pinterest image for dressmaking workshop board

Anyone who knows me will know that this is a bit of a poke at my husband who really is a scientist! When he starts telling me about his day, I start to think “huh – what is he talking about? but he takes the time to explain it to me, puts it into real-world language and it suddenly makes sense to me. 

I can understand where some might think the same about dressmaking as it can be shrouded in mystery words and techniques but using our easy, relaxed but can-do attitude towards learning, we will work with you ensure that you learn a modern, more relaxed approach to dressmaking from the ground up. 

This is a multi-session workshop, and the cost includes EVERYTHING – even a sewing machine if needed – as well a 16-page workbook created just for this workshop and samples where required. You will make a top from the independent pattern company Colette Patterns called York– which is a great top to start with as you can modify it for so many different looks. 

Please note: Both evening and day sessions cover the same information, the information below is for a daytime session (or three sessions) which would be altered to four sessions for the evening workshop.

Session 1: – You won’t need a sewing machine for this session as much of what this session is about knowledge intake and pattern preparation before you start. In this session, we will be:

  • Showing you around the various patterns that are available for you to use (mainstream ones like Butterick and New Look, Independent labels, free ones from magazines as well as PDF downloads from the internet) and the plusses and minuses of using these each type of pattern.
  • Talking about how to understand taking correct measurements and if you would like, take your set for reference.
  • Using the Colette Laurel Top pattern, you will be given a demonstration on basic pattern tracing techniques using American craft paper.
  • Talking about fabric for your pattern and how to pick the correct fabric for your pattern. We will discuss fabric preparation and show you how to layout and cut your the fabric as per your pattern instructions.
You will have a full set of instructions and information for all the areas that we cover (we even give you a little notebook to take notes!).
We provide the fabric for your project (a cotton lawn weight) and try to pick a range of fabrics to choose from but this can be the hardest part as everyone has personal tastes that we can’t, with the best knowledge in the world, accommodate for. If you have a specific fabric you would like to use – or are keen to purchase your own – we can give you advice that is suitable for these projects. But please don’t feel you have to purchase anything as again, we provide it!
Session number 2 – This is where the magic begins! We will:
  • Review last weeks session and a quick Q and A session.
  • Discuss piecing techniques for ensuring pain-free construction of your garment.
  • Learn how to insert a zipper (how to know what zipper to use, how to shorten a zipper that is too long, explain the importance of a zipper foot and how to change it and then simple insertion techniques)
  • Use your pattern instructions, and be guided as you start to piece your garment together.
  • Discuss the importance of double bias binding to the construction of your garment. You will also be shown how to make bias binding for your garment.
  • Add the bias binding to your sleeves and neckline.

Session number 3 and 4 – Making sure you get a great finish for your top (or how to surprise people when you tell them that you made it!) We will:

  • Use the “easing” technique for simple and easy insertion of sleeves.
  • Conduct final piecing of your garment.
  • Discuss where you can make basic alterations to your top to help get a better fit.
  • We can answer any questions and give advice on moving forward with choosing a pattern; the Studio has a collection of patterns and pattern books that you can borrow free of charge to trace your next project from.

Skill Level: Enthusiastic Beginner (not sure if you are an enthusiastic beginner? We like you to be able to sew straight and not be afraid to ask questions. But if you want to make sure you are set up to take this workshop, why not sign up for our All You Need to Know to Sew workshop?)

Course Availability: Daytimes & Evenings

Fee and what this includes: 127.00 and this includes everything you will need to take this workshop (we can even lend you a sewing machine if required), coffee/tea and a home made snack.


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Thanks for visiting The Make & Do Studio website. We'd love to hear from you. If you'd like to attend one of our workshops, but have a query, or have anything else you want to chat about, please contact us here.