Dress Making

Ref: C3740987

Previous experience is not essential. As this is a short taster course, it will flow quite quickly so patterns will need to be simple as the aim of this course is to gain an understanding of reading, adjusting and cutting your pattern, and constructing a finished wearable garment.

Additional information about this course

This course is run by the WEA, working in partnership with East Surrey College delivering Adult Learning across the East Surrey area. This is a fee paying course. If you are in receipt of an income related benefit you may be entitled to free tuition. You will need to provide evidence of your benefit status at the first session.

Course aim

Make a simple garment. Recommended patterns include: Elasticated waist skirt, Fitted Skirt, Elasticated waist pyjama bottoms or summer trousers (same pattern but different fabric) with/without pockets

Who is the course for?

It is helpful if you can bring your own sewing machine. We do have some available to loan upon request if this is not possible. Please contact Sam Johnson 07825 112798 if you need to arrange to borrow a machine.

What topics will this course cover

Take body measurements, choose pattern size and suitable fabric, adjust pattern, cut pattern and fabric. Construct garment with/without pockets. With elasticated waist or zip closure. Seam finishes. Hemming techniques.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

Buy patterns and fabrics suitable to their ability Take accurate body measurements Adjust patterns to their own body measurements Construct a simple garment Know where to look online for further inspiration and helpful tutorials

How will I know I'm making progress?

During each session every learner will have the opportunity to have one-to-one time with the tutor. All questions are noted and discussed with the whole class.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

For the first session, please bring a notepad and pen, and measuring tape. If you have a pattern already, bring it along to discuss suitability and fabrics. Simplicity have an 'EASY' range of patterns which are ideal for this course as they are easy to read and construct, ideal for beginners. For the second session you will need your pattern, measuring tape, paper and fabric scissors, fabric. You should also have hand and machine sewing needles, coordinating thread, tailors chalk/fabric marking pens, pins, seam ripper etc. If you have any questions, please ask.

Reading and information sources

I have an online 'classroom' for everyone taking this course which has downloadable hints, tips, information sheets and further reading etc. Details for login will be given on the first night.

What could the course lead to?

Sew your own clothes Sew for fun/family/friends Sew for charity - details of some of my favourites on the online 'classroom' Take another course to build your confidence/experience

Download full course outline

Dress Making Course Outline

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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