Event Information

An introduction to the techniques of sewing. 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 that individual step alone with additional support as required. Having completed a series of samples you will be able to 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)

(Students will be given paper resources to take away to explain the techniques being taught)

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 (top, dress or jumpsuit) that you can wear and a complete pattern to your size to use again. You should 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 and improvers. 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. 

The course is accessible for people with disabilities who can undertake practical sewing activities including operating a sewing machine and using an iron. A support worker or a carer may assist. Carers must book a complimentary ticket if attending a course to provide support. The room is wheelchair accessible. Please contact us to discuss your specific situation and needs.

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 pay at Sales and Information prior to your course and testing will take place at the start of the first class. 

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, EU fabrics, Barry’s fabric, fancy silk store and large supermarkets. Please contact us for more information.

Folder: £1.00-£3.00

Cotton fabric: £1.00-£3.00 per metre (2.5 metres required)


Hand sewing needles: £1.00

Thread: 60p-£1.00

Tape measure: £1.00-£1.50

Stitch ripper: £1.00-£1.50 

Pins: £1.00

Scissors (large and small): £1.00-£3.00

Pens/ pencils/ ruler: £1.00 

Tailors chalk: £1.00-£3.00

Who teaches this course?

Charlotte Stacey

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Dates & Times

    Introduction to Sewing and Dressmaking (TE103 Spring)