Introduction to Dressmaking

Ref: C3741491

We will start with the basics, taking and recording accurate body measurements. Discussing patterns, learn how to read and understand all the information contained on the envelope and inserts. Cut and adjust pattern pieces. Create a wearable piece of clothing. Bring your own sewing machine if you have one, if not please let us know as one can be provided during lessons. If you bring your own machine you will get individual advice and guidance on using your machine and how to clean and take care of it.

Course aim

Previous experience is not essential.Gain an understanding of reading, adjusting and cutting your pattern, and constructing a finished wearable garment. Bring your own sewing machine to gain experience and learn what all those buttons and knobs do!

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This is a very friendly and welcoming class. All levels are equally welcomed and encouraged to improve their skills.

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

  • Take accurate body measurements and know how to apply them to your pattern
  • Read and understand all the information contained in and on the pattern envelope
  • Select fabric and patterns suitable to your ability
  • Create a finished garment, finished to a 'wearable' standard
  • Confidence - to explore different sewing projects with your skills and sewing machine

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Online Classroom available. Not essential but learners will benefit from some practice and working on their own garment 1-2 hours per week.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • If you agree, we take photos of finished garments and put them on our online classroom to share with each other. There is an optional 'fun' Sewing Machine Driving Test (Optional).

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Sewing Machine Fabric, thread, zip, buttons etc Pattern Sewing Tools A suggested shopping list will be available on the first night Notebook and pencil for taking notes

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Please find your sewing machine manual and read through it. All machines are slightly different and it will be very helpful to have it on hand during the course for reference.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • There are a range of charities that need people who sew and would be delighted for you to join their team of home sewists.

Download full Course information sheet

Introduction to Dressmaking


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 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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