By Juliet Farmer

Thanks in part to the economy, in part to the do-it-yourself movement, and in part to a newfound appreciation for all things retro, a lot of people are brushing up on skills long forgotten, including ways to make clothing and beauty products without spending a lot of money. In Sacramento, there are plenty of spots where you can learn to make your own soap, quilt, sew, knit and crochet. Here are the top spots to learn a lost skill.

Photo Credit: The Soap Salon

The Soap Salon
3716 30th Street
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 376-7390
Hours: Mon to Tues 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Wed 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Fri
12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Making your own beauty products has never been easier thanks to The Soap Salon, where you’ll find soap molds (or you can have them custom made), essential oils, fragrance oils, unscented and uncolored lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and bath and shower gels. The Soap Salon offers vegetable oils, nutrient oils, herbs and grains, nut butters and other ingredients so you can carefully control what you put in your beauty products. Learn to make your own soap at The Soap Salon’s weekly, one-hour Hot Process Soapmaking class ($69), where you’ll learn how to make soap in a Crockpot so you can make your own at home.

Photo Credit: Quilters Corner

Quilter’s Corner
9792 Business Park Dr., Suite B
Sacramento, CA 95827
(916) 366-6136
Hours: Mon to Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

At Quilter’s Corner, you can learn how to make quilts, which are a perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers and more, not to mention that they look great on the couch or bed. Quilter’s Corner offers quilting classes for all levels. Start Quilting 101 ($75) is a seven-week course that meets 2.5 hours weekly. Once you’ve mastered the basics, come back and learn how to make a quilt out of old t-shirts in a one-day, six-hour class ($40), or finish a quilting project in a three-hour class ($10). There are many classes and weekly quilting gatherings at Quilter’s Corner, as well as several clubs that meet regularly.

Photo Credit: Juliet Farmer

Meissner Sewing & Learning Center
2417 Cormorant Way
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 920-2121
Hours: Mon to Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Additional locations in Rocklin and Folsom

Learn how to sew at Meissner, where Adult Sewing: Beginning and Intermediate ($60) will get you started (a basic knowledge of your sewing machine is required, as well as a machine, and loaner machines are available but not guaranteed). Beginning Sewing ($100) includes materials and an instructional booklet, plus the promise that you’ll finish three sewing projects. For the absolute beginner, Introduction to Sewing ($60) covers everything you need to know to get started using your machine. For those who know what they’re doing, there’s Advanced Garment Construction ($50). Most classes meet weekly or biweekly over a three- to five-week period.

Photo Credit: Juliet Farmer

Babetta’s Yarn and Gifts
4400 San Juan Avenue
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
(916) 965-6043
Hours: Tues, Thurs 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Babetta’s Yarn and Gifts offers classes on specific knitting projects (a circular sweater, for example) as well as three-week general classes where you can start and finish any knitting project(s) you’d like. Special classes are $60, and the three-week Knitting Project is $40. Private lessons are also available. If you’re looking for companionship but already know what you’re doing, on Saturdays the shop is open for knitters to congregate.

Insider tip: Sign up for one class, and get 10 percent off your next purchase.

Photo Credit: Juliet Farmer

1021 R Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 442-9225
Hours: Mon to Sat 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

At the aptly named Rumpelstiltskin, you can learn how to crochet and weave. In the three-week Beginning Crochet ($30), you’ll learn to chain and do a single and double crochet stitch in a weekly 1.5-hour class over the course of three weeks. Step up your crochet skills with Advanced Beginning Crochet ($30), where you’ll learn to read patterns and follow crochet directions (also 1.5 hours per week for three weeks). A good tip, both classes require you bring your own yarn and hook, but you can buy them at the store before the class starts if need be. In Weaving 1 ($59), learn warping and beginning weaving in three three-hour classes over three weeks. For Weaving 1, bring scissors, a tape measure, pen, paper and yarn, as well as a loom—you can rent a loom for $40 plus deposit if you don’t have your own.

Juliet Farmer was born and raised in Sacramento, where she resides with her husband, two cats, and rescued greyhound. She is a freelance writer who regularly writes about food, pets, health and wellness, entertainment, and more.