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Clothesmaking & tailoring workshop - beginners/improvers

Beginners to garment making will learn key skills & processes in garment construction- including cutting out, piecing together, fitting, stitching, pressing, the correct and safe use of tools and equipment, understanding and adapting commercially bought patterns & choosing styles and suitable fabrics. You will sample a variety of techniques throughout the course and in a 5 week class you should, for example, be able to complete a very simple dress, top, skirt or unstructured trousers. Learners with considerably more experience may opt to make a more structured garment such as a formal shirt, pair of trousers or lined skirt- and these can potentially be achieved in a 5 week class, particularly if you are able to work on these between the sessions. More complex garments such as jackets or coats will naturally require considerably longer to complete. Emphasis will be placed on pattern adaptation & fitting, as well as ideas for creating professional finishes for garments using traditional and modern techniques, including how and where to use canvas & fusible interfacings to create structure.

Clothesmaking & tailoring workshop - beginners/improvers (TFD231SBR)


from 7. 30pm to 9. 30pm

For 5 weeks.


21 April 2020


19 May 2020


Brockley Rise Centre
Brockley Rise
Crofton Park
Se23 1pr


£73 (full)

£73 (reduced)

£73 (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?
This course is planned for learners with all levels of ability from complete beginners through to those with more experience. Learners with no sewing machine experience may wish to attend a short machine skills course prior to enrolling onto this, but this is not essential. 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 your individual progress and achievement of your personal project work- including observation and discussion of your work, and evaluation of work samples and completed projects.

Will extra work be required outside the class times?
Extra work outside of the sessions 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 fabric and pattern- and the tutor will discuss this & advise you on what is recommended to buy for week 2.

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
Learners are encouraged to attend as many of these short courses as they wish- but please be aware that you will need to enrol onto each class individually and these are available on a first come first served basis. 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