A person is guiding orange fabric through a sewing machine

About Introduction to Sewing & Dressmaking (TE104 Summer)

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, skirt or dress.

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, skirt or dress 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
  • Create a custom pattern and learn how to make a garment to fit yourself.
  • Using sewing equipment safely
  • Precision and accuracy when sewing
  • Introduced to sustainable fashion design, customisation and bringing new life to old clothes.

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 beginners. Beginners may be completely new to sewing or may not have done it for some time and will be taught all the basics.

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

During the Summer Term, April 2025, this course may be affected by building work taking place at MAC. Participants will be notified in advance of any updates.

Dates and times

  • April – July 2025