Clothesmaking for Beginners (Hillcroft) (Hillcroft Campus, Surbiton)

Ever felt like you cannot find the clothes you would like to wear in the shops? This 6-week beginner?s sewing course is the first step in creating your own clothing, textile products and accessories. You will be taught the skills to start making simple items such as a Tote bag, a small zipper bag and a simple top.

The course begins with understanding the sewing machine, its parts, and functions, and then moving on to learn how to sew straight seams, zig zag stitch, and how to attach a zip. After this course you will be able to use a sewing machine, understand how to construct simple accessories and receive an introduction to working with commercial patterns.

Course Content

The tutor will introduce you the sewing machine, the names for the various parts and their functions. The college has John Lewis sewing machines for you to use, but feel free to bring your own in with you, please contact the tutor if this is something you would like to do.

Once competent on the machine you will be taught how to make a simple tote bag and then move on to making a small zipper bag. You will also learn zig zag stitch, sewing corners, back stitch and how to sew a basic seam. Lastly you will be introduced to dress patterns, the terminologies of pattern instructions, understanding seam allowance, and will then make your own first pattern following clear instruction from the tutor.

Course Outcomes

Know how to thread and set up the sewing machine, identify components and use the sewing equipment confidently.

Be competent in using the sewing machine for basic stitches

Such as single line and zig zag, following guides and pivot needle at corners.

Produce stitched sewing samples on calico for future reference.

Be able to use sewing equipment safely.

In keeping with professional working practice, the last 15 minutes of each session will be used to clean up your work space.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for this course you must be 19 or over on 31st August prior to the course start date.

This course is for beginners.

First Class Requirements

All equipment will be provided.

You can bring your own sewing machine but this will need to be PAT tested by the Estates Team before it can be used on site. You will need to contact the tutor prior to the course starting to confirm you plan to bring your own sewing machine.

All learners will receive a health and safety induction in alignment with their course. Learners are advised to wear closed toe shoes and to dress appropriately.

Assessment Methods

Q&A, observations, PLPs, practical sessions using specialist classroom facilities to build a body of coursework and different outcomes that incorporate new techniques and processes.

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 or drop in to our main reception area.