Owner Shaerie, a onetime corset maker from Boston, could teach a monkey to sew a prom dress. Maybe that's why her beginner's classes fill up fast with women whose moms didn't have a clue and, yes, plenty of men. At Sew L.A. in Atwater Village, students learn to thread a sewing machine and bobbin, how to straight-stitch and zigzag and, in three hours, how to make a very simple tote bag. (The guys can call it a “tool bag.”) For any man who has ever disastrously tried to hem his own pants, for any woman who has wished she could take in her new jeans before a party, Shaerie and her able staff of kindly teachers, working with you in a charming storefront stuffed with pretty and functional fabrics, will show you how to start the adventure. The three-hour beginner's class is $55. 3153 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village. (323) 665-7097, sew-la.com. —Jill Stewart
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