As you may have gathered from my blog and Instagram page … I’m a big fan of making my own clothes! I’ve sewn since I was a child, taking textiles at GCSE and then going onto study Art and Fashion at college. However for the last 3 years I’ve made countless pieces of clothing for my wardrobe which is the most joyful hobby. It’s such a satisfying process to take a flat piece of fabric and end with a beautiful piece of clothing that you can wear again and again. Sure, you make countless mistakes and some pieces just don’t suit you … but you live and learn!
Since before lockdown started I’ve been trying to think of a way to hold beginners dressmaking workshops. I’ve never been able to form a proper plan but one thing lockdown and being furloughed has been great for is giving me time to work things out !
So here goes ! I’m at the point of being able to launch a few ‘Introduction to Dressmaking’ Zoom classes. Here’s how they will work …
I will be hosting 2 different workshops both based on Tilly and the Buttons patterns … one workshop will be making the Stevie dress/top (Size 6-24) and at the other will be focussed on the Dominque skirt (Size 6-20). The size charts below give you more information regarding measurements but just shout if you have any questions !
Both of these patterns are perfect for beginners and can be made in easy to handle fabrics such as cotton. Perfect for beginners!
A quick overview of each pattern …
The Stevie dress and top is a super cute boxy pattern that is flattering on many body shapes. It has no complicated fastenings, sleeves or fitting so is perfect to start with! I love the pattern as you can wear it back to front for a different look! As you can see below I sometimes wear it with the ties hanging down at the front. It comes in sizes 6-20.
The Dominique skirt is a simple straight skirt with an elasticated waist and pockets. Can be made in many types of fabric. You can vary the length to suit your taste. There is another variation on the pattern to make a midi skirt cut on the bias however as this is slightly trickier we will only focus on the straight version for now. This pattern comes in sizes 6-24.
You must have a sewing machine that you are able to use on the day as well as a basic understanding of using the machine. For example you must be able to thread the machine and needle, be able to sew basic running stitch and possibly zig zag. As well as being able to troubleshoot if you have any issues, I’ll be able to help to a point but obviously over zoom it is a bit trickier!
You’ll also need some basic dressmaking tools such as fabric scissors, pins, tape measure, an unpicker, threads and bobbins. You may also need a large safety pin (if you’re making the skirt) and a fabric pen or tailors chalk! If you have a rotary cutter and cutting mat you can use these to cut your fabric but don’t worry if not … fabric scissors will do the job !
With each of the workshops you’ll receive the paper pattern and tracing paper which I’ll post to you before the workshop. You’ll also have access to a pre-recorded video which will explain how you read a pattern, work out your size, trace the pattern and cut your fabric. I’ll of course be on hand via email to answer any questions you may have with this stage !
Then on the day we will be ready to go straight in with the actual sewing ! I’ll talk you though each stage, being sure to highlight certain things that you’ll find will come up again and again in dressmaking. We won’t really be focusing on the ins and outs of fitting as the 2 patterns are easy to fit, hence perfect for beginners! Instead you’ll learn about notches, finishing techniques, construction, reading pattern instructions, hemming and more …
We will spend approximately 3 hours sewing however if it takes a bit longer I’m happy to go on if it means you are happier with your finished piece !
I have decided not to include fabric in the price of the workshop for a few reasons.
1. Fabric shopping is almost better than the actual sewing itself ! So I’m giving you this joy!
2. It’s a very personal decision as I don’t want you to make a piece of clothing that ultimately you won’t wear because of the print or colour!
3. Using second hand fabric is a great way to make a sustainable wardrobe. It’s also cheaper, so go digging around your airing cupboard for old sheets or duvet covers. Maybe visit a charity shop (If they are open of course!) and source some fabric. You could also look round car boot sales, vintage shops or ask friends and family ! Older relatives may even have some vintage sheets or curtains that you could use. The possibilities are endless (ebay is also a good place to look!) !
4. You may already have some fabric that you could use !
I’ll pop some links to a few amazing fabric shops below in case you want to treat yourself to something fancy ! Just be aware that you’re first attempt may not be perfect so don’t be disappointed … I will often use a cheaper fabric to test a pattern before I make it in fancier stuff !
The workshops will be £48 per person. During this workshop you’ll make either the Stevie dress/top or the Dominique skirt.
The price includes the paper pattern, tracing paper, elastic (if you are attending the skirt workshop), the pre-recorded cutting video, 3-4 hour workshop via zoom and support via email before and after the workshop.
There will be a maximum of 3 people attending each workshop so that I can give everyone enough attention and ensure we all finish with a lovely piece for your wardrobe!
I have set some dates below however if you fancy getting together a group of friends or family I’ll be happy to discuss alternative dates. Just pop me an email to discuss!
Stevie Dress/Top Sunday 2nd August 2pm – 5pm
Dominique Skirt Tuesday 4th August 10:30am – 1:30pm
I’ve only set the 2 dates at the moment but may well add more later on into August if there’s interest!
If you’d like to book or have at questions just pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I’d love to introduce you to the wonderful world of dressmaking!