or something
similar are best. Patterns with fewer pieces will go together easier. Try to avoid Vogue™ patterns or any advanced skill patterns for your first projects as they have tend not to be friendly beginners.
Can you teach me to copy this vintage dress I have that is falling apart?
Yes. Vintage clothing is getting more rare & expensive, and we can learn so much from studying the construction methods. We can teach you how to copy a garment without taking it apart in most cases – it depends on how complicated the design is.
Do I need a sewing machine?
No. We provide all tools and machines needed to complete your project.
BUT!! It is beneficial to bring/use your own machine so that you can better understand your sewing machine.
Can I bring my own sewing machine to class?
All students are welcome to bring her or his own sewing machine or serger to class, although we provide machines for your use.
Can you recommend a sewing machine?
Try borrowing before buying. put the word out to loved ones and friends and chances are somebody out there has a spare machine with your name on it. if the lender hasn’t been used for a while, take it to a sewing machine repair shop for a check-up.
A new no-frills machine will run you around $200-$300. of course you can spend much, much more! if you’ve never sewn before, consider taking an intro to sewing machine class at make or buy from a local dealer that offers free lessons with purchase. the more experience you have sewing before buy, the better!
Viking, Singer, and some Kenmore brands have been successful for me. I have also refurbished some used machines from Craigslist and they are working brilliantly. Newer machines have different bells and whistles like embroidery functions, so depending on what you want to achieve will strongly affect the direction in your purchase.
What do I need for the class?
You need to provide fabric for your project. See fabric resource list below for places to purchase fabric, Also review the class description for information and supplies. Many classes have a supply list posted on the website. If you’re unsure or have questions, please feel free to contact us. Check out the suppliers page for a few of our favorite local shops.
What type of fabric do you recommend for beginner projects?
100% cotton woven fabric is the easiest fabric for beginners to work with. It’s not too slippery and it has enough body to stand up to a lot of handling. Plus, it’s comfy! If you are dead set against cotton for your project, contact us and we’ll discuss what other fabrics would be appropriate. Cotton/linen blends, heavier or raw silks, lightweight wools – all of these would be appropriate for the adventuresome in certain classes
Where can I purchase fabric for class projects?
Check out the fabrics stores listed at the end of this Q&A section.
How old do you have to be to join the camp or lessons?
Ages range from 7 – 70 years of age.
I want to learn something specific. Can I have a class in that?
If you want to learn something specific that we are not offering in a class format, you can sign up for a private class.
Do I need to bring a pattern?
If there is a specific project or pattern you want to work from, by all means, bring it. We have patterns available at the studio. I suggest taking a class on reading patterns.
When do you have classes?
Classes are on going throughout the weekday, evenings and weekends. Please refer to the Class Calendar for specific dates and times of classes. Private classes are scheduled by appointments. You can also contact us directly to ask for upcoming classes that may not have been uploaded on to this site.
Do you have private lessons?
Yes, private lessons start at $45/hour. Private classes are by appointment. Please contact us directly to set up a time or for more information.
Can I have a private party?
Yes! We have a variety of options for parties. Please contact us directly and or review the Class and Programs section of this site.
Where are you located?
We are located in San Mateo. We are walking distance from Jo- Ann’s Fabric in San Mateo. Ample guest parking is available. The address is 35 west 20th Ave, San Mateo, 94403. If you are taking mass transit – we are located near the Hayward Park Cal Train Station.
How do I sign up?
Please click on the registration link on this website and fill out the attached form.
Do you host birthday Parties?
Yes we do! Please inquire directly for detailed information.
Do you have gift certificates?
Sewing lessons make an excellent gift. Gift certificates are available for purchase. They are valid for one year from date of issue.
Can I visit the studio?
Give us a call and we’ll set up an appointment for you to checkout the studio. We’d love to see you!
What happens if I can’t make a class?
Because of the special nature of our offerings and very limited enrollment, classes are nonrefundable but a rescheduled makeup session is available within 14 days of class. For more info, go to the enrollment page.
When should I arrive for class?
The studio opens 10 minutes before the scheduled start time.
Do you know anybody who can make something for me?
It depends. Contact us directly and we’ll see if there’s anything we can do to help. Please visit www.avbdesigns.com for custom sewing.
Can you recommend a good seamstress or sample-maker?
We often get calls asking if we can do people’s mending. We are a school & design studio – so we do provide this service.
Please visit www.avbdesigns.com for custom sewing.
Do you do alterations and hemming?
Yes. We have an experienced tailor on board, please call us for an appointment.
Do you rent workshop space and use of your machines?
Rent workshop space by the hour to use our sewing machines or bring yours. Available in the workshop: an industrial serger (4 sergers total), 8 sewing machines, professional cover stitch machine, blind hemmer, pico hemmer, heavy duty industrial singer sewing machine and iron. You must know how to use a sewing machine to rent workshop space. $25.00 for each hour, minimum 1 hour.
Do I need to service my machine?
Sewing machines should be serviced every 12 months.
If you do a lot of sewing:
- Lint, thread, and broken needles can collect in the needle bar, hook and feed mechanism, causing problems ranging from noise to more serious problems that can stop the machine from sewing.
- Heavy use can remove the oil that the machine uses to run smoothly.
- Lint or thread pieces can cause serious tension problems.
If you sew occasionally:
- Lint, thread, and broken needles can still collect in the needle area and in the gears of the thread-handling mechanism.
- Even moderate use necessitates oiling of moving parts of the sewing machine.
- A small piece of thread in the tension unit will necessitate cleaning and recalibration of the tension.
If your sewing machine has been in the closet for a few years:
- The machine should be tuned up so that you will have peak performance and trouble-free sewing.
- Even sitting in the closet, the oil in the machine will dry out.
Do you have a Facebook page?
Yes we do! Please click the link and join!