Clothesmaking for Beginners

As an absolute beginner you will be shown how to use the sewing machine and join in the group projects of a cushion cover and bag before moving on to an A line skirt to your measurements. You will use a commercial pattern, plus choose a fabric that compliments you.

Working from a simple pattern, you will be guided step by step through choosing the right pattern size, adapting the pattern to your measurements, laying out your pattern pieces and cutting out the fabric. You will learn sewing techniques such as seams, zips, waist facings and hems to produce the skirt in a fabric of your choice. You will fit your skirt during the making up process.

With individual use of your own or a college Bernina sewing machine, the tutor will guide you through how to use the sewing machine and the basic sewing techniques used in making up a cushion cover, tote bag and skirts. Seams will include Plain opened, Closed, French and Welt, darts; zips plus waist finishes and hems. Pressing and finishing will also be covered. You will have the opportunity to practise to make up a skirt sample within the class, using techniques learnt.

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

Course Content

By the end of this course you should be able to:

Know how to use the sewing machine.
Press and finish all the samples you have made.
Sew corner and curved seams.
Use practical sewing skills for making seams.
Put in a zip.
Sew on a waist facing.
Hand and machine hems.
Produce a range of sewing samples for future reference.
Demonstrate sewing techniques used in the making up of cushion covers, bags and skirts.

Safety Information
We want to keep you safe while you are at RHACC and as such all on-site classes will have additional hygiene procedures in place, as per government guidelines. Please note that if guidance changes, we may need to make changes to your course, such as reducing numbers attending onsite, or in the event of lockdown, postponing or moving the course online. Please act responsibly and do not attend the class if you display any of the symptoms of Covid-19 or have been in recent contact with someone who has. Please see government advice here.

Entry Requirements

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

First Class Requirements

Is there anything I need to bring?

Bring a notebook and pen to keep your notes in and a small folder or plastic sleeve for any handouts. Also a sewing kit with fabric scissors, tape measure, unpicker, pins and needles in.

For the first class you will need to bring half metre of fabric suitable for a cushion cover so nothing stretchy or silky that I difficult to work with. Try a cotton fabric and please bring a full size thread to match

For the second class you will need 1 metre of fabric suitable for a bag. Again, it should not be stretchy or silky and you will need a full size thread to match

You will be advised re the skirt fabric once in the class.

Additional Information

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

If you would like general information about the college, for example, fees & finance, funding, term dates or opening times please email drop in to our main reception area.

For information on course fees and how to get additional help to pay for them look at our How to Pay for Your Course section.


Remote Learning:
Some of our courses are now delivered through remote learning, including video conferencing (using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype) 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 eLearning support team via the Student Intranet Portal: We are here to help you.