Clothesmaking - Absolute Beginners

Have you always wanted to make your own clothes?
On our exciting, practical course you will become confident in making garments to fit. You will learn how to use the sewing machine other tools to their best potential.

If you are a total beginner, you'll reach a high level of competence by following a group project using a commercial pattern, plus choosing fabrics that compliment you.

If you have a little clothesmaking experience, you will have the opportunity to join in with the group project or work on your own project, and to learn the skills necessary to refit and restyle purchased garments.

If you are an intermediate/ advanced level clothesmaker, you should enrol on one of our Intermediate – Advanced courses to get the best learning experience.

Course Content

Course aims:

• You will learn how to calculate your correct dress size.
• You will copy your chosen pattern and calculate fabric required.
• You will ‘Lay-up’ and cut out your sewing pattern.
• You will construct basic straight seams, curved clipped seams and bust darts.
• You will neaten raw edges.
• You will insert a concealed zip.
• You will construct styling features such as; tucks, gathers or piped seams.
• You will fit your garment and alter if required, (with tutor assistance).
• You will learn how to do blind stitch or machine hems.

More experienced learners:
• You can change and alter the original design; by attaching lace, inserting contrasting fabric, adding a half or full lining, inserting different sleeves.
• If you are a returning learner you can also discuss your aims with your tutor and come up with some achievable personal targets for the course.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for this course you must be 19 or over on the start date of the course.

All levels welcome.

First Class Requirements

Basic Sewing kit and notebook.

Attendance Requirements

Regular attendance is recommended to ensure you gain maximum benefit from the course.

Assessment Methods

Observation of practice and question and answer during group and 1:1 discussions.

Further Study Options

We have lots of great courses where you can progress your skills, eg further Clothesmaking, Pattern Cutting, or Fashion design classes to enhance learning and extend knowledge.

Additional Information

As a result of the government’s closure of schools and colleges, some of our courses will be delivered through remote learning including video conferencing, (using Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams) and email contact with your tutor.

If your course is indicated as an ONLINE COURSE, you will need either a PC (with a camera and microphone), laptop, tablet, smartphone and access to the internet to be able to join the lessons. Lessons will run at the published time – so be ready and set up to join in.

We hope you will enjoy this new approach to learning – many of our learners have commented on how they are enjoying the classes and have improved their IT and digital skills in the process.

Please don't worry if some of this is new to you - you are not alone! See here for guidance on how to use our simple software. If you are experiencing any problems with connection or installing software for your online class please contact our learning resource team on We are here to help you.

Additional costs: Commercial pattern, fabric and haberdashery. It really is not necessary to have your own sewing machine although some students will have access to one. The course includes a discussion and information about a variety of machines: servicing, repairing, exchanging and buying second hand and new.

If you require further course information or advice and guidance that is not answered in this outline, please email