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Improver Dressmaking Course
Our Improver Dressmaking Class is the perfect course for student who have made a few simple garments but now want to take the leap into the exciting world of invisible zips, set-in sleeves and darted bodices. Perhaps you’ve attended our Introduction to Dressmaking course or have made a few basic tops & skirts and now want to expand your skills? This is the class for you!
Over 5 weeks you’ll work on your dress, choosing from a choice of 3 dressmaking patterns and guided by your experienced tutor.
“Being new to working with patterns, I most valued the help to get the pattern just right for me. The teacher was so encouraging and helpful. An excellent class to attend”.
Our sewing classes are relaxed and friendly, taking place at our beautiful studio at Holme Grange Craft Village in Wokingham, Berkshire. Students get to use our brand new digital Janome sewing machines and class sizes are capped to ensure everyone gets the time and attention they need.
Please note we are a Covid-19 Secure Further Education venue and have implemented all government guidelines. Please see our FAQ’s page for further information.
Each course is 5 weeks long and covers the following:
Week 1: Measuring, Adjusting & Cutting
In your first week, you will learn how to measure yourself accurately, make any fitting adjustments to your sewing pattern, such as bust adjustments, shoulder adjustments, lengthening, shortening and grading between sizes. You’ll be shown how to accurately cut your pattern and fabric ready for week 2. Depending on the amount of adjustments you require and the speed you work at, you may need to do some of your cutting out at home before the next class.
Week 2: Darts & Facings
In your second week you’ll begin sewing up your dresses, learning how to sew perfect darts and how to get a great finish on facings using techniques like under stitching.
Week 3, 4 & 5: Zips, Button Holes and Hems
Over the last three weeks of the course you’ll continue sewing up your dress. You can take the class at you own pace and the tutor will support you with learn new techniques such as fitting the pattern, concealed zips, buttonholes and blind hemming. If you don’t get a particular part of the dress finished in class, your teacher will advise you what needs to be done at
home before the following week.
A fit and flare style dress with fitted, darted bodice, set-in sleeves and separate gathered skirt.
A vintage style sleeveless boatneck dress with all-in-one arm & neck facing, fitted, darted bodice and full, swishy circle skirt.
An elegant midi dress with flowing skirt, set-in voluminous sleeves and under-bust gathers.
All versions include a concealed zip.
The class includes expert instruction, use of the machines, tools, threads, elastic, interfacing etc and you’ll keep a copy of your chosen dress pattern so you can make it again outside the class. Tea, coffee and biscuits are also provided!
YOU NEED TO BRING
We will contact you after booking to confirm which of the dresses you want to make (we have samples of all in the shop if you’d like to visit and take a look before choosing), but all styles require approximately 3m of light to medium-weight fabric such as viscose, rayon, cotton lawn, double gauze, brushed cotton, crepe etc. If you need any help with choosing fabric, please Contact Us. You’ll need to bring a 16 – 22” invisible zip in a similar colour to your fabric. Please ensure your fabric has been washed and ironed before class, to avoid your dress shrinking once it’s sewn up and washed!
Depending on the speed that you work at (there’s no pressure to race through!) you may need to prepare/finish some elements at home between sessions. Your tutor will give you clear guidance so you are comfortable doing this.
Once you have completed this course you could go on to complete some of our Improver Dressmaking classes to build on what you have learnt. If you would like to complete this course but are not yet at Level 4, why not try our Introduction to Dressmaking Course?
Our classes are non-refundable so please make sure you’ve checked your diary carefully and read our Class FAQs before booking. These also cover lots of other questions so please do read them!
Please note you’ll receive a confirmation email upon booking and you’ll also receive a reminder email the week before your class. If you don’t receive these, please check your junk/spam folder.