Dressmaking course


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Dressmaking Course

The Dressmaking Course is always a popular event in my Summer School schedule.  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, or where you’re going wrong.  If you’d like to learn to make your own clothes, but are struggling to get started, or would like to improve your techniques, then this short course will give you a great foundation.

Wednesday 24 July – Friday 26 July 2024  10am – 4pm each day

Course Description

Commercial paper pattern sizes bear no relation to shop-bought, and all those fabrics to choose from?

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.

I’ll give you suggestions for easy patterns to start with if you’re not sure what to choose.  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,  to sew neat accurate seams and to be aware of the various edge-neatening methods.

Please check here before booking as once purchased, tickets are non-refundable.

Who is the Dressmaking Course aimed at:

  • Anyone who has recently started to sew and would like to make clothes but don’t know where to start
  • New-ish dressmakers who would like some help to  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

Important Note: Dressmaking classes are to learn garment construction techniques, not for teaching you to sew.  You will need to be confident using a machine, i.e. know how to wind bobbins and thread up, be aware of various types of seams and hems, and know which method is most appropiate, and be know how to finish the raw edges.  Experience in inserting zips and making buttonholes is also advisable (it’s not recommended trying these techniques in a ‘live’ garment for the first time!) If you are not competent using a sewing machine or have got a bit rusty, please take one of my foundation-level courses or my Refresher class.

What will I learn?

For novices, how to use commercial paper patterns and learn garment-construction techniques. if you’ve already done a bit of clothing, then I’ll share my tips and techniques to improve the fit and finish of your home sewing so it looks ‘handmade’ not ‘homemade’.

  • 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

You may have time to make 2 or more pieces, depending on difficulty and your own sewing skills. There will be some structured tutorials too over the 3 days with plenty practical time.

Total 15 hours

Course Arrangements

You’ll need to provide your choice of paper pattern and your fabric and other materials required to complete your garment(s).  You’ll also need your basic sewing kit of fabric shears, paper scissors, pins, quick unpick, tape measure, and fabric marking pencils/pens. 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: £215 –   You will need to provide your own pattern and fabric. I’ll advise you what you’ll need when you book.

Travel, meals and accommodation are not included.

There will be a break for lunch, and opportunities for short breaks throughout the day.

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

Where to buy fabric in Edinburgh:

Fabric Focus

The Dress Fabric Company

Edinburgh Fabrics

I have a selection of scissors, fabric marking pens etc in my studio shop at less then RRP or you can buy them in other places. Here’s where you can buy sewing equipment: Hobbycrafts, The Range, Fabric Focus, Edinburgh Fabrics, Dunelm Mill.


Wednesday 24/07/2024 - Friday 26/07/2024    
10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Artisan Stitch ( St Margaret's House)
Studio 6.03A St Margaret's House, 151 London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 6AE
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This event is fully booked.