Dressmaking for beginners and improvers (pm)

Lay dressmaking

This 10 week course is for complete beginners to dressmaking or those with some sewing experience.

You’ll learn how to make a garment of your choice using a commercial (shop bought) pattern.

The course will take you through the whole process including taking personal measurements, selecting and cutting the correct size, cutting out fabric, sewing darts, pleats and seams, inserting zips and stitching hems. Sewing machines and overlockers are available to use although you may find it useful to have your own sewing machine to continue your garment and practise sewing techniques at home.

Please come to the first class with a dressmaking pattern and fabric. It is advisable to make up a toile (practise garment) first in calico or other cheap fabric to ensure a good fit, before making up the garment in a more expensive and higher quality fashion fabric. This will also give you the chance to try out the techniques needed for your garment without worrying about mastering these on the first attempt.

Complete beginners are advised to make a simple garment such as a skirt or loose fitting / pyjama trousers. Students can contact us in advance of the course for advice.

Those with experience of using commercial patterns can bring a pattern for a garment of their choice.





24 Sep 2021


1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

What you will need

Please come to the first class with a dressmaking pattern and fabric, as well as the same amount of a cheaper fabric (such as calico) for your ‘toile’.  


If you’re a complete beginner, we recommend a simple garment such as a skirt or loose fitting / pyjama trousers. If you have some experience, feel free to bring a pattern of your choice. Please do contact us if you need advice.


You’ll also need a notebook and your sewing kit, including fabric scissors and snips, pins, quick unpick tool, hand sewing needles and thread. 


We recommend bringing your own sewing machine as it allows you to continue your garment and practise at home. In this case, please make sure you bring your power cable. You’d be amazed how often these get forgotten!


You do have the choice to use the sewing machines and overlockers provided in the studio.  

Covid precautions

Whilst we continue to live with Covid where at all possible please bring your own sewing machine and sewing kit. Resources are available on-site if necessary. Please view our Covid-19 page for the latest guidance.


Drinks and biscuits will be available but we recommend that you bring a packed lunch with you.


During all of our workshops photographs are taken for promotional purposes only. Please make us aware at the time of booking if you would prefer not to be included.

Julia Hincks


Julia Hincks

Julia is a teacher, author and lover of yarn and fabric crafts. After completing a degree in Business and Management, Julia qualified as a mathematics teacher at Cambridge University in 2001 and has worked in education ever since, teaching at schools and colleges across Sussex. Julia has always sewn, knitted and crocheted and in 2006 she completed a Diploma in Art and Design, specialising in Fashion and Pattern Cutting. In 2008 Julia began teaching creative crafts to adults at City College in Brighton and has also worked at a number of other adult education centres in the city. In 2014 her first book 'The Overlocker Technique Manual' was published and has become a bestselling craft book. Her second book 'The Coverstitch Technique Manual' will be released in September 2021. You can find more about Julia and her latest projects on her website at www.juliahincks.com and www.houseofmisssew.com

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