Introduction to Dressmaking (Summer School)

Introduction to Dressmaking (Summer School)

Wednesday 22 July, 2020 - Friday 24 July, 2020
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Teacher: Jen Skedd
Suitable for: Adults. Confident sewing machine experience required

Price: £190

Introduction to Dressmaking:Summer School

A 3-day intensive sewing course.

Wednesday 22-Friday 24 July 2020  10m – 5pm each day

Making your own clothes is extremely satisfying. You can obtain a perfect fit and have something completely unique, But it’s difficult knowing where to start. Commercial paper pattern sizes bear no relation to shop-bought, and all those fabrics to choose from?  If you’d like to learn to make your own clothes, but are struggling to get started, then this short course will give you a great foundation.

Course Description

I’ll guide you through interpreting the ‘lingo’ of patterns. Using the best size, choosing the right fabric, cutting and sewing – all with help at hand.

Sleepwear is a good project as an introduction to dressmaking. The pattern I’ve chosen is Simplicity 1563 (pictured). It’s suitable for guys and gals, and includes several different pieces  so you can mix and match.  The bottoms and robe are made in woven fabric. The vest and T-shirt are in knitted jersey.  That can be tricky to work with, especially for novices, but I’ll teach you a few tips to help. And these garments are wardrobe staples so you may even want to make them again for casual wear. Just think of that cute little vest-top paired with the tie-waist trousers for a great holiday evening outfit.

You must already have competent sewing skills i.e. have completed a Beginners sewing course, be confident using a sewing machine and be able to thread up and wind bobbins, and to sew neat, accurate seams.

Who is this aimed at:

  • Anyone who has recently started to sew and would like to make clothes
  • Novice dressmakers who would like some help to understand how to use commercial patterns, and improve your dressmaking skills
  • Lapsed sewists: perhaps it’s been a while since you last did any dressmaking and you need to brush up your knowledge and skills
  • If you don’t have confident sewing skills (able to wind bobbins, thread a machine, and sew neat, accurate seams, then you may want to consider one of Artisan Stitch’s Beginners Courses)

What will I learn?

How to use commercial paper patterns and learn garment-construction techniques.

  • choosing the best size, and making some basic alterations for a good fit;
  • select suitable fabric and use it economically.
  • understanding the ‘language’ and markings on patterns
  • Fabric-cutting and marking techniques
  • sewing pieces together (garment-construction)
  • tips and tricks to obtain a professional-quality finish

There will be time to make at least 2 of the pieces (your choice of 1 top and 1 pair of bottoms). You may have time to make a 3rd item (or at least start it).  There will be some structured tutorials over the 3 days with plenty practical time.

Total 18 hours.

Course Arrangements

I’ll provide your paper pattern but you’ll need to bring your own fabric.  I’ll provide a note of what you’ll need when you book. Sewing machines are available in the studio or you can bring your own if you prefer. (If you bring your own, then please remember the power cable/foot control, bobbins, presser feet, spare needles and the instruction manual)

You’ll also need your basic sewing kit of : Fabric shears, scissors for cutting paper, pins, tape measure (cm) chalk pencils or fabric marking pens, note book.

Cost: £190 – including pattern.  You will need to provide your own fabric but I’ll advise you what you’ll need when you book. (Hint: duvet covers make great PJ’s!)

Travel, meals and accomodation are not included. There will be a break for lunch, and opportunities for short breaks throughout the day.

Limited places remaining.  Book here

(For enquiries, contact  or 0773 939 7369)


Useful links:

I’ll be covering both of these topics in the course but you might want to have a wee read before then:

Making your mark – A guide to fabric marking tools

What pattern size am I? – how to choose the correct size


Studio 6.03A St Margaret's House, 151 London Road
Sixth Floor
St. Margaret’s House, 151 London Road


How to find St Margarets House