Workshops Better Dressmaking Summer School

Better Dressmaking Summer School
Wednesday 7 August - Friday 9 August 2024 10:00am - 5:00pm
St Margaret's House
Teacher: Jen Skedd
Suitable for: Adults. Confident sewing machine experience required
Price: £240
Location: Studio 6.03A St Margaret's House, 151 London Road

Better Dressmaking Summer School

The Better Dressmaking Summer School is packed with tips and techniques to make your home sewing look less – well- ‘homemade’.

Wednesday 7 – Friday 9 Aug 2024   10am – 5pm each day

Course Description

Do your seams look wrinkled or puckered? Do your facings refuse to lie flat, and are you tired of wonky zips – or do you even avoid zips altogether? Yes? – Then this is the course to help you raise your sewing game.

Included in the Better Dressmaking Summer school is most of the areas where many home dressmakers commonly struggle.  Starting with how to choosing the right size of pattern, and make some common alterations, it will teach you loads of tips and tricks to improve the fit and finish of your home dressmaking projects. Avoid that ‘homemade’ look that is the downfall of many sewing projects.

Through a series of tutorials, and practical sessions, you’ll be working samples of each technique, so you can practise the skills learnt in that session.  We’ll start with getting the groundwork right. How to choose the best size of pattern, and making some common adjustments for a perfect fit. Then I’ll teach you the lingo of pattern terminology. I’ll show you how to improve the appearance of your seams with pressing and trimming, and adding the WOW factor with perfectly straight and even topstitching. Darts, interfacing, buttonholes, zips, sleeves and waistbands are covered too. Each session expands on the skills learnt in the previous one, building your knowledge and technical ability over the three days (18 hours in total).  By the end of the course, you’ll have a library of new techniques at your fingertips to take home so your sewing will be more ‘high end’ than ‘high street’, more ‘Designer’ than disaster!

This course is provided by Artisan Stitch as part of their summer school programme. Artisan Stitch holds a Certificate of Excellence and is rated ‘Best sewing classes in Edinburgh’. They won a UK Enterprise award for Best Sewing classes 2020 and are the only Edinburgh sewing classes and one of only two in Scotland that’s recommended by Queen Margaret University.

Who is this aimed at?

  • Novice dressmakers who’d like to further their skills
  • Home dressmakers who’d like to achieve a better fit and finish to their home sewing projects
  • You must have confident machine skills, have some dressmaking experience and be familiar with using commercial paper patterns and basic garment construction

What will I learn?

  • How to choose the best size(s) of pattern to achieve a good fit
  • Understanding pattern terminology
  • How to do some common pattern alterations
  • Learn different seam types and when to use them
  • How to take up hems
  • Neatening and finishing techniques
  • Edge stitching and top stitching to add impact
  • Perfect darts
  • Make machined buttonholes and sew on buttons
  • How to sew in a concealed zip
  • Avoid stretched necklines
  • Choosing and using interfacing
  • How to make facings lie flat
  • Setting in a sleeve
  • There will also be time for a question and answer session so if there’s anything you’d like to know that isn’t covered above, then please let me know and I’ll try to include it if there’s time.

Course arrangements

The classes run from 10am to 5pm each day.  There will be a break for lunch, and opportunities for short breaks throughout the day. Sewing machines are provided or you can take your own if you have one. The course provider will contact you after you book to give you full instructions.

Cost £240 (includes fabrics, zip, interfacing etc.). Travel, meals and accommodation are not included.

How do I book?

Click here to read full information about the course and to book. Places are limited to just a few people so early booking is essential.  Enquiries to

Location details

St. Margaret’s House – Sixth Floor
St. Margaret’s House, 151 London Road
Edinburgh EH7 6AE

How to find St Margaret’s House