Learn to Sew
I love to sew. I love the quality of construction and fit I can achieve in my garments. I love having something unique and being able to proudly say, "I made it myself". Sewing is the ultimate relaxation, with lots of tactile stimulation and a feeling of order and continuity. Sewing has helped me to meet new friends when I moved and has helped me to make my new house a home.
I was very lucky. I learned to sew when I was very young. My mother made most of my clothes when I was very young and she taught me what I needed to know to get started. Several years of home economics in high school refined those skills, and keeping up with new techniques has been easy because of sewing magazines like Sew News and Threads.
I belong to a local sewing club where we meet monthly and discuss our sewing triumphs and tribulations. I come home from every meeting renewed with enthusiasm about my avocation.
Don't despair though if you have reached adulthood without learning how to sew. There are people and places in most communities who offer sewing lessons for every level from novice to some experience. There are even programs designed to get younger children sewing, before they are exposed to Home Economics at school
The best place to start is at your local fabric or sewing machine dealer. Ask them for any information available for sewing lessons. Many fabric stores contract with instructors to provide beginner sewing lessons. You may need to bring your own machine or they may provide machines if they also retail sewing machines. This can also be a good opportunity to test drive the sewing machine models.
Many communities offer adult education classes, so check to see if they have a beginning sewing class. If one is not offered, request it. These community programs are usually willing to add classes if they see an interest.
Sewing experts like Nancy Zieman and Sandra Betzina both host sewing shows on TV (PBS and HGTV) and offer DVD's based on these programs. While some of these programs may be for the more advanced sewer they can be helpful to the beginner also.
One of the best all round sewing books I found is the Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-By-Step... from Readers Digest. It not only shows the basics of sewing, but is a great reference for seldom used techniques.
There are also several websites offering sewing lessons online for a fee, and even some sites that are free of charge.