The Sewing Workshop - Hillcroft (Hillcroft Campus, Surbiton)

This course is for beginners trying something new, or for those returning to the subject and wanting to improve their skills in a relaxed workshop setting.

You can enjoy working on a project from a pattern to match your ability or maybe upcycling, mending or repurposing clothes. You can indulge in meeting people in a unique creative setting, and enjoy conversing with other students and get inspiration from each other as you work.

Course Content

This is a project-based course which will provide you with a thorough introduction to the general principles and skills of clothes making using a purchased pattern and/or upcycling clothes by mending or repurposing.

In the first lesson, you will be shown how to thread up and use the sewing machine and make some simple samples to get you started, and then it is up to you which direction your project takes you.
You should be able to complete at least one project in the 6-week term.

The tutor will introduce the sewing machine to you and the functions through demonstrations. You will then learn to thread up and use your own individual John Lewis sewing machine in class and practice straight stitch, following guides. You will also learn zig zag stitch, sewing corners, back stitch and how to sew a basic seam before you move on to start your own project.

Course Outcomes

Know how to thread and set up the sewing machine and identify and use sewing equipment
Be competent in using the sewing machine for basic stitches
Use practical sewing skills for sewing basic seams with neatened raw edges- flat straight seams, flat closed seams
Sew corner and curved seams
Produce stitched sewing samples on calico for future reference.
Take body measurements & adapt pattern
Lay-up and cut out your sewing pattern.
Use sewing techniques to construct your garment which may include Darts, invisible zip, machine or hand stitched hems
fit your garment and alter if required, (with tutor assistance).
Understand the process of making or altering a garment or home furnishing piece from the pattern to finished article/garment
Press and finish all the samples you have made including under pressing your garment through making up and top press the finished garment

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 31st August prior to the course start date.

This course is for complete beginners through to intermediate students who already have some skills.
Please note this course it not suitable for advanced students.

First Class Requirements

All equipment will be provided.
If you want to bring your own sewing machine, you will need to contact the tutor prior to the course starting to see if that is workable.

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 drop in to our main reception area.