A person is guiding orange material through a sewing machine

About Introduction to Sewing and Dressmaking (TE103 Autumn)

Learn how to use a sewing machine and use it for dressmaking and sewing techniques, before putting them to practice by making a simple top, dress or jumpsuit.

What will you learn on this course?

This course will introduce students to the simple techniques of sewing including basic seams, darts and manipulating techniques such as pleats and gathers. The tutor will give step by step demonstrations and you will be encouraged to sew alone with additional support as required. Having completed a series of samples you will apply these new skills to make a simple top, dress or jumpsuit from base patterns provided in standard graded sizes. Students will trace out the pattern and learn how to adjust it to their own size, creating a pattern for future use at home. The course covers the following:

  • How to sew and use a domestic machine
  • How to sew seams, darts, pleats, finishing techniques, pockets, collars, binding and fastenings
  • Understanding the fittings techniques used in clothes and how to toile a garment, make adjustments and adapt a pattern to fit
  • Creating different fabric manipulation techniques used in clothing
  • How to read a sewing pattern and make adjustments
  • Using sewing equipment safely
  • Precision and accuracy when sewing
  • How to make a garment to fit themselves (with a pattern to replicate the garment at home)

On completion of this course you can expect to have produced a selection of small samples that will be presented in a folder with explanations for students to take home for future sewing projects.

You will also have made a finished sewn product that you can wear and a complete pattern to your size to use again. You will feel more confident about sewing clothing in the future.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for adults aged 18+ years. It is open to students of all levels, including beginners, improvers and advanced makers. Beginners may be completely new to sewing or may not have done it for some time and will be taught all the basics. Improvers may have previous experience of sewing but want to develop their skills further by making something that they can wear and trying more advanced techniques. Lessons will be adapted suitably to the group.

At the heart of MAC is a focus on accessibility and inclusion. Please contact us to discuss your specific access needs. The room is wheelchair accessible. A support worker or carer may assist; carers must book a complimentary ticket if attending to provide support.

Do you need to bring anything?

A selection of essential sewing equipment will be provided.

You must bring a folder/plastic to store your samples and a 2.5m length of coloured cotton /linen based fabric to make your garment. (fabric is not needed during initial sessions so students can discuss with tutor’s suitability for their ideas/where to buy fabric/what kind of fabric)

We encourage you to bring your own sewing kit consisting of hand sewing needles, thread (black and white), tape measure, stitch ripper, pins, scissors (large and small), pens, pencils, ruler, tailors chalk.

If you own a sewing machine and prefer to use it, you can have it PAT tested for a cost of £5 and bring it in to use during class. Please contact us prior to the course starting so we can ensure that a suitable member of staff is on site.

Are there any additional costs?

Items listed above that you do not already have must be provided at your own expense. An indication of the cost of these items is given below. These items can be purchased from fabric and haberdashery stores, Birmingham Rag market, Barry’s fabric, fancy silk store and large supermarkets.

Who teaches this course?

Azi Zahed

Dates and times

  • September – December