Dressmaking - Beginners

Dressmaking - Beginners

A beginners dressmaking course that covers the core skills in garment construction, such as:


 Introduction to the sewing machine

 Dressmaking terminology and working from a commercial sewing pattern

 Learning how to take correct measurements

 Garment construction techniques

 Depending in the progression and the learner's pace, one or more basic garments may be produced.


What you will need to bring:

  • Students will need to bring their own sewing machine to each lesson, (and manual if there is one).
  • Note pad and pen
  • Sewing equipment and tools, eg, fabric scissors, needles, pins, seam ripper, tape measure, tailors chalk.
  • Scrap fabric for test pieces, (can be an old sheet etc)


Sewing machine advice


Mini sewing machines don't have all the functions needed for the course, so they would need a full size machine.  John Lewis sell a basic machines for around £89.  They're nothing fancy but they do everything they need to do.


The Hobbycraft  machine wouldn't be suitable, its designed more for patchwork. The basic functions that are needed are forward and backward stitch, zigzag stitch and a button hole function. A local sewing machine shop called Sew Creative on Kings St. sells second hand machines as well as new, they also offer advise and free trials for which sewing machines is best for what you want to do.


Other haberdashery items, such as zips or elastic etc, are required but will be advised by the tutor during the course.


Learning Outcomes


  • How to choose and read a paper sewing pattern, and choose suitable fabrics for their sewing projects.
  • How to set up and thread and competently use a sewing machine
  • To be familiar with certain fabrics and finishes
  • How to sew seams, hems and closures, pockets, elasticated waistbands, etc
  • Be able to confidently construct a basic item of clothing following a commercial paper sewing pattern instructions.


Please note: It is not possible for students to change booked sessions around in the event of non-attendence or arriving late to class. This imposes other students' enjoyment in the class and it stretches the tutor further than necessary, impacting on the quality and structure of the teaching.


If we start to allow students to alternate the days in which they attend the course it becomes very difficult to keep track of. Please only come to the lessons you are booked on to. As the course is packed full of vital information, we would encourage students to attend all lessons to get the best out of the course.


Your Tutor

Linda Couch Linda Hadaway is a costume designer who studied fashion design at Nene College, Northampton. She creates for the costume label 'Millie Maybe', making vintage inspired stage outfits. Her work includes costumes for cabaret and burlesque performers, theatre shows, historical costumes and children's fancy dress. She has also taught dressmaking at Sawston Village College, Swavesey Village College and Impington Village College.


Tuition fees: £115.00
Materials Costs: £0.00
Total Cost: £115.00


No. of sessions: 8

Day Date Times
Thu 03/10/2019 18:30-21:00
Thu 10/10/2019 18:30-21:00
Thu 17/10/2019 18:30-21:00
Thu 31/10/2019 18:30-21:00
Thu 07/11/2019 18:30-21:00
Thu 14/11/2019 18:30-21:00
Thu 21/11/2019 18:30-21:00
Thu 28/11/2019 18:30-21:00

Your next step

Pay by credit or debit card over the telephone. Please call the Adult Education Office on 01223 278002 Monday to Thursday 9am to 7pm and Friday 9am to 4pm during term time and Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm out of term time.

Pay by cheque, made payable to Hills Road Sixth Form College. Please send you cheque together with a completed enrolment form, which you can find by clicking on ‘How to Enrol’ on the left hand side, to the Adult Education Office, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8PE. Please enclose a SAE if you require a receipt.

Please note full refunds can only be made if a class is cancelled or closed at the discretion of the College, or if you cancel your enrolment no less than two weeks before the course starts.

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