At the Sewing Arts Center, education is the focus, along with sewing machines and fabric sales, monogramming and sewing and quilting services. Since Russell Conti bought the business a decade ago, the retail side of the Center has diminished. “We still sell a lot of sewing machines, but education is what most people come in for,” Conti says. A large number of the students are men, and more than 75 kids attended a children’s camp last summer. Beginning sewing courses are filled with people who want to learn sewing to create couture, and pattern drafting and draping are the most advanced courses. Conti also teaches a five-week course in how to make jeans — which he admits is the most entertaining course at the Sewing Center. 3330 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 450-4300, —David Cotner

LA Weekly