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Custom Sewing by Berna
Custom Sewing by Berna

Custom Sewing by Berna

$50/hour
estimated cost


Zip code
Level of experience
Student age

Responds within a day

Introduction: I am able to bring into reality my client's vision and to work within her (his) budget. I have extensive experience in creating soft goods for the home, including shades, drapery, bedding, pillows, table cloths, and anything else imaginable. I carefully measure, determine yardage and costs, and always meet my deadlines. I also have decades of experience in women's wear, costumes for SF Carnival and Halloween, hats, and bags. I have constructed one-of-a-kind items, such as the net that protects Claude the Albino Alligator's habitat at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. As a sewing instructor I take the time to listen to my student's wants and interests. I let my student's needs guide me in my lessons. I believe that everyone should be able to purchase custom soft goods for the home. I love fulfilling my client's vision, my attention to details, and completing a well-done project. Additionally, I love teaching. I enjoy watching my students learn, experiment, and use what they have learned from me.
Overview

Hired 24 times

12 similar jobs done near you

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Featured Projects

9 photos

Reviews

Customers rated this pro highly for work quality, professionalism, and responsiveness.

Exceptional 5.0

19 reviews

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Cynthia S.

Sewing Lessons

Since May 7, 2018 I have been taking weekly sewing classes with Berna Alvarado. I love learning how to sew from her. She has a good sense of humor, tells wonderful stories about her sewing experience, and shows great enthusiasm for her subject. Berna explains different sewing procedures very clearly and patiently. In the beginning she suggested I bring my own sewing machine to class so that I would get used to it and be able to complete my "homework" at home. I made a linen tot bag with pockets, straps, and a lining within the first two lessons. Since then she has shown me how to install a zipper in a small make-up bag. She also taught me to hem several panels of fabric to be used for Hawaiian costumes for my hula dance class. I've learned important things like how to cut and measure fabric efficiently; how to thread a bobbin; "not to worry when you make mistakes because that is how you learn," says Berna; and how to fold fabric and use an iron so that I don't need to pin every piece before I sew it. Although Berna has certain projects in mind for me to work on, she is very interested in what I specifically want to learn to sew: our next project is to sew a Hawaiian floral full-length dress with two ruffles. She has years of experience sewing clothes for herself, dance costumes, drag queen outfits, draperies, and teaching all levels of sewing students. Berna is also a wonderful resource--she has directed me to inexpensive sewing shops for materials and recommended a great place for me to have my own sewing machine serviced. I look very forward to my lessons. They are fun and very informative. I highly recommend Berna Alvarado to anyone who wants to learn to sew! UPDATE: November 4, 2019 Dear Thumbtack, I have been learning to sew from Berna Alvarado since May, 2018. I got her name from your website and I couldn’t be happier with what I’ve learned. Berna comes to teaching with a wealth of experience including sewing clothes, costumes, pillows and quilts, drag queen outfits, chair upholstery, and drapery manufacture. Berna is fun and funny. She tells wonderful stories about her various sewing adventures and her life as an artist. She has taught all levels of students and clearly loves to teach: she is very animated and informative and makes you want to learn! When I started with Berna, I knew nothing about sewing. She started by teaching me the basics. I bring my own sewing machine to her home for my lessons and we meet every two weeks. In class we work on different projects and then she assigns me “homework” which she explains in detail beforehand. I do the assignments at home and if I am confused or have questions, I can text her and she’ll give me the guidance I need to finish the homework. She has helped me complete several satisfying projects: a cloth tote bag with pockets, two gathered skirts, a zippered make-up bag, a Hawaiian print dress with gathered sleeves and two bottom ruffles, a dramatic print tablecloth and eight matching napkins, and an upholstery fabric pillow cover with zipper and welt. Throughout my time with Berna, she has been very attentive to what I want to learn including teaching me skills that I was able to use to sew costumes for my own hula dance performance! In addition, Berna is a good resource: she helped me find a good sewing service center for my machine as well as local stores that sell inexpensive fabric and other sewing materials. Most importantly, she has taught me the basic skills of sewing so that I can create and complete sewing projects on my own. My time with Berna has been invaluable and I recommend her most highly as both a practical and inspiring sewing teacher! Cynthia Sides
Nov 4, 2019
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Verified
Danielle G.

Sewing Lessons

I have thoroughly enjoyed learning to sew with Berna. She is a wonderful teacher. Not only is she friendly and accommodating to my needs as a beginner, but she's totally open to working with me on whatever I want to work on. We have had a lot of fun and I learn so many new skills every lesson. Thanks Berna for being a wonderful teacher!!
Custom Sewing by Berna's reply
Thank you, Danielle, for this review and for being a great student!
Sep 13, 2017
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Verified
Robert M.

Sewing Lessons

Berna is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend hiring her for sewing lessons! Upon meeting her, you will instantly recognize you have found an excellent teacher in the bay area. She has an extensive wealth of knowledge from decades of professional experience. Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, Berna is patient and will provide you with valuable sewing tips and shortcuts which will save you time and money on your project. She has an excellent work space with a wide variety of sewing machines and tools to teach with. I recommend arriving prepared with an outline of what you want to learn and bring your own sewing machine so you can learn how to setup and use what you have.
Jun 29, 2016
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Verified
Vanessa T.

Sewing Lessons

I’ve taken one course with Berna and plan to go back for more. With just the one course I’ve taken, I’ve been able to fix some of my clothes that fit badly or needed hemming. Berna tailors her course to the level of experience her students have. I would highly recommend her over the group sewing courses, as she provides one on one teaching and is able to observe you the entire length of the course.
Custom Sewing by Berna's reply
Vanessa, thank you for this amazing review!
Apr 1, 2018
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Verified
Devon F.

Knitting Lessons

Berna is absolutely fabulous!!!! I am so excited to have found her. I was looking for some help with knitting and I feel like I could not ask for a better teacher! I look forward to continuing with her with the knitting and sewing in the future. She is an excellent instructor.
Sep 13, 2017
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Verified
Credentials
Background Check

Berna Alvarado

FAQs

  • What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?

    I charge an hourly rate or provide a discounted rate for ten classes when I teach. When I am hired to sew, I price by the project. For example, if making drapes, I charge by the number of widths of fabric needed.

  • What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

    Asking about my customer's needs, likes, and wants helps me to provide the best product, whether it's a window treatment or a class.

  • What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

    I have sewn for decades and learned as a child. I have taught different subjects to different age groups for almost as long. I have experience in sewing clothes, costumes, hats, and for the last 25 years, soft goods for the home, which includes window treatments, beddings, pillows and anything else you can think of.

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