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Clothesmaking - beginners/improvers

Our friendly classes are aimed at learners of all experience levels and will introduce and develop all the key skills & processes you need to know, to enable you to make your own clothes to a professional standard. These include: cutting out, piecing together, fitting, stitching, pressing, the correct and safe use of tools and equipment, understanding and adapting commercially bought patterns and choosing garment styles and suitable fabrics. You will sample a variety of techniques throughout the course, in addition to working on a garment of your choice- in a 10 week class, complete beginners will be able to complete at least one simple dress, top, skirt or trousers. Improvers & returning learners should be able to move on to more complex garments, potentially using different fabrics & construction techniques.

Clothesmaking - beginners/improvers (TFD0396GP)


from 12. 30pm to 3pm

For 10 weeks.


19 September 2019


28 November 2019


Grove Park Adult Education Centre
333 335 Baring Road
Se12 0dz


£144 (full)

£75.50 (reduced)

£75.50 (concession)

Enrol now

To enrol call 020 8314 6959 Monday to Thursday 10am–4pm. More ways to enrol

Call: 020 8314 6959

What prior knowledge, experience and qualifications will I need?
No prior knowledge is needed- this course is planned for learners with all levels of ability from complete beginners through to those with more advanced skills. It would be an advantage (but is not essential) for learners with no sewing machine experience to attend a short machine skills course prior to enrolling onto this. Maths using addition, subtraction and multiplication are required on this course in order to make calculations for a variety of projects. English reading skills are essential to be able to interpret patterns and follow technical instructions. Learners are, therefore, expected to have at least Entry Level standard in Maths and English. Before enrolling, please contact the curriculum leader if you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the course for you.

Learning Goals:
To be able to adapt a commercial pattern to your personal measurements. To sample and use a range of professional techniques. To understand how to use specialist tools and equipment correctly and safely. To be able to progress or complete a garment of your choice to a good standard, as applicable.

What teaching methods will the tutor use?
The tutor will use a range of methods during the course to ensure that your skills are developed, and these will include demonstration - both group and individual, one to one tuition, and discussion.

What assessment methods will the tutor use?
The course tutor will use a range of methods to assess progress on the course. These may include: Observation, completion of an Individual Learning Plan which will be updated regularly, evaluation of work samples, question and answer sessions.

Will extra work be required outside the class times?
Extra work is not essential but will enable learners to practice techniques and progress their projects at a faster pace.

What materials will I need for the course and how much will they cost?
You will need to bring a Basic Sewing Kit to include dressmaking pins, needles, tape measure, fabric cutting out scissors, 1-2 small reels of good quality polyester sewing thread (if you are buying these items from scratch they will cost approximately £25-30). You will also need to purchase a commercial garment pattern (costing approx. £7-12), and fabric & trimmings to make the garment of your choice- these will vary in price according to the quantity and type of materials purchased.

What do I need to bring to the first class?
Please bring along your sewing kit (as above), pen, pencil, notebook and an A4 folder or wallet would be useful for storing samples and notes. A phone/camera would also be useful to record ideas & technique demonstrations. Complete beginners should attend the first class session before purchasing your stretch fabric and pattern- and the tutor will discuss this & advise you on what is recommended to buy for week 2. It is not possible for learners to bring along their own sewing machines.

Options when finished
The department offers a wide variety of fashion and textile courses at different levels. Information about progression courses is available through the tutor, the Curriculum Leader or the online Adult Learning Lewisham programme. There are also a range of courses at a higher level offered across London and the South East by Colleges, Community and Adult Education providers and through local craftspeople. For more information about higher level courses currently available, please speak to your tutor or the Curriculum Leader.

Additional information
Please note that using commercially bought garment patterns is essential on this course - it does not cover either freehand cutting techniques or pattern making. The course fee includes a small contribution towards basic course sampling materials & sundries, and maintenance of tools & equipment.

For general enquiries and course availability information call 0208 314 3300. For more detailed information and guidance about the course:

Go back to adult education coursesClothesmaking and tailoring