Thursday, 31 July 2014

Beginners Dressmaking Course Starting

Course Info:

Learn to make a simple dress or top using a paper pattern. 

We will cover measurements & sizes, choosing a pattern, choosing fabric, sewing darts, gathers & pleats, inserting a zip, setting in a sleeve, neatening seams & hems.

You do not need to have had much sewing experience, but you do need to be able to thread the machine and sew a (reasonably!) straight seam. 

Equipment and sewing machines are provided, but you will need to buy a pattern, fabric and zip. 

Date: Tuesday 9th September for eight weeks
Time: 7-9pm
Cost: £80

Tutor: Fiona Douglas

For info, contact Fiona on 07710 242 933 or

To book, contact Pauline Stanley on 07729 829 209

What you will learn
Our aim is that by the end of the course, you will have made a simple garment using a paper pattern, and will have learned a lot of other stuff along the way.
You do not need to have had much sewing experience, but you do need to be able to thread the machine and sew a (reasonably!) straight seam.

We will cover:

  • Patterns
  • Choosing the correct pattern size
  • Degrees of difficulty
  • Fabrics
  • Choosing the right fabric
  • What’s easy to sew and what isn’t
  • Cutting out
  • Laying out the pattern pieces
  • Grainlines
  • Marking darts, notches etc.
  • Construction
  • Sewing Darts
  • Gathering & Pleats
  • Inserting a zip
  • Setting in a sleeve
  • Neatening seams
  • Hand sewing
  • Tacking/basting
  • Hem Stitch/Hand finishing stitches
Everyone works at different paces, so some may be able to start on a second piece and some may need some extra time to finish. But it is not a race!

Choosing a Pattern
Dress patterns can be up to 2 sizes smaller than High St sizing, so please make sure that you put a tape measure around yourself and buy a pattern based on your bust measurement, not your dress size.
Here’s an approved list and we’d very much like you to choose one of these patterns as it will make your and our life much easier!

McCalls 2401 Burda 7659 Simplicity 3673 Butterick 5748
Simpl 3833 Burda 7798 Simpl 1586 NL 6885
If none of these work for you, then please choose only a VERY EASY pattern, avoid Stretch Knit patterns, ones with full linings (a bodice lining is OK), and anything with lots of seams/pieces.
I would advise against Vogue patterns for your first project – even the Very Easy Vogue ones are quite tricky.
The US sites are much better for browsing, make a note of the pattern number and buy it from Sew Direct or Simplicity. I have a subscription to Sew Direct and can get these patterns at discount, given enough notice.


I have 8 electronic sewing machines (Janome XL30) so you do not need to bring a machine, unless you prefer to use your own.
We have all the basic sewing equipment you will need.

Cotton is by far the best fabric for beginners. It is easy to cut and easy to sew. Natural woven fabrics aren’t too bad either. Please don’t get anything stretchy, anything very thin, very thick or very slippery.
A patterned fabric is more forgiving of slightly wonky stitching than a plain one! It’s also easier to distinguish the right side from the wrong side.

Any questions, please do just call or mail me on 07710 242 933 or

No comments:

Post a Comment