Dressmaking for Confident Beginners (Sat AM)

Date(s) - 11/04/2020 - 30/05/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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Jane Austen College

Dressmaking for Confident Beginners

This is a class for anyone who has already completed the Beginners dressmaking class or already has a good working knowledge of using a sewing machine and is fairly confident with the basics skills of dressmaking

  • Know how to operate your sewing machine.
  • Understand and read a pattern.
  • Know how to measure your body to get the best fit.
  • Know how to prepare cloth, cut a pattern and make dressmaking marks.
  • Understand how to hem and sew straight seams.
  • Have a working knowledge of sewing lingo.

On this eight week course, you will learn how to further develop your sewing knowledge and skills by making a dress with full guidance and support from your tutor. Making a dress will help you learn many techniques that you can then apply when making blouses and skirts so it’s a fabulous starting point for creating lots of different garments. During the course you will learn how to:

  • develop your knowledge of how to read a pattern and choose the right fabric for a project.
  • sew invisible zips, neat hems, darts and pleats.
  • Adapt a pattern so that it fits.
  • insert sleeves into a bodice.
  • use sewing techniques such as stay stitching and under stitching to give your garment a professional finish.
  • how to use interfacing, create facings or line your dress.
  • use hand sewing techniques in dressmaking.
  • add in-seam pockets if the pattern you choose requires them.

For the dressmaking course you will need to bring:

  • a sewing machine
  • thread
  • tape measure * fabric and paper scissors
  • pins or pattern weights * tailors chalk or dressmaking pens
  • notebook and pen * seam ripper

In the first week we will be practicing darts and inserting zips so please bring some plain fabric and two zips (you can pick these up at charity shops for practicing rather than using expensive ones).

If you could also bring the dress pattern that you would like to make so you can be given any advice about fabric choices and notions to buy so you have these bought and ready for week two of the course. Please choose a pattern that has a separate bodice and skirt (not a dress cut in one like a long tunic) and that has sleeves too.

About the tutor

Lisa Smith-Clare is a self-taught dressmaker, with over thirty years experience. She studied Textile design initially before an English degree and then a career in Further Education teaching. Sewing is Lisa’s passion, she has always been a highly creative person and wears the vintage inspired clothes she has made everyday. She has a creative business Bobo Bun, where she sells vintage inspired accessories and takes on clothing commissions. Through her blog and instagram page the opportunity to make garments and review them for fabric companies came about. Lisa also teaches dressmaking at The Makeplace in Norwich.