Level 1 - Complete Beginner

Complete beginners - Intro to dressmaking - 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 sewer over 6 consecutive sessions. Each week you will learn a new skill that will build up a portfolio of essential sewing techniques. These will help you to create your very first garment at the end of the course.

Running Time
6pm - 9pm

About this workshop

In week 1 you will learn how to use our sewing machines and how to sew simple seams and hems.

In week 2 you will focus on fabric; learning about grainlines, pressing and finishing seams and key terminology. You will also practise facings and darts, understanding their uses and construction.

In week 3 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). You will also practise sleeve insertions and learn about different types of sleeves as well as bias binding finishes.

In week 4 you will focus on understanding a sewing pattern and cutting out your top.

Finally, in weeks 5 & 6 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.

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 info@guthrie-ghani.co.uk 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)
  • An A0 print out of the PDF pattern - Helen's Closet Ashton Top & Sleeve Expansion Pack
  • Fusible interfacing to complete your top
  • Fabric packs to practise each technique
  • Information handouts for each technique and a folder to keep them all together to create a little portfolio of your work that can be 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 are also suitable - please get in touch to check before hand or use the fabric focus session to get advice on fabrics that are available to use in the shop. 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 order ahead.
  • Matching thread

Dee Cain

When Dee's parents realised that she adored all things sewing related, they gave her an electric sewing machine for her 9th birthday and her first sewing teacher was her dear mum who just happened to be a seamstress.

Dee has had a lengthy career in the clothing industry working as a sample machinist, sample cutter, pattern drafter and bridal alteration specialist before she decided to become a mature student and study for a BSc in Clothing Management and Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Valuable teaching experience was gained as a visiting tutor for BA fashion students at Birmingham City University. In 2017 she also taught in Haiti as the lead tutor for an oversees aid work charity (LVE Haiti) where she successfully set up a sewing school.

Hobbies include sewing her own tailored clothes, knitting baby cardigans, travelling to tropical destinations, shopping and going to the gym.

Charlotte Stacey

Charlotte is a fashion and textiles lecturer with experience of teaching a variety of levels and age groups. She graduated with a BA (hons) Fashion Design from Middlesex University London in 2014 and is currently studying a Masters in Textiles for Fashion in 2019 at Birmingham City University. She is interested in pattern making and garment construction and works freelance making bespoke clothing for clients and sample collections for small clothing companies. Charlotte believes that sewing and textiles should be accessible to everyone as it can contribute positively to wellbeing and confidence.

Dates & Times

  • Monday Evening Class Fully Booked
    Starts on

    • Please note the later finish time for this class