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Introduction to Dressmaking Course
Our Introduction to Dressmaking Course is the perfect place to start if you want to learn how to sew your own clothes, and want a more in-depth introduction to dressmaking than our one day beginner classes. Each class focuses on new dressmaking techniques so that you learn something new every week and build your confidence in dressmaking.
“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: PJ Bottoms
In your first week, you will learn how to measure yourself accurately, read a dressmaking sewing pattern, pin and cut fabric and basic fitting of some simple pyjama trousers. You will learn how to accurately cut out a sewing pattern and fabric and how to stitch them up. You will be required to stitch up some of your PJ bottoms at home, but don’t worry it’ll only be replicating what you’ve done in class! You will also discuss your pattern choice with your teacher ready for next week.
Week 2: Finish PJ Bottoms & Start Dress Pattern
In your second week you will finish your PJ bottoms by joining the legs together and adding a waistband. Next, you will check your measurements and choose a size for your dress pattern and your teacher will help you with any basic adjustments such as lengthening or shortening and grading between sizes. Time dependent you’ll begin cutting your pattern out of your fabric, and you’ll finish this at home
before week 3.
Week 3, 4 & 5: Sewing Up Your Dress
Over the last three weeks of the course you’ll work on sewing up a dress, chosen from our tried & tested beginner friendly patterns. You can take the class at you own pace and the tutor will support you with learn new techniques such as fitting the pattern, adding facings & interfacing, darts and zips. 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 wearable shift style dress with darts, facings, optional invisible zip and various sleeve options.
A versatile fitted waist (elasticated for wiggle room!) dress with a blousey top, different sleeve length options, knee or midi length skirt and optional pockets.
A stylish fitted shift dress, with interesting curved princess seams, grown on sleeves and optional pocket.
The class includes expert instruction, use of the machines, tools, threads, elastic, interfacing etc and you’ll keep a copy of the PJ pattern and your chosen dress pattern so you can make them again outside the class. Tea, coffee and biscuits are also provided!
YOU NEED TO BRING
You will need 2.5m of light to medium cotton fabric for your pyjama bottoms. We recommend cotton poplin, cotton lawn and brushed cottons.
You’ll also need the fabric & matching (optional) concealed zip for your dress, you won’t need this until after the second week of your course and the tutor will discuss the type of fabric and how much you’ll need depending on the pattern you choose. If you need any help with choosing fabric, please Contact Us.
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. Everyone will need to do some cutting out at home between week 2 & 3.
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 3, why not try our Introduction to Sewing 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.