Kick-start Dressmaking

New for January 2019

This beginner-level course is best suited to those who may already have a little experience using a sewing machine, but want to start making (or altering) clothes. The course has been extended from the original weekday format and will run over four Saturdays. As with my other full-day courses, a light lunch and refreshments will be included. My six-day, “No Fears” course for complete beginners will be offered from March. More experienced sewists may be interested in my “Sew Professional!” workshops.

4 x Saturdays 10am – 4pm:

12th January
19th January
26th January
2nd February

4 people maximum

Cost €140

Email me at or call 087 669 3331 to book.

While it is a beginner-level dressmaking course, I’m going to assume that you have your own machine, and you are planning to put your new-found knowledge into practice as soon as possible. If you have never used a machine before, you may be better served booking my 6-day, “No Fears, No Failures” beginners’ course.

What will I learn?

This course adopts the same fun and stress-free ethos as my complete beginners’ course. You will make a single sample garment, for which all necessary materials will be provided. I’ve deliberately chosen a trouser pattern, as it incorporates a broad range of essential techniques that can be applied to almost any future dressmaking project and that may not be present in a simpler garment, such as a skirt. These include:

  • Pattern layout, markings and transfer
  • Zipper installation
  • Darts
  • Pockets (‘Side Front Slanted’)
  • Waistband, buttonhole and button
  • Blind hem (machine and/or hand-sewn)
  • Use of overlocker

Included in the course fee are an original Butterick pattern, plain tissue for tracing (so you can remake the pattern in your own size), and plain calico fabric.

What equipment will I need?

See that picture at the top of the page? That pretty much covers the essentials. The sewing equipment shown in the photo is all you really need to start dressmaking:

  • dressmaker’s shears
  • embroidery scissors (or thread snips)
  • pins
  • hand-sewing needles
  • tape measure
  • tailor’s chalk
  • stitch ripper

As with all my courses, if you have all these things at home, all well and good. If not, you are welcome to purchase them direct from me. All students receive a 15% discount on store items (excluding sewing patterns).