Level 1 - Complete Beginner

Complete beginners - Introduction to dressmaking course- 6 sessions

Are you new to sewing and would love to make your own clothes? Or did you sew many years ago and are looking for a skills refresher? This workshop will take you from a total novice to a proud sewist over 6 consecutive sessions. Each week you will learn a new skill that will build up a portfolio of essential sewing techniques and help you to create your very first garment throughout the course.

Running Time
6pm - 9pm

About this workshop

Throughout the 6 weeks you will learn

  • How to use our sewing machines and how to sew simple seams and hems.
  • How to understand grainlines, pressing and finishing seams and key terminology.
  • How to sew facings and darts, understanding their uses and construction.
  • How to insert a sleeve and learn about different types of sleeves as well as bias binding finishes.
  • How to understand a sewing pattern
  • How to cut out fabric pieces using the commercial sewing pattern
  • Throughout the 6 weeks you will sew your first garment; a woven top using the popular Ashton Top from Helen's Closet. This pattern is very versatile, and you will have the option to make a sleeveless version, or use the Sleeve Expansion Pack to include a variety of sleeve options. The pattern comes in Size Range: 0-30 (up to a 58″ / 147.5 cm bust). You will need to select the choice between a B-cup pattern from sizes 0-22, and a D-cup pattern from sizes 12-30.
  • In week 2 we will be holding a session based in the shop where an experienced member of the team will talk about different types of fabrics and their uses and you will have the opportunity to purchase the fabric for your final garment with some help and guidance. (This will take place at the start of the class, so please note the slightly later finish time).

Please note that due to time restrictions, you will be unable to complete the Petal Sleeve option, or add pockets to your top.

PLEASE NOTE - If the class is showing as fully booked, please contact us on [email protected] and we can check availability. Sometimes we can experience a glitch in the website where the workshop appears as fully booked when it is not. We are fixing it as soon as possible.

Further Information

  • How to set up a sewing machine
  • Basic stitches including straight and zigzag
  • Simple seams, seam allowances and key sewing terminology
  • How to create a hem
  • How to finish seam allowances
  • The theory behind darts and facings; why they are used
  • How to apply interfacing and what it is used for
  • How to understitch and clip seam allowances
  • How to insert a sleeve
  • How to create different types of bias tape finishes
  • How to understand the back of a sewing pattern and select your size
  • How to layout and cut your pattern
  • Techniques for transferring pattern markings
  • And much, much more!

Level 1 - no experience required, total beginners welcome!

  • 20% discount on supplies required for the workshop (fabric & notions)
  • 10% off any other fabrics/Prym haberdashery purchased during Week 3 at the shop talk
  • An A0 print out of the PDF pattern - Helen's Closet Ashton Top & Sleeve Expansion Pack (US Sizes 0-30, bust 31"-58", waist 24"-48", hips 33"-58") If you fall out of the size range of the pattern included, please let us know in advance and we can arrange an alternative for you
  • Fusible interfacing to complete your top
  • Fabric packs to practise each technique
  • Electronic handouts for each technique, to referred back to in the future
  • Use of all top Prym tools, equipment and Brother sewing machines
  • Tea/coffee and biscuits
  • 1.1m - 1.6m light to medium weight woven fabric such as cotton lawn or voile. Some medium weight cottons or linen cotton blends are also suitable - The quantity of fabric will depend upon the size you make, and also the sleeve option you choose. This will be discussed in more detail during week 2 of your course. At the beginning of week 3 class, you will have a "fabric focus" session where you will have the opportunity to purchase your fabric with your 20% discount. It is advisable to purchase fabric prior to attending the course so that you can pre-wash the fabric to account for shrinkage, so it is best to purchase on week three, or if you want it before then call the store on 0121 449 8419 for some advice from the g&g team.
  • Matching thread

Dee Cain

Dee has always had a keen interest in sewing and at the age of 9 she was taught to sew by her mum.As a teenager, Dee used her sewing skills to make fashionable schools skirts for herself and her friends.

After secondary education Dee knew that she wanted her career to be sewing related so studied for industry qualifications and worked in many areas of clothing production.

Having chosen to become a sewing tutor in 2017, Dee is keen to embed good sewing practices into beginners so that their work is always of a high standard and they can be proud of their sewing skills.

Dates & Times

  • Complete beginners - Intro to dressmaking - 6 sessions £250
    Starts on

    • Please note the later finish time of 9.30pm due to the Week 2 fabrics talk.

    • Please note, no session next week (6/5/24)**Bank Holiday Monday**