Summer School: Better Dressmaking

Wednesday 01/09/2021 - Friday 03/09/2021
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Booking is currently closed
Prices : £210.00

Summer School: Better Dressmaking

Better Dressmaking: Learn tips and techniques to make your home sewing look less – well – ‘homemade’

Wednesday 1 – Friday 3 Sep 2021   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.

I’ve observed a few areas where many home dressmakers commonly struggle, and rolled them all up into my popular 1-day class ‘Improve your dressmaking’. But the Summer school Better Dressmaking is a 3-day extended version of that. It’s packed with 3 times as many tips and tricks to help you improve the fit and finish of your home dressmaking projects. So you 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 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’.

I’ve been sewing since I was a child (and that’s a lot of years’ experience!). During that time, I’ve made every mistake in the book and learnt how to avoid them. Now you can benefit from my mistakes and learn to sew like a pro as I share my expert tips. I wish I’d known all this stuff when I started to sew.

Artisan Stitch holds a Certificate of Excellence and is rated ‘Best sewing classes’ in Edinburgh. They won the UK Enterprise award for Best Sewing classes 2020.

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, had 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 bring your own if you have one. Please remember your power cable/foot control, spare needles, feet, instruction manual

You will need your basic sewing kit of: fabric shears, paper scissors and small trimming/embroidery scissors, pins, tape measure (cm), chalk pencils or fabric marking pens, notebook.

Cost £210 (includes fabrics, zip, interfacing etc)

Travel, meals and accommodation are not included.

Useful links:

If you need a new sewing machine or any sewing equipment or accessories, then my trusted and recommended specialist retailer is Pembertons.

One of the topics I’ll cover in the course is sewing machine tension, but here’s a wee note that you might like to read beforehand.


Studio 6.03A St Margaret's House, 151 London Road

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This event is fully booked.